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Refrigerators: In With the Old and Out With the New


Stainless steel appliances once sought after by just about everyone have been knocked off their shiny pedestal by what Whirlpool calls “White Ice”, its new exterior finish.

According to this article, the new finish may have a lot in common with popular tech giant, Apple.

The combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass share a lot of the clean, sleek design functions that make Apple such a recognizable brand.


This image is from Whirlpool.

Old Refrigerators vs. the New Ones

Whirlpool says the new designs will be more efficient than the old ones.

“In addition to the intuitive technology, the line takes a fresh look at appliance design and features flawless exteriors that add beauty to any home,” said Pat Schiavone, Whirlpool’s VP of Global Consumer Design.

They also say the new finish is “signifying a shift in the culture of home appliances” since, according to Whirlpool, consumers may be tired of the same old stainless steel designs.

In a bottomed-out housing market, renovating is more about appealing to a homeowner’s tastes and less about increasing the home’s resale value which means more homeowners are buying appliances based on what they like not what’s popular in the market.

A History Lesson on Refrigerators

In the days of “I Love Lucy”, appliances donned a pastel color. And in the 70s and 80s, appliances and especially refrigerators took on more dynamic color pallets from avocado to gold.

Before White Ice and much more recently, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances were the norm. Investors seeking to flip a home for profit relied on the combination to cheaply and easily update the look of the home. Turn on HGTV or go to any home improvement store and you’ll see homeowner after homeowner asking for granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

But in addition to White Ice, there are several other alternative finishes available for premium appliances.

Smeg, an Italian company, builds retro-looking fridges. They’re available in a number of shades, from bright yellow to deep purple. AGA, a British manufacturer, puts hard vitreous enamel surfaces in a variety of different colors on their ovens and dishwashers. Whirlpool’s own Amana division also introduced a series of colorful refrigerators in 2009, including an exterior called Green Tea featuring a floral motif.

If you would like to check out Whirlpool’s new appliance line, the new White Ice refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave will be on display at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza this week for House Beautiful magazine’s Kitchen of the Year event.

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