As a coatings company, appliance manufacturer or consumer, color is now one of the most important factors driving appliance purchase decisions. Color is the first thing we see when we look at an appliance. Not only does it elicit strong emotion in viewers, it triggers an actual physiological response. But how do you know which color to buy? Why do certain colors come into style and how do color preferences change over time? More importantly, as either a coatings manufacturer, appliance company or someone in the market looking for an appliance, how can we better understand color and be on top of the latest color trends in the appliance market?
There is an indeterminate connection between color and culture; color reflects the zeitgeist of the times. This idea came to me while I walked through a 16th century cabinet exhibit in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam earlier this year. I was struck by the vast contrast between our current color palette and the bleak browns and darkness that I saw throughout the exhibit – the immense, towering furniture; the dour stains; even paintings of flowers like Han Brueghel’s “Bouquet” features flowers against a depressing background. I felt as if I carried a weight on my back, combined with feelings of sadness and being overwhelmed. I imagined myself traveling back to that time, what would life have been like? I wondered how much seemed unknown, what it felt like living in a culture not rooted in science. While the provinces making up the Netherlands were a republic, Dutch cities were run by the wealthy merchant families. Combined with nature and luck, I wondered how this impacted the color palettes of the hard goods of that time.