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Kitchen appliances: If you’re shopping, you’ve got options


Kitchen appliances are big decisions. The color and type of your appliances drive a kitchen’s aesthetic as much as any other choice you’ll make for the heart of your home.

According to, there are four options for kitchen appliance colors: stainless steel, black stainless, white, and black.

“The kitchen is a challenging refresh in large part because there are a lot of expensive, large pieces in the kitchen,” said Nancy Gracia an interior designer and owner of Bare Root Design Studio Inc., in Newtown.

While stainless steel continues to be a top choice for appliances — from dishwashers to ovens and ranges, refrigerators and range hoods — black stainless and black appliances are entering more conversations.

As with any dramatic or expensive home décor and investment decision — use caution before moving ahead.

“I always suggest sticking with paneled fronts or classic stainless steel or a combination. Appliances are such a big investment and to venture outside the norm, it really has to make sense with the entire color palette of the kitchen,” Gracia explained.

Easy updates with impact

How about a fresh coat of paint?

“There is no question a fresh coat of the right color paint works wonders in every room,” Gracia said.

Keep in mind kitchen walls may be “broken up” because of cabinetry, windows and doorways. This reality kitchen can make “slivers of wall space” a challenge.

Gracia recommends painting walls and trim the same color to eliminate distractions inherent in choppy wall space.

“A continuous monochromatic color scheme” can tie the room together “so everything isn’t broken up,” Gracia said.

Take the monochrome color scheme a step further by color matching the backsplash, baseboard, walls, casements and cabinets.

“Make things simple in the kitchen,” she said.

New hardware and countertops

From a fresh coat of paint to swapping out hardware such as door and drawer pulls or handles, think about your kitchen refresh and how far you want to take it.

“Hardware changes can mean changing the doors or door fronts,” Gracia explained.

Keep this in mind if new hardware handles or pulls aren’t suited to “plug and play’ with existing drill holes.

Countertops can be a next level investment — if the existing cabinetry and frames are in good shape and can be topped without damaging them.

“A lot of (a dated kitchen look) is about outdated countertops, which can overshadow the entire kitchen,” she said.

Open or closed

Open cabinets and open shelving have been popular kitchen features in recent years. Use open shelving judiciously to avoid dating your kitchen or getting caught up in endless dusting chores. Use open shelves thoughtfully for prized collections to avoid cluttered spaces.

“Open cabinet concept should be appropriate, and closed cabinetry is regaining popularity,” Gracia said.

Metals trending

Chrome, nickel, brass, copper, black and gold are trending in fixtures, fittings and as metals in kitchens and baths.

“Brass is coming back, but it’s brushed not polished. We’re seeing a lot of brass. Matte black is also popular,” said Dennis Gehman, owner Gehman Design Remodeling in Harleysville.

Add contrast and impact in a variety of kitchen space design styles by mixing metals to achieve an interesting look.

Home design website recommends using up to three metals that are not too closely related either in color tone or finish.

Keep in mind silver tones like nickel and chrome are considered “cool” while brass, copper and gold are “warm” tones. Small rooms can benefit from using a single metal to create a cohesive look, the website said.

Open floor plans and kitchens

In open style floor plans, the kitchen often takes on a starring role.

Avoid a cluttered or distracting look by incorporating built-in appliances to create cohesion — especially in layouts where the kitchen can be seen from a variety of vantage points in associated spaces, said

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