As an interior designer, my mom has always had the vision to remodel and tweak various rooms in her home. When I come home for the weekend, she’ll follow me around waiting for me to comment on the slightly lighter shade of beige she painted on the hallway walls. It’s always a work in progress.
My parents downsized to a 1700s colonial approximately three years ago and the kitchen needed to be completely gutted. The walls were an unsightly lavender, the appliances were ancient and weren’t touched in years, and the space was too cramped to joyfully gather around. It was my mom’s dream: she could start from scratch.
When she alerted me that part of the renovation plans involved cobalt blue Viking appliances, I was a little shocked. The kitchen in my childhood home featured granite countertops, stainless steel oven, and a fridge that blended into the cream cabinets with paneling—so this was a big change.
Little to my knowledge, they had already purchased a blue double oven in anticipation of purchasing another home that was under renovation that didn’t make it on the market at the time they sold their old house. The blue appliances first caught a twinkle in their eyes at a Best Buy of all places. It was unique, different, and looked high-end.
I would seriously go through middle school again just so I could stare at that cobalt fridge all day long.
Essentially, they now had to build this new around the cobalt appliances, which also included a refrigerator and range hood.
While my mom explained to me that if the blue appliance scheme wasn’t in the cards she would rather have a navy blue island than blue appliances, she still took on the challenge of making colored appliances a focal point. She knew the kitchen cabinets, tile, and countertop had to be white to contrast and to open up the small space. As for the original antique flooring, they couldn’t find a perfect match to replace it, so they took a chance with some funky navy tiles.
Approximately four months later, the renovations were complete, and I couldn’t be more obsessed with it. I would seriously go through middle school again just so I could stare at that cobalt fridge all day long—and three years later, my parents still aren’t sick of looking at it either.
The kitchen is the place to gather. It’s where we cook meals to fit multiple diet restrictions. It’s where we whittled away at our homework on the island back in the day. It’s where we sneak in to snack multiple times—and the blue accents make it a place you want to be.
Aesthetics aside, these colorful appliances also have some benefits. Namely, they don’t show fingerprints as much as the stainless steel appliances they’ve had before and are easy to wipe down because of it.
Anyone who is buying a house done to the Ts doesn't have their own style.
As such a stylistic choice for such an expensive investment, I wondered if they thought it would be harder to sell down the line (in which case, I volunteer as tribute to take it over). They don’t. According to them, a lot of it has to do with the market and if someone loves the house but isn’t a fan of flashy appliances, they’d be willing to renovate it. As my mom frankly put it: “Anyone who is buying a house done to the Ts doesn't have their own style.”
Plus, the cobalt blue is classy, not tacky. Someone could dislike the feature the same way someone could hate the backsplash tiling or the navy-colored island my mom initially fantasized about—though it's a less expensive change for potential buyers. But if they do try to sell the house in 20 or so years, the appliances might be in need of a refresh anyway.
When I asked if she thought she’d ever get sick of seeing these bright appliances 10 years down the line, my mom told me this: ”Not at all, I love it. It's spicy.”