stainless steel- is it really for 'everyone'?

Discussion in 'General Appliance Discussion' started by design, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Jun 25, 2009 #1

    design

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    It seems like stainless steel is toted as the ultimate finish in appliances. The neutral that goes with everything from hardwood floors to tile, from chrome plated hardware to oiled bronze...

    ...So, my question is, does it? Is it actually neutral, or is it like the kitchen equivalent of jeans? Because really, blue doesn't 'go' with everything, but blue jeans somehow do.

    Does it work for you? I'd especially like to know if it goes with a more warm, family style kitchen, or if it works best in a more trendy kitchen.
     
  2. Jun 25, 2009 #2

    shan2themax

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    I personally do not like stainless steel appliances. I think that they definately go in trendy kitchens, but I havent seen a kitchen yet that I fell in love with as a 'family' kitchen that had stainless steel in it.... but.... I am by no means a 'trendy' person myself....


    I've not ever been a follower and I have always done things that others thought was weird or quirky..... my appliances are bisque.... which I must say... I hated when I first bought the first one... but... it has grown on me and now I only need one more bisque appliance.... a fridge

    :2cents:
     
  3. Jun 25, 2009 #3

    jimmy4

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    It is really a matter of personal preference. One thing to keep in mind is that it is much more difficult to keep clean than a colored appliance and shows dings and scratches much easier too.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2009 #4

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    I think stainless steel appliances are a fad, just like Avocado and Harvest Gold coloured appliances were in the 1970's.

    The bottom line is that I've never known anyone to haul a fridge or stove to the scrap yard because the door or cabinet was so badly rusted so as to render the appliance useless.

    So, if painted doors and cabinets aren't a problem, then replacing those items with stainless steel is solving a problem that doesn't exist. And, in my view, that's a good indication that appliance manufacturers will move away from it once it's no longer a novelty and helps them sell more appliances.

    Once Avocado and Harvest Gold coloured appliances began to look "dated" in the 1980's, appliance manufacturers dropped them like a hot potato. It'll be the same with stainless steel appliances once they start to look "dated" in the 2020's.

    But, a stove will last you 40 years. That means it'll long outlast it's fad. Even a fridge should last a good 25 years, so a stainless steel fridge will look "dated" and "so 2000's" long before it's useful life is over.

    So, never buy an appliance because it's currently "fashionable". The fashion will change quickly, and your appliance will spend most of it's life being out of fashion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
  5. Jun 26, 2009 #5

    Christian

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    Personally, I don't like them. Hey are really hard to keep clean and they show fingerprints really easily. Plus, with 2 dogs in the house, I can only imagine the doggie 'nose' and 'tongue' prints I'd have all over my fridge and stove if I bought stainless.

    They look pretty cool, but for all the extra money you'll pay and the down-sides I just mentioned, I don't think it's worth it.

    I'll be doing my kitchen in black.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2009 #6

    design

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    It's interesting to hear that what is supposed to be 'desirable' is often not. I think many people who have ss appliances love them, but then there is another group of people who either have them and wish they didn't or people who choose one of the defaults (white/black/biscuit) because there's so few options (without going the pricey custom route).

    I read that 91% of designers prefer stainless steel, so maybe that's why most newly designed appliances are in stainless... Designers designing for designers!
     
  7. Jun 29, 2009 #7

    design

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    ok, so I noticed that this thread kind of got very anti-stainless steel, and most of the people who viewed it did not comment. So maybe the 45 people who viewed but didn't comment are the pro-stainless people who don't want to be the odd man out.

    I know a lot of people who have stainless and love the heck out of it, so if that's you, speak up for stainless!

    I created a survey for everyone to put their two cents in on kitchen trends in a more anonymous way. So tell me about your personal kitchen style and your thoughts on the debate! Kitchen Design Survey

    if you want I can post the results later.
     
  8. Jun 30, 2009 #8

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Design:

    No, that's not what stainless steel panels on an appliance are all about. A design is a LOGICAL choice of a materials, methods and structures that collectively accomplish a goal. Replacing panels that rust with stainless steel panels would be a good design choice. Replacing panels that don't rust with stainless steel panels is not a "design" choice, it is "fashion". Fashion need not be logical nor practical nor even reasonable.

    If you want stainless steel appliance, then by all means buy stainless steel appliances. How you spend your money is not something that should be decided democratically. YOU spend your money on what YOU want regardless of what strangers on the internet say.
     
  9. Jun 30, 2009 #9

    design

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    As an industrial designer I agree that design is a logical choice, otherwise I'd be out of a job and replaced by logarithms or robots or something...

    However-
    stainless steel panels are as logical as brightly colored petals on a flower. Make something attractive to a target and you will draw them in.
    My question is basically- is stainless (or black, or white) still the most logical way to attract buyers to a certain appliance? Or have tastes changed?

    My feeling is that there has been a shift, and what used to be the 'ideal' is no more. I think people want more freedom in their kitchen design, more ways to express themselves.

    So if you have an opinion on the subject that you would like to be heard by the appliance industry, by all means, tell me!

    Kitchen Design Survey
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  10. Jun 30, 2009 #10

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Design:

    Stainless steel panels on a fridge or stove are entirely part of the "aesthetics" of the appliance. The look of stainless steel appeals to a lot of people, and so that's why stainless steel appliances sell well. My point is that neither rusting nor scratches nor the paint chips that occurred on the previously painted exterior panels of fridges and stoves were enough of a problem to warrant replacing these painted panels with stainless steel.

    The switch to stainless steel is an aesthetic choice, not a design improvement.
     
  11. Jun 30, 2009 #11

    design

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    There's industrial design and mechanical design.
    What some people see as aesthetic choice, I see as improvement in the quality of the product (apple vs mac?) but that is neither here nor there.

    At the end of the day, these two questions remain:
    1) Do you have a desire to express yourself through your kitchen?

    2) Does the current market's options (stainless, black, white) express 'you'?

    Is everyone a 'stainless' person? Do you feel that the kitchen is a way of expressing your style? The feedback makes me wonder...

    Kitchen Design Survey
     
  12. Jul 1, 2009 #12

    Christian

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    Stainless steel doesn't improve the QUALITY of the product. Other colors and materials work just the same and are just as functional. It's simply a decorative/style choice.
     
  13. Jul 1, 2009 #13

    Quattro

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    I like our stainless appliances. It feels timeless to me. We've had white, bisque, and black...and they all looked dated after a while. The stainless is a little harder to keep clean, but I don't mind it. If you use the appliance handles, you don't touch the print-sensitive surfaces anyway...
     
  14. Jul 2, 2009 #14

    Christian

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    Ahh...but my dog's noses would touch that other surface and I'd never have it clean! :rolleyes:

    Any appliances will look dated after some time. They'll have newer and more amazing stuff coming out that will make anything that's a little older look dated.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2009 #15

    design

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    but what will the new amazing stuff of the future be? It's really up to consumers who speak their minds to decide... after all, we're the ones who'll buy it, so we should get to have a say.

    Kitchen Design Survey
     
  16. Jul 2, 2009 #16

    Quattro

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    That may be true. But to me, that crackle texture on mainstream appliances never looked good to begin with!
     
  17. Jul 3, 2009 #17

    shan2themax

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    It has just occured to me that I dont think I have paid attention to that detail on fridges my entire adult life......

    so much for my critical thinking skills..........
     
  18. Jul 3, 2009 #18

    homefish

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    I have stainless in my kitchen and kind of like it.
    Granted the price was right (free), and they were an improvement over everything else that I had.
     
  19. Jul 7, 2009 #19

    design

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    It seems like people like to upgrade to stainless. But what if you already have stainless? Do you upgrade to 'better' stainless, or something else?

    Kitchen Design Survey
     
  20. Jul 7, 2009 #20

    PKLehmer

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    I work in a clean room environment (tissue processing) and we have stainless steel freezers and warmers for storing different chemicals we use. I have to clean them daily with Stainless polish. Everytime I see the refridgerators at Lowes or Home Depot with Stainless Steel fronts, all I can think of is work.

    For me, I'd rather have black, because I think black appliances look sleeker and more modern than Stainless Steel. The steel ones look TOO industrial to me.
     

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