Trends - What's Going to Replace Stainless Steel Appliances?
A poster (melisande)in the bathroom threads asked this question and though I gave her the answer there, it seems more appropriate to place it here.
melisande asked: what is the next trend that's replacing stainless steel in kitchen appliances. My response to her is below.
Actual colors are on the rise. We saw the beginning of this trend in the personal computer industry from some of the super high-end manufacturers such as Falcon Northwest. For $400-$800, they will paint anything you want on your PC case using the same paints and techniques used on high-end cars like the special edition Benzes and Bentleys.
Red is the early favorite, mainly because everything goes with red and it is at the same time fresh, "daring" and yet familiar, but the new trend strives for self determination rather than group-think (pack mentality), so as long as you pick a color you like other than stainless, white or black, it'll be in. I've noticed too that more and more folks are discovering deep, rich aubergine as the "new black." So that would be a good choice as it looks especially nice against the whites and myriad shades of brown already so prevalent in many kitchens.
This, thankfully, is a refreshing new trend, and I must admit that the super dark purples look amazing when you notice as the light catches them that "Oh, that's not black, it's purple."
Another nice thing about this trend is that you can buy your appliance in a color, but if you already have stainless appliances, you can just have them painted, thereby allowing you to delay having to purchase all new stuff. Just be sure to get a painter that knows how to apply the proper finishes a la automobile paint jobs. Some folks are actually preferring to custom order their appliances primed and have their own custom painting done so as to have really exotic treatments like pearlescent flecking (this is amazing when done in the purple I was describing earlier) or magnetic hologram finishes, which are especially cool. The only real issue with these though is that they are considerably more expensive than just your basic color, bur if you really want to make a statement, it's the way to go.
When you get down to it, though, the nice thing about the new trend for painted appliances is that there really is no limit to what you can do whatever your imagination (or your designer's) is the sole limiting factor to what's possible.
I would imagine it'll be about two years before you start seeing this reflected in the design magazines, as right now only a handful of folks have done it. I only saw this in one celebrity home in Malibu and one in the Hollywood Hills over the course of the last year. But each time I heard lots of oohs and ahs from the other guests at the parties, so I know it's coming. You know how it goes...one celeb does it, then another finds out it's expensive and different so s/he does it. Then it's THE trend, and Selma in Brooklyn is doing it 8 years later.
One thing though, this stuff ain't cheap; you can easily spend a few thousand dollars to get some of the specialty treatments done on just one item if you get it painted by a qualified craftsman. For that reason, I think that by the time the trend trickles down to the masses, most folks will either go with simple colors like red, blue, yellow, green, etc. on several appliances or do the specialty treatments to just one. Anyway, once the early adopters have their new kitchens finished, you'll be able to start seeing it in the magazines, and hopefully by then the paint makers will have figured out a way to get the fancy treatments at a more reasonable price.
So to those of you who are buying your Blue Stars and Aga ranges in a color, congratulate yourselves for being at the forefront of the style curve...