As you know, I’m always on the prowl for the latest in the kitchen and bath industry. You may have noticed all the articles lately about the decline of stainless steel as the “go to” finish for kitchen appliances. Everyone from the Wall Street Journal to The Daily Beast is touting the hunt for THE new finish that will supposedly unseat stainless. Yes, stainless steel does have a reputation, and rightly so, for being fingerprint prone and hard to clean.
Tip: Never clean your stainless with any product containing ammonia or chloride. For best results use mild soap and water and dry with a dry cloth. For tougher jobs you can also use find stainless steel wipes at your local grocers. Never use steel wool as it will scratch the finish.
This said, there have been lots of improvements and attempts to address these issues with special coatings and claims of “finger print resistance”. True or not, we’re ready for a change and several major manufacturers are taking a stab at what will be the next big thing. Personally, I think stainless will continue to be a predominant option but I also believe we’re going to continue to see many new choices. Here is what 5 major players are doing:
-G.E. Slate is one of my favorites. I like it because it’s fresh and different yet not SO different that it will clash with existing stainless steel. Brushed metal touch points can also tie a new appliance into the mix in case you’re not in the market for a complete suite. They also claim the Slate finish is fingerprint resistant and easy to clean.
SubZero Wolf- The Mercedes Benz of appliance brands introduced the “Black Glass E Series Ovens” a year ago. Clearly not the best choice for households with children! Built in ovens are available in 30” standard or flush inset application, the Black Glass model comes adorned with a black glass tubular handle and, wait for it, a COBALT BLUE interior!
In addition to the oven, Wolf also offers black glass trim kits for Warming Drawers and 30” Convection and Standard Microwaves. Glass may be print-prone but it’s also one of the easiest surfaces to clean. No word on if this finish has been popular enough for them to offer refrigerators in Black Glass.
JennAir White Ice is hot. It’s the new white. I think in general, people are taking another look at white which is also hugely popular as a cabinet finish. Just think how seamlessly it would integrate with white cabinetry. On the other hand a contrast highlights the best of both worlds. I must spill the beans, however, White Ice isn’t really glass, it’s just metal that looks like it.
Last but not least, my fave appliance maker Bosch featured a line of UBER glass finished appliances just a few months ago at IFA, the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances in Berlin. This is strictly a European offering so far and I don’t believe we’ll be seeing it here anytime soon. A kitchen designer can dream though. Bosch has applied their good old German practicality and efficiency to create a seemingly indestructible and beautiful product. Here’s video filmed on location at IFA
Check out this line up, also as seen at IFA this year in Berlin. Can you imagine a purple refrigerator? I hear they also deduct calories, just kidding…