September 30, 2014

Has Stainless Peaked?

I’m enjoying my stainless steel appliances and plan to add to the look by replacing my range hood with a stainless version, but I’m sensing that stainless may have some serious competition on the horizon.  I’m not alone with that thought, the Home and Garden people at nj.com, feel the same way:

“I think stainless has peaked,” says Mark Karas, vice president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. That doesn’t mean stainless is going away, he says, just that it won’t get any more popular than it is now.

“If they’re replacing an appliance, they tend to stick with what they had before,” says Marc Blumenthal, vice president of B&B Appliance, with stores in Euclid and Middleburg Heights, Ohio. “If they’re remodeling, they look at it like a clean slate, a chance to do something new.”

Here are some other options:

“Integrated” is the big word in appliances these days. Refrigerators, dishwashers and warming drawers are being fitted with panels on their fronts that match the cabinetry, for a more seamless look.

Black is back. Karas says people with darker finishes on their cabinetry like black because it is not as strong a contrast as stainless or white would be. Don’t think black hides messes, Karas says. Black is reflective and shows more than you think.

White is a classic look for white or light-finish cabinets. Be careful with white, Karas says. Different manufacturers use different shades of white, and your appliances may not match.

You can go retro with vintage-look appliances.  Elmira Stove Works offers refrigerators, stoves and range hoods in glorious ’50s shades and colors.

Looking for something new? Jenn-Air recently unveiled its oiled bronze finish. It’s a deep metallic brown. Reviews, Blumenthal says, have been mixed.

So, if you are about to start a remodel, or are planning to replace many of your appliances soon, your options still include the shine of stainless, but you have a wide variety of choices opening up too.