Does It Matter If Your Kitchen Appliances Are All from Different Brands? 

updated Jan 25, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Of the million decisions that go into redoing a kitchen, a pretty crucial one is choosing your appliances. The thing is, sometimes they choose you. (Something I’m reminded of while sitting at my kitchen counter writing this story, thanks to the Ferrari red Bertazzoni range I stumbled on for half price that’s sitting in my line of sight). So what happens if you absolutely fall in love with an appliance (it happens!), but it doesn’t necessarily go with the rest of your kitchen? How big of a deal is that? 

I didn’t mind that the red range doesn’t match the black stainless KitchenAid fridge and dishwasher in my kitchen redo because that range is like the jewelry that finishes the space. But I’m in the midst of a kitchen design with my best friend right now on a Victorian that we’re fixing up to sell, and of the many things I’m learning in the process, I’ve found that having the same brand appliances can be a big deal to people that aren’t me. Who knew? 

Does it really matter, when it comes to either aesthetics or resale value, if your appliances don’t perfectly match or if they’re not part of a coordinated suite? Will potential buyers balk if one appliance is white and another is stainless? Or if they’re even the same finish but different brands? 

Inquiring minds want to know — mine, anyway, because I’ve fallen hard for a gorgeous matte white fridge from the GE Cafe line that keeps popping up in my Instagram feed, but we already have the range for the kitchen, a stainless steel Samsung number, which we picked up for a steal because it was a display model from a kitchen fixtures showroom. (That, by the way, is my best tip for saving on appliances!) However, my friend/business partner is a hard no on non-matching appliances, which leaves me pining for that fridge. 

To settle the question — for us and for anyone else debating the issue — I called up Realtor and interior designer Magen Bellmer, who’s helped with burning questions in the past. So what’s the verdict? 

In most cases, don’t worry about trying to  be matchy-matchy, Magen says. Other than a specific scenario where there’s a range with a microwave meant to go above it (in which case, yes, match them up), if you’re talking mainline appliances and the popular brands that you’d find at a big-box store, there’s just not a big-enough difference in finishes from, say, one brand’s stainless steel to another for it to matter. (Note: You can also usually score a discount if you’re buying a full suite from one brand. Just something to consider.)

If you’re opting for a super-distinctive color or design on an appliance, that one becomes the focal point, and “everything else just kind of fades into the background,” she says. (I’m picturing the SMEG and Dolce & Gabbana collaboration — I definitely think one bright, patterned appliance is sufficient!) 

So far, so good for me, right? But wait, there’s a caveat, she says. 

While one super-cute fridge or oven can act like a piece of jewelry that stands out from the rest of the “outfit,” you do have to be careful. That only works when the appliance in question is really meant to stand out. Again, like that SMEG and Dolce & Gabbana collab. Magen warned me that, if I were to go with that delicious matte white fridge, I would probably need to get the full set. With such a unique and distinctive looking line, having just one appliance from the lineup could look incomplete (or maybe even a little hodge-podge, and not in a charming way), she explained. It’s not so much about matching up colors here as completing what really is a designer look. 

But what about opinions among non real estate/design world folks? It turns out this is something people feel pretty strongly about. A very unofficial Insta poll drew mixed and vigorous reactions, but by far most people felt appliances don’t have to match, some going so far as saying it looks generic when they do. Others felt a non-matchy kitchen could be a big enough turn-off to cost us a sale. Wow! 

At the end of the day, though, I’m not going with the majority here. Being able to sell a house — whether you’re flipping it or thinking about your own home’s resale — is a tricky-enough proposition without giving potential buyers a reason to balk. So, sadly, I guess I’m going with all stainless steel.

What do you think: Do your appliances match? Does it matter?