The 1970s kitchen saw avocados and mustards: “a very dirty palette,” says H-Millard. The 1980s and ’90s ushered in black appliances. Now, after years of generic stainless steel, people are itching for color again, H-Millard says. Specifically, they’re looking for bold, dark, heavily saturated punches of colors that span the entire rainbow: reds, yellows, greens, and blues. That’s especially true on the luxury end of kitchen appliances, such as with BlueStar, which has been using color for a few years.
Some manufacturers, such as Thermador, are offering to cover appliances in custom prints. Smeg has partnered with the fashion label Dolce & Gabbana to create printed refrigerators and other appliances. On the other hand, when they’re not standing out, appliances are blending in, with customized cabinetry covers that integrate them with the rest of the kitchen.
Meanwhile, the non-luxury market is currently in transition mode—veering away from stainless and into matte black, silver, and gunmetal as well as mixed metals. “The mass market has not yet caught on to color just yet, but by next year we’ll see some of the bigger manufacturers incorporating colors,” H-Millard says.