There is a very famous phrase in the design world that ‘Form Follows Function’. While it might be very nice to have an old ‘ice box’ of the late 1800′s in your living room raising eyebrows and commentary, it is better to have art that works. The old appliances from the early 1900′s are interesting too, such as the old wringer washers, but no-one today would really want to work as hard at doing the laundry as our grandmothers did.Today we demand much more of our kitchen appliances from toasters to broilers. Even our Fridges and ovens have new functions.
Counter top appliances are most easily turned into ‘character’ and cartoon themes. Some only need a little ‘tweaking’ to take on personality of their own.It’s easy to imagine small broilers as having faces with large mouths, just ready for your most desired treat. ‘Animation’ art is even used on cars. Remember the old vans from the sixties that turn their grills into snarly teeth? Mixers and blenders can be easily changed into art by making the bottoms into ‘turtles’ and ‘tree frogs’ of a myriad of colors.Microwave oven appliances would stump most people with their boxy look (how best to transform them?), but think of the old antique and ‘collectors’ travel trunks. Louis Vuitton trunks were the ultimate in fashion and design from the early 1900′s and many things were copied from them.
Their patterns alone would make wonderful ‘textural’ themes and ottomans of rawhide and suede leathers make very tactile ideas for the new kitchens that are being designed. Of course these ideas are manufactured to be easily cleaned as well.Kitchen backsplashes are being made of recycled leather that could be used for all kinds of appliances, including stoves and refrigerators. Changeable themes should be made to suit mood and season.Stove fronts, refrigerators, could all be designed to ‘mix and match.’ The new brushed metal fronts are just a beginning. Imagine transparent fronts with neon tubes filled with colored gel that moves and reveals the mechanical workings just as the recent period of design that was featured in Desktop Computer design.
Creating fun translucent designs reflecting the ‘stained glass’ effect and ‘window tattoo’ uses being displayed in vans, trucks and cars today. Another idea may be to use ‘underwater’ designs with integrated bubble glass that is much used in glassware from Mexico. The Bauhaus furniture movement had ‘wicker’ re-invented for their chairs. This and other organic designs which feature ‘curvy’ lines based on Art Nouveau like Hector Guimard’s work on the Paris Metro would be lovely.It is evident we are moving into a much more flexible period of design and art regarding kitchen appliances, and they will soon be featured in our homes. We already see more whimsical colors being used.
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