Are All White Refrigerators Cursed?

Inside the kitchen of this home featured in the March 2014 issue of AD where a white refrigerator is in plain view to the left, Calacatta marble complements the Boffi cabinetry; the cooktop and panel-clad refrigerator are by Gaggenau, and the espresso machine is by Nespresso.

Photo: William Abranowicz  

Similar to how companies invented the concept of planned obsolescence, I think the rental-style white fridge has come to indicate a certain impermanence in living spaces. This idea, well, it brings up some extremely layered feelings around money and how mainstream ideas of good taste are created, only to turn in on themselves so we feel left behind. 

This was a lot to mull over, and it gave me a scrappy and contrarian love for the standard-issue white (bisque, even!) fridge. “I do have sort of a dishy thing to tell you as a designer,” Diana says, lowering her voice into a confessional tone. “You have no idea how many people quietly tell me, ‘I miss my white appliances.’” 

This disclosure makes me nearly shriek in delight. She further explains that people feel peer pressure to have, say, stainless steel or matte black appliances for resale value, but some of her clients are missing the simplicity of white. I ask if there are some trailblazers forging ahead with white fridges, and Diana enthusiastically says yes. “It’s sweet because they feel very virtuous like, ‘I bucked the trend. I like the way it looks, and I’m not ashamed,’” she adds.

Next I got scientific and polled friends in my Instagram Stories on whether they were aware of the perceived tackiness of the white fridge—and whether they would have said fridge. Of the 67 votes that were cast, 61% were aware of the stigma. But when I asked, “Would you have a white fridge?” the results were fairly split between “Hell no” and “Yes!!” 

My friend Emily, who is young and cool, messaged me this: “I have heard that they have fallen, but I actually still like them. I think stainless steel is actually incredibly cheugy.” Shots fired! And if people are whispering to their interior designers that they miss their white refrigerators, the pendulum might be swinging back. Saving the best part for last, Diana has another confession for me: