For about the last twenty years, stainless steel appliances in kitchens have been the gold standard, a must-have for a modern, praiseworthy kitchen. Buyers practically demand these appliances in a new home purchase. For those sellers unfortunate enough not to have hopped on the stainless bandwagon, home sale prices can be negatively impacted by the lack thereof. So where does that leave us, the happy homeowners thinking of a kitchen renovation in the near future?
For those sellers unfortunate enough not to have hopped on the stainless bandwagon, home sale prices can be negatively impacted by the lack thereof.
Are we sentenced to a lifetime of stainless?
While many will argue that stainless is here to stay for a wide variety of reasons, others demand that there are other options. Of course, personal preference and style will be the leading influences for any homeowner, but it is important to consider advantages and disadvantages of all options before making a decision. Let’s face it, appliances are expensive and they are going to be with you for decades to come. Better choose wisely!
Perhaps the most prominent benefit of stainless steel is its ease of maintenance and cleaning. True stainless is designed to resist smudges and dirt, although many homeowners who have actually owned these appliances may beg to differ.
Also, while stainless steel appliances can be wiped down with just a damp cloth, most owners will agree that specialized products designed specifically for stainless steel work much better. However, these cleaners often are relatively expensive.
Next, the durability of stainless steel is another true and tested advantage. Commercial kitchens have used stainless steel for far longer than the residential sector, and for this exact reason. Stainless will not fade or discolor over time, making it an ideal choice if you plan to keep your appliances for the long haul.
Another benefit of stainless is its resistance to germs, which is of particular interest to those with young children and/or pets. The surface can be wiped clean with an antibacterial cleaning product and its nature is to resist bacteria and germs better than plastic counterparts.
Finally, stainless steel just looks good; that is a hard statement to deny. Being a neutral metallic color, stainless steel appliances match just about any cabinet finish, backsplash, flooring, or paint color your heart can desire. That is also beneficial when you consider that your paint, backsplash, and even flooring may change over the years with updating, but your appliances will still match regardless.
If you are strongly considering stainless steel, note that you are not limited to strictly the traditional stainless color. In fact, appliance manufacturers are now marketing stainless appliances with a wide variety of new color options including the trending “sunset bronze” from Whirlpool, which offers a warm, golden hue that matches many modern kitchen designs and has the smudge/stain-resistance of traditional stainless. High-end appliance manufacturers are even going as far as marketing a “truffle brown” and “brilliant white” stainless finish. While these color options may be enticing to homeowners, particularly those with an edgier, less traditional style, beware that distinct colors such as these may limit your marketability in the future to potential buyers that may prefer a more traditional look.
Although stainless steel seems to be holding strong in the modern kitchen realm, there are other options that homeowners can still consider. Designers nowadays are pushing for a turn away from stainless and back to either black or white appliances or some of the newer, more modern stainless alternatives. High-end appliance manufacturers offer vibrant pops of color in appliances.
In fact, Blue Star touts over 750 color options for its appliance line. Even Viking has hopped on the color bandwagon offering radiant red appliances that really add a pop of pizazz to any kitchen while maintaining commercial-grade quality. Again, use caution with bold colors, as potential resale down the line could be affected by such daring choices.
Another trending style option is to panel appliances to match surrounding cabinets. Many designers say that homeowners much prefer an inconspicuous refrigerator that blends in with cabinets rather than a large chunk of stainless steel standing out in the room. Also, glass-front appliances (particularly white glass front) are picking up steam as well, especially as white cabinets take over modern kitchen design as well.
Whether you are updating your kitchen or doing a complete overhaul, appliances are probably one of the bigger decisions you will have to make. Appliances can make an immense impact on your overall kitchen look, yet the functionality and durability is also extremely important. While you may take part in the stainless steel sensation, be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this choice and also consider the alternatives that are available. Consulting with a kitchen design professional can also be very helpful in weighing the options. Professionals at Kitchen Kraft can help you to understand the pros and cons of the many kitchen appliance options and make the best decision for your project.