The best colors for kitchen appliances, according to interiors experts


Kitchen appliances are the workhorses of our kitchens. We rely on them daily to cook, bake, blend, toast, wash, and more. With constant use, these appliances deserve attention when it comes to aesthetics. Choosing appliances in colors that complement your kitchen design is key to creating a stylish, cohesive look.

But with so many appliance colors and finishes available, deciding on the best shades for your kitchen can be tricky. To guide you, we tapped top interior designers to get their expert opinions on the best color choices for kitchen appliances. Whether you prefer a classic look or something more contemporary, you’ll find inspiring ideas and recommendations here.

The best neutral colors for a timeless kitchen

Stainless steel for an industrial edge

Stainless steel finishes have reigned supreme in recent years, lending a sleek, professional look reminiscent of restaurant kitchens. Cheryl Kees Clendenon, founder and principal designer of Innovate Design, told us, “I love the industrial edge that stainless steel finishes bring to a kitchen. Stainless works equally well in modern and traditional kitchens.”

The lightly brushed, satin finish of stainless resists fingerprints and stands up well to bumps and scrapes. It pairs beautifully with any color scheme from bold primaries to muted neutrals. Its neutrality also allows the option to swap out other elements like dishware or accent colors without clashing. “Stainless appliances offer flexibility to change up your kitchen’s style down the road,” says Clendenon.

White for a fresh, bright look

White kitchen appliances project a clean, crisp look, according to Leigh Spicher, director of design at Assembledge+. “White appliances have a classic appeal that works well with almost all kitchen design aesthetics, from traditional to modern,” says Spicher. Their clean lines blend seamlessly into light toned kitchens. Spicher recommends white for attainable elegance: “The right white can make a kitchen look bright and expensive.”

How do you choose what shade of white? Elissa Grayer, founder and principal designer of Styled and Sold, advises leaning toward appliance brands that offer custom white hues. “Many brands allow you to select a custom white that exactly matches your kitchen cabinetry,” she points out. Otherwise classic bright white is a safe, neutral choice. Consider a true white with only subtle blue undertones for a crisp look.

Black for dramatic contrast

For a bold, dramatic contrast against light cabinets or countertops, black finishes make a sophisticated style statement. “Black stainless steel finishes have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years, providing a more unique look,” says Spicher. The deeper tone adds warmth and dimension.

This trending appliance finish works best against light backgrounds. “Black stainless pairs beautifully with white kitchens to create high contrast,” notes Grayer.

Darker finishes like black show fingerprints and water spots more easily. Prevent smudges by wiping down appliances after each use. Use a stainless steel cleaner to easily restore shine.

Matte finishes for subtle style

Prefer understated elegance? Soft matte finishes for appliances offer a more subtle contrast than glossy stainless steel. They still provide a neutral base that fits well with a range of styles.

“Matte finishes like Slate or Black Stainless Steel have an earthy, muted quality that blends in but adds sophistication,” says Spicher. Warmer than stark stainless and not as harsh as glossy black, matte finishes straddle these two options with an elegant in-between.

Colorful appliances to brighten up your kitchen

Red makes a daring style statement

Are you bold enough to paint your kitchen red? This fiery hue ignites passion and energy when used for appliances and kitchen accents. “Red is having a moment right now and can add drama, especially as a statement color for a refrigerator or range,” says Clendenon.

While some may see red appliances as edgy or retro, the hue has a classic pedigree. Julia Buckingham, chief creative officer at Decorist, says, “Red is traditional, tying to vintage appliances like those from Wedgewood and Big Chill.”

Consider French ovens in cozy cherry red or a bright candy apple red fridge. Red brings warmth and vitality to both rustic and modern kitchens. Buckingham recommends pairing red with contrasting blue for a lively color combo.

Blue for a soothing effect

Cool blue is intrinsically linked to kitchens through heritage brands like Wedgewood and KitchenAid. Grayer calls blue “a nurturing color often used in kitchens because of its soothing effect.” Lighter shades of blue read as fairly neutral. Look to misty sky blue or weathered blue green for a soft yet colorful option.

Vivian Coser, owner and principal designer at Vivian Coser Designs, suggests cooler blues to relax the senses. She recommends pairing blue appliances with warm wood cabinetry or white countertops. Crisp navy blue makes a preppy-chic accent color. Cobalt blue offers a bolder, jewel-toned effect.

Yellow wakes up a dreary kitchen

Raise your kitchen’s happiness quotient with cheerful appliances in golden yellow. “Yellow is traditionally a color associated with freshness and light,” observes Buckingham. A bit of sunshiny yellow can instantly wake up a dreary kitchen.

Consider buttery yellows with a warm, vintage vibe. Or go for daisy yellow with mod appeal. Coser likes pairing paler yellows with white for a beachy cottage kitchen. Deep goldenrod or ochre yellows contrast beautifully with navy kitchen cabinets. Just take care not to overdo this energizing tone. Buckingham cautions, “Too much yellow can overwhelm.”

Green for an organic, earthy vibe

Green is inherently linked to the kitchen through edibles like herbs, vegetables, and fruit. Bringing in green appliances alludes to this organic connection. Green also promotes feelings of health, tranquility, and renewal—all welcome in the kitchen.

Look at sage greens with natural, earthy appeal. Or go bolder with loden green, comparable to the dark green found on artichokes. Clendenon sees green appliances adding vibrancy: “Shades of green can bring life to a kitchen by providing an unexpected pop of color.” She recommends complementing emerald appliances with warm wood tones.

Whatever shade of green you select, styling pro Grayer encourages limiting it to one appliance as a focal point—such as a stand mixer or blender. Too much green can start to look dated.

Factors to consider when choosing appliance colors

Personal color preferences and style

First, consider your personal color likes and dislikes when selecting appliance hues. Do you gravitate towards cool tones or warm tones? Are you daring or more traditional? Make sure the finishes you select appeal to your personal taste.

“Choose colors that reflect your style and make you happy. Don’t make selections based on current trends alone,” advises Buckingham. While on-trend black stainless or matte finishes are popular, classic white often represents the safest bet with timeless appeal.

Existing kitchen colors and materials

Take cues from your current kitchen cabinetry, countertops, backsplashes, and flooring when selecting appliance colors. Contrasting finishes in darker tones stand out against light countertops and cabinets. Meanwhile, pale appliance colors blend in seamlessly with light kitchen materials.

“Strive for cohesiveness in the kitchen by choosing appliance finishes that coordinate well with counters and cabinets to avoid a disjointed look,” recommends Clendenon. However, don’t be afraid to use contrast judiciously. Spicher notes, “I love mixing a bright, colorful appliance like a red Lacanche range with white cabinetry for contrast.”

Available appliance color options

Research available ready-made appliance colors before committing to a hue. While custom color options exist through some brands, they add cost and delays. Know what color selections readily exist across different brands and types before deciding.

Specialized appliance brands like Lacanche, Smeg, and Big Chill offer the most color options. Mass market brands generally limit finishes to more neutral stainless steel, black, white, and matte options. Check lead times for custom colors, which can take three months or longer.

Future kitchen updates

When possible, consider how potential future changes to countertops, backsplashes, cabinetry, and flooring may affect your appliances’ appearance down the road.

Avoid trendy finishes like bold red or glossy black that could clash if you swap out other elements later on. More flexible neutrals like stainless, white, or matte finishes have better long-term staying power. However, don’t let indecision over future changes prevent selecting a great color now.

Tips for successfully incorporating colored appliances

Select one color focal point

Limit colorful appliances to one or two statement pieces so they stand out. “Use colorful appliances like a bright red mixer as an accent,” advises Grayer. “But keep the major appliances neutral for flexibility.”

Too many colorful appliances can overwhelm a kitchen’s design. Buckhingham agrees that less is more: “Be judicious in how many colored appliances you select.”

Spread out colorful appliances

Don’t cluster bright appliances together. Space them out to provide separation. “Anchor colorful appliances between neutral cabinetry and countertops,” Coser suggests.

Flanking a red fridge with stainless models helps it stand out. Separating a yellow mixer and green blender prevents them from competing. Create breaks between color for visual relief.

Repeat accent colors throughout space

Tie brightly colored appliances into the overall kitchen design through accent colors used elsewhere. Echo a cherry red fridge by bringing in red bar stools, dishware, or a kitchen rug.

Coser says, “Repeating an appliance’s color through kitchen accents helps it look purposeful.” Achieve a coordinated look rather than colored appliances that feel randomly placed.

Use colorful range hoods and backsplashes

In addition to appliances themselves, don’t overlook range hoods and backsplashes as prime spots to inject color. Varying materials like tile or painted metal offer affordability.

“Colorful range hoods nicely tie into accent colors used on appliances,” advises Grayer. For example, pick out sunny yellow or verdant green glass tiles to complement same-toned appliances.

Contrast colors with countertops and cabinets

To make colorful appliances pop, provide contrast with neutral counters and cabinets. “Darker cabinet colors like navy blue allow bright red appliances to stand out,” notes Buckingham.

Lighter granite, quartz, or white countertops also contrast beautifully with vibrant appliance hues. Just ensure the tones complement rather than clash for a harmonious look.

The best colors for specific kitchen appliances

Now that you know expert tips for selecting appliance colors, let’s explore the best shades for specific types:


For a refrigerator that acts as a focal point, vibrant reds, blues and greens make a lively style statement. More traditional white or stainless suits transitional kitchens. Matte black or gray finishes exude modern elegance. Ensure the finish fits your kitchen style.

Ranges and ovens

Reliable stainless and white remain safe choices for major cooking appliances. Blacks and darker tones show cooking residue and require frequent cleaning. For a touch of color, look to range hoods and backsplashes instead of the costly range.


Fortunately dishwashers get seen less than other appliances, so you can take more risk with color. Play up a fun hue like cobalt blue or apple green paired with a stainless or white fridge next to it. Or make it disappear with matching cabinetry.


Positioned at eye level, microwaves deserve an attractive finish. Stick with stainless, black, white or matte finishes. Custom colors can look dated quickly. Built-in models can even be finished with cabinet facing for seamless unity.

Kitchen island

Colorful base cabinets and open shelves create visual interest below an island. Contrast those with a stainless or marble-topped island for durability and neutrality. Use island seating to echo accent colors.

Matching your island finish to your cabinets maintains harmony. Just be sure to coordinate all finishes and colors within the kitchen for a cohesive look according to your style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular kitchen appliance colors?

Stainless steel, white, and black stainless remain today’s most popular kitchen appliance color choices. Stainless brings a sleek, professional look. White appears bright and clean. Black stainless offers an elegant, trendy alternative to traditional stainless.

Should you match appliance finishes?

It’s recommended to use the same finish for all major appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens. This helps create visual harmony. However, small countertop appliances like stand mixers or toasters can provide pops of color as accents. Just don’t overdo mismatched colors.

Is stainless steel still in style?

Definitely. Stainless steel maintains its popularity due to its neutrality and sleek appearance. Many homeowners prefer its modern look and durability. Just be aware that stainless shows fingerprints. Keep appliances smudge-free with regular wiping.

Should appliances match cabinet finishes?

Matching kitchen appliance finishes to cabinetry creates a unified appearance. For example, white appliances paired with white cabinets give a seamless look. Contrasting finishes can also complement, like white cabinets with black stainless appliances. Just avoid clashing tones.

Should appliances match across brands?

Ideally major appliances like refrigerators and ovens will share integrated suites for a cohesive appearance. However, mixing brands is fine as long as finishes match. Keep to the same stainless, black, or white selection. Use detailing like hardware and handles to help tie different brands together through shared finishes.


Kitchen appliances represent a prime opportunity to inject color, visually tying together your kitchen’s overall design aesthetic. Whether you prefer classic neutral finishes like stainless steel and white, sleek black stainless, or colorful statement shades of red, green or yellow, choose wisely. Ensure your appliance finishes complement your existing decor, align with your style, and allow flexibility for future changes. Use color in moderation, repeating accents like backsplashes and range hoods to tie the look together. With these expert designer tips in mind, you can confidently select kitchen appliance finishes to match both your home and personality.