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Stainless Steel Has a New Rival in Kitchen Appliances

published on November 7, 2012

white ice refrigeratorStainless steel has been the defining feature of kitchens in luxury homes in Austin and across the U.S. for almost a decade, but if appliance manufacturers have anything to say about it, the stainless steel monopoly on upscale has ended. Whirlpool recently introduced a new premium exterior finish they call “White Ice.” White Ice features clean lines, silver accents, mirrored glass, and streamlined controls and is almost reminiscent of the appliances from Disney’s House of Tomorrow, (which has since been trumped by the unique designs of real modern homes, like some of the estates in Westlake Hills and remodeled homes in Eanes ISD).

The streamlined new look of the appliance collection combines simplified features and user interfaces that Whirlpool says will make the appliances easier to use. “In addition to the intuitive technology, the line takes a fresh look at appliance design and features flawless exteriors that add beauty to any home,” said Pat Schiavone, Whirlpool’s VP of Global Consumer Design.

The new finish is geared towards customers who are interested in the “next” design trend. Indeed, Whirlpool says the new finish is “signifying a shift in the culture of home appliances.” Trends in kitchen appliances may evolve more slowly than trends in wall paint colors, but they do shift throughout the decades. Kitchens of the I Love Lucy era typically featured pastel finishes alongside white and stainless exteriors. The 1970’s and early 1980’s saw the arrival of earth tones, like avocado, harvest gold, and almond in kitchens across America. Later on, white and bisque became popular, and were later joined by sleek and edgy jet black options.

In addition to the modern White Ice finish, there are several other alternative finishes available on premium appliances, including appliances surfaced to blend into cabinetry, examples of which often can be found in upscale kitchens like those in Barton Creek neighborhood homes. Smeg, an Italian company, builds retro-looking fridges that are available in a rainbow of shades, from bright yellow to deep purple. AGA, a British manufacturer, puts hard vitreous enamel surfaces in a variety of different colors on their ovens and dishwashers. Whirlpool’s own Amana division also introduced a series of colorful refrigerators in 2009, all of which can add a personalized twist to a luxury kitchen.

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