A refrigerator is often the largest and most prominent appliance in the kitchen. Over the last years, appliance manufacturers have made great strides in the overall look and styling of these appliances, but they still are massive, rectangular boxes that can dominate the room.

You’ll notice, in the kitchens pictured below the beautiful stainless appliances are prominently featured and add contrast as well as beautiful metal design elements to the rooms.

An example of a kitchen with traditional stainless steel appliances. Dura Supreme kitchen design by Brad McCarthy of The Cabinet Center, San Ramon, CA.

A kitchen remodel with a combination of white painted cabinets and a gray stained kitchen island featuring black countertops and black staineless steel appliances.

An example of a kitchen with black stainless steel appliances. Dura Supreme Cabinetry design by Gwen Adair of Cabinet Supreme by Adair, Wisconsin. Photography by Ryan Hainey.

Today, stainless steel remains an extremely popular finish option for refrigerators as well as other large kitchen appliances. Appliance manufacturers are even coming out with new colors of stainless steel including black stainless steel and even bronze stainless steel. Many homeowners love this look, but what if you’d prefer the refrigerator to be less prominent?

Why Panel a Refrigerator with Wood Appliance Panels?

If you’re concerned your refrigerator, or the placement of it could dominate your kitchen design or perhaps you’re just not a fan of today’s popular appliance finishes I suggest looking into appliance panels. Panel ready refrigerators are designed to accept wood appliance panels to coordinate with the kitchen cabinetry. They’re an excellent alternative to standard appliance finishes (i.e. Stainless Steel, Black, white, etc.) and will help this large kitchen appliance feel less noticeable and more seamless with the rest of the kitchen design.

White painted kitchen cabinets and cabinet appliance panels that hide the refrigerator in plain sight.

Inset cabinetry by Dura Supreme with concealed refrigerator with wood appliance panels. Design by Mariotti Building Products, Pennsylvania. Photography by Danielle Coons.

In the kitchen design below, the family cooks frequently with fresh food and desired to  (which are placed both on opposites sides of the range). If they had selected stainless steel refrigerators the kitchen would be overwhelmed with the metal finish and would create an entirely different look. By selecting a similar cabinet door style with a shiplap-like textured inset the paneled refrigerators blend in beautifully and the shiplap feature accents the East Coast Shingle Style that the homeowner was hoping for.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Designed by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, Plymouth, MN

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath Showroom, Minnesota.

Enjoy More Style & Color Options with an Appliance Panel Refrigerator

The appliance door style and finish options are almost endless when working with wood panels on doors verse selecting a standard metal finished appliance.  With Dura Supreme Cabinetry, any combination of cabinet door styles, wood species, and finishes can be selected to create a one-of-a-kind look for your refrigerator panels to compliment or coordinate with your kitchen cabinets. With a standard metal appliance finish, your styling options are much more restricted.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Megan Dent of Studio M Kitchen & Bath Showroom, Minnesota.

With wood appliance paneling you can add more style and flair to by adding dramatic decorative pulls.

Beautiful slide-in range with double ovens in a gray kitchen design with gray painted kitchen cabinets and light gray backsplash tiles. Gold hardware, pot filler, and accents add warmth to the cool color palette. A detailed wood hood adds elegance to the design.

Dura Supreme kitchen design featuring a “Zinc” painted finish. Design by Joyce vanden Dungen Bille of Gilmans Kitchens and Baths, California.

I love the creativity used to conceal the refrigerator in this kitchen design. Here the designer customized the panels used on the face of the refrigerator with custom mullion doors with mirror inserts. The mirror provides a reflective look that almost mimics the glass mullion cabinet doors that are used as accents on the kitchen wall cabinets and built-ins surrounding the fireplace. The fridge in this home is truly a work of art!

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Aaron Mauk of Mauk Cabinets by Design, Ohio.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Aaron Mauk of Mauk Cabinets by Design, Ohio.

I’d also like to point out, you don’t necessarily need to hide the refrigerator when you use a panel ready appliance you can accent it by selecting a contrasting finish/color, or door style.

A black and white kitchen design with a hidden appliance panel fridge. This design features high contrasting two-toned Dura Supreme kitchen cabinets.

The designer at Pinnacle Design, Michigan designed this paneled refrigerator to stand out by contrasting the finish of the cabinetry.. Photography by Dan Denardo.

Disguise Your Kitchen Appliances with Cabinetry

Refrigerators that are panel ready are typically counter-depth or built models that allow the appliance to integrate with the surrounding cabinetry and create that beautiful unified look. The panels are styled to match the doors on the cabinetry, which makes that big box in the room almost disappear! It truly acts as a cabinetry disguise.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry shown in Quarter-sawn Oak with the “Cashew” stain.

Can you spot the appliance paneled fridges in these remodeled kitchens?

An casual styled kitchen with frameless kitchen cabinets with white and beige painted finishes.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath Showroom, Minnesota.

Dark gray-green and rich stained wood kitchen with modern farmhouse style, shiplap wood hood, shiplap kitchen island end cap, and brassy hardware and fixtures. Features floor-to-ceiling dark gray painted cabinets.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry shown with a combination of the Graphite painted finish and Hazelnut stain on Cherry.

Dura Supreme design by Mariotti Building Products, Pennsylvania. Photography by Danielle Coons.

Cura Supreme kitchen shown in two-tone

Dura Supreme Cabinetry featuring two Personal Paint Match colors.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Pinnacle Design, Michigan. Photography by Dan Denardo.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath Showroom, Minnesota. Photography by Spacecrafting Photography.

Talk to your Dura Supreme designer today, to see if a custom panel ready refrigerator is right for you.

Mandi Juskiewicz the Senior Design & Marketing Specialist for Dura Supreme Cabinetry. A content developer and blog author for the company.

Mandi Juskiewicz is the Sr. Design & Marketing Specialist for Dura Supreme Cabinetry with 20 years of experience in graphic design, web design, multi-media communications, photography, and social media technology.  Her accolades include the distinction of being named “Kitchen Cabinetry Marketing Specialist of the Year 2019” in the 2019 Content Creator Awards held by CV Magazine and achiever of the Houzz Influencer Award.

Her role at Dura Supreme allows her to curate the “best of the best” designs, cutting edge products, and fabulously functional Dura Supreme kitchens across the country and feature them here for inspiration and design ideas!

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