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Do All Appliances Have to Match?

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Do All Appliances Have to Match?

Question: "My wife and I are about to pull the trigger on a new double oven, 30" gas cooktop and new microhood. We recently bought a new KitchenAid dishwasher and refrigerator. We chose white because we have a 19-month-old son and didn't want to constantly clean his fingerprints.

We are torn on the new items. We both like the look of stainless and would prefer to have the stainless double oven. I think that is the only item we should do in stainless and have all other items in white. I hate the idea of cleaning a stainless cooktop, and the microhood above it should match. My wife thinks we should either go all stainless and convert the face of the dishwasher or go all white. It's not world war over here, but we are divided. Do all appliances have to match?"

A retro-look white range stands out from the other kitchen appliances, which are stainless steel. Designed by DeWitt Designer Kitchens,Studio City, CA.
Answer: No, all appliances don't have to match. But do they usually? Yes. Most people just aren't comfortable mixing colors and finishes without the help of a designer. And if they try something a little different and then decide they don't like it, repainting the walls or replacing window treatments is cheaper than buying new appliances.

If you're up for bucking the norm, white and stainless steel are both neutral colors, so you don't have to worry about them clashing.

What you should keep in mind is that when one appliance doesn't match the others, it stands out. You can use this to your advantage and create a strong focal point: Designers often do this with the cooking area by choosing a gourmet range or artistic hood with a different style, color or finish. Few kitchens, however, use the double oven as a focal point.

"I wouldn't really call attention to the double oven," says Jayme Neumann. An interior designer by training, she is currently the sales and promotions manager for Whirlpool Corporation, KitchenAid's parent company. "If it was a refrigerator or a range/hood, range/vent combination, I would. The oven doesn't make as much of a statement."

While Neumann says it's "perfectly acceptable" to use a combination of white and stainless appliances, for most kitchens she doesn't recommend having just one appliance differ from the rest.

"Depending on where the oven is situated, I'd probably go all white," she advises. "It might look funny to just have one appliance be stainless-like it's an old one or they're replacing their appliances just one piece at a time."

If the oven is placed away from other appliances in the kitchen, however, and if it's not set into cabinetry, Neumann suggests that painting that wall an accent color-in combination with the stainless steel finish-could create more of an architectural statement.

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