We were 90% certain we wanted the AGA Six-Four and then last week we went to go check on lead time and availability, as well as look at range hoods at the showroom. It turns out that LUWA, Albert Lee's distributor, is no longer carrying AGA at all. A very recent turn of events. Even the AGA site wasn't updated to reflect the change. This was an unfortunate turn of events as no replacement distributor was named and the closest distributor was in Vancouver, B.C. -- close in proximity but a different country.
The sales associate at Albert Lee looked and they had two AGA's still on hand, one Companion and one Six-Four, in Cream. Hmmmm... we were kinda leaning towards a Claret one to fit in our dark red painted island but Cream would look out of place. What to do.
Our research into range hoods for island installations was arduous but it seemed as though with a higher output gas burners you really need to have an overhead hood. Our current island features a Jenn-Air with a downdraft; adding a hood over the island would pretty drastically alter the perception of space in the kitchen.
We came home and I started thinking again. Why couldn't our stove go against a wall? Granted our kitchen had some limitations, and yes several people we had consulted with advised us to stick with our current layout, but adding in a huge range hood over the island just was making me depressed. I didn't want the same layout all over again. I've been living with it for 9 years and disliked our configuration. It wasn't just the choice of appliances and fixtures of the prior owners, the layout itself was just awkward. Even better cabinetry (the prior owners installed Ikea cabinets) wouldn't improve it enough.
I discussed it with my partner and talked to him about how we could move the fridge by the outer corner of the room and then add the range in the current fridge spot. We could change the cabinetry to the right of the stove to be smaller and this would open up the kitchen more to the dining room as there is a tall pantry cabinet that fairly closes up the opening to the room. The island could take on a greater storage role and would function better from all sides as an all-purpose prep and work area.
We invited friends over for dinner last Sunday, to review our revised plans and get their input. The AGA distribution issue was one factor, then there was the potential resale situation -- would the AGA make our house harder to sell (should we decide to within the next 3-5 years?). Since this is a dual-fuel range it isn't that much of an issue, other than not having one single large oven -- which people freak out about being able to make a single huge turkey in once a year. We have family in town so Thanksgiving is usually a two kitchen affair, but we could also just buy two smaller birds. The smaller ovens with a range of optimum cooking options, the lovely look of the AGA, and the similar output to other higher-end ranges seemed to make sense given the kitchen we wanted.
We thought about switching to a Wolf range off and on all week. I could live with it, if we had to, but it was a little less exciting for me. We were just going to have to go to the Albert Lee Bellevue store to take a look at the remaining AGA Six-Four. We finally were able to get over there yesterday after baby woke from his nap. The Cream Six-Four was lovely in person and it was half off due to it being a floor model with a few dings.
That sealed the deal, we were sold. And so we did it, the AGA Six-Four was ours. Here is a shot of it in the warehouse yesterday: