A reader wrote to Your Decorating Hotline this week about remodeling the kitchen in their 120 year-old house:
“We are remodeling the kitchen of a 120 year-old house. We want to keep the traditional country look, but we are in a quandary as to the kind of appliances go with this style — stainless or white. The cabinets will be an off-white color, and the counter tops will be granite. The kitchen sink will be fired clay with an apron front. Do you think stainless appliances will be too modern? I would appreciate your thoughts and comments. Thanks.”
- Bryan -
White or Stainless Appliances?
The key to recommending white or stainless appliances to Bryan is not the age of the kitchen – it is the color of the cabinets. If the kitchen cabinets were white instead of off-white, then either white or stainless appliances would work. With off-white cabinets, however, white appliances will not work. White is too close to the cabinet color and yet just off enough to be visually jarring so that they’ll stop the eye and make people briefly think “something’s not quite right.”
Stainless appliances would be a better selection for Bryan’s kitchen than white appliances. And stainless appliances work well in all styles of kitchens – even in a 120-year old house. It’s really more ab0ut what surrounds the stainless appliances that makes them work or not.
The photos below illustrate how stainless appliances work in an traditional country kitchen. I selected kitchens with white cabinets because they’re more prevalent than photos of off-white cabinets and yet neutral s0 it’s easy to imagine the stainless with off-white.
If Bryan decides he doesn’t want all the stainless steel appliances showing then another choice to consider is cladding the appliances in the same off-white coverings as the the cabinet doors. The refrigerator is one of the most often clad appliances as can be seen (or not!) in the next two photos below:
The refrigerator (far end of the counter) and the dishwasher (right of the sink) are clad in the same wood design as the cabinet doors.
Take a look back through all of the photos and you’ll see some of the fan hoods are left sparkling like kitchen jewelry and others are faced in wood to match the cabinetry. It’s a matter of preference.
Stainless is better than white in Bryan’s kitchen and he can determine the amount of it he wants to display or the amount he wants his applicances to look like cabinetry. Send us photos of your kitchen, Bryan! We’d all love to see what you decide.
What About Your Kitchen?
Do you have an old home with a remodeled kitchen or a new home with an old looking kitchen? How did you decide on appliances? What problems or decisions did you face in your kitchen? We can all learn from each other – share your input by clicking on the “Comment” link at the bottom of this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.