Is this goodbye, my beloved?

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You knew it had to happen sometime. Nothing, other than quality, is truly timeless.

This time, the beloved of the kitchen set, stainless steel, just might be hearing the tick-tock, tick-tock of the trend clock.

Before you panic, allow me to assure you that there is still plenty of style life left in your shiny new stainless steel refrigerator, and that stainless is still the darling of the appliance world. It is a safe choice and is not scheduled to go the way of Harvest Gold anytime soon. That being said, there are rumblings.

There have been tests of oiled-rubbed bronze appliances that simply appeared brown. Antique copper has been tried as well as a deep gray tone called meteorite. None of these has been able to top the current favorite: stainless steel.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece on Whirlpool’s entre into the world of trendsetting with its introduction of the “White Ice Collection,” a mirrored-glass over white and silver accented finish.

WSJ reported that a recent Whirlpool news release stated, “White is the new stainless.” While Whirlpool is focused on white, it was reported that the upscale appliance line, Wolf, is trending toward black. Their news release stated “Black is the new stainless”. Hmmmm … do I sense a contradiction?

The Journal went on to explain that recently General Electric introduced refrigerators, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers in a muted gray called “slate.”

Before you shake your head at the idea of a return to the white appliance that was thought to be the budget version of any given appliance, the new white is sleek, sexy and oh-so glossy. When it finds space on appliance store floors next to the countless rows of stainless steel products, it is sure to turn a few heads.

No, it isn’t time to totally give up on stainless steel … but it is time to consider that there are other options and that good design is as individual as the finger prints all over the front of a stainless steel refrigerator!


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