26 answers

White Appliances in Kitchen Remodel

We are soon remodeling our kitchen and I'm pretty excited about that. Unfortunately, we're in a recession. :P This means our budget will be limited and I won't be able to replace the appliances, at least any time soon. Our appliances (fridge, dishwasher, microwave, oven/stove) are all white. I know white is a bit dated and most people say stainless steels in a remodel are a must. I need help figuring out a color scheme, especially with the cabinets, that will work well with the white appliances. I'm debating going with white cabinets for a fresh look and adding bold punches of color (maybe black granite countertops?) or cherry cabinets to match the wood color of the adjacent family room (not sure what countertops would work with that or how the white will look). Our flooring is flexible and can be decided after cabinets and countertops. Any suggestions or anyone with a similar style of either of those options?

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If you want to change them from white, they sell special appliance paint. It wouldn't be stainless steel, but you could have a fes more options.

1 mom found this helpful

I would suggest this awesome blog -- http://www.thisyounghouse.com They have tons of great ideas!!! I'm hooked to this blog!!!

I have a white counter top...I would never do that again. As for Cabinets, I had those also. they aren't bad, but I would give it some color so as not to have the dirty spots show up so much.

More Answers

If you want to change them from white, they sell special appliance paint. It wouldn't be stainless steel, but you could have a fes more options.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A., I clean houses for a living and clean all kinds of colors and finishes. Just as a thought both white and black show lots of dirt and stains. Black can look streaky if you don't clean it just right and can look dusty frequently between cleanings. Anything white you spill on it really stands out. White is the same only in reverse. Plus white can seem to soak in a stain that can be easily taken out with a mild abrasive like soft scrub or even baking soda, but can be extra maintenance. I know you already have the white appliances, and that is what you are trying not to change, but I might not go with all white cabinets too. They can really show dirt and smudges a lot. If you have kids and pets, they really show hand and body prints well especially on the lower cabinets. I have one house with a larger dog with the black and white theme (black appliances and white cabinets and counters) and everywhere the dog leans on the cabinets, there are dirt marks and smudges. Also any lips on the cabinets seem to collect and show grease and dust more easily. If you choose lighter wood colors they don't show it as much. If you are going to do granite countertops, my suggestion is one of the browner/tannish flecked patterns. They hold up the best and don't show every fleck and speck of dust and crumbs every moment. Like I said, I clean all colors and styles and these are just my observations. Good luck with your choices. Remodeling can be fun!

My suggestion is get what you really, really want and then replace your appliances at a later date. You don't have to settle for keeping your white appliances forever. I'm replacing mine piecemeal -- last one to go is the fridge. And, while it does look out of place in my kitchen (yes, it's white) I know that I'm not going into debt just to have matching appliances.

Adding color in your countertops, walls, cabinets or flooring can make white appliances look great. It's funny how you said most people say stainless steel is in for remodels now. My father built our family home in 1956 using stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel appliances remind me of older kitchens certainly not remodels. It's just funny how things come back in vogue!

Hi A.,
Also consider maintenance aspect. Black countertops are going to show the dust and can get "filmy" (i worked in the granite industry) Have you considered painting your appliances, say black. There is a special spray paint just for this application.

I hope that helps.

I've always thought it would be fun to do a kind of "retro" farm house look in a kitchen with older appliances....bold reds, yellows and greens with white as your base color. Another option....my inlaws remodeled their kitchen and (although they did replace the refrigerator with a stainless steel look) they didn't want to have to replace the newer dishwasher and range so they actually "covered" the older appliances with stainless steel faces. I think there are even companies that will do this for you and will save you a BUNDLE while still looking like stainless steel. Good luck!

I have hestitated getting stainless appliances for my kitchen because i just feel like soon they'll be out of style and the "dated" look.

White appliances, however, are classic. So are white cabinets. A white kitchen will never go out of style. It may not be YOUR style, but I doubt it will ever be OUT of style.

Personally, I think it depends on how much space you've got. If you have a smaller kitchen white cabinets would make the space feel a lot larger. I'd go with white cabinets, granite countertop, tile or fun color painted backsplash, matching tile or hardwood floor.

Another huge trend right now is to have your island (if you have one) or your bottom cabinets be a different color from your top cabinets. How about white top cabinets and cherry bottom cabinets? Look around in magazines for a combo that you think works (you'll see this everywhere). That way you get the brightness of the white (which matches the appliances) and the richness of the cherry (which matches yoru living room).

Some people have recommended appliance paint. I do not recommend this. My experience with appliance paint is that it still wears off, looks kinda cheap, and no color is going to be stainless if that's what you want.

One other thought, a lot of cabinet companies make panels that actually cover the front of your appliances. Something to inquire about.

Good luck and let us know what you decide on!

You've gotten some great suggestions. I just wanted to respond to your idea of possibly black granite counter tops. We have them in our home and I so wish we had a different color!! They show EVERYTHING and never truly look clean. Even after I have wiped them down, you can see the marks from the cloth I've used. I agree that they would look nice with the white, but I would steer you toward a different color. Good luck with the remodel!!

I always wanted white cabinets because they make a wall color really pop!
As for the color of appliances, white is the way to go. Everyone complains that stainless steel is so hard to keep looking nice, that it only looks good right after you wipe it.
When our 1970's oven gave out, we got a black oven/stove. I thought we'd go that way when we remodeled our 1970's kitchen. But I HATED it. I had to wipe it clean with my dishcloth, then go back and wipe it with a paper towel or brand new dishcloth to get the streaks off. It was HORRIBLE. I know someone else who built a house with black appliances, but when she built her next house, she put in white. She's OCD and cleans constantly, but black appliances were too much for her.

I think people will go back to white because it's just too hard to keep the others looking clean. it's not like you have avacado or "harvest gold" appliances. I think white is here to stay!

Another thought: Maybe you really want granite countertops, but I've seen how much they cost. Couldn't you downgrade the countertops and get new appliances? Or just save that money? I also saw manufactured stone counters that are gorgeous, less costly, and "greener" than granite.

Just one more piece of advice. Don't do a colored counter! My sister was stuck with blue countertops in one house. Ick!

Honestly, I wouldn't remodel around the appliances. If and wehen you sell your house, the new owners can get new appliances. It isn't easy to change cabinets and counters, it is easy to change appliances. Have you thought about repainting your appliances? They sell specialized paints for fridges, ovens, etc. You could buy a replacement panel for the front of your dishwasher.

Our old house had off-white cabinets with black counters, and it looked wonderful. It was a very crisp look.
Our new house has cherry cabinets with a lighter granite and looks nice too. I still prefer the painted cabinets at the old house.

I would look through magazines and see what catches your eye the most.

I have a white counter top...I would never do that again. As for Cabinets, I had those also. they aren't bad, but I would give it some color so as not to have the dirty spots show up so much.

In my house I have white cabinets with black granite countertops and I love it. When we first moved in we had a white dishwasher and it didn't look bad, and now we have a black one that I like better, and our stove has a black top with a white door that I think goes with the color scheme as well. I would go with the black and white because it looks very classy, and as an added bonus if you wanted to try accent walls or bright colored dishtowels or wall decorations, then they look great with the black and white cabinets and countertops and appliances. It's a look that in my opinion can be very classy and trendy at the same time by just changing the drying towell hanging from your stove. One thing though is when you get/paint the cabinets I would get a high gloss type because those repel dirt a lot better and are easier to clean because the dirt wipes off easier. My father in law painted ours and I think he even used an oil based paint. I would talk to someone in a painting department to be sure, but this will help keep them cleaner and looking great all of the time. Also, the black countertops are not that bad as far as showing dirt, just wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe usually does the trick between my deep cleanings, and they look great all of the time. Good luck!

We just remolded, our appliances are all paneled to look like cabinets. We had looked into stainless steel but if you have children they will always look dirty, you have to wipe them down every day. We stayed in another house while we were remolding and they had stainless steel appliances and it was a pain to clean to keep it looking like the show room. I have 3 little girls and they left finger prints every where. I don't think White is dated if you do it right. The two designers we worked with also liked white kitchens. What is your style? Modern traditional, country? Congratulations, I love my new kitchen, I hope you will too. Since we just remolded (we moved back in end of December) I might be able to answer more of you questions, just let me know. Good Luck.

If you're keeping the white appliances for a while i'd say no to the white cabinets. Our house has white appliances and white cabinets and the cabinets aren't quite as white as the appliances... it might be a little thing, i can't stand it. We bought it like that and I can't wait to replace them! Also, they show all the dirt and little sticky fingerprints. I'd do like what others have said and get what you want and replace the appliances at a later date if that's an option you have.

This reply might just be slightly tinged with green (can you see it?) because I've wanted to remodel our kitchen for years! Oh well.... Since you need to use your white appliances, quit thinking white is dated. White appliances have been around almost since appliances have been; it is (ahem!) CLASSIC. It is quite easy to plan with white because white goes with nearly everything. (In fact, I'm thinking that stainless steel and granite have been *so* popular for *so* long that when they go out of style they'll be really gone. You may be ahead of the game by using white.) But you're obviously not going to get too much help from pictures in current home magazines. I suggest you take your ideas to Lowe's or Home Depot - or wherever you plan to do your shopping - because they have models there that might help you plan better. I think bringing in at least a little of the family room color is a wonderful idea; if you have some openness in your floor plan, you'll like that color continuity.

my only thought is negative so i hope it doesn't offend! i tried to think of why white would look dated and the image of light/medium oak with white came to mind as a dated look i don't like. in my mind it goes along with mauve and country blue. any other wood would probably look great. i drool at cherry cabinets.

You know, you might try looking at house listings online for ideas. We're noticing that a lot of houses have updated kitchens with white appliances rather than the new fancy granite/stainless combo. Might find some good looking ideas on the MLS listings.

I had black granite in my last house and they looked terrible unless you had barely scrubbed and shined them. Right after shinining, they were so pretty but honestly, I can't keep up with it being a mom. I decided that granite is so overpriced and too high maintenence. The grains or flecks started to bug me as I got more familiar with where the color variation was in the stone. I would go for a cheaper yet cleaner look. That said, we had a dark cherry and I loved it. The cabinets were never dinged up and it lookes so rich and classic. good luck.

Selecting finish colors can be very easy if you go to a store which offers free design consultation. I have found this with many cabinet stores (even Home Depot). You don't have to use their ideas, but it may help you better understand what will work well for your taste, your area, and for resale.

I would suggest this awesome blog -- http://www.thisyounghouse.com They have tons of great ideas!!! I'm hooked to this blog!!!

I'd like the cherry with black granite, but that's just me. We did white in our kitchen remodel 7 years ago and it was what sold the house in a very depressed market. (Ours was the only house that sold that quarter in the whole county.) It mostly matters what works for you, unless you trying to prepare to sell, in which case, you may want to talk to a realtor to see what they're hearing. Have fun! I loved remodeling my kitchen!

This is a personal choice...and mine is NO white of any kind, especially if you have kids...but like you said times are tight. Cabinets are much more expensive than appliances so choose the cabinets you will want for many years then get your appliances of choice when you can and when you do check out the french door refrigerator LOVE mine:) Be very picky with your brand choice I have been burned with general electric,amana,whirpool...I have maytag now and purchased 4 yr warranties for all appliances. If I could afford I would go with sub zero and commercial quality only. Don't forget you could paint them black for now, not easy but certainly can be done. Black granite is high maintenance...I have it along with natural finish maple cabinets and black appliances and a tile floor. I would have chosen a different material for countertops and I would have done wood floors.

White cabinets are really the rage in a lot of areas. The style looks great with granite countertops and hardwood floors.
Have fun,

What do you love? a kitchen remodel is for years to come right? so maybe in upcoming years you will replace your appliances--white matches everything as does stainless steel, they are different looks but still work. I have non matching appliances right now because we are slowly changing ours out--(can't afford them all at once) when I went to the latest parade of homes a lot of the show homes had mis-matched appliances and my BIL who does electrical work in homes says that non matching IS the latest trend with woods, appliances etc. interesting huh? if you are going to be living in the home though go with what you love, what speaks to you, what you can see yourself living with for years to come. on the cabinets...if you are thinking white paint the ones you have first before you remodel all and live with it for a month or so and see how you feel about it. paint is the easiest thing to change in any space. cheapest too. you may find you can't stand it or that you feel it brightens everything up--for me I hate white cabinets. lol. had them too much growing up. on the other hand I have sisters and friends who love it that is why I say go with what YOU love you're the one who will be spending the most time in it. If you are concerned about resale consult a real estate agent in your area about what they would say is the best rate of return on remodels in your area.

Just because the appliances are white, doesn't mean that they are dated. Stainless steel is more expensive, and also show so much more fingerprints, etc. I can never seem to get them off. My husband and I personally like the white appliances because they are easier to clean, and much cheaper. Plus they go well with our natural woods.
Good luck, and don't stress too much. Design your kitchen how you want, not thinking of the appliances. The appliances can be replaced as you want.

Hi A.! It looks like you have gotten some good advice and some I wouldn't recommend. :) My husband does kitchen and bath remodels for a living and we have designed & remodeled quite a few kitchens & baths. White cabinets will help your appliances disappear and black granite or soapstone & brushed nickel hardware and accents will really update the look. If you have an island a black island with a white top would be a nice contrast. I think wood floors look beautiful with white cabinetry, maybe you could pull the cherry color into the floor. If you decide you prefer the cherry cabinets then go with a countertop like white marble with the gray veins is pretty to help tie in the white appliances. Nickel accents with maybe white subway tile backsplash.
We moved to CO 2 years ago and remodeled our kitchen. We have a tiny kitchen (U shaped) and I wanted a mission look cabinet in a cherry color similar to the kitchen we had installed in Iowa just before we moved. We had always used a contractor cabinet dealer in Iowa for our kitchens, but decided to check out Home Depot & Lowes. We ended up finding a dealer here after getting quotes and got our cabinets for much less. My cabinets are maple but because of the stain everyone thinks they're cherry. Good luck with your kitchen remodel! If you need a good contractor I know one! :)

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