We know what you're thinking: Kitchen appliances aren't exactly the most exciting aspect of designing your culinary space. Why drone on and on about sinks and stovetops when we could be discussing luxurious stone countertops? Or fancy cabinetry? How much is there to really consider when it comes to selecting kitchen appliances?
Well, actually, quite a bit! A modern kitchen takes into account the look and feel of the appliances, so you'll want to do your due diligence regarding budget, size, style/finishes, sustainable features, and overall functionality. But don't sweat it, we've broken down absolutely everything you need to know when it comes to selecting the perfect refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and even small gadgets like coffee makers, toasters, and microwaves. Suffice it to say, we've got you covered. Keep scrolling to find the best appliance ideas that can really improve your overall kitchen design.
This guide is meant to provide ideas and inspiration for your appliance search via our original photography. If you're looking for something a little more comprehensive, be sure to check out our guide on how to choose appliances:
The refrigerator is up there as one of the most expensive appliances you'll purchase for your kitchen, so take your time considering how much you can afford to allocate for this hardworking kitchen appliance. The primary factors that will affect the cost include brand name (as you'll find with pretty much anything you buy) and features (an ice maker and water dispenser for example). Consider a refurbished model to accommodate a tight budget while still checking off everything on your wish list.
Another key factor that is likely to drive the cost up or down is the size. Refrigerators are certainly not one size fits all. Consider a counter depth option to accommodate a tight space, or a top/bottom freezer and fridge combo for a narrower shape. Alternatively, if you're in need of extra storage space, you'll want to look at more spacious models, like a French door fridge that comes with side-by-side doors, with a pull-out freezer drawer located at the bottom.
As with other appliances, smart refrigerators have been adding a plethora of high-tech features over the past five years. Bluetooth and wi-fi with smartphone integration are additional, price-increasing options for you to consider. A smart fridge with a touch screen is sure to stand out.
Finally, consider the color/style that you want. While we're often quick to jump to classic stainless steel, you could always choose to go retro, matte, or bold and colorful. Or you could choose the most discreet option available, an integrated fridge, and create a super seamless look for your dream kitchen.
Ovens & Stoves
When it comes to kitchen appliances, the range might just be the shining star. There's lots to choose from when selecting a cooktop: from standard four burners to six burners with a double oven, there's something for just about every need, size, style, and budget. Obviously a standard stove is going to be less expensive than a larger, restaurant-grade range, so keep that in mind when making your selection.
You've also got options when choosing your oven. Although traditionally located directly beneath the cooktop to save space, some kitchens utilize a wall oven. The last couple years have also provided lots of standalone, countertop oven options you can buy (heck, even Amazon sells one). Ultimately, the decision you make on your oven will have a large impact on the overall layout, storage space, and kitchen countertop room you'll have to work with.
Don't forget about the range hood. You can go minimalist and keep it out of sight above your stove or go big and make a statement with a large stainless steel or colorful one. Different finishes and colors can make a big difference here, especially if you're already utilizing a backsplash behind your cooktop.
Lastly, you'll need to think about selecting between gas, induction, and electric energy. From a sustainability perspective, these all have their pros and cons, so the best thing to do is pick the option that you see yourself living with the longest, as it helps to ultimately minimize waste. Your house is likely set up for one of these already, so there are additional cost considerations to be aware of here.
When it comes to dishwashers, efficiency is the most important consideration to make. Compared to the models that were built a decade ago, newer dishwashers will use about a third of the water — so it's important to purchase the newest option possible for your budget.
Other questions you'll run into when it comes to selecting your dishwasher will be noise level (more expensive models will generally be quieter due to better insulation), and door panel/handle style. Some ultra sleek models conceal all of the buttons and various wash cycles in a concealed area on top of the washer rather than on the front of it, making them a perfect choice for a modern, clean kitchen. Or, similar to the previously mentioned refrigerator, you can opt for an integrated style that blends in seamlessly with the kitchen cabinets, as pictured above.
When it comes to your small kitchen appliances, the biggest consideration is: How do you plan to store them? If you have ample counter space, or if you lack cabinet storage, perhaps you plan to display them most of the time. In that case, you should take into account how the look and finish will fit in with your larger kitchen appliances.
Keep color and style consistent or complementary when possible. For example, if you choose a vintage, colorful fridge and stove, a super sleek and modern stainless steel coffee maker may feel out of place. Conversely, small copper kitchen appliances will complement large black appliances.
Colors and Finishes
Ah! The good stuff. Selecting the colors and finishes of your appliances is one of the more creative parts of the buying process, and there are more choices to look at than you might expect. While traditional stainless steel has reigned supreme for a couple of decades now, it's certainly not the be-all-end-all. White stainless steel makes fingerprints less visible, and we are ALL about the power of low maintenance choices in the home. Plus, white appliances look anything but dated or boring when paired with upgraded hardware or colorful kitchen cabinets.
Black stainless steel can also be a design-forward option when featured with the right materials. You can choose to go with a monochromatic look such as a black and white color scheme, or pair with warm metals for a hit of glamorous contrast.
PSA: If you're on a budget, consider updating old appliances with stainless steel paint for a temporary fix.