At CES 2015: More Attempts to Dethrone Stainless Steel’s Popularity

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Stainless steel’s popularity has outshined its competition for years in kitchen appliances, but has that shiny, smudge-prone finish finally worn out its welcome?

Appliance manufacturers have long been trying to find a potential successor to stainless steel, but none have yet to find one to top its popularity. But two companies are giving it another chance with showcases at the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this week.

Appliance giant Whirlpool and LG are showing off new appliance finishes — with Whirlpool betting on gold and LG debuting a glassy black.


Photo Credit: Whirlpool

Whirlpool is introducing Sunset Bronze appliances to its lineup — a range of warm, golden hue appliances that can fit into contemporary or existing kitchens. The color is an attempt to capture on the latest popularity of rose gold in interior decors. It’s not a complete verge from the stainless steel look, however. Sunset Bronze is a painted version of traditional stainless steel with a blend of gold, copper, and bronze tones.

LG_Countour Glass

Photo Credit: LG

Meanwhile, LG is showing off a new take on black finishes. At CES this week, LG debuts a glass-front refrigerator finish called Contour Glass. The refrigerator features tempered glass over a black patterned finish that is a chic, yet smudge-proof way, to enhance kitchens. The finish is featured on LG’s new door-in-door refrigerators, which offer hidden compartments for extra storage behind the front door to hold condiments and drinks.

Will these smudge-proof finishes offer a convincing enough, stylish alternative to stainless?

“The kitchen is fast becoming a new canvas when it comes to home design and décor,” says John Hall, senior brand manager at Whirlpool. “More and more, consumers seek ways to customize their spaces with new paint colors, different countertops and backsplashes, mixing and matching cabinetry, and colored small appliances.”

In 2012, Whirlpool had introduced White Ice and Black Ice finishes to its products lineup in its first attempt to to provide an alternative to stainless’ popularity. The color failed to catch on, though. Other manufacturers have tried as well, such as General Electric’s low-gloss slate gray finish. (Read our previous blog post on the topic: Will Stainless Steel’s Popularity Ever be Dethroned?)

What do you think? Do you think stainless steel stands a chance of being outshined in the kitchen any time soon?

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. Dan

    No mention of Kitchenaid Black Stainless? Shame on you.

  2. Tamara

    Love the pale gold

  3. Love the black!

  4. Carl

    What? No Harvest Gold or Avocado?

  5. We used the GE Slate Finish appliances in our kitchen remodel last July. We LOVE them. They are gorgeous, no fingerprints to speak of and we get compliments constantly. They go incredibly well with a lot of cabinet finishes and floor types. I would never get stainless when options like the Slate color are available.

  6. Whitney

    Do you know the paint colors!?

  7. Karen N.

    Finally!!! An alternative to Stainless Steel, which I have NEVER liked!

  8. Cyd bothum

    Where can I buy sunset colored appliances

  9. Black is still in!