10. 25. 2006
Peel and stick stainless steel
I've been highly unimpressed with the move over the last few years to generic stainless steel appliances. It seems that every residential investment property that I see has consumer grade "stainless steel" fridges and stoves these days. Originally it was a big deal to have a stainless steel fridge that came from an industrial producer, because they were usually roomy enough to handle an entire side of beef and offered features not available in units marketed towards residential kitchens. The legend of stainless steel was made by kitchen designers using cast off pieces from foreclosed restaurants; those appliances were 100% stainless and meant to take a daily beating.
Andrew "Mad Dog" Liszewski mentioned an adhesive faux stainless sheeting for retrofitting older appliances, and the thought of seeing this installed instantly drove me up a wall. The current trend of affixing stainless steel sheet metal to the front of a stove doesn't make it any more special.... it just makes it fit into a generic mold that will be outdated next year. Putting this stuff in a kitchen would make Eero Saarinen cry.
Last Friday there was a bit of discussion regarding the times when it's appropriate to use a faux finish over at AP:Chi. The general consensus is that the finishing needs to be done by a professional using the same methods that would be employed to do the job right. A sheet of metal that can be easily bent around corners could have its place in the garage, but keep it out of my kitchen.