Renovation Diaries

This Couple Ditched Their Stainless Steel Appliances — And It Was the Best Decision They Ever Made

published Jun 15, 2021
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Laurel Harry and family it kitchen.
Credit: Lindsey Stewart

When Laurel Harry and her husband renovated the kitchen in their Utah home, they made a lot of great decisions. The single best decision they made? They eventually said goodbye to their brand-new stainless steel appliances. 

Credit: Photo: Lindsey Stewart. Design: Kitchn

So yes, while stainless steel appliances are often timeless stars of many a reno, Laurel changed her mind and set her sights on a matte white refrigerator — with warm gold finish hardware — from GE’s Cafe line. (To be fair, the stainless fridge had annoyingly crapped out and couldn’t easily be fixed!) She got the white fridge as a Mother’s Day gift and it instantly brightened up the kitchen. She also noticed how much easier the fridge door was to clean. No fingerprints! No smudges!

Note: Laurel and her husband had spent $2,500 on the stainless suite. In total, the white appliances cost $8,100 of the final $15,000 tally. Don’t worry — the (still-working) stainless steel dishwasher and stove found a new home in Laurel’s sister-in-law’s kitchen!

See the couple’s full budget breakdown:

This Couple in Utah Spent $14,978 on Their Kitchen Renovation

Unfortunately, when the couple was ready to round out the suite with the coordinating range and dishwasher, the pandemic has caused all sorts of delivery issues. “We had already given away our stainless dishwasher before we knew there would be a delay!” Laurel says. The order came a few months late, and Laurel says it was totally worth the wait. (Turns out, hand-washing every single dish your family uses for a few months can be oddly eye-opening!)

Credit: Lindsey Stewart

Was it odd to veer off track away from the finish that most folks would say is a must-have? When they first bought the house, they came from having older appliances, Laurel says, and “I totally wanted stainless.” Now, she says she’d never go back.

Credit: Lindsey Stewart

Although the matte white appliances already make a statement, the couple elevated the look ever further by adding a custom wooden enclosure to cover the black sides of the fridge, and around the range hood. (Props to Laurel’s oh-so-handy husband for DIYing those projects!) And Laurel continues the lighthearted feel of her color-splashed kitchen by having fun with the white finish. Recently, she found some citrus decals on Amazon that played well with a tangerine-emblazoned wallpaper lining the back of some cabinets. Those promptly went onto the fridge for some additional (temporary) flair. 

With the fresh, blue-and-white color scheme in the kitchen and warm wood accents, it’s hard to imagine anything other than these delicious white appliances starring here. Kudos to Laurel for taking the road less traveled and designing this dream kitchen!

See Laurel’s Full Reno Diary