April 23, 2014

New Refrigerator Design Reflects Consumers’ Attitudes

As stated in Twice, consumers are starting to emerge from their economic doldrums, and the renewed optimism is beginning to be reflected in more colorful and eclectic kitchen designs.

According to Thom Filicia, award-winning interior designer and host of Style Network’s “Dress My Nest,” who put his observations into practice with a recently rolled-out refrigerator line for Amana, “People are feeling more confident, and they want color that’s fresh and optimistic but still grounded and earthy.”

What’s more, the mixing and matching of favorite colors and patterns, which is a given in apparel and other rooms of the home, has finally migrated to America’s kitchens. “Consumers are no longer necessarily buying their kitchen appliances in matching suites,” Filicia observed. “People like eclecticism, and they’re mixing it up by bringing more personality and an emotional connection into the kitchen.”

“Appliances don’t have to match,” he said. “They just need to coordinate and look good.”

Filicia, who gained national celebrity as a member of the personal makeover squad in TV’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” said examples of this new kitchen eclecticism can be found in appliances from Viking, Jenn-Air and Amana, which employ a host of finishes and colors.

His own refrigerator collection for Amana includes such designs as Green Tea, a leaf pattern inspired by room color; Mojo, a striped design with bold colors; Inked, an etched pattern suggestive of body art; and Corduroy, which was inspired by classic fashion and textured like fabric.

“The refrigerator has become part of the fashion of the home,” Filicia said.

The kitchen connection was underscored by a recent Amana survey of 1,000 consumers, who identified it as the No. 1 room they would most like to see get a design facelift. The majority of respondents also identified the kitchen as the hub of their home, and while nearly a third chose the room as the best for entertaining, only 17 percent believe their kitchen best represents their sense of style, suggesting new opportunities for appliance manufacturers.