The Benefits Of Integrating Hot and Cold Beverage Centers Into Your Kitchen Design
Having dedicated cold and hot beverage centers in your kitchen may sound like a luxury, but in fact, it can be a real convenience. For instance, putting cans and bottles in a cold beverage center will free-up valuable space in your main refrigerator. Certain beverages, like wine, benefit from being stored at specific, regulated temperatures that you can maintain in a cold beverage center more easily than in a large refrigerator that is opened multiple times a day. Coffee and espresso makers take up the limited counter space in your kitchen, so having a specialized, high-tech hot beverage center that is built-in to your cabinetry would allow you to make the perfect cup of coffee every day without ever having to fill a water reservoir.
Want to learn more about integrating a cold or hot beverage center into your plans when renovating your kitchen or designing a kitchen for your new custom home? Here is a guide to choosing the best beverage center for you.
1. Cold Beverage Centers
Types Of Cold Beverage Centers
There are two types of cold beverage centers: freestanding and built-in. A freestanding cold beverage center must be placed in an area with clearance of at least two inches on top and 3 inches behind the unit for unimpeded ventilation.
A built-in beverage center can be installed under a counter-top, in a kitchen island or in a butler's pantry. Since built-in models have a vent on the front, there is no need to allow for extra space around the unit. If you want a more upscale look, then choose a built-in cold beverage center instead of a freestanding model.
Purchase a cold beverage center that has dual temperature zones and separate compartments if you plan to store wine along with other types of cold drinks. Look for a dedicated cooler that offers a specially designed temperature-controlled environment if you need to house a large wine collection.
Sizes of Cold Beverage Centers
Cold beverage centers are available in a wide variety of sizes. Some are designed to hold only cans, while others can accommodate larger items such as wine bottles. Use this as a guideline when considering what size beverage center you need: small capacity models hold about 60 cans or less; mid-size units store between 80 and 100 cans; and large capacity units hold around 150 cans. Choose a model that has adjustable shelving so that you will have the flexibility to store the items that you use most often.
Styles of Cold Beverage Centers
Pick a cold beverage center that works with the style of your kitchen. Some have glass doors that will allow you to easily see what's inside and others have a stainless steel finish for an integrated, sleek look. Choose a unit that has a similar finish and handle-style as the rest of your appliances for an overall cohesive look in your kitchen.
Features of Cold Beverage Centers
The more features you want in your cold beverage center, the higher the cost will go. Before you make a purchase, think about what features you will need.
- Dual-Zone Temperature: these models have separate zones and compartments so your sodas will be cold and refreshing, while your wine bottles can be stored at a slightly higher temperature
- Adjustable Shelving: select a model that will allow you to customize the interior space of your beverage center to store different sized cans and bottles
- LED Lighting: LED lighting is energy efficient, and some beverage centers are available with colored, adjustable interior lighting for a glowing effect at night
- Reversible Doors: with reversible doors, you can choose on which side to install the door so that it opens in the proper direction
- Safety Locks: these locks allow you to decide who has access to the contents of your cold beverage center
Energy Efficiency of Cold Beverage Centers
Cold beverage centers use less energy than large refrigerators. And, beverage centers with glass doors allow you to see inside so you can select your drink and then grab it without leaving the door open for very long. As with any appliance you purchase, make sure the cold beverage center that you buy has Energy Star certification so that you will save on your utility bills.
2. Hot Beverage Centers
Benefits Of Hot Beverage Centers
Buying coffee from a barista every day can be very expensive, not to mention time consuming. If you love a latte in the morning and your countertop coffee maker just isn't cutting it, the answer for you may be an integrated hot beverage center in your kitchen. These systems have a high-end, luxury look and free-up counter space in your kitchen because they are built-in to your cabinetry.
Types Of Hot Beverage Centers
There are integrated hot beverage centers that do not require any plumbing hook-up, while others can be connected directly to your plumbing system so that you do not have to manually refill the water in the machine. Certain models will automatically filter the water, too.
Some of these high-tech systems also allow you to customize your drink: they can make a latte, espresso, cappuccino or just a regular cup of coffee. If you are a hot tea drinker, look for units that have heated reservoirs and hot water dispensers that will allow you to make a hot cup of tea quickly and easily.
Features Of Hot Beverage Centers
If you like freshly ground coffee, choose a hot beverage center that has an internal grinder. The unit can be programmed to begin grinding the beans at a designated time each day and then start the brewing process.
Some manufacturers offer functions that make it easy to keep the machines clean inside, such as "auto-rinse" or "auto-clean." State-of-the-art technology will allow you to make multiple beverages at one time, choose the strength of your coffee, and save user profiles so that each member of your family can have the perfect hot beverage with one touch of a button.
At Meridian Homes, we specialize in luxury renovations and custom home building in the Washington, DC area. Our mission is to create exceptional residences that exceed expectations. Our highly personalized design process and careful management of every project have earned us a reputation over many years for outstanding client service and solid, beautiful craftsmanship. Contact us today to begin your custom home or remodeling project.