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Decorating a Kitchen around Black Appliances

More Affordable than Stainless Steel Ovens, Refrigerators, and Dishwashers; Easier to Keep Clean than Traditional White

© 2012 by Alyssa Davis; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A Black Maytag Oven; photo courtesy Kelly Smith

Stainless steel appliances have been extremely popular for a number of years and it doesn’t look as though that popularity is going to fade anytime soon. However, stainless steel is not for everyone.

For one thing, even though the newer surfaces are more forgiving of fingerprints than stainless steel appliances were years ago, they still need regular — sometimes daily — maintenance and buffing with specific cleaning products made for stainless steel. For another, stainless steel appliances typically cost 20-30% more than their vinyl-clad counterparts.

A Black Hotpoint Refrigerator; photo courtesy Kelly Smith If you don’t want stainless steel, or simply can’t afford it, consider black appliances instead.

Black appliances can impart the same modernity and sophistication as stainless steel, are easy to keep clean, and are reasonably priced.

They look way more upscale than white appliances and they offer some great decorating possibilities. Here are some ideas for decorating a kitchen around black appliances.

The Forgiving Qualities of Black Appliances

We’ve already mentioned that black appliances are easier to keep clean than stainless steel; they won’t show fingerprints and smudges as readily, and in most cases, they can be spruced up with aid of a simple clean, damp dishcloth.

More importantly, the color black gives you an incredible amount of decorative leeway. Black is an essential neutral color and it gives a room definition and distinction; as such, it’s perfect for pairing with cabinetry, tile and decorative accessories.

Black Pulls it All Together

While light colored appliances will stick out like a sore thumb against dark cabinetry, black appliances have just the opposite effect.

They’re gorgeous when combined with light toned wood finishes like maple or ash. Choose light colored cabinets with simple flat fronts and polished nickel hardware for a clean contemporary look; or go traditional with recessed panels and wrought iron embellishments.

Bring in other black components, such as black countertops or a mosaic backsplash that includes black tile to pull it all together. A gorgeous black metal wall art in the dining area is a well-chosen finishing touch.

Black and White for any Decorative Style

Black and white is a classic combination and it doesn’t matter whether you want a look that is trendy and industrial or beautifully traditional: Style will be dictated by the cabinet choices and elements like countertops, backsplashes, flooring, furnishings and decorative accents.

For example, subway tile in black and/or white or retro-inspired black and white checkered flooring can be the foundation for a traditional kitchen or one with the feeling of a French sidewalk café.

Sleek modern cabinetry in white, along with gray or black granite countertops, metallic tile backsplashes, sleek chrome fixtures and rich cherry wood flooring are all elements that might be found in a more contemporary interpretation of a black and white color scheme.

From Expected to Astonishingly Fresh

  • Get a formal traditional look by using black appliances with cherry toned wood cabinetry in a traditional design. Crown molding on the upper cabinets, elaborate wrought iron pulls, stone or granite countertops in tan and brown with black flecking, neutral walls and textured stone backsplashes are the finishing touches that can be used in kitchen styles ranging from classic American country to romantic Tuscan.

  • Do something totally unexpected by pairing cobalt blue cabinets with black appliances, white marble countertops and hand painted backsplash tiles in multiple hues.

    Or try pale apple green cabinets in a simple modern profile with black appliances and countertops, warm wood furniture and a bold multicolored abstract wall art. With so many possibilities, black appliances give you the freedom to create a kitchen style that is uniquely and thoroughly your own.

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About the author:

Alyssa Davis is a staff writer and decorating specialist with and she offers stylish suggestions for decorating with fish wall hanging and coastal metal wall art.

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