When we were deciding on appliances for our new kitchen, there was one thing I wasn’t willing to budge on: I wanted a 36 inch range with a griddle in the middle. Our kitchen layout has our new range in the island, and the idea of being able to cook pancakes and serve them right to Joanna was something that brought Kerry back to her childhood. Every kitchen she had growing up had a stove in the island, and she’d spend weekends sitting on the stools while her mom made pancakes on a griddle, serving them right up. So it seemed like this range idea was a no brainer.
I’ve had some experience with fancy ranges. When I was just a year or two out of college, I moved in to a large house in Ohio City (a few streets over from our last house, actually) with four friends. I don’t know what our landlord was thinking because the five of us had no business being in such a nice house. The highlight of the place was a 48 inch Wolf range, with a double oven, six burners, and a griddle. I want to repeat, I had no business using this stove.
Photo (of range) courtesy of subzero-wolf.com
There’s me, on the way left (with two of my then-roommates) and the stove we were using on the right. I mostly cooked cheeseburgers and ramen, while the guy in the middle cooked a lot of cheesesteaks on the griddle (he’s from Philadelphia), and the one on the right … well he actually went on to be a head chef at a bar so I guess he learned something.
Fast forward to 2016, and Kerry and I are deciding on a range. Forty eight inches is too big for our space, but Wolf makes a 36 inch range with a griddle. One little problem: MSRP on that range is $7,105! That’s a bit (read: a lot) out of our price range. After hitting up Michael Symon on twitter, he suggested looking into Bluestar. They have what I believe is a much nicer 36″ range with griddle, but it is $6,818. Yikes.
So lovely. So pricey. Photo courtesy of bluestarcooking.com
Kerry told me of an article she read recently about how Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram … blogs in general have changed the concept of “keeping up with the Joneses.” Where as 10 years ago I might really only be comparing my new kitchen to other houses on our street (even if I don’t want to), now I have to compete with all these beautiful renovations we see online. It seems like every time a kitchen reno is blogged about, or put on Pinterest, all I see is high end finishes and top-of-the-line appliances. We have a blog. Our kitchen has to be the most expensive ever, right?!
We had to give up that line of thinking. As much as I want a seven thousand dollar range, it doesn’t make sense. We are doing a huge renovation, and we just can’t afford a stove that nice. And do we really need it? No, probably not. Sure, I’m cooking a lot more now than I ever have in my life, but I doubt I need the 22,000 btus of the Bluestar. Would that be awesome? Absolutely. Will I survive without it? Yes.
The biggest problem for us was, any stove you try to get with a griddle, the price automatically jumps out of our range. So again, we thought about what we need, what we actually cook, and decided a built in griddle wasn’t necessary. We’re going to buy a separate griddle, and be completely fine with it.
The stove we decided on was a Kitchen Aid. After realizing a griddle wasn’t necessary, we downsized to 30 inches to save money and space. A 30 inch range in the island also means a smaller island hood, which is good for the clean visual line we’re going for.
The Kitchen Aid range looks super sleek, and actually matches our dishwasher, which we bought shortly after moving into the house. Kitchen Aid makes a fridge in the same series that we’re going to get as well, so by compromising on our range, we’re going to have a complete kitchen set, which is going to look great.
Appliances ended up being big compromise for us, even though they started as a “must have.” We had a pretty clear vision when we started this process, but had to be realistic about what we need and what we can afford. I would love a large, professional range in our new kitchen, but I’m really not that good of a cook, and I’m sure we’re going to be happy with the one we picked out.