Matte Black Appliances Should Be on Your Radar

Move over, stainless steel. There's a new favorite finish.

Matte black has joined exterior paint colors, living room decor, cabinet hardware, and more, in the kitchen. This edgy shade is practically everywhere, and kitchen appliances are embracing the dark side as well.

"We took cues from trends in interiors and tech, specifically the 'softening' of technology, which helps it to seamlessly integrate with your style," says Maggie Bellinger, Senior Designer at GE Appliances, whose suite of Cafe appliances features the shade. "The matte black finish fills a key void in color options for kitchen appliances."

black fridge with teal cabinets kitchen and marble counter top with lemons
Courtesy of GE

Buy It: Cafe French Door Refrigerator in Matte Black, $3,418, Home Depot

Black kitchen appliances hit the market years ago, but the flat finish, which is actually dark-colored stainless steel, began gaining popularity in late 2017, according to Google Trends. Modern and minimalist, yet dramatic enough to command attention, matte black is ideal for giving your kitchen appliances a stylish update. This bold finish offers a high-contrast antidote to the long-popular white-on-white kitchens outfitted with a suite of stainless steel appliances.

"Stainless steel has been around for decades, and it continues to be the leader in premium finishes," says Brandt Varner, Vice President of Product Marketing for home appliances at LG Electronics. "However, customers are showing they want more options to show a new look in their kitchen." That's where matte black excels.

Although refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashers aren't usually the most glamorous elements of a kitchen's design, this smooth finish is a standout. The dark, matte surface adds sophistication—and it's easy to care for. So the next time you're in the market for new appliances, a flat black finish just might be the way to go. Here are six things to love about matte black appliances.

Kitchen with black island and stools
Kritsada Panichgul

1. They Create a Striking Contrast

Matte black appliances are one way to add distinction and a modern spin to your kitchen—without embarking on a major remodel. "While they look great in a full kitchen package, [matte black appliances] can also be purchased individually and blend with an already stainless kitchen," Varner says. This allows you to try a trend with a single appliance if you're not ready to fully commit. For added impact, Bellinger suggests pairing the finish with light-colored cabinetry.

2. They Warm Up Utilitarian Spaces

Too much stainless steel can make a kitchen feel cold and commercial. Ditch the industrial finish for softer matte black to establish a warm look for cozy cooking spaces and farmhouse-style kitchens. The striking surface pairs well with textured elements like aged metals, wood, stone, and brick.

GE Cafe matte black dishwasher green cabinets
Image courtesy GE

3. They Hide Life's Imperfections

Stainless steel's shiny surface hides nothing. Fingerprints, sauce splatters, and sticky smears all show up in clear detail. Most matte black finishes, on the other hand, resist these kinds of smudges, which means fewer weekly wipe-downs. The smooth, dark-colored surface also hides dust, dirt, and water marks, which aren't as prominent on a matte finish.

4. They Add Timeless Color

Kitchen appliances can be a hefty investment. You don't want to shell out big bucks on a style that's going to be outmoded in a year or two (looking at you, rose gold). "Matte black is a classic, enduring tone, which makes it a great choice for people who want their kitchen to be in style for years to come," Bellinger says. Neutral and timeless, matte black isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

kitchen with bar seating and stools
Tria Giovan Photography Inc

5. They Make Cleaning Easy

Unlike their stainless steel counterparts, matte black appliances don't require a special polish to keep them looking pristine. Simply wipe down the surfaces with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water when needed. Be sure to avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can damage the decorative coating that makes the surface matte.

6. They Complement a Variety of Aesthetics

A matte black finish seamlessly blends utilitarian appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators into your kitchen's aesthetic—whatever that may be. Whether you prefer country-inspired cooking spaces or more modern kitchen designs, this sophisticated surface pairs well with all styles. Mix matte black appliances with textured stone and rustic wood finishes, or surround them with colorful lacquered cabinets for a stunning contemporary spin.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles