Color Me Intrigued

Local design professionals tell us their opinions on using colorful appliances in the kitchen!

Edited by Moe Godat

Photography by Megan Harris • Design by Tricia Dabney • Appliance available at Big Chill




When your kitchen is the gathering place of your home, the aesthetics of it are essential, which includes the color of your appliances. The 1950s brought us pink, turquoise and other vivid colors. In the 1960s, yellow and avocado green were all the rage. When the 80s and 90s rolled around, minimalistic white and black became popular, bringing the multicolored kitchen appliance trend to a halting stop. Nowadays, the trend has rolled back around, and kitchen designers everywhere are starting to use vibrant colored gadgets again, bringing the fad back to life. Though the trend comes and goes, when it's revived, it continues to be a classic element to any kitchen. Natalie Slavik, Youtopia Designs.

Instead of pink, turquoise, harvest gold or avocado green of 1950s, 60s and 70s appliances, we now have all kinds of fun options like navy, fire engine red or kelly green. If you are ready to go bold with a fun color for your new refrigerator, range or hood, you may want to go with a softer, more neutral palette for the rest of your kitchen materials like cabinetry, tile and countertops. Another simple way to make the appliances pop is to add matte brass on range knobs or do a panel-ready refrigerator in a different color from the rest of your cabinetry and add hefty cabinet pulls. Whichever way you go, a colorful appliance would be a great way to add some fun and personality to your new kitchen! Julie Cullmann, Anne Marie Design Studio, LLC.

Colorful appliances, or specifically ranges, can add a great look or accent to a kitchen. Personally, I like them, but like any color, whether it be for walls, cabinets or fabrics, they all run the risk of being dated.  But being “safe” isn’t always very exciting. I’m not sure it’s a fad or a craze in that many appliances have been offered in colors for decades, but the level of people using them in their kitchens increases and decreases. I think colorful appliances will always be a part of design, it just takes the right client and kitchen. It’s certainly not for everyone. Keith Gegg, Gegg Design & Cabinetry.

I have had customers wanting a statement range for over 25 years in some type of primary color selection. Most clients are not this bold, but when executed well, this is a classic look. It is important to make the cooking area the focal point, whether it is the range or the decorative exhaust hood. It appears that when other appliances are more colorful (like a refrigerator or dishwasher) this typically looks more retro and is not accepted as much in our region. Ken Henry Alspaugh Kitchen & Bath. 


I love using color in unexpected places.The kitchen is no exception. An easy way to add color in a kitchen is to invest in small, colored appliances such as mixers or toaster ovens that are on the bright side. Brightly painted appliances add something to a kitchen, however, those are big budget items and not as easy to replace as the tastes of the homeowner changes. If the goal is to sell the home in the future, the colorful appliances might need to be replaced for resale value. Brightly colored appliances are a design trend and will stick around for several years, but a canary-yellow stove or a lime-green refrigerator is not a classic design element. In a few years, I think “repainted colorful appliances” will be the new trend. Barbara Collins, Barbara Collins Interior Design.

I think it depends on the color of the appliance. I prefer stainless appliances, but that said, if I am using colored appliances, I’d stick with classic colors like navy blue or red. To me it’s like a car; appliances are usually investment pieces, so it’s best to stay simple and classic. Dede Fratt, Fratt Bush Home.


I think it falls under a craze. Think about the bold avocado green colors that were popular in the 70s, although you wouldn't use them now that you remember the era. If you want a pop of color, maybe only a range and not all of your appliances. Pick one using it as a statement piece such as you would do with art on a wall. This way, if you want to switch it out later, it's not a huge expense. Kathy Israel, Accent on Cabinets.