You finally have your dream kitchen setup. All that’s left to do is choose your appliance finishes. Seems like an easy task compared to all the measuring and other decision making you’ve made up until this point, but there are actually quite a few things to consider. First of all, stainless steel isn’t your only option — even though you see it EVERYWHERE and it’s super versatile. There are actually tons of others options to fit your unique design situations and help you make the most of your dream kitchen.

Let’s look at the top five most popular appliance finishes and when they work best for your kitchen.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is incredibly popular for appliance finishes, as you probably already know. Aside from looking high quality and brining a neutral option to any color palette, it’s also very versatile. Here’s when you should choose this finish:

  • If your home is ultra-modern
  • If you have wooden cabinetry
  • If your kitchen style is transitional — a.k.a. halfway between traditional and contemporary
  • If you have blue cabinetry


Depending on what you’re pairing it with, a black appliance finish can either be risky or safe. As it’s the absence of any actual hue, black is both neutral and bold. Here’s what it works well with:

  • If you have white cabinetry
  • If you have dark cabinetry
  • If your cabinetry is a moody gray
  • If your kitchen is very spacious


Panel-ready or paneled appliances are a bit more of an investment. They’re designed with a custom front door that matches the rest of your cabinets, instead of having their own front finish. In other words, panel-ready appliances are basically camouflaged in your kitchen. Here’s when these work best:

  • If your kitchen has limited space
  • If you really love wood
  • If your kitchen is already dramatic


White appliances aren’t nearly as popular in designer kitchens, but it’s often underrated. While the classic white fridge may seem old-school or ordinary today, it can work well in certain types of kitchens, like:

  • If your cabinetry is pale colored
  • If your ceiling is dark
  • If you like mixing and matching
  • If you have light colored counters


Most of the time, we choose appliances that either blend with or complement your color palette. However, you can also use appliance finishes to define your color palette. Whether you want some statement appliances or love experimenting with color, here’s when colored appliance finishes work best:

  • If you love the retro diner type of look
  • If you’re super trendy
  • If your kitchen is dull and in need of a pop of color