Have you seen the new Whirlpool "Satina" line? It may be just what
you're looking for:
Whirlpool Satina Appliances
"Satina" refrigerators (listed in the drop-down menu at the bottom of
the main page) look like stainless steel, but have a smooth, glossy
finish that resists fingerprints and smudging. You can clean it with
ordinary window cleaner, and the surface even accepts the usual
gallery of kitchen magnets.
You may also want to consider the various options at GE Appliances
(http://www.geappliances.com/). They have several refrigerators with
traditional stainless steel finishes. Go to the "GE Refrigerators"
and click on any refrigerator pictured. This displays a "Product
Selector" that lets you search for models by type and finish.
In particular, GE has an upscale appliance line called the "GE
Monogram Collection" (http://www.monogram.com/). All of the GE
Monogram stainless refrigerators can be seen with their "Appliance
Selection Guide" (http://www.monogram.com/selectionguide/refrigerator/refrigeratorsswrp.htm#
-- note that the image window scrolls horizontally).
If you don't want "real" stainless steel, GE Monogram offers "Custom
Appearance Options" (http://www.monogram.com/customize/index.htm) for
their built-in models. These are trim kits that allow you to face a GE
Monogram appliance with custom panels and custom handles of your
choice. These could match your existing kitchen cabinets, or let you
choose a completely contrasting look.
"Trim kits allow our built-in refrigerators, dishwashers, warming
drawers, compactors and icemakers to accept custom panels and custom
handles. Black, white or stainless steel door panels are available
from Monogram. Custom panels can be ordered from your cabinetmaker.
Custom handles are available for purchase from your local design
center or hardware stores."
Go to the GE Monogram home page (http://www.monogram.com/), and click
on the "Get panel dimensions" link. This opens a pop up window
containing links to downloadable PDF files with the trim panel
As long as you use the correct dimensions, a decorative panel can be
made out of almost anything. For example, you could use a Masonite
(hardboard) panel faced with a high-pressure plastic laminate from
Formica or WilsonArt.
This is the same tough material used on kitchen counter tops. It is
available in hundreds of styles and colors including "faux" metallics:
Formica Home Page
Order Formica samples here:
WilsonArt Home Page
(see the "MetaLaminates" link)
Order WilsonArt samples here:
Download the GE Monogram trim panel dimensions, print them out, and
take them to two or three cabinet shops in your area. I'm sure the
shops will be happy to give you an estimate for making panels in the
laminate of your choice.
I hope this helps,
Additional References -
They have two stainless steel models:
FRS26H5AS, 26 Cu Ft., Side By Side
FRS23H5AS, 22 Cu Ft., Side By Side
Many (if not all) KitchenAid models are available in stainless steel.
Note the "Shop by Features" link near the top of the Refrigerators
Search Terms & Google Results -
Thanks to Google's ranking system, the pages I wanted appeared at the
top of each result.