The choices you make in the decor of your kitchen can say a lot about you, whether you know it or not. Do you like to show off your special pieces with lots of glitz and glamour, so that everyone knows that you have good taste and an eye for detail? Or are you content enough knowing that you made good purchases that are the gold standard of good quality, and prefer for them to take a more backstage approach?
What I love most about these questions is that the choices a client makes has nothing to do with their personal design style. No matter what style of decor you are into, you either want to show off your investments, or make them seamlessly blend into the cabinetry. Contemporary clients normally like the look of stainless steel, but it can get to be a bit overwhelming, and sometimes they will hide all of the appliances accept the cooktop/range and hood. Traditional consumers tend to love rich wood or crisp white cabinetry and try to hide most stainless steel. However, there are those few customers that spend over $12,000 dollars on a SubZero Pro 48″ refrigerator and want to show it off. The other design categories are all over the map with how clients prefer their transitional, eclectic, and other designs.
For those that really want to show their merchandise off, I recommend a few brands that really show off the design style they are going for:
Elmira Stove Works creates this work of art-

Elmira Stove Works Cooktop

For another type of range style that is built to last, try La Cornue’s Chateau series-

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La Cornue's Chateau series Cooktop

These are appliances designs for people who really love the pieces they have chosen, and want everyone else to love them too. There is no doubt that these are conversation starters, as well as eye candy.
However, if you are from the other category and just enjoy owning good quality appliances, but prefer for them to be hidden, look at these pictures and try to identify the appliances in them:
In this old world style kitchen by Woodmode, the hood takes precedence and is immediately obvious, but where are the dishwasher and the refrigerator? Take a good look-

Woodmode Kitchen Picture

Bet you didn’t find them, and that’s the whole point. The dishwasher is to the left of the sink, on the left side of the picture, and hidden by a wooden panel. So where is the enormous refrigerator that goes with this kitchen? Look to the right side of the picture. See the heavily decorated antique looking armoire? The wood panels are masking to 27″ SubZero Refrigerators. Perfect fits in an old world kitchen where stainless steel doesn’t belong.
So does the same theory work for a contemporary kitchen? See if you have an easier time identifying the appliances in this sleek space-

contemporary kitchen picture

This one may have been a bit easier. The refrigerator is in the back of the picture, to the left of the microwave, and is encased in white paneling. The dishwasher is not shown in the picture, but it is also paneled to be hidden. You can see the cooktop in the background, above the separate oven. But where is the hood? The big shiny black rectangle floating in mid-air above the cooktop is actually the hood. It is more of an art piece than a hidden item, but serves the same purpose since it blends in with the black cabinetry in the rest of the room.
All of these kitchens and appliances are beautiful in their own way, though each of them may not appeal to everyone. That is the beauty of personalization of one’s home. However you choose to hide, or showcase your pieces, they are bound to start conversations if they resemble any of the appliances above. If you want any of these looks, but don’t know where to get these items or how to pull the look off, contact a Kitchen and Bath designer for detailed help on your next project!