A Subtle and Simple Way to Make your Kitchen REALLY Stand Out- Appliance Panels

Posted by Brakur Custom Cabinetry

Jun 27, 2014 4:30:00 PM

Most people are looking for that extra little effect that will “knock your socks of” in their kitchen remodel. Hiding appliances through the use of appliance panels, appliance garages, or built-ins may be just what you’re looking for to create a kitchen free of clutter and one everyone will admire.


Over the years the use and function of kitchens has changed. Kitchens have become an extension of our living areas.   With this in mind more and more homeowners are choosing appliance panels and other options for a more inviting and polished look. Kitchens are becoming a part of our living and entertainment space and some appliances can interrupt that flow.

No one wants a kitchen where the appliances jump out at you and scream, “Here I am!” unless you have that amazing “Rolls Royce” of an appliance, which most people can’t afford. Nor do they want the distraction of clutter and unnecessary stuff on their countertops. By choosing to use appliance panels or other methods your appliances can intermingle with your kitchen cabinets and living space and can bring a sense of “ooh, ah” and elegance without a lot of effort.

Hiding Appliances

There are many different appliances that can easily be hidden behind panels that match the cabinets.  Appliance panels are most often used for refrigerators and dishwashers.  Other appliances, or kitchen distractions, that can become a part of the woodwork are trashcans, televisions, and even microwaves (microwave drawers).  By using these panels and features, your kitchen can look a lot more like furniture instead and a lot less like a kitchen. 

Let Your Kitchen Design Drive Your Appliances – Not the Other Way Around

Too many people make the mistake of letting the appliances dictate the design of their kitchen instead of the other way around.  There are some things to consider before adding these features to your kitchen. 

First, manufactures don’t make all appliances “panel ready.” Make sure you do your research before choosing your appliances.

Second, some appliance selections might force a change in your design. For example, the refrigerator you pick will determine how and whether or not you can make it have a built-in look by putting deep cabinets over the top of it. Other constraints might appear for your range, microwave or dishwasher. The same goes with appliances panels. If you pick the appliances first, you may be stuck making design accommodations you don’t like in order for it to work, if it will work at all.

Ideally – design your kitchen the way you want and get appliances that meet your design, not appliances that make you compromise on your design. Your kitchen designer at Brakur Custom Cabinetry can help you figure out what the panel requirements are for any appliances you might be interested in purchasing or using.

Above all, if you have appliances chosen,appliance_panels_kitchen and you order panels to fit them, you cannot change your mind on those appliances and expect the panels to fit the new ones. They most likely won’t fit and you’ll be stuck buying new appliance panels.

Effects of moisture on appliance panels

Appliances such as dishwashers can give off heat and moisture, which could damage the wood on the dishwasher panel.  If this happens, you may have to replace the panel after some time.  Since wood ages and changes over time, you may not be able to make an exact match in the event you need to replace any panels. Proper care of your cabinets can help avoid this problem. Again, consult your designer for best practices to avoid issues like these.

Life expectancy of appliances

The average life expectancy of major kitchen appliances, range anywhere from 6-13 years, according to the National Association of Homebuilders.  Trash compactors have the shortest life expectancy with 6 years and refrigerators tend to last the longest with 15 years.  On average dishwashers last about 9 years.  It’s important that you are committed to the appliances you have in your kitchen if you plan on staying in your home for a while.  Otherwise consider changing them out with your remodel.

If you have a problem with your appliances where they may have a shorter life, you should consider the possibility of losing your appliance panels if you find replacement appliances that aren’t compatible. Many people consider the risk worth it, because appliance panels bring such a nice feel to the kitchen, even if it’s only for the lifespan of the appliances.

Using appliance panels and other options to hide your appliances will give you that subtle change you are looking for.  If you’d like to learn more about hiding your appliances and getting rid of the clutter, our Brakur Custom Cabinetry experts in the Chicagoland area can help. Contact us to set up an appointment.

Click below to download a free "Kitchen Basics Layout Guide."

Kitchen Basics - Layout Guide

Topics: Tips and Advice, Cabinetry, Chicagoland, Appliances

Located in Shorewood, Il, Brakur Custom Cabinetry, Inc. has been providing high quality locally manufactured cabinetry since 1965. Brakur is the largest manufacturer of custom cabinetry in Northern Illinois with a 100,000 plus square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and more than 80 employees.

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