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My kitchen design – a year later, with lots to love and some regrets …

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It’s been a year and a half since I finished renovating this kitchen and now, as I’m designing 2 other houses, I’m looking around at mine thinking hmmm….what would I change about this kitchen…. with the follow-up question of well…. then, should I?

Answer: It depends what they are, how much they bother me and of course how much the update would cost.

Let’s first talk about what I do love …. which is a lot.

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That tile still makes me happy on a daily basis. I know it’s more popularly used now than it was 2 years ago, but in that color and in our kitchen I feel like I could never get sick of it.

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The cabinetry is still wonderful in every way, I love the color, the inset style and the bead detailing. It was honestly hard to not design the exact same cabinetry for the Portland house because it fits that style and I just love it so much.

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I still love those brass handles and they have patina’d BEAUTIFULLY.

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The faucet and pot filler were live raw brass and while they do take more care than any sealed metal, they have patina’d really beautifully, too. I love them so much for this house. Let me be clear here – these things are fragile and high maintenance – you have to soften your water, use special cleaners and generally be paranoid about how you treat them. In the mountain house we are opting for polished, sealed brass or black because I don’t want the maintenance up there (besides this is a 100-year-old house and can handle the age, whereas up there it’s late 60’s so it’s less appropriate). It’s not for everyone or every house but I love it in this house.

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Here’s a long aside about a pot filler …. As we are designing the Portland house my contractor told me that the pot filler is off-center of the range. At first I was like ‘Well we need to move it’ but then I realized that mine is CRAZY off center and it doesn’t bother me (ha, well it didn’t). I think there might be a reason it was placed where it was but I don’t remember.

Let this be a lesson to you AND ME – while renovating, remodeling or designing a house there are 1 million details that you will obsess over and at times you really need to ask yourself ‘is this something I’ll notice or does this actually happen all the time in other homes and you don’t even see it?’ I think the more “rules” of design I learn the more it’s super hard for me to “break” them, which has really slowed down my creative process (and probably helped the end product). For instance, the sconce placement in the master bathroom at the mountain house is super tricky and the type of light we choose will likely not be the best ‘vanity’ lighting for your face. If you really want to know ideally it would be eye level, not a bare glass bulb, not directional as to not cast shadows on face, and they should be placed to be able to light both sides of face at the same time, evenly, ideally around 30″- 40″ apart … if it is above the mirror (which is obviously fine) it would again ideally be a fabric or white glass shade, but not metal or too directional (which we do ALL THE TIME) … thats just the functional ‘rules’ and I haven’t even gotten into scale or style or all the things that makes a house interesting! Maybe that is why so many houses by designers or decorators end up looking generic – all the creativity was sucked out of it in the name of “function”. This is why I had my team halt my ‘bathroom rules’ post – because as I was reading it I was like…. Dear god, I seriously wish I had read this post last year …. It’s still coming, but with a lot more personal drama infused with my own mistakes and anecdotes.

Anyway, that’s a long winded way of saying that the little things, while important and they might bug you a bit, often go totally unnoticed until someone calls it out. There were some things in the Portland house that we had to pay to change (decisions made without me early on) and my brother was like ‘Emily, no one in the world would notice that or even think about it’. We changed it anyway, but I think he was right so I’m trying to be more loose about that.

Point is – that pot filler could be more centered (not so the valve is centered but so the entire faucet looks visually centered) but I don’t care enough to move it.

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On to the stone.

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Our marble counters are holding up pretty well. We chose to do a ‘leather finish’ as opposed to polished or honed (leather isn’t available everywhere or with any stone and is typically done at the stone yard but some fabricators can do it). This stone is pretty forgiving because the finish isn’t shiny and there is a lot of variation in the veins, tones and colors. Sorry I don’t have updated photos – I’m now realizing this would be helpful for this post, but it definitely has some wear (no big stains) and I don’t really notice it. For those of you scared of real marble, you should be. It is a lifestyle choice and you have to be ok with the aging and care. As of right now, we are not doing marble in the kitchens in Portland or the cabin, opting for quartz instead. But man, that marble is so pretty and again, in a 100 year old home it fits perfectly – age and all.

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Color-wise I still LOVE both colors – the stone tone of the cabinets and the green of the island. The farm sink is awesome (I prefer a single basin) and the vintage pendant + black sconces are still super lovely and frankly perfect for the room – both stylistically and functionally.

I suppose I KINDA wish I had done the floors darker but they certainly don’t bother me.

Ok onto grates and beadboard….

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Above you’ll see that we put beadboard in the backs of the cabinetry and I still love it. Many of you worried about my grates because of dust or grime, but a year in I see none. We are pretty good at keeping them styled out nicely, with the simplest rule – just buy in bulk (aka not a lot of mismatched) and keep it simple – white, wood, clear glass and some amber glasses. These days you can design your kitchen drawers to hold all tupperware, kid’s stuff – all the stuff that is less attractive.

We switched out the stools below:

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We love these new stools. The other ones are in storage and we might use at the mountain house because they are so classic, but I love the addition of the wood in here.

So what would I do differently in this kitchen?

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UGH THAT OUTLET ON THE ISLAND KILLS ME. But apparently not enough to do anything about it. It would be so easy to change out the plate or replace it altogether with something more beautiful. I’m going to do that. 2018 is the year. After all, I have so much extra time (wink wink)!!

Also as you’ll see above we normally prop something in front of them (behind the cutting boards up there) and I wish we had concealed them more when renovating. If you have uppers you can put a power strip underneath them (unless it’s really done well it can still be visible and it might not be where you actually want to use it), or you can use a pop-up thing that comes out of your countertop but cutting into our marble is terrifying and too permanent … For code we had to have two on the island (at least that is what our electrician said) but I could have put it in a trap door – almost like a fake cabinet panel, but that too, could have looked messy, unless it was the size of the whole panel and then you don’t want to ‘open’ a huge cabinet door just to plug in your toaster… For now, I’ll source a prettier cover… stay tuned.

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The outlet up there on the island could have been vertical and it could have been concealed like a trap door in the V-groove. Honestly that might be messy and now I’m realizing that this deserves a FULL blog post because as I’m writing this I’ve googled my options and all the articles about it are dated, not very researched, don’t give very many attractive solutions and there are no good roundups for beautiful light switches or outlets. We are on the case!! (let us know in the comments if you are interested in this).

So far the changes are really just to switch out the outlet covers – but that’s not a big deal, right?

KEEP READING IT’S ABOUT TO GET REALLY GOOD….

My best friend designed her kitchen and it’s STUNNING. We are going to properly shoot it soon, but for now you can see it in the back of this dining room shot.

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Besides the wood, lights, etc, one of the reasons it’s so beautiful is that it looks so simple. Now I knew about appliance integration (kinda) when I designed our current house, but honestly didn’t even consider it for three reasons: 1. Seeing nicely designed, modern appliances, has never really occurred to me – thats just how kitchens are. Full stop. 2. The entire renovation of the kitchen was sponsored by Frigidaire, a partnership that I was and still am super proud of. They don’t carry integrated appliances  – or at least I don’t think so because I didn’t even look – it seriously was that much of a non-thought. 3. If I hadn’t worked with Frigidaire I was under the assumption that integration was crazy expensive and not really an option. “Rich people can hide their fancy appliances, but normal people can’t.” Why test drive a Tesla if you aren’t going to buy one?

Let me be super clear about one thing:

I’m super happy with these appliances, functionally. All of them work great and function perfectly for our family needs. I’m no longer in contract with that lovely company, so I can say whatever I want about them, and I’m telling you the truth – if you are not renovating and just looking to get new appliances that are great but not a fortune, I can absolutely recommend these. If I could go back in time I would skip the front ice and water feature – and they had that option, but my love of ice cold water trumped a cleaner design and I regret that.

But now that I’m designing these two kitchens (Portland and Mountain), with custom cabinetry I chose to integrate the appliances. It wasn’t even a question. I had lot of brands wanting me to use their appliances, but I didn’t budge on that. I need these kitchens to both be stunning.

FYI, we are working with build.com on both kitchens – for Portland, we chose panel-ready Bertazolli and we went with Viking in the mountain house. Both are ‘panel ready’. MUCH more on that later.

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The kitchen would just be simple if the appliances were integrated.

But is it worth the change???

We plan on being in this house til the kids are 10 and 12 (but who knows… we also dream of raising our kids elsewhere… more on that later). Why 10 and 12? I don’t know. I suppose maybe by then we’d want to have more space (our bedrooms are the perfect size for our family right now but as they become teenagers we all might want more privacy) and we aren’t sure what school they will be in for Jr and High School but if it’s not around here then I can see us moving more outside LA around that time. So let’s just say we have 8 years left here. Is that worth making some changes?

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Renovating your newly renovated kitchen is what actually insane people do. Or perfectionists. Maybe I’m both…. not that I’m going to do it, but you know – I thought I’d give you a glimpe into my brain.

But then I thought … hold up…. we shoot in this kitchen probably twice a month and have to avoid some angles because the appliances feel large in this small kitchen….. Besides how much would it really cost? 

It seemed worth doing some research and getting the quote.

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The idea of having our fridge be seamless with our cabinetry, like below is just so tempting.

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Now what I’m extremely confused by and I’d love your help is what is the difference between 2018 ‘Panel Ready’ and ‘Integrated’. I know that back in the day ‘panel ready’ meant this:

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They just glued the “cabinetry” on top of the fridge but it’s not the look we are going for.

Now things have certainly progressed since then. Here is what it can look like now (but again, I’m not sure if this is ‘panel-ready’ or ‘integrated’).

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Hey Amber, let us know! Also I love this kitchen you designed so much!

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Integration is so seamless. You actually don’t know where they are, which can be kinda annoying (I know at my friend’s house people have to ask where, because they are all floor to ceiling so it’s hard to detect the fridge versus the pantry). But how much of a sacrifice is it?

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The above fridge is certainly ‘integrated’ and the below is more ‘panel ready’ (I think). It seems to me that the difference might be the seams and the venting (but please tell me if I’m wrong).

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Either way, I think if well-done it would be much more streamlined and simple, especially since our kitchen is small and our appliances aren’t crazy fancy.

If we were doing it, we’d likely do the dishwasher as well:

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And why stop there – would we build over the hood?

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At this point, based on our research we think that ‘panel ready’ actually is ‘integrated’ but nobody has been able to tell us for sure. We would add custom handles and not use what often comes with the panel-ready appliances to better integrate with our handles on our current cabinetry.

So I had my cabinet maker, who built our kitchen, quote for integration and here is what he came back with:

$ 2,875.  

In my mind it was going to be cost-prohibitive. But then I realized it’s actually less work than I thought. They don’t have to change the depth of anything, just the height of the fridge and build some panels.
They would demo out the cabinet above the fridge because most 36″ integrated fridges are 84″ high (ours is currently 72″). Then they’d rebuild that cabinet to be much smaller. For the hood they would keep the current hood and build over it (although the hood might depend on the new range, UGH).
But that doesn’t include the cost of all new appliances. As I know you were about to ask.
RUH ROH. And yes ‘panel ready’ or integrated appliances do cost more than typical appliances not because they are more complicated but because as of now only the high-end brands are making them. There is a pretty big gap in the market for more budget-friendly panel ready or integrated appliances and this trend is NOT going away. The first $3k panel ready fridge to come to market is going to be VERY popular…. You are welcome, appliance companies. This is a game changer and whoever is first to market might win.

But for now the cost is anywhere from 5k-10k (10K are typically for the Subzero and Viking options) for a 36″ with stacking fridge freezer like we have now. We can also look into 2 side by side 18″ fridge and freezer (which would look more seamless, as they would look like two tall cabinets).

Panel-ready dishwashers are anywhere from $600-1200 depending on the brand.

Hopefully, we’d keep the hood, but if we are going to change the range then I’d want to do some research on the hood to make sure its the best one with the new range.

So it’s not cheap. Sure, I might get a sponsor but the labor will add up and the change isn’t necessary.

At first I was like ‘Oh man, I’m going to get called out for being ‘wasteful’. But I was reminded by my team that it’s not really waste because we donate perfectly good product to those who need it, but can’t afford it – Miry’s list, Pen and Napkin and The San Fernando Rescue Mission are on constant rotation to pick up furniture and accessories from my house. Sure, I waste my time and money, but it’s part of my job to experiment and update my home then tell you about how I did it, or wish I had.

Besides, isn’t it fun to witness crazy???

Back to the appliances.

The last thing I’ll say to justify this potential change is this: if you were to sell your house tomorrow what improvements would you make? So why not make those changes NOW so that you can actually enjoy them?? Every realtor knows that you can’t sell a high-end house without high-end appliances and while high-end appliances aren’t something that we really obsess over (we’ve never had a fancy one so it might be something that we love once we have), good design is something we value a lot. Even Brian is into it. He knows for resale that we need to upgrade our appliances …. so why not do it NOW?

LET ME BE CLEAR – THIS IS JUST A CONVERSATION – A DEBATE BECAUSE ITS FUN TO TALK ABOUT.

Of course, we need to lock down the appliances, coordinate a plumber to install and be ok that our kitchen will be in construction for a week (we could do it while up in the mountains this summer)…. It’s not like buying a lampshade …. But its worth talking about.

What I’d love to know is the following:

  1. Do any of you not like having integrated appliances? Am I fantasizing about something that has serious drawbacks?
  2. Does anyone know if there is a difference between ‘panel ready’ and ‘integrated’ (in 2018 terms)? Neither of my contractors or cabinet makers could tell me the difference based on the specs, so I think they mean the same thing these days – except maybe the venting is different? I can’t find photos of the Viking or  Bertazonni product in an actual kitchen so I’m excited/nervous to see what it means.

Most importantly:

SHOULD I DO THIS??

*UPDATE: I knew there was going to be backlash but as a reminder: this is just a conversation to get your opinion about integrated (if you have them), and If we do end up doing this we will donate all our appliances to a family that Miry’s List, Pen and Napkin or San Fernando Rescue Mission is helping.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you have any questions on the current kitchen or where things are from….

  1. We have integrated/ panels in our rental. The fridge and dishwasher are designed such that the panel can be attached. My only negative observation is that after many years of being pulled the handles have become loose or broken off.

  2. I have to say that I really like not hiding the appliances. It makes a kitchen more of a – kitchen. As someone who loves to cook, I really appreciate the look of the appliances, it’s comforting to me. Also, regular appliances seem easier to replace. However, since you are going to move at some point and from the design standpoint, I understand why you would make the change. Still, I think hidden appliances work better with more modern and minimalist kitchens, where completely clean lines are necessary. I love your content no matter what and I would certainly make for an interesting renovation, I am living for the mountain house posts and can’t wait to see the final result!

  3. Integrated appliances are really common in the UK. It seems like all of the manufacturers (low-end to high-end) do them. Kitchens with massive fridges on display always look very USA to me!

    1. LOL, I was going to post exactly the same thing! I’m in Ireland and it’s the same here. Those double-door fridges area actually called “USA Style Fridges”. IMO integrated looks *so* much better.

    2. Yup, I’m also in the UK and just redid my kitchen. I integrated the dishwasher and the fridge and I am so glad! I think it looks so much more beautiful. I think appliances are pretty ugly generally and don’t really understand the US obsession with them!

      1. Same here in France! My kitchen is IKEA with all integrated IKEA appliances. We love it and get compliments on how high end it looks all the time, but it cost less than any kitchen redo of friends/family in the US.

        1. This thread cracks me up! I had no idea of the European/US appliance divide. (And I definitely don’t think fridges are beautiful, but I don’t really “see” them. So funny and interesting! 🙂

          1. Same!! In my country (the netherlands) it is só common to have integrated appliances! But I really liked the look of them, so when we built our own kitchen we choose to do the “American way” 🙊. But it was def more expensive, integrated is much cheaper. Brands don’t have to make a pretty cover on a fridge, because it’s integrated. It’s so funny to read it’s more expensive!! I always wondered why Americans show there appliances.

  4. Go for it!! I’m convinced, anyway. 🙂

  5. Your kitchen will be as gorgeous 20 years from now! 🙂
    Here in Europe, more specifically in Portugal where I’m from, integrated appliances are just an ordinary thing and all brands carry them. A non integrated dishwasher, for instance, is only an option when you want to update an old kitchen. My parent’s kitchen is 20 years old and all the appliances (except the fridge because it’s in the pantry) are integrated. I really wondered why you wouldn’t do that, and never thought that wouldn’t be as common in the US.
    Of course we are always curious to see you do stuff, so… so amuse us! 😀 but, for the record, I don’t mind your appliances at all and I would only change the dishwasher.

    1. Oh and the hood! I would definitely change that hood.

    2. Same here in Australia. You wouldn’t do a renovation without integrating appliances and it’s been like that for a while.

      1. I disagree. In a very old house reno. in Australia, appliances are not usually integrated.

      2. I disagree too. I’m in Australia. We have an integrated dishwasher but I hated integrated fridges when we lived in the UK so wouldn’t do it here. I think the panels and handles age quickly and it’s irritating not being able to find the fridge at someone’s house.

  6. Probably a stupid question, but… here it goes anyway. What is that small tap on the right of the sink for? I really don’t get it. We have no such thing here in Portugal…

    1. I’m fairly certain it’s for instant hot water (to use for hot tea, etc.)

    2. It’s for filtered water. Our water here is SoCal doesn’t taste good and has potentially harmful metals etc in it. Instant Hot spigots have a special handle to prevent scalding.

      1. I have this & you can get it with 1 or 2 handles: 1 for hot; 1 for filtered 🙂 It’s amazing and I love it- insinkerator makes one version and it’s available at most hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes.

        1. I’m sure this one is for hot– look @ the red marking. But you might be able to pull it forward or backward for either– I saw some like that.

          1. Thank you all. We are fortunate here to have really good water, so we can drink it right out of the faucet.
            We do have instant hot water taps, but those are regular mixers with a very (very!) expensive upgrade.

    3. That is a soap dispenser.

      1. Nope-this one is a hot water. But American homes often have soap there too, just like that.

  7. Yay – so pleased you’ve come round to the idea of integrated appliances. I know the one thing that has always bugged me about your beautiful kitchen is the huge lumps of stainless steel on show.

    As to your questions – yes – absolutely do it. I think it will make a massive difference to the look.

    I have lived in kitchens that have both integrated and free standing appliances. The only real difference is that the integrated versions tend to be slightly smaller to compensate for the cabinetry.

    As for trying to locate the item, it really doesn’t take long – honestly! The vents at the bottom in the toe bar are usually a giveaway for the fridge / freezer. The horizontal handle bar indicates which one is the dishwasher (and is usually next to the sink anyway!) The dustbins / trash can be hidden as well.

    I think the reason the look has been so popular in Europe for so long is that we generally have smaller rooms. Integrating appliances makes the room look bigger and more streamlined. Also, as many people live in 100+ year old properties, hiding modern appliances helps to create a feeling of a “Georgian / Victorian / Edwardian” country house kitchen.

    As for panel vs. integrated… I’ve only ever seen photographs of the panel version in North America where is seems to be glued onto the front of the appliance. The integrated appliances that I have are slight narrower / shallower and are designed so that special hinges are fitted to the front of the appliance and connect to the door of the cabinet.

    Hope this helps!

    1. In case anyone is interested… here is a photo of my integrated, open plan kitchen. Absolutely everything is integrated (washer / dryer, panty, fridge freezer, oven, gas hob and even the extractor fan is hidden in the chimney breast1) The only thing on display is my 14 year old microwave which is now looking vintage!

      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/80/6a/0d/806a0d9022970aa28349bf67f6ddc097.jpg

        1. Love your kitchen! So pretty with all those neutrals.

          1. Thank you 🙂

  8. What a great post- the bathroom sconce placement “rules” are huge- and so helpful right now. I’m mid-renovating 2 full baths and will integrate that info immediately: get that “Bathroom Rules” reno advice out soon!!

    We’re soon to start seriously thinking about our kitchen reno this year and your what worked/what didn’t thought process totally speaks to all the issues I’m trying to sort out. So grateful for your external processing finesse and authenticity: The BEST!

  9. I actually don’t understand why appliances need to be hidden. It is a kitchen after all. So yes, to me the whole idea seems a waste of time, labor and money.

    1. Agree. And it seems frivolous to do this a year later, despite the need for “content”

      1. Ha. It is frivolous. No doubt. So is having 2 very similar pairs of shoes! 🙂 Believe me I realize its nuts, but its super fun to talk about and consider + good research done. xx

        1. I don’t think it’s frivolous, you have companies that pay you to showcase their products and thousands of readers who use these posts to get ideas for their own products. So it provides a lot of value.

    2. This. I do love the look in your friend’s minimalist kitchen, but I really like the look of appliances in most kitchens. Your’s don’t look bad at all.

    3. I guess I agree with these comments. Although it is interesting to learn the perspectives from others above. I guess I would consider concealing some, but I love the look of a stove in a kitchen. So my vote is to only integrate some appliances if you do any.

    4. Agreed. I’m a huge fan and I love design, but some of these issues (like whether or not to spend a bunch of money to change appliances in order to integrate them, and whether or not to center a pot-filler faucet) start sounding a little ridiculous — like first-world problems. I guess if one is wealthy it’s no biggie, one can just completely overhaul their house and get rid of everything and start over. But billions of dollars of furnishings and stuff go into landfills every year. At what point does thinking about the environment and learning to be content with what we have need to be a consideration? (sorry, don’t mean to be judgey, but this issue of scrapping perfectly fine stuff bugs me a bit)

      1. I have been feeling exactly the same way. It drives me nuts when I read (not you, Emily), that an 8 year old kitchen, with stone countertops has been ripped out because the homeowners are tired of the current look and want something new. I love good design and beautiful aesthetics as much as everyone (which is why I read this blog), but I do seriously wonder about sustainability and our environment. Some renovations are absolutely necessary, but it galls me when fairly new stuff gets chucked out for the latest and greatest.

        1. I have perfectly sound and functioning cabinets from 1946 that are in our recreational cabin. I am replacing them. Also getting ready to replace perfectly functioning 1980 oak cabinets. You only live once so I say go for it. You cant save everything and no one wants old, outdated stuff if they can afford and want nicer. Nylon carpet will never wear out but we tire of it
          In less than 10 years. Looking forward to the before and after on Emily’s redo.

      2. Me too. I think about waste often. Although it’s not a pleasant thought

      3. In the post, Emily stated that any appiances would go to certain non profits most likely in need of new appliances. I volunteer with a non profit and many of our fixtures/appliances/shelving are falling apart because it’s simply not in the budget. I’m sure they will be ecstatic to receive such a nice donation!
        It’s Emily’s kitchen and she has to actually live with it everyday. People change their minds all the time (yes even after they just renovated), so why are we judging Emily when she’s doing good with her current appliances (not scrapping!) and she’s getting exactly what she wants in her own kitchen?!🤷‍♀️ Win/Win really!

      4. this. you hit the nail on the head. i love love love coming to this site, and love all the design fun but this post just made me feel sad. like, part of the problem with our society is the inability to be content with what we have. and this just totally feeds into it. and this is a huge driver of consumption and waste in this country. it just creates this need in everyone to scrap all their perfectly good stuff and constantly buy more.
        yes. if you’re wealthy, you can afford to do this, but why? i just don’t get it. emily’s kitchen is like an absolute dream. seriously. it would be a fantasy to have a kitchen that looked like that. so, to start picking it apart and see what else can be done is just crazy to me. and not in a good way…. (sorry emily!)

        1. I think this says it all… there is always this feeling when following bloggers that there’s a new trend every season/month/week and that new things should be acquired.
          I have lived in my house for almost 9 years now, and still have this dated dark wood 1970s kitchen… but you know what? It is functional, it’s tidy, and its the kitchen I used in the middle of the night when my babies needed feedings… it’s home to me. And I’m ok with that as we’ve put off what will be a very expensive and disruptive someday-remodel.
          Emilys kitchen would be an absolute dream to me– and I agree, seeing it picked apart just feels gross. That would be my forever kitchen.

      5. But yet you’re following a design blog? A design blog should absolutely debate these types of issues. People come here for ideas and advice. Am I to assume based on your judgements that you have never replaced so much as a toilet seat or a coffee pot? It would fall under first world problem to replace a perfectly functioning anything. Do you have only 7 outfits and one pair of shoes? With your concern for the environment can I also assume that you’re driving either the very first (used) car you ever owned or an electric car? Perhaps, like the rest of the people who spew out these judgements as a trend, do you drive a gas guzzling SUV? Solar panels in your house? Recycle? No aerosol cans? Volunteer for trash clean-ups? (sorry, don’t mean to be judgey, but this type of judgement bugs me a bit)

        1. Not to be ‘judgey’, but your post is horrific. So—please stick to not being ‘judgey’.

          1. Garth,
            I was simply pointing out the hypocrisy of the person judging the designer for daring to debate design related things on her design related blog and for shaming the designer for doing design updates. That is why I worded it in the context similar to their own comment. I am actually in the camp of Live & Let Live and I just don’t understand stones being thrown by people who live in glass houses. I think society, in general, has a habit of pointing out “flaws” in everyone else to deflect/ignore/excuse their own. The whole, “well, i may do this but at least I don’t do that like so-and-so.” Just pointing out that if your concern is about the environment then make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to help it. I just don’t like to see people shaming others while keeping blind eye to their own faults.

        2. Its tricky. and LES I totally appreciate your comment. its easy to see waste in what others are doing that seem obvious as waste. I wear thet same pair of shoes every day (as you might know). My kids share clothes. blah blah, i’m not a bad person is the point. we conserve constantly. this was a question because of what I do … should normal people replace their appliances? NO. but i’m just someone who writes what they think. being transparent is dangerous. I warn you all of having this disease 🙂

          1. I love your blog, and though the intregrated is more attractive (and would work great for your kitchen), it does seem wasteful to renovate only a year later. What about finding another place to test out integrated appliances in this style? I’m sure one or many of your readers would jump at the chance to supply about older kitchen that could be renovated in this style? A kitchen renovation competition would be a win win for content creation and the environment? Maybe a worthy family who couldnt afford it otherwise?

  10. This is one of the big differences I notice between European and American kitchen design! I do feel that you guys are a little behind on this 🙂 I’m from the UK, and integrated appliances are totally standard over here. Even in my old basic Ikea kitchen I had an integrated dishwasher (which cost £300 from Ikea). I wouldn’t consider having a big piece of stainless steel interrupting the cabinetry!

    I don’t think we can get integrated American fridge freezers over here (the wide one like you have in your kitchen is what we call American), but instead pretty much everyone has 600mm wide appliances which just look like a standard cabinet once they are installed. We are currently doing a huge renovation and I’m planning to have a 600mm wide integrated fridge freezer in my kitchen, and hide the ugly monstrosity that is the American fridge freezer in my walk in pantry 🙂 I need the width of the American one for when we entertain, but don’t want it to be visible.

    My main aim with the kitchen design is to have it look as UN-kitcheny as possible – so all my appliances will be integrated, I’ll have no upper cabinets, I’m getting a white induction hob to blend in as much as possible with the counter tops, etc.

  11. PS. Can’t wait for the bathroom rules post. i find bathroom design super tricky.

    1. Agreed! I’m at a total loss with what to do in my bathroom (I rent so that complicates things) and would love to know the “rules”!

  12. I never comment, but hell to the yeah you should do this!

  13. No. Your kitchen is A YEAR OLD. It looks great and functions well. The end.

    Honestly, all of your redesigning rooms that look great and getting rid of perfectly nice, functioning items is really turning me off of this blog.

    1. Em, I love your blog, style, and general sense of awesomeness! I was just wondering though… instead of getting rid of your new, beautiful (free) appliances, could you use the money you’d spend on integrated appliances and cabinetry to do another fabulous makeover for a charitable organization or another wonderful family in need? I loved Sylvia’s makeover and the shelter you and your team did a few years ago. And it spoke volumes about your brand!

      Instead of creating more content from your home, (you mentioned that it feels wasteful) I bet you would feel so much better, and get so many more posts out of giving back with design instead of by donating appliances. Just food for thought…

      1. We are doing both – for others and myself. For others there are more limitations and a lot out of my control, so they aren’t as fast to do. so that’s why we’ll always do both. xx

        1. Emily, I love watching you re-do rooms, if even after only a very short period of time! It’s nice to know that we all make design mistakes or find that an idea we once dreamed for wasn’t actually our preference when a reality. Or, most importantly, that design is a never ending processs. I recommended your blog to my sister because she is always painting the “wrong” color, etc. It’s nice to see the human side of design in a designer, as well as just how much work your job requires. There is so much more value when it’s not as simple as “viola!”

    2. I agree. I am a relatively new reader of this blog (found it a year ago) but really like the esthetic of Emily’s design. One recurring theme of the blog seems to an obsession with look over functionality and the justification seems to be “content”. Getting rid of a perfectly nice one year old kitchen for the sake of a different look would seem to perpetuate a culture of hyper-consumerism. It is 2018 and I think that the new generation of millenials (whom I teach) would be horrified. It is beyond wasteful and I shudder at how one can even be seriously contemplating this. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It is up to us to be the citizens of the world we want to live in.
      I like the suggestion of donating a kitchen to a family in need. Or just maybe take up designing for clients again.

    3. Agreed. Re-doing rooms over and over again is such a turnoff. Posts like this one are a prime example of why it is so disappointing to me that you stopped doing design work.

      1. I love the obsessing and doing the rooms over, theoretically or literally. The thought process is fascinating and Emily really excels at letting us see it, warts and all. That is what passionate professionals do. The process is fascinating and a real learning experience. Sometimes I laugh at my voyeurism here because Emily can be like a client confiding to a shrink about her obsessions. Love it! Makes this blog so relatable too, even if my life is nothing like Emily’s.

        1. Agree 100% with J !!

          I’m also.of the mind that people can choose to run their household how they see fit! –including making decisions about what to do, what to buy, what to give away, what to sell…and when to do all of that.

      2. This!!!! I’ve been feeling this fo awhile but haven’t been able to figure out how to say it!

      3. but this is design work…?

    4. I completely agree with the others. While the idea of integrated appliances would have been great in your kitchen originally, it turns me off so much to think of you getting rid of the free appliances you agreed to a year ago, just to introduce a new design aesthetic. You are constantly restyling and/or renovating your home over and over again to get more “content”, and it just feels so forced and boring.

      I really do think you should consider taking up clients again, or featuring tours of other homes you like or are inspired by. A repeat request that seems to be a popular one would be to bring back the Craigslist hunt posts. This would create new content readers actually want to see, and it wouldn’t make you seem so materialistic and consumerist. It gets really repetitive and old seeing the same room with really small tweaks (new rug and pouf in your latest living room iteration).

      1. I don’t usually comment but yes, I agree with many of these commenters. I love you Em and will keep following (although probably skim read this type of stuff) but since you ask for feedback I will say: it’s just not fun watching you create content for contents sake, instead of authentically. Also you’re an influencer and it’s kinda just creating pressure and influence tending towards consumerism, discontentment and perfectionism – the opposite of which serves society and produces happiness! And the opposite of who you are, I think 🙂

        Anyway that got deep real fast but I know this is unchartered blog territory (creating for content’s sake) and I think many people aren’t here for it.

        Thanks for including us and taking us on the journey tho – I guess a different way to do it would be ‘imagine if’ instead of ‘should I?’

        1. 100% “-it’s kinda just creating pressure and influence tending towards consumerism, discontentment and perfectionism – the opposite of which serves society and produces happiness! “

          1. Exactly how it hit me when I read this post too. Got an icky feeling. Even though Emily reps (repped?) Target for so long, the blog’s trajectory has taken things to a depressingly materialistic place. Hoping the new hires get back to basics.

        2. I agree so much with this:
          “Also you’re an influencer and it’s kinda just creating pressure and influence tending towards consumerism, discontentment and perfectionism…”

          Before I say more, I shall say I understand this is your kitchen, your blog, you career, your money and labor so at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what the rest of us think. But I also feel the need to repeat the quote above and say the following because of your role as an influencer to so many people – the fact that you wrote a super long post about all this is a big turn off (it pains me to be so blunt because I’ve loved following your blog and Instagram.) you have a DREAM kitchen, something most people will never be able to afford. Creating aesthetically pleasing content is important for your job but so is being REAL and authentic, something your readers value.

    5. I agree–I have been a HUGE EMILY FAN for, I don’t know, 7-8 years now, but the direction of the blog has changed so, so much in the past year that I am also starting to get turned off to it. I think it speaks volumes that I don’t get excited to read the daily Emily post anymore. I still check it, but there is never a sense of excitement that I used to have. I used to just devour every post. Now I skip some. And I get tired of the constant changing. If she was going to change the stuff in her own home this often, why not just still take on design clients? I miss seeing real design clients’ homes. Now we just see her home over and over, along with “here are some good products I rounded up so I can post some affiliate links.” Miss the design.

      1. I absolutely agree with what Abby said. Long time follower getting tired of these kinds of “content” over authentic design for real people.

      2. Sadly, I agree. Everytime I see an Instagram post I’m like – this is a recycled picture I’ve seen a million times. It’s just not interesting or fresh anymore. As a blog reader and long-time follower I really don’t need new content every 24 hours. You won’t lose me that way. But the direction the blog has taken seems a bit vapid and less relatable lately. Think about the percentage of your readers who can afford integrated appliances – it’s very small. It’s not that it may not be worthy content EVER but just the emotional draw of changing a year old kitchen is not appealing. It makes us all think “gah. My visible appliances are so generic and ugly”. It’s also just feeds the notion that we must have ultimate satisfaction with every aspect of our lives, like it hasn’t to be constantly changing to be fresh and exciting. You have a beautiful kitchen, I’m not sure it’s worth changing for “content sake” not sure in a real life scenario it would be worth the inevestment – I hope this isn’t coming across as ugly or hypercritical, but you asked your readers opinions. I believe in you Emily! I just think you may need to re-set your goals and direction of the blog.

      3. I totally agree. Sorry Emily! I love you but this is how I feel too!!

      4. Hey
        Abby. we try daily to provide the best content. right now I feel like nothing will suffice. many people want my house and transparency??? nope. no they don’t others want budget makeovers, but those aren’t as pretty so no, no they don’t. We try to mix it all and we fail. but if we don’t fail that means we aren’t trying. Failure is the key to success. looks like we are on our way 🙂

        1. I get it–you will never please everyone. But there is an overwhelming amount of people voicing the SAME frustration–and we’re just the ones who commented. So, instead of chalking it up to “we can’t please everyone,” maybe your team should honestly absorb this feedback and make some adjustments. It seems pretty clear that many, many people enjoyed the blog more when you still took on design clients/projects and didn’t just show a million pictures of the same (your) house and post a bunch of affiliate links in the form of a round-up or post. I’m struggling to see how the point (voiced by TONS in the past few days) isn’t at least valid. If my clients at work all voiced the same frustration with my work product, I would undoubtedly take a step back and evaluate what has changed and how I can try to please the majority of my clients again.

          1. Hi Emily.

            I’m late commenting here because sadly, I stopped reading your blog months ago for all these reasons and more.

            I’ve followed you religiously since 2008. That’s thousands of blog posts — more education than I probably received in college.

            It’s a true bummer. I really miss the more down-to-earth, reachable, organic Emily and the content she created. That girl from HGTV Design Star.

            I know LA changes people and you need to make money off our eye balls. You should because you’re so uniquely talented.

            But this whole train, sadly, feels like its headed someplace a bit too set up and superficial.

            Please think. What can you do to take us back to where we were?

        2. Emily, I think some of the dissatisfaction is with the constant positioning of posts as “content” — instead of actual decisions and feelings of a designer. That’s why I initially started following you, because I loved your style and your posts were always strange, rambling, funny musings on design. I loved watching you renovate your last two homes. But I’ve also noticed the term “content” appearing often in your recent posts and it feels like you’re churning out posts for the sake of having content instead of a natural byproduct of letting us follow along on your design projects.

          I get it, I’m in marketing and come up with content plans all the time, but I would never write a post or an email describing a new ebook or webinar as “content” to a customer. It just makes it feel…cheap/inauthentic somehow?

    6. I agree. This wastefulness is appalling. I used to enjoy your design aesthetic and you created some of my all time favorite room designs in the past, but I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore.

      Also, I have to say that the way you and your family seem to throw money around has become so far removed from the reality of “ordinary” people. There are other ways to create content than constant spending, gutting, renovating, replacing. You snapped up a cosmetic fixer in Portland to gut and flip it – basically removing what was once a (comparatively) affordable home from the market. A young family with a more modest budget could have used that home to get their kids into the Riverdale school district and remodeled it on their own time, but you see only dollar signs. This has become an ongoing struggle all over the Portland metro for hopeful homebuyers who are not wealthy.

      Us plebes down here, we can’t relate to you anymore.

      1. Absolutely agree, this blog has become so self-involved and the continual (too costly for the ordinary of us out here) re-dos and constant tweaking of YOUR OWN HOME(S) is looking and feeling a little out of touch with reality. I too, was an EHD design fan, the before and afters, of “real” homes, not the current self-involved free design projects for EH homes.
        It just all rings a little phony and narcissistic to the rest of us out here in non-Cali land.

      2. I’m not even a plebe and I’m tired of how wasteful Emily is. I haven’t visited the blog in months and decided to take a look and guess what? Emily is rethinking things! She is going to throw away perfectly good things just to get brand new things she will dispose of in a year! She redoes every room endlessly, she shuffles through sponsored items like a revolving door, it’s just appalling.

        It’s not one person pointing this out, Emily – it’s many of your devoted fans, the ones who liked the quirky, bright aesthetic you used to bring to things instead of putting out for the next sponsor. You really should listen and not just blame trolls.

    7. Totally agree. I think I would actually stop following EHD if the kitchen gets remodeled, again. This idea of replacing brand new made me think of a quote from Raegan Baker when featured on a COJ: “We have so many expectations from ourselves for perfection – everything from our appearances to decorating our homes to how the timeline of our lives will go. There’s something beautiful about not getting your way all the time, and choosing happiness despite that”.

      Emily, can’t you just love the idea of an integrated kitchen for a different house and still be happy your own kitchen…designed by you, only a year ago?

      1. Yes! Perfectionism is not something to be lauded. Learn and move forward but obsessing over the details all the time is unhealthy and feeds unhappiness.

        1. Emily, your blog used to say “perfectionism is boring!” But now it feels like that is what you are striving for.

    8. For what it’s worth, it’s not a turn off for me. I really appreciate the topic and Emily’s honesty. I don’t understand the folks who think you’re better off taking on clients vs remodeling your own home. 1) You’re in complete control of the design and 2) you don’t need permission to disclose $$$. Yeah, we can all agree a kitchen remodel is so unnecessary but you can say that about interior design in general. I’m in the team of remodeling before re-selling so you can enjoy it. Your kitchen is one of my favorite rooms as it is and if you decide to update it, I’ll will definitely follow along!

      1. I 100% agree, I would go further and wish I was in control of monitoring the responses for this one post, I would simply delete the few negative posts that belong to that small group displaying joyless and martyr like behavior and suggest they go out in the real world and be pro active make things better if that is what they want, rather than spending their time telling others how to do it and save…..especially when those others I.e Emily are obviously already so naturally giving.

        Emily made the best decision at the time with the time frame and resources being offered. She has since opened up to another alternative, who hasn’t had that happen? If she has been responsible, ie paid taxes and has the resources, new knowledge that this is also the best business and lifestyle decision for her family and desire, which I believe she has. I don’t know what the decision is? I would 100% do it.
        To answer Emily’s question; no negative surprises with intergrated
        appliances, and no one has ever taken more than 5 seconds to find the first time. This will go down well, ….we have integrated appliances in all our homes around the world and yes we also have a large family charity foundation, people are capable of doing 2 seemingly conflicting things at once in this world.

      2. I can’t help but agree with a lot of the points people are making in this thread. On the one hand, I completely understand giving up the client design work because that is a whole other animal. I also understand the need for compelling (and beautiful) content — the design blog world is competitive.

        That said, the things people are saying here about the continuous re-dos of your personal home(s), and making your design seemingly all about RENOVATIONS or ROUNDUPS rather than actual styling, and not only nixing perfectly good decor and appliances simply to create more content, but making rushed decisions to finish in an unrealistic timeline (decisions you seem to regret more often than not)… well, it has, simply put, become a turn off. I agree with the person above who said that — as a long-time EHD fan — I’ll still come and check out the posts probably no matter what out of sheer habit, but it just doesn’t excite me anymore.

        I know you at least SAY you’re looking for suggestions on how to make improvements (though, TBH Emily, I do question how seriously you take feedback; I have seen no less than 50 people comment on the grammatical error in your byline/tagline and IT’S. STILL. WRONG. Making that update couldn’t be easier and yet you haven’t done it – why??), so here goes:

        – Bring back the Craigslist posts. Someone else suggested this above and goodness, do I miss those posts. Not because I was ever able to actually go and buy the items you featured, but because it actually helped me LEARN how to search for and identify items in my own CL searches. There are lots of seemingly “garbage” pieces on CL, but you always found such interesting vintage or unique items I would otherwise never have thought twice about — and you would then explain how to fix it up or use it in a room. Those posts allowed people to learn (from a designer’s perspective) why a certain type of table, or mirror, or lamp base, or sofa was worth buying and fixing up — how to look past the shoddy photos with bad lighting and things needing fixing — and THAT is something accessible and helpful to everyone.

        – Please, please, please stop wasting sponsored makeovers on your rich friends. Like, I get it: they’re your friends and their houses are beautiful and it’s so lovely to have pretty content in nice spaces but for goodness sake — I almost stopped following your blog completely when you wasted sponsored products on your best friends Leigh and Corbett. By all means, feature your friends’ beautiful homes and force them to let you style the interiors for the sake of beautiful content, but I can’t tell you what a disappointment it is to see you gift your rich friends free things — the last people in the world who need it. Corbett’s house was stunning regardless of your styling/input and that isn’t what the majority your design-loving readers are craving to see. Your readers want to see simple, maybe even boring, spaced transformed by smart styling and design. There are so many people with beautiful homes that need work, who can’t afford to renovate or style them. This brings me to…

        – Suggestion: Allow your LA readership to submit their homes to EHD for potential use in your ever-growing need for content. They could even submit a “Why You Should Pick Me and/or My Family For An EHD Makeover.” This would be different from client work because you can stipulate all rules and perimeters, hand-pick the houses or spaces you like where there is potential, and make your readers feel good about the work you are gifting in the process. I absolutely LOVED what you did for your nanny Sylvia, and I know I’m not alone. Like, I would let you and your team come into my home and do literally whatever you wanted with as much access to the space as you want because I love your style and trust your decisions. I’m on an island in the PNW so I can’t help you, but I bet there are local LA fans of yours who feel the same way. Give back to your readers who have given you so much and watch your readership and clicks skyrocket.

        – Make your How-To posts *less* about your love of affiliate links (i.e. $$$$) and more about actually helping teach people something. Getting those clicks and getting paid is obviously important, but over the last few years I have progressively learned less and less as your content has become hyper-focused on PRODUCTS. You have so much to teach people about how to find the right dresser/bedframe/nightstand combo (something I personally desperately need help with), or when is the right time to use wall-to-wall carpeting vs. hardwoods, or how to tackle artwork in stairways or enormous walls (i.e. challenging spots) without the emphasis on peddling products. This leads me to…

        – Don’t get me wrong: I also love money – the more the better. But I think there are ways to make it less obvious so you don’t turn people away who are living paycheck-to-paycheck, or who can’t afford to buy *one* home much less one home and fully renovate it, or even TWO homes and fully renovate them! Not that doing those things is bad! On the contrary: the new spaces are exciting and I can’t wait to see the finishing spaces! As a design blogger, I know disclosing costs is important; there is nothing wrong with showing how much it costs to get integrated appliances, for example. Nor is there anything wrong with having expensive taste, or hiring out to do work other people might be forced to do themselves. But there are tasteful ways of being obviously wealthy and getting free stuff through sponsorships without being openly wasteful and frivolous. This is hopefully something your new Editorial Director can help with, because it really just comes down to tone and choice of words. (Joanna from Cup of Jo is a great example of someone who clearly makes boatloads from her blog — her Brooklyn home was $4.5 million!! — but you’d never know it by the tone she uses.)

        And finally:

        – Keep up the personal posts about your family/kids. I know some people don’t like it, because they aren’t here for a “mommy blog,” but truly don’t listen to that criticism. Those posts make you approachable and human and honest-to-God, this blog needs that shimmer of real life.

        Looking forward to the changes and even though I know the criticism is really, genuinely hard to read, I hope you’re able to rise through it (rather than work around it) to create something stronger, more genuine, and more lucrative in a positive way.

        1. Some really good points/suggestions here.

        2. So Stacy, your suggestion is, “don’t listen to other people’s criticism, only listen to my harsh and judgey diatribe.” ???

          1. Ha, Nicole. I was thinking the same thing. It’s an internet disease, the conviction that ONLY I, this commenter, know what’s right and aren’t you lucky, blogger, that *I* have arrived to school you.

            And then to be shocked and horrified when the blogger or writer doesn’t heed the self-righteous and self-important edicts immediately.

            I look at design blogs for…..design, not woker-than-thou politics and kitchens from the 90s.

  14. Yes, absolutely! I’m looking forward to seeing this.

  15. YES! This is the one and only thing I’ve disliked about your kitchen from the beginning. Integrated and panel-ready are different: Integrated means seamless, panel-ready means you see the venting and maybe bigger gaps, etc. I would be so happy to not see that giant fridge–just a wall of beautiful cabinetry.

    On the manufacturer side, integrated fridges are pretty run of the mill in Europe – Ikea has them! If you could do your part in making big brands bring low- and mid-range ones to North America (before I move from Europe back to Canada) it would be much appreciated 🙂

    1. Right? If anyone can do it, Emily can! We will need to renovate our kitchen in a couple of years (I should say, be financially able to). It is open to our lovely family room. Emily – please help North American companies see the light here! Thanks ahead of time : )

  16. Ikea does panel ready appliances and they aren’t expensive. I sometimes but don’t usually like when appliances are paneled. You can pretty much always tell where the appliances are and it just looks like, oh, that’s where they are trying to hide the fridge. I like stainless appliances and I have replaced “almond” colored appliances in my kitchen over the years (the kitchen was renovated when we moved in.) I think stainless appliances give my dark kitchen a pop. Make sure you get the finish that doesn’t show finger prints and stains. I didn’t and I regret it. Frigidaire has affordable appliances (as you mentioned your post) and the finishes are very forgiving. My microwave is a frigidaire. I don’t think you should change out your appliances, I think they look great and give your kitchen some contrast. I guess there is some argument to be made that because your kitchen is small, integrated appliances would make it look bigger because contrast tends to make rooms look smaller.

    Now some other comments about your kitchen. I love, love, love your hand-pressed tile! I am looking at hand pressed subway tile for our bathroom. What company did you get this tile from? The look of hand pressed tile is AMAZING! I love, love, love it.

    Your floors are beautiful. I agree and understand what you are saying about a darker stain but dark wood floors are really hard to keep looking clean. Notice that I say “looking clean” because we have light floors similar to yours and they are so practical. They pretty much never LOOK dirty, even when they are. I try to avoid putting anything in my house that I have to work hard to make it look clean. I have dark granite counters (not my pick) and they are terrible. They always look dirty even when they are clean. I have to ‘clean’ them nonstop. Dark and shiny things tend to be very unforgiving. My counters are dark and shiny. Just say no. You could stain the floors right before you sell it because I think dark floors sell better.

    I really don’t like the brass finishes that designers are using. You guys spent 10 years making everyone take out brass faucets and knobs and now this is the latest trend. I feel the same way about the current wallpaper obsession. In 10 years, we will all be switching out these brass fixtures and tearing out wallpaper.

    I love the color on your kitchen island. Normally, I think stick with grey or black because it’s timeless but this color is so pretty.

    My last comment is just how functional this kitchen looks while being small. Our kitchen is small too so I’m always looking out for small kitchens that look amazing. Yours does.

    1. I’m SO with you on brass and wallpaper. My entire childhood was spent watching/helping my mom remove all the 80s wallpaper and brass fixtures in their house. I have an involuntary gag reflex regarding both, now, even though the high end, in-style versions now are very much better. They just seem like such a fad. I skipped right past brass to matte black finishes.

    2. I believe it’s Cle Tile (Zellige style, weathered white). It’s a source of pride that I had it in my kitchen before I saw Emily get it. 🙂 Mine is the 2×2 squares though. It looks great, too!
      https://www.cletile.com/collections/terracotta-tile-glazed-zellige-2×6-subway

    3. In all fairness to Emily, brass has always been her jam. When she started years ago, her blog was called The Brass Petal. I get what you’re saying though. Design trends come and go. I think the best thing to do is design for the era of the home you have. So if you have a mid-century home, putting in chrome fixtures will always look appropriate. For Emily’s home, the brass is great because that fits in with the era of home she has. Especially because over time, the patina will age along with the house. I honestly think that would be a great series for Emily to do. Designing for your era of home. What fixtures, etc. to use to keep things timeless.

    4. I like brass again now even though I was frantically removing it from my last house. I don’t think I’d be onboard except right now everything doesn’t have to match so you don’t feel like if you suddenly hate the brass you’ll have to replace 10 light fixtures, 4 faucets, 7 doorknobs all at once. I love the mix of finishes.

      And I have always loved wallpaper. In my last house when wallpaper was still out (but coming back on the coasts) I stenciled a wall to look like wallpaper so it wouldn’t turn off buyers whenever I sold.

  17. YES, PLEASE to the outlet roundup and bathroom rules! I’m renovating a bathroom soon and could use both!

    As for the kitchen, it’s difficult for me to move away from the “use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” philosophy, BUT I really want to see that kitchen with integrated appliances. What’s more, could you get Ikea on the case of introducing some budget friendly integrated appliance options here in the US?? Seriously. I’m a born-and-bred ‘Murican but I don’t my fridge to say that.

  18. Integrated appliances are one of the few things way more expensive in the US vs Europe! We’re lucky here that they are pretty standard (even Ikea do them). I’m in Ireland and we got integrated appliance in our kitchen last year and I don’t think the appliances themselves cost anything different. getting the panels and the installation added a bit more but it is so worth it when you see the finished picture.

    1. We have them in Ikea. but they are low end and don’t compare to mid range appliances quality wise. I’d never put that in the y kitchen ot just doesn’t say quality or well- built. Even temperatures of range are not as reliable. Please compare a 2500 Samsung chef range to your IKEA range. Same with a fridge in 2000-2700 price range. That’s what Emily says when she says there’s nothing available in that quality and price range. Also ikea is too small and delicate for a well built Anerican house.

  19. Dear Emily, I understand your decision from an esthetic point of view, but I’m afraid to me it still seems wasteful, even if you donate your old fridge. That’s simply one more huge appliance that will be manufactured using various resources and one more that will eventually end up in a landfill. A bit like buying new clothes and donating them to charity – do all of us realise that all these things do not magically disappear into thin air once they are out of our view, but end up in gigantic landfills the size of a city in third world countries, and that charity organisations alone are not able to deal with all the stuff we want to get rid of? I would like this place to be an inspiration for people to make considered decisions, which it often is, indeed, when we can read about how much thought goes into every decision you make, but this post is practically encouraging the people who have had a fridge for a year to change it for a new one on a whim. Considering how much trash we already produce on a daily basis, this should be unthinkable. But maybe this comment anyway has no point because we’re all already screwed anyway…

    1. Agreed. Mother Earth trumps design content!

      1. Agreed! The kitchen would look lovely integrated, but it seems too wasteful to me even in terms of the extra manpower and trash that it would create. You’re doing it in your two other kitchens and those will create content.

      2. YES!!! Kaja & Christina know where it’s at.
        Poor, poor Mother Earth. This type of consumerism and wastefulness is revolting.

    2. this makes my heart happy to know others care so much about the environment and what our consumerism is doing to it.

    3. Completely agree. I started reading this blog when Emily was famous for mixing flea market finds seamlessly into eclectic living rooms. The direction the blog has taken is wasteful and unsustainable (for our world and as a business model). “But I’m a content creator!” is shirking responsibility.

      It has become very distasteful for me and I won’t click over anymore. My clicks send the message I’m ok with a custom made sofa/table/kitchen being disposed of after a few months because “content!” and I’m not.

  20. Woof, that photo of the “old school” panel ready fridge was HORRIFYING!! They literally just superglued cabinets onto a fridge! Oh my God! Who looked at that and thought “yep, this is fine”?

  21. I vote no. Focus on your other projects. Let this one be a home.

  22. I think it would be silly to change the appliances. Sure, it would look beautiful, but it already looks beautiful and it would cost so much to make the change. It just seems kind of frivolous, to be honest. Just my opinion. 😊

  23. I was always surprised that you didn’t hide your appliance or at least build-in the range hood, but knowing you had a sponsor makes sense now. For 8 years left with this house – yes, absolutely make changes! 8 years is a long time and really, it’s about what makes YOU happy in your home and not about anything else. I have to say it’s sort of fun watching you mature in design and not just style spaces. I’m not keen on stating there are “rules” and would rather say that there are some best practices to follow, but each space and house is unique and especially unique to the person who is living there. A very obvious example is your best friends house/kitchen. That is certainly not a style that would appeal to everyone, although it is gorgeous, but they followed their heart and did it anyway and it probably matches the style of the home really well. So go buy some integrated appliances!

  24. Wow! I wasn’t expecting the appliances to be a regret. However, seeing the inspiration photos especially the white cabinet ones I get it. Your kitchen is small and more cabinetry and less shine would look more calming and serene overall. Your house, your kitchen, your decision. For resale as of right now in 2018 I don’t see that being a dealbreaker. In 2026, will the all paneled kitchen be par for the course? Only time will tell.

    PS. Please post close ups of the year-later (minimal) wear and tear.

  25. Your kitchen is lovely. I just replaced my refrigerator and went with a professional without the water and ice dispenser on outside. I much prefer it. I also have carrera marble, love it and yes, high maintenance. I would probably go with Quartz today. I have a question on your tile. It looks like glass but it is actually a glazed tile? Would you share the exact color and style #? I have been looking for something simple but with movement like that and it could fit the bill. FYI we moved from Lake Oswego (Portland) to Hilton Head Island. I so miss it!!! There is no design style here at all.

    1. The tile is sourced in the original kitchen post (the reveal, I believe). It’s from Cle Tile. I ordered a sample and it’s gorgeous — but very thick, so I won’t be able to use it to replace my existing backsplash. It would be higher than my existing trim.

    2. Cle Tile, Zellige, weathered white (I believe).

  26. In our last house, which had a tiny kitchen, we had integrated appliances and it was great. Otherwise, it would have looked like we had 1/3 cabinetry and 2/3 appliances. In our current kitchen, which is much larger, we don’t have integrated and that’s fine because the ratio of cabinetry to appliances is higher. We may get an integrated dishwasher when ours finally dies, but beyond that we probably won’t. I’d never recommend an average homeowner to do such a change, but in your case it totally makes sense, both because of your kitchen size and because it makes sense for you professionally!

  27. Cost might not be a factor for you if you get is sponsored but Fisher Paykel makes a really great integrated/panel ready fridge and drawer dishwasher. I think the fridge retails for around $4000. You might want to check out instagram to see some pics where they are installed. They look great and are several thousand less than the sub zero, etc.

    https://www.fisherpaykel.com/us/kitchen/fridge-freezers/built-in/activesmart-refrigerator-36-french-door-built-in2.RS36A72J1.html

    Also, here is an article that explains the differences between overlay, built-in and panel ready refrigerators.

    https://blog.bostonappliance.net/built-in-vs-integrated-vs-overlay-refrigerators/

  28. I am here for this change! Would love to see the before and afters and to see how it changes the vibe of your kitchen!

  29. PLEASE do an outlet cover roundup. I have changed the plates in my kitchen three times and a hate everything that I’ve tried. Haha…

    1. This one has stumped me from the beginning. I, too, hate ugly outlets, and hid ours to great effect up under our cabinets so none are in the backsplash. I do have one on the island – but what I’ve ALWAYS done, not just in these locations but anywhere an outlet it an eye sore or poorly placed…paint them the wall color. I honestly cannot understand why this is not basically standard. WHY do people “highlight” their stupid white outlet covers all over the perimeters of their room? Sure, if hidden by furniture, who cares, but I paint them all as a matter of course. We remove the covers, spray prime, paint, reinstall (so they don’t look DIY hacked or sloppy/drippy). To me, it makes all the difference in the world and is the *obvious*, easy, basically free choice for something like your island. Unless the outlet gets non-stop, crazy use, chips, etc., have never been an issue for me. And even on those? Spend precisely 1 minute once a year to touch up. Done. Buh-bye outlets. Putting a “prettier” cover on that thing isn’t going to help a thing, IMO. Good luck with all the changes! (FWIW I completely disagree with the “waste” comments – it is NOT waste if a fridge goes to a habitat house or whatever and replaces another that would have had to be purchased. And “they’re perfectly good,” just rings totally tone deaf/missing the point to me for someone WHO’S JOB IT IS TO BE A CONTENT CREATOR/INFLUENCER! Okay, shutting up now 🙂

  30. Before i got to the par on integration- i was thinking “that is such a gorgeous kitchen- but i SO wish the fridge was integrated!!” It’s beautiful either way- but i say go for it! I love that you can’t see our appliances- you will not regret it!!

  31. Emily, I love your kitchen and it’s NEW, stick with it! I’d love to see posts about completing the mountain house and the fixer upper; and renovating rooms you haven’t touched yet. I like this post because there are always ‘regrets’ in renovations, but the idea of actually redoing it this quickly, when we’re following so many other projects, makes my head spin, as a reader.

    In the UK, integrated is standard and, IMO, looks tacky – particularly in conjunction with classic cabinetry like yours. We all know that giant sticky-out overhead cabinet is hiding an exhaust hood, it doesn’t fool anyone. Like an uncomfortable euphemism. Whereas a really beautiful oven, like yours, looks classy and, well, expensive.

    I can live with an integrated/hidden dishwasher, because most dishwashers are fugly, but fridges, ovens and hoods make a kitchen. Otherwise it’s just a random room with loads of cupboards. Also, it’s not like you can hide everything… There’ll always be a sink on show!

  32. Have to admit-Idea makes me a little sad. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen/family! 🤷🏼‍♀️

  33. Would love a post on hiding outlets in the kitchen.

  34. For me visual serenity is key to happiness. We have only one communal living space in my house, living room, dining table, and kitchen, are all together. So I find having at least a panel-ready fridge to be critical. Mine’s a Sub Zero – it needs the condenser cleaned regularly which is a pain in the neck, but for me the clean look is worth it.

    Everyone’s different. If you donate what you get rid of seems like a win-win to me.

  35. I did some of this in 2015 when I “refreshed” my kitchen. One thing to think about is that when something is hidden, it doesn’t have to be the same brand. So I did a KitchenAid dishwasher because I knew it was going to work great.

    My one big regret is doing Viking for all my cooking appliances. I didn’t look into the reviews enough and only realized after the fact that they are not the company they used to be. I was seduced by the look and their past reputation. When things have broken, the customer service has been not great and we had a problem at install that they were just awful about.

    I wish I had done Wolf. I changed out the built in refrigerator at a different time and went with sub zero. So happy with them and that superior product.

  36. I struggle with this – I think your kitchen looks lovely, as is, and the fact that it’s a year old… I do think some integrated kitchens look quite nice, but often to me, it feels very modern and sterile, which is not the age or vibe of your home. However, I do think that hiding the range hood, and maybe even having the integrated fridge would work in your space. Since the dishwasher is mostly hidden from view in your photos, I don’t see the point in replacing that, and to me, the range is a functional part of the kitchen and it is a bit odd to “hide” it. As someone who bakes and roasts quite often, I wouldn’t want to lose the functionality of being able to see inside the oven by having it obscured with cabinetry panels, but that is maybe less of a concern for you.

    As for a bathroom rules post, and an outlet roundup, yes please!!

    1. I’m going back and forth on this as well. Aesthetically, I always thought the appliances were a little jarringly modern in your style kitchen. I assumed that they were selected because they were sponsored and not because you would have chosen them given a whole world of options. Have you thought about white appliances as a compromise? They might blend in better with the cabinets and draw less attention to themselves.

      Here’s where you lose me, beyond the waste component: You seem to be struggling with this decision a little bit, and usually when we struggle it’s because something isn’t sitting right with us. I think you need to figure out what about it doesn’t sit quite right and go from there before making any decisions.

      It seems like reader backlash is a growing concern of yours lately, and there seems to be a growing trend in the comments section criticizing your blog for becoming more aspirational than relatable. Here’s the core of the issue, I think- we all like you on a personal level and think of you as our internet friend. We know you to be kind, charitable, and down to Earth. Redoing a kitchen after only a year does not give the impression of being down to Earth or humble. It makes it seem like what is good for the average family is not good enough for your home or that you are always on a quest for bigger and better. (Just to be clear, I don’t think this is your mindset, but I think that impression can easily be made). We have created this standard for you on a personal level that we want you, our internet friend, to live up to. It probably seems more harshly criticized lately because we didn’t care when your clients did the same thing- we didn’t know them or hold them to the same standards. It seems like you have created a standard of bigger and better for your business, which is great, but the bigger and better content can sometimes alienate the average person.

      That being said, it’s your home and you should be happy in it. I’m trying to see it from your perspective, and I think you are an artist and your home is your canvas. No one ever criticized a painter for stepping back and adding a few extra brush strokes to their work. If you want to do this for yourself and your home , and not for content, than I say go for it. Nobody ever got mad at Bob Ross for adding a few extra happy trees to an otherwise pretty painting. Maybe you can do a charitable redesign with the appliances along the lines of “these appliances didn’t work with the style of my kitchen, but here’s how to make your average appliances look great in a kitchen”. That would keep us loving your charitable self, generate more relatable content, and probably keep your appliance sponsor happy.

      1. Hey Katherine,
        I think you are right on every level. I think that what is most important to me often negates what my visual and aesthetic whim wants. I think i’m often shamed by the latter. I think the pressure of being a ‘famous designer’ often makes me want to do something fame worthy. the pressure to not be average or generic is high. But the internal pressure to not be an ass hole is higher. I’m trying my best and I hope to do even better. xx

        1. This response is why Ilove you and read this blog. Your vulnerability is precious. Whatever you choose, I’m rooting for you!

          And BTW, I (and maybe all of us?) have the exact same internal dilemmas regarding form, function, style, waste, budget, consumerism, making a home. All of it! Just on a smaller and much less public scale.

        2. Please make shirt that’s says “Just trying to not be an asshole.” 😂

  37. Yes please on the outlet round up and I echo some other folks on here: I’m mid bathroom reno and would LOVE to see the rules post ASAP!!

  38. Okay, so here’s what I’d do if I was in your shoes. First, I’d keep shooting in my kitchen as-is but I’d Photoshop in an integrated fridge. You have the technology – if you feel guilty about Photoshopping in an integrated fridge, just think about the peace of mind you’ll get by not ripping into your kitchen and disrupting your family’s time (I’ve heard kitchen remodels are very hard to live through), and always be transparent about the Photoshopping (the intent isn’t to deceive anyone – just to create nice photos to showcase whatever it is you’re showcasing in the actual post). Second, yes, I’d still do something about that danged range hood. Covering it over with a cabinetry façade seems to be the direction you’re already leaning in, so do it. Third, I’d keep the stove and dishwasher as-is for now because they’re kind of hiding below the island anyway – I don’t think they’d actually be distracting in your photos. Fourth, I don’t think people 8-10 years from now will be all that interested in what would be decade-old integrated appliances at that point, so I don’t think the resale value argument is a good one in this particular case. Fifth, there’s an old saying that I hadn’t heard myself until recently – don’t pile too many things on your plate or food will start falling off. Maybe just pump the brakes here until the Portland house is sold and the mountain house is completely finished.

  39. Our home was built two years ago and we have all integrated appliances (except the oven of course) including the hood. Cabinetry is flat paneled, modern, painted white with satin brass hardware. I was channeling the “Orcondo” kitchen when we designed it.

    I love love love love love them. I wanted a kitchen that didn’t look too kitchen-y. I love to bake and cook but even so I wanted all the function with a prettier form (: It’s the thing that people most often comment on when they come to our home. And since we have an open floor plan with the living room/kitchen/dining being one large room, I feel like everything flows more nicely.

    One more thing: I love my tall shallow integrated refrigerator. No more searching for items in the back. All our other refrigerators would freeze the stuff in the way back anyway. Ours is a Bosch – two door upper and single freezer drawer below.

    I say go for it. You know you want to……

    1. Can I ask what you do about the ice situation? I am redesigning a kitchen and would love to do an integrated fridge but my family loves chipped ice! We use it in drinks but my kids also always want it when they have tummy aches or sore throats–its actually miraculous at making people feel better. How do I get chipped ice without it in the door of the fridge? Does anyone know the answer to this ridiculous question. I’ve seen those ice making appliances and even those don’t seem to smash the ice….you just get tons of big cubes.

      1. Farah, I do know this answer! My brother put in a new refrigerator a couple of years ago. It is stacked with the fridge on top, freezer drawer on the bottom. The cold water and ice cubes are on the inside of the door of the fridge. I was so envious when I saw it because every little person that comes into my kitchen (including my own) push the level to make the water and ice come out. Onto the floor.

        1. Thank you so much for this info! Do you know if your brothers fridge also has the crushed ice function inside because its really the small chunks of ice that I’m after and that help my kiddos when they are feeling sick. It seems so ridiculous to buy a fancy shmance fridge and then need to hand crush my ice with a mallet.

  40. I freaking LOVE that my appliances are built in (when we were building, the cabinetry guys used both words interchangeably so I thought it meant the same thing??) It is a small kitchen but feels spacious because of it and is way easier to clean. I say, go for it! It would be nice for all of us to see the difference!

  41. you should do this. integrated all the way. I was kind of surprised when you did the kitchen reveal that you actually had a water and ice maker in the door.

    you have a really nice, high-end house. The kitchen needs to match that feel!

  42. I think it looks best in a more modern, European-style kitchen with sleek cabinetry. Your kitchen has a more “old world” vibe. Either way though, I’m sure it would be beautiful.

  43. Do it!! With the exception that I’m not sure about the hood. Is there a more exciting option visually? Can’t be a bad choice to do it as well, just wondering if that’s a spot to add a little pizazz. But overall, I say YES to everything.

  44. Go for it! I’m fired up enough after this post to want to embark on a whole kitchen reno myself! I will definitely go with the integrated look b/c I love streamlined simplicity.

  45. Fisher and Paykel makes a less expensive integrated refrigerator.

    1. We used to have a Fisher Paykel refrigerator and it’s an excellent product: very low energy use and extremely well designed with more interior usable space than other refrigerators of the same and even larger sizes, also counter depth! They are perfect for small and vintage kitchens.

  46. I really like our fridge, but I really do not like how it looks in our kitchen. If integrating it would be an option, I would go for it in a heartbeat. I would also like to integrate our microwave, which sits below our countertop. Our dishwasher is in the island and not visible from the main space, so I probably would not bother with that. As for your space, I would integrate solely on the fact that the stainless steel does not seem like the right finish for your kitchen.

  47. When I see a kitchen where the appliances are integrated I assume it isn’t used and is just for show. Kitchens are warm and friendly, to be messed up while making cookies and big meals. Appliances are expected and workhorses. When you hide them, it feels cold and sterile. I wouldn’t buy a house with integrated appliances. But, I’m not necessarily a fan of stainless, I think it is over played.

    1. interesting … I can totally see that point.

  48. The fridge and dishwasher I can see, but I really don’t like those integrated hoods. It seems to emphasize them more, not less. So I’d integrate the fridge and dishwasher and leave the hood, or if it doesn’t match the new range then just look for a more streamlined good option.

  49. Gosh, I know that your aren’t under contract, but if I was your “F” sponsor I’d be pretty upset by this post. It seems to imply that kitchens with their appliances are lower end and not aethesthetically pleasing.

    1. I’m also concerned about how Frigidaire will perceive this post. I know your contract with them has expired, but I doubt that they anticipated that you’d be ditching their products so soon. I wonder if other companies will hesitate to enter into partnerships with you in the future if they read this.

  50. That’s a tough call! I’m in a similar situation, we are relocating our kitchen and have a perfectly fine fridge, but the look of an integrated one is calling me…

    I love those hidden hoods too, and I have sketched out an idea of having one extend over a small sink that will be next to the range. I think it looks very pretty, on either side would be cabinetry down to the counter, so very balanced. But in my extensive Pinterest search I have never ever seen this done. Would love feedback!

  51. I would love to see the appliances integrated! I don’t think every kitchen needs it, but with the age and style of your house, I think you do. The stainless looks too modern and clashes with everything else. Please keep the design “rules” coming and post an outlet round-up! Thank you so much for your “crazy” train and all the great content! I love the ride!

  52. Who knew integrated appliances were so polarizing?! Although I love some of those elevated kitchen looks where the appliances can’t be detected, the concept seems so easily outdated – as though it would only look good done really well, and then it will feel like, “What were they thinking?” eight years from now. I think beautiful kitchen appliances punctuate the design appropriately and feel classic, whereas paneling everywhere can easily seem boring, overwhelming, or past-trend. Sounds like that’s the direction you are moving though – and I know you’ll do it well!

    1. there is a chance that integration will also be dated for sure! Ugh. who knows.

      1. It’s impossible to know what will be dated and when and we all drive ourselves nuts trying to figure it out! When I moved to my current house 7 yrs ago we bought white appliances because I thought stainless was so overplayed and heading out. We just recently replaced them with stainless. Now we are moving to a new house and I am thinking stainless again? or integrated? or partially integrated? Like you my fridge is going in an area surrounded by cabinetry and could easily be hidden. But so recently we all just wanted beautiful stainless for all to see! And now we want to hide it hide it! I just don’t know. Also I want function AND beauty and so often it seems we have to choose. And if you integrate the fridge don’t we expect a really pretty stove since that is the piece you have left out to admire? People expect a Viking stove or a fancy French stove in a hi-end remodel but how is the service? From what I hear not so hot…

        1. Integrated appliances are a standard here in Europe for over 20 years. The good thing is that you can choose what appliances to show of or not. You don’t have to go just one direction and hide them all or show them all. Each kitchen is different.
          I, for one, would never think of showcasing my dishwasher because there’s nothing pretty nor cosy about it. It’s just a functional thing to wash dishes and make your life easy. On the other hand I love a beautiful fridge, and the cosiness it can give to a kitchen. It’s all about food, after all!

  53. Technical answer here! There IS a difference between integrated and panel-ready, but I believe only for refrigeration. The business parts of a hood are all internal, so they can be clad in anything fire-safe (a sheet of stainless is just easy and inexpensive for manufacturers, so it’s standard), and a dishwasher’s front has no bearing on its function, either. But for fridges, the differences are legit and mainly come in the way they’re vented.

    A panel-ready fridge is largely the same as a standard fridge, and vents from the top, where you’re used to seeing those metal slats on a stainless Subzero. The vent area is usually reconfigured slightly so you can put a panel in front of it, but it still needs to blow out around it, so it is always visible as a skinny rectangle above the doors. The gaps give it away – you can see them in your photos 1, 2, 7, and 8. This makes them less expensive, because the engineering is largely the same as a standard model.

    Integrated fridges are completely re-engineered in the guts of the machine to vent elsewhere (usually the foot – see those little routed holes on the baseboard in photo 4?) so that you can have the door panel meet the upper cabinets with no telltale vent piece. The doors also fit more flush. These are far sneakier than the panel-ready, and I actually don’t like them because they’re so hard to find. No one ever asks me where my paneled fridge is – it’s visually quiet by matching the cabinets, but the shape is recognizable enough to friends that I think it’s easier to sleuth out. Integrated models also cost waaay more than a standard fridge because the entire machine is different inside. I personally don’t think they’re worth it unless your cabinet design is really really precise, either super sleek or hidden inside vintage furniture or something.

    I’m reasonably sure you’ve got integrated fridges in photos 3 and 4, but I think 5 and 6 have no fridge anywhere – just deep storage, with the fridges off-stage? There are no vents even on the baseboards of those cabinets, so I don’t think they have any appliances inside. Could be wrong.

    Aesthetically: I’m a designer and always I push hard for paneled dishwashers, because stainless models always jar against the cabinets to my eye, and I don’t think they’re every exciting or pretty in their own right (I do think if you have white cabinets, a plain white dishwasher is FINE and will work just as well as a panel! Blasphemy in the Church of Stainless, I know). But I like exposed fridges and hoods just as much as panels – depends on the house, the style, and the family. I think I’d panel your dishwasher and fridge, but unless you’re getting something really decorative and special for the range (LaCanache, La Cornue, etc) I could easily live with the hood and range. Just my own jam.

    1. THANK YOU!!!!!!

    2. I totally agree with Meredith’s aesthetic notes (I’m also a designer and take the same approach).

    3. Oh, and a tip for Team EHD: I learned all that fiddly technical bit a few years ago by just calling up Subzero’s support team and asking them to explain it to me. They were SO EXCELLENT about it. I find a lot of companies are like that (Kohler Technical department, I heart you forever), and all you have to do is call and someone extremely well-informed will walk you through it. I think a lot of any tech department’s job is dealing with frustrated people whose expensive purchases have gone up in smoke, so a polite and curious potential customer is a pleasant surprise. You don’t even need to have purchased anything. Could not have been nicer or more helpful.

    4. Great information and advice!

    5. Thank you!! I love learning something new.

    6. thank you!! super helpful! and I like your suggestion about what and when to integrate!

  54. my mom did integrated appliances in her kitchen remodel 12 or more years ago.
    her only complaint… the refrigerator recently died. Her custom made panels won’t work for the refrigerators on the market today and the custom cabinet maker is no longer around.. I’m sure if she tried a little harder she could’ve found someone.. but she ended up buying a stainless steel fridge while all other appliances remain integrated. Until they also give out.

    1. Same happened to me, Sarah. It is a hassle to replace panel-ready, integrated, whatever you want to call it, especially in an emergency situation. Hiding the appliances looks so beautiful though.

  55. I love the integrated appliance look, but feel indifferent about whether or not you update it in your beautiful newly remodeled kitchen.

    I do have a comment on the outlet covers – my father painted homes for a living and would always paint outlet covers to match the wall. If a room was wallpapered, he would take some of the extra paper, line up the pattern and cover the outlet cover so it would blend in. Our outletcovers and lightswitch plates growing up were always seamless and I’m realizing now that is/was not common practice!

  56. YES YES YES! To all of it! We are designing our kitchen and I would love information on outlets! I’m googling options as we speak. And we opted to go ‘panel ready’ but now I’m wondering if I should have gone ‘integrated.’ Clarification would sure be helpful!

  57. We have an integrated dishwasher and I love the look of it. When people come over they are always asking where our dishwasher is. I think the refrigerators with that option are tricky though–in some of the pictures you pinned I like it, but some look kind of ridiculous. They almost look more obvious to me with all of the panels on it. Oh, and I agree about the handles becoming loose or breaking off–that is a real concern.

  58. Panel-ready vs Integrated: Sub-Zero site has good examples of integrated and panel ready refrigerators with photos of both installed in kitchens. You see a bit of a gap for the hinges and the vent with panel-ready (SZ calls theirs “built-in”). The difference is subtle but the cabinet style can have an impact. With our flat panel cabinets, the panel-ready would look fairly seamless. But with any detail, shaker, inset, etc, the panel-ready vs integrated difference would be more noticeable. If you want it to look exactly like a tall pantry cabinet then for sure go with integrated.

  59. As a long time reader I wanted to say how much I loved this post! I’m here for all the behind-the-scenes, and obsessive thought-processes that are so helpful for those of us with our own homes that we’re slowing working on and decorating. I know some people love the merch heavy posts, but these are the ones I come back to again and again. Sorry, not helpful at all for your integrated kitchen dilemma!

  60. Why not paint the outlet covers to match the island/wall cover wherever possible?
    Yes to the remodel!

  61. We had integrated (don’t know if that is different than panel ready – sorry) refrigerators and freezer. It was the thermador freedom series, I think? Beautiful. Loved it. Our house was super modern so it worked. But paneled in your vintage home still works because 100 years ago there would not have been a big stainless steel fridge right? 🙂

  62. I think it would especially look nice in regard to the fridge. And I love almost everything about your kitchen except for the island color ( sorry!) and the stools. They just, in my opinion don’t go with the rest of the kitchen and English cottage feel of your home. I’d love a new island personally! But obviously, it’s your kitchen;)

    1. Most of the decor doesn’t complement the architecture, so there’s that. I usually like the juxtaposition of old and new, but not in this case. The decor is not cohesive and feels too…um…jumbled? It detracts from the original, substantive beauty and history of this house, imo.

  63. My advice on the outlet covers on the island — buy the wooden covers and paint them the same color as the cabinetry. This is what I always do and they simply disappear!

    1. Seconded! This solution costs about $15 and takes about an hour. And your GC was right – the island outlets are 100% required by code. If you got paintable covers, the plugs themselves would stay white, but you can get gray outlets that will blend better (House of Antique Hardware has nice ones) and have an electrician rewire. OR you can get brave and rewire yourself. I sat down with YouTube a year ago and steeled myself to learn how to swap in dimmers, and discovered it takes literally two wires, a flathead screwdriver, and maaaaybe 8 minutes. I felt like a Viking when I did it myself. Just be safe and flip the fuse first!

      1. Meredith, I’ve scrolled through the comments here and all of your comments are fantastic! Thanks for sharing your expertise and recommendations!!

        1. Aw, thanks! I should do a blog called ‘Ask a giant nerd’. It’s fun to share.

  64. Check out Trufig for integrated, “invisible” outlets. You still see the outlet slots but otherwise they’re very subtle.

  65. I did integrated appliances in my last kitchen, but not in the kitchen I am currently designing.

    Integrated – the kitchen was small with original mahogany cabinets that I wanted to keep. I searched and found the only refrigerator that would fit within the original cabinets. The integrated appliances turned out AMAZING, sleek and expensive looking, and was completely the right decision for that architect-built house that really required high design. That’s why I also installed Bocci 22 switches and outlets, and hid the exhaust. The renovations done were designed to last for decades.

    The house I’m renovating now is 50’s midcentury with a great layout and a casual indoor/outdoor vibe. It was built with mid-grade building materials, and I’m keeping the design decisions affordable and flexible. White Ikea kitchen, concrete counters, a slide in range and a 36″ counter depth Fisher & Paykel fridge (without water/ice dispenser). It will look pretty, function well for the space, and be in keeping with the overall design level of the house. Integrated would probably look better, but I wanted more flexibility in my appliance choices, and I just didn’t think this house needs it to look good.

    I think for your kitchen an integrated fridge makes sense because it’s so prominent in the space and if it were integrated, your tile, marble counters and light fixtures would be the stars of the room (as they should be). Your dishwasher is hidden behind the island so doesn’t matter so much whether you swap it out or not.

  66. Your appliances look fine. Simple solution-Why don’t you just paint your electrical outlet the same color as the island?

  67. I am building a 9 by 5ft kitchen island and the outlet thing has totally stumped me! I would love help with this!

  68. I think integrated is perfection but I had to settle for beautiful white appliances which I ADORE. I cannot be bothered with stainless… the upkeep drives me crazy. And this from the lady who regrets not getting marble but going to quartz which I detest because there are always smears in the surface. I had marble in my old house and lived it’s inoerfections, chips and stains.

  69. Maybe think about waiting a few years and then changing it out. Let these appliances you have now take the abuse of young children – stickers, markers, dents and nicks from things inevitably thrown in the house even if the rule is “no throwing things in the house – and then get the ones you covet. If you change them out now, with the idea that it will be better for resale, I can see them needing to be replaced or even being outdated (if the appliance industry is going in this direction) in 8 years. Just a thought from a mom of three kids (5, 7, 9) who sees things wrecked on the daily.

    1. I’m renovating a kitchen and am debating this issue myself. I think its really the giant fridge with the indoor water and ice dispenser (my family loves crushed ice though so what do I do about that?!) that is the eyesore. I like the pictures above where the appliances are visible but the hood is integrated (enough already with the oven hood as an “eye catcher”) and maybe the fridge is integrated or at least there is no indoor dispenser which lets face it is just ugly. Does anyone make a dispenser inside? That makes crushed ice? Why must we sacrifice function for beauty? The kitchens with everything integrated look very sleek and modern to my eye. I do want the kitchen to look like a kitchen and not a living room.

      1. Kitchen Aid offers integrated water dispenser. That’s what our fridge has and we love it!

    2. Yes….wait for sure. Also a mom to three, ages 4,8,10…..I can’t imagine the upkeep on the integrated appliances. My appliances surfaces get drips, smears and food /drink spills especially as my older two learn to help prepare meals and clean up the kitchen afterwards. Painted cabinetry is much less forgiving of the many wipe downs a day my appliances require.
      That said, I am one of few that does not like the look of integrated appliances. The long runs of nothing but cabinetry really bother me. I prefer seeing the appliances.

  70. Do you ever put your kids’ art work on the fridge? Notes, etc? Can’t do that with “integrated”. Maybe “photo perfect” isn’t real life.
    Please comment more on lighting- do your pendants provide enough general overall light?
    Your kitchen still seems drop dead perfect to me!
    I went on a charity kitchen tour this weekend and all the “beautiful spaces” seemed so smooth and eventually boring. I was envious of how sparkling clean they were but was happy to get home to my colorful clutter. And I don’t want a kitchen in the living room no matter hoe on trend!
    FE

  71. Hi Emily, yes on the lighting switches roundup. My house was stripped off all of its 100 year old details in the renovation and, while I don’t want to bring it back because I love modern, I do want to add some classier details that don’t feel so builder grade.

    As for the appliances, I like the current setup. Your kitchen looks like a kitchen. It’s functional, it’s somewhat minimalistic when you compare it to changing to the integrated. Integrated looks nice, but it is also confusing to find the refrigerator and sometimes has too much repetition in cabinet doors….it’s doors everywhere! Lol

  72. I think you’re probably right to integrate the fridge; I remember a favorite designer saying she always tries to design kitchens where you don’t see the fridge immediately on entering- have it on a side wall or behind- but with an open kitchen like yours, an integrated fridge would be really lovely. I’m wondering how it would look with the new, smaller cabinet above it and the existing size upper cabinet next to it? (does that make sense?)

  73. 1) Pot filler: the vertical arm looks centered so I don’t feel like it’s an issue.

    2) This is really neither here nor there but moving out of your children’s school district after they have become entrenched, made friendships and put down “roots” is not as easy as you think. Especially when they are hitting puberty (you said age 12), which is a crucial time for them and believe me you don’t want to throw a wrench into an already fragile time in their lives. So, if you want to move, do it before they get into school.

    3) Integrated appliances: To me, it depends on the design. I think they work really well in a contemporary setting but I agree with others who say they like to cook and don’t really want or need their appliances hidden because we want our kitchens to look like kitchens. When I think of a “gourmet cooks kitchen” I think of beautiful cabinets, appliances and finishes married with industrial look and functionality of a restaurant kitchen.

    1. i totally forgot about the school thing! but yes, as i was reading the post, i thought to myself that moving your kids at those ages (10 and 12) sounds horrible. like at that point, you’ve waited too long and may as well let them finish thru high school. my oldest is going into 3rd grade next year and we’re talking about moving, but one of my main reasons to not move is the whole school/friends thing. so, we’ve already decided, it’s seriously either NOW, or we wait til they’ve graduated. we really don’t want to do that to them. sigh. parent guilt/decisions.

      1. Her area of LA doesn’t have great public schools (to my knowledge, maybe things have changed or there’s a charter). I always thought that picking that area meant she was probably going to spring for private schools anyway. At high school, the private school kids of LA sort of naturally disperse anyway.
        Also–I’m truly guessing.
        But–I think you can sell a “high end” house with mid-range appliances. I don’t consider those appliances shabby. Also-I don’t think this area of LA is that high end ultimately. The school district isn’t tops. And if someone NEEDS sub zero and wolf–they will just buy it. I don’t think having nice, mid-range appliances would cause less money in a potential sale. A lot of people move with their sub-zero fridges!
        You are in a fun, wonderful area for creative professionals crawling with great families for you to befriend. But–it’s not Palos Verdes, San Marino, Manhattan Beach, or Pacific Palisades–with top school districts. And even if you were in those areas, you might opt for private anyway!

  74. While its totally fine the way it is (it’s a kitchen – you’re not fooling anyone by hiding the appliances), it would for sure look away better with integrated appliances. While you are at it, I’d love to see you re-address that vent hood. Honestly though – your kitchen has already been shot and revealed. I don’t know that you’ll get a ton of professional mileage out of a change. I wouldn’t use that to justify the change. Just do it because you want to and you can afford to.

  75. I think you should go for it! I just bought a dishwasher from Bosch and I know they have the option to have a cabinet front. I thought I would mention it because the dishwasher is AMAZING and super super quiet. We got the one with the third rack on top and use it all the time.

  76. I either primed and painted my outlet cover to match the wall (unscrew. place on newspaper and put the coats on). My walls tend to be beautiful, saturated colors and beige plastic is a downer.

    Or I decoupaged pretty wall paper on the outlet cover to fit, with Modge Podge, then a clear poly urethane coat. Cut the paper to fit exactly (don’t tuck edges into the holes or you’ll have to sand the openings again to fit the plugs.)

  77. No. Spending thousands to change a newly renovated kitchen is unrelatable.

    I think integrated fridges are pretentious and annoying. We all know you have a fridge. Why are we trying to pretend that a kitchen isn’t a functioning workhorse? I’d much prefer photos showing a kitchen with beautiful appliances rather than feeling like the only way to have a beautiful kitchen is to spend thousands more that aren’t in my budget to cover them up. It also seems like a trend that could go out of style and date your kitchen.

  78. Also I love appliances that are in their unpaneled state and look like what they are.
    I’ve been in houses where I can’t figure out where the fridge is or how to turn on the water, frustrating and confusing, LOL.
    For an interesting read check out Victoria Elizabeth Barnes kitchen remodel.

    1. Yes, I love her blog….all the fancy mirrors/craigslist finds and cabinets/pantries. And oh so hilarious.

    2. I hadn’t been to her blog in AGES. Thanks for the reminder – great for a laugh and unique ideas.

  79. It’s your kitchen and absolutely your choice – but I have to say I think it’s so pretty how it is now.

    And maybe it’s just me, but I quite like range hoods?! And I really (generally, there are exceptions) am not a huge fan of attempts to kind of box around them – they just look a bit clunky and ornamental for my taste.

    If I were you, I think I’d incorporate an integrated dishwasher but leave the fridge and hood as they are. Dishwashers are a bit ugly but that fridge doesn’t offend my eyes one bit. And I’m in the UK, where as other people have mentioned, integrated appliances are much more the norm.

  80. –Yes to the outlet post! (In my house I’ve done the wood outlet plates, painted in my trim color. In my white kitchen it blends in enough, and looks polished enough, to make me happy. But I’d love seeing more ideas.)

    — whatever you end up doing with your appliances, I just really appreciate you processing your thoughts with us. Just this morning, I was second guessing a design choice I initially loved a year ago but currently feel I might have made the wrong call. Seeing a pro say things like that gives me permission to feel normal (Even though you tease that you’re crazy for it, it helps me feel sane to know anyone else thinks this much about this kinda thing. I honestly love the camaraderie. ) and it helps me ditch some of the guilt when I go ahead and make the needed corrections in my house. (I definitely see some of the commenters point about the waste aspect but at the same time I think in donating the items it helps overall because everyone wants to be able to update at their price point.)
    I won’t be updating my appliances to integrated anytime soon (or ever) so if you do it I’ll just appreciate it for you, but it won’t impact my current house. But inspirational nonetheless.

  81. Absolutely make the changes! I would, too, if I could. I have a small kitchen that I completely renovated five years ago and boy would an integrated refrigerator and dishwasher be wonderful. You’ll donate your gently used appliances to a deserving charity. It’s a win win 😊

  82. Go for integrated. It is your business and it is content, it will make you happy, better for resale of the home, and it is elegant and timeless. I never ever got the stainless steel appliance craze, just made the appliances stand out more, and then there is the fingerprint issue. Back in the 80s I worked for very wealthy people and saw it coming in as a trend via designers. Figured it was a status thing and came from designers wanting pro-chef like kitchens, and they could sell it with higher markup to wealthy clients. Then it translated down the chain, as in Miranda Priestly’s cerulean blue monologue. Now there are small kitchens all over North America that have focus pulling stainless steel behemoths.

  83. If one of the things that makes this make sense is for resale, are 8 year old appliances going to be “good enough”?

    1. Yes, this exactly. I would think the requirement for high end appliances to sell a house would include NEW high end appliances. So I would wait to replace them if you are not planning to move for 8 years or so.

  84. Nope, don’t do it. You have a beautiful, finished, functional kitchen. Find other worthwhile things to spend that money on. Plan a family vacation or donate it to worthy causes, or even both.

    I wouldn’t be interested in reading a post that takes a great kitchen and turns it into a great kitchen, and I’m a years-long, devoted reader!

    1. Yes, Julie! I also agree with the posters who have pointed out that resale in 8 years will, by your logic, require another renovation. Love the suggestion to use the money you would have spent on re-remodeling your kitchen and spend it on a charity renovation. Your designer kitchen is almost brand new. Just live with it.

  85. do it. it makes the whole house look more high end and you’ll love living in it and also want it for resale

  86. I hadn’t noticed it before this post, but the appliances don’t really flow with your kitchen. The fridge takes up a ton of visual space, and to me, the hoof feels jarringly modern next to the nouveau old-world feeling of your cabinets and the brass pot filler/cabinet hardware. Integrated appliances would certainly make the whole space feel calmer. It’s a bit like your living room refresh to me, both spaces are beautiful but one generates the feeling that YOU need right now in YOUR house.

    That said, I love the idea of generating content with your donated appliances… like a kitchen for a habitat for humanity house or a shelter or for a refugee family. That’s obviously a bit more work than you’d planned though, so maybe save this one until after the Portland and Mountain Houses are done.

  87. Absolutely do this. Stainless steel appliances ruin a kitchen IMO. I love the European kitchens that look more like living spaces or old bakeries. I am in a dilemma with my own remodel in that I can only afford a panel ready dishwasher. The fridge options are limited… one option is “affordable”, and it has terrible reviews. Same goes for the range unfortunately. If you want something pretty, you’re going to have to pay almost double. It’s heart-breaking. This being my first home and only planning to be in it for 5 years, I am making do with the stainless. But I’ll be damned if my next kitchen doesn’t have integrated appliances.

    For hoods, consider the slide out options. Tons of great manufacturers are making them now. It completely disappears if you want to hide it. Like this KitchenAid one below.

    https://i.sears.com/s/i/spin/10031951/prod_1625550712

  88. What about just the fridge and the hood? Split the difference, paying preference to eye-level.

    1. P.S. How long until “integrated” is dated? I see it coming…

    2. Agreed! Those are the eyesores!

  89. “He knows for resale that we need to upgrade our appliances …. so why not do it NOW?” Because in 8 years when you move, they will no longer be considered upgrades? I get what you are saying and agree with the general sentiment behind the idea, and if you want to do it, you should. However, appliances that you buy new now aren’t going to help resale that much 8 years in the future, so you may need to get a third set of appliances at that time. I admit, it’s hard for me to stay neutral because even your current appliances are far nicer than mine (and they were free!) and the new ones would cost so much money.

    So basically, my thought is that you should do it if you can afford it and if you really want to, but not because you are thinking of potential resale value unless you plan to shorten your resale timeline by quite a bit.

  90. Disclaimer: I haven’t read all the comments…BUT. I thought “panel ready” was in terms of the appliances. Like, you shop for “panel ready” appliances. And “Integrated” was in terms of the cabinetry. Like, you tell your cabinet builder you want “integrated appliance cabinets”.

  91. Personally, I think it will look nice either way. The only reason I would recommend doing it now as opposed to closer to the end of the life of the appliances (which for us is about 5 years) is that it might be difficult to match the color of the panels later on. My parents had integrated appliances. Their dishwasher broke years after the renovation and had to be replaced. They stopped making that style of dishwasher so the existing panel would not work and a new panel had to be created. However, the paint on all of the cabinets had faded over the years and was now difficult to match. It wasn’t really apparent to the naked eye, but since she knew she could always tell.

  92. I love your honesty! I just had the granite countertops replaced and island rebuilt on my 7 year old kitchen reno…my husband almost lost his mind! He kept saying ‘but granite lasts forever!’ It was as a result of a kitchen designer who didn’t take my feedback that i wanted a larger island, and me not insisting that he re-design it.

    I hemmed and hawed for a very long time and finally decided that the bigger island was going to functionally improve the kitchen a lot…and it has! And I love love love how it looks.

    I personally would have a hard time justifying the expense and inconvenience for a kitchen upgrade that didn’t functionally improve things…currently waiting (praying) for my fridge to die so i can justify replacing. But if generating content justifies it for you, GO FOR IT! I know what it’s like to obsess over What Could Be. Can’t wait to see what you do in all of the kitchens!

  93. What I learned about integrating appliances from my own kitchen reno is this:

    1. Bosch and Miele dishwashers are two brands you can guarantee will be truly integrated — ie panels fit to be flush with surrounding cabinets – no jut out.
    2. Check out DCS/Fisher Paykel for possibilities of an integrated fridge at a lower price point — again a ton of US brands say they are panel ready but my understanding is they would stick out.

    Do whatever the heck you want. It’s your life!!

  94. We’ve had integrated appliances for 25 years and I love them. Our cabinets are white and the panels are flat panels painted white and after this long they are still classic. Do we need a new paint job? Yes, but that and new hardware are the only updates we need to make. Oh well, actually we’re on our 3rd dishwasher. . .

  95. The kitchen’s of actual chefs: https://www.mydomaine.com/celebrity-chefs-kitchens/slide22

    My point of sharing the link is that most of the chef’s kitchens have their appliances exposed. I’m not against integrated appliances but I’m not disgusted by having a fridge that looks like a fridge either. I certainly don’t want people to have to guess or ask where it is. The one photo that doesn’t even remotely resemble a kitchen is not something that would appeal to most people (IMO). A kitchen should be beautiful but it’s main purpose is to provide a function although I think fewer people actually use it much anymore 🙁

  96. Integrated would definitely look better, I always thought it was strange that you went through the trouble for those brass faucets and all those age-appropraite details for a tudor house right next to stainless steel appliances and a huge american fridge that looks way too big for the space. It kind of reminds me of a Sears catalog.

    That being said, $3K before the cost of appliances isn’t a small amount of money to fix something that isn’t broken. I agree with a lot of commenters that you can find content in plenty of ways without using it as an excuse to do something unnecessarily expensive for yourself. You seem to “struggle” with it on every extravagant project and honestly, we’re not buying that you actually feel guilty about it. It seems like you’re just trying to justify it to your readers to avoid backlash.

  97. Please Please Please do it! Then tell us all as usual! It will be the kitchen I wanted you to design from the start!

  98. We painted our outlets the same color as the cabinets- so much better

  99. When we renovated our kitchen, we chose to do an integrated/panel ready dishwasher. We have Thermador appliances and I believe that was the only piece with that option so we thought we were pretty fancy! 😉 No drawbacks that I can think of, btw.

    I think the integrated appliances are definitely the way to go. I think your house is beautiful and pretty special, to boot. Since you’ve already know that integrated appliances are expected for resale – and you plan to upgrade eventually for resale, why not enjoy them now?

  100. Yes and Yes!

    Please put together a roundup for light switches and outlets. I’m working on my own mountain house, and every single outlet and switch is terrible.

    I’m also voting for changing to integrated appliances. It would make a huge impact in your small kitchen, and it fits the style of your home. If it bothers people or if you lose some of the readers who commented, it will be balanced by new readers who come for your consistently excellent content.

  101. I would just do the fridge, which is the most distracting, and leave the rest. I’d also just paint the outlet cover the same color as the island or get brass covers. FWIW, I grew up in the UK (with a tiny fridge and no dishwasher or dryer) and now live in the US, and I love my big American appliances. They make me feel bougie and fancy. Funny how your perspective can be so different depending on where you’re from 🙂

  102. I think you definitely should do it! I love a kitchen that doesn’t just scream “kitchen!”, especially when in an open concept home similar to yours.
    I’ve had my kitchen remodeled for about a year now, and because of some less than ideal work done, and realizing I should have gone for the nicer option, we are in the process of changing some things. (Marble, faucet, building in the fridge)
    I say go for it- yes, the thought of more time and money being put into something that is “fine” and functional is sometimes guilt inducing, but I think like you said, it’s worth it to do it now and enjoy it.

  103. Integrated appliances are counter depth and flush. Panel ready (or “Built Ins”) are also counter depth but the refrigerator doors stand proud of the other cabinets. You can make your cabinets deeper than standard to mimic an “integrated” design with a panel ready appliance.

  104. I don’t think I’d ever buy a house with integrated appliances, because I’d immediately be thinking about replacement costs and headaches. Appliances don’t last 20 years. In my experience average lifespan for a dishwasher is about 6-7. Refrigerators might get 10. Microwaves have been awful lasting 3 years max. We won’t even do built in microwaves anymore. We only use Countertop microwaves in a cabinets that are inexpensive to replace.

    What if when the dishwasher breaks your cabinet fronts aren’t available anymore? If your integrated refrigerator breaks in 3 years and IS underwarranty, but they don’t have the exact same thing to replace it with does the warranty cover new cabinet panels?

    I get that with your job you are going to consider form over function more than the average reader, but this is an area I can’t relate with at all. Spending thousands of dollars to replace brand new appliances in an already beautiful kitchen and getting no increase in functionality seems crazy.

    1. Great points about replacement. We have had 3 dishwashers in 10 years and two of them were high end and didn’t last any longer than the lower end one.

  105. I vote a strong no to integrating your appliances, for multiple reasons. (1) You are already doing that in the Portland and mountain houses, so, for the sake of “content,” it sounds like your readers will get plenty of changes to see that incorporated into a kitchen design. We don’t need to see it in a third house. (2) As a normal reader who doesn’t have thousands of dollars to devote to integrating my stainless steel appliances, I just quite literally wouldn’t care if you did that. I don’t mean that in a snarky way at all, but it’s almost 100% completely aspirational at that point because I will literally never pay to do that. Your kitchen is currently a mix of aspirational and practical I-could-do-that-in-my-kitchen (tile, real brass = aspirational; cabinetry style, pretty stainless steel appliances, etc. = I could do that in my kitchen). “Content creators”/bloggers tend to forget that their readers don’t want to see all aspirational all the time–we tune out when it gets too perfect to be true or too stylish to make sense for the average person. So, I would see that post and be like, great, I will see the same beautiful kitchen I’ve seen a bunch of other times, except this time it will have some cabinets where the fridge used to be…I don’t care. Again, I am not saying that in a mean way—I mean it in a very literal, middle-of-the-road way: that’s simply not a post I would “care” to see. (3) I know you create content for a living, but I STILL have a hard time getting past the waste. I mean. There is just no way the extra thousands are worth it. Your kitchen is beautiful. It’s okay to have appliances in view (just as it is okay to have a TV in view)! Please don’t make this update!

    1. I agree with the above – it’s the reason why I would rather read Domino magazine over Elle Decor.
      I come to your blog for inspiration and information that I can actually use in my own home!

    2. Totally agree with this comment!

    3. Totally agree with all of Abby’s points. I think the best way to move forward would be to add a photoshopped image to this post of what the fridge would have looked like with integrated paneling. Your kitchen is lovely the way it is and I’m so happy that you’re sharing what you liked and what you didn’t like about the renovation. It’s really useful!

      I’m all about the comments that say a “kitchen should look like a kitchen” if you’re a person that actually uses their kitchen. Just pick pretty AND functional appliances, good to go! I went to a cooking class taught by a French chef one time and he commented that most Americans have kitchens that are pretty but completely illogical when it comes to real cooking. I think of that comment every time I see integrated appliances.

  106. “… the little things, while important and they might bug you a bit, often go totally unnoticed until someone calls it out. There were some things in the Portland house that we had to pay to change…”

    This is why homeowners should hire an architect. If every elevation is drawn then the contractor is obligated to build it as drawn – including placing plumbing and electrical fixtures where they are shown. If something needs to be done differently because of an existing condition, the contractor calls and verifies with the architect. If something is simply done wrong then the contractor pays to change it.

    An architect would also talk you through the option of integrated appliances so you didn’t have to replace them one year later.

    1. Agreed!

      //Architect 🙂

  107. Please Please Please make your appliances integrated! Especially with open concept living areas I think it is important to hide the utilitarian aspects of the kitchen. I’m hoping to renovate our kitchen this summer (going for the more modern look like what your friend did) and I’m having a heck of time finding integrated appliances that are in the four figure price range. I’d love to see how it comes together for you.

  108. A) I’m clamoring for the light switch/outlet covers post–we are slowly renovating our 110-year-old house and I am frustrated at the lack of roundups for good options.
    B) I have ALWAYS hoped you would go back and do integrated appliances in your kitchen! It is always such a gorgeous look that takes it to a whole new level. I would do it in a heartbeat if I could.

    1. I second this comment! We’re slow-renovating our 100 year old house as well.

      I’m going to need to know EVERYTHING about the panel/integrated appliance journey, Emily! I really want to do this in our kitchen, bc I think that’s what looks most natural in an old home. But it’s SO expensive and rarely done, so I need help making sure it’s a decision that I won’t regret.

      Also, glad to see that Europe has mastered the panel ready/integrated appliance thing! Hopefully we can learn a thing or two from them!

  109. Are your people deleting comments that don’t love the idea of doing integrating appliances? I posted about 15 minutes ago (and then commented on someone else’s comment), and now neither of my posts are showing up. And I noticed that there were 134 when I went to comment, but now there are 111. You asked, and we are telling you our opinions. My post was not mean-spirited, so I have no idea why it would have been deleted. In any event, I am copying and pasting it below.

    I vote a strong no to integrating your appliances, for multiple reasons. (1) You are already doing that in the Portland and mountain houses, so, for the sake of “content,” it sounds like your readers will get plenty of changes to see that incorporated into a kitchen design. We don’t need to see it in a third house. (2) As a normal reader who doesn’t have thousands of dollars to devote to integrating my stainless steel appliances, I just quite literally wouldn’t care if you did that. I don’t mean that in a snarky way at all, but it’s almost 100% completely aspirational at that point because I will literally never pay to do that. Your kitchen is currently a mix of aspirational and practical I-could-do-that-in-my-kitchen (tile, real brass = aspirational; cabinetry style, pretty stainless steel appliances, etc. = I could do that in my kitchen). “Content creators”/bloggers tend to forget that their readers don’t want to see all aspirational all the time–we tune out when it gets too perfect to be true or too stylish to make sense for the average person. So, I would see that post and be like, great, I will see the same beautiful kitchen I’ve seen a bunch of other times, except this time it will have some cabinets where the fridge used to be…I don’t care. Again, I am not saying that in a mean way—I mean it in a very literal, middle-of-the-road way: that’s simply not a post I would “care” to see. (3) I know you create content for a living, but I STILL have a hard time getting past the waste. I mean. There is just no way the extra thousands are worth it. Your kitchen is beautiful. It’s okay to have appliances in view (just as it is okay to have a TV in view)! Please don’t make this update!

    1. This happens to me on this blog frequently…for whatever whatever reason when switching from a phone to laptop, the number of comments is different and the comments are there, then not there, there again, not there again. It’s just a weird glitch I think. 🙂 Usual after about an hour it all settles. (Fwiw-i see this comment and your original one right now)

      1. Thanks, I also see it now. I was on a desktop both times, so I don’t think my issue was a phone-to-laptop issue, but it sounds like something like that happened.

  110. Go for it! Your kitchen has different angles than a typical residential build which makes the wall with the fridge more visible. Having an integrated fridge would stand out less and probably make the kitchen feel larger. Since you’d of course sell or donate the previous appliance it won’t cause any waste! Replacing your appliances is no different than selling your old one and buying a new one.

    1. *selling your old car.

  111. What an interesting discussion! I agree with pretty much everybody – it would be beautiful, it’s interesting that it’s not more common in the US, and it’s not necessary unless it would make you happy. Thank you for making the waste issue so explicitly part of the rationale and conversation – I appreciate that you are tackling these issues head-on.

    I do like the reader idea to use the money to do a makeover elsewhere…maybe a set of posts on great pre-sale updates to increase the value/sales appeal of normal homes, using a less than $5000 budget? I’m not sure perfection is what we should aim for. Beauty, yes. Function, yes. Perfection? Pretty sure perfection never made anybody’s life more complete.

    Adore you and your amazing work and team!

  112. Yes to ways to better hide outlets, without having to resort to expensive rewiring or “trap doors” that aren’t realistic for most homes.

    I have to agree with the comments that say that switching out your appliances in your brand new kitchen is totally wasteful and something that 99% of people, even people who love good design and might have money, can’t do. It’s a beautiful kitchen as-is and a dream for most. Live with it, be appreciative of that amazing sponsorship, and enjoy those very high end items. It’s your home. Focus on how it functions for your family and HOW LUCKY YOU ARE instead of trying to change things to look new and fresh in a photograph. Try integrated appliances when you are doing your new projects or someone else’s remodel if it’s an issue of creating content. I’d much rather see content that I can relate to and maybe even try to achieve as a homeowner.

    1. But literally her job is content creation so she doesn’t have the same experience as the rest of us who don’t have photoshoots in our kitchen regularly. And I’m sure she realizes HOW LUCKY SHE IS and that because the appliances were gifted to her, that it would make another family REALLY LUCKY to be gifted to them.

  113. Except in the most high-end, minimalist designs, integrated looks tacky to me. It strikes me like faux-aging — doesn’t fool anyone and quickly looks dated. Your kitchen is beautiful, and I like that it looks like a kitchen, not a showroom.

  114. Loved this article. Yes! I’d love to see your experince converting your kitchen with integrated appliances. And I would seriously love an article about outlets – Have been thinking about that so much lately.

  115. Personally, I STRONGLY disagree with the comments saying integrated appliances would need to be “updated again” in 8 years, and that the look is sterile or modern. Old European kitchens are far more integrated, in a sense, and only in the last several decades did it become the norm to have shiny metal appliances that stick out like sore thumbs. It looks SO much more classic and timeless for appliances to be part of the beautiful, detailed cabinetry around them, and I think it would honor the bones of your 100-year-old house. True craftsmanship is always worth investing in if your job is creating gorgeous content and focusing on every aspect of design and not just the obvious stuff like paint color and countertop material. If I want budget or “eh, I can live with it” design, there are other blogs for that.

    1. Agree!

  116. We have 3 small things in our kitchen: an all fridge, a glass front fridge, a small freezer. All fit under counter. We lost the giant fridge look for under $700. And chefs say it’s just like their restaurant speed kitchens. There are larger versions in the garage…

    1. Dru, please tell us more!! I have been SO interested in this idea but haven’t found much info/pic inspiration. How did you do it for under $700? Are they any noisier/less energy-efficient? TELL ME EVERYTHING

  117. Emily, I wanted to share with you that Lytton makes custom colored outlets and outlet covers. You just give them the paint color that you are trying to match and they will make an electrical outlet or switch and cover for it to match your green on your island. We did that for our island and the outlet is barely noticeable. Hope this helps!

    1. Oops. Luton is the compny

      1. Thanks for sharing!!

  118. We remodeled out kitchen (down to the studs in all six directions) in 1987. We did it for us and loved it for 32 years and since I’d been careful about choices and spent weeks sweating over a drafting board (pre computer aided design) it held up well and helped sell the house. I wouldn’t have changed a thing except switch to an under mount sink and a marble look quartz counter top (not available in 1987).
    The new homeowner redid the kitchen to reflect what she loved and the house is now up for sale again (fell in love and moved). So the house is now up for sale again. It’s stunning but she didn’t get much chance to enjoy it.
    You have different motives when you remodel. I just wanted function, storage and a pretty kitchen. For you, it’s not just a kitchen, it’s a photo studio and work space.

  119. So glad you wrote about this! I researched so many “Panel-Ready” options for appliances a few months back when we began our kitchen renovation, because I came to the realization that the reason I loved so many of my “inspiration” photos was because…the appliances were all hidden! Bummer for us, the panel-ready options we could afford didn’t look great. And we came to the same conclusion that we’d have to opt in for a Viking etc. to get the look we wanted, and I just didn’t want to put our $$ there. In the end we opted for a sleek Bosch suite, basically because that was the only handle/hardware I could stand the look of haha! We’re having a cabinet maker build a custom face for our dishwasher to match our lower cabinets and leaving it at that. C’est la vie! I can’t wait to see how you build out yours, and I will just have to settle for our countertop-to-ceiling moroccan cross tiles to detract from our appliance knobs & buttons!

  120. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. You should most definitely do this.

  121. What about a vintage style fridge? White enameled that blends a bit more with the kitchen cabinets?

    PS – If you find something affordable I would love to know!

    1. I was just thinking that – a white fridge (I would love vintage), but even the current fridge in white would blend and create less of a focal point.

  122. Emily, this is a terrific post! I hope the appliance companies sit up and take note of your 3k panel-ready fridge tip! We built our home starting in 2007 and splurging on a panel-ready Subzero fridge has been worth it, IMO, but the thought of replacing it if it breaks down is daunting. Would I have to find the cabinet company my builder used to make new panels or can the panels be removed and replaced? This would be helpful info for your follow up post!! We also have 2 integrated dishwashers, but the Decor range is stainless and yet I still love how it all looks together. Also, my pot-filler is off to the left side of the range, and I think because that is how every “inspiration photo” I saved in planning had it placed I have never thought it was odd. Love your work. Keep inspiring and especially sharing your “external process”, it’s all good!

  123. You can google “panel ready” refrigerators and they will fit your current space without tearing out the cabinet above (e.g. the Jenn-Air). I say it’s your kitchen, I literally never notice the appliances because it’s a kitchen and I expect them, but you do you. I notice a lot of people upset because you would change them, however I do not see how donating these perfectly good appliances to people in need would be selfish or wasteful, in fact, the opposite. However, I do understand people seeing a shift in the blog away from content that used to be about design to more product oriented. But I still love your voice and come her for that.

  124. I like the pot filler off center, I think of it as an accessory and not something that should be a main feature behind a stove, like accent tile.

    1. I think it looks like its suppose to be off center.

  125. We have paneled/integrated appliances, as well. I think “seamless” integration will be the next level for “complete design.” When we build our next house I will absolutely be making them seamless, completely flush, with vents disguised. Our cabinet guy didn’t account for the depth of the fridge with panels, so it sticks out 1″ farther. It was too $$ to rip out & remake the neighboring floor-to-ceiling china cabinet (a built-in, made to match the cabinets) so that everything was flush. And we’d just spent 8 months renovating and had a newborn. I decided to deal with it but wont make that mistake next time.

    Definitely interested in how to make necessary and practical items like vents, outlets, switches, etc less noticeable or disappear!

  126. I would love more companies in the US to offer cheaper integrated/panel ready fridge and dishwasher options. I would not be bothered if you wanted to change out your appliances. I do want to share a cheaper range option that I found. The ranges by Hallman. I found them online and Home depot even carry’s them. They look like the more expensive Italian ranges and you can get them with brass handles and knobs.

  127. Thank you for noting that DETAILS MATTER! Electrical accessories innovation is so stagnant, specifically the reporting of what is newly available. Check out the Bocci 22 collection: outlets, switches, keypads. It eliminates the aesthetic of the backplate completely. I think you’ll be pleased with this option flying under the radar. http://www.bocci.ca/22-series/

  128. I would just do the fridge. The range and dishwasher are barely seen.

  129. My 4 and 8 year old kids love having the water dispenser available to them. They can independently fill their own water cups and help set the table with filled cups.
    Your kitchen is not just yours; it’s your family’s too. I’ve even moved cups and plates down to lower drawers for my kids to be able reach them.

    As for me, function trumps form every time. I want to see the appliances and want my kids to be able to use the kitchen, too.

  130. I’m so glad you wrote this post. I have been really looking into Amber Interiors’ kitchens, and I noticed, “Oh wait, where are the appliances?” You really don’t think about them at all until you start looking for them. I think it would look beautiful in your kitchen. My husband and I rent right now, but we have both talked a lot about making the kitchen feel more like a room with it’s own coziness and welcoming spirit. I think hiding the appliances makes it more charming and personal.

    I don’t like the seam around the edges of the appliances that is so apparent on some of the pictures, so I understand your need to clarify the terms and come up with an option that you love. I don’t think it’s wasteful to try them out. I think it is exciting, and I love reading your ideas and seeing the pictures your team pulled together. Thanks, as always, for being honest about what you think.

  131. Also – you do have to have any broken cabinets/panels replaced by your custom builder (we’ve had to do 2 already, thank you 4 small children, and the wait was at least a month). As for upgraded appliances, they can be awesome. We love our Subzero, but I got lazy about scheduling our annual maintenance visits. Fast forward 4 years later and we had almost $1K in small “repairs.” A warning to do the maintenance each year, proactively, for all those appliances.

  132. DO IT! I remember commenting on your original insporation post that I was surprised you weren’t doing integrated appliances; the look is so much more high end, custom, and “designed”. I just assumed it was because you got them for free and budget was tight (which I totally understand). But if you have the cash now, I say go for it!

  133. Also did you check out AJ Madison for panel ready appliances?

  134. Absolutely go integrated. Even if it weren’t brilliant for eventual resale (and it will be), it will make your heart a bit happier every single day. Plus your job a bit easier. Priceless.

  135. Panel-ready all the way! When you look at an impeccably well-designed kitchen that has stood the test of time, guess what gives the age away? The appliances!! Every appliance design screams: “HI! I WAS BUILT IN 1975! Or, 1988! Or, 1995!” That’s why you gotta hide that s***. If you’re going to live there for another decade, make the change. Otherwise, you’ll be spending the next ten years wishing and daydreaming of those panel-ready appliances. It is not wasteful to replace your new appliances if you are donating/selling them. Someone else will use them and love them until the end of their days. Smh at some of these judge-y commenters who are also telling you how to run your business. Seriously?! I love the content that you and your team are producing–especially on regrets, mistakes, rules, and guidelines. It helps us (consumers) put more thought into how we design our own homes.

  136. Thank GOODNESS you said that. I was thinking it last year when you renovated, but knew it was sponsored so you probably couldn’t. But seriously, it’s a small kitchen, and those appliances. Stick. Out. You should definitely pursue this. I’m a chef, and I work around stainless steel, and professional grade appliances all day long. In my home, integrated is the only way to go.

  137. My first reaction is “Yes. YOU should.” You’ll find something new to be obsessed with next week, but not until you resolve this, and I’d like to see how itegrated/panel ready changes the look of your kitchen to decide for myself whether in my life, the cost is worth it. I agree that those other kitchens, whether large or small, look 10x better without the visual clutter of the refrigerator especially. And may I just say what a wise switch the stools were? Those bring out everything else & balance other elements. They make the room.

    Regarding integration, my second reaction was, “At this point in MY life, I absolutely wouldn’t make the switch if I had your kitchen.” This is because the cost/benefit ratio of adding those would not be in mine or my family’s favor……my children are older, stinkier, independent teens and tweens. I have braces, cars, insurance, more medical expenses as my husband and I get diagnosed with more chronic middle-age problems, mid-life boats and cars to maintain, mid-life bodies to keep building, expensive school study trips, and college to think about. And that’s not including my more grandmotherly goals, including the perfect dream garden, those “last time together” fabulous vacations, and just generally being able to pay for weddings or my children’s mistakes in their early 20’s. In 8 years, your life will look different than it does now, your priorities will change, but your career will likely still involve being judged by the world. Mine doesn’t. Long story short: you’re a well-known designer who will benefit from the content, and maybe the resale value if in your area integrated appliances would be an expectation. And perhaps a company will benefit from advertising through you. Good call on the 3k panel-ready models! The world is waiting for it! Team up with one of the appliance makers, pitch it, and I will buy!!

    PS: I, too, love the kitchens in the UK that typically have integrated refrigerators. The one in your post from there is my absolute favorite because it looks historical but fresh at the same time.

  138. In the end……it is your kitchen and if integrated appliances make you happy, then go for it! I love your kitchen now and I’m sure it will be beautiful after the changes.

    Just keep updating us with amazing pictures of your houses. It’s fun to tune in and live vicariously through you 😍

  139. No! You have a beautiful, nearly perfect kitchen — seems to me the only thing you’re really not happy with are some electric cover plates on your island. I agree with others who have said the idea seems wasteful. Everyone knows that kitchens have appliances in them, and with those gorgeous tiles, brass fixtures and exquisite marble, who’s looking at the fridge anyway?

  140. If you are considering resale value as a major reason for redoing the kitchen, remember that 8 years is a long time. What you do now won’t look the same then and you will be selling an 8-10 year old kitchen.

  141. Wow! So many comments and strong opinions on this. Because one of your thoughts about this is about potentially selling the house for top dollar, I’d love to see some estimates from local real estate pros about what the difference in value would be between the house with your current kitchen and the house with the proposed integrated appliances. It’s definitely a regional/local thing whether or not the market would bear the cost, of course, but I think it would helpful to see the full justification for those considering any kind of remodel. That said, I’m not sure the difference will matter so much in 10 years when both sets of appliances are approaching the end of their expected problem free life.

    The house we bought a couple of years ago has a integrated SubZero refrigerator. The handles were both loose and we had to repair that. The bigger challenge is that the cabinetry takes a lot of abuse on these well used doors, more than anywhere else in the kitchen, and so it looks rough much more quickly. I’ve done a lot of touching up but that doesn’t take care of the gouges from an item dropped from the fridge onto the top of the freezer door or the wear from wet hands on the handles. I would take a stainless finish anyday for ease of cleaning and robustness.

  142. I will agree with the posts that vote no for similar reason to a lot of other no’s reasoning. Renovations are huge endeavors period so going in to renovate again a year in seems incredibly out of reach for probably 99% of people. I LOVE reading this post about things you still love and wish you could change a year in but being able to change things you don’t love that are more than $1,000 fixes seem way out of reach. It creates this unrealistic expectation of what is actually doable in ones own home. It doesn’t feel inspiring and instead feels deflating. Also, I agree since you have the opportunity to incorporate the lessons learned in the fixer upper and Portland house that it feels like that’s where that content can be integrated. With that said I’m also of the population that doesn’t mind the appliance being seen. Our kitchen is in use all the time so I can’t imagine having them integrated from a practical standpoint but then again I’ve never lived in a kitchen with that to know. Not to say seeing them integrated isn’t something I can appreciate aesthetically because those photos are all BEAUTIFUL. Ultimately, it’s your house and if you’re able to do it and it matters to you-do it! Also, the post about the outlets would be wonderful.

  143. I am in the design world, and I get it , there are things that we learn throughout the process (like the outlets). And I totally get where you are coming from wanting integrated appliances especially in the kitchen of your size. Integrated appliances were available when you originally designed your kitchen, so I just don’t understand why you settled on the Frigidaire ones. I know they were a sponsor and you had an editorial deadline, but does that justify just settling with something when you secretly wouldn’t have purchased them in the first place? I guess that is what bothers me, you sacrificed design for a sponsorship knowing you were going to have to change it for resale (will it really make that big of a difference with the additional cost!?). So, yes, it seems very wasteful (even if you do donate them). We will already be getting content on integrated appliances with the Mountain House and Portland House … so, your house would just be redundant information and don’t see the justification for more content. I think you and your team are very talented, and I constantly come here for inspiration. I am not trying to be hurtful, just sharing how this post came across to me.

  144. I read through a handful of comments and they were split pretty evenly between those appalled at the waste and those who would love to see the update. What if you looked for a solution that would appease both camps? Talk about unique content creation! Plus, who doesn’t love reading about a DIY fix? Maybe there’s a film you can adhere to the appliances and even handles?

  145. I really struggle to relate to this post. Your kitchen was just renovated an you are already wanting to do it again and justifying it because it creates content. There has got to be a better use of your time/energy/money than this project.

  146. Do it! I think just the fridge would be fine! But the more the merrier?

  147. Controversy! (said in best british accent)

    I think I’m somewhere in the middle here. I see the benefits of doing it, especially regarding shooting in the space as having a giant silver box to work around is no bueno. I agree with the person who said something about working to integrate / make your hood less visible for now and then revisiting once you’re not waist-deep in Portland home and mountain house. Working to integrate the fridge will still be an option in 3 years (this is the timeline I’m imagining, just as an example, based on your expected time in the home) , you’ll still have (roughly) 5 years to enjoy it and whoever lives in your house next will get the bonus of that upgrade being “only 5 years old.”

  148. If I were going to change anything in your kitchen it would be the island. Every time I see it, I feel disturbed. I don’t know why it had to be built that way, or how it looks from other areas, but I’d feel better if it were parallel to something, without having to use the triangle shape.

    I remember talking to a successful architect who said their firm learned to avoid triangles when designing interior spaces. Every time they used them, it ended badly. Apparently, something about the energy of a triangle is not good in living or work spaces.

    1. She went into a lot of detail in her original post about why the island had to be that shape.

  149. My dad just moved out of a house that had an integrated sub-zero side by side freezer and fridge. it looked beautiful BUT the price of repairs was astronomical. Think $5k to repair the freezer because the model was older and required special ordering the parts, etc, etc. The repair took so long that they ended up buying a freezer for the garage while they waited for the “real” freezer to be repaired. It was a total pain. It seemed a lot easier to just have a normal, non-integrated fridge.

    1. My parents had the same problems with Subzeros — very expensive to repair.

  150. My parents two homes have integrated/panel-ready appliances and there is one MAJOR CON to consider- the weight of the wood can potentially weaken the appliance. Both fridges after a few years have problems closing properly – the weight of the wood on the door eventually weakens the threshold’s suction. So you have to really make sure it closes every time you shut the door. This is problematic with children especially, because they always forget to check to see if it closes and adults are constantly reminding them to shut it properly (as if nagging them to wash their hands isn’t enough). Same goes for one of the dishwashers- the weight of the wood literally broke the door. It opens and closes, so it doesn’t need to be replaced exactly, but when you open it, it drops far lower than it should and when you roll out the bottom drawer you have to be especially careful, otherwise it won’t stop and rolls onto the floor. It’s such a pain. Also it hurts when you accidentally drop the door on your foot. Which happens a lot more often than you’d think. Granted, both homes were built 10+ years ago, so maybe that’s not a problem anymore. But couldn’t hurt to check with the contractors before signing on to such a costly upgrade. If those problems are no longer an issue though, than GO FOR IT. : ) Kitchens looks so much better when the appliances blend in with the cabinetry. Looking forward to seeing the results!

    1. Thanks for this – interesting to read about the weight issue. I think, however, this is a problem with panels and not integration. In terms of fridge freezers and integration, the wood isn’t stuck to the front of door. The cabinet is independent and attached to the door of the fridge through sliding hinges (therefore completely independent).

      I have also used endless amounts of integrated dishwashers (in Europe) and have never has this issue with the door being too heavy or too low. It could be that in Europe (where integration has been around for at least the last 20 years) the materials used are significantly lighter than solid wood.

      1. Good point. I tried to skim all the comments before adding my two cents and couldn’t because I didn’t have much time. So I didn’t get a chance to read the difference between integrated and panels. My parents appliances are definitely paneled with solid wood. Now that I’ve had a chance to read more comments, I am definitely all for integrated. LOVE the seamless look.

  151. We have white appliances in our kitchen that looks very similar to yours and I love them, they don’t stick out at all but are super functional. I did look at integration but was super expensive and I didn’t love it enough to want to do it. Good luck! Love reading your post here in New Zealand 🇳🇿! Angie

  152. Wait I’m confused, I visit your posts every day, but you have two Portland renovations going on? I thought the mountain house was in Portland? As a side note, I’ve been doing a small Reno to a house we have in Portland too! Loved your lighting posts, really helped!

    1. Not to be creepy, but I’m pretty sure the mountain house is in the “mountains” around SoCal.

  153. I work in kitchen design. You want integrated for your refrigeration. Now the kicker, you have inset cabinets and many of your picture show flush inset integrated appliances. You can not do this especially for the refrigerator in a standard 24″ depth nor the standard 36″ wide cut out, other than maybe Liebherr. So more than likely that whole refrigerator and pantry area will need to be taken out and rebuilt in order for this to look like you want it to.

    Dishwashers are way easier, Kitchenaid is the only one I have had problems with as they are too deep when paneled to integrate correctly. Miele or Bosch are good.

    1. So glad someone raised this. I really wanted inset cabinets, but I also really wanted integrated appliances (my kitchen is tiny — it makes EH’s look huge). My cabinet maker was really against doing both, because the alignment wouldn’t be consistent. We ultimately ended up doing full overlay cabinets.

      I LOVE my integrated appliances. The biggest trade off is interior space in the fridge — we lost 1 or 2 cubic feet in a 30” model, and I would guess it would be more with a bigger fridge.

      Also, we got our sub-zero fridge used. We found out later it is 10 years old — there’s no way we could tell. The point people are making about them seeming “old” in 8 years makes no sense to me. Integrated appliances are a trend but they’ve been popular for a long time.

      On the outlets, do you have CFLs? If not, I’d switch the plugs to the more old fashioned round style (the current ones look to be rectangular). If you have more decorative covers, they’ll stand out more. I was a nerd and put brown ones in my house with brass plates, because that is historically appropriate, but I think a lot of options could work. Anything that doesn’t look like white plastic will be an improvement.

  154. It’s so interesting to read the comments from people in Europe. Can’t wait until it becomes more mainstream in the US, as I have an open plan home and it would be nice to hide the appliances.

    It is frivolous of you to change them now, but I’d love to see it. You’ll learn things to share on the blog and with clients, so do it. It is funny that your example of a covered or integrated hood shows a range and refrigerator that are not integrated. As for your pot filler, mine is in the same place and it doesn’t bother me at all — still.

  155. YES to changing the fridge! I don’t mind the other appliances but that fridge… it just looks “not pretty” in this room.
    I remember seeing the reveal of your kitchen and all I could see was the fridge. Not the tile, not the marble, not the color of your island, just that giant stainless steel thing stealing all the attention from your otherwise beautiful kitchen.
    So I think changing the focal point from what is the fridge now to the actual entire kitchen is the best idea ever.

    FYI I’m European so I’m totally biased 😉 SMEG fridges all the way though 🙂

    1. Yes, totally agree with your SMEG love (even though I am American). Integrating our fridge was too expensive so we went with a white SMEG and it fits perfectly in our 1920s kitchen (that we saved for years to redo 😉).

  156. Do it. You won’t regret it. If you expect to have 8 more years in this house, it will be well worth the money and the time. We integrated our appliances when we renovated our kitchen 8 years ago and we have loved every minute in that kitchen. With 3 kids, we spend A LOT of time in the kitchen and it is such a pleasurable experience because we invested in it…”Buy the best and you only cry once”- Miles Redd. I totally believe in that idea. Pay as much as you can for exactly what you want and you’ll never regret it. We’re moving and just sold our house for WAY more than we expected and I think it has a lot to do with the perfection of the kitchen. We had a designer design it and someone else fabricate it. Totally worth getting a kitchen designer. He’s helped us with proportions and sold us on intergrated appliances and he was so right. He could integrate anything! He integrated a mini dishwasher into a buffet made of quartersawn oak. Gorgeous! He does beautiful work: https://www.houzz.com/pro/david-huisman/david-huisman-design
    We bought a Leibherr fridge and a Bosch dishwasher. Only Leibherr and subzero were making integrated appliances at the time and the subzero’s were too big. Leibherr has a lot of choices and they offer biofresh which is amazing! Our farm market buys last a month in the biofresh drawers..it’s crazy.
    Intergrate! You won’t be disappointed!

  157. Please do a post on outlets/switches! The past owner/builder of my house was an electrician and we have WAY too many switches. We moved our bed and love it except I’m now staring at a bunch of nonsensical light switches/blank panels and would love for them to blend into the wall.

    Also, I’ve never considered built in appliances and think normal ones are 100% fine. That said, always do the “before you sell” improvements as early as you can afford! No judgement from me. Love hearing your thought process.

  158. Definitely go for it! I love the look of integrated refrigerator and dishwasher with an industrial gas stove such as Bosch or Viking especially if the stove is a focal point. This is exciting! Can’t wait to see the update.

  159. I hate, hate the look of hidden appliances! I love a kitchen to look like a kitchen and now appliances are so lovely. I don’t think your fridge is too big or stands out. It’s a kitchen. Its meant to have a fridge! My vote is to keep it exactly as is.
    *I know it’s totally your kitchen and will read and enjoy whatever you decide. 🙂

  160. Thank you for this post! I’m getting ready to renovate and thought integrated appliances were way more expensive and would be totally out of our price point. There are too many comments to read, so not sure if someone else has mentioned this, but I currently have a Bertazzoni stove and would not buy one again (this one came with the house). It looks beautiful and people ALWAYS comment on it, but the oven heat is really uneven so baking is very difficult. I recently went to an appliance showroom and was told this is very typical. The range top on the other hand works great.

    Those of you who have one – is a pot filler necessary? Do you use it a lot?

  161. Hi Emily… I would love to see a a few progress posts with the Mountain Home and the Portland Fixer – which we have not seen for a while. If you were going to change anything in your already new kitchen… I would recommend refacing those upper cabinets, I think a pretty occluded glass in the uppers would counter balance the physical weight of the Fridge, maybe leave one cabinet without a door to reflect some open storage would also look good. I agree with those that say you should paint your outlets. Swapping them for anything else will look out of place with all the other outlets in the kitchen. I don’t think you need to change too much in your kitchen for you to really love it. Its beautiful the way it is. Good luck with your decision…

  162. I am totally interested in ideas about disguising electrical outlets in kitchens! I am a designer, and the contractors I work with look at me like I have two heads when I insist on all under cabinet outlets. And they don’t like in counter outlets due to water issues. Not to mention the difficulty in finding other ideas. However, it is totally worth it not to ruin the art of the backsplash tile. So, please research away!!
    Also, I agree with others that I’d like to see stainless steel lose its prominence in favor of other options. In your kitchen, I would consider paneling the fridge (and def replace the white outlet covers – and outlets themselves – with something darker and more interesting). Just my two cents:)

    1. Totally agree with you on not ruining the tile!!

  163. I would be so grateful if you did a post on hiding the outlets on the island!! We are currently renovating our home, and are fortunate enough to be able to add a large kitchen island (where we will definitely need outlets), but I would prefer for them to be more discrete. I am opting to put the outlets that would be on the wall (where the back splash is) under the cabinets. I wanted them hidden, and I did not want to have to cut the beautiful Walker Zanger tile we chose! I love your cabinet style in this home. This is exactly what I was looking for as far as the style, and I will be showing our carpenter. Thank you for your wonderful blog! 🙂

    1. You should look into the Legrand Adorne collection. You can paint and wallpaper them. They have a pop out outlet that looks really minimal and just kind of disappears.

    2. Check out the Leviton Renu outlets and switches. They come in a wonderful array of colors (some exactly match major paint brand colors). We were able to nearly exactly match our tile and they pretty much disappear. The price is reasonable and changing an outlet is an easy thing to do.

  164. I’m planning a kitchen Reno and want to do an integrated fridge and am finding this all very confusing… whether or not you redo your kitchen, I would love to see you explore this topic, even as a little add-on update!

  165. We are about to embark on a full house remodel. So excited! Regarding an integrated refrigerator in the $3k range, there is one. It’s a DCS Fisher&Paykel 72″x36″ French door, bottom freezer. The downside for a large family or for people who don’t like to shop often is it holds a little less than some of the others. We will keep our old refrigerator in the garage for bulk items. Our refrigerator, dishwasher and hood will be paneled. Except for the refrigerator our other appliances a will be Miele. We are also working with our cabinet vendor to hide the island outlets. SO MUCH to think about. LOVE YOUR BLOG and so excited to see your mountain home come together!

    1. I’m literally thinking of purchasing this tomorrow!! I need to get on it so I can have the panels made… Did you already get it?? Do you love it?? I just feel weird about buying a fridge I haven’t seen in real life! 😂

      1. After a lot of research, we put a Fisher Paykel refrigerator in our very small kitchen when we remodeled it. Don’t worry, it is a superior product: it’s incredibly well designed and holds a surprising amount of food in it’s many compartments, more than a similarly sized “standard design” fridge. We were so sad when we moved and left that fridge!

  166. I remember when you first did a post of your kitchen all of your European and Australian readers were confused as to why the appliances weren’t covered and your readers jumped all over them. They were right after all!

  167. I actually don’t like integrated appliances. When I visit my in-laws in the UK, where integrated appliances are common, I am always going “ugh, where is the fridge or dishwasher” and having to open all the drawers in their kitchen in order to find them. I think a stove is is the heart of the kitchen and should be visible. For some reason, it seems to me people who like integrated appliances tend not to cook or use their kitchens much.

    It also seems wasteful to redo a beautiful year old kitchen. Maybe do integrated in new houses, but leave your kitchen alone.

    1. “Maybe do integrated in new houses, but leave your kitchen alone.”

      I completely agree. Now that she knows integrated appliances are an option, she should consider doing it for future projects, but I don’t see the point of going back and doing something like that in a perfectly lovely kitchen. She said she’s doing panel ready/integrated appliances in the Portland and Mountain projects, so I don’t get why she also wants to do integrated appliances in her own kitchen.

  168. Could you please please give us a tutorial on cleaning and caring for the live brass faucet? I’m willing to put in the time and already have the softener, but I’m confused on what products to use and when….my waterstone faucet and I would be eternally grateful!

  169. Hi Emily, I love your kitchen…if those outlet covers on the island bug you so much, why not just paint them the same color as the island? I’ve done it and it works.

  170. I love this post. I love intergrated appliances. However, is it true to the 100 year old home to have them?! And new home, yes. But where there is lots and lots of history I vote for a more vintage appliance package.

    1. I realized I added an “r” up there but alas.

  171. With this post, I finally realize how I sound to my own family about issues/regrets with our recently wrapped remodel.

    In a word: ridiculous.

    I do appreciate your honesty, Emily, but I think you should move on for your own sanity.

    Change the island outlets to brass, if you must, that is easy enough to do and really seems to bug you, but leave the appliances alone.

    Continually circling back on these big decisions is dizzying to me as a reader. There is no such thing as perfect.

  172. While we didn’t design our kitchen with all panel ready appliances, we did use a Bosch panel ready dishwasher and I LOVE the look!

    We have a very compact kitchen and the wall the dishwasher is on is our longest wall of upper and lower cabinets. I love how visually my eye isn’t broken up by any stainless steel. I do think it makes the room look larger. We didn’t consider it for the fridge because of the specific reasons you cite — price point of appliances jumps dramatically. This isn’t our forever home — heck…not sure if it’s even our 5 year home! I do think visually it creates a very clean look.

    The only drawback I can see — what if you need to swap out an appliance at some point — those dishwashers don’t seem to last forever! Size for the new appliance has to be exact for the panels to work.

  173. This post left me feeling quite a bit uneasy. I am all for admitting to mistakes and making changes that you will enjoy (rather than the next people who live in the house), but it just feels so over the top to me to do this one year later. And I don’t understand how integrated appliances never occurred to you when literally dozens of readers made comments about it when you were designing the kitchen. I’m not going to quit reading the blog if you make these changes, but I do find it much more inspirational to see you live with things than just throw money at them and make them perfect all the time. I think you should do what you want and what makes sense for your family and budget. But my true 2 cents worth – if you want it – is to just slow down. I feel like you bought the Tudor, had to renovate on a crazy fast timeline because you had a photography deadline, and now you are correcting mistakes that could have been avoided if you’d taken more time. Maybe that’s just the nature of the blog, but it feels like it’s becoming a cycle. Unrealistic expectations/ timelines lead to regrets, then rushing to fix them, meanwhile rushing into the next huge source of content only to possibly repeat the pattern. If you’d taken more time with the kitchen reno in the first place you would have read all the comments that mentioned integrated appliances. And you’d be showing us how to do it in real life since most of us aren’t living on the same budget.

    1. I think this is really insightful and likely very true. It didn’t feel like this when they still took on design clients.

  174. I absolutely think you should change your kitchen to however you would like it to be. I am all for being “green,” and concientuos when it comes to our role as consumers. Guessing that your fairly new appliances would be an energy-efficient upgrade for someone in need. It is disappointing to hear so many judgemental opinions. Can’t help but wonder how many people walk the walk as far as their choices as consumers. We recently built a house and already there are things with layout I wish we would have done differently. Your changes to your kitchen seem manageable, you have the means, and you are designer so it seems logical to me that you would forever be tweaking your designs. Who is someone else to say what you should pick and choose? Life is short – buy the shoes! Love your aesthetic and sunny personality!

  175. Today is day 3 of our kitchen/utility remodel – that has now grown to a ‘that entire side of the house remodel’… Hidden appliances are not cost effective, but definitely a priority for us – excluding intentionally showcasing an artful range w/brass accents. Shopping for panel ready is SO difficult. The options are few. I think we ended up with some good choices, but only the next eight weeks will tell. Just a helpful hint for your love of cold water… there are two panel-ready refrigerators I found in the size we need (42”) that have internal cold water dispensers. Yes, internal! This was non-negotiable for us. We went with the Dacor. Our range vent, dishwasher & fridge will have custom cabinetry. The microwave is tricky, so we opted for a drawer. I also decided on under cabinet plug mold for the outlets, but would love to see your blog research – so hurry! 😉 Oh, another detail we chose is the sink disposal pop-up button instead of a switch on the wall. Hope this helps!

  176. Emily, I love your website, thanks so much for your daily content! I may be repeating what others said (I haven’t had time to read thru 1-8+ comments) but if my comment helps one person then I’m happy! This comment is moreso addressing your readers because I know you are familiar with what I’m about to write.

    When I was designing my kitchen, I researched the heck out of panel ready and fully integrated fridges. The best way to describe the difference between panel ready and integrated fridges is the hinges. Integrated fridges/freezers have special hinges that open in such a way that the frame (or box) surrounding it can be mounted flush on all exposed sides. ‘Panel ready’ fridges still need an inch in between, which means you cannot get that fully integrated look.

    Also – even when choosing fully integrated, they will measure at a depth of 25 inches (standard cabinetry is 24 inches), and your installer and manufacturer must know this during design and install.

    I’m using the Thermador refrigerator and freezer columns in my kitchen, and the really cool thing about them is that they are two SEPARATE appliances…meaning that you can put them on opposite sides of your kitchen if you wanted! They are fully integrated and panel ready (they are actually sold without any front panel at all and stainless steel panels and handles are sold separately).

    Another cool option (no pun intended!) is to consider a under-the-counter integrated freezer since most of the time the freezer doesn’t have to be as big (or if you already have a deep freezer somewhere else in your home).

    Currently the brands that are doing the integrated appliances are Thermador, sub-zero, Liebeherr and True. There may be others, but I think all of the other brands (kitchen aid, bosch, jenn-air) are panel ready, not truly integrated.

    And don’t worry about swapping out your fridge! I remodeled and re-purposed my old fridge into the garage, but if someone buys it then thats a win-win for everyone! C’mon people it’s NOT going to end up in a landfill its a new freakin’ fridge!

    1. Yes, there have been a few comments about the “landfill,” but I think if you read the majority of the comments frustrated by her suggestion you will find that the frustrated comes from something else–the direction of the blog, the need for aspirational, perfect content all the time, how it is becoming unrelateable and uninspirational, etc. It’s not really about the *literal* waste of a fridge.

  177. I have integrated sub zeros and I LOVE them. The other thing I’m not sure if was mentioned as I stopped reading the comments after awhile, so sorry if I’m duplicating, but usually integrated means counter depth (so less deep than a regular fridge). To me this is a blessing as it keeps things from getting shoved to the back and forgotten. It’s true you do give up some cubic space but if you just have rotten food in that extra space then who cares!

  178. Regarding electrical outlet covers, we found that by picking out colors close to whatever the background, we could paint them or match to the tile used. After
    a while I don’t even think about it anymore. Your choices seem to stand the test
    of time unless you just want to try something new.

  179. Go for it!!!!

  180. Hi! Sorry but I’m with everyone who say that it would be a waste. You are already doing integrated in your 2 projects you don’t this for content…

    While I can’t back myself up with facts here, I would guess that your readership is not the typically 10K$ fridge/integrated client…. very rich people hire designers they are not the core of your readership. I stated to read the blog some years ago because I liked the design that was more affordable/could be recreated. Different client meant different way to style! I don’t come as often on the blog because we always see the same thing (your house with new stuff), just like a lot of other design blogs. If your English-cottage-style home is not what I want, numerous variations on the same theme is not going to make me clic on the links…

    Your blog is a business and your clients are your readers… don’t forget.

  181. Love your pos and am SO interested in the outlet debate…like why can’t they manufacture a tile version so it can be integrated in the backsplash? Also…can I just say that the old world/vintage style kitchen with gray cabinets looks like a kitchen from Downton Abbey or the Titanic? I mean seriously. I half expect a movie cast to just pop right in and begin their day. This style is going to be so dated because everything is done to era/trend. They totally needed to mix it up a bit.

  182. Hi Emily, I love your kitchen! IMO I wouldn’t replace the fridge with integrated. While I like integrated appliances, I’m not keen on changing the height of the cabinetry to fit the new fridge. Not having a continous line to match the cabinet next to it would annoy me far more than the existing fridge! Changing that whole section does seem wasteful and too much effort. Having a fridge on view suits the age of the house too. The dishwasher, if it bugs you, could be changed faily easily though.

    And for the record in Australia not everyone is integrating appliances. They might be in some areas and some price points but it is not ubiquitous. There are more normal fridges available than integrated which are priced high, similar to the States. What I want to see more of though is decent underbench fridge/freezers. The options here are even more limited!

  183. I would definitely not do this. It’s a real waste (even if you donate the appliances) and I really do not think it will add any value to resale eight years from now, especially in your market and at that price range.

    Also I lived in the U.K. with integrated appliances and it was a real pain sometimes. The panel for the washer (in London, most flats/houses have the washer in the kitchen) would always fall off. And the door handles for the dishwasher would always loosen so you end up with various holes getting it back on. You need to pull the handle harder to open the dishwasher and it would just naturally weaken over time.

    In this case I think this is just content for contents sake so don’t fix it if it isn’t broken!

  184. Damn! I just bought a dishwasher.
    Yes!!!! I love this.

    And I would love to know more of outlet covers. Not kidding

  185. Please please shoot Corbett’s kitchen!!

  186. I love your kitchen! Don’t change a thing! I like a kitchen that looks like a kitchen, appliances and all. And I love that your kitchen looks…attainable. So many designers create rooms I could never afford so they don’t inspire me. Your house looks…relatable. When I see your rooms, it makes me excited about how I can do something similar in my own home. Thanks Emily!

  187. Lots of good perspective on the value proposition of integrating these appliances that I won’t repeat, but I did want to add:
    I don’t get how anyone can argue that a kitchen with integrated appliances is inconsistent with being a “workhorse.” A good, functional kitchen is dependent firstly on layout, and secondly on the power (literally: heat/cooling) of the appliances. A refrigerator clad in cabinets is no less of a refrigerator. If you live there, it’s not like you’re going to forget where it is! And you still only open one door to access the contents. It is possible to have both form and function.

  188. I love that you ask for comments–not something I usually do! The frig would look nice of course, but what draws my eyes away from the design is the island. It is not the paint color but the panel design. Create a more simple island and the eye will see less lines on the refrigerator.

  189. We did our kitchen recently and have the Fisher and Paykel integrated fridge, which is designed to be flush with the cabinetry. We could have had the front panels made to match the cabinetry, but went with stainless steel because I love to put up certificates the kids get from school, and we have a magnet collection from all the places we have visited as a family which I love to see. It personalises the space for me. Even with the stainless steel panels it is still a really smart look with next to no gaps between the fridge and the surrounding cabinets.

  190. Love the insight! I now definitely want integrated appliances. Found this article with a very helpful pic (wish I could just post the pic, but…). Hope it helps!

    https://blog.bostonappliance.net/built-in-vs-integrated-vs-overlay-refrigerators/

  191. I actually think your kitchen is too small to pull of integrated. Also, totally with everyone else who thinks this is a waste of time and money. I think the idea that you’d donate things to charity is nice, but it still perpetuates the idea of going through things unnecessarily. It allows for the idea of giving it to someone else as a crutch all the time, when there are lots of things that wind up in the garbage that could be used for this purpose. I’d also like to hop in there with others who have said that they haven’t been reading as often. That’s my case too, this blog used to be a must read, and now I honestly only read maybe once a week or every other. I agree that in the last year it really has changed into all about consumerism, and I too, am tired of looking at your house, gorgeous as it is, in many different ways. I’ll put this caveat in there though, I feel this way about a lot of other bloggers at present, so I think a big part of it is me and my ideals changing as well. In this ever precarious and tough world, extreme excess because “we can” is really turning me off.

  192. The only integrated kitchen I like in the examples above is the Amber Interiors one. Your kitchen is beautiful and it’s nice for guests to be able to find the appliances so I would vote don’t change a thing! I love your kitchen!

  193. I think you definitely should do it! I love a kitchen that doesn’t just scream “kitchen!”, especially when in an open concept home similar to yours. I’ve had my kitchen remodeled for about a year now, and because of some less than ideal work done, and realizing I should have gone for the nicer option, we are in the process of changing some things. (Marble, faucet, building in the fridge) I say go for it- yes, the thought of more time and money being put into something that is “fine” and functional is sometimes guilt inducing, but I think like you said, it’s worth it to do it now and enjoy it.

  194. I think you should do whatever you want to do! And I love reading your thought process through it all–I always learn so much!

  195. While I totally agree with the logic of changing things out while you’re still living in the house so you’ll have time to enjoy them, do you think that you won’t need to renovate again in 8 years? Obviously I have no clue, but that’s almost a decade for everything to continue to get dated. It just seems like kitchen trends are changing really quickly right now and what might seem timeless today could feel horribly 2018 in 2026.

  196. Emily, I LOVE you sharing your thought process on everything you are designing! It gives me so much information to use on my own design projects. It is a true education every time I read your posts. I think what you are doing is very innovative and you are using your own home as a laboratory to show others real design ideas and what all the considerations are in making those decisions. Design changes so rapidly that it does need assessing and changing frequently in your world. You are donating the old appliances to charity so there should be no whining about waste! I say go for it! There is a lot to be said for you enjoying the changes until you sell the home. You go girl! I am so inspired by you and all that you do!

  197. Go for it Emily! Intregrate away! I think it would be a blog-worthy makeover, and if it helps with photo shoots all the better. If you need a charity to donate appliances to, I’m here to help. I feel like a charity case on most days.

  198. I would say definitely go for it and integrate the fridge, maybe the dishwasher and hood, leave the range as is. The range is so pretty! The hood is fine. The dishwasher is not visible in almost any of the photo angles so it’s fine. The fridge does look very massive, especially for the small kitchen size. I think it’s totslly fine to integrate some and not all appliances, just do it for the highest impact appliance – fridge!

  199. Hi Em, Can I just say I loved your kitchen reno 18 months ago and STILL love it just as much! The first thing I noticed and made me smile was the color of your island in contrast with your beautiful wood floor. I think it makes your kitchen seem lit from below as well as above. Until you pointed them out, I never noticed the “off center” pot filler or the outlets, there was just too much more “beautiful” happening that took my eye.
    I’m not sold on the idea of integrated or panel ready appliances. I don’t know if I want my kitchen to look like a living room or dining room, because…it’s the kitchen. It’s where we all hang out, eat together, sit at the island and talk, make snacks and cook meals. It’s where the kids do their homework, our son’s baseball team buddies jaw and drink pitchers of sweet tea after practice and our high school daughter and her friends laugh, bake ccokies and make a mess in the kitchen when all of them sleep over. My neighbor walks over in the morning to drink a cup of coffee with me at the kitchen table. I haven’t been able to picture all of that living being done in a room that doesn’t look like a kitchen.
    What should YOU do, Em? Don’t think so much about the future and how long you plan to live in your current home or if a new kitchen will help the sale of your home. You can’t plan on ANY of that. Life is life, one new day after another. We thought we were in our “forever” home that we had lovingly cared for, renovated and lived in for years when my husband was offered a position with an advertising firm he’d had his eye on for 10 years! You bet he took that job and we picked up and moved with two kids in junior high. He had worked too hard to be denied. We love our home and our kids love their friends and school.
    Do what your heart wants. You only get to do this once, don’t bet on the come. If you want to do integrated appliances and change the outlets and location of your pot filler…DO it! Whatever your decision, one day you’ll know it was the right one because you made it while you were living your life. OMG! I hope I’m not sounding like someone’s mother… BTW, love those new kitchen stools!

  200. As someone who renovated our kitchen 4 years ago I never considered this option either…but seeing it now…I absolutely love the simple clean lines. It will definitely be something I do if we build again! I hope you do it!!!

  201. Be warned, Viking refrigerator is the worst! I bought the whole deal: range, all fridge, all freezer, dishwasher, refrigerator drawers. I have had to have the refrigerator replaced twice in 3 years. I finally got my money back and bought Sub zero which I LOVE. If you can switch….run do not walk away from that Viking refrigerator. They are a range company and that product is awesome, the fridges are not.

  202. Kitchens are supposed to have appliances in them. That’s what they’re for. This whole conversation seems very out of touch for someone who clearly is very thoughtful about her family’s needs in her work.

    I’m finding myself walking away from more and more blogs as bloggers buy up homes in cities like Portland where people are in the midst of a housing crisis and the market is already way out of reach for most residents, then essentially flipping for the sake of blog content without ever reflecting on what driving up the cost of homes does to the communities around them. Especially when the blogger doing the flipping doesn’t even live in the area and doesn’t have to respond to the long-term consequences of their decisions. Homes are essential for everyone and this type of drive to create content and perform makes realistic, comfortable homes even more out of reach for all of us.
    This type of waste to create, frankly, boring content where we’re seeing the same room a million times but with a slightly different (and for most, completely unaffordable and unattainable) modification really contributes to this general feeling of being turned off by design bloggers who I’ve otherwise loved for a long time.

  203. This post made me dizzy. It’s your kitchen in your home, so obviously do what will make you happy in the end. From the point of view of a reader, it’s not content that I would be interested in as it comes across quite extra and frivolous. And it seems like in terms of content that you are doing this in your other homes, so maybe slow the roll and don’t go integrated appliance crazy just because it’s on your brain? Anyway, just my opinion. I do like your blog but consumerism like this is always a little gross(donated fridge or not). Best of luck whatever you do.

  204. I’m an interior designer in SF (but from the UK) and was so surprised that integrated appliances weren’t such a thing over here. It doesn’t have to just be a modern kitchen, just look at Plain English or Devol! For what it’s worth I really think “panel-ready” and integrated are the same thing. (Just integrated is becoming a more commonly used word here?) As for the outlet on the island check out bocci 22. Using them on a project currently and so sleek!

  205. We just bought a house with integrated fridge and dishwasher panels and I have to say I don’t really love it – particularly for resale. First of all they’re way harder to clean and when they inevitably show wear and tear, it looks super bad. Standard appliances I think hold up better (no chipping or worn paint or impossible to wash off grease stains of unknown provenance #kids). Also if you’re buying a house one of the first things you (or maybe just me) look to update is the appliances. Because the integrated paneled appliances are weirdly sized it’s impossible to find new appliances to properly fill the cabinet space without it looking weird, unless you want to drop $10K on a new fridge for your new house that you just bought with a functional (but old) fridge.

  206. I would do it! Will really elevate the look of your kitchen. Make it more custom, clean & streamlined looking. I agree, why not enjoy your house rather than just upgrade to sell.

  207. If you make the change now, you risk having to repair and replace those high end appliances within your 8-10 year time frame. Your house has so much character and is so quaint. I think the kitchen fits in nicely as is.

  208. Definitely upgrade the appliances Emily! As much as I love your kitchen, I always wished you’d integrated the appliances – would be a much better look for your small kitchen. Good luck!

  209. Have you considered white appliances? My gut says stainless appliances are on their way out — they’ve been around so long and stand out so much. White appliances wouldn’t stand out quite as much against your cabinets.

    I don’t mind hiding the dishwasher, but I personally prefer to see an oven/stove and a fridge — that’s what makes it look like a kitchen and a home.

  210. We had an integrated dishwasher in a house I lived in with roommates and it was beautiful, but no one could tell if it was running or not and it was constantly being opened mid-cycle. Which really isn’t a thing if you live with a partner and kids, and it means you have a super quiet dishwasher, but it looked so good and who cares if you stop a dishwasher mid cycle?

  211. We just completed a kitchen remodel in Bend, Or. We have electrical strips on either side of our island up high under the countertop and in black so not noticeable. We also have the strips underneath the cabinets so there is no interruption in the backsplash. It looks great and We love it with one drawback. If you have a lot of small appliances out all the time, cords hanging down- no so cool looking. We only have the coffee pot and grinder out in a smaller area so its not that noticeable. We pull out the blender/ toaster only when we need them. Another reason for that is, I love my countertop and want it clear of junk so people can see it( Belvedere- leathered)

  212. Emily, it isn’t whether the appliances get donated, it is that more earth resources are getting used… further straining the planet for your babies. and that trumps design.
    also, Emily, you are modeling behavior for sooo many others via your blog.It is a big resaponsibility, not just a personnal preference once you post it. wouldn’t you feel better is you modeled planet saving design?

  213. My parents have had integrated appliances for two decades. Their kitchen is not large, and my dad is a fantastic and enthusiastic cook, so the room is used and used well. I think the integrated appliances make the kitchen feel larger—he has a fantastic Viking range (with a griddle), so the kitchen feels plenty like a kitchen (referring to comment above). I also think it’s kept the current design of their kitchen still feel fresh after twelve years in its current state. Love the conversation! I say do it and enjoy it.

  214. YES to pretty outlet/light switch covers!! In the middle of a kitchen remodel over here, I also researched this topic and couldn’t find anything beautiful and informative on the web! Would LOVE a post and round up dedicated to this stat!!😊

  215. Loved reading your post and your honest assessment of what you still love and what you regret.

    As you really care about what belongs to a house that is 100 years old, and you have made many other choices respecting that age, I would say non integrated appliances belong there. And you get your fix of seamless integration in Portland and your mountain house where it will be maybe more part of the overall concept.

    I am the sad girl who wrote not long ago after your post about renovating from distance and how it is not easy, just the way you said. Now I am also the sad girl who admits that I already have a plan for a new walk in closet and that’s before the current one is even completed. I do it grudgingly but I do know that the design was wrong, conceived amongst a thousand other decision that had to be made at that time, and it seemed good enough then. Now it seems uninventive and settling for second best. But it is painful.

  216. So I am finalizing design for my kitchen renovation now and just made the decision that I am not going integrated on the fridge. I have small children and the integrated refrigerator are very talk and functionally my children would have to be much older to reach items. In our standard fridge now they grab snacks independently and I just couldn’t make that trade off in design considering the stage of life my family is in. I hope we don’t regret it!

  217. Visually, I think there’s no question that integrated appliances look better. I never actually noticed that your appliances weren’t integrated until I read this post. And now I can’t un-see it. If you’re going to do it anyway for re-sale then do it now and enjoy it! We have an integrated Brigade (Viking) and it’s literally the most complimented feature of our house. Weirdly, I don’t really notice it myself. So I think it’s more for others’ perspective (or blog content 😉). The only drawback I’ve found is our cabinet fronts are lower quality and have chipped on the top of the freezer when stuff from the fridge has fallen out. Also be prepared for normal appliance issues. We’ve had two $10G+ fridges and they both had multiple issues. I haven’t found high end fridges to be any higher quality (unlike ranges).

  218. Do it!! It will be worth it and I live understanding how you came to this conclusion. I agree with you and just bc I want to do my own kitchen. Ha!

  219. Firstly, THANK YOU so much for all of the in-depth, real-life content re renovations & regrets. We are just now starting the planning stages of a major reno of a 100 year+ house and I cannot get enough of your honesty and insight. Especially the ‘rules’ for various rooms, so helpful.

    I have been pouring over your posts and making notes re. materials, layout, etc. Could not be more grateful!

    Re. changing a newly reno’ed space, budget, wastefulness, etc: If you were a major retail brand with physical stores or a big box store, etc. you would change out your product display and staging all of the time. That would be costly and probably somewhat wasteful, and consumers don’t seem to be too upset. And truly, we expect to see change and evolution in retail environments.

    Why on earth is it not reasonable for you to do the same, as a major voice in decor & shelter? Content development is your work, and your livelihood is tied to your ability to showcase fresh, new spaces on an ongoing basis. The brands with whom you work are likely not donating top-line product to housing non-profits as frequently as you might be.

    Don’t worry too much about how a bunch of strangers out in internet-land feel about whether your house has another new fridge. Your work is excellent and you are helping people get in touch with how they want (or don’t want) to live their own lives. There is real benefit in that, and your calling need not be heart surgery or curing cancer in order to offer real, tangible benefits to others.

    Now go put in some fab integrated appliances and enjoy!

  220. I’m concerned. Not about your kitchen, it’s YOUR kitchen. I’m concerned about you:

    * You had a breakdown last December and it would appear that you’re entering the “danger zone”, running on adrenalin, again. I don’t see this as about your kitchen at all. This is about, not being able to sit and be still; just breathe and feel comfortable in your own skin.
    Sometimes, when one gets used to doing too much as a habitual way of being, it can be easy to slip into always being this way. It can feel “normal” to the person at the time….but, It. Is. Not. Normal.

    * As a self professed “Influencer” with two small children that you are influencing by every, single thing you choose and action (or choose to not action), you are missing the actual point of being an influencer.
    That is, the ability to help others.
    Not to ‘help’ others stress manically over their imperfect power outlets or whether they “should” do this or that; whether they’re “good enough”, simply because they cannot afford to re-do things after only a year; or whether you’re a “good” person, because you donate stuff you just don’t want or like anymore.
    You choosing to dump it somewhere useful for ‘good person points’ or just putting it on the street verge is irrelevant. The point is that you’re dumping, because it isn’t good enough after one year.
    Influencing for good – me thinks the point is lost and the choices you’re making (very publicly) demonstrates that you’ve likely lost your way. Think about the effect of your choices (all of your choices, big and small) on your kids, even subliminally, since you are trying to show them that donating to others is a ‘good thing’ to do.

    * From a design P.O.V., wouldn’t it be more helpful to your reader base, to focus on one area and actually fix it? The jumping-all-over-the-place approach is perhaps a reflection of where you’re at personally (Portland, Mountains, home)? I suggest focusing on your living room and fixing the design issues there. Show us all how it’s done by focusing on one room and getting the bugs out of it by doing it, for real.

    * As far as influencing goes, I suggest donating the many Christmas trees (that was seriously obscene gluttony) from last year and have just one, in your living room. Influence your kids by choosing to be real people who don’t have a Christmas tree in each bedroom. Help them choose rationally and wisely and discuss why it’s a good choice to make realistic choices about things and not necessarily live in a constant hum of excess, even if you are more affluent than you were and can throw new stuff out and get more, just because you can.

    *Focus. Be still. Breathe.

    1. ^^^Please read this comment Emily. ^^^^
      I think it has some very valid points .You need to look after yourself.
      I love “Focus. Be still. Breathe.”
      Great little affirmation to take into my day. Thanks Heidi!

    2. *APPLAUSE*

    3. What she said.

  221. good one blog post i read this 10 time .. http://goo.gl/UoXDri .. really nice ..

  222. I LOVE your backsplash tile! We are hoping to move to Florida this year and that is exactly what I want in my new kitchen. Do you have a link?
    Oh and yes I love the integrated appliances but I’m not sure that for me it would be worth the added expense. If you can get them sponsored or for a reduced cost don’t hesitate they look beautiful. I believe they would be a great addition to your kitchen.

  223. Emily, I used to really respect you. I used to like your style. This post made me realize how indesicive and wasteful you are. I’ve known for a long time that you’d sell out your style for a dollar, but damn; I didn’t realize that the second your contract wiTh one vendor expired that you’d throw them under the bus. I know you’ll never publish this comment, but if you do: I am done reading your blog, and quite frankly, I cannot wait for sponsors to wise up to your deception and disloyalty and drop you. You’re the epitome of a sellout and quite frankly. I will never visit your site again.

    1. Holy crap.

    2. Wow. Just wow.

      Someone needs a refresher on ‘the golden rule.’

    3. seriously??!!
      1.) this blog is her job. she has to make content to make a living. for some of that content you need sponsors.
      2.) she in no way threw the vendor under the bus. she had nothing but nice things to say about them
      3.) she has the right to do what ever the F she wants on HER blog and in HER house

  224. In France, integrated appliances are sold at IKEA so not really considered that special of a design choice. On the other hand, giant American fridges are rare so that impresses people. In the States, in our lake house, I did an integrated fridge with water and ice maker on he inside- the main floor is totally open concept and I didn’t spend all my time staring at appliances. In France, in our very high-end house, our fridge is stainless- we wanted a big size and it was getting way too complicated to find and expensive. Despite that, we get a universal ‘wow’ from visitors when they see our kitchen. All of that to say, the decision is really specific to each market, in my opinion. Personally, handles on the integrated have been a PAIN- placement was hard and they have gotten wobbly. Our panels + hardware are so heavy that the dishwasher door is practically a health hazard for our toddler. Our dishwasher is also a lemon (so many repairs…) but I don’t want to change because of the hassle of getting a new panel that fits. For resale, I would leave your kitchen alone. In 8 years, buyers wouldn’t be impressed by old appliances, integrated or not, so you might have to get new ones anyways.

  225. this blog very awesome wow .. http://goo.gl/bgLrfs .. good work

  226. Personally I would only have a non-built in fridge if it was a pretty one (yes I am that person) like a Smeg or suchlike. That said, next time I might go integrated fridge so I can get a bigger better one without having to worry about how it looks. Dishwasher always integrated though! I had never heard of panel-ready before.
    Your kitchen is stunning but I would probably be tempted to go integrated too?
    This is my kinda debate lol

  227. I was surprised by this post. In EU where I live appliances are usually hidden and that’s the most common option when you design a kitchen.
    We just bought an apartment and we had our kitchen totally remodelled: when we started designing it with the shop’s expert having integrated appliances was never in question (and they normally come with the same handle of the other cabinets and so on). But it’s nothing new, I grew up in a house where the appliances where integrated.
    Did I misunderstood something in the post or is just a “cultural difference”?

    Besides, here in Europe I hade the feeling that integrated appliances are waaaaay cheaper than standing alone ones. I think that depends on the fact that only high end brands (think Smeg) have this choice.

  228. hi Emily really enjoy your Blog. Really like you.

    Here in the UK as many have said integrated appliances are pretty standard across all price ranges. I have an integrated dishwasher but I CHOSE an unintegrated fridge. Why because the integrated ones are always smaller, less practical and often seem to go wrong. Im also of the school of thought that I don’t like ‘pretend’ versions of things and it always feels like you’ve got the fridge pretending to be a cupboard. But that’s just me.

    it’s very, very interesting to hear your thoughts a year later. But I’m not so keen on the endless re doing and re doing which seems a bit navel gazing and obsessing to me. We’re not talking re painting a wall or swapping an outlet but major structural and re purchasing ( I know they were gifted ) changes. A year later. It just doesn’t seem that cool.

    I don’t think ‘content’ is king. I think other ideas and values trump that. And you are an influencer.

  229. This is my no. 1 favorite thing in kitchens. I am team integrated appliances all the way!!!! TBH, I was a little disappointed when you didn’t do integrated for this beautiful kitchen last year! HOWEVER, I don’t always love integrated hoods. Hoods are often pretty and add design umph all on their own! Also, since you can’t really integrate ovens (can you?), I often like the paired look of a beautiful stove/oven combo with a beautiful hood. Shout out to Orlando’s kitchen for his parents.

    1. I recently started reading the blog because I enjoy your design aesthetic and honest writing style — but sorry — this idea seems self-indulgent and wasteful to me. You seem open to hearing other points of view…so here’s mine: while you can try to justify re-doing an almost brand new kitchen (you need content, you’ll donate your “old” appliances, etc.) — I can’t help but think of the estimated $12 to $15K you’ll spend to make this happen. Not to be preachy, but just to offer another perspective: I work with homeless single mothers trying to better themselves and this amount of money would go a long way to pay for childcare or toward a college degree for one of these women. No one can tell you how to spend your own resources, but this post seems very un-relatable to me. So interesting to read the many different viewpoints on this!

      1. @Lucie, did you mean to post in reply to my comment? Also, totally get your point! But unfortunately I don’t think the $10-15k is transferrable for Emily or any designer. That money isn’t in cash, it’s in sponsored product (part of the appliance company’s advertising budget). So, personally I think we should be telling big appliance companies, “donate 10% (or x%) of your advertising budget to aid homeless women pay for childcare and college degrees”. While Emily & her team are definitely not beyond criticism, I don’t think renovating her recently renovated kitchen for content with nontransferrable sponsored product is necessarily an issue—but I would certainly encourage them to donate 10% (or x%) of EHD’s estimated profit from that renovation to homeless women.

        I swear I’m not an EHD fanatic (plenty of criticism to go around!), but worth noting that I’ve noticed the EHD team spend their resources either directly donating to or raising donations for homeless families. Not that it’s a pass, but wanted to give credit where it’s due!

    2. My mom has renovated her kitchen at home and at my parents Chesapeake Bay house in the past 5 years—she did integrated dishwashers, fridge drawers (for drinks), and warming drawers in both, but not refrigerators. I think it was her biggest regret each time, but she couldn’t swing it because of the cost. She also has microwave drawers and one mini wine fridge that aren’t integrated but I’m not sure those even exist because of the glass doors, does anyone know?

      In conclusion, @fridgecompanies—LISTEN TO EMILY. We will buy less expensive panel-ready options!!!!!!! ALSO—why do we spell fridge with a ‘d’ when there is no ‘d’ in refrigerator?!?!

      1. BTW, forgot her integrated hoods: At home, she did an integrated stove top and hood (hood is paneled with beadboard and has hood shape like your Victoria Elizabeth Barnes image) next to 2 stacked ovens (not integrated). At the Bay house, she did a range (not interested) with an integrated hood above (this hood is squared off with “cabinetry” like your McGee & Co image).

        1. Happy to send photos to anyone who is interested! My mom is a talented designer and chef to a big family—the kitchens are contemporary/traditional and outfitted for function! DM me on instagram @therealmandymac

  230. Do it! Definitely looks better integrated!

  231. I just wanted to say that I bought the cheapest biggest all fridge, all freezer on the market. (Fridgidaire all fridge and all freezer. Each one is I think 30 or 36” wide) and my kitchen guy paneled them for me. Was $300! He used the same stuff he used to make my cabinets. White laquer modern cabinets. They look awesome. And he put the same hardware on them that he used for my cabinets.

    1. I’m clarifying in my own post above- the all fridge and all freezers I bought above were NOT panel ready and were dirt cheap ($1300 each?) and my cabinet guy still labeled them. Even though they’re regular fridgidaire stainless behemoths that are not panel ready.

      1. *I meant to say he paneled them.
        Not labeled them. Lol. 🙈

  232. Quick question-why not just paint the outlet cover on the island the same color so that it disappears? You may have to do a little touch occasionally if it is used a lot. I have done that with my light switches on my dark gray walls and it made a huge difference!

  233. Ok kitchen designer here! Panel Ready just means the fridge can take panels. Integrated typically means the installation can be completed flush with surrounding cabinetry and looks very sleek like most of the designs you showed as examples. If you don’t want it to stick out, You need to make sure you get a model that can be flush because it requires a different type of door hinge so it won’t bind on the surrounding cabinets, it also typically requires more than the standard 24” of depth in the opening to work. (For a 36” subzero you need an opening that is 26.25” deep, 38” wide and 84” High is I’m remembering correctly off the top of my head… so not the same as a a typical freestanding fridge!) …. you also need to choose the overlay of the fridge, options are usually 1/4 framed or half overlay which you don’t want to use as those are that dated pasted on look or full overlay which is what you would use whether you have inset or overlay cabinets. Integration is really hard and it’s SUPER difficult to make sure you are getting the right result you want – talk to the people at Sub Zero as they are the best at explaining!

  234. Ooooh I can help with this one! So, first, there are two different types of appliances. Built in and freestanding. Freestanding is what you have now (just slides in place and doesn’t need additional support). Built in appliances require very specific cabinet openings as they will installed INTO the cabinets (as opposed to just set in the opening).

    So from there, you have panel ready appliances or ones with a finished face. You can still get built in applainces (subzero, thermador etc) with stainless steel fronts. But if you want it to have a cabinet panel on the front, you want “panel ready”. Panel ready means they accept a cabinet panel for the face. So panel ready is basically a prerequisite for the integrated appliances to give it a seamless look.

    From there, there are different ways you can actually install the built in appliance, and that’s where your “integrated” comes in. So you can install them so they are a little more recessed and everything flushes out and looks seamless or integrated, or you can install them where they sit a little more proud and there is a little more reveal.

    So just an FYI that you’ll want the built in appliances, but to pay very close attention to the INSTALLATION method because that ultimately depends on how integrated the built in unit looks. Hope this helps!!

  235. I just designed a series of kitchens for high end apartments and from my understanding the terms « integrated » and « panel-ready » are interchangeable. It will look completely seemless if you design it that way.
    A couple of things to watch out for: for fridges, etc the company may suggest using their handles to ensure that it can take the weight of the door/panel. They usually only have one option of handle which makes matching other kitchen hardware difficult.
    Also ensure to read through the installation manuals thoroughly before the shop drawings come in, as I was caught having the integrate multiple ventilation grills in some areas where I didn’t want them, due to the fact that those particular appliances required them. (Not all do).
    Also, while still high end, we worked with the following brands: Liebherr ($$) and Gaggenau ($$$) – in case you want to look at appliance brand alternatives to sub-zero and Viking.
    Hope this helps!

  236. LOVE the idea of integrated appliances! It’s on my 10 year plan for our kitchen due to pricing, but can’t wait to make the switch. You hit the nail on the head.. appliance companies need to get on this! To me it elevates a kitchen and creates a more cohesive look. Go for it!

  237. Yes, your kitchen is new. But lots of your readers (hi!) have not-new kitchens. I still love my kitchen (gut renovation 15 years ago), but the appliances are starting to fall. I’d be very interested in learning about options to retrofit integrated appliances into an existing kitchen!

  238. My love for blogs is definitely waning due to sponsorships. Hey, I get the attraction, if someone was giving me something for free I might want to snatch it up too! But, it makes me take all recommendations with a grain of salt. Sure, these appliances are the greatest appliances ever…until you (and just about every other blogger who accepts sponsorships) want new ones…it just personally rubs me the wrong way.

    1. Bingo.

  239. I was set in integrated but then we changed our minds. They are generally so much smaller (not as deep) and less sq feet of storage on the interior than ‘regular’ stainless models. We had to change our minds because having the easy access to water and ice! There are like two options, and then with that the water damage on the panels look really bad after a year. We chose to forgo the panel on the dishwasher too for that reason. Not something we wanted to keep paying for every couple years! They are beautiful but not really ‘practical’ for our family (4 kids). Your kitchen is beautiful either way!

  240. Can I say I’m so glad you switched those stools? I so hated the old ones. I say go for it on integrating the fridge and dishwasher. I am interested to see what you’d do with the hood in the middle of your existing cabinets as I have a micro-hood I’d like to get rid of but not sure how to do it w/o a full remodel. The range seems fine, but you do you. I think if you are donating the functional appliances to habitat for humanity or similar, the enviro issues are a moot point.

  241. oye. I used to love your blog, checked it weekly. But I can not see one more picture of your house. I just can’t. The readers spent months watching you remodel it and now we have to spend months watching you pick it apart and discuss the things you do and don’t like about it. And these homes you are redoing for content sake just seems disengenous. I miss designing for clients because it wasn’t all for you and your family. You had to take into account someone else’s design taste. We’re just watching you design for you and it’s tiresome. It sounds harsh but it’s only because I used to really loooooove your blog!

  242. I haven’t read the other comments yet but I think you should totally do it ! It’s going to look and feel soooooo nice!

  243. I really enjoyed this post, super helpful and listen I’ve witnessed crazy and from all appearances you are still sane!

  244. Hide the fridge! I don’t see why all the backlash. If you had posted that you had gone ahead integrated the fridge and showed pretty pics, without posting first about contemplating doing it or not, people would be commenting how much they love it and no one would be thinking about how the kitchen is only a year old and whatnot.

  245. I think you also need to look at it from an environmental standpoint. Yes, you will be donating the gently used appliances and cabinetry, but you are still over consuming. There is no need really for new anything in that lovely kitchen. I love your IG account and blog but this seems a bit over the top to me since you are currently renovating two other properties with new everything. How much went into the landfill with those projects? How much more are you consuming? I get it. You have to keep changing things and working on things for your business but think about everything new you purchase season after season for shoots. That is consumerism at it’s finest and I have no idea how you navigate through all of that in your business. Ultimately you will do what you want, it is your house. But if it were me, I’d just let it be. I think your house is great.

  246. Building a mountain home! Look forward to your posts!
    Yes please re: article on where to place kitchen outlets in new construction. We are opting for cutting into the counter granite for the round cylinder popups rather than disturb the backsplash. I am undecided on the plates for the island. Would also like to read about under cabinet light options.
    Thanks, New reader. love your blog! El

    1. I commented about this below but look into Sillites for your island! They are individual outlets with paintable covers. I installed them in a kitchen 4 years ago and LOVE them.

  247. What if you just integrated the hood and the refrigerator? Maybe that’s weird.

  248. I think, when done right, the integrated look far superior and YES will add value to your home. Having said that, yes it is a significant amount of money. But over 8 yrs or so you will be living there, probably worth it in the end.

  249. Here in Switzerland we almost always hide the dishwasher because it’s usually ugly. The problem is that the panel will fall off after a while so you need it to be strongly attached! I always loved these huge American refrigerators because we don’t have them so much in Europe and it seems very luxurious, but in a small kitchen I understand why you want to change it. Concerning all the negative comments, I love your blog because you are so authentic and honest about your hesitations and choices and that’s exactly why I follow you. Although I am very concerned about sustainability that’s not what your blog is about! It’s about renovating, changing our interior, giving ideas and telling mistakes you made, it’s so helpful! Then up to everyone to decide whether to do it or not. So please don’t stop!

  250. ….and just read some of the nay sayer comments. Which are fair too. But YOU are an artist, a designer, a trend setter! We expect you to dream, fantasize and take risks! So many people learn from you. There is something to be said about accepting flaws and imperfections in design, people, life and ourselves! I think you balance it all well. You DO focus and appreciate wh positive. You appreciate. Keep taking risks and testing new ideas out. Let your creativity flow. It’s part of your job description in essence.

  251. I’m kinda weirded out by the judgmental comments about the wastefulness and “aspiration” and “need for perfection.” This was never a budget or diy blog. She still goes to the flea market, guys! If you’ve been reading for a long time you know that one of Emily’s main characteristics is obsessing over what feels right to her eye–like any true designer. We love that she lets us in on her constantly moving thought process. And it’s her home! Now she’s going to lose readership if she continues to strive to make her kitchen a place she loves?

    1. If she loses readers its because they are no longer interested in the content. I have no obligation to keep reading a blog if it doesn’t interest me. Perfection is boring.

  252. Since you’re doing integrated/panel ready in the Portland and Mountain houses, my vote is NO to doing integrated appliances in your current house. Readers of the blog will get to see the process and end result with the Portland and Mountain projects, so I don’t think it’s necessary to go back and do it in your current kitchen.

    It is pretty interesting, though, to read these comments from non-Americans. Sounds like there are more differences in kitchen design than I thought.

  253. We too did a full remodel of our home 1.5 years ago and somewhat regret not integrating the appliances (at least, fridge and dishwasher). I did go with higher end (Thermador) appliances but stopped considering the integrated option as the fridge was frightfully expensive. But, I say, go for it. This is your line of work, if you don’t constantly think of “updating,” then who will?

  254. Would love to see a post about beautifying outlet covers!

  255. Integrate! I see your kitchen EVERYWHERE (and i love it). Might be nice to see it with a fresh update. Plus with the age of your home seeing the modern appliances can take away from the charm. Built in and we can really take in the charm of the age of your home.

  256. A post on outlet covers and switches would be great. I feel like a lot of places everything is the same. Thanks!

  257. I wish I was in control of monitoring the responses for this one post, I would simply delete the few negative posts that belong to that small group displaying joyless and martyr like behavior and suggest they go out in the real world and be pro active make things better if that is what they want, rather than spending their time telling others how to do it and save…..especially when those others I.e Emily are obviously already so naturally giving.

    Emily made the best decision at the time with the time frame and resources being offered. She has since opened up to another alternative, who hasn’t had that happen? If she has been responsible, ie paid taxes and has the resources, new knowledge that this is also the best business and lifestyle decision for her family and desire, which I believe she has. I don’t know what the decision is? I would 100% do it.
    To answer Emily’s question; no negative surprises with intergrated
    appliances, and no one has ever taken more than 5 seconds to find the first time. This will go down well, ….we have integrated appliances in all our homes around the world and yes we also have a large family charity foundation, people are capable of doing 2 seemingly conflicting things at once in this world.

    1. What’s the point of asking for readers’ opinions if you’re going to delete the negative ones?

  258. I believe panel ready still needs space for the door hinge and integrated is like a regular cabinet?

    I think that fridges and dishwashers are good candidates because one is a big visual block and one is just boring, but that high-end stoves are art in it of themselves and shouldn’t be integrated.

  259. I will support either way. I always vote if you’re going to do it before you move you should do it now and enjoy it. 90% of your content I will never use in my own house, but I enjoy reading it. For example, I love your patio and even if I could afford the tile, it would not be good in my climate. But you have photo shoots out there and you get likes/pins on those photos. Also, if you shoot in your kitchen, and the fridge is killing your shots then it’s a business investment like the tile. If you’ll be 40% more effective and earn 20% more due to social media, it’s a deal. This is a business.

    Someone mentioned moving in middle school is a bad time. My husband moved in middle school over 30 years ago and survived, but I can’t imagine doing it today with sports and other activities. With my children we’ve developed relationships with school district, sports teams and other activities.

  260. Update if you want, I don’t feel super strongly either way. (I would never bother, but I’m certain we don’t approach designing and styling our home the same way). But for the love of pete don’t justify a major change, because of a potential house sell in 8 years!! That’s silly. You are already tired of the style you chose ONE year ago. I would put all my dollars on the fact that your style and preferences and trends will evolve in the next 10-12 years.

    1. The one on the right is the best way to really hide the fridge inside your cabinets. The other one just disguises it and, depending on the fridge, can work pretty bad.

  261. Doubt you’ll see this the next day since so many have commented, but just in case! We integrated a Liebherr fridge (which we hate–definitely would not buy again) and Miele dishwasher in a vacation house, and they look great. I think the panel-ready dishwasher was the same price as a normal one, or maybe even a little cheaper? Sometimes you can even remove the front of a dishwasher and add a panel without replacing it; it’s worth checking. The fridge looks amazing (I used vintage brass door pulls from an old school instead of official “fridge” pulls, which were mostly expensive and cheesy since I needed something to fit into a more traditional kitchen like yours, vs. a very sleek and modern kitchen) and I’ll definitely do the same in the next kitchen I renovate..

    On integration vs. panels, I believe ours was panel-ready; you can tell it’s the fridge because of the door/drawer layout, but the panel cover the whole thing. I think those old-school ones went out with the 90s. I do vote for keeping it obviously a fridge though. I’ve stayed in houses in Europe with appliances that blend in completely and it’s very frustrating to constantly open cabinets looking for a dishwasher or fridge!

    I also sent this as a message on IG stories (with a photo that shows the fridge, actually), but in terms of island outlets check out Sillites, which are intended for use on window sills but work great in islands as well. They are little round individual outlets and come with paintable caps to help them blend in completely when not in use. Brilliant!

  262. This article/blog post explains the differences between integrated, built-in, and overlay refrigerators: https://blog.bostonappliance.net/built-in-vs-integrated-vs-overlay-refrigerators/. I have it pinned because I hope to make use of that information when I grow up. ; )

  263. I’m sure someone has already answered this, but I’ll go ahead and comment anyways! I am a designer and recently asked our Subzero/Wolf rep the same question about panel ready vs. integrated. I can only speak for what I was told regarding that particular brand, but it seems like it would be similar across the board. Panel ready can often look like an integrated with the exception of the vent panel that is typically above the doors. Integrated has this ventilation system at the toe kick. The long and short, integrated is more customizable. Because the ventilation is in the toe kick, the door panels aren’t limited in height or shape by the size of the unit. For example, with integrated, you can make a refrigerator look like an arched top armoire. As I’m sure you can guess, this ability to customize increases the price as well.

    Almost all of our clients choose to do panel ready or integrated appliances and are always really pleased with their form and function. Hope this is helpful!

  264. Contrary to what many other readers thought I liked this post and love when you look back at projects and share what you love, hate and would do the same/different. I also like discussion of integrated appliances as I love the look but know it’s much more expensive. Hopefully one of the major mid-range appliance companies comes out with more reasonable options!

  265. I think this would be great to see! And hopefully if you do it, some manufacturers in the US will get the hint! Make integrated main stream.

    I’ve never commented here, but people are so nasty that I felt inclined to comment and say that I think it’s your natural inclination as a designer to view your interiors with a critical lens and want to change and approve, and its exciting for readers to see how you do it- and want you take into consideration when you do it.

    Is it wasteful? Maybe a little. But you recognize that and try to offset things and aren’t just tossing your appliances in a landfill.

    So you do you girl.

  266. I just did a whole-home reno and my hardest decision was panel ready vs integrated. I went with panel ready primarily because of cost… (but lessons learned, in the end, it wasn’t that much cheaper than integrated would have been.) The pros of my choice is that it still offers a nice, much cleaner look than stainless would have offered… which for me, because my home is relatively open-concept and symmetrical, was important to me. While I was dreading the fact that it protrudes, in the end, because where my fridge was placed, the fact that it protrudes 3-4″ out from the cabinetry can only be seen from one angle and the majority of the time it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it would. HOWEVER, the cons are strong (price! replaceability!) and the biggest con of all is one that I could have never even considered: because the fridge front protrudes a few inches out from my cabinets, it actually appears as if it is a different colour than the cabinetry, even though it is identical. (Basically, the recessed lighting hits it in such a way that it looks brighter. IT DRIVES ME NUTS.) Another con is that the fridge door is paneled but the SIDE of the door is not (the sides are black in my case). Because my kitchen is mostly white/light, the black strip (again, only visible from the one angle) kills me when I do see it. It drives me nuts enough that I think I am going to try to get an epoxy/appliance paint mixed in the same paint colour as my cabinets/panels and will try to paint the black strip so that it is less prominent.

  267. Emily,
    My client was Viking Range for five years and I did all of their product placements. I can tell you that integrated and panel ready is the same thing.

  268. Eek. Just reading this post makes me feel grossed out. I really have a problem with you being more than happy to accept free stuff and money from well-meaning sponsors, only to tell us how you really feel once the contract runs out. How on earth can you expect us to trust your feedback on any of the number of products you shill when you admit stuff like this? If you had decided to forego said sponsorship and install integrated appliances in the first place, great. Completely ripping out all of the appliances you just put into your one year old kitchen because you’re a “content creator” is just so distasteful. I strongly feel that you need to re-expand your horizons beyond the confines of your own homes. It seems pretty clear that readers are tired of seeing you redesigning your own spaces by adding a new rug or ripping out perfectly good tvs/custom sofas/appliances because you forced your own remodel due to sponsorship timelines, it’s just beyond wasteful. I hope you’ve learned something from the success of your old home and the many regrets of your new home – that when you actually live in a space and remodel as you go along, and when you make thoughtful decisions, that resonates with your readers way more than forcing something because of money and deadlines. Remember when you used to say “Perfection is boring; Let’s get weird”? By the looks of it, you don’t even believe it yourself anymore.

  269. I just feel like hiding all the appliances makes it look like a fake kitchen. Cleaner look, but also kind of boring. Like you’re walking in a showroom that doesn’t have real stuff. In your friend’s drop-dead gorgeous home, it’s one thing, but I don’t see what’s so wrong with a kitchen looking like a functional kitchen.

  270. I just read through (a lot of) the comments, and even though I am a daily, loyal, forever-reader (seriously, you could post updates about screen time probably daily and I would literally still check once per day; I don’t even HAVE kids and I loved that post!!!) I comment exceptionally infrequently.

    However, I will say that I respect the hell out of you for being so authentic and honest — reading through your thought process about ANYTHING (but particularly this kind of stuff) is such a fascinating whirlwind and leaves me always thinking HOW DOES HER BRAIN WORK? (but in an admiring way!!!) I read a lot of blogs, and there is no one else who leaves me thinking: WOW, thank you so much for being your honest self, over and over again, especially when you know the comments are going to turn into a lot of criticism. It says something about your sense of self that you not only can handle it, but also seek it, and I think it’s a tremendous mistake on your readers’ part to not pause to appreciate someone who is so (seemingly) effortlessly real and willing to share their actual, true thoughts irrespective of how they will come across. Whether from thinking about it from a creativity perspective (I LOVE hearing how artists create) or from a different perspective to my own (I live in a rental with a probably 50 year old kitchen and have cooked… never; if you paid me money to ask where my kitchen outlets were I would have a tough time even giving you a general description), it makes me so joyful and so incredibly grateful that there are people who are willing to “lose” in some sense for a gain in authenticity and/or opening up their full thought process to the masses.

    So THANK YOU Emily — I was trying to think about if I have an opinion on whether you were to switch to integrated or not and after a solid five minutes of thinking about it my conclusion is: would want to read the post either way. Keep up what you’re doing– everyone might not love it, but there are some of us who really, truly, and consistently do.

    1. THIS. I completely agree with you Jillian.

  271. I love the look of integrated applainces.Ikea carries dishwashers that look just like cabinets, but not refrigerators.I dislike how a fridge stands out in a room.In Europe, integrated fridges are common, but not here in The.States.I hope that applaice companies start to realize that many of their customers would love this option. Your kitchen is beautiful, and folded up, the pot filler looks centered.Your friends kitchen blows me away because she has my modern taste.

  272. Hi Emily! I’m from the UK and found it so interesting reading your debate about integrated and non integrated. In the U.K. The majority of people who have “done up” their kitchen have integrated appliances, especially fridge and dishwasher. I don’t think I’d ever really consider not integrating. Having said that I think it’s a bit of a cultural difference and fridges etc are smaller (there is a style of fridge freezer that we call an American fridge freezer) especially for those living in London in Victorian/Edwardian town houses. Anywho, loving reading your blog and getting inspiration from you guys! Rebecca x

  273. 🙁 this was the first time I thought I’d stop reading your post… sad enough because otherwise I love your blog. Soooooo disappointing!

  274. I’m curious, are you happy with the fireclay sink or would you do something different now?

  275. What a sweet and stunning kitchen! I love the CLE tiles – I wanted to get some for our new modern farmhouse but never figured out where to put them. Gah!

    I have the same Frigidaire Professional appliances and I absolutely love them and I agree with DEA – I don’t like hiding appliances especially if they’re this pretty. I opted to get the fridge without the water dispenser (we never use those things in our house anyway), and it gives the fridge a much sleeker, cleaner look. And I love the masculinity of these appliances mixed in with a feminine kitchen.

    Love!!

  276. I have a panel ready dishwasher (bosch) which I love, love love! and my range hood is wood (it requires a special insert) which I got for free with the purchase of my Bertazonni range! I bought a used Subzero refrigerator which I also love! It has white panels and we thought we would replace them with stainless steel but once in the kitchen we liked it white. I love that they all blend in with my white cabinetry and and give the kitchen a more fitted, European look. I also highly recommend custom cabinetry with feet, it makes the cabinets look like furniture instead of weighted to the floor. Would be happy to send photos if interested!

  277. I love this post! What a great idea to look back at a renovation and think about what you would change or do again. I’m in the process of renovating my condo kitchen and bath and believed it would be easy to do….WOW was I surprised! I’ve been second guessing every decision. I would’ve loved to integrate my appliances because my kitchen is tiny but it was hard enough finding decent tiny appliances let along integrated ones.
    Thanks Em for showing us the way as usual!!
    PS Please do that post on hiding kitchen plugs soon!

  278. Yes! To integrated appliances – I love sleek lines in the kitchen. I’m sorry you are getting all these negative comments, what is wrong with people?! They are so mean at times. If you don’t like the blog’s “voice” then stop reading it without getting nasty. It’s really that simple. It’s your business and blog and you can write/do anything you want. It’s so easy for people to hide behind their computers and write anything, are they forgetting you (and your staff) are a real person with feelings? I’ve loved you since Design Star (that show needs to come back, HGTV!) and enjoy reading your blog on a daily basis. I am not your typical target (haha, see what I did there) since I am older, have grown children, owned homes for 30+ years and now rent. Our budget doesn’t allow for any new furniture or decorating right now but I’m hoping to own again in the future. Then I can re-read all your blog posts. But it’s fun to read your blog posts and dream. And see photos of your family. I was surprised, and flattered, that Brady send me a request on LinkedIn, probably because I worked in social media the last 5 years and live in SoCal, and you are looking for a social media person. Keep doing what you want to do and ignore the negative people.

  279. I am constantly redoing things as my style evolves! I think that’s normal. Plus, this is your job! Do what makes sense for your family, your house and also your blog. 💛 And yes, we will be here to follow the progress.

  280. Yep, you should definitely do this. That fridge has bothered me since day 1. 🙁

  281. I really enjoy following along – but I was bothered by 1) the idea of replacing good and pretty appliances just for a different look and 2) that you’ve photoshopped the island outlet out of photos? (Did I read that correctly? 🙂 How is this any different than airbrushing SI cover models? Haha I say this with kindness, but doing that doesn’t help anyone. In my mind, great design marries function to beauty; it doesn’t result from photo-correcting real life necessities. Best from VA – xoxo

  282. Do it! I did almost the same thing. Did a big kitchen remodel but decided to keep the fairly new appliances to offset the cost. Then a few years later replaced the appliances with the high end versions I really wanted, including a cabinet depth, integrated Sub Zero fridge with filtered water and ice maker on the inside (which I think is what you want, but I’m not an expert) and integrated Bosch dishwasher. I love them so much and feel the splurge was totally worth it especially in an open floor plan. Plus, it really is important for resale, so it’s not frivolous at all!

  283. I agree that integrated/panel-ready appliances make sense in some spaces and I’m obsessed with those European style kitchens. However, in this case, given that you’re saying you have so long left in this house, I think it is wasteful to go through changing your kitchen when you’ll probably find that things have changed a lot in another two years. I think if you were going to change some appliances but not all, I could see just the fridge and dishwasher, but I’m not sure I agree with it given the general details about the rest of your home and with the comments about downsizing the appliances if they work perfectly for your family as is. I understand the desire to change things and experiment and, yes, it’s part of your job, but I think your kitchen makes sense just the way it is; style, function, and all.
    All the said, I love what you do and would love to see a design like this, so you do what’s best for you and yours!

  284. Late to the party and surprised no one has ever addressed these two things – which have always made this kitchen just ehhhh for me:

    1) The green paint color of the island. I remember Emily previewing some fabulous English kitchens as inspiration. This green makes it seem like you couldn’t really commit. I think this shade of green is just such a miss.

    2) The pointy black sconces. I think they have always felt jarring and the shape is so sharp as compared to the French country like element of chicken wire. They too are a miss for me. And the lighting in general feels like a real missed opportunity to showcase a great vintage find – same with the bar stools.

    I’ve been thinking about where the blog in general stepped off course for me, and I think the answer has to do with the lack of a “collected” or “picked” feel. The kinds of pieces that *make* rooms work can’t usually be affiliate linked to. I can’t remember the last time your scored anything cool at the rosebowl flea, for instance.

    1. Agreed! The shade of green has always been such a miss for me too. It’s comically not much different than the color of the cabinets in the original kitchen. The dusty teal color just does not do it for me at all.

  285. I use “fully integrated” when describing paneled appliances that I want to disappear in my kitchen designs. Many appliances accept panels and I have seen integrated appliance where the kitchen designer does not correctly specify the panel sizes making them look like you are playing hide-n-seek with a child. Finding a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) to work with is your best bet. Thermador is another brand to consider. IMO Americans have an attitude of bigger is better, hence 36″ deep refrigerators, try designing around that! I personally have a “built-in” refrigerator, I love it, its shallow, making it easy to see what I have but hard to fit an extra large take and bake pizza.

  286. Backlash is stupid. This is your job. Sure it’s wasteful. But screw that, I want to see integrated cabinets.

    Signed,

    Environmentally conscious reader who is sick of EVERYONE’S opionion of Emily

    1. 😀
      Exactly!

    2. Lol, yes!

    3. Ha! Yes!

  287. You are super crazy! But it’s your job! I just read a whole article about appliances, something I have never even thought to care about, so you must be doing something right. Shake the haters off, you do you!
    My husband and I own a home building co. In Austin and that is the scariest thing about designing your own house, when you finish and there are things you would change, but you can’t be the crazy lady who just renovated her home twice.

  288. My question has to do with integrated dishwashers. I noticed the toe kick area doesn’t always match the other toe kicks. You have a image above that shows this exact dilemma. this is the case with our kitchen because the additional toe kick panel makes it impossible to open the dishwasher all the way. Is this a common dilemma? Luckily our lower cabinetry is dark gray/almost black so it blends in.

  289. It boggles my mind that so many people are against the non-integrated appliances. Integrated appliances, non-integrated appliances – both can look beautiful if done well, and your appliances suit your kitchen and don’t look cheap. And yes, not having the ice maker on the front would look “cleaner,” but a kitchen needs to function, and it still looks great. I’m in the middle of re-doing my kitchen, and the only thing I’m integrating is the dishwasher, since there are no practical benefits to not integrating it. So my range, fridge, and built-in microwave will be visible, but they’re pretty so who cares! 🤷‍♀️

    As far as the outlets, it’s an easy fix. Brass with black plugs, or painted to match the cabinets.

  290. The thing is…this kitchen is lovely, fresh, inviting, new, just darn pretty! Leave it, enjoy it, try integrated in another house and it will also look great!

  291. We used to have an integrated fridge/freezer in my parent’s house and I can’t remember any possible drawback (except you get the “where is the fridge” question every now and then). I really don’t mind having appliances on show so if I had your kitchen I would LAUGH at the idea of renovating again, but of course design is your job and if you were planning on upgrading the appliances at some point in the future you might as well do it now! Especially if the extra work of renovating makes countless shoots easier and the “old” appliances can go to a new home.

  292. When you said you had to read over 400 comments I had to see what all the fuss was about! This just makes me laugh, I literally redesign my kitchen (in my head) on a daily basis! I just wish I had the money to actually do any of the changes! Your whole thought process was incredibly interesting and felt very familiar.

    I think you need to live in a space to get a better idea of how a space works and how you like to live in it. When you’re renovating a space you’ve never lived in you choose things you think will work. Then when you’re in the space living day to day, the way you thought you were going to live is different. For example, when my husband and I gutted the kitchen in our newly purchased home we put it right back where it was (it was more cost effective, and truthfully I didn’t think to move it). Now having lived in our home for over a year I realize that we should have spent the extra money on moving the kitchen to the dinning room. Live and learn.
    I love reading about your thought process, I personally get a lot out it. Plus I know that this is how you work your best by weighing all the options and making a decision.
    I do think (btw) that integrated kitchen appliances would bring the aesthetic of your kitchen to the next level. It’s already beautiful but with the integration it would be spectacular. Looking forward to see what you choose!

  293. I think it would look stunning. And it would be a very useful before/after for your readers. If you want it and you can afford it, go for it! Do it for YOUR house if YOU want it.

  294. This post doesn’t relate to me for the hundredth (literally) time! lol. Not every piece of content is going to relate to everyone. I only read it to see what the fuss was about. And I still don’t get it. For the love of god…Who knew there would be such an uproar about your kitchen. You do you, girl!

    1. In defence of Emily: I seem to remember a post from last year where you explicitly explained that designing on your own house means that you experiment more and take more risks – you aren’t always going to get it right the first time. I think integrated appliances will go a long way to helping the kitchen look less cramped. You do you girl! Don’t listen to the haters – you are clearly a very intelligent, caring person who worries too much what other people think. Don’t apologise for your success. Haters gonna hate and by responding to every negative comment (or preempting them in your posts with self-doubt), you are only feeding into their trolling. If they want DIY, attainable design there are a million other design blogs out there!

      1. Actually no one is ‘trolling’. Emily invited opinions and people are giving them. That’s called err, debate. It’s very interesting to consider both sides of the argument and a thing Emily often does herself. Kudos to Emily for listening. So tedious to read that those with a different opinion are ‘haters’. Grow up.

        1. Thank you Angy W! My thoughts exactly. Saw a few posts suggesting “haters” and for Emily to just do her. I don’t get it?! She is doing her…she clearly says she likes both but hasn’t decided if its worth it and are asking for opinions. OMG

  295. What if you just panel the fridge? To me, that’s the one that sticks out a little. If you full integrate everything, I wonder if that look will really go with your house? It does skew modern, in my opinion (or can just make me think – where are the appliances?!!!) & that’s not your (beautiful) home’s look.

  296. DO IT!!! The waste would be living in a kitchen you don’t love for years, when you could have done something about it. And you donate the “old” appliances? I call that ZERO waste. Would it be wasteful to straight-up buy new appliances for someone in need? No. Do it!

  297. As a reader, I do feel like you devalue your own viewpoint when a year after you designed your dream kitchen you have to rip it out because it is so “wrong”. Why would I take any of your design advice because I can’t fix my mistake if I copy you and will need to live with it? At the very least, it pushes you into the category of trendy throw-away decoration rather than high end, timeless design. If you were an HGTV show, it would be Trading Spaces , not Fixer Upper. Is that even good for your brand?

  298. I could read your blogs ALL DAY LONG!!! You are discussing and talking about relevant re-modeling situations and I LOVE IT!!!!
    We recently took down the walls in the upper level of our split entry house. It is a larger split entry house in a nice neighborhood with high end homes just down the street.
    My husband wanted to go with a modern , open floor plan. We decided on a one-wall kitchen with an island in front. I REALLY wanted an “integrated” panel ready fridge since the kitchen is seen while sitting in dining room.
    I can testify that you are spot on in noticing that only the pricey, high end appliance companies make panel ready and true counter depth integrated refrigerators. We bought a Leibherr 36″ x 80″counter depth fridge that is 24” deep ( a true counter depth since many brands state that they are counter depth but are actually 27″).
    Unfortunately, as we were adding up our budget, we opted to bypass on the panel ready Liebherr and will keep the stainless steel. The fridge is next to the wall oven which already breaks up the cabinetry.
    So, it DOES look streamlined and nice and flat, but not all walnut like the cabinets. We have no upper cabinets.
    I think having the fridge be true counter depth will be better, but best would’ve been panel-ready. But I opted for more money for furniture, sink, faucet and lights that I love.

  299. i really just what to know how well you like the appliances, as they are the same ones i planned for my house. 🙂 (so, please, everyone tell me you like them because there is no going back now). my husband is reading mixed reviews on the fridge, but i don’t think i can handle a fridge that doesn’t match the rest of the appliances in the house!

  300. Suggest a secret offshoot blog where you post the reveal of your fabulous new integrated kitchen so the wasters can revel in all its glory.

    +1 for integrated. I integrated *everything*. It makes my heart smile every time I walk in the room. Who thieves food from their friends’ fridge anyway? I mean, how often do you go to a dinner party and make yourself a vegemite sandwich? Probably never, because you don’t live in Australia, but is scoping out the contents of your neighbour’s whitegoods really a thing? All the better if they can’t find your stash of m&ms.

    My only integrated-related regret is having selected handles that are more form, less function. You need a decent grip and a bit of hip action to prize open the fridge door and I have broken more than one nail on my minimalist slimline pull handles. Most integrated fridges don’t have ice-makers; you mentioned the site of yours offends you so you can probs live without.

    In a current project, I’m working on semi-integrating the hotplate into the benchtop. I think kitchens are moving more and more in that direction, with integrated tablets in benchtops being one of the next big trends.

  301. I was actually quite surprised when you mentioned integrated appliances were a “non thought” during your remodeling process. I lived in Amsterdam from 2007-2013 and in the three furnished apartments we lived in, every single appliance was integrated…including the washer/dryer combo that was in the kitchen! It made the small spaces look so much cleaner!

  302. Through the 90s and early 00’s we always had panel ready fridges. It was the style and it was not that expensive! when we redid our kitchen in 2010 we decided to do fully integrated fridge, dishwasher, and trash cabinet. It has been AMAZING except for when we needed a new fridge two years ago and they no longer carried the fridge we had. AKA a new fridge wouldn’t fit in the gap where our old fridge was and the front facing side wouldn’t be integrated to match everything else because they no longer carried that style wood. So we bought the fridge we liked and paid big $$ to have a carpenter come out and carve the gap to fit the new fridge and then make custom panels that while technically panel ready, look much more integrated. If we ever build a new home, or redo the kitchen at our beach house, I will do fully integrated appliances but make sure I pay up front for extra wood/frames/panels in case something goes wrong 5 years down the road.

  303. From a pure style perspective, integrating the appliances and range hood will make a fairly small difference overall. In the overall picture of the kitchen, only the fridge and range hood are very visible. Comparing to the other kitchens, they have a more modern layout and cabinet style (except for the u-shaped one with a more traditional style and only the hood is built out) which makes sense. I have watched a lot of”Escape to the Country” and seen many an integrated kitchen but I still would not favor it here.

  304. Not worth it at all. These are brand freaking new. I don’t like the look and I don’t think it’s worth it. If you were starting from scratch like the ones you’re in the middle of- then its a matter of budget and choice. But I think its a frivolous way to spend a lot more money than needed on the same items. I also worry about the overall beating of the handles and surfaces. Cabinetry is not as durable as stainless. Just seems so impractical.

  305. I thought I knew the difference between integrated and panel-ready, and found this which clears up the differences: https://bit.ly/2jlF86q. I appreciate the content here, particularly how I can train my eye to better express what I like. I don’t care how much it costs you, Emily, your home is a lab of sorts and if new experiments increase your readership and projects, that’s great!

  306. I’m on a limited budget however I would be all over intergrating the dishwasher / fridge. Doing the hood vent seems like it would get dated quickly, but if anyone could pull that off, it would be you 🙂

  307. Regarding your outlet covers, I had the same issue and came up with a 90% solution. My cabs are painted Dorian Gray (SW) and the outlet plate was white (gag). So, I bought a wooden (paintable) outlet cover and painted it the same color as the cabinets. It fixed the problem EXCEPT for the round receptacles. So, it’s certainly an improvement, but isn’t a 100% fix – womp.

  308. There are 2 things on your blog I’m tired of, okay 3 things. There are 3 things on your blog I’m tired of. (1) not enough Bearcat. (2) no shirtless guys and (3) the commenters. Turn off the comments because seeing you apologize once a month because some jealous person got mad in the comments is boring. Everyone has to own everything until it absolutely falls apart and even then you have to disassemble it into a mobile or turn it into plant food? Ridiculous.

  309. 1. I have fully integrated and there are no downsides. (Unless you need the water/ice on the outside of your fridge). The look is so beautiful and clean.

    2. I think the different fridges you have posted here are either “built in” or “fully integrated”. “Built in” can be stainless for example, or panel ready. Typically counter depth, but you see the venting at the top.

    I think all “fully integrated” fridges are panel ready as that is the point…to match your cabinets. They are also counter depth, but the vents are at the top and bottom so you don’t see them. This does make the interior of the fridge taller as it is sitting higher on it’s vents.

  310. Hi Emily! If you feel strongly about it – go for it. I recently finished a kitchen renovation and splurged for panel ready appliances and it made a huge difference (shameless plug you can see photos here: http://blog.sweeten.com/before-after/entire-homes/jewel-space-worth-wait/).

    If you can swing the cost, be mindful of reuse, and *you* feel it’ll improve how you feel in your home that’s what matters.

    Thanks, L

  311. I live in Europe, and as many readers pointed before, it’s a common thing here to have integrated appliances in a kitchen. To be honest, here it’s hard to find big gas stoves, for example, like the ones you have in America. And I love those and would like to have one in my kitchen. As for your kitchen, I do think the refrigerator is too big for the space, and I would go with an integrated one, as well as a dishwasher. But I would keep the stove and hide the hood.
    And I understand your struggle as a designer, but it is your job. And weather you do it for the content or for your own personal pleasure, you are doing it for yourself. I don’t think there is much of a difference, because your job is personal to you. I don’t think, all considering, that it would be a waste, and I do think it would be a good investment.

  312. Your kitchen design is really looking spacious and bright.. Thanks for inspiring. I just came across to this product online, it is a Chest of Drawer, you would love this product, take a look, https://www.thearmchair.in/products/tampa-chest-of-drawers?sku=FRSTCD11NB10004&taxon_id=67.

  313. First time reader. We just spent several weeks painting our “orange” kitchen cabinets. So excited to get the doors/drawer fronts back on! Love your pretty island color and tile. Thank you for the inspiration. Now to try to wade through a lot of comments!

  314. In my house, I’d integrate the dishwasher and hood for sure, hide (or throw away) the microwave, and we already have a great gas cooktop that I love, but I’ll never give up my ice and water in the fridge door. In our last house we had the least expensive appliances you could buy (purchased at 22) so of course they weren’t integrated, but also no ice and water. We had filtered water from a separate faucet at the sink, but as a semi-serious cook, it was frustrating. People would be in my workspace trying to fill water glasses before dinner, and I don’t want to think about if everyone had washed hands before reaching into the ice box. We did that for almost 10 years, and I’m unwilling to sacrifice the ice and water in the door for the integrated look.

    Do you ever make cocktails with crushed ice? If you get rid of the ice in the door, say bye bye to mojitos. I bought one of those hand crank ice crushers before we moved, and it’s a pain to use. I’m sure there’s some ridiculous countertop appliance ice crusher thing (a snowcone maker?) I could have bought, but when it’s cocktail hour I’m not usually in the mood to drag out more things to plug in.

    Also, my kids CAN FINALLY GET THEIR OWN WATER! They’re 5 & 2 and I never realized how many times I day I had to stop what I was doing to fill their waters. It doesn’t seem like a big thing, but they’re thirsty little monsters. There’s pretty much nothing that could make me go back.

    I love that Cle tile too, I forgot you used it and I’m actually spec’ing it on a project right now.

  315. I have no experience with this kind of appliance, but I think the look is cooler in more modern/clean spaces and less cool in older/traditional spaces (which I think yours counts as, using the Live Brass Heuristic). So I wouldn’t bother here but I would do it up at the mountain. (And you could always look into a scaled-down fridge anyway if it feels too big—you won’t miss the space you’ll just get better at Fridge Tetris.)

    By the way, I’m obsessed with water dispensers on fridges and have been for ages, but I never thought about the aesthetics. The fridge that was already present in our kitchen has water inside the door (but no ice dispenser, gotta bend over for that) and I used to find it annoying but your post made me feel better about it because I realize it does look cleaner than the ones that dispense on the front. So thank you!

  316. I do like almost everything but I prefer vintage stuff with hidden/ integrated appliances). Yes. please do explore this! And what about *how* you do it? ! I would love to see a BUNCH of before and afters.
    1) As is, without changes Take pics
    2) Change the island’s outlets. – Take pics
    3) Change the hood (I never liked those”gift with purchase” hoods, i think they should be part of the architecture of the room) – Take pics
    4) Ingrate the dishwasher – Take pics
    5) Integrate the fridge – Take pics
    This can help everyone see what a difference it makes and evaluate things! And we could hear how it feels for you!
    I am excited, I think it will work well in your home. (I hate the water/ice thing in fridges. too.)

  317. Hi Em! First of all yes on the integrated appliances! Secondly, we are re-doing our backsplash and I noticed you have the same Cle tile we are planning to use. However, how did you end the tile on the side that’s open (ie doesnt dead in to the cabinets) It’s so thick I’m striggling to decide. Did you trim it out or just leave it raw?

  318. I love your kitchen except for the refrigerator. It is a mamoth, overpowering that wall and causing the adjoining space to look crunched. Some counter space to the right of the fridge would open it up some. If you thinking about “integrating” you will lose some cabinet space anyway, but I really think that fridge needs to move more than anything else.

  319. YES YES YES to integrating the appliances and the hood! If I had the money and wasn’t a crazy ice person who needs the dispenser on the door I so would have done so when I remodeled my kitchen. I absolutely hate kitchens for the sole reason of refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves. I think the only reason it doesn’t bother me in mine anymore is because I redesigned mine into a U shape, so you are never looking into and really noticing the appliances, and the fridge is on a separate wall surrounded by pantry cabinets so it looks built in even though the fridge isn’t paneled. Also my cabinets are dark and I think that helps blend in the stainless more. I say one thousand percent go for it! For me I do love your kitchen but (acting as though I actually know you lol) never felt like it looked like “Emily Henderson”. I think if you reworked the appliances and hood it would!

  320. Re. the outlet cover in the island – I typically buy the wooden outlet plates from Home Depot or Lowe’s and have the cabinet maker sprayed them the same color as the island. Then I paint the actual outlet the same color… just have to be a little careful because it can get scratched up…but, easily repainted.
    Re. the integrated appliances – I think it would do wonders for your kitchen! Because it is a smallish kitchen, it would help make it appear larger and more seamless. Even if you are only there eight more years, I do think it would be a selling feature.

  321. as always the comments are almost as rich as EH’s content 😌 …I really wish I could thumb up(/down?) some comments … Emily provides us with her experience(s) & what we might not be able to research, explore and yes afford ! It is Art … In a remarkably well written design blog form … Inspiration from a person who cares …and has demonstrated it many times  … and yes the idea of redesigning readers’ homes is great … how about extreme constrains to redesign low cost housing to balance the “posh” content? and use of at least one upcycled item in every project … ?
    note: the best key word is often is And not Or …

  322. When we lived in Helsinki, our rental had integrated appliances and I LOVED IT (you CAN take beautiful pictures in your kitchen!). I think that’s one of the biggest things I miss about living there (aside from the lack of counter-space). It was a white lacquered finish with no bevels or trim (or whatever you call it) which I see as being much more modern than North American kitchens (I’m in Canada now). Anyway, the fridge and freezer were two separate units (the freezer was essentially like a tall fridge) and I did have to ask where they were when we first toured the place because it wasn’t obvious at all. The dishwasher was also integrated and in Finland they have this neato trick where they integrate a dish drying rack into a cupboard above the sink (the sink which is effectively part of the countertop). So you put your wet dishes away into the cabinet and they drip dry through the bottom of the cabinet into the sink. Thus drying while being put away at the same time. All in all a very clever and beautiful kitchen for a small space. I just wish there had been an island! lol

    If I was designing my own house tomorrow, I would want the exact same cupboards and appliance integration (I’d want the dish drying rack, too, but that is something unique to Finland as far as I know!). You know how people drive corvettes or big motorcycles just for the sound or the status (or eh hem, OTHER reasons 😉 ), I really view the North American big appliances exactly like cars. They just keep getting bigger and shinier and with more bells and whistles. LOOK AT MY BIG STAINLESS STEEL FRIDGE!!! It’s too manly and pompous and overwhelmingly “jerk” to me. But that’s just my personal view of it.

  323. Your kitchen is so beautiful, it is hard to imagine that it can be improved upon, but now that you mention it, I can understand why you would consider adding integrated appliances. I have been in some kitchens like this before (may have even lived in one in the UK, can’t remember) but hadn’t realized that there was a whole separate name for this category of appliances.

    I haven’t been reading the blog as much lately, partly because there are less Portland/Mountain house posts and more generic posts, but just read the “we’re hiring” post and this one. Reading the openness and honesty of this blog over the years led me to want to respond in a similarly open and honest manner. That is why it is surprising that commenters are so quick to put down those who disagree or are critical of with Emily’s points of view. It is easy to imagine a large group privileged people putting down others who may be coming to this blog from a different perspective.

    Through her posts, Emily’s eye for beauty, hard work, dedication to her family, curiosity, concern for others, civic mindedness, inner and outer beauty, and unique perspective on design are so apparent. Critical comments cannot take away these wonderful qualities. Often, after reading a post and lots of the comments, I often want to disagree in some way with something I just read (this is probably true of any content I read). I think the feeling that I am “allowed” to share some of my more nuanced responses does lead me to be more engaged with this blog, so I wish the community of readers of this blog could find a way to celebrate the diversity of reactions to the blog posts. In my mind, Emily’s superlatives are undeniable, so much so that they are the backdrop to any unfavorable thoughts I would share. After all, if the blog was not so valuable, I would not be reading it at all.

    If others who disagree or have a critical comment are tolerated, then I am likely to be tolerated. Otherwise, despite the openness and honesty of the voice of this blog, we aren’t actually supposed to be open and honest in our responses and I think that leaves me feeling confused at times, and questioning whether I should be a part of this blog’s community of readers. Even if I am not part of the intended audience for this blog, I will keep checking to follow Emily’s evolving but always successful ability to bring beauty to her physical surroundings.

  324. 100% DO IT!!!
    It’s an important part of your creativity and process to play and test things out on your own home. I’m an artist/mural painter and I’m constantly experimenting on my own walls and trying out designs and ideas that I never would have been able to do on a client’s (where there is a brief and someone else’s agenda to take into account). Experimenting and playing around within your creative field is important and not something you should have to justify! xo

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