Continuing on with the dissection of the Arts & Crafts kitchen, today my focus turns to the appliances. When it comes to appliances, it isn’t likely that a client is going to want to use antique appliances in order to achieve a totally accurate representation of a period look. I can just imagine the raised eyebrows I would get if I suggested that! Besides, energy efficiency improvements are being made so rapidly that I would be foolish not to advise my clients to keep current.
Rather, to pick appliances for an Arts & Crafts-style kitchen, I go back to the basic ideas behind Arts & Crafts – natural materials, focus on the craftsmanship, and use warm colors. Imagine how out of place the appliances would look if they had been installed in a bright white or sleek stainless steel. They would have screamed “Look at me” and would have overpowered all the other beautiful details in this kitchen design.
It was absolutely brilliant that the appliances used in this kitchen were a Jenn-Air package as Jenn-Air was the only appliance manufacturer I know of that had oiled bronze appliances. I believe they have since discontinued them but the lucky homeowner of this Arts & Crafts kitchen got them while they were available and they work well. The microwave and warming drawer are both in the oiled bronze finish and blend very nicely with the cabinetry.
The range, refrigerator and dishwasher weren’t available in oiled bronze so two different tricks were used there. For the range, the black slide-in model was used so the top blends seamlessly with the soapstone countertop and the front takes a back seat to the beauty of the cabinets that flank it on the island. The refrigerator and dishwasher were paneled with matching cabinetry to camouflage the stainless on those two appliances. It is key that the refrigerator used did not have its grill vent at the top as, again, that shiny grill would have called attention to itself. I would have preferred it if they had used a refrigerator that didn’t have the water and ice built into the door, but I suspect that was a ‘non-negotiable’ for this client.
Here are the actual model numbers used:
Found in our Shop?
|Warming Drawer||Jenn-Air||JWD7030CDEX with JWD7130DDR||No|
Seeing as how the oiled bronze warming drawer and microwave are no longer available, I would make a few design changes to this kitchen if I were recreating it now so that I didn’t end up with a bright stainless microwave looking back at me on the end wall. Perhaps a microwave drawer would fit the bill. The warming drawer is an easy fix by just putting a cabinet panel on the face.
Are there any appliance manufacturers watching? I would love to hear from any of you if you have an oiled bronze finish available or soon to be available in your line. Or, if you are from Jenn-Air, do you have any plans to bring it back? It did offer a great solution for the right application and this Arts & Crafts kitchen certainly was the right application!