Skip to main content

Should You Buy Colors for Kitchen Appliances? (Reviews/Trends)

September 7th, 2015 | 2 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

About 10 years ago, I was asked by the Wall Street Journal if stainless was going out as a design trend. They seemed to think so. I told them no way (funny, they never called again).

In my opinion only niche companies embraced color, so there was not enough exposure. Flash forward 10 years, GE and Whirlpool have embraced color, but does that constitute a new trend?

A Brief History of Colors

I started at Yale in 1986 just as the last color trend of coffee (brown), coppertone (browner), Harvest Wheat (somewhat gold) and Avocado (green) were winding down and being discontinued.

Whirlpool would introduce a few designer finishes later like platinum (grey). For the remainder of the 90s, it was white (often with walnut accents) and almond, which was later renamed bisque and black.

The next big fashion trend was monochromatic white also known as white on white. White was overwhelmingly popular until stainless steel would become the favorite in the mid 1990s.

The Stainless Trend 1993ish to the Present

Look at our showroom...

yale appliance stainless range display

Hard to believe 20 years ago this was all white, bisque and black. The professional ranges of Dynasty, Viking and 5 Star were the first to feature stainless steel in residential appliances. They adapted the commercial style to the home.

However, the real early pioneer was Frigidaire. If the professional companies created the trend, then Frigidaire popularized it. You could buy a Frigidaire stainless kitchen for under $5,000 (now under $2,000). Most of the other companies waited to see if it was a passing trend. That’s how Frigidaire became a brand name again.

Stainless has the advantages of being more durable, but its high end look matches every cabinet style in a way the other colors do not. After 20 years of being the dominant style, is stainless finally fading? Let's look at the options.

Popular Colors Now

If you live long enough, you will see old styles become new trends. The newest is high tech white. It is a more contemporary version of the monochromatic white. 

Whirlpool calls it White Ice

whirlpool white ice finish

GE has a retro finish called “Artistry”

ge artistry white finish

Miele has even jumped on the style. We have it on display

miele white kitchen finish

Slate looks like a contemporary Coppertone

Whirlpool has Black Ice

It's funny, 20 years later, we are back to white and black as high end colors. 

Other Colors

La Cornue is a French range with about 20 colors. This is probably the best execution of color, and they have about 20 (we now carry this line).

Viking has several different color options as well

There are several other lines like Bertazzoni, Ilve and Smeg that other different colors as well.

Do You Buy Color?

There is a certain allure to be being totally different. From that standpoint, I like color. You will probably still buy stainless steel. I like color in certain situations, maybe as a one product focal point. Buy a range in blue, but not the whole suite.

There is a problem with buying colors. If Slate does not sell, then GE will discontinue the finish. 6-10 years down the road, you will have to replace the whole kitchen because of a single unrepairable unit. Companies are skittish in carrying products that do not sell over the long term.

You are also married to that one manufacturer. Mixing GE and Whirlpool would not look coordinated, whereas most stainless appliances from different companies will match.

Lastly, colors do not match every cabinet type like stainless. I would use that Miele white in a high tech contemporary kitchen, but probably would not with wood tones.

So yes, you should consider color in certain situations for one item, and buy the rest as stainless.

What do you think?

Additional Resources

Get the Yale Appliance Buyers Guide with features, specs and inside tips to all the brands. Well over 100,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

Recommended Reads

  • Makeover Monday: Every Monday, we talk about products, trends and styles. We have about 35 posts and counting. Click here to see the others.
  Appliance Buying Guide

Why Should You Trust Us?

It seems that every appliance review has nothing but glowing comments about almost every product, yet you read customer reviews and they are almost universally bad.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll give you the best features, and the drawbacks as well, including reliability based on over 37,000 calls performed by our service team just last year. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

Please consider subscribing or adding to the conversation in the comments below. We appreciate you stopping by.

Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.