Whether you've been eyeing a gorgeous dinnerware set, some stylish new glassware, or a state-of-the-art appliance, there's no denying that January is the perfect time to upgrade your kitchen.
Of course, planning ahead is crucial if you want to turn your dream kitchen into a reality. So take the time to consider your goals for the space, your budget, and the essential features you need before clicking that 'add to cart' button.
Making smarter decisions about the quality and design of your appliances and dinnerware will pay off in the long term. So, let's look at what our experts say about making better purchases next time you shop.
How to make better kitchen purchases
When embarking on a kitchen upgrade, it's always a good idea to thoroughly research the best brands and models available for the items you need. Consider aspects such as size, features, and overall design to ensure compatibility with your kitchen's aesthetic.
1. Prioritize functionality and durability
'Before you consider upgrading your kitchen with the best kitchen appliances, think about more than just appearances,' urges Steven Perez, founder of Kitchen and Range Hood. 'You should also prioritize functionality and durability. These items should not just look good but also be dependable in the long run.'
Aim for features that align with your daily cooking needs and a build that can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. It's not just about making your kitchen beautiful; it's about making it a practical and reliable space. Depending on the brand and features, high-quality kitchen appliances can range from anywhere between $500 - $3000 or more.
Although this might feel like a considerable investment up front, there's a reason why quality brands come with a higher price tag. These prices often reflect the research involved in the development of the appliance, advanced safety mechanisms, or higher-quality materials.
Interior designer Steven Perez is Founder of Kitchen and Range Hood. Kitchen and Range Hood specializes in all things kitchen-related, from appliance selection to maintenance.
2. Consider timeless design
When making decisions about your kitchen, opt for items with timeless designs. Of course, there will always be one-off items that catch your eye, but classic aesthetics have a staying power that can outlast passing kitchen trends.
3. Energy efficiency matters
‘Don't forget the importance of energy efficiency,’ says Moe Soloff, a kitchen specialist at Fabuwood. ‘Choose appliances with the ENERGY STAR label. Not only can this help reduce your environmental impact, but they can also help cut your energy bills.’
Prioritizing energy-efficient models is an investment in sustainability, making your kitchen beautiful and eco-friendly. While these appliances might be slightly pricier upfront, the long-term savings make them a wise financial choice.
Moe Soloff is a kitchen specialist at Fabuwood, one of the leading cabinet manufacturers in the US. His company believes that the perfect cabinets are key to developing a sanctuary that offers a perfect balance of functionality and ambiance.
4. Choose versatile dinnerware
‘When it comes to dinnerware, think versatility. Go for sets that seamlessly transition from everyday use to special occasions,' advises chef and food writer Judi Rose, brand ambassador for Franke. 'Look for designs that complement various table settings, minimizing the need for multiple sets.'
This set of 4 rustic white dinner plates would suit a variety of dinner table setups and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
This delightfully rustic porcelain dinnerware set would fit seamlessly into a range of aesthetics.
5. Invest in quality glassware
Elevate both the aesthetics and practicality of your kitchen by investing in quality glassware. Choose options with durability and easy maintenance, such as reinforced glass and dishwasher-safe materials. Quality glassware not only enhances the visual appeal of your table but also ensures a long-lasting and enjoyable drinking experience.
Make sure you store glassware safely to keep it looking good for years to come and learn how to organize glassware properly to ensure a smooth hosting experience next time you have family or friends over for drinks.
This unique lustered glassware collection by Anthropologie features glittering gold rims and textured glass that refracts light.
This set of 6 colored wine glasses would make a stylish addition to any glassware collection.
6. Read reviews and ratings
According to Katrina Smith, kitchen expert and founder of Kitchensity, before you finalize any kitchen purchase, you should tap into the collective wisdom of other consumers by reading reviews and ratings. Real-life experiences offer invaluable insights into product performance, reliability, and potential issues.
This step helps you make informed decisions, ensuring your chosen items meet both your expectations and the experiences of others. The cost of making a well-informed decision is free, but it can save you from potential headaches and disappointments.
Katrina’s mission with Kitchensity is to help you create the perfect kitchen space, whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook. At Kitchensity.com, they are passionate about kitchen design, organization, and functionality. They believe that a well-designed kitchen is the heart of the home, where families and friends come together to share meals and create memories.
7. Check warranty and customer support
Scrutinize the fine print of warranties to understand what is covered and for how long. A comprehensive warranty not only offers protection against defects but also indicates the manufacturer's confidence in the longevity of their products. It's your safety net, providing peace of mind and assurance in your investment.
Reliable customer support ensures that any concerns or issues can be addressed promptly, enhancing your overall satisfaction with the purchase. The cost of a comprehensive warranty and reliable customer support is typically factored into the overall price of the product but is well worth it for the added assurance.
8. Consider options for customization
For a kitchen that truly reflects your personality, explore brands that offer customizable options. Tailoring items to your unique preferences allows you to create a space that is unmistakably yours.
Whether it's choosing specific finishes, colors, or features, customization adds a personal touch that goes beyond standard off-the-shelf options. The cost of customization varies widely, depending on the extent of personalization and the brand. But commissioning bespoke furniture or customizing your appliances will guarantee that your kitchen is one-of-a-kind.
We can't get enough of Smeg's 1950s throwback appliances. They are available in 16 different shades and patterns, so there's plenty for everyone.
Consider customizing the color of your KitchenAid to match your kitchen cabinets or an accent wall.
Another tip to make better kitchen purchases this year is to take accurate measurements of available space before investing in large appliances or furniture. Ensuring that the chosen items fit comfortably and leaving ample room for movement prevents the hassle of returns or exchanges due to size issues.
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Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.
- Gabriella DysonHead of Solved
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