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Are stainless steel appliances still fashionable? Add to ...

The question

We’re buying new kitchen appliances. Should we go with stainless steel or match them to the cabinetry? What’s fashionable?

The answer

I can’t stand putting panels on the appliances so they look like cabinetry because then I can’t find them. That said, you might not want the glare of stainless steel in a smaller space, especially if you’re in a condo suite where the bedroom is open to kitchen. In these units, the kitchen is often so tiny that there may only be a little sink, two-burner cooktop, microwave, bar fridge and dishwasher drawer so built-in appliances with panels over them make sense. If you have a suite like this, you might even consider a sliding door to hide the entire kitchen.

In a larger kitchen, let the stainless shine on the dishwashers, ovens, cooktops, hoods, refrigerators and anything else. (Get some stainless-steel cleaner and try to keep your finger marks off the surfaces by using the handles.) If you really want to be fashionable, keep the kitchen completely separate from the family room so that it is truly commercial in nature, complete with stainless-steel counters and maybe even an industrial glass-fronted fridge.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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