As promised, I'm writing up a review on our Kitchen Appliances. For those not interested, but who would like the recipe for the Parmesan Pastry wrapped Olives I posted about in my last post, just skip to the end.

My most popular posts on this blog all have to do with Kitchen Design, the selection of finishes and Appliances, so this will no doubt be of interest to the readers looking to replace their appliances or who are planning a new kitchen.

Firstly, I wrote about my criteria for the appliance selection in this post, and wrote about my preference for certain brands, and the functionality aspects that were the basis for my selections.

We have now been using the new kitchen for around 3 months, and I've given all the appliances a good workout with a little bit of entertaining, general family cooking and baking, and cleaning up. I took a few photos during the week. They are completely unstyled, so have dishes in the dishwasher, and food in the fridge as it is usually. And I forgot to take a day shot of the tap, so here's one at night instead.




Even though the Tap is not strictly an appliance, I thought it was worth reviewing here. I chose a Perrin and Rowe Ionian cross- handled tap with separate spray in Bare Brass. This was a custom order finish (not a normal stocked item, as Brass is not widely popular enough for them to keep it in stock yet), and took 14 weeks from date of order to delivery.

It was worth the wait! It's visually quite beautiful, and as my tap is in the centre of the kitchen and the centre of the windows, I wanted it to be something attractive. I was initially unsure about getting the old school style cross handled taps, instead of the lever ones they also have. Aesthetically I preferred the cross handled, but all I have been taught/ brainwashed says a lever mixer is the easiest tap to use, and that a lever tap at the least would be preferable. In the end the visual won, and I ordered the cross handled. I have to say, I'm SO pleased with it - the handles turn with only one finger with light pressure on them, so even if you are arthritic or not fully able bodied, these are not difficult to turn on and off. Having always had mixers before now, I don't mind the separate hot and cold (as I usually use either hot, or cold, and not lukewarm water for washing up and cooking). The brass is un-lacquered and is starting to show age spots and tarnish up. I may end up polishing it up, as I do quite like the shiny look, but for the moment I'm letting it go. So, in conclusion, it's a fantastic tap, and worth every expensive penny in my book.




The sinks are Franke stainless steel underbench mounted. One is large enough to hold a baking tray from the oven in it, or my biggest chopping board or platter. This was really important to me as in the past I've had to use the laundry sink to wash bits and pieces that wouldn't fit in the sink. The quality of the sinks is great, however I must admit I can't tell the difference between Franke and the cheap Clarke one I had in my old house in Melbourne. I got the Frankes at 50% off in a warehouse sale, but otherwise I probably would have chosen another Clarke undermount as they are pretty similar in my book. The one thing I'll make mention of is how I set up the sinks and tap. I treated the two sinks essentially as one large rectangle and centred that in the bench, with the tap centred on the rectangle as well. The builder and plumber and kitchen guy were inclined to centre the tap in the middle of the sinks (which as one sink is big and the other smaller would have thrown it all off centre). The setout we ended up with functions perfectly well (the spout reaches both sinks) and creates the symmetry that was really important in the design of the kitchen.

The wall oven is a Neff Double Wall Oven ( model number U16E74NOAU). I LOVE this oven. This is the first oven I've owned where I can bake a cake or a batch of cupcakes and have them all rise evenly and brown evenly. My top of the range Miele in my old house had definite hot spots in it, and I would get uneven rise in it. The other Miele I used in the place we rented also did the same. The Neff has a bread function, which produces a crispy crust and moist interior, and it comes standard with telescopic oven trays. The other thing that I love about it is that it has removable oven rack guides, which makes the interior of the oven bigger if you're roasting a large piece of meat (equivalent to a 700mm wide oven, rather than a standard 600mm wide one). The only thing it doesn't have is a pyrolitic cleaning function, which is a bit sad, but you can't have everything. The upper oven is great when I'm just baking a single tray of cupcakes, or grilling, and has almost the same functionality as the lower oven. I highly recommend it, and have been very impressed with Neff so far, my first experience with Neff (I don't know anyone in real life with one).



I have a Neff 290mm deep warming drawer (model number N22H40NOGB), shown above at the bottom of the oven, this is the extra deep one and will fit 12 place settings in it if you're warming plates, or deep and high dishes or saucepans if you're keeping food warm. I've also used it to rise dough when making bread. It's pretty simple in terms of the functionality and I imagine very similar to others on the market, but I'm enjoying using it and am happy with how it works so far.







I have two dishwashers, both fully integrated. This seemed like an extravagance to have two dishwashers, but I have to say I am loving having them - we never have dirty dishes left out waiting to go in the dishwasher when it's empty now. I ended up with two Siemens dishwashers. One was model SX66T091AU, which was on a runout sale as it was discontinued, and the other one was model number SX66T093AU which is a newer model. If I had my time again, I'd just buy two of the run out model. The extra cost for the newer/ better model seems to equal having better lighting in the dishwasher, and a few extra programs I probably won't use. It does have one nifty little feature worth mentioning though. As it's fully integrated you can't tell when the load is going to finish until you open the door (the controls are on the top inside edge of the door), so this dishwasher has an LED light display that projects onto your floor directly below the dishwasher a countdown of how long until it's finished. Very clever. Unfortunately as we don't have a recessed toe kicker on the kitchen due to the design I did, that bit that projects the light got covered up by the skirting. Oh well! Overall the dishwashers are good, everything gets cleaned, and if you have extra large dinner plates they fit well in the bottom drawer (I don't have, so this is not that important to me). The top drawer doesn't fit wine glasses in it very well, so they tend to waste a lot of space and I end up hand washing them rather than sticking them in (also they end up on a strange angle, and don't wash well). The very top drawer is the cutlery tray, as seems to be standard in dishwashers these days. I like a cutlery tray as it makes taking the cutlery out and sorting it very easy, plus you don't end up damaging your fork tines by putting them in a basket. So, in summary, they get a tick, but I won't rave about them, as many of the features are similar to other European brands.



The cooktop is from Siemens and is an induction cooktop (model EH875SKU11E) and the entire cooktop is a giant induction zone, so you can pull a baking tray out of the oven, brown meat on it on the cooktop and then put it back in the oven. At the time of purchase, the only other model on the market that did the same was from Gaggenau and was around $3,500 more expensive. I haven't cooked with induction heat before, but I am loving it - it's much more responsive than Gas or standard electric, it has a countdown timer to use if you wish so it will switch off after a certain time when you are cooking (handy when doing a dinner party where you might forget while talking to guests... a hazard for me), and you can pick up a saucepan and move it and the cooktop will recognise it in its new place and keep cooking at the old temperature. From an aesthetic point of view I like that it is just a sheet of dark grey glass, and doesn't have circles on it for saucepan placement as other induction cooktops do, it's very discreet. It's also very, very easy to clean. A simple wipe and anything baked on will come off - so much easier than a stainless steel gas cooktop. The only thing I've noticed as a problem is that the magnets (induction cooking works on magnets) can make a weird tinny whirring sound occasionally when it's coming on. This doesn't happen all the time. Overall, I'm really happy with it. I love induction cooking, and while I've heard a lot of people dismiss it because they don't want to replace their saucepans, that didn't concern me much as I only had a couple of saucepans anyway (and saucepans are fairly cheap now - the prices haven't risen at all in the nearly 14 years since I was married). This one gets a big tick from me - and as you use your cooktop the most when cooking, this was an important thing to get right.




The rangehood is the Qasair fully concealed Universal model (UV 800L2). It has two light levels using LED lights, which I like as I often use the rangehood for ambient light in the kitchen in the evening. There are two fans which can be turned from low to high and on and off separately. It's quiet, and is excellent from a suction point of view (they are recommended for indoor BBQing). Ours vents directly outside, which I recommend as the recirculating ones don't move the smelly air out well enough. It's also easy to clean, I just put the filters in the dishwasher every couple of weeks - they're easy to pull out and replace so it's not nearly as much of a production as my old Miele one. This gets a big tick, plus bonus points as Qasair manufacture in Australia.



The Fridge and Freezer are fully concealed and from Electrolux (Freezer model EFM3001WDL, Fridge model ERM3701WDR). There are essentially three manufacturers of built in fridges - Liebherr, Miele and Electrolux. Some models of the Fisher and Paykel can also be built in, however our old fridge was a Fisher and Paykel, and we'd outgrown that model, so this was discounted from selection (that was their largest fridge freezer that can be built in). The Electrolux are the cheapest by far compared to the other two, and considering my bad experiences with Miele and Liebherr, I went with them. The freezer is fantastic - it's huge (300 Litre) and will come in handy for storing frozen meals/ stocks/ sauces etc once I've become more organised. Conversely, the fridge is just too small (370L). By lacking the width of my old Fisher and Paykel, and the depth issues that fully integrated fridges all have (as they are cupboard depth, rather than standard fridge depth), I can't fit large platters of food in there if we are having people over, and the fruit and vegetable crisper bin at the bottom is tiny. I tend to buy large quantities of fresh fruit and veg weekly, and there really is only just enough room for everything... and one day my children will be teenagers, and we'll have a bunch of people over for dinner or a BBQ and I won't be able to fit a thing in the fridge.  We will most likely have to put a second fridge down in the cellar or in our (future - stage 5 or 6 of our renovations of this house) garage. So the fridge gets the thumbs down from me.




I hope that's been helpful for those interested. And those not particularly interested, to sweeten making it to the end, here is the recipe for the parmesan pastry olive balls that I served for hors d'oeuvres the other night. They are delicious!




Olives in Parmesan Pastry

Ingredients:
50 small stuffed green olives (buy the ready stuffed ones in jars in the supermarket, otherwise the gourmet ones are too big)
1 Cup Flour
100 gm Butter
150 gm grated tasty cheese or (fresh) parmesan
pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 egg lightly beaten
poppy or sesame seeds to decorate

Method:
Process flour, cayenne pepper and butter until combined in a food processor, add cheese and process until the mixture forms a ball then knead until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or longer). Drain the olives on absorbent paper towel until they are dry. Roll pastry out and cut circles using a scone cutter. Fold circle around an olive and roll lightly into a ball. Dip the top into the egg mixture, then dip into either sesame seeds or poppy seeds and place on tray. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake in the oven at 190C for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

56 comments:

  1. Definitely making those pastry bits for my rascals, they love olives and will gobble them up!
    Thank you for the comprehensive review on the appliances, I'm sure I'll come back to read it again. I am delaying my kitchen reno as I am dreading it but yesterday I was feeling it was looking very tired and getting more difficult to spruce up just with cleaning. I have looked at the Gaggenau induction top as we have a dealer near us, I like the idea of them even though it would relegate my copper to display only. A wall oven is my dream, I've never had one so that is on my list for the reno!
    Your tap and sinks are beautiful and how brilliant to have two dishwashers, I think I might do that as it would make my life much easier.
    I hope you have a super weekend Heidi!

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    1. They are so more-ish Dani, the rascals will love them!
      For some reason wall ovens have fallen out of favour in Australia - everyone does the underbench oven, but I love my wall oven. It saves space on having two separate ovens, plus everything is at my height so I pull things out and put them straight on the benchtop without having to do any bending.
      I definitely recommend two dishwashers! It's a luxury, but so worth it! Enjoy the weekend xx

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  2. You do know that Naomi and I are going to fight over your taps don't you? Heidi, you have the sexiest appliances, I'm quite green with envy.

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    1. I feel safe in the knowledge that you and Naomi have quite the long distance flight to get to my place to steal the tap! xx

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    2. I'm not so far away though, and may well may a quick trip over. They are so right for our kitchen!

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  3. Fantastic ! thanks so much for all this wonderful info. My daughter will be renovating/building shortly, so might I. We will definitely use this and your other posts as our reference points. You have gone to a lot of trouble to do this, so thanks once again.
    Will be making your parmesan olive balls for said daughter's birthday this Sunday. Really looking forward to making these for everyone. Linda C.

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    1. Glad this was helpful Linda, I always find the online reviews annoying as people generally only write to complain about something, so you get very skewed opinions. Enjoy the olive balls, I'm sure they'll be a big hit xx

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  4. Such a detailed and informative post - I am sure there will be many people who are so thankful you wrote this!

    Buying our kitchen stuff we looked for reviews but they were so unclear - like good. sucks etc. I wanted to know why bc we all know that no one appliance has everything but each person has things that are deal breakers.

    Interesting Neff isn't popular there bc in London Neff is very popular and I know a lot of my friends really like it. Fisher and Paykel does not have a big presence here at all and in fact I don't know any one with their appliances. I kept my Smeg cooker and I love it. I wouldn't mind induction but I am quite basic and I like to see fire...Although serious chefs all use induction of course. I think in terms of kitchen appliances we are quite lucky here bc there is a lot more competition than in Australia. The sales there aren't that drastic like here. I wish I had two dishwashers too but we dont have the space - one of the reasons why I got the washing machine out of the kitchen to make better use of the space. You are so lucky! It all looks great Heidi xx

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    1. Agree with you on the online reviews - I checked them all, but quite a few of the appliances were new, so there weren't any reviews. The ones that were online tend to be brief and only written by people annoyed with things, so were hard to get a feel if they were the exceptions rather than the rule.
      For some reason Neff hasn't really got the pull that other brands do. Here it's all about Miele and Gaggenau and Smeg, and Bosch for lower end European. A lot of the other brands don't get much of a look in. As a result we have limited ranges that are brought out to Australia. There are a few Neff ovens in the UK that we can't get here, and wall ovens seem to be particularly limited (Siemens don't have one in Aust). I love the temperature control on the induction - I know know if I set it at 7.5 it will do a slow rolling boil for instance - with my Gas I would have been adjusting a lot to get it right.

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  5. love the appliances Heidi and was especially intrigued by the induction cooktop - have not seen one around here before!

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    1. Induction is the perfect thing if you can't get Gas to your property and have to use bottled Gas - perfect for country areas in Australia where they aren't on mains gas. xx

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  6. Heidi, I've had a weekend away last week and a busy week this week at work, so just catching up now with your last three posts. First thing that I have to say is snap on the dishwasher. I have had mine about 6 months and love it - especially the little LED indicator on the floor. I agree on the glasses being at a funny angle in the middle drawer though. It is very helpful to hear your reviews on everything else: I had been wondering about upkeep/cleaning on the brass. It looks like I will be doing another kitchen soon-ish as we got an offer accepted on a house in south Buckinghamshire - 17th C grade II listed farmhouse with an O.K. kitchen (I think you could get away with updating the hardward, counters and appliances further down the line). I'd definitely be keen on your thoughts further down the line. The bathrooms all have beautiful roll-top baths which chinoiserie on the inside of the sinks, loos, etc. So retro that it is back in!
    I loved the renovation update post and you know that I have been looking forward to seeing some snapshots of your entertaining. I will be investing in some of those anti-tarnish rolls. Another tip which my mother told me is to wrap silver in foil - this works pretty well too.
    x

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    1. Oh Wow Charlotte - Congratulations on the new house!!! How exciting!! It sounds absolutely lovely, and like it will be the perfect English Country home - I love the sound of those bathrooms. I think if you want the shiny brass look with the taps you'd probably just give it a polish once a week or so to keep it shiny. To be honest the spots don't bother me much, and originally I wanted it to look duller and aged - I've just become deeply attracted to the glittery gold in the meantime!
      I'd never heard of the silver in foil thing before - wish I'd known that before the cutlery went into storage for 4 years, it might have saved a bit of the effort of cleaning it all. Looking forward to hearing all about the house updates! xx

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  7. I love all the kitchen shots. The parmesan olive recipe will get a work out here too. Your house just looks so gorgeous Heidi. I am also very jealous of your induction cooktop.

    We have a pigeon pair fridge freezer which I love - similar size but full depth so the fridge is just big enough although we do have two spares and a spare freezer in the garage which we use lots at Christmas and when we have guests etc. We have had a Bosch side by side fridge before which was quite expensive but I just hated and couldn't wait for it to finally break down. It obliged me by doing this after only 5 years which wasn't actually that long in retrospect although I wished it so much ill that may be why!! Our new ones are just plain Westinghouse and I love them better.

    Currently I am choosing appliances for the new kitchen in the old shearers' quarters as we have moved on to doing up the old cookhouse which is just across a breezeway from the bedrooms. It needs to be functional but won't get day to day use so I am looking at the more budget priced options - any suggestions on good brands?

    Hope all is going well with you and your family. Can't believe it's March already.

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    1. That's terrible the Bosch didn't last longer than 5 years!! Our old Fisher and Paykel was bought about 11 years ago, so it lasted pretty well considering it was moved a few times, which fridges generally don't like.
      For the shearers quarters I'd look at Fisher & Paykel for the dishwasher - we had a Dishlex at the beach house we stayed at over Christmas, it was brand new and I was not impressed with it. Noisy, and the bottom basket sagged under the weight of the plates stopping the washer arm from rotating which kind of defeated the point of the whole thing. Westinghouse also has good reviews. You might want to investigate some of the online appliance retailers who are importing european ones direct from overseas too - they are essentially doing parallel imports, and you get the appliances a lot cheaper than locally sanctioned ones. I'm not sure where the year has gone already either!! Sounds like busy times on the farm xx

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  8. No idea if I'll get my reno done this year, it all seems too hard.

    What do you think will happen in SA election ???

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    1. I think the Libs will get in, but only by default b/c Labour have been in for so long (12 years continuously, and something like 35 years out of the past 45 overall) everyone is sick of them. But frankly, there is no talent in State politics, as proven by the gaffe from the leader of the Libs yesterday when he told everyone to vote Labour.... not promising given that he is likely to be our next Premier!!! xx

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    2. yes it was pretty funny, the mind boggles

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    3. How funny! Have noticed some Commonwealth Ministers still keep slipping up and referring to Labor as "the Government". Sometimes on multiple occasions in the one interview. Strangely enough they don't seem to be embarrassed by this. But it says lots. It's no wonder people have low opinions of politicians generally! Pammie xxx

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    4. Oh Pammie - State politics is a shambles. It would probably be so much better if we did what has been mooted and abolish state governments, and just have Federal and then local councils. But I 'spose that will never happen. The children asked which "team" we voted for, and we told them we voted for a monkey. Which applies to both leaders, so leaves them none the wiser!! xx

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    5. Or a donkey! Sorry, couldn't resist. And I know nothing about either side of SA state politics.

      But I once had rather a lot to do with Federal politicians. I used to wonder how their own mothers could vote for them, some were such donkeys or such arrogant (searching for the right word that isn't rude!) rats.
      Some of course were brilliant and some genuinely committed to improving life in this country. On both sides of politics. It can be a difficult and lonely life for a parliamentarian.

      Hope you get a good result! Pammie xx

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    6. Well, given the lib leader ran on a platform of bringing back the car registration sticker (that seemed to be his major policy), and the labour leader has been a very poor performer for the past few years, it really was frankly quite annoying to have to go and vote for either of them! xx

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    7. They say we get the politicians we deserve. Sad, isn't it! PS Do you watch "Rake"? Love it, but think the writers are getting a bit carried away just now. Cleave's ex-wife's future husband pulling a gun at the wedding was over-egging the pudding! Shame because it's normally so clever. Pammie xx

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    8. I agree with you Pammie about Rake !

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  9. Love the post. Thanks for taking the time. I absolutely adore my induction too. The wipe over is bliss! My gas cook top was a nightmare and turned me off cooking anything with oil. It took ages to take apart, soak and scrub with steel wool and the aluminium bits never cleaned up. I've had the induction since our kitchen reno - so about 6 months and can't find a negative. Mine is St. George and has a stainless steel edge around which is supposed to stop any chipping at the edge if anything gets dropped. It looks nice too and was sourced during a sale. I have to be very careful with my choices as everything has to be approved by my son who is an architect! Next on our list i the master ensuite which is minuscule. Must get him onto those drawings. I think we will steal from the bedroom as it is quite large but an irregular pentagon (to catch the views). Was it you who had two shower heads. I think that is a fantastic idea and I think of it every morning as I struggle to keep my hair dry with the overhead which is amazing but not for hair! We are cooking your olives today - Mr Tonkath is out shopping for the ingredients as we speak. We have an outing tonight which I shall take them to. Tonkath

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    1. I'm sure you'll love the olives Tonkath - they always go down well with a crowd, and are delicious cold the next morning too....!
      I hated the gas for the same reasons as you - I could never get the cast iron trivet bits clean enough for my liking, and hated the gas splatters all over them. You just couldn't give it a simple wipe down after cooking. My Aunt recommended the stainless steel edge (she has Miele) for the same reasons. This one doesn't have it, so I am very careful with pot placement and am keeping my fingers crossed that the clumsy one in the family doesn't destroy it (as he doesn't do a lot of cooking, this may well not be a problem!).
      Yes, we have the two showers! I love having mine, and Mr AV loves his. For the small extra cost it was worth it. You're so lucky to have an Architect son to do the plans for you! I know my parents felt like they were getting a bit of payback from my education! xx

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    2. The olives were delicious! Also make a lovely salad with 3 grated beetroots, 3 grated carrots, 2 red onions and plenty of italian parsley with toasted pine nuts, Served with a egg mayo, oil and mustard dressing that I concocted. Try it - it was so easy, different and got lots of positive comments. Tonkath

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    3. So glad you enjoyed them Tonkath! I will give your salad a go - we have a few beetroot lovers in this family, so it's bound to go down well xx

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    4. I just put the dressing in a little jug and allowed people to add if they desired. Beetroots were uncooked.

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  10. your kitchen is divine and I am going to make those olives!

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    1. I only realised when I went looking for an old photo of the tap to put in the post that I haven't actually posted that many photos of the kitchen!! Am loving cooking in it. Make the olives, you will LOVE them xx

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  11. Hello Heidi!... I absolutely adore your brass kitchen fitting... so elegant and pure quality! So pleased that you are enjoying your induction cooktop .. as I've decided to go with induction as well. I am positively green with envy that you have two dish-washers!!.... Mr R-I just couldn't see why we needed two - he has a point in that there are only two of us - but what about dinner parties/family visits etc!!! As a compromise I managed to get him to agree to a single draw Fisher P. dishwasher in the pantry!!! Our kitchen has only just gone in... we have been away and got home this weekend... BIG site meeting tomorrow!... So happy for you that all of your choices are working well for you... I have a good friend who has a pace-maker - apparantly she is not allowed to cook on an induction cooktop!! xxx

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    1. You'll love the induction cooktop Jenny, it really is fabulous. I had no idea you couldn't have a pacemaker, it must be the magnets in it that would interrupt the pacemaker? Mr RI will see that the extra dishdrawer will come in handy - my husband thinks its one of the best things in the kitchen now!! How exciting to be looking at your new home for the first time tomorrow. Please take LOTS of pictures, as I'm dying to see how it all looks. xx

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    2. Great post Heidi. Wish I could have read it eleven years ago! Tks also for the olives in parmesan pastry. Will be very useful.
      Heard the same thing about pacemakers. So we decided against induction top when we were doing the kitchen 10 years ago. Neither of us needs one but who knows about the future - or visitors? We went for a Miele Ceran glass top which has stainless steel edges (didn't know then of course your later experience with Miele). Works well, maybe not quite as easy to clean as yours if an overflow gets cooked on. But generally cleans well and quickly. Does scratch a little sometimes when husband drags a frypan over it, but it's very slight surface scratching and doesn't bother me.
      Agree the Qasair Range hood is brilliant. All the rest other than refrigerator is Miele, but bought more than 10 years ago and still going strong. The dishwasher must now be about 15 years old and (touch wood) has never had a thing wrong - it cleans really well. The American-made large side by side fridge has disappointed us: about every two years it has to have a replacement part flown in from the US. But the kitchen was built around it so we're reluctant to change as a replacement probably wouldn't be the same size.
      Your taps are beautiful. I went a bit crazy and bought a Hansa tap set with a vegetable cleaner hose inside. It looks really good and functions well but I rarely use the retractable hose -so it was rather an expensive option (about $1000 - ten years ago! I know. Crazy. Just think, could have had 2 Hermes scarves, or maybe 3 then for the price). Pammie xxx

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    3. I have a Hansa tap too! It was the one I got 50% off and now have in my laundry. It was $600, so prices have risen, but only by a bit since you bought them (probably due to the Aussie dollar improving). It's a really lovely tap, but as it was very modern and stainless steel I decided to not put it in the kitchen in such a prominent place. Good idea on the induction cooktop to future proof though - too many people don't consider how their lives/ friends lives will change in even just a short period of time. Hopefully you won't be needing a pacemaker anytime soon though! xx

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    4. How funny that you have a Hansa tap too. I particularly wanted a super modern solid chrome look to contrast with the traditional solid jarrah panelled cupboard doors and drawer fronts and the Giverny tiles in the splashback. It works quite nicely that way - and also functions well.
      We have two Miele wall ovens, the one on top is a Combi (microwave, roasting oven, even has grill function) but sadly it doesn't have steam. Don't think steam was available in a Combi when we bought ours or I'd have gone for it too. I find when entertaining I do need the two ovens. We also have the Miele plate warmer drawer, an extravagance but works brilliantly at heating up plates for roasts etc, it was practically free as they had a special offer ten years ago, if you were spending 10,000 they would give you something like $500 or so towards another appliance. Do really use all these but haven't tested them as well as you do, though things do seem to cook pretty evenly I think. Fingers crossed about pacemakers too! Have a dear friend whose daughter in her mid-30s has had to have a pacemaker put in. Pammie xx

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  12. Oh those are such pretty taps!!! Your finishes are all so glorious, you've done such a great job there Heidi! we have a double oven and I wish I could say I use two at the same time - cooking and baking but tisn't so, sadly. Think our best thing ever was our Gaggenau Induction stovetop which is easy to clear and just looked like part of the surface...

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    1. It is a pretty tap! I had actually bought a tap in the 50% off warehouse sale 4years ago, thinking that I'd put that in instead, but it wasn't actually a very pretty tap, so I've put it in the laundry, and got the P&R one and I'm so glad I did. I am a total Induction convert now - so easy to clean, and I love the minimalist aesthetic to it as well. xx

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  13. A fab post thank you! So is there a much wider fridge and freezer suitable for integrating that will hold wide platters etc? If they are not deep can they be wide?!

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    1. Hi, There is one on the market - Liebherr have one that is double doored, and the freezer is deep drawers at the base (similar to the french door fridge/freezers on the market) There's a link here http://www.appliancesonline.com.au/585l-liebherr-4-door-integrated-fridge-ecbn6256/ I didn't like Liebherr when I used it in our rental place - they're probably the most narrow of the build in fridges as they are 600mm deep overall to fit into a standard depth cupboard, and very, very expensive. None of the other brands that do fully integrated have good capacity either, so the Electrolux was just the cheapest of the fridges that are built in, and had the best capacity at 370L.

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  14. Dear Heidi,
    Oh so fab that you have done a thorough review of your kitchen appliances. Extremely helpful and better than reading Choice.
    The whole kitchen looks amazing aesthetically but you have some real work horse appliances which I'm guessing is because you are a 'proper' cook and love to entertain. Loving the fridge and the oven. Oh it would be heaven! I am on my 3rd Smeg not by choice! The pryolitic has blown up x 2 time and Smeg replaced them without question so I think that tells me something. Seriously I don’t think I would bother with pyrolytic again. It never gets everything clean and the door never seems to lose its baked on debris.
    I love the induction top and the ease of cleaning must be a wonder! Daughter had put me off them as she nannied in London for a family with one and I think she really didn't understand just how amazing they were but hearing your report I am sold.
    Off to try to make a batch of your olives to have with a cold Chady tonight. I have been on a ruthless elimination diet for 4 weeks for allergies and am now free to get back to the pleasures of such things!
    Kate Bx

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    1. Hi Kate, Oh I hate elimination diets! Although I really should do mine again, as my eczema went crazy with the dry heat we had during all that 40C weather. Enjoy the olives and wine!
      Smeg have a fairly poor reputation, a lot of people have problems with them, and I agree that when they replace things no questions asked it suggests others have had the same experience (our dining chairs that snap had the same response from the supplier, they never questioned whether someone obese had sat in one or anything like that, so obviously other people had them snapping too). Can you take the glass panel out of your oven door to soak? The Miele one I had in our rental did that, so I'd use the pyrolytic on the interior, then take the oven door out and soak it to get it really clean.
      I highly recommend the induction - it's fantastic, the only thing is you may need new saucepans. Some of mine were fine with it, but my frypan, and two saucepans had to be replaced. Not a big deal, but if you're heavily invested in saucepans, something to consider!
      Have a lovely evening xx

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  15. This is exactly the blog post I needed late on a sunday night. So helpful right now. I'm trying to decide on miele or gaggenau...this now has me deciding between neff and gaggenau for my ovens. I'm deeply considering just going a single combi steam oven as I cook lots of vegies/care about moisture. I love wall ovens and particularly love left/right hinged ovens. I feel once you start you can't go back...unfortunately for quality this means exxy gaggenau's generally.

    I have been thoroughly scared off italian/swedish appliances from my last kitchen so this run down is great.

    I'm thinking I won't shy away from run out models unless they're really big improvements and will definitely go induction. I love the functionality of your siemens being all one plate and also hate the outlines you get on others.

    Also a big thank you for helping me decide against going integrated fridge/freezer. Fridges are annoying me as I find they are either ultra efficient, reliable and functional but ugly (mitsubishi, panasonic) or beautiful but low on functional and reliability (liebherr, smeg, subzero).

    Such a good run down though, more people need to do this! Forums and user reviews nearly always amount to rants "broke down after 3 months. It's been 1 week and no action!!!" or tech savvy nonuser husband's who are really just showing off their purchase "my missus really cared about having the .... so we got this brand and got the salesman down from RRP by 20%. Just got installed haven't used yet. It's a beaut!" etc.

    Thank you.

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    1. You've made me laugh Rohan - completely agree with you about the irritating reviews where the people haven't even used it! Although having said that, a lot of people now put in their appliances purely on looks - which is why you see so many kitchens with everything from the one brand, rather than different brands for different items and cherry picking the best from each. I remember asking the Gaggenau sales woman (about 12 years ago when I was designing a kitchen for a client in Melbourne) whether people buy all the separate cooktop items which were all the go at the time (the benchtop BBQ/ deep fryer/ steamer/ gas burner etc) and she said it was common, but that the people who bought them weren't serious cooks, and it was likely the caterer was the only one that would ever use it.
      I highly rate the Neff oven - I really can't say enough good things about it, and price wise it's half the cost of Gaggenau, so that might be a consideration for you. The single oven Neffs have a disappearing oven door too, which is a nice feature. My wall double model didn't come with that, but as I said, you can't have everything! Sounds like a single oven plus combi steam would be a good option for you (I know Gaggenau have an full sized oven though that does have a steam function in it and it might be worth investigating) Good luck with your choices!

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  16. Thanks so much for this, Heidi. As you know, we are just about to start all of this, so I'm very pleased to have found you in plenty of time.
    I'm still in denial that I need to make these choices, but I do know that I want your taps and a good oven.
    I think we'll stick to gas for our hob, but interesting to read about indication.
    Choice makes me so tired. I wish I could hire you to come to my house and tell me what to get!

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    1. I'm happy to help you Ruth!! Just send me an email... You'll love the tap as its a bit of home for you, and the Neff has been a great choice for me - go into one of the showrooms and have a look at them - just don't let the salesguy talk you into things you might not want, like the combi microwave or the steam ovens if that's not your thing. xx

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  17. Hi Heidi, Enjoyed reading this post.
    That is a shame about not being able to see the light indicator from the dishwasher. Very nifty idea. I always wondered about your choice to not have the bench overhang and no set back kicker. Does your back hurt leaning over? What about when you are wiping something off the bench and straight into your cupped hand under the bench?

    Just something I have thought about LOL. I need to do my kitchen review post. But it is still not finished!!!

    I would have preferred a wall oven, but I had no walls!!! I wish I chose induction. I am considering hiring a cleaner to just deal with my gas cooktop. NIGHTMARE. I use my bbq more! The brass is lovely.

    I have to get back to you about a visit. I thought it was all tee'd up, but the client is still sorting out payment. Hopefully soon I will know something.

    Thanks for showing inside your fridge! So personal lol.

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    1. Ha! I did wonder about if anyone would blow the photo up and check out what we eat!! It was a mess too, but I was too lazy to clean it up for a photo shoot, and figured no one would pin that one to Pinterest (fingers crossed....)
      With the bench overhang, or lack of it, it hasn't been a problem for me, but I don't have big feet - maybe if they were longer it would annoy me a bit as you'd end up further back from the bench? The wiping thing is not so ideal, I will admit. I'm afraid that aesthetics won out over the functionality aspect there (and generally I do go the opposite way, but as I'm constantly cleaning up the floors due to small children and the trail of crumbs they leave, it doesn't matter a huge amount).
      Do your post! Finish that kitchen!
      Sad you're not coming over now! Hope it does work out xx

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  18. Hi Heidi
    Many thanks for this review-and all your other lovely posts of course.
    I bought Neff ovens (there will probably be a spike in sales because of your posts!) and am still waiting for them to be installed in my new kitchen. One thing I am curious about is whether the controls are as tricky to operate as some users imply (I think it was on Choice's website-or elsewhere) I am sure I'll get the hang of the controls eventually, just wondering about the learning curve!
    Something else that I have been interested to see is how you have mixed the gold and silver in your kitchen-I like it but was curious about how to approach this in my own house-we have stainless steel appliances but there are so many lovely gold and brass finishes now- I really like the taps and handles you've chosen.
    Best wishes, Renie


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    1. Hi Renie,
      I really hope you enjoy your Neff's too! I haven't found the controls tricky at all though - not sure what they're talking about... there is one knob to turn to select the program, and a small knob you twirl to increase or decrease the temperature. I actually haven't really needed to read the manual (but I probably should). I'll do a full kitchen post once the light fittings are finally installed, then you'll see the mixed metals. I think it's been quite successful - you really don't have to have everything matching with finishes. I've ended up with the steel windows, brushed stainless steel ovens and sink, shiny brass tap and brushed brass handles. I wouldn't however throw chrome into the mix, and I do think the grey cupboards help to form a quiet background and tie in with the silver colours of the brushed stainless steel. Not sure it would work so well with white. Here's another kitchen you might find interesting that mixes iron, stainless steel and brass http://www.laurenliess.com/pure-style-home/our-kitchen-before-after xx

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  19. Hi Heidi
    Thanks for this review, very helpful as I'm choosing appliance for our new home at the moment. I'm definitely going with Neff ovens however mine will be 2 under bench as that's what fits best with my kitchen plan. In regards to the cooktop I still have to narrow this down and make a decision. I love the Seimens freeinduction. Are you still loving yours another 18 months down the track? I'm also considering a Neff induction cooktop however the downside is it doesn't have the full free zone. The other thing I was considering was just having a 600mm induction cooktop and adding a 300mm domino gas wok burner. I like the idea of cooking my stir fries on the gas however I love the uncluttered spacious feel of the 900mm induction. Choices, choices! Just wondering if you had any further thoughts on Seimens vs Neff cooktops? Thanks so much.
    Anthea

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    1. Hi Anthea, yes I do love my Siemens free induction after all this time! I have noticed if I'm using the full size for a grill plate that it gets hot spots on one side (for instance if I have it on the right hand side using the full height from front to back for one of the le creuset grills) that one side will be hotter than the other. Other than that the functionality is brilliant - I use it a lot as I've done away with the kettle, so it's constantly being used to make cups of tea during the day, and I find the timer function on the cooktop useful when cooking stocks etc. I didn't look at the Neff one, but the quality of my oven is fantastic, so I'm sure it would be good as well! Good luck with the decision making process...

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    2. Thanks for your help Heidi. I cook a lot but it's also a big investment so I want to get it right!

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  20. This is so helpful! We are in the midst of choosing appliances for the new kitchen, and have been looking at AEG and Neff for oven and cooktop. Have you found that you miss a pyrolitic function with the oven? I can't tell how much I need it?! Also, we were looking at a silent exhaust (where the motor is up on the roof) - but you mention that the Qasair is quiet so that could be enough. Can you have a conversation when cooking, when it's on? That's what I'd like! Thanks again for the great posts :)

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    1. Hi Harriet, I don't miss the pyrolitic function too much, I used to use it in the rental Miele we had, but I'm not sure for the cost that it's worth it. I used to use it every 3-4 months. I don't find the interior of the Neff that easy to clean compared to other ovens I've used - I think there were better interior oven clean finishes, but I had to get a wall oven in the end so had no choice on that front (I don't like using oven cleaners due to the toxic nature of them, so just wipe down with soapy water/ do vinegar and bicarb or use a bit of gumption to remove tougher marks). So I got in a professional oven cleaner who brought it back to brand new looking at the one year mark and it cost around $120. I think I'll probably go that route in the future too. I've heard mixed reviews of the pyrolitic from other users. I quite liked it as a function, but they cost a lot more for the oven in general, they use a lot of energy to get to the temperatures etc and you still have to take out racks and rails to clean them separately anyway.
      The Qasair is definitely the quietest of range hoods I've found. I usually only need the fans on low speed, but on high speed (grilling, or doing fish or something), they're loud, but not as loud as others I've had in the past - you can easily talk over the fan noise. Hope that all helps!

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    2. Thanks so much - great advice! I think we'll outsource the oven cleaning too and save the $ (about $1000 between the AEG models!!)

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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