How to Coordinate White Appliances with Cabinets and Countertops
Undoubtedly, stainless steel is the most popular finish for kitchen appliances with black coming in 2nd place and white, well, white squeaks in right before almond and avocado – YES I SAID IT, I DID!
PLEASE EXCUSE THE MINIMAL PHOTOS. I rely 100% on my E-design clients ‘after’ photos and I don’t have any with white appliances! The INFO is still SUPER valid though, so keep reading! I will include ‘other’ photos to at least explain an idea.
And while white might not be the top contender in the appliance world, personally, I like white appliances (especially the newer modern style) and the low contrast, fresh appeal they offer to kitchens. However, the problem is that white appliances can be more challenging to decorate with as the options are limited with regard to finding the ideal cabinet and countertop colours.
So, what do you do when you have white appliances and want something beyond ordinary? You read about these great ideas (I am a bossy lil’ ginger you know…)
Now first off let me start by saying that it was DAMN hard to find good photos of kitchens with white appliances (as there are a lot of ugly ones and only a few good ones). And while I don’t want to sway you entirely away from white appliances as they can look fantastic, if you are looking to purchase new appliances you will find it ‘easier’ to decorate with stainless steel, will have better resale value (generally speaking) and will have more flexibility in the long term.
On the otherhand, if you have white appliances and simply want to ROCK them, then this article is for you!
- To make white appliances look like ‘part of the plan’ – rather than something that you can’t afford to replace right now and therefore must live with which then forces you to drink bottle upon bottle of wine – oh wait, maybe that’s just me and do I really need an excuse?
- To make white appliances NOT the feature of the space – one way or another, we want the focus on your beautiful cabinets, countertop, backsplash or paint colour.
The most IMPORTANT thing you will read in this entire blog post is this…
You cannot have white appliances with warm white, off-white or cream coloured cabinets
Why? The cool white of the appliances will make the cabinets look more gray/warm/dingy/creamy than they really are and the undertones WILL clash. You have to do ‘white’ or a ‘colour’.
Option 1 White Appliances with White Cabinets
A white-on-white palette is low contrast which means that your appliances will blend in, rather than stick out. And while a white-on-white palette is easy on the eyes, it can also look stark and unfriendly, so you’ll want to keep these tips in mind…
Tip #1 Select Darker Countertops
Your countertops will help to ground the space and give your eyes something firm to land on. It will also break up the monotony of the whites and give them something to contrast with.
While the above kitchen only has a white cupboard panel on the fridge, it explains my point perfectly! The island is marble with gray/black in it and the perimeter countertops are solid black granite.
If you have a lot of black on your appliances (which a lot of the older styles do) the black countertops will help to tie these details in so that they aren’t as overwhelming.
Tip #2 Bring in the Visual Drama Llama
If you’re not into darker countertops, white cabinets, white appliances and white countertops can be pretty boring if you don’t add some visual firepower. Use a striking backsplash to add some contrast and personality to the space.
Option 2 White Appliances with Light Coloured Painted Cabinets
The hardest part of decorating is the deciding – especially when you have 1000’s of choices! The best way to select what works for you is to decide which ‘look’ you like the best – high contrast or low contrast – this will at least help you narrow down the range you want to be in.
Because the above kitchen cabinets are off-white, it would be a HOT MESS to pair them with white appliances – you’d have to go coloured.
For those who don’t like ‘uber white’ cabinets, light coloured cabinets are a great choice as they are fresh and bright without being too white. While nothing beats white cabinets and appliances with regard to low contrast, by choosing a paint ‘colour’ that is in a lighter range you will create a low-contrast palette which will allow your appliances to blend in, rather than stand out.
Tip #1 Keep it Simple
By painting your cabinets a colour other than white, you are already adding to the equation. You might want to keep things simple and straightforward when it comes to your countertop and backsplash with the hopes of simplifying things.
Tip #2 Don’t Forget the Accents!
With the creative use of artwork, pottery and everyday dishware – with a lot of white on them, you can tie your white appliances into the scheme without even trying!
A Little Deeper Perhaps? (that’s what she said…)
If you want to paint your cabinets a colour that has a bit more oomph to it then check out these lil’ tidbits…
Tip #1 Incorporate Another White
If you want to paint your cabinets a paint colour that is beyond ‘light and bright’ you’ll need to incorporate a good consistent white somewhere else in your scheme (countertops/backsplash) so that your appliances have something visual to connect to. If your appliances are the only white things in the room they will stick out like a sore thumb.
Again, the appliances aren’t white, but it will give you the overall impression
If you do ALL of the cabinets dark, I guarantee you that your fridge will stick out like a sore thumb. Consider doing white uppers (real white) and dark lowers to create a happy medium.
Food for Thought (without even opening the fridge)
If you have a lot of white in your kitchen, you might want to consider some warm tones and textures in the room to balance things out.
Here are 2 ways to do this…
#1 Wood flooring
Wood flooring is a natural way to add warmth and texture to a room without interfering too much with colour.
#2 Butcher Block Countertops
Ooo, I love me some butcher block countertops – especially on an island!