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Built-In Coffeemakers Are a Splurge for Homeowners

Thermador's built-in stainless steel BICM24CS has six levels of grind quality and includes a steam wand that also dispenses hot water.

When clients visit Poggenpohl Dallas, designer Jennifer Fordham makes them a cup of coffee using the showroom’s Miele machine. The beverage provides the perfect opportunity to ask clients about including the coffee-making appliance in their kitchen design. The answer is usually based on the client’s lifestyle, she says, and whether the kitchen layout has the 2 feet of linear space needed for the built-in unit.

Kitchen designer Susan Serra of Susan Serra Associates, in New York, says her clients see the machine and “begin imagining weekends, leisurely brunches, and entertaining with customized coffee for themselves, their family, and their guests.”

Coffee Center Design Tips
  • Don’t position the coffee-making appliance in the middle of a traffic pattern or in a cooking area, advises Janet Brooks, of Janet Brooks Design, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Good placement options include a bar area, a butler’s pantry, a beverage center, or a breakfast nook.

  • Ask clients about their lifestyle—they may want a coffee maker in a master suite, a home office, or a theater/game room.

  • Include counter space adjacent to the machine where users can set down cups as they prepare the coffee.

  • There should also be nearby storage for coffee, cups, and sweeteners.

  • An adjacent trash can makes cleaning out grounds quick and easy.

  • Poggenpohl Dallas designer Jennifer Fordham specifies installation height so that the coffee maker’s control panel is at eye level.

  • Plan ahead so your trade contractors can install the correct plumbing and electrical lines.

  • The units have a water reservoir. Most homeowners opt for the version that integrates a water line for easy refill. Installers connect the line to nearby plumbing, and it’s important that the line have strong water pressure.

  • New York kitchen designer Susan Serra says that good lighting is a key element when users are preparing a cup of coffee.

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