Can You Mix Kitchen Appliance Colors? The Answer Is Yes — Here's How to Pull Off the Look

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Although the kitchen is one of the hardest working rooms in a home, you don't need to sacrifice good looks in the name of functionality. Countertop material, backsplash options, cabinet style, and color palette are the design darlings that often take priority, but appliances are the workhorses that take your kitchen game to the next level. Once regarded as purely serviceable, appliances are now available in a wide variety of finishes and colors that make them a design consideration in their own right. So, you may be asking yourself just how to incorporate colorful appliances into your cook space without overwhelming the design? And possibly more pressing: Can you mix and match them?

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Good news: If you're a color-enthusiast, there's no need to hold back. But do keep a few things in mind so that the overall look is more eye-catching than eyesore. Read on to learn more about how to mix kitchen appliance colors.

How Have Kitchen Appliance Colors Evolved?

Colorful appliances are actually not a novelty. In the 1970s, warm earth tones — avocado green, burnt orange, goldenrod, and lots of brown — first appeared on the appliance scene and, coupled with oversize nature-inspired wallpaper and graphic tile, were the hallmarks of cutting edge design. This combo was embraced for several years until stainless steel and white appliances came into play, providing a refreshing reprieve from the bold, contrasting hues, and they've dominated kitchen remodels ever since. Until now, that is ...

Of late, trends toward colorful appliances have resurged with varying shades of blue, red, orange, pink, yellow, green as well as subtler monochrome tones of gray, black, and white being favored. There are also new eye-catching matte and metallic finishes, too.

Can You Mix Kitchen Appliance Colors?

Interior designers tend to shrug off contrasting or mismatched appliances, saying there's a lot you can accomplish through design to offset the effect — imagine a funky backsplash that somehow ties in all the colors. In fact, popular designer Genevieve Gorder, host of Netflix's "Stay Here," said exactly that to Digital Trends in May 2019. That being said, large appliances including refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens, while eye-catching, are quite the investment. If you like the idea, but you're hesitant to commit to a colorful big-ticket item, start out with one or two smaller, more affordable (translation: easier to swap out down the road) appliances such as coffee makers, toasters, or mixers.

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The trick to pulling off this look is to select enduring color combinations that won't look dated in a few years. And because color has a big impact on our emotions, consider how you want to feel when you're in your kitchen. For example, if you desire a calming effect, choose cool shades including blues, purples, and greens. Warm hues — reds, yellows, and oranges — are energizing and can evoke a range of emotions from energetic to agitated. If you like the idea of mixing colors and want to create a soothing vibe, opt for a tonal look by using differing hues in the same family.

Embrace Creative Design Solutions

One solution people sometimes gravitate toward is to try and cover their appliance with resin paint so their kitchen can be matchy-matchy. You can do this, yes, but keep in mind how hard-working your appliances are, and how often you need to clean them. Do you trust the resin to stand the test of time, or could it be an expensive and costly temporary solution that looks tired before long? Perhaps an easier option would be to pick a wall paint that perfectly complements the colors of your appliances.

When opting for a bolder palette, it's all about balance. Temper jewel-tone appliances with neutral cabinets. Select complementary colors that are proven to work well together. Pair a neutral appliance — say a white range — with a bolder appliance, such as an orange refrigerator. Or, go for a more timeless monochromatic look by pairing matte black with a metallic finish like copper.

Achieve a light and airy cook space with plenty of coastal charm by punctuating classic white cabinets with a turquoise range, navy mixer, a variety of blue accessories, and plenty of open shelves to keep oft-used items at the ready. Infuse a dash of retro flair with a SMEG or Big Chill appliance — their colorful finishes and old-school design sensibility are a refreshing alternative to more clinical-looking stainless steel options. A playful pink refrigerator, matching toaster, and coordinating cookware can go a long way in a small galley kitchen.

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The 2020s are all about technology and smart solutions. Instead of worrying about how your appliances look, worry about how well they perform and how smart their energy consumption is. In an energy-conscious world, where people are also becoming more invested in diversifying their cook space, appliance function tends to be the biggest factor. So, if you've been dreaming of a new kitchen, blend brand names and go big on quality and function instead of sticking to one appliance suite.

But if you're embarking on a new design-build or are simply craving an au courant kitchen, color is here to stay for the foreseeable future. White kitchens still have their place, but more and more people are looking to mix things up a bit — favoring approachable, soothing, and comforting hues inspired by nature such as greens, blues and yellows. Appliances have hopped on this trend, replacing ubiquitous stainless with refreshing alternatives.

Colorful Kitchen Appliances to Consider

From big-ticket kitchen staples like ovens and refrigerators to more compact offerings such as coffee makers and food processors, there's no shortage of colorful appliances that can inject a dose of personality into your kitchen. Here are seven fun options to consider.

1. Ilve Nostalgie Series 40-inch Freestanding Duel Fuel Range, $4,399

As with most things, black is a no-fail hue that works with a variety of interior design styles from traditional to modern. The matte finish, seen on this Ilve range, is equal parts sophisticated and striking.

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2. SMEG 50'2 Retro Style Aesthetic 24-inch Refrigerator, $1,999

SMEG has been creating vintage-inspired appliances for more than 80 years. From bubblegum pink to black, their comprehensive color line of appliances includes everything from refrigerators to kettles that will impart a playful retro vibe.

3. Dualit New Generation Classic 2-Slice Toaster, $239.95

Add some zip to your a.m. bagel with a punchy toaster. This apple green version by Dualit makes toast for two without eating up precious counter space.

4. ZLINE Kitchen and Bath Colorful Series 30-inch Freestanding Gas Range With Convection Oven, $2,499.99

A red-front range, like this one by ZLINE, is a welcome departure from more predictable stainless steel. Tame the look-at-me hue with neutral cabinets or rustic touches such as exposed reclaimed beams.

5. KitchenAid Artisan Majestic Yellow Stand Mixer, $399.99

Ease into the wonderful world of colored appliances with a countertop mixer, like this canary yellow beauty by KichenAid. It's more versatile than you might think and plays nicely with just about every shade, from blue to gray. Plus, it does wonders at creating a cheery vibe.

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6. Viking 3-Series 30-inch Freestanding All-Gas Range, $4,749

Try something a bit unexpected in the form of an aqua range. This commercial-grade appliance from Viking will never go out of style.

7. ZLINE Kitchen and Bath Decibel Top Control 24-inch Built-In Dishwasher, $1,099.95

From barely-there to almost black, blue kitchens of all shades are favored for their timeless appeal. Could a saturated blue dishwasher be the antidote to the dishwashing-blahs?

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Jaclyn Schatzow is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA