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Do you really like the look of stainless steel appliances?

It seems to be the fashion now, and HGTV talks about it as the needed thing for any kitchen upgrade. I guess fashion never last forever, but I wonder if people really think it's that beautiful. To me, it smacks of a cold, industrial, commercial kitchen, where beauty isn't top priority and practicality is. In a house, it doesn't seem appropriate to me. Just wanting to get some of your own personal viewpoints on the matter.

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  1. For me it depends on the rest of the kitchen. The appliances should fit the rest of the decor and not look out of place, for example.

    I think they look great in some kitchens. Other kitchens look better with white or beige or even avocado-colored refrigerators.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alliebear

      I agree with alliebear, I think it depends on the choice of colors and cabinets. I have friends whose kitchen walls and floor are blue and with stainless appliances the look is cold. I have another friend who has a much more neutral colored kitchen with stainless appliances that looks much more warm and inviting.

      I would NEVER have stainless steel appliances in my kitchen because I think it's too hard to keep smudge/streak free. We own a boat that has a stainless steel refrigerator in it. It looks nice but as soon as someone opens it it has finger marks on it and it's the hardest thing to keep clean on the boat. I can't imagine what two or three kids do to the front of a stainless refrigerator. From my experience with the refrigerator on the boat I've decided I'll stick to my off white appliances.

      1. re: Axalady

        My company makes clear powder coatings for stainless that is easy to clean and antimicrobial - we just can't find the manufacturer who sees the market potential

    2. I like it. I think it's a really sleek and modern look. I was at a friends house yesterday who had beautiful cherry cabinets and it looked really great with the stainless steel. I think the point is partially to look like the restaurants. Everyone is into food and gourmet cooking these days. The popularity of Food Network and even this message board shows that. So, maybe people like the idea of having the look of a nice restaurant kitchen.
      In the late 80's, we had the new black appliances. That was the thing to do, now it's dated. After that, my mom went back to white on white.
      I know they make the brushed steel and other textures so you don't have to worry about fingerprints, but you gotta do what you like for your house. You're the one looking at it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

        Like others, stainless is attractive in the right context. Unfortunately, it has become as much a cliche of the early 21st century as harvest gold and avocado green were in the '70s.

        I would take slight issue with "Everyone is into food and gourmet cooking these days." I think a lot of people are into kitchens that LOOK as if they are into cooking and food. Often, they think that granite countertops, cherry (or other wood) cabinetry, hardwood floors and fancy (usually stainless) appliances will also up the value and resale potential of their homes, whether or not they ever really cook.

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          Our old house had brick in the kitchen and hardwood floors and it looked great with stainless steel. Our new house has hard wood floors, neutral granite and is part of an open floor plan opening into a room with light colored carpet and another room with hard wood. We have off white appliances and I really think that stainless would make it look too cold.

          1. re: ClaireWalter

            As a former Realtor I can tell you that for a lot of homes I have seen in the past few years the kitchens were for show only. Many of the appliances still have the mfgs. info in them The only thing that had been used was the fridge.

            1. re: Candy

              I hear that a lot. That just blows my mind.

              1. re: flourgirl

                When I viewed my house the clock was flashing on the cooker. Until the clock was set the oven wouldn't work. I discovered that they had never used the oven in 10 years. They were Korean and I didn't know (and still don't) whether ovens were foreign to their cuisine.

            2. re: ClaireWalter

              Agreed. It explains why the previous owner of my house put in a subzero refrigerator, but only a 30" cooktop....

              Back to the original post, I love stainless appliance, but I also probably like more modern architecture and furnishings than most people. So the stainless fits my personal aesthetic.

            3. re: Azizeh Barjesteh

              I completely agree with you that we all need to select what we like, not what is the latest fad.

              However, I do not agree that "everyone" is into food and gourmet cooking. "Everyone" insinuates the entire population, which is truly not the case!

            4. We have had stainless in two houses. I hate cleaning it, but love the look. One house was modern with warm colors, yellows and the appliances looked great. This house is old. I have a black frig and microwave , stainless stove, compacter, sink, dishwasher. The floor is red, white cabinets, black counter, yellow wall, red table. It works well, not industrail. I do agree it can look that way.

              1. I have a stainless stove/hood, fridge, and dishwasher, but they're scattered among acres of cherry cabinets, so the wood warms things up a lot.

                1. I agree with others, it all depends on your color scheme but I don't find it as attractive as others do. I really get tired of HGTV and other shows making a big deal over stainless steel, it seems like a huge investment for something that will be out of style eventually. I am more interested in an appliance's performance and effeciency. My only style preference is that they all match in color or material, but that is just me.

                  1. Stainless appliances have been the style for at least 6 years now. In some kitchens, it looks great, in others, not so great. Now that every condo and house built is coming with stainless appliances, I am sure the style cycle will go onto something else. Maybe avacado green and harvest gold will make a big comeback.

                    I currently have white appliances and am planning a kitchen makeover. I have looked at the stainless appliances, mostly because I lust after the 48 in range with the double ovens, but I don't think I would make the switch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: NE_Elaine

                      I think you are right about the avocado green. I used to visit a friend's parents in an old Brooklyn brownstone, and their out-of-date avocado fridge looked fantastic in that very traditional setting. I used to find myself admiring how that out-of-style color was perfect in that setting. It really isn't so different from the Lemongrass we are seeing in cookware!

                    2. The house I "grew up" in was built in the late late 60's, had vinyl floors, cherry cabinets, tile counters and stainless steel appliances. Quite unusual back then, I'm sure they were special order items. Nearly 40 years later they still look good.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        Sorry to say that stainless steel is over. My gay decorator friends say so. And check the high-end home decor magazines, especially from Europe. They're showing white appliances now and/or appliances that are hidden by cabinets. Stainless steel also shows fingerprints like mad, and scratches.

                        I'm about to change my black set (from the early 90s) for all-white, and those should last for another 10-15 years.

                        1. re: brendastarlet

                          My buddies in the biz confirm what you're saying. The high-end started moving away from SS about the time it hit the mass market, like it always does. When it's the standard finish in tract homes, decorators can't use it for custom clients. The trade-only showrooms, European market and design profession media are all showing whites or hidden appliances, sometimes custom colors.
                          Then the cycle starts again, and those things will trickle down to the general marketplace. Almost a rule: once the mainstream media who know little about design say it's the hot thing, you can almost bet it's on its way to being over.

                          1. re: MakingSense

                            I agree that stainless has been overdone, but it's not done. On high end and commercial appliances (wolf, viking, sub-zreo etc.) stainless will continue to be a good choice. It's the cheap stainless that has found it's way to the $50 mini fridge that will disappear - like anything when something isn't done right or well, something else will replace it.

                            1. re: bworp

                              There are exceptions to every rule. We aren't talking about "commercial" however. Many of those companies introduced residential versions of their commercial products and those will continue to be popular for those who can afford them and want performance. Many of those appliances offer options that conceal them in the cabinetry, one of the reasons that Sub-zero's counter-depth fridge has always been so popular.
                              Some of the performance options of those high end brands are also available at lower cost now so custom design is highlighting a different direction. Quality SS will never go away. It just won't be front and center, look-at-me.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                Although the stainless steel of some appliances is actually a reflective coating .

                            2. re: MakingSense

                              Yeah, I wonder if stainless and granite aren't going to share the fate of "avocado" and dark wood paneling in a couple of decades.

                              It looks nice in the right kitchens, right now -- just not mine (I am probably about to remodel an old kitchen in an even older house...am going to go with/stick with white appliances and avoid granite counters as anything too modern will just look weird in the space, and I'd like to retain some of the original '40's quirkiness and charm). It would seem that the next trend could be high-tech stuff that blends in well. Regardless, trends are not currently in my price range. :b

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                I learned in an interior design class many years ago that colors run in about a 10 year sequence so yes stainless is gong to get dated very quickly. In an aside, I was a the Indianapolis Art Museum a few years ago for s special exhibit of William Paley's are collection. I could pretty much pick the decade the artists were working in by the colors that they used.

                                1. re: Candy

                                  So does that mean if I keep my white appliances long enough, they'll be back in fashion? Cool! Since this thread started in 2007, I only have a few years left to wait...

                            3. re: KaimukiMan

                              Looking for a little advise from you here. I am updating a rental home kitchen and thought stainless was the "HGTV" way to go. But then I thought about upkeep. Am I correct that stainless is a maintenance nightmare, scratches easily and may be on it's way out? And that white would be the way to go? Do you think it wears better than stainless? Plus it has to stay looking good as tenants come and go.

                              1. re: jagsbutterfly


                                Jfood has some stainless appliances and painted white cabinets. And his decorator, Mrs jfood, has been on the leading edge of design for 20+ years.

                                Scratches - jfood would say that the cabinets are more sensitive to scratches than the SS

                                Fingerprints - Yes, SS will show fingerprints quicker than painted, but chocolate and peanut butter from kid's hands will show on anything.

                                Cleaning - Anything that gets caked on is just that caked on. And if you take a doobie pad to painted cabinets or SS they both will have some issues.

                                Painted cabinets - people who think a quick coat of Ben Moore from the local paint store will hold up in the kitchen are, unfortunately, kidding themselves. The painted cabinets that are purchased from a home design or kitchen store probably have a baked-on enamelized coating. Even with that there is a little something called water that does havoc on painted wood cabinets. Just be aware of this when you are considering this over stained wood.

                                Like everything else, if you treat it with care it lasts longer. Onit's way out, jfood would wholeheartedly disagree.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  Sorry, but I have had painted cabinets for over twenty years, and they have held up beautifully. I think it's the prep work before, that does it. This summer was the first time that I had to do any kind of touch up work, and they look like new again. I also have four boys, grown now, but very much in the kitchen for many years. As far as stainless goes, I have one bar refrigerator which is stainless, but thank heavens it is behind closed doors as it looks a mess all the time, all my kitchen appliances are white, and I am quite happy with them.

                                2. re: jagsbutterfly

                                  Jagsbutterfly, we've had a lot of rental property. Buying appliances for rental property is not like buying for your own home, although it does have to "sell" to prospective tenants, therefore it should be reasonably fashionable. Unfortunately, most tenants don't seem to care for things as you might (sigh) so keep durability in mind. Everything does not have to match. We've done very attractive kitchens with a mix of SS, white and/or black glass appliances.

                                  I would suggest a SS cooktop or stove. Tenants rarely keep the burners as clean as they should and stuff cooks on. Can't get the gunk off them. White porcelain also chips. I've had too many of those ruined. We can always get SS clean and the scratching has never been a problem. I think it's worth getting a self-cleaning oven if you can get a good deal on one. You can't believe some of the ovens we've seen at the conclusion of some leases. We have one in a property with a black glass oven door that looks really good.
                                  A simple fridge in white. The fewer bells and whistles the better. Frost-free is a wise choice because some tenants never defrost their fridges.
                                  Same with the DW. The more "features," the more there is to break. I have friends who have clauses in their leases that repair calls for the DW, W/D and garbage disposal are the responsibility of the tenant and must be in working order at the conclusion of the lease, as these are the appliances most likely to break due to abuse. They're willing to negotiate this of course if it really isn't the tenant's fault.
                                  If you have several rental properties, open a commercial account at an appliance company. We've had one for years and I get better prices from them than the lowest discount prices on the internet for appliances. We can only do better at a "scratch and dent" showroom which the company also has. A dent on the hidden side of a range is just fine by me even for my own home. A contractor return is a great value.

                                  1. re: jagsbutterfly

                                    Stainless steel does not suffer fools, children or renters gladly. SS will 'ding' if it is used as a target for a child's scooter, a bottle opener or if the door can be swung into an open drawer etc. If it is scoured you will end up with micro-scratches that stand out like a sore thumb.

                                    I like it, but NOT in one of those ultra-cool, designer-chic white and metal magazine kitchens.

                                3. I find it correlates a bit (not entirely) to the many people who have expensive kitchens designed and built but mostly use the microwave and sometimes the stovetop; it's often a flag that a kitchen was designed to look pretty premised on not being used to the full, as it were.

                                  On a related matter, it reminds me of all this fashion for natural wood floors and wainscotting in kitchens - obviously designed by people who haven't really put a kitchen to hard use. I recall a neighbor who didn't understand why the beadboard in his kitchen was painted with enamelled paint; he wanted to strip it bare, and I had to explain the functionality of why kitchen and bathroom wood surfaces were traditionally painted....

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    My kitchen has hardwood floors, and I don't find them too hard to keep up. But I'd much rather have a black and white tile floor like my mom's.

                                    1. re: brendastarlet

                                      Well, I spill cornmeal and other things that would make a hardwood floor in the kitchen impracticable or a waste of money. If I had children, even more so.

                                      1. re: Karl S


                                        Jfood is a little confused. Are you saying taht painted, wainscoting and wood floors are good or impracticle in the kitchen? And the reasoning if you can.


                                        1. re: jfood

                                          The idea is that the wood in kitchens below the counter level (cabinetry, wainscotting, even floors - unless the floors were tiled or linoleum-like)has been traditionally painted with a heavy enamel paint (or thick shellac) for a good and practical reason - to protect the wood and make for easy cleanup. When I see wood in kitchens that is not so protected, it's a clear sign that a designer who doesn't really cook has been involved....

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            I'll give it to you on the wainscotting. I've got it painted, even behind a stove in the house in the country, for kitchens, baths, mudrooms and utility areas. But not for floors. The wood floors have held up wonderfully, including in those same areas. The dogs, kids, boots, occasional roller skates, even the corn meal you talked about above, haven't phased them. I sweep them and mop with vinegar and water and they've help up for decades. They've been better and more practical all around than any floor surface I've ever had, including ceramic tile.

                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                              And much easier on your legs too. I'd never give up my hard wood floors. I don't have wainscoating but do have chair rails. My hardwood gets regular mopping and then an occasional seal when I get around to it. All of my cabinets are pickled oak. They get a full washdown twice a year, now if I could just get my kitchen ceiling painted as often.

                                            2. re: Karl S

                                              Thanks Karl. Although ceramic is much easier to keep clean for those people like jfood with knee issues, it is really tough on the joints.

                                              Jfood also recommends a nice persian runner on wood floor to protct. You can drop anything on them and it will clean up nicely.

                                              jfood has painted white cabinets in this house and they are a pain to keep clean, good point on the crevices. Raised panels look really nices but even the dog can not get all the stuff out of the crevices.

                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                So very true. Kitchen floors have to be washed. At least they do in my house. Ground-level chipboard is a problem waiting to happen. Some woods are better then others. So resin-based woods like bamboo are not so bad, and the scratches they will invariably suffer are part of its character. Avoid high-gloss hard woods (as opposed to hardwoods) like Brazilian cherry (jatoba).

                                          2. re: brendastarlet

                                            I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and love them. Very little work-occasional swipe of the damp mop with a little vinegar and water. I have black and white tiles in my summer house kitchen and hate, hate them. They show everything and need to be wiped constantly. Count your blessings.

                                            1. re: emilief

                                              I agree wood floors are great, and easy to keep clean. We have wood floors in our kitchen, and the entire first floor of our house. It was a necessity when we built it.

                                        2. Now that I have to some degree "lived" with stainless appliances in our overkill office kitchen, I'd say I wouldn't want them. They don't clean up as nice. The owner of our company picked out the kitchen stuff, and as our office is an office condo where we own the space, he's always inclined towards higher grade stuff. But really, this kitchen would have looked just fine with black appliances. The fridge is black on the sides anyway, and I think the black would have been great.

                                          At home I have white, although when I moved in the dishwasher, possibly original 20 years old, was beige. When I replaced that, I went with white rather than thinking I would change to anything else. If I could get them all, say, red or yellow, at a price that was similar to typical white stuff (this isn't a house for expensive appliances), I would consider colors like that. But between white, black, beige or stainless, the white seems to fit best. If I managed to change out the cabinets before I eventually move, I would do it with keeping white appliances in mind, even if I replaced the stove and fridge at that time.

                                          Hm, I guess I didn't really address the original question, which is about the look. To me in that office kitchen the stainless doesn't look that good. I don't think it would look good in my house kitchen. There are probably some kitchens where it works well, but in general I am not keen on the stainless look.

                                          1. I have low end stainless steel appliances - replaced last year by my landlady - and am grateful to have them in my otherwise cheaply put together kitchen (particle board cabinets and laminate counters). Gives it a somewhat more upscale look! Haven't noticed any problems with keeping it clean/looking nice. I don't spend much time dreaming about my ideal kitchen since it doesn't look like it is going to happen anytime soon, but I like the look of stainless steel. Sure, if the whole kitchen were stainless steel, that might look too cold, but I can easily envision how they could fit into a warm and inviting kitchen.

                                            1. Hey, I am still seeing lots of "Avacado" "desert autumn" in kitchens, stainless is SO much better a "visual". Even if it does reek as "commercial" kitch copu cat.

                                              1. I *love* the look of it--but, as others have said, in the right setting. I didn't choose it for our kitchen, because I thought it would look too "21st Century" for the style of the house and especially the kitchen/adjoining den area. (Except the cooktop hood is still stainless, because I still haven't decided--after three years ;-)--how to cover it or what to do with the backsplash.) I didn't choose ivory, either, which I like, but thought would be too extreme a contrast with all the wood. I only like white appliances with white cabinetry, which I don't have. So I chose black, which I like second to stainless.

                                                Except it turns out it's pretty dark in here, and gloomy on grey days, with the mid-tone maple cabinets and the darker plank floors and the black appliances. So in three years, we've already changed the color scheme twice, I had the center island cabinetry refinished in cream, and we're about to undertake our third painting effort in an attempt to get this room right.

                                                And, wouldn't you know, yesterday I saw a pic in a kitchen ID magazine of a kitchen with dark cabinets and white appliances that I thought looked smashing.

                                                Which just goes to prove (to me, anyway) that any finish can look totally right or totally wrong depending on what surrounds it. Hopefully, I can find that nirvana this time around and stop painting for a while! ;-)

                                                1. have you seen the newest thing? stainless steel is out- BRONZE is in. it's definitely warmer.
                                                  me? i have a 25-year-old mustard-yellow GE with a fake wood handle :) sexy!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                    I had one of those, vindaloo! It matched my Amana Radarange with the extra, too-small oven on top. You know, that little oven that never worked and was good for nothing except accidentally smacking my head against when I stood up after pulling something out of the bottom oven. :-)

                                                    Bronze sounds nice...for lighting fixtures. ;-) The last thing I need in my kitchen are any more brown tones!

                                                  2. We've got them in our kitchen because we like the modern/industrial look. We've also repainted the cabinets a very dark green, and switched up the hardware to rather plain looking brushed nickel drawer pulls. I feel like the stainless works in our kitchen, but have seen it in far too many 'rustic' or 'Tuscany' style kitchens where those appliances don't work at all.

                                                    1. Count me in as a vote for stainless in the right setting - just not in my house! :)

                                                      I have a butter yellow kitchen with light maple cabinets and white appliances. I love it because it's warm and inviting on even the grayest days.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                                        I think that sounds lovely, flourgirl. My kind of kitchen. I wanted off-white cabs, hubby wanted dark wood...so we compromised and went in the middle. Which would have been fine if not for the darker plank walls, the climate and the little mountainette behind the house that the weak winter sun has a hard time getting up above for all but a couple of hours at mid-day. :-) But I'll find a solution yet!

                                                        1. re: flourgirl

                                                          Yes, sounds great! I might steal the butter yellow idea. :)

                                                          1. re: flourgirl

                                                            Well, I saw that somebody resurrected this thread, so I thought I'd post an update as well. My kitchen is still pretty much the same - except that we had to buy a new range. I decided to go with a stainless, pro- look this time because it was a total drag cleaning my old enamel range. All my other appliances will remain white, but I love my stainless steel range and I don't see myself ever buyng anything but a stainless range again.

                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                              I just moved, and my appliances are all black now. I miss my white.

                                                          2. When we built our house 2 years ago, I insisted on matching stainless steel appliances. I picked them out myself.

                                                            I do all the cooking, and I wanted the proffesional/commercial look stainless steel provides. I also believe stainless steel is very easy to keep clean.

                                                            For us its not about fashion, its about function(I dont care about what is in style, or some decorating magazine says). When we have new guests to our house, the kitchen recieves the most compliments, edging out our wooded acre lot.

                                                            1. In the RIGHT house, it's perfectly appropriate, stylish and -- yes -- sexy.

                                                              In the WRONG house, it sucks. Period.

                                                              1. Stainless steel stuff is more expensive. I don't buy my kitchen gear for how it looks, I buy it for utility only. Whatever color is cheapest is best.

                                                                My own personal prejudice is that the folks that I know with the prettiest matching gear on the prettiest matching countertop are generally the worst cooks that I know...

                                                                1. Appliances should be made with removable front panels so that consumers can change their decor. My mother had a dishwasher years ago that had this. Dishwashers, refrigerators, etc. only come with this option at the high end, allowing the insertion of panels to match the cabinetry. This isn't practical for a stove but an oven door sort of makes it less obvious anyway.
                                                                  Is this a form of planned obsolescence by manufacturers?
                                                                  The appliances get dated and some people replace perfectly good units simply because they want to update a tired look or they can't bear not to be fashionable. How many of us know of people who have redone brand new kitchens in homes they had just bought because they wanted SS instead of perfectly good high-quality appliances in a color they didn't like?

                                                                  1. I don't care for them either. They are too "modern" and industrial for my taste and fingerprints and dirt are too obvious on them as well.

                                                                    1. Too much of anything is, well, too much of anything. A house has a style depicted by it's period and great design has the ability either to accept the period and design for that or have that special something that allows for an eclectic look. But when you mix periods you better be really good or it will look really bad.

                                                                      What irks jfood the most is people stating why others have bought something. Oh you just did it because you have a decorator, or you just saw it in a magazine, or those products that look nice can;t possibly cook well, or if you want function you can;t buy that, or people who have nice kitchens can;t cook, or i have a friend who can afford it, but she can't boil water. Please stop. Jfood does not comment on what others choose in their kitchens and please do not comment on others cooking, style, sense of period decorating or what he can or cannot afford. Now, can someone give jfood some help getting off the soapbox?

                                                                      Jfood likes the look of stainless if done correctly, likes the look of other metals if done correctly, likes the look of all wood if done correctly, likes the looks of no-wood if done correctly, likes the looks of blah-blah, if done correctly. See a pattern

                                                                      jfood has a SS double oven, cooktop and MV. The rest is paneled in the same style as the wood cabinets to blend in. The jfoods are still discussing what goes above the cooktop which is in the island and they think that they will have something made in metal as soon as mrs jfood has some time to design it so it can be done right.

                                                                      Would jfood like a complete SS kitchen with appliances, counters, cabinets, etc. Probably not, just too much. And with the numerous choices to create both a beautiful and functional kitchen jfood recommends doing both. Beauty and function is a great ying and yang in the kitchen.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        Well said jfood and very thoughtful. I never assume that a beautiful kitchen = poor performance and it's very dangerous to spend too much time drawing scenarios from presumptions. I like stainless steel, because I feel form follows function and that has always worked for me. By the way, for those having trouble keeping their stainless clean, I suggest this product, "Perfect Stainless" by Hope. They also make a "Perfect Glass" product.

                                                                        1. re: Barbraluvstennis

                                                                          I completely second the recommendation for Hope's Perfect Stainless. I've posted about it before...much lighter and easier to use than oil-based "polishes".

                                                                      2. Speaking of fashions in kitchen appliances, I see that Kitchenaid or Jennair is bringing back bronze! We just junked our bronze dishwasher--it was a workhorse that was installed in the 70's--a replacement timer would have cost more than a new dishwasher.

                                                                        1. Don't like them at all. Never have, but I do have a stainless steel stove in my home. I didn't want it, I wanted a plain one, and had done my homework to find the one I wanted. When I got to the store, they said they couldn't get the plain one. All they had was the stainless steel and it cost more. I pitched a fit, because it clearly said on the product, promotional, banner on the stove that it was available as plain black or white. I fussed enough, and I had bought other appliances from them in the last couple years, that they finally backed down and gave me the stove for the price of the one that wasn't stainless. But I still hate that every fingerprint shows up. It is a PITA to me. But I do love the stove because of the features it has.

                                                                          1. I had a kitchen full of stainless steel appliances from 1970's. They were the worst thing to clean and always showed fingerprints. Remodeled with white German cabinets and white appliances which we love. I think the only thing worse than stainless steel is the new refrigerators that have glass fronts. I would love to have one as I think they look wonderful but not willing to constantly clean the inside of my fridge so it will look good through the glass front door.

                                                                            1. Without reading the other responses my answer is NO! And again NO! I like pickled white oak cabinets, warm hardwood floors and my white appliances. I have never been a fan of colors in appliances or places like bathrooms. Stainless is too cold and sterile looking

                                                                              1. I don't mind it. If somebody gave me a new stainless steel kitchen, I wouldn't say no to it. I also wouldn't say no to an new avocado green 'fridge if I didn't have to defrost it.

                                                                                1. I was wondering if we made a mistake getting stainless until I tried Hope's Perfect Stainless. I had tried several products and found them all to be time-consuming and in need of lots of elbow grease. Perfect Stainless is very easy to use and doesn't leave lots of streaks. It's a light spray, like glass cleaner.

                                                                                  Unfortunately, I checked their website and don't see it there, although I did see stainless polish. I bought it at Bed and Bath or Linen's and Things. It definitely makes life easier. I hope it hasn't been discontinued!

                                                                                  1. I had a new stainless range installed in my old house before we moved, and it was a nightmare to clean. The range top was always full of streaks after cooking and I was always trying to wipe it down. That was enough for me. Large fridges can also look too cold and imposing unless they are scaled to the kitchen and are warmed by the right color cabinets, so I didn't do it. I like the fresh look of white in my kitchen, even though stainless would have gone well too.

                                                                                    You may be right about HGTV. They seem to be pandering to their sponsors and pushing stainless. I think this all has to do with Sub Zero fridges and Viking ranges, etc. They are often stainless and HGTV has to place their products as much as possible because they are sponsors -- just as Food Network does.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                      It's more than pandering. You can be sure that HGTV and Food Network aren't using those appliances just because the makers are sponsors. The makers are paying big product placement fees to get their stuff showcased. Does that have anything to do with them being better than other brands whose makers aren't paying those fees? I doubt it. And guess who gets to pay those fees in the end. You the buyer of course, if you buy the stuff. In short, IMO when making purchase decisions, ignore whether it has been "chosen" to be on those shows. That really has nothing to do with whether it's the best for you.

                                                                                    2. Give me white any day of the week. It makes the little accents around the kitchen pop. My red pepper grinder and my great collection of antique cast iron, for example.

                                                                                      1. I badly wanted stainless steel about 10 years ago. Now, that I am actually about to change my kitchen and do not wish to own SS any longer, I started looking around and ....can't find anything else out there. And I don't like white appliances, brings back bad memories from Europe. I'm trying for the "copper look" for this new kitchen, but can't find anything! The closest I came was some Jenn Air bronze colored fridges and dishwashers. Any suggestions, anybody?

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: polish_girl

                                                                                            You may try-


                                                                                            Even though they more or less specialize in stained glass, they offer copper services along with DIY assistance.

                                                                                            1. re: polish_girl

                                                                                              Many European appliances take coloured panels. These can be covered in bronze, nickel, tungsten. I know that twenty five years ago in England I could get metal covers that could be plated.

                                                                                              1. It just depends on the kitchen style - If you have a country style kitchen it can look odd having stainless steel appliances. They definately suit more modern kitchen designs.

                                                                                                1. Dang, based on reading the above, I did it all wrong when I chose a new kitchen three years ago.

                                                                                                  We moved into a new housing development with 50 houses. We checked out the model home, got to know the real estate people and they let us into other people's homes to see what they had chosen. And realized that all of the kitchens looked exactly the same. BORING while tile, hardwood floors ONLY in the kitchen (huh?), cherry cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.

                                                                                                  So we did the opposite. We have hardwood on the entire first floor except the kitchen. We did a grayish laminate with foggy patches of blue, we have laminate countertops that are a crazy dark blue with swirls, our cabinets are maple, and our appliances are black. Only the super-sized double sink is white.

                                                                                                  It sounds quite awful, doesn’t it? Well, the agents asked special permission to show our home on a regular basis to perspective buyers. We’re pretty proud of it. We didn’t have a lot of extra money (that hardwood floor was $$$!), so we found a way to personalize it pretty cheaply. I wish to god I hadn’t been such a chicken sh*t and had done that countertop in the kitchen in my bathrooms as well. They good news is that if I decide to do it, it’s not going to cost much at all.

                                                                                                  BTW, I had never even considered laminate as an option before that point...guess what, there's some pretty cool designs out there!

                                                                                                  1. I've felt the same way about stainless steel appliances. I just remodeled my kitchen and stainless steel appliances will not go with the decor. Black will be ok for the dishwasher and oven, but on the other side where the refrigerator is, black would be too overpowering. I have antique copper accents in the stone back splash and wish I could have a refrigerator with black sides and maybe an antique copper look on the front...or I wish I could continue with the bisque color appliances when they need to be replaced, but they no longer supply that color. Not to mention, it hurts the resale because the realtors are pushing stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. They actually knock down the worth of your home if you don't have them. We decided to go with a natural marble stone counter top and back splash and it looks very rich....but not rich enough for the Realtors who have decided that if it's not granite...it needs to be ripped out.

                                                                                                    1. I've bought stainless appliances whenever possible since the mid 90's, I like the look.

                                                                                                      Whats HGTV?

                                                                                                      1. I totally agree, I don't like it and I also don't like stone counter tops. I like a warmer look in my kitchen, and something easier to keep clean.

                                                                                                        It kills me to hear about kitchens being "just for show." What a waste!

                                                                                                        1. NO - Stainless Appliances remind me of my restaurant jobs from 20 years ago. It is a harsh industrial look, not at all homey. Soon, these appliances will be hauled away to the landfill, just like the avacado & brown appliances of the Brady Bunch era.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: psweeney

                                                                                                            Stainless steel appliances and countertops remind me of the county morgue i had the privelage of touring when i was in lawschool. The refrigerators were stainless steel, the countertops, the tools, the doors.

                                                                                                            So no stainless steel for me.

                                                                                                            1. re: psweeney

                                                                                                              My mother said she doesn't like stainless appliances as my sister has the ones with are mostly stainless with black accents. I think the two-tone economy look of stainless/black should be on its way out. To have a stainless only appliance looks classy without the black which makes it too busy visually and makes it clash with some decor. I like the clean uncluttered stainless with no black accents. When my mother saw my stainless fridge she really loved it. My sister had the cluttered look. Goes to show the setting, paint on walls all contributes. I buy the pledge wipes and run the wipe along the grain and it looks great but before that I wash it down with a soapy washcloth first. The problem is that alot of people and not to offend anyone do not have any sense of decorating. There is the right way to warm up a kitchen with the right warm paint like a darker sage color on the walls. The fact is you are never going to be able to keep up with all of the changes in decorating. The changes are much more rapid now than ever before and almost everything is in style if its done with a decorators touch. Spend a evening at the bookstore with a cup of joe looking at kitchen magazines and steel some ideas. If you really like stainless (without the black on them) they can look cozy in the right setting like a lot have already expressed. Whatever the new craze is I don't want to be part of it. Then you're just one of the crowd. Another speck of sand on the beach. If you want white, Craigslist is loaded with barely used appliances people are switching out for stainless. I think its neat to go with whatever you like no matter what the crowd is doing and make yours unique. I love the clean uncluttered look of stainless. You could have your fridge and stove in stainless and your diswasher with your cabinet matching front to not overdo the stainless. The right hanging lights have to coordinate with it too. They don't have to be stainless they could be something warm. You can mix metals now with decorating. I want to be unique and not follow the crowd but also NOT be outdated. Anything painted like avocado will date itself too quickly. Just like everyone is painting their walls various mustard colors. It almost in every home now. You won't see me sticking to one color of appliance so I can change out my accessories and change the wall paint. One more thing, one people not using their kitchens, I think that is really lame. If you have children, you need to give them something to remember such as the good food Mom made, the way the ktichen smelled. I'm not a big baker myself but I'm trying to leave memories by making food from scratch, baking things from scratch. Our society is too drive through. People don't make coffee cakes anymore. They run into the store and buy whats already made. When I was young my mother made cookies to bring into school. Now parents bring their boxed factory treats in which shows they don't want to bother or even care to contribute something unique from their own kitchen. Rambling on here, sorry.

                                                                                                              1. re: frostinglover

                                                                                                                It always amuses me when people who've never posted on Chowhound before proceed to lecture people on how it's so lame that people don't use their kitchens, nobody cooks from scratch anymore, people run to the store for their coffee cakes, and mom's bringing boxed factory treats to school.

                                                                                                                Seriously? You DO realize you are posting on Chowhound, right? Chowhound - a community of people who love great food and who gather to talk about it endlessly. Not every CHer cooks necessarily, but this is a community FULL of excellent home cooks and bakers, who regularly cook and bake from scratch. A community full of people who love their kitchens and give them a regular work out, a community FULL of people who choose to spend a great deal of their disposal income on cookware, cookbooks and great ingredients all for the love of cooking and the enjoyment of sharing great food with their friends and families.

                                                                                                                In short, you are preaching to the choir.

                                                                                                            2. I love my stainless steel Smeg Italian gasstove, Vibiemme espresso machine and Spring cookware. As for my stainless steel cabinet tops, it is a real pleasure to work with as I don't have to worry about hot pans sitting on top of them. I have an open kitchen that flows into my living room. As the rest of my interior has a lot of wood, the combination with stainless steel is very pleasing on the eye.

                                                                                                              1. I just joined tonight after Googling white vs stainless appliances. We're just about to buy a new fridge and were really debating about the two. We've decided on white after going to the showroom and seeing the fingerprints on all the ss ones. I admit they can be pretty nice in the right setting, but I'm not a contemporary person at all, and I also know that fingerprints would drive me crazy. I'd rather spend my time cooking than cleaning them off.

                                                                                                                None of our appliances match. We just bought what fit. And it's really okay.

                                                                                                                Around here it seems like so many home listings feature ss appliances... with exclamation marks! I'm sure they're fine in their place, but I don't understand why the Realtors make them sound as if they're better than anything else.

                                                                                                                I'm glad I found this place!

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: OahuGIrl

                                                                                                                  One at a time I've evolved to SS but I agree with you. We watch House Hunters and there are those for whom the lack of SS is a deal breaker. I think that is ludicrous.

                                                                                                                  Welcome to CH. I hope you have as much fun here as I do. And learn TONS.

                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                    I'd prefer the kitchen to be void of appliances, that way I can do what I want. I also wonder about warranties and transfer of ownership.

                                                                                                                    Stainless is nice if the insides last as long as the exterior.

                                                                                                                    I saw this on TCM recently and is very fitting - it starts a little slow so be patient.

                                                                                                                  2. re: OahuGIrl

                                                                                                                    In that case, it is a "plus" for the stainless steel because you know they act as anti-theft system.