After the Popularity of Stainless Steel, What Next?

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

“Major manufacturers are placing bets on different potential successors to the shiny, upscale appliance finish, which surprised everyone with its resilience.

“It is a pivotal moment in kitchen design: While stainless steel is still the dominant look, there are clear signals it has outworn its welcome, even with no clear successor in place.

“The appliance industry has tried to promote new looks before. In recent years, manufacturers have pitched “oiled bronze,” “antique copper” and a gray hue called “meteorite,” as well as aluminum and other look-alikes, but none has been able to unseat stainless steel.

“Whirlpool Corp., the world’s largest home-appliance maker, recently introduced its “Ice Collection” of appliances, including glossy white. “White is the new stainless,” a Whirlpool news release says.

“Last weekend, General Electric introduced refrigerators, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers in a muted gray called “slate.” Miele says it will roll out new high-gloss finishes for the U.S. in the near future, refusing to divulge details.

“Black is the new stainless steel,” Wolf Appliance says in a news release for black glass ovens introduced this spring.

“Stainless steel’s staying power is partly the result of how Americans approach their kitchens, says David VanderWaal, director of brand marketing for LG’s home appliances. “They start with the cabinets, then it’s flooring, countertops, lighting and then finally it’s their appliances.” LG isn’t offering alternatives, he says. “We don’t see the trend of stainless steel appliances diminishing.””

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal. Click here to read full article.

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