Shop by Aesthetic
To wrap all your appliances into a cohesive kitchen, you have many choices by either shopping by or aesthetic or brand (which in many cases can qualify you for package rebates). Built-in appliances fit flush with the surrounding cabinetry for a sleek, high-end look. If your kitchen layout requires that one side of the appliance be exposed or you don't have custom cabinetry, you will need freestanding appliances. Counter-depth appliances can be the happy medium, as they provide a flush look without the added expense of a built-in appliance.
Another aesthetic to think about is professional style versus designer style. If you like the commercial look of restaurant-style appliances coupled with features that professional chefs use on a daily basis like powerful burners, wall-mounted pot fillers, high-power range hoods and more, then pro-style appliances are right for you. Designer appliances, however, are typically more stylish and cheaper than pro-style. Another big difference is that designer appliances have the option of digital controls, as well as a greater selection of colors, finishes and styling options. Pro-style appliances tend to only come in stainless steel.