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The Telegram
  • Interiors: The evolution of appliance colors

  • What color are your kitchen appliances? Did you ever wonder about the chronology of color for kitchen appliances? If so, read on.

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  • What color are your kitchen appliances? Did you ever wonder about the chronology of color for kitchen appliances? If so, read on.
    In the beginning, the kitchen was a simple place consisting of a fireplace or woodstove, a table and chairs -- and little else.
    But then came came electricity, and that changed everything. Electricity made the kitchen a place to cook food, keep it cold, wash the dishes, grill, toast and so on.
    The kitchen has always been the place for gathering, sort of a hangout for the family, friends and guests. And because of that, the idea of making it more aesthetically pleasing was a natural evolution from its fireplace beginnings.
    Color, an attention-getter, became important in the kitchen.
    Initially, white was it as far as appliances were concerned. But in the 1950s other colors were introduced -- such as Stratford Yellow, Sherwood Green, Turquoise Green, Cadet Blue, Woodtone Brown, Petal Pink and Canary Yellow.
    By the 1960s, a few new shades were added -- and quickly canceled, too. Charcoal Gray was one of the not-so-well-received colors. Yellow, pink and turquoise were the survivors. A new color, called Coppertone, emerged, and it was popular until the 1980s. Coppertone and turquoise were on the top of the list of favorite colors for appliances for many years.
    Let's go back to the '60s. Turquoise was replaced by avocado and Harvest Gold. Remember how popular those colors were? They were so popular that they stayed through the '60s, '70s and into the early '80s.
    Poppy Red appeared in the '70s for a short time,but by the end of the decade, New Naturals --  Harvest Wheat, Onyx Black, Coffee, Fresh Avocado and Almond -- took over and became the colors of that era.
    Whites returned in the '80s and '90s. With the new century came a new color. It's not actually a color, but a metallic called Stainless Steel.
    That one and black are the appliance finishes of choice lately. Some say that's because more men are cooking, and it's hard to see them in a pink kitchen, so the stainless and the black have taken over. It seems men can wear pink shirts, but cooking over a pink stove is not appealing.
    Slate is the newest color on the scene, but white has always remained the most purchased color in kitchen appliances.
        
    Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color." For design inquiries, write to Rosemary at DsgnQuest@aol.com.
     
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