Making do, aesthetic question

crl_November 2, 2012

We are buying a house that has the original 1920s cabinets still--they are painted white. No remodeling the kitchen for a while as our cash has to go to more urgent repairs (heat, leaking master bath, etc). But it has no functioning appliances. The only appliance in the kitchen is a 1960s electric range with oven on top as well as on bottom and the bottom oven is not working. Rather than sink money into fixing that, we have decided to replace it.

I have been researching and was seriously considering getting one of the under $2000 induction ranges. I was bummed to realize they all come only in stainless, at least as far as I can tell. But then I realized that it seems they also all come with BLACK sides.

The range is on the end of a cabinet run with no wall so the side is completely exposed. The black side will look pretty darn bad, IMO. I was willing to go with my less preferred finish as function generally trumps form for me. But this, well, I am not sure I can deal with that bad of form.

Anyone got any brilliant thoughts? Do I give up on inuction? (The Viking that comes in colors and runs over 7k is way too much money,.)


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Could you put a counter high piece of plywood beside the side of the range?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:00PM
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What would be your preferred color?

My stainless induction range has a black top, so if the black side showed it wouldn't look odd in my opinion. It wouldn't look like it was meant to be seen, necessarily, but it wouldn't look strange. (p.s. Mine was a discontinued floor model and therefore far, far under $2K.)

I guess I am saying -- it probably isn't enough to worry about in the grand scheme. :)

As far as I can tell, the only way to get a non-stainless induction cooking appliance (besides the Viking) is to put an induction cooktop onto the cabinet of your choice. But if you are going to renovate the kitchen anytime soon, it might not be worth the cabinet/countertop work to you.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:20PM
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No space to build a pony wall next to the range, that's the traffic aisle space to get to the back door. This is a small kitchen. I think even a piece of plywood might be awkward in the space, though I will have to give that some thought. How would you secure it? I wouldn't want to damage the newly refinished hardwood floor. And how would you finish the top?

My preferred finish would be white, as I have always liked white appliances with white cabinets--just my preference. With the all white cabinets, I think that black side would stick out like a sore thumb. If we had darker cabinets or other black appliances, maybe it wouldn't bug me so much.

My rrandom googling efforts netted me a stainless side panel for a maytag range, but I couldn't tell which range so I have no idea if it would fit on their induction range or not.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 1:00AM
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This may sound silly, but I have a friend who had her refrigerator painted ( it was black and she wanted white). There is a special appliance paint and she found the guy who did the spray painting through the appliance repair shop. Apparently, it is not really unusual to do this. She paid less than $300 and although I never saw the "before", I honestly couldn't tell that the refrigerator was any other color than white.

This might be a possible solution for you.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 2:13AM
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You might see if a sheet metal shop in your area could make you a piece of stainless the size of your new range's side to stick on the exposed side.

Really though, I don't think it's a big deal to have the black show. The top will have so much black on it. I wouldn't worry about it, especially if you intend to reno the room later.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 3:51AM
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I don't know what kind of range you are looking at but Maytag/Whirlpool/JennAire, have side panels you can buy in white, bisque, etc.... If one manufacturer does, usually many do.
You would have to do the due diligence to make sure the panel is compatible with the range you want, but here is a link to one

Here is a link that might be useful: range side panel

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:08AM
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I would embrace it for what it is.

A fantastic induction range, in any color, is so much better functionally than a ho-hum range custom painted to your space.

Don't apologize for what it is.
And I wouldn't spend more than $50 trying to downplay the black sides.

It would be very Old World to have vintage cabinets and of-the-moment appliances or hardware. It's what you see a lot in Europe. Things are used until they wear out. When replaced, they are replace with the utmost best function and design of the time. And used together.

More specifically, can you get a stainless and black coffee maker out on the counter? Maybe use a window treatment with a bit of black in the fabric? Change out the cabinet knobs to be nickel/stainless look? I think if you can layer in a bit of stainless and black, which would be very easy to do with not much money, that you won't mind the range color as much.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Elraes Miller

You can buy metal sheets at HD stores. Standard size is most likely what would fit...have looked at them for other needs. Finish edge with SS trim used for tile (schutler). Use thin magnetic strips to attach. Don't cut anything, just try it. If it doesn't work, you can return. Cost would be around 40.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Thanks for all the great ideas everyone!

I am wondering about having it powder coated, but guessing a range would be harder to do that with because of the top backsplash part with the controls.

I think a stainless side panel would be a great option. It appears that the ones available from the manufactors are meant for slide in ranges and don't fit the freestanding ranges. I think most, if not all, of the under 2k induction ranges are freestanding, but I will double check on that.

Great ideas about other ways to get a side panel.

As far as this being temporary, it's true that we plan to remodel, but this is a tight kitchen with three doorways and a long bank of windows. It is quite likely the range will end up in the same place when we remodel. And I plan to use white cabinets again. So the aesthetic problem is likely to still be there.

I really appreciate all the feedback!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:39AM
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