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Majaps Makers Flaunt Fashion Focus

4/23/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK – It’s been a long time since shoppers have been greeted on majap retail floors by a “sea of white.”

The advent of stainless-steel finishes, chunky, pro-style ovens, and a full palette of color options in laundry have since made majaps less utilitarian and more of a fashion statement.

The trend continues this spring with the release of a new spate of fashion-forward kitchen products, created to complement what many acknowledge as the heart of the home.

Among the contenders: GE Monogram’s 30-inch-wide counterdepth refrigerators, which offer features like a “convertible” refrigerator/ freezer drawer that can be set for fresh foods, frozen foods or wine storage, and new options like an integrated wine reserve and the company’s first glass door front.

“Consumers shouldn’t have to sacrifice gourmet features just because they don’t have the space for larger appliances,” said Monogram general manager Brian McWaters. “No matter where they’re used, they’ll be met with features that add an ultra-chic appeal.”

Eleven-year-old Capital Cooking, which just launched its topof- the-line Connoisseurian series of dual fuel ranges, is also adding some color to its Precision ranges and Maestro wall ovens. A 10-color palette, limited previously to the company’s Culinarian ranges, is now being shared among stable mates. Colors include black, Cobalt Blue, Signal Blue, Flame Red, Wine Red, Ruby Red, white, Oyster White, Pale Green and yellow.

“Stainless steel is a timeless finish on any appliance, but we wanted to give our customers choice for their own unique environment,” said Capital president and chairman Surjit Kalsi, who previously designed high-performance cooking products for companies including Viking, Thermador, GE, Jenn-Air and DCS.

Majaps’ fashion focus was also evident in Essen, Germany, last month, where Electrolux received 11 Red Dot design awards at the recent Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious industrial design competitions. The winning products, which vied with more than 4,500 submissions in 19 categories, included the company’s Cyli hanging lamp-style range hoods and its Infinite induction cooktops. The latter, said Electrolux, was inspired by “the distinctive, pure shapes of ancient dishes from Asia but incorporates a more Scandinavian feel in its sleek shape and glass.”
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