At the time of writing we’re building an extension on our home, and what we do with the kitchen has become quite a ‘thing’. Does all the hardware and appliances have to match or should we not worry too much?
While kitchen hardware does not have to match your appliances, they should at least complement each other in terms of finish, color and style. In short, if your appliances and hardware look great together then go for it.
Let’s dive down into the subject of matching kitchen hardware and appliances in more detail, and discover what goes with what and why…
Do Your Appliances Have To Match The Style of Your Kitchen?
Match – no. Complement – yes.
What does complement even mean? When things are complementary, they harmonize. They are compatible. They don’t match because they are different – but they look great together. In fact, they look better together than they do separately.
Hmm, it still sounds a little tricky. How do you know if your appliances will complement the style of your kitchen?
Start with the style of your kitchen. Does your style have a name? Here’s an article with photos and descriptions of 16 kitchen styles.
If your kitchen style is on this list, then it makes choosing complementary appliances easier, because online designers will help you. Online designers have lots of opinions.
Let’s say that your kitchen cabinets, counter top, floor and accessories have a modern style and you need to shop for complementary new appliances. For a modern kitchen, designers say to choose black or stainless steel appliances, simply styled with no fussy elements.
If your kitchen style is farmhouse, then designers say you should consider colored appliances, like white or black. They say you can choose a “hero” appliance in a color that really pops, like a Millennial Pink refrigerator.
Simple. But sometimes kitchens don’t have just one style – like when the prior owner did a lot of renovations. Or, maybe your style doesn’t fit into any one category.
If you are buying new appliances for a mixed style kitchen, before you go shopping, take a photo of your kitchen. Phone photos can be super helpful, but make sure that the colors in your photos are as true as possible.
If you are mixing and matching appliances (which designers support these days), then first up, make sure the appliances look good together. That the appliances alone are complementary.
Be aware that not all stainless steels are the same shade. Try to find all your appliances in one store so you can see them next to each other.
Then, use the photo of your kitchen to help determine whether the appliances that are calling out to you will complement your kitchen. Will the combination be harmonious? Will they be compatible?
Sure, ask the salespeople there. Ask passers-by. Send the photos to your BFF’s and ask them too. But ultimately, it’s your kitchen and your money. We say – go with your gut.
Want to remodel but don’t know which kitchen style is the “real you”? Here’s a quiz from Houzz to help you decide what your style is.
Should Your Kitchen Faucet Match Your Appliances?
Remember when your belt, shoes and handbag (for you ladies, or whomever, really) needed to match? Black with black and brown with brown. Well – times have changed and for the better. Whether you are getting dressed or choosing kitchen faucets, matchy-matchy is dead.
Today, unique is in. Customized. Personalized. You can let your inner designer out.
Designers say that matching isn’t a rule anymore, but that there are still guidelines to follow. Not all metals go together. Take a phone photo of your kitchen appliances or your faucet.
Then, use the photos to help you decide whether the metal in the new faucet or appliance are complementary. Generally, silvery stainless steel goes with anything. Black also goes with anything. Shiny metals, like polished chrome, don’t go with everything, so be careful.
Kitchen designers may say that matching is dead, but many realtors disagree. The exception is when you are marketing your home to sell. Having all matching stuff in a home makes it less personal.
And realtors say that when it comes to selling your home, the less personal, the better. For homes going to the market, consider matching – everything. Match faucets to appliances and even consider buying matching appliances.
Should Cabinet Pulls & Knobs Match Faucets or Appliances?
Cabinet pulls, knobs, faucets and appliances don’t have to match but designers say to try to stay complementary. Kitchen designers say to avoid a chaotic look, try not to choose too many types of metals or colors.
Choose one dominant metal or color and use it for around half of the kitchen elements. Then, add up to two others, but no more. Use one of your extra metal choices only once – to make one element in the kitchen really pop.
Here’s a video from a designer on how to mix metals in your home:
Designers say yes to mixing and matching – mix between cabinet hardware, faucets and appliances. Then, match within elements, where elements are knobs, pulls or faucets.
For example, it’s OK for faucets and knobs not to match. But all faucets should match each other, all knobs should be the same and all pulls should match other pulls.
Of course designers can break their own rules (or guidelines). Some designers say it’s OK to emphasize a particular element – like a glass-doored cabinet filled with your best tableware – with knobs or pulls unlike all the other ones.
Appliances don’t have to match each other, either, BTW. Consider buying all stainless appliances except for that adorable cobalt blue range.
Does Kitchen Hardware Have To Match The Rest of The House?
Have to match? Nope. How about being complementary? Probably.
The reality is that a home’s style doesn’t usually change in between rooms. Homeowners don’t usually have a farmhouse kitchen with a modern living room, Mediterranean family room and beachy bedrooms. Just doesn’t happen.
Designers call the overarching style of your home the “global finish”. It’s the dominant style choice of the homeowners, and there are only subtle changes in between the rooms.
If your kitchen has a modern style, then your kitchen hardware will have a modern look. Because you love the modern style, the rest of the house is modern as well. The kitchen hardware may not match, but it will be complementary.
Do Kitchen Finishes Need To Match?
No, kitchen finishes don’t need to match.
Can you put shiny knobs on kitchen cabinets that are finished with matte paint? Or how about a brushed stainless faucet with a flat black sink?
The answer is yes, you can.
Everything in your kitchen has a finish. Countertops can be shiny, like polished granite. Cabinets can be painted with a flat or with a high-gloss finish. Stainless steel usually has a brushed finish but some have shiny rolled steel as well. Metal faucets can be polished or brushed.
It’s generally safest to stick with one finish. Designers say going overboard with too many finishes may result in a chaotic kitchen. They say to choose a dominant finish, then add two or three others. Use the dominant finish for most of the elements in your kitchen.
Then, use another finish for most of the rest. Use the last finish choice for just one piece – like a light fixture – for a pop of difference.
To avoid any hint of finish chaos, consider using kitchen accessories to help. Set your brushed stainless steel coffee pot on the counter, where it coordinates with the dishwasher’s stainless steel finish.
Does Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Need To Match?
Designers say to mix between knobs and pulls but make all the knobs the same and all the pulls the same. You can mix and match metals between knobs and pulls. In fact, many pulls or knobs already come in mixed metals.
The only exception is, as mentioned previously, if you have a particular cabinet you want to make stand out. Let’s say that one cabinet has a different design or is painted a different color (that’s a thing now). Lean in to the distinctive character by using unique cabinet hardware.
I’ve learnt a lot researching this article for our new kitchen – and the big takeaway for me and my wife is that while appliances, finishes and accessories don’t need to match – they do need to complement each other.
In many ways, getting matching stuff is therefore easier – as getting it right with complementary style and color palettes can be quite nuanced.
The idea of taking a photo of your kitchen if you’re going to a store is a good one though, as at least this will help you to see appliances and other items in the context of layout, color and style a little easier. 🙂
Homeowner and property investor Larry James started Castle of Mine to bring you the best articles on home improvement, based on his years of experience in homemaking projects. Read more >