The Latest and Greatest Appliances: Kitchen Remodeling Trends and Tips

The Latest and Greatest Appliances: Kitchen Remodeling Trends and Tips

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Dennis Trigg, Kitchen Appliance Expert

Dennis Trigg

A few weeks ago I contacted Dennis Trigg , Appliance Specialist at Ferguson Enterprises in Chantilly, Virginia. He graciously afforded me some time to answer a few questions I had about the latest and greatest on appliances.

First, a bit about Dennis. He has been working in the appliance industry since 1988. He is a gastronome in every sense of the word as he cooks from scratch every day and uses only the freshest ingredients. He is often so excited about his culinary creations that he sends pictures of them to his friends. And, from my perspective, if you get the chance to meet him, you will no doubt come away thinking: “Wow, he truly is an appliance “guru”.

For the Homeowner Shopping for Kitchen Appliances: What Comes First?

When asked, What is the most important thing (or things) that a homeowner should consider when shopping for appliances? Dennis had the following suggestions.

  1. Establish a realistic budget. This will help you shop more efficiently for what you want and need.
  2. Consider your cooking style: Do you cook every day or just once a week?
  3. How many people live in your home and what is the size of your kitchen?
  4. What type of kitchen do you have presently? What do you like or dislike about your current kitchen?
  5. What kitchen appliances do you want to have and why?

What Drives the Cost of Kitchen Appliances?

Often, homeowners do not understand the factors that affect the cost of kitchen appliances. For example, why is a Wolf gas rangetop more expensive than a Kitchen Aid?

Dennis states that kitchen appliance prices are driven by the production and materials costs, volume of appliances being sold, and the level of technology built into the product. For example, a smaller volume company might have higher production and materials costs than a company with a huge volume of sales. Companies that sell in large volumes may also have a larger R&D department.

Brand name also plays a part: luxury brands come with a luxury price because the materials incorporated into the product are of a higher quality.

The Evolution of Kitchen Appliances

Dennis believes that in 5-10 years we will be seeing more “smart” technology built into kitchen appliances, such as user-friendly Droid or IPhone controls and WiFi-enabled self-diagnosis features that can alert you when a problem arises or service is required. This would help ensure that maintenance and repair issues are addressed in a timely manner before significant damage occurs.

Cooking appliances will be equipped with apps that allow you to monitor the cooking mode from your phone. For example, if you have a beef roast in the oven, and you need to make a quick trip into town for another errand, you could “connect” to the temperature probe with your phone while you are away and, if needed, adjust the oven’s temperature setting remotely.

Stainless Steel Finishes: Are They Going Out of Style?

The fate of stainless steel finishes has been hotly debated in the media. For years we have read or heard, “stainless is going to go out of style.” From my viewpoint, stainless continues to be a dominant finish selection for almost every appliance. Dennis agreed with me that stainless steel will never go out of style. He noted, however, that there is an upturn in the return to “color” for appliances. Because homeowners are remaining in their homes longer, they wish to “personalize” their space with customized color choices. Some homeowners are choosing to have one appliance piece in the kitchen, such as the oven range or refrigerator, “stand out and make a statement with color.”

Consumer Reports: Yay or Nay?

Consumer Reports “is a a good guideline and reference to start the research,” says Dennis. But in his opinion, and mine, Consumer Reports and similar publications will never beat the expertise of an educated local appliance professional who can guide you through the selection process and be available to consult after your purchase if service needs or other issues arise.

Induction Cooking Technology: The Biggest Leap in the Industry

Dennis and I agree that the biggest leap in the appliance industry in the last 5-10 years is, “The return of induction cooking technology in the North American market!”

A big thank you to Dennis Trigg from Ferguson Enterprises for taking time out from his busy schedule to help educate homeowners everywhere.


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Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.

Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.

How to Choose a Kitchen SInk

How to Choose a Kitchen SInk

Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designer

Sandra Brannock, Expert Kitchen Designer

When you begin to think about your kitchen remodel, is the choice of kitchen sink foremost in your mind?

If you are like most people, probably not. Because kitchen sinks are associated with the unglamorous “dirty work” of cleaning up after meals, kitchen sink selection is often done casually, as an afterthought. After all, it is just a sink, right?.

Au contraire! Any sink will not do. In fact, lots of dirty dishes later you, the homeowner, may find yourself regretting your hasty and ill-informed decision, thinking “I wish I had known. . . .”

When I develop kitchen design plans with my clients, I always ask early in the planning process: “What kind of sink do you want?” The response is usually a standard, “Oh, I don’t know . . . I guess a (fill in the blank) type sink.”

Immediately, I begin my “let’s talk about sinks” discussion. The style, function, and size of the kitchen sink are all elements of kitchen planning that my client may not have considered. After we have this discussion, I have found that it sometimes takes clients a few weeks to thoroughly weigh all the options—concluding later that they had no idea this was something that took more time than a few minutes to decide.

If you are about to invest in a sink, and don’t know where to begin, watch Mick de Giulio explain how he designs beautiful and functional kitchen sinks:


Clearly, Mick has considered all the activities that take place in and around the sink — activities that we rarely consider when selecting a sink for our home.

So keep this in mind when you make your kitchen sink purchase, as you may find one or more options out there that will make your “sink duty” a much more enjoyable experience.

And if you must spend a few more dollars to get what you want, I promise you that the first time you use your sink, you will feel they were dollars well spent.


Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.

Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.

Kitchen Cabinetry Cost Comparisons: Why Do Some Kitchen Cabinets Cost More Than Others?

Kitchen Cabinetry Cost Comparisons: Why Do Some Kitchen Cabinets Cost More Than Others?

Kitchen CabinetsOne of the most common questions I encounter when homeowners are researching kitchen cabinetry options and establishing their kitchen remodeling budget is, “Why does this kitchen cabinet cost so much more than that one? What accounts for the difference in cost?”

I always remind my clients that the difference in price among cabinet manufacturers is directly related to the quality. Period.

I recently ran across an illuminating article on Cabinetmakerfdm.com written by Mark Goldman, President and Owner of Pennville Cabinetry. Pennville is one of my favorite kitchen cabinetry manufacturers. This article will help you understand the details and factors that distinguish extraordinary kitchen cabinetry craftsmanship from ordinary stock cabinetry. It is recommended reading for any discerning homeowner who is weighing the decision to spend more versus less on their kitchen cabinetry — especially if you are planning to live in your home for a long time after the kitchen remodeling is finished.

Click Here to Read the Article: Why Do These Cabinets Cost More?


Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

Sandra Brannock designs beautiful, timeless, functional kitchens that reflect your personal style, within your budget. She helps discerning homeowners throughout Northern and Central Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC get the kitchen of their dreams and select the perfect cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, lighting, and appliances to make their dream kitchen a reality.

Call Sandra today at (703) 801-6402 to schedule a kitchen remodeling consultation. Sandra will help you get the most value out of your kitchen remodeling budget and ensure that all the details of your kitchen renovation proceed smoothly, on time and within budget.