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Are Designer Appliances Going Mainstream?

Are Designer Appliances Going Mainstream?

by LWW on July 11, 2012

There is something strange happening in the kitchen. While the big box stores used to be the go-to source for major kitchen appliances, today’s design-minded consumers are hitting the boutiques instead. Even off-the-shelf brands are seeing a resurgence of superior materials such as cast iron and solid brass, and a renewed focus on elegant designs that actually complement careful kitchen decor.

The kitchen is increasingly growing into our living spaces. Some people are taking the alliance to the next level and literally tearing out the walls that separate the prep area from the entertainment area. While apartment dwellers and mansion-bound moguls alike are enjoying the open kitchen look, designers had to catch up quickly to make kitchen appliances attractive enough for the spotlight.

Consumer grade appliances and electronics of the past decade did not stack up so well in the aesthetics department. Do you remember the flood of beige and gray plastics? All of the powder coated steel?

Things are surely getting better. Living room decor has space to breathe with low-key contemporary electric heaters and barely-there televisions. Even air purifiers are available in fun fresh styles. It only makes sense that designer appliances for the kitchen would hit the mainstream shortly after. The kitchen is the new family hub.

Luxury for Everyone

Higher end appliances are not restricted to the true high end of the price spectrum – compact and modular are two key words that interior design magazines cannot use enough. Doing more with less is a common theme. One example: induction ranges are attracting trend hunters left and right due to the naturally eye-pleasing form so easy to integrate with the real show-stealer, countertops and cabinets.

Even the mainstay appliance brands are leaning more toward an aesthetic emphasis. You can probably recall two notable trends right off the bat: stainless steel taking the place of powder-coated finishes, and lovely slim handles growing more and more inconspicuous. Manufacturers have also finally started to scrap the awkward glass tinting on ovens and microwaves, taking advantage of smart clear windows instead.

There has always been a wide availability of beautiful living room appliances – for example, the old wood burning stoves and the modern range of multi fuel stoves are often equally attractive – but the kitchen is still catching up for those of us who cannot afford to go custom.

Thankfully, we are almost to the point where out-of-the-box appliances are almost just as beautiful as the selection on the showroom floor. The trends are changing. Soon the chunky, glossy appliances we have all grown so accustomed to will be yesterday’s problem.

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