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Forget stainless steel: GE’s Café appliances offer a brand-new vision for the kitchen

GE Appliances has revamped its Café brand with a line of customizable appliances — and a striking change from the standard, stainless steel fare you see everywhere these days.

Instead of offering customers a fixed set of stainless steel appliances, The Matte Collection presents two matte finishes choices, matte white and matte black, and a choice of brushed hardware knobs and handles. Customers can select the hardware color or colors they prefer to go with their choice of finish. Later on, if the customers’ style or preferences change, they can replace the hardware with another color.

At a launch event for the new lineup in New York City on Wednesday, we spent some time with both the matte white and matte black appliances, which were paired with brushed copper handles. The effect was striking. In a world of stainless steel, which stretches from the most expensive Viking and Sub Zero fridges to the most entry level ranges, the matte white look will certainly stand out, and offers new options for kitchen designers and interior decorators.

Refrigerators that keep their cool

The Matte White finish has a smudge-resistant, soft-touch feel. GE Appliances says the Matte White finish complements premium cabinetry and works well with bronze-toned fixtures, resulting in a layered space that feels connected, clean and timeless. The Matte Black finish lets customers create a crisp, bold statement with room for thoughtfully added details. When paired with darker handles, the black finish looks elegant and modern; when mated with copper handles, as we saw, the finish is transformed to an inviting one instead.

All handles in The Matte Collection will have a copper cuff with the Café logo. GE Appliances chose copper for its association with high-end cookware. The four hardware color choices are brushed copper, brushed stainless steel, brushed black, and brushed bronze.

“After significant research to understand consumers’ needs and wants, we uncovered a white space in the current appliance market for Café to offer the style-driven consumer options to personalize a kitchen — down to the finer details that matter,” said GE Appliances chief commercial officer Rick Hasselbeck.

“Before today, consumers did not have the chance to personalize their appliances and bring them into the overall design of the kitchen at an affordable price,” Hasselbeck continued. “Café marries luxury with affordability and encourages consumers to be bold in their choices, as the hardware can continually be updated to fit the latest trends and style preferences.”

The Matte Collection appliances will include wall ovens, ranges, cooktops, French door refrigerators, dishwashers, and vent hoods.

Customers will be able to order Café appliances from The Matte Collection beginning in August 2018. The appliances will be available through mass retail outlets and independent retail stores.

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