High-end finishes—which is right for your kitchen?

Here's how to choose the perfect finish for your appliances

Credit: Getty Images / YinYang
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If you're planning to renovate your kitchen soon, you're going to need to choose a finish for your appliances. Whether you're leaning toward stainless steel, black stainless, white, black, or a bright color, the choice you make is going to stick around for a while. On average, major appliances tend to last for 10 years or longer. When selecting a finish, you want to catch the trends while avoiding the fads.

The same model can look very different in different finishes, so explore the images on your favorite retail sites. Your décor will help you decide on the right finishes for your appliances. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Stainless steel

Shiny_stainless_steel_appliances
Credit: Getty Images / bauhaus1000

Stainless steel appliances look timeless and classic in any kitchen.

Sleek stainless steel is a classic that will undoubtedly continue to grow in popularity. Stainless appliances have a clean, professional look that enhances many kitchens. The only downside of this finish is that some stainless steel shows fingerprints. Make sure you research this before buying because polishing is no fun. If you can get hands-on, see if you can make a fingerprint smudge on the appliance. If you can't touch it, go online and read what owner reviews say. If fingerprints are a problem, that will be reflected in the reviews.

Best used with: Modern, transitional, and farmhouse kitchen styles. Some of the most beautiful kitchens around rock white upper cabinets and black or blue lower cabinets. Stainless steel appliances complement them perfectly. Wood cabinets and islands in dark or light finishes gain brightness from stainless steel appliances.

Black stainless steel

Whirlpool-black-stainless-steel

Black stainless appliances contrast nicely with the blue and white cabinets in this tuxedo kitchen.

One of the most popular challengers to stainless steel's 20-year dynasty, black stainless steel finishes are finding their way into lots of kitchens this year: Samsung told us that up to 30 percent of its appliance sales are for black stainless models. This might be the right time to add black stainless steel to your kitchen. You'll get some modern drama that differentiates your kitchen from others on the block.

Best used with: Dark wood or painted cabinets. Black stainless is usually fingerprint-resistant, but it does require some extra care to prevent scratching.

Brown stainless

Samsung-Tuscan-stainless-finish
Credit: Samsung

Brown and other warm colors are coming back to kitchen design. Samsung introduced appliances in Tuscan Stainless, a cozy-looking metal with a burnished feeling.

Kitchen colors are getting warmer, and brown stainless finishes are the new way to highlight them. When you choose Samsung's Tuscan Stainless finish for your appliances, you introduce your kitchen to a modern finish in a new color. Since this finish is relatively new, you'll be ahead of the trend.

Best used with: Dark or light wood cabinetry.

Matte finishes

LG-matte-black-appliances
Credit: LG

A satiny matte black finish blends well into this wood and glass kitchens, picking up the colors in the floor.

Whether you prefer matte black or matte white, your kitchen appliances can show off the subtle polish of these finishes. They don't show fingerprints, which is good because your friends will want to handle them. The GE Café brand even lets you customize the hardware with knobs and handles in brushed copper, brushed bronze, brushed black, or brushed stainless. LG offers black matte appliances with black handles for a seamless look.

Best used with: A white kitchen that needs something special to elevate it. Sophisticated black matte appliances work well in a larger kitchen—a small, dark kitchen is not the best home for a suite of matte black appliances.

Colorful finishes

Cobalt-blue-appliances-by-Viking
Credit: Kingswood Kitchens

Colorful appliances create interest in this exquisite white kitchen. The blue appliances contrast with the rustic wood on the island.

Make a bold statement in your kitchen with colorful appliances. Brands like Smeg, BlueStar, Viking, and La Cornue offer appliances in glowing pastel hues and saturated brights. You could choose a suite of appliances in the same color or pick one colorful appliance to act as a focal point. This looks works best when a substantial appliance, like a refrigerator or range, brings in the color.

Best used with: Contemporary or retro kitchens (for Smeg), depending on the intensity of the color. A bold, colorful appliance in an open kitchen can successfully extend a color scheme used elsewhere in the living space.

Mixed metals

Mixing-metals
Credit: GE Cafe Appliances

Three different metals work perfectly together in this GE Café kitchen. The matte black is repeated on the faucet and cabinet pulls. The dishwasher's stainless steel handle and contrasting copper cuff serve as accents.

There are no more rules that require every metal in your kitchen to match. Mixing metal finishes can give your kitchen a designer look, as long as you don't add different metals to it at random. So mix like a pro—make sure each major metal is repeated in the space more than once.

Best used with: Transitional kitchens with white or gray cabinets. Keep everything else calm and let the metals shine.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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