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

By 05/29/2013April 18th, 2019112 Comments

“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.

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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  • We had black already in our kitchen so when we painted cabinets white they stayed! We put in a quartz countertop in black & I think that pulled it all together nicely. I like it anyway!

  • Martha Hughes says:

    I’ve had both avacado green and harvest gold appliances, sometimes at the same time! LOL! I swore I would never buy another colored appliance again. Right now I have white appliances in a white kitchen. The plastic parts on the appliances are what turn yellow, but so far I’m pretty good. My appliances are about 11 years old. I might go with stainless steel next time, but I hate the fingerprints.

    • Annie says:

      I have 7 year old twins and have stainless appliances all of their lives. I really do not think you have to wipe them down an extra than you would a white one. Plus, they make spray that you spray on and wipe off and it is like magic in a bottle. No elbow work involved.

      • Dianna says:

        What is the name of that spray? I feel like I have tried everything without luck, so if there is one more option, I am open!

  • Nancy says:

    I am clueless as to what “clad” appliances are. Can you please fill me in?

  • Heather says:

    Maria, If you had to guess, what color are the cabinets in the first photo? They’re not pure white as compared to the appliances, but they’re close enough to minimize the contrast.

    • Maria Killam says:

      I don’t think they look that close actually. There’s a lot of light streaming into this kitchen which makes it appear that way but if you look at the island you’ll see that the white is quite creamy, I would guess this colour to be somewhere in the realm of BM Ivory White. Maria

  • AK says:

    What is “clad”? (I did google it but only found links to the All-Clad brand of kitchen appliances…)

  • Louise says:

    When we went with a white kitchen we stuck with our white appliances. I did feel that we “should” go with stainless at the time but in the long run I’m actually very happy with the look of white appliances and white cabinets!

    • Leone says:

      Same here. I have an all white kitchen, after much work, and we decided on white appliances versus ss. I’m happy with what we chose, especially since stainless steel is more expensive and shows every stinkin’ fingerprint.

  • Kacie says:

    We just ordered new kitchen cabinets, and will be doing a big kitchen redo soon.

    The initial color scheme was…white. White thermafoil cabinets (peeling!), white appliances, cheap white laminate countertops. The previous owners had the walls a bright red to add some color.

    We hated the counters — the held onto stains like nobody’s business, so we did the Giani Granite paint. That stuff chipped, so we’re getting new counters, too (this time, solid surface).

    Our new cabinets will be a dark brown, the countertops will be light, and the white appliances are staying. The walls will also be light.

    All that to say, white appliances did work best in the white kitchen when it was there. The counters, not so much. But my appliances are 10 years old and haven’t faded. Perhaps it depends on the exact materials? I have no idea.

  • Ellen says:

    I like white on white & have them myself. It’s clean & fresh & almost fingerprint free. Every time we change tone (stainless being a medium toned neutral) it stops your eye and makes the room smaller in some cases. Alternately the contrast can add some drama. I think is a good solution. Also, a panel ready appliance for fridge & dishwasher can simply make them disappear, so not an issue at all

  • Nichole says:

    All of my appliances are white with no fading or discoloration. Most of them are 18 years old. I plan on keeping them when I finally get to paint my cabinets white next year. They are expensive brands that are worth the money because they are still going strong (Subzero, Thermador, Kitchen Aid).

  • I’ve never seen white appliances turn yellow except for possibly the plastic grill parts near the bottom. If that does happen, you can always spray paint them white again 🙂

    I think white appliances in a white kitchen look great! Ultimately it is the home owner’s choice to go white, stainless or even black. If I’m asked though, I recommend white in a white kitchen.

  • Kathy says:

    We just moved into a new house last fall and went from white appliances to stainless. (The white with orangey oak cabinets, the stainless a darker wood cabinet). I want white cabinets ultimately (will paint existing) and am looking forward to having white appliances again. The stainless steel ones look cold to me (industrial), and they have fingerprints all the time. I have given up trying to keep them clean. White is so much easier to keep clean. We also have dark countertops, and I find I can never tell if I have wiped them clean, so am re-wiping them all the time. Light countertops (we had white in previous home) are much easier to keep clean. To me, white on white makes the appliances disappear and the color of the wall and accents pop.

  • Jann Newton says:

    I love white appliances because they are timeless, and will keep them white when I paint our orange oak cabinets. Thanks for the tip on a good white paint color to go with white appliances!

  • teresa says:

    Never had the white ones yellow. My BF has a vintage white Chambers stove, and that certainly doesn’t look cheap and is a dream to keep clean. My oven and cooktop are black which I like with my darker-toned cabinets. My fridge-only is also vintage commercial-grade stainless interior and exterior. I keep the white freezer in the basement!
    I’m really loving the look of the new Whirlpool “White Ice” and would definitely consider them if I had white cabinets.

    • katkins says:

      It’s the white plastic handles, knobs, etc that make so many white appliances look cheap to me. I was even toying with the idea of ordering a stainless replacement handle for my white fridge when I saw pics of Whirlpool White Ice last year. Hooray! just the look I wanted.

      Our old bisque and black range finally kicked the bucket last month, so I went looking for White Ice in town, but there’s none anywhere. Ordered it anyway. 🙂

      • Lisa Hassler says:

        Thanks for the tip on Whirlpool’s White Ice! I agree – its the plastic handles that make white look cheap. I have a 1951 Bengal range and a 1939 GE Refrigerator. The refrigerator is so tiny I also keep a 24″ wide refrigerator in my pantry.

        Another thing that makes white ranges look cheap is that many are not flush with the counter in the back, they rise up a several inches. The ranges that are meant for an island look more streamlined when used against a wall.

  • Kim says:

    What about the new white glass front appliances. Gorgeous!!!

    • Mary in Ohio says:

      Hi KIM! I found a fantastic deal on a double wall oven (I know some say double wall ovens are dated but I love to cook) that has white glass fronts- and stainless trim: handles, etc. I think it is beautiful, and will go great with my white cabinets.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I hear you! Can’t tell you how often I’ve wished for one (or two). If you feed 15 ppl on any sort of ongoing basis, no one is entitled to judge your ovens!

      • Kim says:

        That sounds lovely Mary! I’ve never heard that double ovens are outdated. Maybe those who decided this only use their oven to heat up take out. lol. Enjoy your ovens!

  • Joyce Ward says:

    We moved into our home 20 years ago, the kitchen was two years old with white, black, & stainless (Jenn-Aire) cooktop appliances. When they have worn out, we have replaced with all white appliances which look very nice with the cherry kitchen cabinets. Since my husband is a carpenter, he would never agree to paint these cabinets- loves wood-lol! There is not an outside window in our kitchen, the white appliances lighten up the space. Last month my husband
    Installed new Armstrong Alterna tile in cream;
    so happy happy happy with the results.

    • I always have to giggle when I read “husband loves wood/won’t paint them”. To that I say, ‘Hey buddy, they’ll STILL be wood…just painted 😉 ”

      Oh I know, I hear it all the time and have yet to convince anyone to paint their wood cabinets regardless of the type of wood…even the icky orangey-oak they use around here. But I’m going to keep trying 😉

  • Linda says:

    Any plastic parts on white appliances definitely go yellow. On ranges this might be on the sides of the upper panel and on fridges with ice and water the front panel is usually plastic. I have had white cabinets with white appliances for many years and recently changed over to stainless because I just didn’t like the yellowing and differences in whites.

  • sherry says:

    I’ve had 6 refrigerators in the 16 years we’ve been in our house, all white and have never had one change color.
    I have a stainless steel island and that’s enough stainless for me.
    I like the way my appliances and subway backsplash aren’t broken up with different colors.

    That being said, I would purchase a turquoise fridge if they made one big enough.

  • Colleen says:

    Yes. The new white ice is nice. I’m so tired of the demand of stainless. Or inserts are great. Soon stainless will be as ancient avocado .

    • Denise says:

      Hmmmm, I have to disagree there… stainless appliances have been around for quite awhile now and at this point are considered pretty classic, having evolved from commercial kitchens where SS has been used forever. I also think the enduring popularity of SS appliances is due to its “neutral” finish that goes w/pretty much everything (just like wood flooring and blue jeans!). True, SS can be challenging to keep clean, but some manufacturers have addressed this issue with finishes that don’t readily show fingerprints. I have a Miele dishwasher in a “clean-touch” SS finish, and it’s amazing! Maybe it’s me, but I also find brushed stainless to be a soft, warm finish that blends beautifully with my white Shaker cabinets and absolute black granite counters, making for a very classic, inviting kitchen. Having had both black and white appliances, I would never go back… they simply don’t look as high-end. The only other option for me would be an upgrade to integrated (aka clad) appliances.

      • Fran says:

        Agree with you, Denise. I have had both white and stainless appliances, and I prefer stainless. Three years ago, we renovated our kitchen and bought the ‘clean-touch’ finishes, and they are quite easy to maintain. I also agree with you that the brushed stainless has a soft warm finish that blends beautifully with white cabinets. I certainly don’t think that stainless will ‘soon be as ancient as avocado.’ Quite the opposite, I think stainless is timeless.

      • Carrie says:

        I agree with Denise. I like SS because I think it gives a white kitchen a touch of an industrial edge. I do have a white stove that I’m waiting to change over but the darned thing hasn’t broken my hubby’s rule of “if it ain’t broke, then it doesn’t get replaced”!! And yes, the plastic handles and knobs are yellowed. As far as keeping fingerprints away, I swear by Weiman’s Stainless Steel Wipes and their SS spray. You don’t have to put any elbow effort into getting the fingerprints out and they help resist fingerprints. They have a very pleasant scent as well.

      • Ellen says:

        the focus on stainless appliances as you commented came about with interest in “commercial” look within a home. At about the same time new regulations came into play for the enameling process used in coloured appliances. Most of us noticed the was less durability. This was because they had to change the process & weren’t allowed to apply as many coats. Bare metal… was a less costly & less environmental impact. Now if they could just make a finish that didn’t show the fingerprints!

  • BillP says:

    I sell real estate and buyers want stone countertops and stainless appliances. Plenty of homes are rejected if there are white or black appliances. I live in a new home development in Florida. During my home’s phase of 40 new homes, 39 of the home buyers chose stainless, with either white or mid-toned wood cabinets. A more timeless (and upscale look) is refrigerator and dishwasher panels that match cabinetry. The panels are easier maintenance too!

    • Karen A says:

      BillP, I’m just curious…do you get any sense that the buyers demand granite and stainless because HGTV tells them they must have it?

      • Mary says:

        Hi Karen,
        Have you noticed that most people on House Hunters insisting on stainless are young? I think as you get older, you wise-up to the maintenance.
        My husband dips his finger into the peanut butter jar, then goes to the fridge to take a swig out of the milk carton. Since I can’t seem to get him to stop being so unsanitary, I try to keep my appliances as easy to clean as possible. Which means white.

    • Kathy says:

      Guess one option is put whatever color appliances you like in your home, then when it’s time to list it for the market, take your appliances with you and put in whatever’s “trending” (like stainless is right now) in order to sell your home fast…

  • I will go with an enclosed refrigerator next time if I have the opportunity. I do not like the stainless that I have now. Always enjoy your blog.

  • Sharon says:

    When we redid our kichen I already had new white appliances. We bought white because 1. we watched our friends and married kids struggle with constant cleaning and 2. thought eventually stainless in homes would go be the way like avacado! We then painted our cupboards BM cloud white on the advice of another designer (sure wish I had discovered Maria’s blog before we did this! ). But I must say I am loving my totally white kitchen.. The countertops are also light and I am not constantly cleaning them like I would if they were black, although I like the “look” of black. Of all the kichens I have had, I love my white on white kichen the best! I just add color with accessories!

  • Alana says:

    Hello, Maria,

    I signed up for your webinar on front door colours and then wasn’t able to make it. Is there a way to view it, now? I’d really appreciate it, thanks!

  • Laura says:

    My last kitchen was painted white with white appliances by choice, and I loved the look. I have white appliances now, and depressing dark stained cabinets which I can’t wait to have time to paint! And the white appliances will be staying, I’m not a fan of stainless.

  • Melanie says:

    I have to agree with Maria white appliances not only are cheaper, they look cheaper. Stainless has been around for a long time now and I don’t think it is going anywhere in a hurry. I don’t believe you can compare it to colour trends like avocado. Stainless is neutral and will go with any colour so won’t date for that reason. I do agree about fingerprints but more and more you see stainless that doesn’t mark, and there are also great products for cleaning them easily.

    • Amy says:

      The new white appliances are beautiful and not cheap looking at all!! I would love to have them but they are more expensive than stainless…

  • chez says:

    We have a clad dishwasher that we are specifically wanting to change to stainless. The wood makes the door of the dishwasher super heavy.

  • BillP says:

    I believe that stainless was an effort to mimic commercial appliances. Nothing has replaced stainless for commercial cooking and the high end consumer brands (Wolf, Viking, etc.) don’t offer cooktops in anything but stainless. Viking has a series of colored ranges but their stainless is still king. Stainless will be with us for awhile. By “cladding” I believe that Maria is referring to matching cabinet panels for dishwasher and refrigerator.

  • I’ve never had a white appliance turn color. However, IMO, stainless looks cold. I don’t see it as neutral, but as a cool color.

  • Amy says:

    I went to a builders home show case in Birmingham Alabama about a month ago. All the new homes and the ones in demand had white or gray cabinets and quartz or marble counter tops…NO GRANITE!! NO dark wood! There were several of the new kitchens with the new white appliances….they were beautiful!!! Bright clean happy kitchens…gone are the days of dark serious wood cabinets and blotchy dark granite with stainless appliances…YAY!!!!!!

  • Laura Jens Sisino says:

    It’s a mixed feeling…however, I have definitely always liked the look of white “glass” appliances (Miele, Jenn-Aire and maybe others have them, and not necessarily “cheaper” than stainless). They have a very clean fresh sharp sexy look about them, and are easy to maintain.
    Stainless, does seem higher end, but comes with a price to keep up with it. I recently specified an all white cooktop for a white countertop….. my theory on that was, didn’t think it was worth bringing any attention a cooktop.

  • Audrey says:

    I just moved into a new (to me) house. I painted all of it Chantilly Lace. The kitchen has white appliances of various ages and white cabinets. The only appliance I had to purchase was a fridge. I struggled with the decision between the white or the stainless. There isn’t any money in the budget to redo the kitchen right now. If I do, I will do an integrated dishwasher with a cabinet front panel and a cooktop. The fridge is currently on a wall with pantry cabinets and would be joined by a wall oven/microwave combo. I thought it might look weird to have only a stainless fridge with so much white. I was torn between the Jenn-Air Floating Glass Fridge and the Kenmore Elite smooth white front fridge. I would have considered the Whirlpool White Ice with stainless handles but I need cabinet depth. The Jenn-Air use to come with stainless handles but now they are white. I finally ordered the white fridge from Kenmore but I’m considering ordering replacement handles in stainless separately. I like the white but I’m just not crazy about the painted white handles. They are the part that seems cheaper looking to me. The white was the same price as the stainless in the fridge I bought. Hoping I made the right decision as the fridge was definitely not cheap!

  • Donna Frasca says:

    That is just so much white! White appliances,white cabinets, white walls, white ceiling and even as you’re going to the living room it’s still white. I do like the touches of black accent though. I’m curious of the demographics. The clients I have here in Charlotte North Carolina, nobody has an all white kitchen because with all the Southern sun, it would be glowing! I think if you have a small kitchen, cottage style home, an apartment or condo, I think the white on white would be perfect.

  • Cheryl says:

    I had white appliances and the only part that turned yellow were the handles. I ordered new handles to replace them and the appliances looked like new. I recently remodeled our kitchen and went with stainless steel appliances. I love them!

  • Bristol Sunset says:

    We purchased a white fridge (Amana) and a white stove (Kenmore elite) to go in our then tight, white kitchen. We painted the old plywood cabinets Ben Moore super white, and the small amount of wall space Ben Moore milkyway. It all worked very well in our primarily north-facing kitchen. Our kitchen was light, bright, and cheerful. Definitely, white appliances were the right choices. We lived with that space for about 9 years with no fading/yellowing.

  • Ann says:

    We are begrudgingly having to build due to a storm that damaged our current house. Maria’s blog has been invaluable in so many ways. Husband and I are very anti-granite and anti-stainless. Went to pick out appliances. Ice collection provided nice options. We thought for sure white appliances were going into the new white kitchen, especially with the stylish handles. Until we used the interactive simulator on the Whirlpool website and plugged in white and stainless and black appliances into white demo kitchens. Shocked is what we were when we could clearly see stainless is the best option aesthetically for us.

  • Kathy says:

    I still prefer white. It just looks cheery with my pale yellow walls. I’m not a fan of stainless steel. That’s for people that don’t use their kitchens. My dream frig. is a red Smeg. Oh my people might have a fit over that one haha. I think it would be prefect….very Cath Kidston. No my white appliances never yellowed. I even prefer white washers and dryers too.

    • Lisa Sontag Kissee says:

      I think your red frig dream is great. My Mom had a red stove she loved madly. So cheery. Wished she still had it….

  • Sharon Avinger says:

    When we remodeled our 1979 kitchen, we put new fronts on the cabinets, painted them white and went with all white appliances. Love them! I’ve added accent colors in accessories on the countertops for pops of color. I’m loving the look!

  • Lisa Sontag Kissee says:

    I have had white appliances for 18 years and mine have not faded. I think nothing beats a white kitchen. I have never tired of my kitchen. It always looks so bright and clean.

  • Cammie says:

    Have you ween the Woorlpool White Ice appliances? They are, shockingly, pretty. And, they cost more than stainless.

  • Marlis says:

    I have white appliances in this kitchen which I am dying to redo, but it’s not at the top of the list. So we are living with it for the time being. I am sure these appliances have been here for a decade and they are just as white as white can be. I do love the white look, it’s always a clean look and makes the space look more spacious than it is.
    This kitchen also came with a yellow tile counter and backsplash. Most people say get rid of the yellow tile.. but I have grown to love it and will hate to see it go in the future remodel..

  • Barb McAfee says:

    Sorry to back track, but I need a basic wall color that will go with pink and blue undertones. This is for my Dad’s home that we will probably lease out for awhile. It has a lot of natural light. Also, what trim color would you recommend? Thank you.

  • Mariko says:

    What a beautiful kitchen and I love the birds ! I have an all-white kitchen and I love white kitchens best of all. I replaced my stove and refrigerator with stainless steel and I am beginning to regret it. Now when I replace the dishwasher, this will break it up even more. It’s not a huge kitchen, it’s U-shaped, and I think the stainless steel breaks up the flow too much. I thought the stainless would give me more flexibility in the shade of white I chose for new cabinets. Now, I regret my choice. Perhaps I can use iron handles to tie in the stainless with the white………….and of course I have to choose new countertops eventually to fit in. Oh dear…..I’m definitely “design-challenged”. I know what I like when I see it, but getting there on my own escapes me !

  • DeeAnna says:

    I purchased the white ice appliances with the stainless handles. I love them. I painted the old kitchen cabinets aqua and replaced the old laminate counter tops with the satin stainless laminate. It turned out just lovely. I looked at houses in the neighborhood and knew that going with real stainless counter tops would be over renovating for the area.

  • Lis says:

    I’m liking the Slate finish GE has on kitchen appliances. I like the matte look a lot, and less fingerprints than stainless. We have a small kitchen and too much stainless would be overwhelming, but I don’t like the shiny white and shiny black options much either. Though the Ice collection could possibly change my mind on the white…

  • Connie says:

    My SS appliances don’t show any fingerprints. SS. Yellowed handles and knobs can be easily and inexpenssively replaced. Our newly pruchased home has a brand new expensive white dishwasher but needs new stove and frig. We want SS so will put a SS front on the dishwasher. I guess there are ways to make all these things work, but it all takes money! (sigh.)

  • A-L says:

    Add me in as one who has white appliances with white cabinets. We painted the cabinets BM’s Snowfall White (OC118) and it really goes together well. I posted a picture on this Houzz thread discussing white appliances It’s the green kitchen with white cabinets and silver pearl granite counters (the third comment that has pictures).

  • Kay says:

    I’m in the middle of a kitchen redo with painted white Shaker cabs, just installed. Dishwasher and refrigerator are white (similar handles). Cabs and walls are Chantilly Lace (thank you, Maria!), and the elevated ceiling is a lovely pale clear yellow. The piece de resistance is a Portuguese blue Lacanche range, placed yesterday after living for a couple of months in my garage. Even though the Lacanche has stainless oven and towel bars (with polished brass end pieces), stainless appliances would have been a huge mistake, breaking up the line of the cabinets in my relatively small (15×13) kitchen, as others have said. In the end there will be plenty of color with all my stuff, but the white will keep the kitchen serene.

    • mairi says:

      Kay, now that’s a stove! Lucky you, I’m sure you will enjoy it very much. With the lovely showpiece trims etc. on these European stoves, I would do the same as you and have white appliances elsewhere so that the stove is the main feature. I wish our North American appliance folks would manufacture beauties like these..sigh.
      My stove is an older Jenn-Aire slide-in range with a white glass front and the top parts are stainless- best of both worlds for now. I just may plan for a colourful French stove in future though!

  • My fridge got ‘whiter’ when I painted my cabinets, kitchen and living room a creamy white. Normally different whites don’t bother me, but because my fridge is at the end of a sightline, I see the clash every day and it bugs me. When its time to replace it, I’ll probably go stainless since I want to keep my creamy white. But I do love the flow of white appliances & cabinets. Will stainless scream ‘early 2000’s someday’?

  • Scribbler says:

    I had white in my last kitchen, and no problem with yellowing. At the time we bought those appliances, it cost more to get the white. In my present kitchen, which had just been remodeled when we bought the house, black appliances and black granite ruled the day. I have done a bit of a facelift on the kitchen, kept the black appliances and granite, but now the cabinets are bright white and the floor is whitewashed with the same paint. It made a world of difference.

  • Janet Courtney JC Interiors says:

    I love my kitchen with white appliances and I would not have it any other way. I honestly don’t see what the draw is to stainless steel appliances. White always looks fresh and clean and you never see the fingerprints. I am so happy that in Europe white appliances are making their way back into the kitchen, now we just need to wait for that to filter across the pond!

  • Cindy says:

    My white GE stove and OTR, Maytag dishwasher and Amana bottom freezer fridge all had yellow handles after 10 years of service. The kitchen received no direct sunlight and the window had low E glass for the last 5 years. That said, I love white appliances and prefer the yellow over the scratches on my stainless.

  • SandyCGC says:

    Another timely post for me, Maria. My 27-year-old little house has the original white Amana fridge (wonderfully roomy) and white Frigidaire electric range w/black glass door (which unfortunately can be seen from the entryway/dining room). The Maytag dishwasher is obviously not original as it’s black and don’t think they were doing black appliances in the late 80’s. The white looks great (think older appliances didn’t have all the plastic junk on the exterior so nothing to yellow). Working toward turning my orangey oak cabinets into a white, light sorta country kitchen and new appliances will be white as well – I abhor the look of stainless steel and would never choose black, and we actually had a “clad” fridge and dishwasher in our first home – unfortunately it was the pickled oak/pinky beige of our 1994 cabinets and didn’t even really match. We were thrilled when we replaced the fridge with a much roomier but white one. I think, as someone mentioned above, so much depends on the orientation and setting of the kitchen. The 1990s homes in Sun City West had open, airy kitchens (granted it was white walls and the light pickled oak cabinets) but I have yet to see one remodeled with dark cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances (or black ones) and very busy granite countertops and backsplashes that didn’t feel as though it was about to come crashing down on me or suffocate me and that didn’t make me want to rush to get out of the room (and imagine that overwhelming granite on a 4’x7′ island in the middle of the room). I have to have light and bright and for me, that’s white.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    I´m the person who asked the original question and I want to thank all of you for your comments. They made me go take a more careful look at my fridge… and lo and behold it is indeed the handle, not the whole door, that has yellowed. So I will start huntinmg for replacement steel handles, and stick with my all-white plans. Thank you!

  • Fran says:

    I’ve had white appliances and stainless, and I prefer stainless. To me, it’s more upscale looking, and it breaks up the all-white cabinets. I also like the ‘professional chef’ look that stainless gives. It’s really all a matter of personal taste. I know that many people say stainless is impossible to keep clean, but I haven’t had any trouble. There are so many great products out there that make the job easy.

    • joanne says:

      I’ve tried so many stainless cleaners and have not found one I like. I wish I wouldn’t have purchased stainless. What products have you found that work so well? I’ll try anything you suggest.

  • Barbara says:

    I renovated and put a white kitchen in my first house, way back in the winter/early spring of 1987. We bought the appliances when we moved in, in the summer of 1985.

    I had to really search for nice white appliances (ie. ones without a fake woodgrain handle!) and waited two months without a fridge for the right ones to be built in the factory. Our kitchen was considered unusual for the time and everyone loved it.

    They did not change colour, but we did move out in 1990 (still miss that house). Nowadays I never see any nice white appliances and I hate stainless, options are so limited.

  • Merry Hagenston says:

    If anyone wants to know, those darling black birds in the space above the cabs are from Pottery Barn and are heavy-perhaps iron?? I have them in my bookcase and they make me smile when I glance at them!

  • CairoGitl says:

    Will all those advocating “products” to keep their stainless fridge spot free please have a sniff the next time you use it? They’re petroleum derivatives! Not something you want on your fingers before touching food…
    Try a spot of vegetable oil on a rag and some elbow grease, I was wowed first time and have thankfully never gone back to said products.

  • Lynne says:

    The only white appliance I have ever seen yellow with age was my father’s refigerator and that was over the course of probably 30 years – he’s a frugal man 😀
    Also, he used to smoke inside all the time, so the yellowed refrigerator did blend in with the yellowed ceiling and mouldings :-/

  • Ann says:

    I love my new white kitchen with stainless appliances, maple hardwood floors, and quartz countertops. To me it is clean and casual, not sterile at all. Thanks to you Maria, remodeling was a breeze. Oh how I want those birds!

  • Zippity-do-dah says:

    Kay, I keep lingering over your description of your kitchen. The Portuguese Blue stove will never ever become outdated. I just imagine the happy feeling walking into your kitchen must evoke!

  • BillP says:

    If I had either of the pictured kitchens, the first thing I’d do is buy stainless appliances!

  • Cindy says:

    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.

  • Gail says:

    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!!

  • Cindy Sue says:

    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.

  • Julia says:

    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.

  • MahtaMouse says:

    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…

  • AlsoTracy says:

    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.

  • Susan says:

    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.

  • Jan says:

    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.

  • Michelle says:

    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.

  • Bryn says:

    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!

  • treesnthings says:

    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.

  • dj says:

    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.

  • Becks says:

    My deceased mother’s white refrigerator changed color mainly due (I believe) to cigarette smoke. I successfully cleaned up the hard surfaces with vinegar, water, and much elbow grease but the handle grip and other plastic components like those around the water dispenser remained a dingy “antiqued” color no matter what solvents or cleaners I tried, and I tried a few. I could not find all the replacement parts I’d need. It was lived with few a year. Eventually just sold it as used and bought a new white one for the property which we now use as a rental. Personally I prefer white appliances because they reflect a lot of light and always look clean- or do when they are kept clean. Stainless appliances are too industrial looking for my tastes and the property.

    My own kitchen is set up so that my white stove, sink, and fridge are in a triangle configuration. Maybe they are all a slightly different shade of white, but they aren’t right next to one another so no one ever notices. My counters and back splash are quartz composite and the palest shade in the quartz is used for the wall paint. It looks clean yet vaguely beachy, very fitting for a house in Florida- which is where I’m at.

  • jan says:

    question i just had to buy a new stove but its white noe my fridge is on way out and i want to know if stainless steel is ok with a white stove???

    • Maria Killam says:

      It depends where it is, if you’re not looking at them both at the same time, it might work. Hope that helps Maria

  • Mavis Jones says:

    While I like white appliances with stainless trim, I’ve never liked stainless steel appliances. Always figured stainless appliances would go the way of the avocado of the 70s and almond of the 80s but nope it’s just keeps growing.

    Anyway, I’ve always preferred white appliances.

    I’m currently redoing my kitchen. So, I will have white cabinets, white glass (Samsung Bespoke) range and fridge, and typical white dishwasher and range hood. The cabinets will be cotton. Countertop will be quartz (Corian Stratus White). Walls are blue.

    The only problem I’ve ever had with white appliances are the handles yellowing but the appliance itself stays white.

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