Are you considering a kitchen remodel? Looking to replace your current appliances but uncertain where to start? Well, this post will hopefully offer you lots of design guidance to make the process more enjoyable. Buying appliances are a lot like buying a car, aren’t they? Purpose, cost, technical understanding, maintenance and appearance play a key role in the decision making process. As someone who has a great appreciation for quality products, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a design conference at the World of Whirlpool offices in Chicago. Our discussions not only included product education but designer guidance on how to build a kitchen that is most suited to your cooking style. Given that Inspiring Kitchen was created for that same mission of choosing housewares that fit homeowners’ specific cooking styles, I was thrilled to be able to participate in this conference.
As many of you know, Whirlpool has a number of brands in their family:
Brastemp – sold in Brazil
Bauknecht – sold in Europe
Consul – sold in Brazil
This conference though was focused on the Jenn-Air series of products. Jenn-Air is Whirlpool’s luxury line of appliances that are known for their sophisticated design, innovative technology and exceptional performance. They have manufacturing plants located in several U.S. locations with their corporate offices located in Michigan.
We had the benefit of being educated on products from Jenn-Air brand experts as well as The World of Whirlpool’s Chef who talked from a cooking standpoint about how the appliance will enhance your cooking experience. The sessions focused on ventilation systems, cooktop preferences (induction, gas, and electric), ovens (single, double, steam, warming), refrigerators, coffee systems, Pro series products and under counter beverage systems.
I wanted to share with you some of my key takeaways:
1) Using touch screen technology means “fingerprinting” of the display screen vs. pushing a button. Clean, simple, no pressure needed.
2) There was once a design style of a triangle workspace in a kitchen. That has evolved. Now, you may have multiple sinks in a kitchen: for prep work, near a cooktop for pot-filling and draining (more multipurpose than installing a pot-filling faucet alone) and in a bar.
3) Notable points about wall ovens. With the menu driven LCD displays, you will find an interactive, full color control panel that features menu driven controls to help you select the temperature and cooking mode for your dish. As a result, when designing the kitchen, you may want to consider the homeowner’s height so that the ovens are installed at a comfortable viewing angle to the screen. For more information on the variety of available ovens, see http://jennair.com/appliances/wall-ovens
Examples of different interactive displays:
4) Ventilation systems – which Jenn-Air first became known for in 1961 for their legendary downdraft cooktop – are more than just necessary tools for a kitchen but can also be a work of art in how they are created and installed. From a technical standpoint, it’s important to install hoods or downdraft systems within the range (height or width) of the cooktops to offer the most effective ventilation for your home. There are a variety of options available whether built into the counter or as a hood. The ARC model seen in the picture is incredibly quiet, easy to clean, so sleek in design and efficient from a ventilation perspective. See for more information http://jennair.com/appliances/details/JXD7836BS
5) A new direction in cooktops: Induction should be seriously considered for your next purchase. Their ability to come to desired temperature and allow you as the “chef” to control what is happening on your stove is amazing. They look like an electric range, have the power of gas but outperforms both. Energy transfers heat directly to the cookware, turning it into the heat source, while the surface remains cool to the touch. Jenn-Air has designed a Sensor Boil function that selects the optimal power level to quickly bring water to a boil, beeps to let you know you are there and then adjusts the power to reduce the boil-over possibility. How helpful is that feature!
The big issue homeowners have had with induction have been not understanding the types of cookware that work best for this method of cooking. It all comes down to having a magnetic pan or pot which is what “turns the burner on”. There are numerous brands that offer cookware that will work beautifully on this surface. A very good tip on how to protect your induction range’s glass surface when using pots that might scratch the surface (ie. Cast iron cookware): use a silicone mat under your pot. (Artisan (2 pk.) Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat Set, 16 5/8 x 11) It can handle the heat without melting or burning. Note that this is only a recommendation for Induction cooking! For more info, see http://jennair.com/appliances/details/JIC4536XS
A personal comment here about shopping for cookware for Induction cooking. Having once worked for All-Clad Metalcrafters and now guiding homeowners on their kitchen remodel, I have spent considerable time walking with customers through the cookware departments carrying magnets to choose the pieces that will best suit their Induction cooktop. It’s very easy to find. No matter where you live. (All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan)
This is just the first half of the lessons I learned from my Jenn-Air education. Stop by on Thursday when I will share the remaining concepts and product tips with you. Share your email with us and you will be the first to know about the new trends and favorite finds that we uncover. If you have any questions, please ask. Happy to share all I learned with you from both a brand and interior design standpoint. Inspiring Kitchen is here to help you accomplish your remodel as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We want you to love your kitchen as it is the heart of your home.
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