Are Stainless Steel Appliances out of Style?

GE Slate Dishwasher photo credit: GE Slate Dishwasher


As a personal choice, I love Stainless Steel appliances.  I think they add such a nice look to a kitchen design.  I was a little surprised when I came across the following article from the Wall Street Journal "Is this the end of a 25-year run for stainless steel?" It immediately grabbed my attention… Great headline… Is this the end of a 25-year run for stainless steel?

According to the article by , several appliance manufacturers are heading in a different direction from the shiny stainless steel look that has been hot for 25 years. Despite this trend, no one look, has taken the reins, just yet.

Whirpool-White-Ice collection photo credit: whirlpool

If you have followed the design industry, you will know that the appliance industry has always come up with new looks that best reflect the current trends of the times.  There has been, oiled bronze, antique copper and muted greys. I recently saw a vintage Whirlpool ad that had appliances that could match your outfits.  This was back in the late 60's, that allowed you to use Decorator panels.  A  few of the popular ones included:

  • Supreme Walnut
  • Rattan
  • Catawba Cherry
  • Astro-Glo Bronze
  • Surftex Black

Check out the following Blog Retro Renovation for a great synopsis on this Retro Ad Campaign from Westinghouse. I feel like I just went through the Twilight Zone. I had to share the link to the "Groovy" Appliance marketing video.  We really have come a long way.  Just look at the great Lowes Commercials, Sears and Home Depot Ads featuring appliances, but I digress… :)

I was really curious to see what others had to say about this issue, so I did a cursory search on the subject. One of  the most  trusted sources, Consumer Reports was at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Chicago, this year and predicted that affinity towards stainless steel's days may be waning.  White just may be the new shiny gray, according to the author of Don't call it a comeback: Will white appliances surpass steel? on MSN Real Estate. However, as the author so poinantly brings out, the five top rate refrigerators by Consumer Reports only come in stainless steel or "custom overlays."

I wonder if the appliance manufacturers will have their way, and find a way to unseat the reigning Chamption of luxury Kitchen Design,  Stainless Steel appliances. If Patrick Schiavone, Whirlpool's vice president of global consumer design, has his way, Whirlpool will be leading the way with new colors and finishes. They introduced their iconic “Ice Collection” of appliances, which included glossy white. It is important to note that  Mr. Schiavone spent two decades as a car and truck designer at Ford Motor Company before joining Whirlpool. Therefore, I am amazed at his take on the "non-stainless steel" industrial look.
Personally, I am partial to Stainless Steel, since it is so durable, industrial looking and stately elegant. Also on a personal note: The overwhelming majority of our Kitchen Remodels are outfitted with top of the line Stainless Steel appliances. A current client in a kitchen remodel on an ocean front condo is currently in the selection stage for appliances. I will share their selections with you in a blog post, after we complete the remodel project.
Time will tell, if "White is the New Stainless", as Whirlpool Corporation wants the Kitchen Design Industry to believe. 
Click on the following link to read the entire WSJ article:

Is White The New Stainless? – Naturally Modern

Don't call it a comeback: Will white appliances surpass steel? – MSN Real Estate

Appliances – White is the New Stainless in Whirlpool’s Ice Collection –  Home Tech – Appliance Blog