Liven up your home with bold-colored kitchen appliances.
Whether you follow color trends or not, it’s hard to ignore the design industry’s fixation on the topic. Just before the beginning of each year, forecasters reveal their picks for the colors they believe will be popular based on current economic conditions and prevailing moods.
For 2011, the Pantone Color Institute picked “Honeysuckle,” a bright, red-based pink, as its “color of the year” for its ability to uplift and energize; a symbol of optimism for trying times. “We are just kind of hungry for pretty, promising and optimistic,” says Atlanta-based interior designer and color expert Rebecca Ewing.
Like a breath of fresh air, the appearance of brightly colored tabletop goods and home accessories signals that summer has arrived. In the same way, colorful appliances give life to neutral-colored kitchens. With shades such as magenta, lime green, yellow, turquoise, orange and violet in addition to red, which has become a staple in most collections, colorful appliances can illuminate any aesthetic.
Small Kitchen Appliances
Small kitchen appliances in fun colors are practically guiltless. They are a great way to express your personal style and make food preparation more exciting without breaking the bank. Choose a collection of small appliances in the same hue such as the Cuisinart collection for Sur La Table to create a unified look. “The key is to repeat the color,” says Ewing. “That’s how you unify the space.”
The Cuisinart for Sur La Table collection includes food processors, immersion blenders, 7-speed hand mixers, ice-cream makers and juicers in Plum, Pomegranate, Parsley, Tangerine, Berry Blue, Lemon and Crush. “We chose to partner with Cuisinart on this line because they make great electrics under $100,” says Susanna Linse, Sur La Table media relations manager. “The colors you see in the Cuisinart line are part of our color-theme this year. You’ll see them in a variety of product categories. The bright colors are fresh, fun and bold—perfect for cheering up a kitchen countertop.”
Another small kitchen appliance that has gained a reputation for its rainbow of colors is the KitchenAid stand mixer, which debuted in 1919 and is available in more than 40 finishes. One of the newest shades introduced this year is Raspberry Ice, a deep pinkish-purple. Whirlpool Corp., the parent company of KitchenAid, reports that color has been influential in the stand mixer’s success. “However you look at [the KitchenAid stand mixer]—a design icon, a family heirloom or a cool product—it offers a pure and timeless shape and the perfect surface to drape with color,” states the Whirlpool Corp. website.
Major Kitchen Appliances
To make a bigger statement, invest in major appliances such as refrigerators, range ovens and dishwashers in eye-popping colors. Viking not only pioneered the manufacturing of professional-grade residential range ovens in the eighties, but also distinguishes itself from other manufacturers with 24 color options, including pumpkin, cobalt blue, plum and racing red, according to Andy Sewell, president of Sewell Appliance Sales and Service Company in Sandy Springs.
For a slightly different set of color choices for major kitchen appliances, BlueStar also offers large professional-grade appliances in several bright colors not currently available from Viking such as Blue Lilac, Light Pink, Yellow Green and Maize Yellow. The “Build Your BlueStar” online tool allows users to customize not only the configuration of the appliance, but also the body color and knob color from among 23 finishes.
In the same way that KitchenAid updates its classic stand mixer with trendy colors, manufacturers of modern retro-style kitchen appliances such as Northstar by Elmira Stove Works and Big Chill also use bright colors to give their products a new twist for today.
How We Live
The bright-appliances trend underscores several developments that have emerged recently in home remodeling. The first is the evolution of the kitchen as a living space rather than just a workspace, and, therefore, a showcase of personal style.
“At any party or event, people end up in the kitchen,” Sewell says. “It’s really a living room. That’s why people want the kitchen to be designed to be useful and nice… It sets the tone for their lifestyle.” Plus, color can help extend a warm welcome and stimulate conversation, which is a bonus for homeowners who like to entertain. “Color is much more inviting than non-color,” says Ewing.
The second way new residential design trends have created a demand for kitchen appliances in a variety of colors is the addition of “mini-kitchens” to non-traditional spaces in the home. Think guest-room coffee stations and basement wet bars. Homeowners are placing kitchen appliances that suit their lifestyles in places where they need them the most. Mini-kitchens provide even more areas to make a colorful statement.
Mix It Up
While there is certainly an argument to be made for timeless design, accent colors offer a break from the routine between remodels. Some designers now are focusing on “planned obsolescence,” says color expert Rebecca Ewing, or choosing colors or designs that only last for a few years. In a world where the “in” color changes at least yearly if not seasonally, you can see why. “It used to be a palette lasted 10 years,” Ewing says. “but by the eighties we had three palettes. The expectation is that people are going to want to update every three to five years.”
Ewing adds that there are ways to update without a major redo, including changing accent colors and switching out hardware. “Pack up half of your accessories and rotate every six months,” suggests Ewing. “This keeps us from growing tired of them and gives them longevity. I think we want change. When our lives change, our attitudes change. When we grow, we need some new symbols around us.”
While color and design trends may come and go quicker than you can blink an eye, trust your own style barometer when contemplating a change.
Choose Your Hue
“Design is about the betterment of our lives poetically, aesthetically, experientially, sensorially and emotionally,” according to Karim Rashid, one of the most prolific product designers of our time whose clients include Disney, Coca-Cola and Dirt Devil. Several kitchen appliance manufacturers have distinguished themselves with bold designs and color options, including:
❍ Hamilton Beach
❍ Proctor Silex
❍ Northstar by Elmira Stove Works
❍ Big Chill