Questions about appliances are never ending. I get them from our readers. I have them myself. So allow me to address a few of the frequently asked questions.
1. What color should I get? No one wants to jump on the bandwagon at the end of a trend, then be stuck with something that looks dated for the next two decades. But I really don't see stainless steel going away anytime soon, and neither do kitchen designers. (Watch our Stainless Steel Pros & Cons video if you don't believe me.) It's a true neutral color, unlike the avocadoes and mustards and rusts of the 1970s. And there are enough color and finish options within the metallic genre--platinum, titanium, silver mist, etc.--that if you can't afford stainless steel or are concerned about fingerprints, you still have choices.
2. Do I have to get stainless steel? No. If you don't, your best bet is white or black. If you pick a primary color, you'd better just love it and be planning to live with it. Make it both a focal point and integral part of your design.
3. Am I dooming my home's resale value if I don't have stainless steel appliances? No. I know all those flipping shows on TV would lead you to believe otherwise, but remember that local markets vary. Most TV shows are filmed on the coasts, and a lot of them were filmed when those areas were red hot.
4. Do my appliances have to match? No. In production-built homes they willl match simply because it's most cost-effective for builders to buy and sell appliances as packages. Kitchen designers will typically specify appliances that best meet your needs, regardless of brand or product line. And a lot of homeowners (myself included) find themselves replacing individual appliances as they age, making it virtually impossible to purchase a matching set. Many of you are more concerned about mixing and matching appliance colors than styles. For example, you have white appliances, you only plan to replace two of them and would like to go with stainless, but are afraid it will look funny. Will it? Quite possibly, unfortunately. New stuff often makes old stuff look bad by comparison. You paint one room and suddenly the rest of the house looks shabby. It also depends on how your kitchen is arranged and which appliances are changing. If you have a galley kitchen and you update the dishwasher and stove but leave the fridge alone, it could look like a design statement. But if all three appliances are on the same wall, it'll look more like a blue car with one black panel. And, like a car, painting the oddball element is always an option.