Trends in Kitchen Appliances

This post is sponsored by Lowes.

Jenny Komenda Bigalow Kitchen

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I’ve got about six kitchen projects at various stages that I’m helping design and finish right now, so I’ve got kitchens on my brain in a major way! I’ve partnered with Lowes this year to share practical tips for approaching renovation and design in your own home (see my post on painting here!) and today we’re going to tackle a big topic: Trends in kitchen appliances! Here are a couple of the points I’m going to cover today, but please let me know in the comments if there’s anything else you’d like me to touch on here!

THOUGHTS ON STAINLESS STEEL

CABINET FRONT/PANEL READY APPLIANCES – HOW THESE WORK

COLOR APPLIANCES: TRENDY OR TIMELESS? ALSO, HOW TO MIX AND MATCH FINISHES

WALL OVENS + COOKTOP VS RANGE

 

Lowes Appliances

48″ Black KitchenAid Gas Range

Cafe Series French door style wall ovens

Pebble Ice Maker

48″ Gas Cooktop

Panel Ready Refrigerator

Matte White and Brass Cafe Dishwasher

Lowes Jenny Appliances 2

White Matte 36″ Cafe Range

Freestanding Electrolux Fridge and Freezer

48″ ZLINE Gas Range

 

While I dive into these topics, I’ll be sharing photos from a kitchen we recently styled in downtown Gilbert by Bigelow Built. This home is now available for Airbnb bookings and you can check out the listing here! All of the appliances in this kitchen are available from Lowes as well! I love how this gorgeous space turned out!

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THOUGHTS ON STAINLESS STEEL:

Some of you might disagree with me here, but I’m very much so in the pro stainless steel camp. I think stainless is a great neutral foundation for a kitchen design. My thoughts are that any material used in most commercial applications is going to be a classic and will endure the test of time.

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Stainless steel appliances also mix really well with other metals like brass and matte black, but they usually don’t mix easily with all other stainless appliances. Every brand has a slightly different sheen and color, so it’s best to stick with a consistant suite of appliances in your kitchen, unless you can be sure that the stainless is really similar. In this kitchen here for example – the refrigerator is by Samsung and it works since the color of the stainless steel on the range is really similar and the fridge is far enough away to not be able to directly compare.

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The KitchenAid appliances also in this space are probably my favorite mid-end appliances right now. They are built to last and have the reviews to back that up, and they have the lines and details of much more expensive appliances! I always like to use a slide-in range, where the controls are on top or in front instead of a high back panel. It’s so much more of a clean look to see the backsplash instead of the back of the range!

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CABINET FRONT/PANEL READY APPLIANCES – HOW THESE WORK

If you have a little more room in your budget, panel-ready appliances are a great way to get a more custom, seamless look in a kitchen. What’s not so common knowledge though is that you don’t need to have custom cabinetry or super high end appliances to get this look. Every cabinet line available at Lowes and several of their appliances lines have panel ready options. I especially love this look for dishwasher fronts and undercounter ice makers.

 

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COLOR APPLIANCES: TRENDY OR TIMELESS? ALSO, HOW TO MIX AND MATCH FINISHES

I get asked all. the. time about color appliances and if they’re trendy or not. I think color appliances are definitely on the trendy side, but I still love them. It feels safe and smart to go with a more neutral color like black or white though. I am loving the new Cafe line of appliances at Lowes. The brass handles are to die for and I love the perfectly matte black and white finish options!

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Cafe Series French door style wall ovens

 

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Cafe Matte Black Fridge

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I think if you’re choosing white appliances, it’s a good idea to have lighter color cabinets. You can pair black appliances with any color cabinets, including white cabinets. I like the idea of the range being the only colorful appliance in the kitchen and the fridge and dishwasher both being panel-ready! Otherwise, I like all the appliances to be matching. I’d gladly take a suite of these Cafe appliances for any of the projects I’m working on right now! We are doing more of an English style kitchen in the Evergreen project and I think these would be perfect!

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Cafe Series Fridge

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Cafe Series 36″ Range

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And for the final topic –

WALL OVENS + COOKTOP VS RANGE

This one is top of mind for me right now! It is a HUGE trend in kitchen design to have wall ovens tucked into the pantry and out of the main kitchen prep area. You usually see this with cooktops instead of ranges. We currently have an induction cooktop and double wall ovens, and I’ll admit that it is handy to have two ovens and that it’s nice to not have to bend over to check on dinner. BUT ranges are so pretty! One thought I’ve had is to have a 36″ or 48″ range (I love this Z-line one or the 36″ Cafe range above) and a single or double wall oven in our pantry.

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Another great option if you’re tight on space is to include a built in microwave or warming drawer in your island or peninsula! This frees up counter space but keeps dinner prep convenient.

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I hope this post was helpful to you guys who are in the trenches of kitchen design with me! I’d love to hear your questions and opinions on kitchen appliances trends in the comments!
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  1. Kalani

    I’m curious about the ‘ovens in pantry’ trend?
    What are the advantages to that type of design?
    I only think of the inconveniences… distance to fridge, sink, and prep area etc…

    • Jenny

      It seems sort of counter-intuitive at first, right? But you don’t actually really need a sink or fridge for the wall ovens! Anything you put in the oven can be left alone for a while (unlike with a cooktop!). I think it’s nice if you have the space to spread out that way!

    • Jen

      I see what Jenny is saying that the food in the oven wouldn’t need stuff from the fridge etc but that’s where you’ll be so if you’re keeping an eye on the food cooking you’d have to keep leaving the prep area running to the pantry I’m not in for it either. // loved all the other tips tho!

    • Molly

      I agree with Jen, plus I have a number of recipes that start on the stovetop and finish in the oven, or vice-versa, and wouldn’t want them in separate rooms.

  2. Anne

    Great post. We are considering Lowe’s for our kitchen cabinets as opposed to custom inset cabinets and it would be great to hear your take on the different lines they carry (Schuler, Diamond, Allen + Roth, Kraftmaid, etc). We were told only the higher-end line cabinet brands Lowe’s carries have options for panel-ready, not every brand.

    • Jenny

      Hi Anne! I looked into Lowe’s cabinets a lot too! You should reach out to Gwen at the Makerista! She has a kitchen done with a style of Kraftmaid cabinets that has a little bead detail in the door that really gives the look of inset cabinets (without the relative nightmare of keeping inset cabinets lined up and without the loss of interior storage space, etc). There are a few door styles I loved in the Diamond line too (including a quarter sawn oak!) and I think their pricing was super competitive!

  3. Diane Bockelman

    Jenny,great post! What is your take on cream cabinets and color of appliances…would love to do the cafe look! Diane

    • Jenny

      Hi Diane! I LOVE the idea of a black range with cream cabinets!! That would be gorgeous.

  4. Laura Montoya

    What color are the cabinets. I love the dark blue.

    • Jenny

      I think the color is Hale Navy!

  5. Peggy

    I’d really like to know the source of the runners you used in the navy blue kitchens.

  6. Katy

    I’m really curious what you’re going to do in your own kitchen! I saw you have a Viking fridge now – and it’s so beautiful/impressive/makes such a statement. Are you keeping it? If not, I’d love to hear why not. Vikings are a big investment so any insider info from an owner of one would be great to hear.

    • Jenny

      That Viking fridge has a funny story! I met a random guy through a work event that owned a local gym that was relocating. He mentioned he has some lightly used appliances from the gym’s cafe that has was going to list on Craigslist but would love to sell them to me if I had any clients to buy them. The fridge was older but had hardly any wear and we really needed a new fridge at the time. and it was such a good deal that felt like it would be work the hassle to build a fridge surround, etc. We’ve had it for a few years now and it’s been tuned up at least two or three times. I’m only mildly impressed with the brand to be honest. And actually when I met with my cabinet maker yesterday, Burdette, (who has been doing beautiful custom cabinetry for over 35 years!) we discussed appliances a bit and they mentioned they weren’t impressed with Viking performance either. They said if I can afford it, go with SubZero/Wolf but that actually GE makes their favorite mid-range appliance! (the Cafe line linked here is by GE too)

      Lots to think about, especially as our budget continues to shake out! :)

  7. Melissa

    As Kalani inquires… I’m curious about “ ovens in pantry Trends” … are you talking about microwave?

  8. Elizabeth

    Thanks for sharing such good information! What type of appliances do you like to mix with vintage stoves? Ours is white enamel and chrome, and I have no idea what to put with it. I’m thinking panel ready, but I’m not sure any panel fridges are short enough for our hobbit ceilings.

    • Jenny

      I think stainless could work if you can’t find a panel ready in the right size! It would tie into the chrome accents nicely! xo

  9. Heather

    I planning a kitchen project and intend to use the side by side freestanding fridge/freezer. There are only a couple of options from what I can tell. Do you have preference/insight?

    • Jenny

      Hi Heather! Do you want stainless or panel ready?

      • Heather

        Ideally, yes. I’d prefer panels on such a monolithic appliance . Is that even an option on Thor free-standing version? Or can we retrofit the appliance to accept panels?

    • Katy

      Fisher and Paykel make beautiful panel ready, totally integrated appliances and I know they do them for the column fridge and freezers.

  10. Catherine

    I prefer to have ovens together, there’s no reason to go from room to room in order to check the progress of your cookimg. Also ovens need to be near both the sink and food prep area for cleanup and setting food out.
    I don’t love the runner because I prefer natural fiber rugs. Wool is actually better for a lot pf reasons including fire safety.

  11. Haley

    There is something about dark blue and green cabinets that I just love.

    • Jenny

      Me too, Haley! :)

  12. Jenny

    Thank you for this post! Some great info here.
    I have a 1930 house with cream cabinets, white enamel Wedgewood stove with chrome accents, white dishwasher, and a 1980’s Kenmore side by side almond color refrigerator that came with the house. Fridge still works, but I pine for a bottom freezer refrigerator. I love the look of the KitchenAid 20 cu ft counter depth french door fridge and was thinking of going with white, but now you have me thinking stainless. BUT, the sides of the fridge are exposed in my kitchen, and the sides of the stainless are gray, right? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!! :)

  13. Esvee

    Totally unrelated, but where are the shelf brackets from? TIA!!

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