Ice, Ice, Baby

Every once and awhile, I see something on Pinterest that completely takes me by surprise, and that’s exactly what happened last week when I stumbled upon this picture:

White-Refrigerator-White-Kitchen Image via Apartment Therapy

Do you have any guesses as to what it was that caught my eye?

Nope, it wasn’t that stunning island with vintage brass pulls, nor was it the marble countertops.  It wasn’t even the gorgeous wood floors set on the diagonal, a detail I would normally be drooling over.  It was something far more ordinary than any of those things.

It was, in fact, the refrigerator.

Yep, you read that right.  That refrigerator basically stopped me dead in my internet-browsing-mouse-clicking tracks.  I don’t know what dumbfounded me more: the fact that I was actually gawking at a refrigerator, or that I was gawking at a refrigerator that was white (because let’s be real, it isn’t 1993).  Regardless, I sat there in awe, drooling over that pretty white fridge whose sleek lines with a slight vintage flair tied perfectly in to the white cabinets surrounding.

Once I snapped back to reality, I hurried over to Google as fast as my fingers could type, in an attempt to find out all I could about this whole white fridge situation.  And what I discovered was shocking.  Throughout many articles, forums, and blogs, there was a lot of chatter saying stainless steel appliances may very well be on their way out. 

Industrial-kitchen-stainless-steelImage via Benco Construction

When I first read that, I was baffled.  I loooooove the industrial look of stainless steel, so I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea. That was until I stumbled upon another article.  This article in particular talked about how the color trends in appliances generally change each decade, which if you think about it, has been pretty true.

The 1960’s were home to the oh-so-lovely brown appliances, followed by everyone’s favorite avocado green in the 1970’s.

1968-ge-kitchen2673crop2 GE-avocado green appliaces

The 1980’s brought us black appliances (apparently they had to tone down the color somewhere), and the 90’s followed with white.

80s-kitchen 90skitchen

Stainless steel appliances finally started to gain momentum in the early 2000’s, and they’ve called our kitchens home ever since.

2000's kitchen

Now we’re nearly halfway through 2010’s, and although stainless steel is still wildly popular, Viking, Whirlpool, and GE have been introducing white appliances back into the mix through their higher end lines.  The white has been gaining momentum in the design community over the past year, but it’s quite different from the white we saw in the 90’s.  Instead of that funny bumpy texture, the whites today feature smooth surfaces with an almost glossy texture.  Quite striking if you ask me.

04-hbx-whirlpool-white-ice-refrigerator-1012-koty-xln-88799660Image via House Beautiful

If you’re interested in these white appliances, below are my top 5 picks (with a surprising one from Ikea sneaking in there).

Top 5 White Refrigerators

 

After all of this is said and done, if you ask me, I think we may see a rise in white appliances, but I also think stainless steel is here to stay for a while longer.  It’s a neutral color that coordinates so well with the chrome and brushed nickel fixtures we so commonly use in our kitchens.  Plus, it pops against white cabinets, and helps reflect light in kitchens featuring darker cabinets.  It’s versatile and classic, and there still is a great demand for it.

So what do you think? Do you think white will take the place of stainless steel?  Which would you prefer in your own kitchen?

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34 Responses to Ice, Ice, Baby

  1. Hennie says:

    This makes me so happy! I have a white kitchen and only need to replace my fridge. All my appliances are white so starting with a stainless steel fridge would look strange I think. I love one of these fridges though 2 on your list get horrible reviews about their ice makers. I would steer clear of them. Thanks for doing the research!

  2. K says:

    I never understood why everyone thinks steel appliances are soo great. I think they draw to much attention to themselves. I’d rather have my appliances blend into the background allowing my bowl of fruit, flowers and other intentional decor catch the eye.

  3. Beth says:

    I’m so glad to see stainless steel on the way out! Everyone I know who has stainless steel appliances have kitchens full of ugly fingerprints and smudges. There is even a lady who is making an entire career out of helping women who have stainless steel sinks overcome their depression about the constant smudges and water spots – it makes women feel that no matter how hard they work to keep their homes clean, that stainless steel will always look nasty, and they feel that it’s a total waste of time to clean anything when their kitchens are going to look dirty no matter what, so they give up trying.

  4. Deb says:

    Makes me happy! Love white and cleaning is much easier.

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  6. Blu says:

    I just recently changed some of my appliances, I chose the white with stainless steel and I love it! my husband was a little afraid that I didn’t go for stainless in case we decided to move, but I think it looks very trendy and nice, plus easier to keep it clean.

  7. Tara says:

    Yes!!! I am just renovating my home. Ikea was sold out of the stainless steel microwave so I chose the beautiful white oven and microwave that I was drooling over but stuck with the stainless steel fridge – 24 hrs later I called Ikea to change my fridge to WHITE after looking at several modern kitchens with the white fridge. White is so fresh and I am excited to see my kitchen when it is completed!

  8. Sharon says:

    You don’t know how happy I am to hear that the stainless-look is on its way out and that white is returning as a trend! I’ve worked in the restaurant business where stainless steel is a must for health and safety reasons, however, I don’t want my home to look industrial. I have waited almost two decades for stainless to go the way of avocado green and harvest gold. I was starting to give up hope. Yay!

  9. Vickie Ewing says:

    My sister just had her kitchen redone. She, like me, has always liked white appliances. When she told the designer this, the woman agreed. She said as a designer for over twenty-five years, she was finally able to get her own kitchen done. Friends came to see it and couldn’t believe she didn’t use stainless steel. She told them being a kitchen designer was exactly why she didn’t use it.

  10. Jean says:

    I hope white really comes back because I hate stainless steel. The term “stainless” steel is an oxymoron. Stainless is impossible to keep clean and I will never understand its popularity. White is so much easier and brighter.

  11. Katie says:

    I have all white appliances in my home and I love them. We are beginning to remodel a home we inherited and I intend to use white in that kitchen too. The “funny bumpy texture” is called embossing. I worked at a rolled aluminum mill that had an embossing machine. It was very neat to watch but I hate the texture because it’s hard to clean. I will definitely be on the look out for a smooth refrigerator!

  12. Debra cutler-lurie says:

    I just bought stainless steel appliances and I love it! I DONT care much for the white. Wake up people and stop chasing every new trend that comes down the pipe. I am sticking with what I have til they die or I die. #happy&thankfulforwhatihave

    • Heather says:

      Totally agree. Everyone is stuck chasing a trend and caring what everyone else in magazine and google world have. I agree i love stainless. A little troublesome with smudges at times but a swift wipe with a stainless cleaner it looks great. Makes the area always look clean. And white, really i have 4 kids. Talk about fingerprints!!!!

  13. agelika says:

    We just purchased a house and we are gathering ideas for our kitchen, thanks!!!

  14. Mary says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the stainless steel look for more reasons than just the smudges. I’m concerned, however, about the “smooth” surface on the new generation of white appliances. Will the white appliances have the same smudge problem stainless does?
    Thank you.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for your research and glad to hear white is here to stay.
      I have to renew oven, dishwasher, microwave. Headed off to retailer and was left confused as was now being offered stainless steel for price of white and told how easy to clean, etc. Left store so confused and said I’d sleep on it. Glad I have come across this site.
      White looks clean, fresh, elegant and relaxing and homely whereas in my opinion stainless steel has more of a commercial look.

  15. Betty Jane says:

    Thank you for this, I was googling and searching what to do. Dilemma, replacing white appliances as they die, beginning today, with buying a dishwasher. 2000 kitchen, unable to redo the whole thing at once, I’ve been going back and forth with living with a mixture until each appliance is finally switched out from white to stainless (or the new slate from GE, love and no fingerprints but kind of dark), or staying with white as we replace. I better stay with white, I won’t need to live with the mixture, and as you point out, white may be coming back. I’m going with the WHITE Bosch on sale for Memorial Day. Thank you. My kitchen and bathroom cabinets resemble your previous townhouse.

  16. Mary Ann says:

    I like the look of white with stainless accents, though now in 2015 instead of the side by side fridge (my fave) they are going for a door or a couple of drawers under side by side doors which I don’t like the look of on the Whirlpool white ice collection. I’ve had low end white appliances for years and am now giving my kitchen a facelift but don’t want the cold hard industrial steel look. I’m keeping my kitchen cabinets white and adding hardware so hope I can find white appliances with stainless handles that will look great and be affordable. It seems the white ice hasn’t really caught on beyond the early promotional blurbs for it, but I like how the photos look. I need to check it out in local stores.

  17. Rob says:

    My wife loves white, can’t stand stainless steel except in the kitchen sink. White is so much easier to clean.

  18. ange says:

    I love the white. Stainless does look nice but as stated it has the industrial look and too me it isn’t a home kitchen.

    I like white or black kitchen stove, fridge. White in the kitchen and bathroom seems so fresh bright and clean

  19. Julia says:

    Just remodeled kitchen in French Country white cabinets. White appliances evolve perfect in it.

  20. Appliances are NOT where I want the eye to go when it looks at my kitchen, and since I love white cabinets I love white appliances that blend into the background– where they belong. I would panel all of my appliances if I could afford it – I want them to be functional but invisible.

    • Kirsten says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Paneled appliances are SO beautiful, but unfortunately so expensive. I love the option the white ice brings. :)

  21. Terri says:

    I just remodeled the kitchen in my house and went for black and they look great. Now I am getting to remodel my condo which I rent and I am going with white. I think it looks cleaner

  22. Michelle says:

    Kisses! I love the new white. I have never like the stainless look.

  23. Janet says:

    I need to replace an ugly,ugly black side-by-side frig. I really don’t like stainless steel, and white ones seem so clean and bright. I love my white cabinets cuz I get ’em ever so clean, and a white frig would work well.

    Shame they don’t make ’em in different colors. I noticed a sea mist (light ocean green) last night on NCIS New Orleans that looked fantastic on the set. Made my mind wander to color land.

    I will get one without the drink dispenser outside the door as that is the first thing to need repairs. In fact, I will forgo an icemaker altogether. Less hassle and I think you have more control over the water quality when you use ice trays. We always buy ice when we have guests anyway.

    Thanks for the white frig thoughts!!

  24. maggie says:

    In your article you omitted the gold appliances. I had all gold in the 70’s and 80’s and loved them. Now I have black, but am building a new house and just ordered all white appliances for it.

  25. Jean says:

    I hate how difficult it is to keep stainless steel clean. How it got its name I will never understand. I just remodeled my kitchen and decided to use white.

  26. Chris says:

    We are building a house. I, too, am sick of stainless steel and am interested in white appliances as well–my concern is, will my white cabinetry match? I don’t want the whites to mismatch.

  27. Kathy says:

    I used to be a cleaning lady and I hated cleaning stainless steel. Unless it was very high end it was a pain to deal with the fingerprints. I went with white for my own kitchen recently and hope it makes a comeback before we have to sell someday. Next, to find an alternative to granite counters.

  28. Swan says:

    I’m hopelessly behind in trends. I’m upgrading a condo I just bought. It’s almond-colored appliances are all still sturdy and fully functional, and match beautifully with the cabinetry. Wish I could replace them with updated models of the same exact color. I can’t stand black or stainless steel. If I can’t have almond, I’m glad white is readily available and not considered old fashioned anymore (for now :).

  29. sherry says:

    I have had white for over 10 years and I am sick of them …. not to mention the white handles turn yellow after awhile so it never looks clean.

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