Colorful Appliances in 2017

Choose Stainless Steel Appliances or GO BOLD

Red Bertazzoni

We've been following and reporting on appliance colors for years. Here's one from 2015:

Appliance Colors Over a Lifetime

And now here's an update for 2017:

Modern major appliances trace back to the Post WWII era. In the 50's nearly all major appliances were white. Later pink and turquoise began to make their mark, and were popular throughout the 60s. In the 70's Harvest Gold, Avocado, and Coppertone were popular. They eventually morphed into Harvest Wheat, Fresh Avocado, and Coffee. Almond was added and became very popular through the 80's though appliance manufacturers tried to mix things up with 2 new colors that failed miserably – Silver and Sand.

Harvest-Gold

Harvest Gold Drop-In Range

Now, we're in the middle of a resurgence of color choices in appliances. BlueStar, a specialty cooking products manufacturer offers over 250 colors and finishes. Italian appliance manufacturer, Bertazzoni, also has a wide selection of appliance colors. Meanwhile, Viking Range Co. offers a smaller, manageable selection of colors.

To keep things in perspective, here are the results from a 2016 survey by Houzz:

“A whopping 75 percent of those surveyed were going with stainless for the new appliances in their updated kitchens. (White came in at 10 percent and black at 8 percent.)”

Most new appliance sales come from either new home sales or one off replacement sales. Buyers purchasing from production home builders are offered a very limited selection of popular colors. For individual appliance replacement sales, buyers will try to match the appliance color with their existing kitchen appliances.

We might be able to go with White, Black, or the popular Stainless Steel, including some smudge proof Stainless Steel options. GE offers a very interesting and competitively priced appliance finish, Slate. KitchenAid and now some other brands are offering a new appliance finish/color Black Stainless Steel. Mostly black in color, but with the grain and hue of stainless steel Black Stainless Steel is gaining steam. Samsung's Black Stainless Steel is somewhat shiney gray/black and others are more black with the stainless finish visible through the black..

The Big Three appliance manufacturers: Whirlpool, GE, and Frigidaire/Electrolux don't build appliances in Ferrari Red, or Pantone's color of the year for 2017 Greenery. But, if we only looked at the top 5-10% of appliance sales we'd likely find luxury brands that offer more variety in color selections.

BlueStar Range

BlueStar Range

Here are some colorful finshes on Houzz:

Colorful Finishes

Check out all the latest colors and finishes in person by making an appointment with one of the appliance consultants at Arizona Wholesale.


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New Appliance Ideas that Flopped

*Three Appliance Industry Epic Fails

During a career in the major appliance industry I've witnessed the introduction and growth of many great new products such as microwave ovens, convection ovens, induction cooktops, steam washers and dryers, french door refrigerators, and professional ranges for the home.

There have been a number of product flops, too. Here are three notable failures over the last two decades.

Continue reading “New Appliance Ideas that Flopped” »

Tips for Selecting Appliances

Appliance Help for New Homebuyers

Arizona Wholesale Supply is Arizona's Leading Builder Distributor

Appliance-Package

New homebuyers have to make a lot of choices when selecting all the finishes, and products that go into their dream home. Fortunately, production home builders preselect options and upgrades that are suitable for their homes. Even so, making appliance selections can be very challenging. Here are a few tips in choosing appliances:

  1. Narrow the field. If your builder has a list of models and packages that are available to you, part of your work is already done. Don't waste time looking at brands or models that aren't available for the home you are purchasing. Even If you are building a custom home, there will still be some constraints based on the size of your kitchen, location of gas, water, and electric lines, etc.

  2. Budget and plan accordingly. If it's been a number of years since you purchased major appliances, get prepared for some sticker shock. Today's appliances will save money on energy usage, and still are a very good buy when factoring inflation over the years. However, when you want a built-in refrigerator, combo ovens, and other premium appliances such as wine storage units, built-in warming drawers, steam ovens and coffee makers, you're going well into 5 figures ($XX,XXX.XX).

  3. Consider brands. At Arizona Wholesale Supply, we carry the popular priced major production brands GE, Whirlpool, and Frigidaire (Electrolux). We also are your supplier for upscale brands, such as GE Profile, Electrolux, KitchenAid, and Bosch, as well as a host of luxury brands such as Jenn-Air, Monogram, Viking, SubZero-Wolf, Thermador, Miele and many more. Most production home builders offer selections from only a single brand or two, and even semi-custom builders usually stick with a few preferred brands. For that matter, new home buyers tend to pick most or all their appliances from a single brand that they prefer. It not only narrows choices to products that the buyer is going to be comfortable with, appliance brands tend to have matching handles, knobs, etc.

  4. Work with a professional. Arizona Wholesale Supply consultants have many years experience with home builders, designers, and new home buyers. If your builder or design professional is one of the many that we supply, you can make an appointment at one of our locations to select your appliances.

Arizona Wholesale Supply is a family owned company, based right here in Arizona, and we've been at this for over 70 years.


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Prepare Appliances for Your Vacation

5 Steps to Prepare Your Appliances for Vacation

It's that time of year again. You're getting ready to take your vacation, but you haven't really thought about getIng your appliances ready for your extended absence. Here's a list of what you should do to make sure your appliances will not flood your house, spoil your food, or otherwise create havoc while you're away.

  1. Some appliances, such as your water heater or refrigerator, may have a Vacation Mode. If so, utilize this handy setting. It makes some internal energy saving adjustments.

  2. Run an empty load through your washer and dishwasher. Use whatever cleaner you normally use for cleaning that appliance such as Affresh or LemiShine. For vacations of 2 weeks or longer, prevent odor build up by leaving the door or lid on the washer and dishwasher open while you're away. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. This will keep the dishwasher free from odor, and the rubber seal in the bottom of the dishwasher moist.

  3. Turn off the water supply line to refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher. (I'm paranoid about water leaks).

  4. For vacations that are more than just a long weekend, remove perishables from the refrigerator, and turn the icemaker off. That usually means just lifting the metal bar in the ice maker to its highest/off position. In some refrigerators only the ice bin is accessible, not the ice maker itself. For these models, there will be a separate on/off switch for the ice maker (see below example).

    Refrigerator-Icemaker

  5. Your refrigerator is going to be on while you're away, and it will use more electricity if it is empty. So, if you've removed most or all of the food from your refrigerator, fill a few empty plastic gallon jugs with water, and place them in the refrigerator.

*Most of the tips are for vacations of a week or longer. For those long 3 day week end trips, I'd just turn off the water lines and turn off the ice maker.

For questions about your specific appliance, check your use and care manual. For information about appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more home products consult your designer or builder, then call Arizona Wholesale Supply for an appointment with one of our consultants.


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New Appliances from Jenn-Air

New Jenn-Air Induction Downdraft Cooktop

New Jenn-Air Cooktop Coming to Arizona Wholesale Supply

The industry's first downdraft induction cooktop will be shipping from Jenn-Air later this year. Equipped with powerful induction elements, and the legendary Jenn-Air center downdraft system, this innovative cooktop builds on Jenn-Air's cooking legacy.

A pioneer in induction cooking, Jenn-Air, had an induction cartridge for its modular downdraft cooktop back in the '80's, and later a hybrid four element glass cooktop with two induction elements and two radiant elements.

Jenn-Air's all new 36″ downdraft induction cooktop offers all the benefits of twenty-first century induction technology combined with the advantages of proximity downdraft ventilation. It's literally two appliances in one.

Jenn-Air-Cooktop

With no overhead vent hood, sight lines are open, smoke and odors are captured at the source, and island installation is straightfoward. For those, who don't have the option of venting an island cooktop through the floor, Jenn-Air offers a duct-free kit as an option. Duct-free downdraft can be a real life saver and open up more possibilities for kitchen design.

Jenn-Air's new induction downdraft cooktop has a powerful center vent rated at 350 CFM, perfect for a vent system that captures smoke and odor at the source before it escapes into the room.

The flexible induction cooking areas on each side are controlled by an electronic touchpad, and have built-in sensors that detect pans and will not operate absent a correctly sized pan. The cooktop can accommodate up to six pans as well as oblong pans, griddles, or Dutch ovens. When selected, a Performance Boost setting will provide a brief (up to 10 minutes) boost of power higher than the maximum setting.

For more information on this Jenn-Air cooktop or other appliances contact your designer or builder, and make an appointment with one of the consultants at Arizona Wholesale Supply today.


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How Long do Appliances Last?

When Should I Replace My Appliances?

It's complicated

Many years ago, I used to carry around a chart from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) which itemized the expected life spans of various appliances: washing machines 15 years, ranges 20 years, etc. I've long ago disposed of this, but I did find this current version. Here is a look at today's appliance lifespans from Consumer Reports:

Dishwasher – 9 years
Dryer (electric and gas) – 13 years
Microwave oven – 9 years
Range electric – 13 years
Range gas – 15 years
Refrigerator – 13 years
Washing machine – 10 years

We all know that the life expectancy of appliances is not what it used to be, but let's not confuse quality with durability. Today's washing machines use less detergent, energy and water than their predecessors. They are more gentle on clothes, and get them cleaner than ever before, but have a life expectancy of only 10 years, compared to 15 years or longer from grandma's Maytag.

Today, manufacturers seem to be on a never ending quest to reduce costs, and as consumers we shop until we drop to get save every hard earned dollar we can on appliances. Moreover, we don't seem to care if our kids inherit the family refrigerator, and we are quick to get rid of a broken appliance to avoid paying a stiff repair bill.

I recently read that in upscale neighborhoods it is not uncommon for kitchens to be remodeled about every 10 years, and that includes new appliances. So, even though appliances don't last as long as they used to, we tend not to even keep them for as long as they last.

The truth is that we don't expect our appliances to last as long as they used to…but we do expect that they have the latest features and look great in our house. I once asked a customer if she had a brand preference for her new washer. She replied that it didn't make a difference as long as the washer was red.

So, don't feel guilty about replacing your 15 year old agitator style topload washing machine with a shiny new front loader. The old machine is at the end of it's life, and the new one could actually pay for itself in energy savings….plus, it's red!

To get more information on appliances, floor coverings, and more be sure to consult your design professional or builder, and make an appointment with the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

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Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Commercial Appliances in Your Home

Purchasing Restaurant or Commercial Appliances for Home Use

Appliances for Restaurants and Institution vs Residential Appliances

Some years ago, I was handling appliance sales to a large homebuilder who was building a big (16 home) model home complex for a huge planned community. They wanted one home to contain a kitchen complete with authentic commercial appliances. They'd done some research and had some brand choices such as a Traulsen commercial refrigerator and a Vulcan restaurant range. These brands are indeed products you might find in restaurants, and large institutions, but they are not built for a home kitchen.

I pushed back, but they insisted so I connected with a restaurant supply company, got the literature, specs, pricing, and then met with the homebuilder. When I presented the refrigerator, I asked if they wanted the compressor located inside or outside the house. I explained that the refrigerator manufacturer offered an external compressor and condenser package to reduce the noise and heat from the refrigerator.

Traulsen-Refrigerator

I informed them that they would need to run a larger than standard gas line to the home for the commercial range, that they'd need to provide some extra insulation in the wall behind, and pointed out that the 34″ deep range would stick out considerably into the kitchen from their 24″ deep cabinets. The parts only warranty that came with these products might not even apply since these appliances were not built for residential use. Needless to say, their plan for “true” commercial appliances was scuttled.

Vulcan Range

The end of the story is that today at Arizona Wholesale Supply you can choose from a variety of residential appliances with commercial or restaurant features, that will fit in your kitchen, come with complete warranties, and will satisfy all your needs for high performance and durability. Some of these brands such as Wolf, Viking, and BlueStar to name a few have authentic commercial heritages.

For help in your remodeling or new build project, work with your designer or builder, and make an appointment with the specialists at Arizona Wholesale Supply for the best advice and selections of appliances and more to outfit your home.


Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

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Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Fixing The Galley Kitchen

Efficiency and Space in an updated Galley Kitchen

The term galley kitchen goes back to the galleys on ships and carries forward to home kitchens that are built in an aisle with counters, cabinets, and appliances facing each other as in this photo (This Old House).

Galley-Kitchen

Galley kitchens are the antithesis of the open kitchens that are de riguer these days. Galley kitchens are closed off, and can be cramped and crowded to work in. If you have a galley kitchen, and want a more open kitchen, you should work with a designer to explore your options. Occasionally, a wall can be opened to create addition space, or a window might be added to give a more open look and feel.

However, while opening things up in your galley kitchen creates a more open feel, it often doesn't create additional space. If you need additional cabinets, more counter space, or freedom from bumping into appliances that stick-out into the room here are 3 ideas from the appliance guru that might help.

1. Counter depth or built-in appliances

Most appliance manufacturers now offer counter-depth refrigerators that will not push out into your kitchen aisle, and some brands have built-in refrigerators, that will be flush with your cabinet faces. However, it's not unusual for freestanding ranges to stick out a bit into the kitchen, and some pro ranges will stick out more than just a bit, so take care when choosing a range. Since galley kitchens usually have opposing workspaces, it's important that refrigerator, range and dishwasher doors have enough clearance to fully open,

While some dishwashers have fronts that can stick out a bit from the cabinet front, others can be installed flush. Always be careful about installing dishwashers in a corner. If the dishwasher has a protruding handle, it may prevent an adjacent corner door or drawer from opening.

2. Narrow width appliances.

With influence from Europe, there has been a revival of smaller width appliances. Luxury brands such as Wolf and Miele offer 24″ wide ovens along with their standard width American-sized models. Similarly, there are also more choices in 24-inch wide freestanding and slide-in ranges. All of these options create more space in cramped galley kitchens.

3. More accessible appliances.

There are a host of new appliances now on the market that are designed to provide greater accessibility. For example, nearly all major brands now offer microwave drawers, ideally installed under countertops. Great for accessibility, this product also frees up space on countertops or upper cabinets.

Microwave-Drawer

In the last couple of years Sub Zero has introduced a wide array of undercounter refrigerator and freezer drawers in different sizes and configuration. They also have an amazing selection of wine storage units, traditional undercounter refrigerators, and beverage centers. Much of the industry has followed their lead and similar undercounter units are widely available in different configurations, brands, and price points.

For more ideas on fixing a cramped galley kitchen, consult your design professional. For the best information on appliances make an appointment with one of experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Pros and Cons: Range vs. Cooktop/Oven

Freestanding Range vs Cooktop and Oven

Kitchen Debate: Purchase a Range or a Cooktop and Oven

When building a home or re-designing a kitchen, homeowners can be faced with the choice of installing a single kitchen range vs. a cooktop and a separate wall oven. Here are a few considerations:

Advantages and disadvantages of a kitchen range

Freestanding-Range

This is a simple decision. Choose the range and you've purchased two appliances at once. No worries about locating two separate appliances, choosing among various dimensions eg, 30″ vs 36″, or running gas and/or electric lines to separate locations.

On the other hand, you'll be locking yourself into 2 separate appliances in a single space which may be inconvenient. You could find yourself needing to cook on the range surface while standing in front of a hot oven. Some people find that repeatedly bending over to access the oven is uncomfortable.

Advantages and disadvantages of a separate cooktop and oven

One big advantage is that by purchasing the cooktop and oven separately, you can get exactly the features you want in each appliance. Also, separate appliance purchases may sometimes result in different brands sizes and fuel types of cooktops and ovens. By having a wall oven installed at eye level, it can be operated and accessed without bending over.

Oven-Cooktop

In most instances, separate cooktops and wall ovens will cost more than a comparable freestanding range. Having remodeled kitchens in two different homes in the last 5 years, we've chosen both configurations. We love our current double oven range with radiant top. However, the separate gas cooking surface and combination wall oven/microwave probably edges out the freestanding range. Viva la difference!

For the best advice on appliance locations and options work with your builder and designer, and of course make sure to schedule an appointment with an appliance professional at Arizona Wholesale Supply for the best choices.


For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

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Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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Buying Appliances to Save Energy

Making Sense out of Energy Savings Appliances

Question. Can I justify buying new appliances based on energy savings alone?

Answer. Maybe. If your current appliances are old energy hogs, you may be able to justify replacement for energy savings alone because the savings will pay for the replacement. This applies more to washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators than it does to ranges, ovens, cooktops, and dryers.

Here are three specific recommendations:

  1. Topload agitator-type washing machines are real culprits. In general, the older they are the more water they use, and the more water they use, the higher the energy costs, because of the cost to heat the water.

  2. Here's a quick way to find out if your dishwasher is an energy hog. If you have a porcelain tub dishwasher which has no filterbasket, it's very likely a big energy user. Energy saving dishwashers are likely to have stainless or polystyrene tubs and often use a wash system with a filter basket vs. a built-in food chopper.

  3. Does your refrigerator make a loud clunking sound when the compressor turns on? That's a good clue that this has a traditional compressor that runs a long time at high speed to provide cooling and then shuts down for a long period. Most refrigerators today have smaller more efficient compressors that do not cycle on and off but slow down and speed up based on cooling demand.

Another test you might use is age. If an appliance is over 15 years old, consider it suspect. If the appliance is working well, not service prone, and you just love it, then keep it. But, when you have the next service call on old Bessie, it's time to say goodby. The combined cost of repair and potential energy savings of a new appliance make a compelling case for replacement.

GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

GE Monitor Top

There are other reasons to replace appliances such as a kitchen remodel or a move into a new house, but use the above recommendations to think through your appliance replacement needs. Of course, consult your builder or designer, and count on the professionals at Arizona Wholesale Supply for all your appliance needs and more.

For more information call or visit the experts at Arizona Wholesale Supply .

Appliances, floor coverings, window treatments, and more

Arizona Wholesale

Phoenix 602 258-7901, Scottsdale 480 596-0092, Tucson 520 795-4663

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