Should all your appliances be the same brand?
Q: What do you know about cooktops? Can we mix brands of appliances in a kitchen? Neighbors just redid their kitchen with a cooktop, and put a different brand of wall oven below it. I like the mix-and-match approach, but my wife thinks a regular one-piece stove is best and wants everything to match.
A: The beauty of creating your own kitchen is that, really, there are no rules. Well, maybe there is one rule: Your kitchen needs to work for your family's cooking habits. Who does most of the cooking at your house? That person's opinion should matter more.
Many people choose matching appliances because it makes shopping easier. Often there are discounts for buying several appliances from the same company. And finishes, knobs, buttons, and logos all match for a consistent look.
Mixing brands is a great opportunity to get the best appliances to suit your needs. While most appliance manufacturers these days have wonderful products across the board, perhaps your favorite dishwasher, range, and refrigerator come from different companies. If you pick a stainless steel, black, or white finish across the board, few people would even notice they don't match.
Choosing a cooktop and wall oven over a traditional range (or stove) may be more expensive, but it gives you a sleek look for a modern-style kitchen. You'll also get a wide range of configurations and installation options, such as a different cooktop/counter height if you're shorter or taller than average.
I prefer the look of a traditional range to a cooktop with a wall oven right below it, though if you have the space and budget and do a lot of baking, a range in addition to a wall oven (or even two!) gives you the most flexibility.
Collect lots of kitchen images you both like, and do your research for the appliances before talking with designers and contractors. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: