Is it art?

It's refrigeration, but is it art? 

Stainless steel needn't be dull. That's the message from British commercial refrigeration manufacturer Precision. The company has brought out a range of striking finishes for its fridge cabinets. Yes, they're stainless steel - and they're anything but dull.

Precision has worked with a number of stainless steel suppliers to develop products, with a range of new finishes. The brief was: make stainless steel look exciting and give it the WOW factor. Now caterers can have coloured and textured finishes - every bit as tough and hygienic as the traditional stainless steel, every bit as practical and efficient, but a lot better looking.

The results can be startling - such as vibrant stainless steel fascias that appear to be honeycombed (although they're not, of course). The various options don't just look good on their own: clever lighting can lead to a whole range of stunning and striking effects, for both the interior and exterior of the cabinet - all from the humble fridge.

"These days there's much more catering equipment being sited front of house and on show to the public, as part of theatre kitchens and designer bars," explains Precision's sales director Jeremy Hall. "It's not just about style - as well as looking the part, the fridges and freezers have to be every bit as reliable and efficient as standard commercial units.

"It's refrigeration as art."

The optional finishes are available on most of Precision's range, including backbar as well as undercounter and upright models. The company says most enquiries so far have been for the larger cabinets, since the effect is so striking. Is there a downside? There is a premium to pay for the finish - but Precision points out that the extra cost is relatively small in the context of fitting out, say, a boutique hotel or style brasserie.

And yes, if like Henry Ford you like black, you can have your fridge that colour. Though you might want to add a 'super mirror' stainless steel interior and special lighting to brighten it up.