Kitchens get brighter, but not an easy black-or-white issue
By Bob Karlovits
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 3:25 p.m.
Kitchens are getting brighter in colors, but adding those greens and yellows could be responsible for a bad case of the blues.
Marc Scurci, an interior designer with offices in Squirrel Hill and Greensburg, cautions it can be frustrating to be severely limited by future color choices because of one decision.
"So you decide you want a green dishwasher and then you're stuck," he says.
But the Berks County-based Blue Star appliance firm can make its equipment in 190 colors at any given time, says John Novella, its vice president of sales. Beyond that, he says, the company can match any color it doesn't have.
"Stainless isn't going away," he says of the steel that has been the King of the Kitchen for more than a decade. "But color is where the volume is."
But the whole decision on whether to go with more color in the kitchen is not an easy black-or-white issue.
Colors and even wood tones have become popular as kitchens have become more popular overall as homespaces. Stephen Saint-Onge, a decorator, magazine contributor and blogger known as Designer Dad, says colors have become more popular because the kitchen is being used more often as a gathering spot in the house.
"Now, instead of the separate room where food is prepared, we have a site where people get together and have some wine while the host does the preparation," he says. "So colors are being used to match cabinet or countertop colors or bold steps are being taken in backsplashes."
It points to the long journey from the days of white stoves and refrigerators when ice-cube makers referred to the person unloading the tray.
There has even been a change since stainless steel and black seized control. Those two shades both maintain popularity, but as kitchens have grabbed more importance as an entertainment spot, there has been a greater concentration on decorating.
Ice can be really cool
"Stainless is classy," says Mark Uchida, a designer and owner of A ReMARKable Kitchen in Blawnox. "But now you have greater interest in color, including wood looks to match cabinets."
Even veining in some pieces of granite creates an interest in or demand for color.
Nick Hillebrand from Don's Appliances in Upper St. Clair agrees "stainless is still the king," but says the busiest area of interest he has seen recently is color, particularly all of the possibilities from Blue Star.
Hillebrand even has seen white being discontinued by some appliance makers because of its reduced use in design.
But Monica Teague, senior manager for public relations form Whirlpool, sees a use of color even when the shades are black and white.
Whirlpool currently is marketing White Ice and Black Ice models on appliances in which those basic tones are getting a more steely look, accented by chrome handles and trim.
"It's a whole new spin to traditional white," she says. "It is taking something old and making it new again."
Scurci looks at those directions as ways of producing the "transitional" look that moves a kitchen into a more modern look without abandoning the traditional touches.
"It's easier that deciding everything has to be red," he says.
The 'what-if' of colors
Saint-Onge, who also serves as a consultant for Whirlpool, says those forms of black and white can be used instead of the more traditional ebony and stainless steel to created a "safety zone where you don't go overboard with color."
Not being too dramatic is important for what he says are the two largest groups of homeowners: the renovator who is looking at the home for resale possibilities or the re-doer who is making that home comfortable for the long stay.
But Blue Star's Novella thinks colors create the "what-if possibility" in design.
While he agrees that colors can be determining factors in design, they also allow a homeowner to do something that couldn't be done otherwise.
"Color is a very important part of our business," he says, admitting stainless is still a big part of Blue Star business, too.
Teague says most interest in color comes from some starting point, whether in cabinets or appliances or even countertops. By matching those elements that are most important or most desired, a homeowner or designer will take a concept a certain way.
But stainless and black appliances -- or even White Ice -- allow that design "with what you already have."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- York teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- RiverQuest short of money, looks for a partner
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Cyrus’ rescheduled U.S. tour now includes Pittsburgh stop in August
- Alvarez struggles as Pirates fall short against Brewers