KitchenAid's home appliances are getting a new look and feel.
The new refrigerators, wall ovens, ranges, dishwashers, and cooktops made their first appearance at an event today in New York City. We'd say they mark the debut of the brand's new design language, except that the new appliances are inspired by KitchenAid's iconic stand mixer, whose design dates back to the 1930s.
Now, the company's large and small appliances will be unified by a similar look, which we first saw previewed at Milan's EuroCucina kitchen show last spring.
Consider the handles: They're thin and knurled, just like the controls on the classic stand mixer. The sides of the handles are finished with roundels marked "KitchenAid 1919," a direct shout-out to the date the brand was founded.
According to Cynthia Soledad, KitchenAid's senior director, the roundels are an "iconic finishing stamp, a mark of craftsmanship and precision."
The roundels are available in a number of colors, including an eye-catching red. The appliances themselves are now available in a unique finish called Black Stainless, in addition to traditional stainless steel, white, and black.
KitchenAid says the new look is "professionally inspired," yet "warm" and "non-industrial." That marks a departure from other brands, like Frigidaire Professional, which recently reintroduced a line of "restaurant-inspired" appliances with a more businesslike appearance.
The KitchenAid brand has been part of Whirlpool Corp. since 1986, and is best known for its stand mixers and long history in manufacturing dishwashers.
KitchenAid's makeover comes after Whirlpool started to differentiate its stable of brands. Whereas all five nameplates used to be more clearly related, they now boast distinct identities. Amana is straightforward and affordable, Whirlpool's is clean and modern, Maytag has a more industrial look, and Jenn-Air has gone further upmarket.
From today, KitchenAid has its own look, too. We'll see how customers respond as the new appliances hit the market over the next few weeks.