Update Your Kitchen With New Appliances

When updating the look and function of a kitchen, the appliances do as much as any other item to determine the date of the last remodel. An avocado green refrigerator or harvest gold oven announces to the world that a kitchen is likely 40 years old.

Today’s kitchens are sleek but not always shiny. With gray and black becoming the go-to colors of kitchen décor, stainless steel has become the surface of choice for ovens, refrigerators and dishwasher.

“Stainless is still the most popular for appliances,” says Dale Lehman of Stucky Brothers. “Smudgeproof stainless is especially popular because you don’t get the fingerprints that you do with the shiny surfaces. Right now vendors are also going to a new black stainless surface, also in a matte rather than shiny style.”

While dishwashers are relatively standard, with only a few subtle differences in function and design, refrigerators and ovens offer a wide variety of options though Lehman does share some of the more popular choices in the Fort Wayne area.

“For refrigerators, the most popular is the French door design, with the side-by-side doors with an armoire look and the freezer drawer at the bottom. Those tend to be a little more expensive, but they are still the most popular design.

While gas stoves and ovens are somewhat more popular than electric, Lehman says induction is quickly gaining in popularity thanks in no small part to the greater affordability.

“Induction is starting to get a lot more attention, which is understandable,” he says. “It used to be not that long ago you couldn’t find induction for less than $2000-4000. Now you can find an induction cooktop for $1200 and a range for $1500. And although you have more control with gas than with electric, with induction you can bring two quarts of water to a boil in about two minutes. And you can get both a good simmer and a good sear because induction provides more heat more quickly.”

Aside from those choices comes the implementation which can vary widely. While the traditional oven with stovetop is still common, increasingly people are moving to what Lehman calls “the magic triangle” wherein the stovetop in on a countertop while the oven is set into the wall, saving the chef from constant bending. With the microwave completing the triangle, the arrangement is very user-friendly.

For those who still prefer the more traditional oven/stove combination, there are also some space-saving and aesthetic options for boosting a kitchen’s appeal. The Sharp microwave drawer, while still more expensive than a standard microwave, moves the appliance off of cupboard and countertop surfaces. And Lehman says that the standard metal hood over the stove is being replaced by something more attractive.

“A lot of people are going with wood hood inserts and doing an archway over the stove. Or they’re going with what I call a chimney-style hood which is replacing the cheap $100 traditional hood.”


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