Look at any kitchen design book or how-to-plan-your-kitchen pamphlet handed out at a home supply store and you’ll learn you need to choose your appliances first. This makes sense: appliances take up a fair amount of space, and their placement, and the relationship between them, determines the size and shape of your cabinets. We’d done some scouting, but other than knowing we wanted a 36” stove (which we didn’t have room for at home), we hadn’t done much homework and didn’t have strong preferences. Unusually for us, we shopped for only one day and ended up making a huge purchase at a single store, which was fabulous, because appliance shopping is about as boring as anything I can think of.

At the Gourmet Appliance Outlet in Oakland, we bought a 36” gas range and hood, a 36” counter depth refrigerator, a dishwasher, and a washer and dryer. They gave us a fabulous deal on the stove and refrigerator, both floor models, and 10 percent off on everything else and were happy to store them for as long as we needed. I love this place.

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