Kitchen Refresh

Add fun and function with new appliances.

It’s been awhile since the pandemic started and we’ve had some time to settle into our new stay-at-home lifestyle. After the initial quick changes we all made last year, many Americans are seeking new ways to make their homes more functional than ever for work, schooling, hobbies, and gatherings—to say nothing of eating. Families, on average, are cooking at home 200 percent more than usual. Make cooking easier and more fun, and make food last longer, by switching out some key appliances.


Buyers are looking for home appliances that can bring joy and excitement to cooking at home. We’re seeing creative appliance installations and combinations. And, of course, remodelers want to get the most out of their investment by customizing appliances to meet their personal taste and cooking style. Options include custom colors, Wi-Fi connections, modular cooktops, combination wall ovens, and more.

Steam Convection Ovens: You can use a steam convection oven to bake like a normal oven, but also steam veggies and grains, or combine convection bake with steam to deliver flavor with less fat and reheat foods without drying them out.


Creative Modular Cooktops: In addition to the standard gas burners or electric elements, cooktops can offer solutions for every cooking style. Wok burners, indoor grills, fryers, and teppanyaki flat top surfaces are among the popular options.

Built-In Pizza Ovens: Making pizza can be a fun activity for the whole family, and hearth ovens are perfect for that other popular pandemic pastime: baking bread.

Air Fry Ovens: Air frying is essentially a supercharged convection mode that circulates hot air throughout the oven to create a crispy texture. You can expect perfect browning on the outer edges and a satisfying crunch every time, without adding grease or fat.

Smart Ranges: A smart appliance leverages connectivity to enhance the user experience in a meaningful way. For example, you can ask your smart speaker to preheat your oven and use your range as an in-home culinary coach. With guided cooking, you can take the guesswork out of preparing your favorite meals. Not sure what to make? Download a compatible cooking app like Yummly or Innit to cook up amazing meals that everyone will enjoy.


Although people are cooking at home more, many are going to the grocery store less, so having well-organized, spacious food storage—whether it’s open shelves, extra cabinet space, or an extra freezer—is a top priority. While changing your pantry can require renovations, upgrading your cold storage can be as simple as switching out your refrigerator.

Refrigerator Technology: Look for refrigerators with dual refrigeration systems to maintain consistent temperature and optimal humidity, built-in air filters, and blue light produce bins, all designed to preserve fresh foods longer. Some smart refrigerators can even monitor the expiration dates of your food and give you recipe recommendations to use soon-to-expire ingredients.

Storage Columns: For extra cold storage with a luxurious look, consider all-refrigerator and all-freezer towers. Mix and match them for optimal storage space, and install them side-by-side or separated, whichever works best with your design. Wine columns are also available.

Full Depth Refrigerators: For more cold storage, consider a deeper refrigerator. Full-depth refrigerators come in all the popular configurations and give you the most capacity at a less expensive price. However, that depth can also be a challenge: Full-depth refrigerators protrude six to eight inches past a standard cabinet, which can be an eyesore—and it’s easy to “lose” food in the back of the fridge! If depth is a concern, consider a counter-depth or built-in style.

Under Counter Refrigerators: If you have an unused cabinet or adaptable nook, you may be able to convert it to extra cold storage by installing an under-counter refrigerator. This style is also popular in pantries, living areas, outdoor entertainment spaces, bedroom suites, and home offices.

Supplemental Freezer: Whether you buy bulk meat, stockpile frozen dinners, or just love ice cream, an extra freezer can come in handy. An upright or small chest freezer can tuck into a large pantry, while a bigger freezer might fit into your garage or basement.


Many viruses and bacteria that cause colds, flu, and foodborne illnesses are spread at home. Your house may look clean, but microscopic germs can still flourish. Sanitizing appliances—those designed to reduce bacteria, mold, allergens, and viruses and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation—can help.

•  Steam Closet: If you have or are building a large laundry room, consider adding a steam closet, like the LG Styler or Samsung AirDresser. Essentially a home dry cleaning unit, it can refresh, clean, or sanitize clothes, hats, shoes, and delicates, as well as pillows, curtains, small rugs, stuffed animals, etc. It’s perfect for anyone who wears a lot of business clothes or formalwear, and enables you to easily clean and sanitize the hard-to-clean items in your home.

•  Dishwasher: The water in a sanitizing dishwasher must reach at least 150 degrees, which is hot enough to kill germs like E. coli. In addition to washing your dishes and cookware, consider running your kitchen tools, cutting boards, sponges, and even small toys through a sanitizing cycle. Also, remember to clean the dishwasher itself. Check and clean the filter and spray arms, and occasionally run the cleaning or sanitizing cycle with the machine empty to clean the interior.

•  Washers and Dryers: You can eliminate germs, bacteria, mold, dust mites, and allergens on clothing, bedding, towels, dishcloths, and other soft items by installing a washer and/or dryer with a sanitize or allergen cycle. Both use high heat—at least 131 degrees for washers—to eliminate germs. Adding bleach to the wash water also helps kill bacteria. Again, remember to clean the machines themselves by running cleaning or high heat cycles periodically. Wipe the knobs, buttons, and handles with bleach.

•  Vacuum Cleaners: HEPA vacuum cleaners have a special air filter designed to remove 99.97 percent of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. They clean your floors while also ridding the air of extra dust, dander, allergens, and mold spores.

•  Air Purifiers: In addition to avoiding illness, help allergy and asthma sufferers breathe easier by removing irritants like bacteria, germs, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and dust.

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