Wrought Iron Railing and Refrigerator with Wood Panels - What Do You Think?

Updated on April 30, 2014
S.E. asks from Deerfield, IL
10 answers

We have a cape cod style house with lots of white wood trim. The interior staicase/balcony railing has white spindles with a light oak hand rail. Someday we would like to update it. I want to stain the hand rail a darker color as well as the wood floors. My husband wants to convert to wrought iron. What do you think will be more enduring - wood or wrought iron? In our kitchen we have a counter depth refrigerator that is surrounded by cabinetry and has matching panels on the the fridge. Some day we will replace this fridge. Should I replace with a stainless faced fridge or stay with the cabinet front? Thank you for your design tips!

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answers from New York on

Wrought iron spindles are beautiful but a wrought iron handrail is not. Stuff like that belongs outdoors.

Replace the fridge when you replace the dishwasher and stove/oven. This way you can have 3 stainless pieces. For now it's fine.

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answers from Chicago on

Wrought iron is NOT dated--it is very current. Every high end new construction home we've been in has it, and older homes that are looking to update to sell are having their wooden spindles replaced with wrought iron. At least that's how things are here in the Chicagoland market.

Now, I'm not sure if that look is appropriate for a Cape Cod home. I'd probably stick to white wood in a Cape Cod.

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answers from Honolulu on

A house may have, as yours does, a certain style, or time period style.
So stay with that.
Or, if you change it up, then what about the rest... of your house?
It can be a domino effect... ie: you change one aspect/appliance, and then you find out you have to change the rest of the house, to match it, or update it etc.
Updating something, is different to each person. And updating, is not a necessity. ie: some people like retro or vintage or time period styles, of which it reflects the homeowner's taste or respect for their home's intrinsic period/regional style.

But a home's 'style', especially if it is a regional or period style, that just is.
ie: in Europe, MOST all structures/homes/buildings are from centuries ago. It is of a certain style or time period. And per the interior, well a person either keeps it true to its historical style, or they change it homogeneously or they "modernize" the interior's style, to adapt it to their own style/personal taste.

So, if you want to convert to wrought iron, and stain the woods a different color, then how is that going to impact or not, the rest of the home's "look?" Or will it just end up being a hodge-podge of mismatched looks?

If you get another fridge, then the next thing will be, HOW will it mesh or not or flow or not... with the rest of the kitchen and appliances?
If you stain the hand rail and wood floors a darker color... then how will that mesh or not, with the rest of the home's interior...ie: the other cabinets, furniture, other flooring, built ins or moveable furniture, the baseboards, the wall trims, the doors, the ceiling trims if you have that, and what about the other areas of the home which you say has lots of white wood trim? Are you going to then stain, everything else, darker???? Besides just the hand rail and floors?

You need to look at this, as a whole.
Not just as one piece.

As to whether or not something is "enduring" per style/home interior... well, that depends. It is enduring if you think it is or not.
And if something looks dated, well it is how you look at it. Some people like their interior to reflect a certain style or "period" or era.
It is subjective.
Then you also have to decide if you want, to keep your interior in the Cape Cod, style?

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answers from Dallas on

We have wrought iron spindles on our staircase and I prefer them over the wood. Also, they are stronger than the wood and less likely to break if a child pulls on them.

As for the fridge, that is clearly up to you an your personal taste. I don't care for the wood paneled fridge and I don't care for stainless appliances either.

My appliances are all white and I like it that way because I like it looking sparkling clean. The inside of my dishwasher is stainless and I love that feature.

Good luck.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

The nice thing about cabinet-covered appliances is that - well, they look like cabinets. I don't have them - I go with classic white - but they look very nice to me.

Wrought iron spindles would probably require less maintenance; however, wood spindles might be more in keeping with the Cape Cod style. So it might be a matter of whether staying with the style of the house is important to you. If it were me, even if I kept the wood spindles, I would darken the hand rail - either by stain or by paint.

Stainless steel? My friends who have it say it takes a lot of work to keep it looking good. Stainless-steel-and-granite has been THE thing for so long that either it will turn into a classic or (my thinking) it will fall into the cellar- plonk! - to rest with the beanie babies.

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answers from San Francisco on

Wood panels on a fridge? I've never heard of that. Just googled it -- I don't personally like it, but one on Sears cost $7000! Consider selling it.

For me, that fridge looks hideous. Stainless steel looks nice with white.

As far as the floors and railing go, don't worry about what is "enduring," choose the style that goes with the rest of the house. You always have to consider the whole look. I've seen so many homemade remodels that are a mish-mosh of unrelated styles, that look terrible to anyone who knows anything about design. If you are unsure, look at some decorating magazines to find a similar look and see what you think.

If you have lots of white wood trim, I think a dark hand rail and dark floors will look out of place. I personally like the idea of a delicate wrought iron railing. If you have the money, you could have a really beautiful one custom made that doesn't look dated.

Stainless steel shows fingerprints but does not take a lot up upkeep -- I use a wet rag with some 409, followed by a wipe with a dry rag. It takes 2 minutes.

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answers from Denver on

I think that the wood paneled refrigerator is a bit dated. I'd replace (when it's time) with matching other appliances - black or stainless. I am a HUGE fan of wrought iron (or steel) railings. We just redid ours and I love the metal. It is more "modern" but can be warmed up with the more curves you put in it. It's making a come-back (my opinion) and is MUCH more durable than wood.. check out railings at houzz.com and see what strikes you.... enjoy!

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answers from Chicago on

Wood panels are coming back, at least I prefer them :-) I'm done with SS. Next kitchen we remodel will have wood panels. I have a friend who just did this. I think you will find higher end kitchens going with wood.

I love wrought iron. I hate white trim. Hate it. Hate the panel doors too! I cannot tell you how many houses we've looked at with white panel doors that are splitting. I like solid wood. Yes, they cost more, but I honestly don't get the white trim thing. It's just so unnatural. It looks great for a few years, and it washes up nicely -I have it in a few rooms- but I prefer wood. Nothing ever beats natural wood, if you ask me.

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answers from Washington DC on

love the wrought iron idea, hate the wood-paneled fridge one.
:) khairete

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answers from Reading on

I like cabinet covered appliances because it helps them blend. But I'm also good with stainless steel or black, and white is apparently the current hit items. I would, however, Ditch the wrought iron. To me it's really dated.

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