If it's time to update or replace your appliances, you may be surprised at how many choices you have. Whether it's the upgraded features, the bold new colors, or the new options for size and function, you'll want to take some time to do the research. Here are some things to look for:
The newer French door design (side-by-side refrigerator with a bottom freezer) is trendy and fashionable and offers a counter depth option, but it is has questionable convenience.
Look for great internal options in refrigerators such as programmable thawing drawers, integrated water filters and door shelving deep enough to accommodate gallon size jugs.
Smaller under cabinet refrigerators are great for back-up storage, a "kids only" access or dedicated as a wine chiller.
You can really mix and match your options now to accommodate your cooking habits. Microwaves come in an under the counter drawer option or you can opt for more versatility with a combination microwave/convection oven. Maytag offers a double oven, which allows you to cook at two different temperatures simultaneously, in a standard range design. The dual fuel option is also available in standard ranges which provides the preferred gas cooktop, paired with an electric, and sometimes convection, oven for baking.
If space is an issue, you can look forward to smaller versions of dishwashers, including pull-out drawer styles, and stackable washers and dryers that don't compromise your load size. You can even find a fifth burner on many standard range tops.
Overall, you are going to see your standard black, white and stainless steel being the most popular colors. Almond has been replaced by "bisque" or "biscuit", depending on the manufacturer, but it is not a heavy hitter in the appliance world any longer. New versions of metal have been popping up such as LG's Titanium and Jenn-Air's Oiled Bronze and the new fingerprint resistant finishes, such as Whirlpool's "Satina" finish are a welcome contender. Bold colors, especially in washers and dryers, are becoming more popular such as Maytag's Crimson Red and Kenmore's Twilight. Are these going to be the Avocado Green casualties of the 21st century? Only time will tell.