When Viking introduced the first professional grade range for home use in 1987, it was the start of the stainless revolution. Everyone wanted the high end, pro look of stainless steel appliances. And while our 80s passion for big hair, mullets and mauve has come and gone, homeowners' love affair with stainless has endured. 30 years later, it remains the predominant choice of appliance finish in today's kitchens.
But in recent years, there's been a growing trend for companies to offer alternatives to stainless. A few years ago GE introduced its line of slate kitchen appliances. Like stainless, slate is a neutral finish that exudes simple sophistication and blends in seamlessly with any kitchen design. The dark gray matte finish resists smudging/fingerprints and is easy to keep clean. Additionally its magnetic surface holds photos and household notes.
Other companies followed suit and introduced a new finish called black stainless. Just in the last six months Kitchenaid, LG, Frigidaire and Samsung each introduced full lines of appliances (refrigerators, ranges, dishwasher, hoods, wall ovens) that are available in black stainless.
This sophisticated dark velvet-like finish is a warmer alternative to the cool aesthetic of stainless. Designed to be neutral, black stainless offers homeowners a stylish finish that feels at home in traditional as well as contemporary kitchens. However, each company's finish, as shown below, differs slightly from the other. For the sake of visual consistency and uniformity in your kitchen design, it's advisable to stick with one brand when opting for appliances with the black stainless or slate finish.