They may not be essentials in everyone’s kitchen design but adding a luxury feature or two to your kitchen design will ensure you love it for years to come.
Hot water taps
A few years ago, boiling water taps weren’t a standard addition for a new kitchen design. However, as commercial models from companies such as Quooker began to show up in hi-end domestic kitchens, the benefits of having boiling water at the drop of a lever became more apparent. As a result, tap manufacturers began to develop their ranges, first with standalone taps and now the easier to include tri-flow monobloc with hot, cold and boiling water all in one, neat unit. Not just for making tea and coffee in a flash, combined with a super-fast induction hob, a boiling water tap can help you to prepare pasta and rice dishes in a flash as well as speedily steaming veg and fish. Most models heat the water to 98° but some, like those from Quooker reach 100°. Try also Grohe, InSinkErator, Franke and Zip for three-in-one monobloc models and Insinkerator and Blanco for standalone taps that are useful for prep sinks. Tanks vary in size but some are compact enough to incorporate into a small kitchen design and all designs feature child-locks to prevent accidental scalding.
Steam ovens have long been a favourite with those that understand the benefits of a cooking process that preserves the goodness and nutrients of foods such as fish and vegetables. While steam ovens are still popular, and are great for more things than just veg – think pasta, pulses slow-cooked foods, proving bread – it’s combination steam ovens that are fast becoming the appliance on the top of our wish-lists. Combining a steam function with a microwave and also fan oven, if you’re short of space or your budget is limited, they provide most of the cooking functions you could ever need all in one convenient unit. Steam is delivered into the cavity via a removable water tank, meaning there’s no tricky plumbing into a water source either. Most appliance manufacturers include a steam or combination steam oven in their offering but be aware that most steam-only models are compact so it’s wise to combine them with another one or two combination single ovens.
If you’re not a fan of clutter on the worktops but can’t function in the morning without a large latte or Americano, then a built-in coffee machine might be a worthwhile addition to your list. Although they might seem pricey at first, many aren’t much more expensive than top-of-the range countertop models and think of all that money you’ll save not buying a coffee on your way to work everyday. If you’re planning an appliance bank in your kitchen design then it’s worth noting that most manufacturers are designing coffee machines to match their ovens and as a result a combination of three ovens and a coffee machine are becoming a popular configuration. Price points vary, from the very affordable semi-automatic models from Hotpoint to the pricier all-singing, all-dancing bean-to-cup coffee machine from AEG. If you can’t bear the thought of messy beans or grinds, then a Nespresso pod machine by Miele is a good option.
Kitchens with zones for cooking, eating and entertaining are the perfect place for one of the latest luxury appliances – the wine cooler. While there might not be space for a wine cellar, the latest wine coolers are very sophisticated machines that will ensure all wines – both red and white are kept in the optimum conditions. Undercounter models from companies such as Liebherr, Caple and CDA vary in size from space-saving single columns to those with room enough for up to 48 bottles and featuring several temperature zones for keeping reds and whites at exactly the right temperature. Perfect placed on the dining side of an island so that guests can help themselves while you cook, look for coolers that also include UV protection and anti-vibration – to keep harmful light and stop the disturbance of sediments – as they’re important features to keep your wine at its best for longer. Larger models look great in a bank of appliances and many, such as those from Miele have elegant wooden shelving, three temperature zones and even a sommelier unit for sampling your best vintages.
If you’ve been seduced by the undeniable benefits of induction but can’t prize yourself away from the brilliance of gas for preparing stir-fried food, then domino hobs might be the answer. These two-zone cooktops – usually measuring around 30 x 60cm come in a variety of different types. As well as gas and induction models, you can also buy charcoal-style grills for all-year-round barbecuing, steel tepanyaki plates for Japanese style griddle cooking and even fryers for perfect southern-style chicken. Whichever you choose it’s best to buy from the same manufacturer to keep the materials, design and size consistent. If you’d prefer to keep costs down with just one worktop cut, then AEG, Caple and CDA all have single glass topped hobs that include both a powerful gas burner and induction plates, proving that in some things, you really can have it all!
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