By Andy Meredith
Want to know one of the most challenging parts of renovating an old home? You’re going to laugh, but it’s true. One of the hardest decisions that Candis and I have to make on every project we take on is…wait for it…picking out the refrigerator. I promise, I’m not joking. Choosing the right appliances for a home that was built over a hundred years ago can be seriously nerve-wracking.
When it’s time to choose your kitchen appliances, you have to pick designs that work well and will do everything that today’s buyers want, but you also have to pick designs that won’t look completely out of place in a restored old home. If you think about it for just a few minutes, you’ll probably start to get a headache, so stop right there and take some advice from someone who’s had that headache more than once before…
Update the Whole Kitchen
If you’re not worried about a pure restoration (and you shouldn’t be if you’re adding modern appliances), you might as well go ahead and update the whole kitchen. If you go with marble countertops and updated cabinets, you can get away with more modern appliances that won’t look out of place.
Of course, if you do this, you’re going to have to make sure that walking into your kitchen doesn’t feel like walking into a totally different house. A darker-colored countertop and lighter cabinets can sometimes help with this, or you could stain your cabinets and drawers to match the hardwood floors in the rest of the house for a more cohesive look.
Make Sure Your Appliances Match Each Other
In most of the kitchens we’ve remodeled, white appliances look the worst, but you can generally get away with stainless steel or black. The key is to make sure that all of your appliances match each other. If your refrigerator, microwave, oven, stove, and hood all match, they’re going to fit into the overall look of your kitchen much better than if you have a mish-mash of different colors and styles.
Matte Black Is a Great Choice for Some Kitchens
If you’re keeping your kitchen as close to original as possible (with the exception of modern appliances), you might want to consider matte black or a flat stainless steel without a high-gloss finish. These have a muted effect and can blend in with the background, depending on what colors you’ve chosen for the rest of the kitchen. If your kitchen has a lot of wood finishes and bare metal or black metal (like a black metal pot rack), then this is a good option for you.
Hide Your Appliances
If you’re just not happy with any of the other options, you can always camouflage your appliances. More and more manufacturers are offering refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances that fit flush with your counters and have cabinet-style doors. Your fridge can look just like a set of tall cabinets until you open it, and it’ll fit perfectly with the rest of the kitchen.
Whatever your preference, give these tips some thought the next time you have to choose appliances for an old home. A little bit of forethought can keep you from wanting to rip your hair out trying to find appliances that make life easier on your buyers without creating an ugly kitchen. These are just a few of your options, but they’re definitely some of my favorites.