CES 2022: Large appliances are the latest way to give your home’s decor a refresh

Samsung Bespoke Fridge
(Image credit: Samsung)

While agonizing over finding the perfect color for furniture and soft furnishings is par for the course when it comes to decorating most rooms in your home, it’s probably not something that springs to mind when it comes to your kitchen. 

Sure, you’ve probably spent plenty of time picking out the right shade for your kitchen cabinets and countertops, but worrying about whether your dishwasher, cooker and washing machine match? Not so much.  

However, at CES 2022 it was clear that large appliances are becoming as much of a way as small appliances and furniture to complete the look of your kitchen – or at least that’s what the manufacturers want us to believe. 

Samsung unveiled its expanded Bespoke line of large appliances, which now boasts a French Door refrigerator in 12 vibrant shades. The Bespoke range, which first debuted in May 2021, features color panels on the front of the appliance, which can be swapped for other colors anytime you want to change your look. 

Meanwhile, Hisense unveiled a suite of matching appliances including freestanding and slide-in gas and electric range cookers, dishwashers, French Door and Quad Door refrigerators, a dual-zone wine cooler, and even an over-the-range microwave. 

Living in full color

Is it really going to catch on? I’m not so sure. Many of us, including this writer, have opted for small appliances, such as coffee makers, kettles, toasters, and even stand mixers to pull together a set ‘look’ for the room that’s often seen as the heart of the home. 

In fact, part of the appeal of small appliances from brands such as KitchenAid is the fact that they come in an array of hues. For me it was a shade named Boysenberry that spoke to my love of all things purple; however, it's also ensured I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) making sure my small appliances match. 

I’m not ashamed to admit that my large appliances don’t match my kitchen. My refrigerator, washing machine, and tumble dryer are white, while my dishwasher and cooker are silver. 

Let’s face it: for most of us buying a large appliance is a ‘distress purchase’ – something that’s being bought because the existing appliance has broken beyond repair – unless you're one lucky enough to be overhauling your kitchen and replacing everything, including your cooker, dishwasher and washing machine. 

And if it’s a distress purchase, the color of your refrigerator, cooker, dishwasher, and washing machine is the last thing you worry about. Instead, capacity – whether that’s how much food you can store in a fridge or freezer, or just how much laundry you can wash in one go – will be more of a priority, along with the price of course. 

That’s certainly true for me: my cooker is the only one of my large appliances that wasn’t a distress purchase – and that was because I moved house, and my existing cooker wouldn’t fit in my new kitchen.  

A step (and dollar) too far

While I’m not completely against color-matched large appliances, at present it works out more expensive. For example, the same-capacity four-door flex refrigerator from Samsung in the US is $2,969 (around £2,195 / AU$4,150) if you opt for it in a standard silver finish, whereas the Bespoke version in white is currently priced at $3,419 (around £2,525 / AU$4,770). 

Similarly, in the UK, Samsung offers a 1.85m one-door refrigerator for £549 (around $750 / AU$1,035) but the Bespoke version with a similar capacity will set you back £849 (around $1,150 / AU$1,600).  

Given the hefty premium that colored large appliances incur right now, matching your washing machine and refrigerator is something that’s out of the question for many, and perhaps most, consumers.

However, that might not be the case forever, and before long we could be seeing more than just silver and white appliances in more homes – and personally, I’m looking forward to going big on Boysenberry. 

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.