How to stay Sane while Appliance Shopping

Quick post from me this week but I’m hoping there’s some useful tips for you when next embarking on a shopping mission for big-ticket items for the home.  Earlier this week I set off to buy a hob and a dishwasher.  As you know there’s a crazy abundance of choice out there, and from my experience as an interior designer this is what causes the biggest area of concern for my clients.  Whether selecting paint, flooring, fabric, bathroom fittings or kitchen appliances, there’s SO much to choose from that it’s very easy to fall into indecision and confusion.  So I thought I’d tell you how I went about it, because it ended up being a fairly simple process and I was done in two hours.

Source: Est Magazine

Write a checklist of what features or requirements you want.  

Here’s mine….

  • Reputable brands
  • No ‘bells and whilstles’; I’m not interested in new fancy functions because they generally push the price up, and in my experience those functions often aren’t that useful anyway.  (And if I don’t have those fancy functions I won’t know what I’m missing right?)  At the same time, I don’t want the entry-level range because I see these as having the potential to be problematic.
  • High ratings for energy efficiency and water use (dishwasher)

SUMMARY: low-mid range from reputable brands with good ratings for energy efficiency and water use

Research the pros and cons of different options

(And have any questions ready to ask in the appliance showroom)

For my dishwasher;

  • Preference for dishwasher over a dish drawer, but I wanted the ability to wash half loads
  • Integrated vs built-in vs freestanding

For my hob;

  • Induction vs gas
  • Induction; some pots and pans not suitable, not all under bench ovens can be installed with every induction top
  • Gas; look for easy-clean burner caps, flame-failure, etch labelled symbols, safety feature for knobs (push then turn)


  • Colour; white vs stainless (notice whether the stainless is non-marking or not)
  • Handles, if relevant; do they work with handles on the kitchen cabinetry and other appliances?

I had all this sorted before entering a kitchen showroom, and it really made the experience quite stress-free.  It was certainly easier having only two appliances on my list, but if you were selecting more items, I’d suggest choosing the two most important first.  Of course these tips apply whether it’s kitchen appliances you’re shopping for, or bathroom fittings, flooring etc.

Source: Tahli/MintSix
Source: Tahli/MintSix
Source: Inside Out
Source: Inside Out
Source: Tahli/MintSix
Source: Tahli/MintSix

I’d love to hear from you if YOU have a tip on how to make the decision making process easier…please comment below!  And please share if you have a friend who is building or renovating at the moment.


See you next week – enjoy your weekend


Author: The Coastal Creative

Living close to the beach encourages a relaxed way of living and this influences my work as an interior designer. I am drawn to the eclectic, faded colours, rustic timber, the imperfection of things hand made, and objects that tell a story.

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