I’ve wondered for a long time what would replace stainless steel and granite in the beautiful kitchen. Right now I don’t see a clear replacement on the horizon.
I’m leaning, however, on engineered stone like Caesarstone to become more popular. These counter tops come in a zillion colors which is nice but more specifically, they come in light colors (whites, off whites) which is a fit better with the soft contemporary architecture that is becoming more popular in luxury custom homes in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. The engineered stone has the stone look reminiscent of granite but it doesn’t have such a heavy feel to it.
For appliances, I’m not seeing anything replacing stainless steel yet. It’s going to have to be something that goes well with light colored kitchen counter tops, according to my current theory.
For refrigerators, however, I am seeing a trend – more custom made refrigerator door panels that match the kitchen cabinets.
My understanding of the luxury cycle is that as soon as everyone can afford a decent replica of high-priced items, the replicated qualities become passe. By that metric, stainless steel and granite have to be on their way out; the only thing more ubiquitous in the American kitchen is the George Foreman grill.
I think stainless steel and granite still looks great but that look will eventually fall out of fashion and I’m on the lookout for what will replace it.
You can email me your thoughts at john at johnwake.com.