This morning I’m trading Craigslist emails with people who want to buy my Thermador oven stack — that’s right, the same oven stack I was so excited to find at a good price myself just a few months back on CL. The one I went to great lengths to arrange delivery for. The wall oven that completed my “dream kitchen.” Though it would not have helped my particular situation, based on this experience I advise anyone planning a kitchen to choose your appliances first.
Several months ago I was chatting with a neighbor in the building who is also going through a renovation and she told me about the conflicting advice she had been getting from kitchen designers she spoke with. Some said choose your appliances first and others said choose your cabinet style first. I’ve always been of the mind that you start your design dreams with that one thing you’ve got your heart set on — whether it’s a farmhouse sink or a pro range or some gorgeous Walker Zanger tile — and build your kitchen around it. But this time around that hasn’t worked out so well for me. Granted, I had this wall I wanted to bring down and wasn’t sure how much could be removed, so my project came with unusual question marks.
Besides the openness, the thing I wanted most in this renovation was an oven that I could use unobstructed by my narrow kitchen aisle (whose dimensions can’t be widened because this is New York City and, space constraints!). Sure, I could have gotten there half a dozen ways, but I chose an electric wall oven stack based on performance reviews I’d spent many hours poring through — electric ovens bake better than gas — only to find in the 11th hour that I can’t even have it.
If I had this to do all over again? I mean, complete redo? I’d have asked for a load letter before starting the project — hah, before purchasing this home even (can you do that?). But more realistically what could have happened, what should have happened, and what I’m going to advise my building, is that the co-op board could have been upfront about the electrical limitations in this building when they sent me the renovation agreement to sign. It would have saved me a lot of money, time, and heartache searching for the perfect appliances.
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