The Looks – Dishwasher Design Options

The Looks - Dishwasher Design Options

Let’s talk about the looks of dishwashers. We can go on and on about features and what really matters in a dishwasher, but design & style count, 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 are the best dishwashers and design options are available to you in terms of visual appeal? In most cases, the most crucial factor is making sure your appliances all match each other. One white appliance among several stainless steel products generally looks hodge-podge and unfinished.

Generally, the most common colors are white, black, slate, stainless steel, and (most recently) 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. Most recently, we see panel ready dishwashers making their way into modern kitchens. This design will allow you to seamlessly blend your dishwasher with your cabinets by using the cabinet wood finish.

While doing this research, you do not need to break the bank. The following resource will help you budget for the cost of your new dishwasher. In additon, we covered everthing about dishwashers on our in-depth dishwasher buying guide.

Popular Dishwasher Color

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.

Dishwasher Styles for Doors and Handles

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.

Additional Resources

  • If you dishwasher is close to your living space the operating noise get annoying. Read our guide to find the most quiet dishwasher for your budget.
  • Do you know that you can get a small dishwasher for tight kitchens? Consider the 18-inch dishwashers for your urban apartment, bar, or pool area.
  • Your apartment does not have cabinet space for a dishwasher? Consider a portable dishwasher.
Did you know that Bosch makes the best dishwashers?
Find the best Bosch dishwasher for your budget!

Bosch Dishwasher

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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on December 17, 2020. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.

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