One day back in the 70s, thousands of homeowners looked at their avocado green appliances and thought, with complete conviction, that such a lovely color would never go out of style. In the 80s, they questioned how they ever had such a silly thought as they marveled at the sophisticated beauty of their black appliances. That trend lasted until the 90s when white appliances become the flavor of the decade.

Are you starting to notice a pattern? As the decades change, so too do our preferences. Considering this, it’s somewhat surprising that stainless steel has been in vogue as long as it has: 14 years and counting. If history is our guide, it’s only a matter of time before we’ll look at stainless steel the same way we look at avocado green.


Not surprisingly, folks tend to have pretty strong opinions when it comes to appliance design. Those who love stainless maintain that it creates a clean, timeless and future-proof look that can accommodate nearly any kitchen design. It’s functional, it lightens up the room and it’s massively popular. No wonder it’s held on as long as it has.But tastes change, and we’re starting to see the stainless steel trend ebb. One of the knocks against it is that it scratches easily and you can’t touch it without leaving a fingerprint (issues you’ve probably dealt with if you own stainless steel appliances). Evidence of stainless fatigue is starting to emerge as kitchen designs move away from the cold industrial look towards warmer, more inviting spaces. So if stainless is on its way out, what’s in? Interestingly enough, there doesn’t appear to be a clear successor. While white is seeing a return to popularity, designers and appliance manufacturers can’t seem to agree on what the new stainless steel will be. Some say white; others say black. And then there are those who are calling out slate and antique copper as the next big thing.

It could be that there is no “new stainless steel.” For one, while it might diminish in popularity, stainless steel will likely be a look that lingers for some time. What’s more, as more homeowners look to personalize their homes, there’s a good chance that we won’t see one finish dominate the industry over the next decade. Perhaps the new trend in kitchen appliances is that there isn’t one.