Let’s talk about looks. We can go on and on about features and what really matters in a dishwasher, but style counts, too. You want to walk into your kitchen and feel that your appliances seamlessly match or even add to your kitchen décor. After all, the front façade of your dishwasher takes up a significant amount of visual space in your home.
So what options are available to you in terms of visual appeal? Generally, the most common colors are white, black, slate, stainless steel, and (most recently) black stainless steel.
Black stainless steel, matte white, and matte black are becoming a popular option in modern kitchens. These colors offer an extremely appealing and very new look.
In most cases, the most crucial factor is making sure your appliances all match each other. One white appliance with several stainless steel ones generally looks hodge-podge and unfinished.
Popular Door Designs and Handle Types
Decorative elements such as the cabinet hardware, lighting, among other factors, determine the overall tone of any kitchen. Handles are often overlooked but a vital aspect when it comes to selecting kitchen appliances. It is a good idea to choose a door style and handle type that blends with the surroundings.
Bosch has a vast number of dishwashers in the US market, and it coined the terms of how we refer to dishwasher door designs:
Bar handle designs generally feature hidden controls, with a towel-bar style handle that’s easy to grab hold of and also allows you to hang towels for quick kitchen access
Recessed handle designs usually feature visible front-panel controls and a handle that’s recessed into the front door. These offer less protrusion into the kitchen space, but many modern buyers don’t love the front-panel controls.
Scoop handle style, controls are hidden while the handle itself is a reach-in scoop design for an even lower profile than the recessed handle design.
Pocket handles features a deeply seated hidden handle, along with hidden controls for a very streamlined and minimalist look.
Custom Paneling, Make Your Dishwasher Disappear
If you want your dishwasher fully integrated into your kitchen décor, you can choose one of the panel-ready options available from most brands. These will allow you to fit a matching cabinet front to your dishwasher so that it’s indistinguishable from the rest of your cabinetry. Just remember that the controls will be hidden from the view.
Miele even offers a series of dishwashers dubbed as "Knock2Open" that open with a gentle knock on the door. The products are ideal for modern handless kitchens.
A Word on Control Panels
You have a couple of options for how you’d like your buttons and controls displayed and arranged. Generally, you can opt for either visible or hidden controls. If you come across industry jargon such as semi-integrated or fully-integrated controls, here is the explanation for people who speak plain English: semi-integrated means visible, fully-integrated means hidden controls.
So, you need to decide if you would like to see quick and accessible controls on your dishwasher or prefer to have controls that are hidden from view both ensure a streamlined look. Some of our customers prefer hidden controls as protection against curious children pressing buttons.
Some dishwashers now feature touch panels instead of physical buttons, but unsurprisingly these tend to be more expensive. The lowest-price option is to opt for physical buttons on the front surface of the dishwasher. This will allow you to spend money on other, more vital features such as wash quality and overall durability.
- For more information, please read our in-depth guide that compares and ranks panel ready dishwashers.