Ask Maria: Would you Put White Appliances in a White Kitchen?

Ask Maria

“Reading your blog is part of my long-range planning for the renovation of my kitchen, and like you I´m a big fan of white kitchens.  My Ask Maria question is, would you put white appliances in a white kitchen?

When we had to replace our fridge before we were ready to renovate, I picked a white fridge that would match the white cabinets I planned to install.  But now, a few years later, the color of the fridge has aged and darkened, not quite to bisque but close, and definitely much darker than white.  Part of me wishes we´d chosen stainless, even though I don´t really like the look and I fear it would need lots of cleaning.

So… do you put white appliances in a white kitchen, and repaint them every few years? Or do you use stainless?  Or do you do something else?” Thanks! Anne-Marie

Great question, when I posted photos of my stainless appliances someone said my kitchen was dated already, but look, to upgrade to integrated appliances would have been totally over-renovating.

I’m already over-renovating in so many areas of my house in the country.

Ask Maria

Basically, I think your options are, white (but white does look cheap er–and they are) then stainless, then integrated. The end.

Oops, I almost forgot black. I think there is a place for black appliances but they would not be my first choice because they are so dark. However the black definitely should be repeated somewhere else in the kitchen, like this one below.

In the above photo, you can see that the appliances are white and the cabinets are off-white. Still a pretty kitchen, however if white appliances are what you know you’ll have for a very long time, I would work with the white by painting your cabinets SW Extra White or BM Chantilly Lace or Decorators White.

Or, better yet, paint your kitchen a fresh blue or green which would look fabulous with white appliances.

Ask Maria

Love the birds, what a fun styling idea for that space above the cabinets.

Yes there are new colourful ones but then we’re back to the avocado appliance of the 70’s. I just don’t think we want to go there again.

Back to the actual question, can you have white appliances in a white kitchen?

I haven’t seen many white appliances that went yellow but I agree that it’s hard to make them look really good because you can’t match the whites, that’s why a colour is a good idea too!

So now I’m curious, how many of you have had your white fridge or appliances change colour?

ps. If you have a question for an Ask Maria post, email me here.

pps. I’m about to meet a whole new group of upcoming True Colour Experts™ today, ‘m excited!

Related posts:

White Kitchen Cabinets

Move over Neutrals: Color is What’s Cooking in the Kitchen

Renovating Around Bossy Colour Trends

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  1. Did you know there are stainless appliances that are resistant to fingerprints? We have them and, honestly, I only wipe them once a week or so! They’re great: very few fingerprints.

    Also, there’s a stainless-steel appliance paint called Liquid Stainless Steel ( Our dishwasher broke so we replaced it with stainless but still had a beige fridge. Then we saw our neighbor’s fridge that was painted with Liquid Stainless and decided to paint ours, too. It looks great, and you control how glossy it is: add more top coats for a glossier finish. I’m not affiliated with the company in any way, other than being a satisfied customer.

    Just wanted to share these 2 tidbits in case it can help anyone out there.

  2. I think white appliances would be more popular if they had stainless accents. My 20 year old stove which is on it’s last legs is white with chrome trim. Whenever someone comes into my kitchen they always ask if I have a new stove. It looks very current and modern. I would love to have another one just like it. I think the problem with yellowing of handles on white appliances is due to the amount of sun streaming in the windows. My white fridge is discolouring and it is directly across from a window. I think if I had a stainless fridge we would all be blinded from the reflection of the sun. I have been holding off purchasing new appliances because I want white with stainless or chrome. To me they are timeless and easy to clean. Oh why can’t more manufacturers get on board!!

  3. I think if you were doing retro and had an older stove and fridge that had been refurbished that it work. maybe cover the dishwasher up to look like your cabinets, hide the microwave.

  4. I am going with white appliances…I think…maybe cream. Appliances I have picked out are Aga and I just like the warm feel they have. I tend to lean towards warm colors and feel these appliances would work well. I also love stainless steel appliances and the black ones you show in this post.

  5. I had a white stove & ‘fridge and always hated the stove because it always looked like it needed cleaning. Made the mistake of painting my walls and my dated cabinets different shades of white as well and immediately HATE HATE HATED all that white! I feel like I’m in a hospital! It’s cold and unfriendly. Finally had an excuse to get a new stove and bought a black with brushed stainless and I’m in love. Easy to clean and looks beautiful. Handles on my white ‘fridge yellowed long ago and always wanted to rip them off and paint them. The all “white” ‘fridge looked cheap. Just finished removing the handles and spray painting them with Hammerite in black and it made a world of difference. Next on the agenda is to repaint the cabinets color (NO white!) and the walls (NO white here either!) and then I can finally sigh in relief. Some day I’d like a black ‘fridge with stainless handles…

  6. I have white appliances because I think they are classic. I think that SS is the “color” of the early 2000s and will become dated soon. My current stove / refrigerator are white and 10 years old and are not turning yellow. My kitchen’s “look” is contemporary, European farmhouse – on an actual small farm (in the U.S.). However when I do my remodel, I really want a commercial stove (as a “foodie”) which may have to be SS so not really sure how I will blend that in just yet.

  7. What would you recommend for updating the dark brown cabinetry in an all-cedar interior (we have a chalet style home and the entire interior is cedar, including the cathedral ceiling in the great room / kitchen / dining. I want to lighten/brighten the cabinets but white would seem too stark. The fridge and stove are almond with black. The countertop is blue/gray laminate. Flooring is hardwood / medium brown. I want to do any update as inexpensively as possible because we will be moving soon. I’m considering painting the cabinets a cream color that will blend with the almond appliances and earthy tones of the home’s woodwork. There is also a lot of natural light from a huge wall of south-facing windows.

  8. I have six children, three out of the nest, three still in the nest. I have always had white appliances. Recently our stove died and for some reason, I bought a black stove.

    I love it. It stay nice looking, I use Scrubbing Bubbles on it, wait three minutes and wipe it down and it SHINES. I just love it.

    We have hickory cabinetry. Our dishwasher died and we have just ordered a new built in dishwasher in Black. The fridge is still white, but who knows how long that one will live, or maybe I will have to get out my spray paint…

    Seriously though, the kids just can’t get the black appliances as messy as they did the white.

  9. I didnt buy a white fridge but there was one in the house I just moved into. They are easy to clean because you can easily see the dirt and the flaws but they are also very easy to get dirty. If you dont mind cleaning the exterior on a normal basis then the white appliances will be great.

  10. I just have to say, you’re amazing. I am an interior designer and have a client who’s home we’re planning on painting the kitchen cabinets white. However, she has all white appliances. Luckily this client is obsessed with everything white, but I was worried about the cabinets and appliances matching properly. I started online to see what color would match best, then I thought: “Oh wait, go on Maria Killam’s website, maybe I will find something”. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to find EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thanks!

  11. It’s a common practice for realtors to put in new cheap SS appliances to sell homes. This is not upscale, this is just crap in a shiny package and ugly black plastic side panels. Young buyers just aren’t discerning enough to know better. An upgraded white refrigerator without plastic handles looks clean, bright, and very upscale to me. I have white cabinets in a very small footprint kitchen. Stainless in my kitchen would have closed in the space. I like stainless in most kitchens, and even in most white kitchens, but it’s not the best choice for all kitchens.

  12. I don’t know why some people say that stainless is high end. It’s not. Some is and some isn’t…just like any other color. If you buy the cheap stuff, it looks cheap. I have seen some pretty bad looking stainless kitchens. Anyway, I do love white…but my only wish would be that they tone it down a bit. It’s SO stark. If they did this, then it would go great with warm colored cabinets and still look great with white since white cabinets are usually never as white as the appliances.