There’s a lot buzz surrounding GE Appliances’ new Slate finish and for good reason.
The new look is bold and fresh and sure to be shaking up kitchen decorating for a long time.
Goedeker’s Home Life wanted to learn more about Slate, so we reached out to GE Appliances.
Much to our delight, Chris Bissig, Manager, Concept & Brand Development for GE Appliances, was kind enough to answer a few questions.
For those who haven’t seen Slate, how would you describe it?
CB - “Slate is a warm, grey, low-gloss metallic finish that has a deep and inviting look that exudes refinement and sophistication. It’s a natural complement to the wide spectrum of materials used in today’s modern kitchen designs. We’ve accented the Slate suite of appliances with bold metallic touch points such as handles and knobs – offering more contrast and interest.”
What inspired the idea for Slate?
CB - “Slate is inspired by the rich texture and appearance of stone and is the result of extensive consumer research, listening to designers and customers and our observations on the latest in kitchen design, home furnishings and other consumer products trends. As we talked with people, they said they wanted something different and were tired of stainless steel as the only premium appliance finish.”
As a designer, what were you trying to accomplish with Slate?
CB – “During development, we knew we needed a finish that would have a distinct appearance for someone looking to do a complete kitchen remodel and be versatile enough to replace a single appliance in a consumer’s home. It had to be complimentary with wooden cabinetry and flooring, engineered stone countertops, stone tile and cabinetry hardware. We noticed a lot of metallic handle pulls on cabinetry. We were able to build upon this and used stainless steel touch points throughout the suite – on elements like handles, knobs and dispenser paddles. This also allows the suite to mix and match with other stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.”
Which kitchen styles or decors does Slate compliment?
CB - “For a while now we’ve been watching the trend toward a minimalist approach with appliance design where the appliances blend in more with the overall kitchen décor versus being the focal point. We see stonework, countertops and other kitchen elements taking on a more prominent role in kitchen design. One of our biggest accomplishments on the launch of Slate was creating a finish that was neutral and yet distinctive. As a designer, that was a challenging and rewarding endeavor.”
Why should people branch out, why not just stick with stainless steel appliances?
CB – “When you look at 2011, 35 percent of all appliances sold were stainless steel. We don’t see stainless going away, but we also know that individuality and expressing themselves through their kitchens is important to consumers. Every 15 years or so in the appliance industry we’ve had a major shift in color trends. At GE, we believe there is a segment of consumers who are looking for something new, fresh and different.”
Okay, the million dollar question: Is Slate easy to clean?
CB - “Yes. Slate’s unique matte finish is easy to clean and resists fingerprints.”
Let’s end on a big question, shall we? What’s in the future for GE design?
CB - “At GE, we have lots of new product launches in the works, and our Design team is working to make sure the end user is front and center in our development. Understanding what people want and need is very important to the design of appliances. We are spending a lot of time talking with people and engaging them in research to understand how it might be easier for them to prepare meals, clean up afterwards or wash clothes. These inputs will influence the design of our future products in a big way!”
We’d like to thank Chris for taking the time to answer our questions. Now, we’re even more excited about Slate!
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