Stainless Steel for 2011?

So.  We are in the market for a new refrigerator, since the one in our new home has issues.

As you can seen in this post, we have cream cabinets, a white microwave, a black stove, and across from the stove, a black dishwasher.  Talk about a mish-mash.  The fridge is the first thing we’re replacing in the kitchen, and I don’t want to get stainless steel unless we plan to eventually buy all stainless steel appliances.  Here are my reservations:

1. I don’t know that it will go that well with cream.  Most of the colors we’re using on the main floor are softened blues and greens that go well with cream.  To me, stainless doesn’t seem like it would go well.  But…I don’t know that white would, either, and “bisque” varies so much from company to company that unless we buy all one brand at one time (which we don’t need to and can’t afford), our appliances could be very mis-matched. Here is an example of a kitchen where I think the stainless doesn’t fit successfully:



2. My style is not modern.  I love the look of stainless steel in a sleek, modern kitchen with black or white cupboards.




But we are more “casual farmhouse” than “urban industrial,” and I don’t want something completely incongruous.  Here is one kitchen in my style that I think pulls it off successfully (though the cabinets are white, not cream):



3. Stainless steel has been “in” since the early 2000s, and usually decor trends that have been around that long (chocolate brown, anyone?) are soon “out.”  I’m not that concerned about other pieces of our home, like wall paint and carpet, because they get changed more often (at least, I sure hope!) than something like a refrigerator.  When we were house searching, my husband was definitely drawn to kitchens that had stainless appliances, but I think that’s usually because they were all newer homes, or had recently had the kitchens fully-renovated.  But will stainless steel’s appeal fade over the next few years?  Would we be safer going with a more timeless color, like white?

4. I realize that every Tom, Dick and Harry on HGTV is still using stainless steel (and I think that’s partially what has made it so popular), but how much longer will that last?

5. I’m not sure I like the clean-up that goes along with it. I hear many stories of constantly having to wipe fingerprints, and one more thing to spot-clean doesn’t sound great to me.


What is your experience with stainless steel?  What are your predictions regarding its fate?


Side note:

Thanks to John and Sherry’s post about their washer and dryer purchase, I was able to score the same pair they purchased at 43% off.  I bought white ones.


11 thoughts on “Stainless Steel for 2011?

  1. We always roll our eyes at the first-time buyers on HGTV. They walk into a starter house and say, “Oh, I was really hoping for stainless steel and granite in the kitchen. We’d have to gut this one and start over.” Really?! I was lucky that my first house had a front door!

    We had a similar dilemma when our dishwasher died–go stainless and be mismatched? Or match what we already had? We ended up going with black. I don’t have any advice for you–sorry! 🙂

  2. I can weigh in here with experience!! We have remodeled almost our whole house in the 6 years we’ve owned it and in the kitchen we replaced the stove, cooktop (gas) and dishwasher with stainless. Our fridge, though ugly, was still in great shape so we haven’t replaced it yet. The stainless is really, really hard to keep looking nice unless you treat it EVERY DAY with a stainless steel cleaner. It gets fingerprints, yes, but also water spots and streaks. When I am doing really well with staying on top of things, I will keep it looking nice, but that involves washing everything with the soapy water after cooking, drying it, then following up with the stainless cleaner. Anyway, if I had it to do over again, I would go with black. Just my two cents worth! 🙂

  3. Johanna is right, real stainless does require a bit of ” maintenance”. With 2 children in your house, and all the touching, leaning, drooling the comes with it, stainless ( while pretty ) probably isn’t the best.
    I currently have an oven, oven hood, dishwasher, wastebasket and refrigerator in stainless. The wastebasket seems to get the most stuff on it, dribble from the sink, dog nose prints, etc and I am constantly wiping it down to keep it nice and shiny. Black probably isn’t much better, maybe a lighter color will serve you best.
    Have you looked at the stainless look-a-likes? Lots less maintenance and you can put magnets on them too!

  4. I’m so tickled to suggest a stainless option that is maintenance-free! We bought our first house this past summer and needed all-new appliances. We went stainless in everything, including our refrigerator. I am a research junkie to make sure we are getting the best option for our money. We’ve had this fridge for six months and have LOVED it!

    The best thing is that it doesn’t leave fingerprints because it is a “brushed” finish. I bought a stainless steel cleaner and rag but only use it about every month or so, or when I notice a small smudge that I want gone. Because of the brushed finish, this hides a lot of fingerprints!

    We didn’t want a water/ice dispenser on the outside, since we plan to have kids eventually and don’t want something to distract them. The nice thing is this fridge still has a filtered water dispenser on the INSIDE! It takes up NO space on the door. You get filtered water and lose no storage space in the refrigerator…a win-win!

    The freezer is also nice and roomy, with two drawers and an ice maker.

    We really love this fridge. We’ve named it “Behemoth” because it’s so stinkin’ big. Again, we were planning for the future when we would have kids and would need to space. We haven’t been disappointed at all.

    I HIGHLY recommend this refrigerator. You get the stainless look without all the work, and you can store an entire elephant inside. WE LOVE IT!

  5. When we moved into our house it already had all stainless appliances. I would have never chosen them (because of the clean-up) but now that we have them I really like stainless. I just like the crisp look. Yes, you do need to use cleaner on them way more than a white or black appliance, but it actually doesn’t bother me that much. As far as fading out of style – I think they will stay “cool” for quite a bit longer. I don’t think they are quite as fad-y as harvest gold or avocado 🙂

  6. Coupla things about stainless… it also varies from company to company. Just note that if you buy a Maytag dishwasher and a Frigideaire refrigerator, the likelihood that they two will match (nicely) is slim. Weird, I know, but true.

    The other thing… WD-40 to keep stainless streak-free. It keeps the fingerprints off for weeks (and weeks!)


  7. We just replaced our washer and dryer for Christmas and faced the same dilemma. Because I plan to have them for the next several years (or use them as a bartering chip when we try to sell our house someday), we opted for the more timeless color of white. I was thinking along the same lines of your #4 reason above. Stainless can only be “in” for so long. Good luck making your decision! 🙂

  8. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling you would not be happy with stainless steel, although I don’t think it would be too bad if you could get one of those non-fingerprint-showing ones…

  9. We got an appliance allowance when we purchased our house so we bought them all at the same time. We considered stainless but the smudge thing turned us off. Plus, we already had a black microwave, toaster, etc. other small appliances so we bought a black fridge, range/oven, and dishwasher. We are happy with our color decision. However, black shows every. speck. of. dust. and I *hate* dust! Dust seems to reappear as soon as I wipe it down. But I am also a first-born perfectionist and like a clean kitchen so I’m always wiping – ha! Even so, I would have still chosen black. Classic!

  10. I love, love, love stainless appliances, and I don’t think the trend will end anytime soon. That said, using stainless in your kitchen will make it look smaller. Your eyes will rest on the stainless. If that’s ok with you, I’d go for it. As many others have said, make sure to pick “clean” stainless that don’t attract fingerprints.

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