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The Ottawa Citizen

Carefully consider needs when outfitting kitchen

BY MARILYN WILSON, FOR POSTMEDIA NEWS     July 5, 2014

Don't assume standard appliances included with your condo will be sufficient. Consider upgrading ones you will use often.
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Ever hear the saying the devil is in the details? When it comes to your new condo, that's certainly true. And if you can properly accessorize, the excitement, rather than the devil, can occupy your details.

Many condo buyers want to make their lives easier. Those who have been renters until now may be happy with whatever appliances are included. Downsizers may also be just as happy with these appliances, as they are new and will mean a fresh start.

But don't fall into the trap of just assuming that whatever appliances are included will be sufficient. Instead, comb over the model suites with care and consider upgrading appliances that you will use often or get more joy out of using.

Whether you are an aspiring gourmet chef or merely combine cereal and milk in the morning, you likely spend considerable time in your kitchen. So, what will make your kitchen more functional, user-friendly and enjoyable?

Here are a few appliances worthy of consideration, depending on your personal use of the kitchen.

If you're a chef, you will want several key appliances. The first is a good hood fan, something that will keep your condo smoke-free but will not be too loud, given that noise is more concentrated over smaller floor plans. Be wary of the microwave-hood fan that sits over your stove and is often featured in model suites. This combo is fine if you don't cook much but, if you do, you'll find you will need a real hood fan to absorb smells and steam.

Do you spend more time cooking or baking? Your answer could affect whether an electric or gas oven is best for you. Also, think about the size of the oven. If you like to host big turkey dinners, for instance, get an oven that will hold your bird.

There are many other nifty appliances to consider if you have the space. Would a warming drawer be useful to keep food, dishes and mugs warm for company, or would you end up using it as a storage drawer? Another option is a cup-warming drawer beneath your coffee maker.

Frequent hosts may also like the idea of a wine fridge or a second dishwasher. No room for two dishwashers? Maybe there is enough for a half dishwasher instead.

A trend I have started noticing is below-counter microwaves to save counter space and streamline the overall look, as well as microwave drawers. Though new and popular, remember that these drawers have to be pushed closed, creating a potential for spills.

Whatever appliances you choose, make sure they represent your living needs. Purchasing appliances for resale or to please others will mean you live with wasted space in limited square footage.

Marilyn Wilson has been selling real estate for more than 24 years and owns Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties Inc. Brokerage.

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