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Do kitchen appliances really need to match??

I'm hoping you guys can help resolve an ongoing discussion in my house. My wife and I are in the middle of our dream kitchen remodel and are choosing appliances. We both love to cook and have been really involved in the new kitchen design. Until now, we've agreed on everything...but she insists that we get the same brand of all major appliances so it all "matches." I'd rather go for the best in each category. I like the Miele dishwasher, the Viking 36" range, a Bosch wall oven, the Subzero built-in. She want's Miele across the board. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see a whole lot of difference in the appearance of stainless steel that it would even be noticeable if the brands are different. I'd rather get the best appliances going. If anyone out there has any experience either way please help!!! We could use the advice...

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  1. I think the question needs to be answered from the right perspective. What are you trying to do with the kitchen? Are you trying to create a kitchen that only you will ever cook in, i.e. you do not intend to ever sell the house until it will need to be redone again? Or are you concerned with the possibility that you might sell in the next couple years? And what kind of neighborhood are you in? You should consider the likelihood of any buyer ripping it all out. I've heard of a celebrity that did over a kitchen to sell the house, then the buyer, another celeb, ripped it all out. However, the closer you get to middle class areas, the less likely this will occur. Also, the person to really ask is a realtor, because they go in and out of homes all the time and take note of what sells and what does not. We have a neighbor that we plan on asking before we make final decisions.

    I was having part of this discussion with our architect this weekend, and my wife and I have ahd it, between only us and with various others. Having various manufacturers seems quite fine from those I have spoken to. If it is your dream kitchen, then fulfill your dream, imo. Personally, I am a fan of the Wolf cooktops, and after that am not too picky except I really don't care for the Bosch dishwasher we have right now. When it's on, noises come out from the sink drain, which shares common drainage piping with the diswahser, so that it soudns as if two dogs are right outside fighting. The first time I heard it I went to the window and looked for the dogs.

    Also note that the real expensive appliances do not seem to add much to value. We looked at a house that had $20,000 in ovens, and appliances all over, great freezer drawers, etc., but none of them added a dime to the value of the home. The a lack of the good brands may hurt you come time to sell, but the exotic great stuff won't increase the price over the merely good brands. Finally, I have heard good comments recently on Liebherr Refrigerators.

    1. I think matching appliances are the way to go.. For the kitchen in our new house, we went with Stainless steel, and all Frigidaire. I think it just looks better if they are all the same style and brand.

      1. I would go with your strategy galexy - best in each category. Besides, if you all invest in one brand, if that brand goes out of business down the road, you'll end up with the whole kitchen of unsupported/unserviceable appliances.

        1. I would think that from an aesthetic perspective you'd at least want to get appliances that don't clash horribly. But I'd agree with you that you should get the best fridge, the best cook top, the best oven, etc. If you can find one brand that does all of that for you, great, but I would want to pick and choose my pieces.

          The big thing, though, is your marriage! Ultimately, with the brand your wife likes, I don't think you're going to get bad appliances and you'll learn how to use them effectively...so if she's set on it, maybe it'll work out alright.

          1. The Jfoods have designed three kitchens for personal use and my wife designs kitchen for a living. This is an easy decision and is the first time I have heard anyone willing to sacrifice quality for color, especially with stainless. Having all of the same manufacturer is a detriment to seller versus a help.

            There is no single manufacturer that makes the best of all appliances.

            Take a look at high quality (just some examples):

            Fridge - Sub-zero, GE Monogram, maybe Viking
            Cooktop - Viking, Wolf
            Range - Viking, Wolf, DDS
            Wall ovens - Dacor, Bosch, Viking
            DW - Miele, Bosch
            MV - GE

            You will NEVER have to explain why you have the top of the line with every single product, you will have to explain why you do have a Miele Fridge.

            I also think your choices are absolutely outstanding. You are in AAA land.

            The only comment I will make is the Bosch double-wall ovens. Depending on how tall you and your wife are, there is a tendency for the Bosch to have the exhaust fan about 4'6" above the floor. If either of you are ~5' you will have this exhaust blow right in your face when it is engaged and you walk by the oven. No applince dealer that I know will give you that tid-bit. I believe Dacor has the exhaust on the bottom. Since Mrs Jfood is 5' I hear about it every time she walks by our Bosch ovens. Just a thought.

            The Miele is as quiet as a sleeping mouse, the Viking is my power machine and the sub-Zero and the GE are within a smidgen of eveness on the best.

            If your wife is concerned about the variant in colrs of the stainless, think about your cabinet maker making panels to have them buit in. This can be done for the Sub, the Miele and a compactor is you go that route. The only stainless will then be the frisge and the ovens.

            Good luck

            6 Replies
            1. re: jfood

              I feel compelled to mention with the GE Monogram line... look at the GE Profile line as well. A friend who worked for GE's tech support some years ago said the only difference between some of the Monogram and Profile products were minor aesthetic differences and a couple thousand dollars.

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                It also depends whether they make them or license the logo. Some GE products never saw theinside of a GE factory (my Monogram double wall oven was made by Bosch)

                The other major diff, other than price is the Mono can go flush with the cabinets on the fridge and I do not think the Profile does, but juts a few inches. Both can be fitted with cabinet face panels though.

              2. re: jfood

                I'm actually getting me a new kitchen this fall, and thanks to a nice budget, went with the All-star kitchen set up. Viking,Miele, getting an advantium for the microwave though.

                Any recommendations on top of the line toaster/convetion ovens?

                1. re: jfood

                  Would you go out on a limb and print your choice between a viking or wolf range and between a viking and subzero fridge ? Thanks

                  1. re: Barbraluvstennis

                    After my research I came to the conclusion:

                    Viking Ranges = good
                    Viking Fridges = not good at all - try and find a good review where someone had had one for years

                    Edit: Forgot to say this research was a year ago when re-modelling my kitchen and was based on the two models I was considering.

                    1. re: Barbraluvstennis

                      jood owns a viking cooktop (he loves), owns none of those appliances, has not been in the kitchen re-decorating mode in several years, so it would be unfair to choose without first hand knowledge.


                  2. When we remodeled I didn't even consider putting in appliances that were all the same. We did a Garland gas range, an Asko dishwasher (a great choice) and an Amana fridge. All were stainless and all have performed outstandingly.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: rtmonty

                      ...and YOU, unlike the questioner, really chose "the best" appliances in each category.

                      I think this person is going to ultimately be very disappointed. Both the Viking range and the subzero fridge are objects of much hair-tearing among many who have them installed in their kitchens. I recommend taking to heart the Consumer Reports on these products. A good friend of mine with a Viking range has the repairman just about every eight weeks.... Not fun.

                      1. re: ChefJune


                        Have you heard similar repair woes on the cooktop?

                        I have a 36" Viking cooktop with downdraft for 5 years. Only one repair call in that time. Are the issues only on the range as you have heard?

                    2. We have a Viking range, a Magic Chef refrigerator, a KitchenAid dishwasher and a Whirlpool TrashMasher compactor that was not new when I bought this house 18 1/2 years ago. The first three are one-at-a-time replacements for the appliances that came in this house. Because ours is a century-plus-old house in a historic district, we were not seduced by the current craze for stainless steel appliances, but rather chose almond/bisque. IMHO, down the road (a few years or more than a few years), stainless will scream "early 21st century" the way avocado and harvest gold have been screaming "late '70s" for the last two decades. Our mismatched appliances did not prevent our house from being on Historic Boulder's Holiday Tour of Homes a couple of years ago.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ClaireWalter

                        I doubt stainless will ever be as bad as avocado, and harvest gold have become in regards to color.

                        For myself who spent many years in professional kitchens, it was the look I wanted, and had to have. I find stainless looks professional, and is very easy to clean.

                        To each their own though...

                        1. re: ClaireWalter

                          If that's the case, the built-in and stainless kitchen we installed in 1985 will be glad to be called a screamin' stainless 21st century kitchen. Good taste and style never goes out of vogue.

                          1. re: ClaireWalter

                            I know what you mean, but proper stainless has been the choice of professional chefs for decades. It will never go out of fashion, simply because it was never in fashion. Our kitchen is as close to a restaurant kitchen as we could make it and still keep it functioning in a home. I love my stainless cabinets and work surfaces.

                            I agree that the stainless look appliances you see in so many condos these days are all doomed to the big trash heap in the sky - or in our case, in Michigan.

                          2. My sister decided to go for the matching, all Kitchen Aid appliances. Years ago, I too would've gotten the single branded kitchen; but now would prefer and have the "best of" kitchen. (However, my luggage is a matching set.) Maybe you two can compromise? Go with two or three matching appliances and have a couple that are the "best of"? Although it won't be 100% matching, at least some of it will.

                            1. If all you care about is how your kitchen looks, do the matchy-matchy thing. If you actually spend time working in your kitchen and care about performance, buy the best quality appliances in your price range that suit YOUR needs and meet YOUR standards,

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: foodstorm

                                I guess Im lucky, Ive got the best of both worlds, a kitchen that looks great, and is fully functional for the hours of time I spend in their cooking each weekend. As a former cook used to working with the best commercial equiptment, I wanted style, and function.

                              2. I think if the colour (i.e., stainless) is all coordinated that the brand totally doesn't matter. Get the appliances that do what you want, and use them often. :)

                                1. I'm with the "best of breed" strategy all the way ... the stainless is matchy enough. If anyone comes in your kitchen & proceeds to squint at the labels on your appliances, I would invite that person to come back later ... much later ;)

                                  1. RE squinters; I've had guests who check the label on my stemware, dinnerware, flatware and glassware. If anything, it's a good conversation starter.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                      That's funny - I do that at restaurants (terribly discretely, of course!).

                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        Me too, but only because I'm a dinnerware collector & want to know who made something interesting ;)

                                        1. re: foiegras

                                          Yes - that's exactly it. We were at a hotel this weekend and I noticed that the Bernardaud china they used is the same one on which we were served our room service breakfast 11 years ago, the morning after we were married - I liked it then and I like it now!

                                    2. Think of it this way: Are you going to wear those appliances, or are you going to cook with 'em.

                                      If you said "cook", then just buy the best in each category.

                                        1. We went for what works best within our budget, not matching looks.

                                          I find kitchens with matching appliances slightly weird.

                                          1. One factor not mentioned so far is the different life expectancies of the various appliances. The dishwasher will probably conk out first but after enough years that a replacement of the same brand is unlikely to match.

                                            1. Another vote for best in each category. We moved into a house w/ different brands of appliances (Bosch oven & dishwasher, GE Monogram stove) and needed a fridge and microwave. We picked the best that we could afford & that fit into the space. For aesthetics, tried our best to match color schemes (for us, black w/ stainless) and handle/knob shapes/design. Not perfectly matched but works.

                                              1. I am in the high end residential construction business. It's rare to find clients who want all matching appliances. Most people (myself included) that we work for like to get exactly what they want in each appliance rather than getting something because it matches something else.

                                                1. I had the same problem a few months ago, while most people I talked to said I should get all appliances from the same company. Now, I really , really wanted a Viking kitchen, but wasn't willing to spend a million dollars on it....Here is how I got out of it- I only purchased a range, a chimney hood and a fridge from Viking. The dishwasher will be Bosch, built in like a cabinet so nobody can tell what it is. Also, I put a small wine fridge and a microwave (didn't buy them yet, but it will not be the expensive brands)in an island, on the side, so they are not very visible. I hope to be happy with this arrangement ( I will know in the summer!)

                                                  1. Off course they need to match! We spend ages choosing a kitchen then to mix the brands up just doesn't work for me...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: BraegHeneffe

                                                      That's just silly. Sure, all the ads and displays feature matching appliances because the vendors want to sell you everything, but you buy what works for you. Obviously you want some degree of consistency, so go all stainless or black or white, but to have the same brand on everything is pointless.

                                                    2. High end houses here and in my old neighborhood featured best-of-class appliances, not matching brands. Finishes need to match if they are not concealed with fronts that resemble cabinets. So, knock yourself out with a Viking cooktop; Miele dishwasher and Subzero fridge. If they are all stainless steel, or built-in, no worries.

                                                      1. Experience in what? How to back you up in a disagreement with your wife? No thanks. But good luck.

                                                        1. After much research, I got a Dacor dual-fuel range (Epicure, stainless steel). I love it and it functions great. Moreover, everyone who comes in the kitchen sees it immediately and comments on how nice it is. The only problem is that now my wife wants to replace the entire kitchen with matching Dacor products. (I thought I was only buying one appliance!)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: MarcoP

                                                            Only buy the appliances after researching them. The name on the front means nothing. If the matching dacor fridge has an ongoing problem with the motor going out, and you still buy it because it "matches," then you only have yourself to blame. buy the appliances becasue they are good, and they do what you need them to do, not because they look similar, or the brand name matches. The name tage on your appliance does not perform any functions- and more often than not, it was not MADE by the company that glued its name tag on the front anyway.

                                                          2. Our kitchen is Bosch dishwasher, Kenmore stove, Whirlpool fridge, no name microwave. We bought them one by one as the appliances that came with the house died, and it never would have occured to me that they were supposed to be same manufacturer so they'd 'match' since they're all stainless front to begin with. We just wanted something that seemed like it would be good quality at our target price point.

                                                            1. We picked the best of each

                                                              1. The only thing that should match in life are your socks.

                                                                1. Personally, I don't get the 'match' thing.
                                                                  Did you ever see pictures of Julia Child's Kitchen?
                                                                  Black Fridge!, Stainless Wall ovens! White Coffeemaker!
                                                                  Of course you want the kitchen to be aesthetically pleasing to you, but I think function is the deciding factor. But this comment is coming from the girl who outfitted a bathroom with all Kohler products except for (-the nerve!) the Grohe handshower.
                                                                  Function function function!

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: pletty

                                                                    Everyone knows that "matchy-matchy" is a Faux Pas. Just ask Tim Gunn, LOL

                                                                    (hey, I got away with that comeback a few times when someone "expressed surprise" at the fact that I have a Wolf this and a Miele that and a GE (okay okay, it was because I couldn't afford the Gaggenau that I wanted!) pair of whatsits! Not to mention the "odd couple" washer and dryer, although both purchased at the same time.)

                                                                    1. re: pletty

                                                                      I wonder how galexy01 came out. That was his only post. I have a most unmatchy kitchen but it does go together at least in my mind. I love Julia's kitchen. I can understand some people just have a different aesthetic and need that sense of matching and continuity.