The Best Advice Anyone Who’s Buying A Kitchen Appliance Could Ever Receive

Interior Designer: Carla Aston

Interior Designer: Carla Aston

Last night I was watching Flip Or Flop because…

I really want to flip a house someday.

Not only that but I really and truly like the show, its general premise, and most of its episodes. However (and please forgive me for being so blunt), I feel I must say…

Some of the ways they go about designing spaces is, imo, all wrong.

Without even planning beforehand, they tear everything out. Then they shop for materials. They’re always under a time crunch and things are sometimes just done on the fly.

Of course, because the house is a flip, it won’t belong to them personally, and their main goal is to make it look good enough to attract a buyer. And I get that—I really do. But still…


Some of the decisions they make aren’t well thought out.

Please understand that I say that while still having a tremendous amount of respect for what they do. No doubt are they improving properties and making money. Their formula for flipping flops is obviously successful. It’s just that…

I wish they’d give a bit more attention to the design of the home. After all, part of the show’s purpose is to inspire average homeowners. Isn’t it?


During last night’s episode…

They bought a rather large home in a better neighborhood (sometimes the homes they buy are located in areas most would consider a bit run down), so this project was destined to be quite expensive in comparison to most of the others they do. They even had a partner help finance the project.

One task on their to-do list was to rip out the kitchen. It was full of cheaply built oak cabinets and dated appliances and finishes. And even though they bought the house at around $350,000, they claimed it would wind up looking like a million dollar home once all was said and done. I anticipated being wildly impressed — that is until…

They put in this: a venting microwave, placed right above the range, and a range featuring a control panel that sticks up in the back.

Image source:

Image source:

That was exactly the style of appliances that was in the house previously.

Even though they were installing new cabinets, new appliances, and new electrical and sheetrock going on in the job, they still decided to put in the same style appliances. Why? If you’re going for a million dollar look, why would you do the same appliances, albeit new, stainless steel versions.

If you have the money to go for a higher quality look, why not go for it?

Don’t they realize that nothing says “apartment living” more than this style of microwave and range? Really, go inside any apartment and you’ll likely see the same space-saving microwave above the same kind of range with a control panel sticking up in the back that they used in this episode’s project.


If you’re upgrading your kitchen to a high-end look…

If you’re going to put in a tile backsplash you will want to see; if you’re doing granite, quartz, or marble counters; if you’re getting new cabinetry…

Then, by all means, put in appliances that complement those items’ high quality standards.

Don’t put in appliances that make your finishes look average — instead, do appliances that reflect today’s remodeling trends—please.

Do a range that can have a built-in look, with controls that are on the front of the unit. You know, like you see here…

Also know this:

There are brands that offer great looks at lower price points. In fact, we did a great looking range in my “bachelor’s first home project”, and he didn’t have to break the bank to get it. And because the range can’t be slid right up against the wall in these installations (as a result of all the hook-ups in the back), we created the illusion of it being built-in by hiding the gap between the unit and the wall with a strip of granite that was placed as a continuation of the countertop material. This is a common installation for these type ranges.


Regarding microwaves:

With every single remodel I do that has an above-the-range microwave, we move them. Why? Well…

Because they look like they belong in an apartment.

Where do we move them?

If you’re already remodeling your kitchen, it naturally makes sense to install an under-counter drawer model. It saves upper cabinet space and is currently on-trend and will remain desirable for many years to come.


Regarding the hood:

Make it one of the kitchen’s standout features. You’re already in the process of remodeling, so just go ahead and take advantage of your opportunity to turn it into the star of the space.

Personally, I feel the hood should be sort of like the hearth of the room…a focal point…something you want to be seen because you put some money into it and your kitchen is a space where you’ll be standing, stirring, spending lots of time. It’s a place you want to look good. Right?


Here’s one of my remodels where we made room for a microwave drawer while still reusing the existing cabinets and countertops. We just modified the cabinetry.

Also, to add some height and contrast to the cabinets we painted white, we added a beautiful hood. Everything looked great with our overall scheme.

Here’s the before:

Before Hood - Microwave.jpg

during construction:

During Construction.jpg


Here’s a remodel where I made room for a microwave drawer while reusing the existing cabinets and countertops. 

I still can’t wrap my head around why they didn’t move the microwave and do a better hood on Flip or Flop.

Maybe it’s because they do so much reno in these homes that the thought doesn’t cross their mind. But, then again, maybe it just doesn’t matter to them.

And really…believe me when I say I don’t mean to sound so critical. After all, I do appreciate Flip or Flop’s effort, ingenuity, and the courage they have to take on these projects. However, it’s just that…

Last night’s episode provided me with a perfect example of what not to do when deciding how you’ll upgrade your appliances during a remodel. It’s not just about going stainless steel.

If you’re a homeowner who’s looking to remodel your own home, searching for ideas and information for smart investments and style that will last, you might want to consider these appliance styles I suggested. 😉

COMING SOON: My next beef with Flip or Flop design, their tendency to add tile backsplashes on top of granite/marbles ones. 😉

flip or flop

At least here they’ve used the type of range I was talking about, but the spacesaving microwave is there.

ARTICLE: 18 Things You Didn't Know About Flip or Flop's Tarek and Christina

ARTICLE: 18 Things You Didn’t Know About Flip or Flop’s Tarek and Christina

Here’s another. Click the image to see their gallery in a new tab/window. You’ll see.

GALLERY: A Flip or Flop Ranch House Makeover!

GALLERY: A Flip or Flop Ranch House Makeover!

Here’s a video featuring a big kitchen where they did new cabinets and new appliances:

HGTV VIDEO: Frugal Fixes for your Kitchen | Click to watch!

HGTV VIDEO: Frugal Fixes for your Kitchen | Click to watch!

And this video also shows several of these instances, too:

HGTV VIDEO: Upgrading is Fundamental | Click to watch!

HGTV VIDEO: Upgrading is Fundamental | Click to watch!

Oh, and one final tip:

Recess your undercabinet lighting!


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