Monday, January 14, 2013

Colour Trends - Dethroning Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is King. In the world of surface hardware appliances and plumbing fixtures no other finish or colour has dominated the market place like stainless steel.  I've heard predictions of the demise of stainless steel as far back as ten years ago, and yet stainless remains top dog.  But as the Roman Empire discovered,  nothing lasts forever.  So for sake of argument let's assume stainless steel is going by the wayside.  What finish (or finishes) are poised to take over?


Black is a really difficult finish to work with, especially when dealing with high use appliances.  I have a black fridge at home, and find myself wiping the face of it almost every day.  But black is a great finish to work with.  Case in point, the Odin collection of bathroom fixtures designed by Brizo and Jason Wu.  The flexibility of the matte black works perfectly with almost any colour scheme and the simplicity of the faucets.


Are we really ready to go back to white?  Whirlpool sure thinks so and have created a complete line of White Ice appliances to prove it.  Myself? In the right circumstances (think European minimalist) the white would work really well.  My only concern is the same concern I have with anything white; will Whirlpool's white work with the white provided by your cabinet maker?  Mismatched whites are simply wrong.


There is no denying the popularity of grey.  Something about Scandinavian winters is really appealing to designers (who have likely never lived through one).  Appliance manufacturers have been quick to jump on this trend, not so much to adopt grey but to find an affordable alternative to stainless steel.  GE for example has added Slate to their repertoire and actively market it as a stainless steel alternative, pointing out it's easier to clean than the real thing.

There are many other finishes available from other manufacturers.  But these are the big challengers I see to the reign of stainless steel.  What else have you seen?

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