The Pros & Cons Of Smaller Appliances

Can We Live With Smaller Appliances?


Continuing the reveal of our new kitchen, today we share our decision to use smaller, euro sized appliances.  For us, using smaller appliances has been more pro than con!

A Smaller, 24″ Wide Refrigerator and Freezer

Yes, that is correct.  Our new method of keeping things cold, or frosty, is a Liebherr Bio Fresh refrigerator and freezer.  The immediate pro for us, as mentioned in the previous post, is the added space in the traffic area and countertop.  I admit to being a little nervous about our departure from a full size 36″ wide model, while we waited for the trip across the sea for the unit to arrive.  After a week of stocking this little gem, we are converted.  The difference in food freshness is noticeable.  Having refrigerator items higher is a plus.  Now the cons, which we have easily overcome.  If you are a huge in the door condiment user, the limited door space could be a problem.  A pizza box is not going to fit either.  We have always used smaller, glass containers for food storage and found truffle ketchup in a jar at Trader Joe’s that looks charming on the shelf instead of in the door.  We reserve the door for beverages.  A gal has to always have that perfect bottle of wine for her best buds!

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The ice maker in the freezer, in the reduced width unit, made me gasp.  Mr. LBD seldom uses ice.  I use it most waking hours and at first thought…oh, no I have made a huge mistake.  The first week, I bagged ice and kept it on hand in the 2nd top drawer.  We’ve never used the extra ice, even when we had 9 people over for a proper social distancing quick dinner.  The two lower drawers are deep and hold everything we need easily.   For the cons, if you are a cook way ahead and freeze lots of things person, you may have to explore containers that accomodate the space.  If you have a slew of bourbon on the rocks guests, you may have to tell them you will supply the booze if they bring the ice!

What’s Better Than One Dishwasher….?

TWO!  In previous homes, we have had the Fisher& Paykel drawer dishwasher units.  Even when we had a house full of kids, these drawers worked well for us.  The drawers can run at the same time, for loads equal to any standard one cavity dishwasher, or independently.  Generally, we use the top drawer daily.  There is less bending to load/unload, and on the eco cycle, this is very efficient.  The racks move to accommodate multi-size dish needs.  Our unit has a deeper section on top for taller items…like those wine glasses from the bottle chilled in the refrigerator!   Besides now never having dirty dishes for more than a day, we also have the cabinets set up so that putting dishes away requires almost no steps.  Perhaps a post on that coming up!?  For the con about using dishwasher drawers, it will take some a mindset change and a few trials on how to load that best suits your needs.  Note: We chose to have cabinet panels on our unit so no messy stainless to haunt us!

Our Beloved Induction Cooktop Returns!

Readers, and friends alike, accept that I am going to push for them to become members in the induction cooking cult.  Going over a year with a standard electric cooking surface only made our desire to go back to induction stronger.  The dilemna…to get the workspace inches we wanted to gain, we needed to reduce the existing 36″ width of the cooktop by at least 6″.   With tape measure in hand, we researched and found that many smaller cooktops simply placed the controls on the front (vs the side) and the cooking surface was nearly the same on the units.  Fisher & Paykel’s 24″ unit’s cooking space was exactly the same as the Kitchenaid cooktop we had.  With 4 individual burners, that bridge to two larger, this compact cooktop meets all our needs.  Instead of gaining 6″, we gained 12″ and in a small 8′ x 11′ footprint this is game-changing!  Cons?  ZIP-ZERO-NONE!  Told you it’s a cult.

Before we move on, let’s talk about the range hood exhaust.  Because we are in a condo, this hood has to be ventless.  The old one, an impressive-look alike for professional chefs, was crap.  The light was like a Christmas bulb and it very nosily blew grease up onto the ceiling.   We chose a Zephyr Tornado Mini and our cabinet company had a box made out of laminate. (yes, laminate that mimics the concrete quartz on the island entirely by accident) Perhaps you can tell by the name how powerful this little puppy is.  The unit is perfectly sized for all the steam coming off the induction cooktop, runs rather quietly, and has two lights with several dim powers.  All for $279.  Is it possible to love a range hood?  For the cons, no different than any other more expensive hood, operator has to remember to turn it on!

Wait…Where Is The Microwave?

Remember that big old microwave in the wall stack of the old kitchen?  We don’t miss it at all.  Again, Mr. LBD and I earnestly discussed how we use each appliance when designing the kitchen.  The microwave is probably the least used in our daily routine and cooking.  Instead of having it on the counter, we chose to have a space reserved in the right, tall cabinet for a small, $99 unit from William’s Sonoma.   98% of the time this set up is working just fine for us.  Once I forgot to leave the door open and baked a pair of potatoes for 11 min.  The heat from the microwave condensed the interior of the cabinets and made a puddle on the floor!  Additionally, the veggie steamer we owned was too large for the smaller unit.  Amazon to the rescue.  For the cons of this microwave set up, this may be inconvenient for high power and mega use.


A Full-Size Oven

Oh we went back and forth on the oven size.  Could we move to a 24″ oven?  Remembering how many 1970 wall ovens we have removed in renovations, I kept saying no.  However, after looking at newer 24″ ovens, we were impressed with the cavity size.   Like the induction cooktop, there really was very little a smaller oven would not accomodate.  Because I am not a baker, I was ready to convert to the 24″ wide under-counter oven.  Again we looked at Fisher & Paykel. In the end, our design allowed for the standard 30″ unit.  The only con to this amazing oven is I have started baking and eating the goodies.

Time To Wash Up

With my aversion to stainless maintenance, our choice of sink was a given.  We’ve used the Blanco Silgrant sinks in several homes.  Maintenance joys with all the cooking we do.  However, to gain the space we wanted for a trash can to the right of the sink, we needed a smaller sink.  Again, 26″ vs 36″ really has not been a problem with the single bowl design.   Next, for the first time, we used the most powerful disposal available on the market.  The con…it’s huge and in a smaller sink base like ours (30″w) it’s a little tight under the sink.  The weight for the faucet sprayer keeps getting caught up and we are working on a solution.  Again, an operator training session needed!  Didn’t our contractor do a nice job with all the connections and electric needs?  There is even a water cop in case we get too wild!

Please Comment!

This is a great post to comment on because it can be so controversial!  The Google Gods want us to “encourage” more interaction to rate with them.  What about adding your thoughts in the comment section today?

How To Use E-Design While Kitchen Planning

Choosing appliances is an important part of kitchen design.  We always suggest our clients do some research early on to determine what appliances will meet their needs and be within the budget.  Our virtual, E-Design services can help navigate the many appliance choices.  Contact us to learn more!


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10 thoughts on “The Pros & Cons Of Smaller Appliances”

    1. Between us, and the WordPress issues this week, you’re a mess! Have a peaceful weekend!

  1. I’m with you! Having converted to a smaller European-style washer and dryer in the laundry room at my summer home (and loving both), I can see the merits in the kitchen.

    1. Most likely same theory as the smaller dishwasher drawers, the smaller washing/drying machines allow for more manageable loads.

  2. Leave it to you to have such a functional and beautiful kitchen in a condo, no less! I love the “Zeness”, (if that’s a word), of it all. Great job!

  3. I’m not even sure I realized that some of these smaller sizes were available. As always you have taught me so much (and I will say that I miss my one bowl sink….)

    1. One bowl has both pros and cons. I think with a smaller footprint a single works best! Especially with a drying rack!

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