o Long, Stainless: Whirlpool Introduces a New Finish For Premium Kitchens By Keith Barry The stainless steel appliance hegemony has ended.
On Monday, Whirlpool introduced a new premium exterior finish that they call “White Ice.” With clean lines, silver accents and streamlined controls, the new collection’s refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave are a departure from the flash and glitz of stainless steel and its many lookalikes. In fact, the combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass appear to have a lot in common with Apple’s popular design language.
The streamlined new look combines with simplified features 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.
Because the whole suite of appliances have such a unique style that’s exclusive to one manufacturer, it’s a safe bet that Whirlpool is hoping customers will upgrade their entire kitchen instead of taking a piecemeal approach.
Whirlpool seems to be aiming their new finish at customers who have grown weary of stainless and its numerous imitators. Indeed, the manufacturer says the new finish is “signifying a shift in the culture of home appliances.” Because it’s essentially an update of the classic white exterior, White Ice may appeal to consumers who are bored by stainless but also don’t want their kitchens to look dated. For Whirlpool, it’s an attempt to appeal to homeowners in a bottomed-out housing market, where renovating is less about increasing resale value and more about appealing to an individual’s own tastes.
Before the recession, investors looking to flip a house for profit wanted to install upscale finishes that could cheaply and easily update the look of a home. So from the HGTV-era onward, the most popular kitchens have combined granite countertops along with stainless steel appliances. Go to any home improvement store and you’ll be sure to see rows upon rows of fridges and dishwashers with stainless steel and stainless-style exteriors.
It wasn’t always that way, and all it takes is a look at classic sitcoms to see how far kitchens have come. If I Love Lucy were in color, the Ricardo’s kitchen likely would’ve had pastel finishes alongside white and stainless. Along with shows like Maude and Soap, the ’70s and early ’80s brought in earth tones, like avocado, harvest gold and almond. Later on, white and bisque became popular — even on the upscale appliances that Geoffrey tended to in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In addition to the modern White Ice, there are several other alternative finishes available on premium appliances. Smeg, an Italian company, builds retro-looking fridges that could easily be mistaken for your grandmother’s Norge. They’re available in a whole 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, including an exterior called Green Tea which features a floral motif.
The new White Ice refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave will be on display at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza this week for House Beautiful magazine’s Kitchen of Year event.
Jul 21, 2012, 07:43 AM
I saw this in a magazine not too long ago. I figured that stainless would one day become outdated and have been surprised, actually, that it has held on this long. (White and almond didn't seem to).
Of course, EVERYONE has gotten their stainless now so manufactuers have got to "move on" so that we can all replace them!!! (LOL!)
We timeless white appliance lovers are not surprised. Then again...it's YOUR home so don't let what the industry deems is "in" or "out" sway you. Besides, white isn't always the best complement to every color cabinetry. Enjoy your choices!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
Remember when Sarah Richardson used some new appliance finish in one of her Sarah's House kitchens? I can't remember what is was called, but she likened it to the look of metallic automobile paint. I wonder if it was similar to this Whirlpool finish.
Jul 22, 2012, 11:01 AM
Too cold a feel for me; our soon to be built house will have black appliances. To me, they are like a black car...always elegant looking
Jul 22, 2012, 11:12 PM
i looked them up awesome! i've always had white, but my handles on the oven and fridge are white as well, and bummer to clean!
think that will be a looky-loo the next time i'm shopping!
Jul 23, 2012, 12:48 AM
I love it! (But I have always loved white appliances.)
Jul 23, 2012, 07:35 AM
out on a limb
I'll be honest - i stick w/ white because it will ALWAYS be around.. But, I know w/ some of these kitchens, the darker color appliances of black and stainless do look much better than white.
I'm amazed at seeing the smooth surface on fridges again - Agggghhhh seeing fingerprints again!! LOL!!
Jul 23, 2012, 09:40 AM
I figured that stainless would one day become outdated and have been surprised, actually, that it has held on this long
Can the demise of granite counters be far behind? (Please, oh please!)
Jul 23, 2012, 11:10 AM
I knew if I hung in here long enough, my white appliances would come back into vogue according to the gurus who determine such nonsense. (Insert smiley face) I happen to love white in a kitchen. I have white countertops, backsplash, and appliances. I just like the look for my kitchen. Isn't it interesting how things always cycle around if we hang in there long enough. I've always felt to try to keep up with the trends is a losing battle. It's always changing for good reason...so the retailers and manufacturers can sell their products.
Jul 23, 2012, 12:18 PM
I looked these up and they come in black ice and white ice. The black ice is absolutely gorgeous!
Jul 23, 2012, 04:20 PM
After we get rid of the almond we have it's going to be either SS or black, I can't think of any other unless you consider this
I imagine this cost more than my SUV!
Jul 23, 2012, 11:16 PM
Well, great! Just GREAT! I waited a good decade to finally get my stainless steel french-door fridge, and now it's no longer in vogue? Pardom me folks, I'm just gonna go ahead and enjoy it anyway! And, I think I shall do the same with my granite. Next, will we have to rip out our wood floors and put the carpeting back in our bathrooms?? I give up! lol
~Lady50This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lady50,
Jul 24, 2012, 12:03 AM
Next, will we have to rip out our wood floors and put the carpeting back in our bathrooms??
One day, I know my easy care vinyl flooring will become popular again....