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The end of stainless as *the* finish for appliances?

Can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned. So tired of people gushing over stainless in those HGTV shows! Personally I chose off white when I redid my kitchen a few years ago. I just like it better.


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  1. SS good for restaurants. SS great for outdoor BBQ setups. Inside the house too clinical and cold for me. Stainless implies the appliance, stove, refrigerator is the best and maybe it is. I'm butting in because kitchen items and decor are what women are wired to obsess about. But white is good enough and dittos to the old avocado green that GE used to put out that people like to joke about today. But I'll take that green over stainless any day of the week

    This house was outfitted all GE back when America was an industrial superpower and in the same darkish yellow mustard color that was out when Avocado Green was the bomb. Dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, stove, dryer. These days people are going gaga over a Samsung or Bosch washing machine? And Japanese induction stoves? This does compute with me

    21 Replies
    1. re: zzDan

      You have a house full of Harvest Gold! Your appliances are over 25 years old. If they are still working you are one lucky buckaroo. Harvest Gold is not so bad, but Avocado? Now that color is butt ugly.

      1. re: Enigma3

        Avocado in decor is coming back like gang-busters, my friend. Not sure it will ever grace a kitchen appliance anymore, but wouldn't be surprised. I'm waiting for L/C to come out with Avocado. I'd buy it. It would go very well with the earthy/herbal tones I like.

            1. re: pothead

              I can't believe it. Thanks, pothead, now I have to go spend some money!!! ;-)

            2. re: breadchick

              LC 's spinach color looks like avocado green to me. I HATE avocado green and harvest gold. But, I lived through that era.

              1. re: dixiegal

                Those pesky avocado green and harvest gold colors were with us so long, I thought they'd never go away. I too would never, ever buy an avocado green anything as long as I live.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  Of course, a little avocado green, or muted blue, grey, or ochre yellow combined with stainless steel trim might look good. I wouldn't discard them completely.

                  Too much of any colour, including stainless steel simply overwhelms. Stainless steel was a rare and expensive option in the 1950's and 1960's when harvest gold and avocado were popular. Those colours could easily be produced then with the advent of formica. Stainless steel is available as an inexpensive option now, but one does not have to go overboard with it.

                  Having had a kitchen with that nice practical but Teutonic, sterile look before, I enjoy a little colour in our kitchen today. We removed a wall between out kitchen a living room and the colours in the two rooms compliment each other.

                  1. re: SWISSAIRE

                    I personally would not want a stainless counter top, for instance. But I like the look of stainless on large appliances. And I prefer a stainless sink. I would love to have a big stainless range with gas grates and an electric convection oven. But I never will.

                    I think the shiny gray of the stainless looks good in a kitchen. But I like color too. But I'll never use avocado green, or harvest gold again.

            3. re: Enigma3

              Thanks mas mucho E3!! House built 1974 with those 4 GE large appliances. Photo included of Harvest Gold stove. The dryer is same color. The GE refrigerator and washing machine broke down in the last 4 years so they provided decades of service. The washing machine could have been repaired but our service contract guys replaced in with white GE. Refrigerator is now white by Whirlpool. (btw what a great name!)

              Also photo of original white Formica counters. I am a big fan of Formica. My Formica still life photo with 35 year old Mac SS knife, the best with nice thin blade! And Presto pressure cooker regulator, stainless steel model Presto.

              1. re: zzDan

                Julia Child have a lovely aqua blue built in oven which I would love to have. You must like vintage...

                1. re: Ruthie789

                  I usually prefer the way older manufactured items look plus more chance of them being American made. As far as how they function and hold up under use.... Sometimes the item was made better 30-40 years ago. Sometimes it is today's version that is superior

                  1. re: zzDan

                    Well only the longevity of our current items will tell.

                    1. re: zzDan

                      What a lovely day you must have had. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, that kitchen is amazing. She is a true American Icon and deserves to be in the Smithsonian.

                      1. re: zzDan

                        Here is a post that vibrant colours are still in. Retro inspired fridges from Smeg:

                        1. re: Ruthie789

                          the only problem is that for the cost you pay for a Smeg, it better cook itself...

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            I`m sure it is pricey, but I love the look of it.

                            1. re: Ruthie789

                              (a can of automotive paint, some sandpaper, and a weekend would get you the same look)

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                I don`t know if I would chance it. Really, would it look like a professional finish? Not much of a do-it-yourselfer on these things. I have a fridge that I don't like, although a recent purchase.

                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                  so send it out and have it professionally painted. Still wouldn't even buy you a door on a Smeg

              2. Ok, I read it. If you don't like the look of stainless, that's fine. But the introduction of a "new" color to appliances does not indicate any such nonsense as the end of stainless as "the" finish. Frankly, it's a lot of Whirlpool marketing hype to, as was stated in the article, get you to purchase a suite of appliances instead of just the one you need. But just because they came out with "ice white" doesn't mean everyone is going to rush out and buy it. Marketing hype, designed to suck you in and hold you hostage to Whirlpool appliances. If I were doing a kitchen in white, I would rather have a white that was easily matched by other brands. And when this white is discontinued and the fridge goes out, how do you replace it?

                Just as a side note, when harvest gold, avacado green and coppertone were popular, my father-in-law made a fair amount of beer money painting refrigerators to those new colors, and then painting them back to white or almond. That's back when they actually lasted longer than the color fad.

                6 Replies
                1. re: mikie

                  To me, the most surprising thing about that press release is that Whirlpool is still in business. Stainless is just another color option. I don't see it going away anytime soon. To me it balances the wood in kitchen cabinets very nicely and it is appreciably less of a dated look than a color might be.

                  1. re: ferret

                    Why is that so surprising. Their products are made in Japan like everybody else that they compete against.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      Actually, very little if any applainces that end up in the US are made in Japan. Most now are coming over from Korea or China. Whirlpool does still have some production in the US, a fair amount actually. The following is from this web site: http://usgroove.com/whirlpool-applian...

                      "Whirlpool appliances are 85% made in USA. Washers and dryers made in Clyde, OH. Go for it, but keep an eye out- sometimes they are imported, depending on capacity and demand. Dishwashers, counter-depth refrigerators, side by side refrigerators, cooktops, built-in ranges, freestanding ranges, built-in microwaves, trash compactors can be made here. When shopping be sure to ask the salesperson.

                      Whirlpool owns Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, which are all made in USA, except for a few items, including countertop microwaves, the “Duet” Front Load Washer, and refrigerators with freezer top within the size of 14-16 cubic feet.

                  2. re: mikie

                    So I have Harvest Gold? Righteous, baby! And fie on SS in home kitchens.

                    1. re: mikie

                      Way back when people respected the choices that others made. It`s ok to have a different perspective on things isn`t it.? We all don`t have to fit the cookie cutter mold.

                    2. I was skeptical, but I have grown to love the clean look of my stainless oven, dishwasher, and fridge - the stainless has now expanded to a tea kettle, toaster oven, and microwave. (I used to have bog-standard beige, which I thought was nice and neutral).

                      It goes nicely with my cherry cabinets and is easy to clean.

                      If I could afford it, I'd have stainless worktops tomorrow.

                      1. Thank goodness stainless has improved from it's early fingerprint days. A few years ago we had a dog that loved to lick the front of our new "stainless" refrigerator. We were cleaning it constantly. And polishing up the new stove and dishwasher too to get rid of fingerprints. We moved shortly thereafter and went with all white appliances. The dog has passed on but the the white is still here. We like it and would never go back; too many bad cleaning memories. It's nice to see white in the limelight again.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Cam14

                          LOLOL...and here I thought noseprints on the car window was bad enough...

                          1. re: Cam14

                            Too funny! My (white) cookbook bookcase has a black stain from a certain black cat who likes to rub her scent on it!

                            1. re: nofunlatte

                              that would be the white walls on the staircase for me -- the dog leans on the wall for balance (he's a klutz) as he goes up and down the stairs.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                We have interior French doors into the family room/kitchen. Our now-departed cats used to love to "noseprint" the lower panes. Had to clean them (the panes, not the cats) daily. Miss those little fuzzens.

                              2. re: nofunlatte

                                I have a black cat that rubs his maw on my white fridge. Because he NEEDS his milk. What a crybaby, and he makes a mess on my fridge. (Of course, he gets his little shot of milk, and of course - he's trained us well.)

                            2. How durable is this "White Ice"? The white enamel on my landlord-supplied fridge has come off in places only four years after I moved in, simply from opening and closing the door. Stainless steel would definitely be an improvement on that!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: John Francis

                                Marketing hype.

                                Alluding product colour to being akin to Apple products is a bit of a stretch.

                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                  Looks like you hung your reply to the wrong message.

                                  1. re: John Francis

                                    Sorry John.

                                    I replied to the original post option at the bottom, and it ended up placed, or hung below your comment. My coments were directed tto the marketing statements in the original link.

                                    I agree with your thoughts about longevity and durablitiy, 150 %

                              2. My mother had stainless a stainless range top and ovens in the 50s. Her frig, still working by the way was white. I wanted a Western Holly in pink and would have liked a French range in a color but
                                I ended up going with what I like for cooking and stainless is the only way it came.

                                1. I too am not a fan of SS. Looks way too clinical to me. Too neutral in a commercial kitchen way.
                                  The most popular color for upscale kitchens is still white or off white cabinetry with white or SS appliances. White appliances still sell well. I see many McMansions with washed brown cabinets and SS appliances. Ugh.
                                  I love the colors of, say, LaCornue. SS makes no statement to me.
                                  At least Whirlpool is trying to introduce new colors. Good for them.

                                  1. I have white appliances. I do like some of the Viking stoves that are predominantly white with strong stainless steel accents. As well Jenn-Air has a fridge that almost looks like it has a copper surface which works well in a dark kitchen. I also like some of the vintage inspired fridges that are vibrant in colour. Stainless for me is not an option.

                                    1. We built our home in the mid-70s, when Harvest Gold, Avocado Green and even Chocolate Brown were all the rage for bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances. We did one bathroom in harvest gold and I hated it from day one. Not only did it date the bathroom, but it was gawdawful ugly! OTOH, I chose all white appliances for my kitchen. They lasted for a good long time, as appliances did in those days, and the look remained timeless. I'm inclined to believe that stainless has that same timeless look about it.

                                      1. for me the problem with stainless is it looks silly in a condo - the frew open houses in my development where the kitchen has been "upgraded" look like kids playing dress up. I do want to redo my kitchen but am stumped. I like stainless but t hinks it's not a good fit for a condo sized kitchen - yes I know they have smaller sizes in stainless now but it still makes me think dress up. Has anyone done a condo kitchen remodel and what did you go with?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: winepoet

                                          I see European apartments all the time with all stainless appliances...and there's no way your condo can have a smaller kitchen than some of the Euro-flats I've been in!

                                          It reflects the light, for one -- so it helps keep a tiny kitchen from looking like a dark little closet.

                                        2. The kitchen in my old house was redone 12 years ago. We had a white fridge, so we used white for the appliances. The cabinets were Shaker style cherry and the counter was a jade green formica. The back splash was slatey gray tile. How many times did I wish I had stainless appliances! The stainless would have looked so much better in that kitchen.

                                          We are now searching for a new house in a new city. I can't tell you how dated the kitchens are from the 1980s and 1990s. You can tell instantly if the kitchen is newer by whether the appliances are stainless or not. I want to tell everyone this: if you want to sell your house, please get rid of tile counters and black appliances, if you can. Formica is better than tile. Everything else is better than either. Stainless appliances look sharp to me.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            I didn't understand the whole tile counters thing, even when it was THE thing.

                                            Can't cut on it...can't put hot stuff on it...can't wipe it...grout gets manky and dirty and full of god-knows-what....

                                            tile on the walls? Ok, in a bathroom or for a backsplash.
                                            tile on the floors? All day, every day.
                                            tile on the counters where I have to actually work? Are you nuts?

                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              This week I bought my wife a Clive Christian Kitchen that won't be installed until next spring (we have construction to do first). It is a Victorian style and was set up in the showroom. Unfortunately, the appliances came with it and they are stainless steel. It looks terrible with this cream colored kitchen. The twin dishwashers are not a problem, as they have cabinet panel coverings, as does the sub zero. But the Viking cooktop can't be hidden and they don't make a Bisque color. The Thermador wall ovens in SS have to go. Only GE and Whirlpool make Bisque, or we can order a custom color from Viking for $6500. I found a Bisque trash compactor and microwave, but no Bisque wine coolers (that will have to be hidden with wood trim.
                                              Since we're stuck with a stainless Viking cooktop, we are going to keep the stainless undermount sinks.
                                              BTW, wife really wanted a La Cornue Range, but we determined that in our late 50s bending to take trays out of the lower oven makes no sense. Maybe in another lifetime.
                                              This kitchen is replacing an all white one.

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                Wow, what a kitchen. You bought the display kitchen? Good strategy. Personally I'd use stainless anyway. I prefer it.

                                                The kitchen in my "new" house has granite tile counters--about an acre of them in gray with a light tan cabinet. The cabinets are not excellent, but they are good. The stove is a disappointment, frankly. It is a Kenmore black glass top, that doesn't look like as if it got good care. It comes with a Dacor downdraft, which I hope works. We want that thing inspected.

                                                I long to have a gas cooktop with a 14" Dacor downdraft installed, but there is not money for it, especially since we are redoing some floors. But the kitchen is very pleasant, not fussy and quite large. For the first time in my life I can walk outside to the back yard straight from my kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand. I'm already thinking of which herbs to plant by the porch/deck. So, you win some and you lose some.

                                                The grout is gray, so I don't think it will be hard to keep the counters looking good.

                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                  I never could have afforded the $175,000 they wanted for the kitchen plus the cost of adding on to the house. So buying the display was a great deal. Saved more than $100,000. It's basicall y20' x 30' plus a 12' island. Wife hates SS appliances and I don't care for them either. I'm really looking forward to twin dishwashers. I never go to bed after entertaining until everything is washed and put away, now I'll make it to bed by 3am. Our kitchen currently has 10" of sliders to the back patio and yard. That will disappear and becaome a 12'x24' formal dining room. I hate eating in the kitchen, but when my wife redid this 200+ year old home, she made a huge eatin kitchen and no formal dining room. Told me I could have the DR if she got a new kitchen. At what point do we stop adding on and move? Hitting 19 rooms and the youngest is in High School. Time to have the next generation move in?
                                                  I'm busy drawing tghe plans, will start building 3D models and by OCT 1 go to the town for building permits. I found out there is enough trim to mask the SS microwave, trash compactor and warming drawers. I'll have to spring for new wall ovens. We'll install the Thermador Wall ovens in a rental unit we own and up the rent for a new tenant.

                                                  As to your comments about a 14" Dacor downdraft. We've never had Daco, but my Bro and SIL have it. Nothing but trouble for 10 years. It never worked right and Dacor never could make it work either. It's pretty to look at.

                                                  I feel your pain about ew floors. They're sanding and refinishing 8 rooms of our hardwood this week. I just moved all the furniture, etc, into our sunroom (tile floor) and garage. We have to take the dogs to a hotel for three nights and the cats will be locked in my office with, food, water and a litter box. My office has it's own entry and stone floors, so I can get in while the restr of the house is off limits.

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    I think your purchase is brilliant. If remodeling your house makes you happy, then I think you should do that. Perhaps at some point you can turn your 19 room house into a B & B?

                                                    Well, I really don't want to know that about the Dacor. I'm stuck with it. But I am concerned because the cabinets in the house seemed to me to have a film of grease on them, as did the counters. However the owner is elderly, and I also noticed that the windows were spotted--meaning poor vision on the part of the elderly owner.

                                                    We intend to only have one room's floors redone in the wood that exists elsewhere in the house. But between that and the other costs associated with move-in, there isn't enough for a new cooktop and downdraft.or hood. I wish these hoodless cooktops had never been used! What a pain.

                                                    When we redid our kitchen in our previous house about a decade ago, I made sure to have a good, vented hood. I really enjoyed cooking in that kitchen. I could move around it with ease, and there was a place for everything. I had nice cherry cabinets and a big stainless sink. Its wonderful to cook in a pleasant kitchen that is well laid out. I hope your remodeling goes well and the results are what you want.

                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                      Remodeling makes my wife happy! and that's what counts. She is a designer builder, and shows what she has accomplished to potential clients.

                                                      The base structure of our home is a Georgian Revival that was built in 1804. When she bought it it was a wreck with many tiny rooms like a rabbit warren.

                                                      Over the years there has been one project after another.

                                                      But now she will finally get the kitchen she wants (not that our current kitchen is anything to sneeze at) and I get the Formal Dining room that I desire.

                                                      Kitchen will be extended back to where the rear entry shows on the left of photo, Dining room will replace the patio with the pergola on the left and a new patio and outdoor kitchen built to the rear.

                                                      Also attached is a front shot before the latest stonework and a new vestibule was added. Deceiving from the street, it doesn't look like 19 rooms, but from the rear woods you get the sheer size of the place.

                                                      Major kitchen on the first floor, full kitchen upstairs for the teenager's use and an outside kitchen for me to grill the dogs' dinners.

                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                        a kitchen for my teenager's use and I'd never see him!

                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                          We have a separate teen apartment upstairs, Living room, kitchen, a bedroom for each of the two girls and a guest room and their bath. This way they don't intefere with the cooking in the main kitchen, have access to late night snacks without messing the main kitchen and if they want to have friends overnight we are not disturbed.
                                                          The only thing we didn't put in their kitchen is a dishwasher, but they do have their own laundy machines.
                                                          At this age they get a semblance of independence and we found that our oldest was better able to manage her first apartment and independent living than her friends who went fom a bedroom in parent's house to college dorm then apartment.
                                                          Having that kitchen up there also means we don't find all those missing good china and glasware pieces under their beds <VBG>

                                                  2. re: sueatmo

                                                    suetmo- a question - why do you want a gas cooktop with a downdraft?

                                                    1. re: smilingal

                                                      this isn't Sue, but sometimes a hood won't work. My sister has her cooktop set into the Island which is in the middle of her kitchen. There was no effective or asthetically pleasing way to have an overhead fan and ductwork to take away what can disappear with a downdraft.

                                                      Our Current Kitchen has ceilings that are only 7 1/2 feet tall (house built in 1804) a hood and ductwork emphasizes the low ceilings and would have taken away needed cabinet space, so we also have a downdraft system.

                                                      With our coming remodel and addition, it will no longer be an issue.

                                                      When I was first out of school, 35+ years ago, I lived in an apartment with a galley kitchen there was no exhaust fan, just a small windo that could be opened at the end of the kitchen, 8 feet from the stove, I would have really loved a downdraft system then.

                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                        oh - now I understand - I am in the process of replacing my cooktop and was confused with the downdraft. Thanks!

                                                2. re: sueatmo

                                                  I have said it before and I'll say it again. Formica rules! And is what I have made in America 1974 Formica no runs no hits no errors with it, it just works and does not stain.

                                                  1. re: zzDan

                                                    I would prefer Formica to the slick white tiles I have seen in a lot of homes right into the 2000s. There are some better tiles out there--porcelain with narrow, gray grout lines for instance. And I am getting a "new" kitchen with granite tiles which are very pretty.

                                                    But overall Formica is a good alternative, and better than the older tiles. However, my Formica counter was not in fabulous shape at the end of its 12 year run. And there was a scorched placed from the coffeemaker, so it isn't as durable as I expected. Of course, you can't set baked casseroles hot from the oven on top of it, but I never did. In spite of good care, we did get some scratches. If you are buying Formica or similar, I'd recommend a deep color tone. Don't get white, off white, or any light color.

                                                3. Pink appliances were big in the 1950s, avocado green in the 1960's, and "harvest" gold in the 1970's. The 1980's I don't especially remember what color was fashionable but it seems as if stainless steel has been in since the 1990's. Having lived through so many trends, when I did my kitchen last year I chose white as less subject to fad. Also it's easier to keep wiped off than stainless steel.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                    My memory of the color pallet: 1950's - pink, terquoise, and yellow. 1960's - yellow carried over, salmon, robin's egg blue, ending with the introduction of avocado green, harvest gold, copper tone, that carried well into the 1970's. The 1980's gave us Almond which carried into the 1990's along with black. The latter 1990's brought stainless to the moderately priced kitchen and it's been doing well ever since. The new millennium brought in an aray of bright but short lived colors, and more stainless. The one color that has been through all of this history is white. However, stainless has been around a very long time, just not in moderately priced homes. Thermador introduced stainless steel to the kitchen in 1947. So it's hardly a fad.

                                                    1. re: mikie

                                                      Green was big in the fifties. I remember my parents' kitchen cabinets. They were made of birch plywood with "colonial" hammered iron hardware. The counter was Formica in a deep green. They happened to find the same pattern as they already had on their chrome and formica dinette table.

                                                      Mr. Sueatmo and I redid our kitchen in 1980 in oak cabinets (I wanted Shaker style but couldn't get it.) and deep blue. The blue came from the tile backsplash and a figure in the wallpaper. The counter was a textured white. (Never again!)

                                                      My parents' built themselves a house after retirement that boasted laminate almond colored cabinets with "wood" trim. You can still see this stuff in some older homes and apartments.

                                                      You are correct that Almond color was popular in the eighties. In the nineties and into the early oughts, appliances were often black. (Not my fave.)

                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                        We had that almond color cabinets with wood trim (though it was real wood) in our circa 86 house. Until we replaced it with maple cabinets, granite (neutral-ish brown and gray) counters, and off-white applicances. The original kitchen also had white tile floors (we have wood now) which made it a very white kitchen.

                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                          Your new(er) kitchen sounds so nice. I love a good kitchen! Gray countertops are good, as far as I'm concerned. Granite makes them best.