Color Is Making a Comeback in Kitchens and It's Not Where We Expected
Move over, white and gray kitchens—and hello, color! Bright shades of blue, green, red, and more are once again returning to kitchens, but their application might surprise you.
At this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), one major trend was apparent: color is making a comeback in kitchens in a big way. However, the biggest surprise was its application. Instead of color making a splash on walls, it showed up over and over again on kitchen appliances. Whether you’re looking to add a hint of color to your kitchen with a small appliance or fill your kitchen with bright, bold color, you’re in luck. Kitchen appliance manufacturers are now offering a gorgeous array of color possibilities.
According to a number of kitchen manufacturers, consumers have been requesting vibrant, colorful options for staple kitchen appliances that, in the past, traditionally only came in three basic finishes—stainless steel, white or ivory, and black. In response, an array of ranges, range hoods, and small appliances are now available in a variety of hues.
Consumers now have the option of purchasing larger kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, and more in a virtual rainbow of colors. Companies like Big Chill, for example, offer retro-inspired large appliances in nine vintage colors.
And when it comes to kitchen color trends, our own research indicates an uptick in consumer demand for maximalist designs and bold color, especially jewel-toned hues. According to BHG.com consumer insights, there has been a 50 percent increase in interest in shades of green and blue in both home decor and paint colors. In fact, Behr Paint and PPG selected shades of blue (Behr Blueprint) and green (PPG Nightwatch) for their 2019 Colors of the Year, which supports the trend toward more color in home design.
Think you could never match that specific shade of teal blue or olive green in your kitchen? Think again. Manufacturers like Dacor have opened up color possibilities with the ability to match any color swatch. The DacorMatch Color System enables consumers to match wall ovens and ranges with virtually any color. BlueStar, another range manufacturer, also offers a customization option where users can create their own unique kitchen style with more than 750 colors, 10 metal trims, and seemingly endless configuration possibilities.
While all signs indicate that consumers are moving to a little more color in the kitchen, there will always be gray and white kitchens. However, in those neutral kitchens, you can expect to see a variety of metallics and hardware. In addition to bold colors, BHG.com consumer research indicates a 150 percent increase in interest in shades of metallics and a 364 percent increased interest in gold cabinetry. Many kitchen appliance manufacturers are one step ahead and offer metallic options, including brass, gold, and copper, as alternatives to traditional finishes like stainless-steel and black. GE's Café suite of appliances, which come in matte white and matte black in addition to stainless steel, offer custom hardware in various metallic hues so you can personize your appliances to make a statement.
If you’re not quite ready to dive into full-on color, try adding a small splash of color to an all-white or neutral kitchen with something like a colorful vent hood. Vent hood manufacturers like Vent-A-Hood and BlueStar offer a range of color options so you can mix and match with your existing kitchen color scheme.
Interior designer Erika Bonnell, who designed the kitchen above, says it’s refreshing to see color starting to make its way back "after the fifty shades of gray era!" "I always encourage my clients to step outside of the safe zone and add some personality where they can," she says. "Color is such an easy way to do this. In this instance, we chose to add some energy to the space in the form of a brilliant turquoise powder-coated range hood. Why be boring when you can be bold!”
Color isn't limited to large appliances, either. We were excited to see the return of retro colors on small appliances in shapes and styles reminiscent of the 1950s at KBIS this year. Small appliances like mixers, juicers, toasters, and microwaves in fun vintage hues are a great way to incorporate splashes of color in the kitchen. Appliance manufacturer SMEG offers a full line of retro appliances, large and small, that embodies the glamour and rounded forms of the 1950s in throwback vibrant and pastel colors. The unique vintage-inspired designs make these appliances statement pieces you’ll want on your kitchen countertop instead of hidden away in a cabinet.
Outdoor kitchens are another spot you can expect to see more color, including on grills and outdoor kitchen accessories. Weber, for example, recently introduced several vibrant color choices for both gas and charcoal grills in vibrant colors, including green, sapphire, and slate blue. In the past, grills and outdoor appliances were destined to a few monochromatic and metallic shades. Today's colorful options let you spice up your patio with color.
If a new appliance isn't in your budget, painting the kitchen will always be in style and one of the easiest ways to incorporate a pop of color. Painting an island or a pantry door in a bright, bold color is a great way to introduce a new hue in the kitchen. BHG.com consumer insights have also indicated a 117 percent growth in black cabinets, which will help other colors in your kitchen pop. If you’re considering adding a colored appliance, you can match it to your paint and carry that color throughout the kitchen on walls, cabinetry, and other accessories.
Over the last several years, kitchen designers have increasingly wowed us with stunning kitchens—unique layouts, gorgeous cabinetry, and beautiful countertops and backsplashes. With the addition of color via appliances, paint, and accessories, we finally have options to personalize the busy hubs of our homes even more.