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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.

      9 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: Candy

                Are they alien beings?

                Edited to add: because of how the posts were placed, I want to ensure that I meant the people who never cooked, not Korean people. I've had great meals from many cultures where people only had the equivalent of a stovetop at home.

              3. 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.

                1. re: Megiac

                  Well, I've usually had a smaller cooktop than 30" (old "apartment-sized" stoves), cooking for one or two people regularly, and never for big crowds in my little flat.

              4. 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!

              5. 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.