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Alternatives to Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances have long been a staple in kitchens new and old. They gained popularity as a finish for appliances in the 1990s, replacing their black and white counterparts from the 1980s. Since then, stainless steel has remained the default choice of the limited finish selections in appliances.

Until recently.

A New Generation of Appliance Finishes

A trend is emerging: Appliance manufacturers are starting to offer other finish alternatives to run-of-the-mill stainless steel. At Meadowlark, we’re embracing this trend, and so are our clients, who are incorporating these new finishes into their kitchen designs.

Colored Stainless Steel

Samsung, LG, and KitchenAid now offer a black stainless collection that is similar to standard stainless steel but has a black-hued coating. Similarly, Whirlpool offers a sunset bronze finish, which is a warm golden hue that’s designed to provide a distinctive look while still coordinating with existing kitchen designs and cabinetry.

If you’re not a fan of glossy or shiny finishes, GE offers a matte slate finish—a subtle gray hue that doesn’t show fingerprints. Blue Star, a company that specializes in commercial-style appliances for residential use, has a precious metals collection that includes colors like infused copper, statuary bronze, and enchanted sand.

Enamel Colored Appliances


Viking, Bertazzoni, and Blue Star offer commercial-style appliances in an array of shades like red, yellow, orange, and blue. Blue Star actually offers ranges in 750+ different colors. Big Chill offers retro, pro, and classic styles in a collection of nostalgic colors. In a recent kitchen remodel, our client’s love of red was key in the design process.

Options Galore

While the tradition of stainless steel appliances is by no means falling by the wayside, appliance manufacturers are recognizing the demand for other finish options. If you are remodeling a kitchen or replacing appliances, consider the design possibilities of colored stainless or enamel finish instead defaulting to stainless.

By Rachael McClain

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