Appliances: Do they need to match?

The question I am always asked, as someone who does not stand to make a profit from my clients purchases, “do all my appliances need to match (from the same company)? Well, my opinion is that an appliance is just that… appliance. It’s a work horse and should be the function part of your new kitchen. They are not decorative pieces. Get the appliances that work best for you! And yes if you have just always wanted that Wolf Range but the other Wolf appliances and/or it’s sister company Sub Zero’s refrigerator just doesn’t fit into your budget, then mix and match!

And if that means…….. A KitchenAid dishwasher (because it fits your large dishes and your price range), a Wolf Range (because your husband thinks it’s macho….. and it is), a Miele wall oven (because it’s just so….. perfect for what you do), and a Thermador refrigerator (because of the metal, not plastic interior parts which you find durable enough for your clan)…….. then fine. If these are the appliances that will function the best for you, do it. Remember, the kitchen, while it is the hub of the house these days and a gathering place for family and friends, is a work room (or play room if you like to cook as much as me).  This is a bit like putting together your ultimate music or surround sound system; you get the components that make that system rock! I say just make sure to match the finish; all stainless, all black, all white etc. because if you mix and match the colors (and the brands) then it can start to look like you made do with what you had and/or did not think  your new kitchen design through.

Now you might say, “eeewwww”! That will look awful. It won’t if you think it through and get a designers help. I am a firm believer of giving both form and function equal billing in your new space unless you don’t really cook and just use your kitchen for reheating restaurant leftovers. If you do cook, even a little, your kitchen needs to function for how you use it…. how you cook.  The operative word is function!

There are some things to think about if you are going to mix and match though, such as handle styles etc. but again your designer can help out here. Most brands have 2 or 3 different styles from “designer to Pro” and usually you can find a handle style that mixes with the other brands pretty well. If however, you are having a solid wall of appliances such as double wall ovens next to a full fridge and full freezer, next to a tall wine fridge, then well….. you might want them all to to be the same brand/style. Stainless steel finishes can be different with more/less percentages of nickel vs steel which can warm up the overall tones, and the brush techniques vary a bit thereby making one stainless appliance a bit different than the other. Even though…… I still say get the appliance that works the best for you. Hint….. the above scenario is not the best for function and traffic flow anyway.

If however, you are using wood panel doors for your appliances (fridge and dishwashers only)  then you can get matching handles to match your cabinet hardware and no one need ever know that your appliances don’t match. Don’t go all over the map, but you can vary brands/styles within reason so that you get a kitchen that functions right for you at the same time as it is stunning in form.

Now after having said all that, there are some benefits to buying all the same brand throughout. Some companies (brands) will give a rebate, discount or free appliance if you purchase more than 2 or 3 major appliances at the same time. This is great…. as long as you like how they all function. Remember, this remodel should last you many years to come and compromising exactly what you want just to save a couple hundred dollars will not suit you in the long run. Just do without 2 or 3 expensive meals out on the town and you have paid for the difference to get the higher priced, but perfect, appliance for you that will last you far longer than the memory or hangover from the nights out on the town.

So happy hunting! And remember, I can be hired as a consultant as well as designer (even long distance) for your remodel projects.