OK, back to KBIS. The largest appliance manufacturer who showed at KBIS 2010 was Jenn-Air, and they meant business. Their exhibit was huge and featured a kitchen designed by Ellen Cheever and she used cabinetry by Scavolini. Other trade folks out there will agree that Jenn-Air isn't the appliance brand that comes to mind when I think of a Scavolini kitchen or Ellen Cheever.
But this is the new Jenn-Air. Jenn-Air's owned by Whirlpool and for a long time, all of Whirlpool's energy and money went into attempting to make KitchenAid competitive with some of the higher end appliances out there.
Well apparently, all of that's changed now with the rebirth of Jenn-Air.
That's not what I want to talk about though. Jenn-Air had several full kitchens in their KBIS booth and one of them featured their new-ish finish, Oiled Bronze. Here's a close-up.
It seems to be a surface patina applied to stainless steel. That Jenn-Air sells small containers of of Oiled Bronze touch up paint for it tells me it is. It tells me too that it doesn't handle scratches very well.
It's being touted as an "instant classic" and of course, everyone with a dog in the race is repeating that phrase. Well, I wonder. It's certainly different but it reminded me of something and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
I was poking around on Pam Kueber's terrific website, Retro Renovation and I found what it is about Oiled Bronze that strikes me.
I think it's the old appliance color Coppertone, revisted.
I wish Jenn-Air well in this push toward the upper end of the market, but the folks already sitting in that spot aren't exactly worried. It's not enough to charge a premium price, you also need to build a premium appliance to justify that cost.
What do you guys think? Is Oiled Bronze an instant classic? Is there such a thing to begin with? Is this a finish you'd buy?