In Chicago's kitchens, is stainless steel the next avocado green?

It’s not often that one can glean insight into new housing trends by watching a sitcom. I caught a re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond, wherein Ray’s parents live in one of those houses that hasn’t been refurnished since the ’70s (’60s? ’50s?).

They still have the hideous avocado-green refrigerator, gold paisley wallpaper (probably textured) and bright orange countertop. And then I remember the home I grew up in: the appliances, countertops and floors in the kitchen were all the color of mustard. Mustard! There was a time in the history of this earth when people looked at mustard-colored appliances and thought, “this is the look I’m going for.”

The obvious question is, “what were they thinking?” I know there were lots of mind-expanding substances being floated around at this time, but I refuse to believe that everyone got all tweaked out before they went shopping for home appliances.

It occurs to me that the ultra-chic kitchen and bathroom styles of today–stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, track lighting, stone and marble tile, cherry cabinets and floors, etc–might someday be looked upon with the same mortification as the mustard and avocado colors of days long passed.

Check out just about any middle- to high-end new construction project in Chicago and you’ll find stainless steel appliances and granite countertops because it’s the modern and stylish look that people want. Take a look at those old pictures, though, and remember what else was once modern and stylish. In 2020, we’ll need to explain what we were thinking.

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