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There seems to be a hint of common ground between first home buyers and those lucky enough to own a holiday home – they both tend to favour a freestanding cooker when renovating the kitchen! Leading kitchen appliance specialist, Smeg, has reported a growing trend towards the upright cooker among those renovating their first home and those furnishing a holiday home. The company says both groups seek out the Smeg brand because they have a keen sense of style, while favouring a freestander for its small footprint to complement a simple yet stylish kitchen layout on a conservative budget.The freestanding cooker is no newcomer, it has been around for more than a century but its newly minted sleek aesthetics and richly specified features suit both the compact contemporary kitchen style and the more rustic,organic themed kitchen.The compact design of the upright is a big drawcard – it requires no supporting cabinetry and can take as little as 60 square centimetres of space. Other sizes are of course available – from 70 and 90cm to 110,120 and 150cm.The 90cm models seem to be the favourite – in a choice of designs from the vintage Victoria in black and panna to the semi commercial style in stainless steel, black and white. Of these the C9 is a popular choice – eight oven functions, including rotisserie and super fan forced, six cooking zones, a 126 litre capacity oven and static and fan grill.The C9 is truly a versatile option as it is available with gas, induction or ceramic cooktop and in an all-gas version (gas oven and cooktop). There are also colour options – stainless steel, black and white in the gas/electric version. Another popular freestanding option is the 90cm SA9065XS with five oven functions, the same oven capacity as the C9 and five gas burners. While exhibiting a similar semi-commercial aesthetic as the C9 and the same highquality materials it offers both style and performance for those on a conservative budget.