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Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Posted by debrak_2008 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 6, 12 at 17:19

Just for fun...I've always wondered about avocado green appliances and why everyone hates them.

I've never had them. Grew up with white or black. I will admit that up until a few years ago I had a 1970's brown electric coil range with matching non functioning hood.

So I wonder....who came up with avocado green? It must have been popular. Will anyone admit to purchasing this color? If you did you must have like the color at the time. Why does everyone hate it so much now? How did it go from love to hate? or was there never any love? How did it end up in so many kitchens?

I just wonder because retro is cool now except for avocado green appliances.

Any thoughts? Any closet avocado green refrigerator lovers out there?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I think it symbolizes something negative that goes beyond the appliance for some reason.

Variations of this green are popular in some of the same houses where people would rather bury their food in the snow than have a green fridge...its okay on a chair, but ugly on an appliance. Similar greens seem to be all over the decorating forum. I don't get it, personally.

We always had white and stainless growing up, but there has been an extra avocado fridge in the furnace room of the basement since it was new. (Scratch and dent).


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

As to why people hate them, anything that becomens super popular tends to have a backlash against it. The backlash is less if the item/color/trend is fairly conservative (white or stainless appliances) and greater if the item/color/trend is bolder, more unique or appealed to a smaller segment of the market when it was "in" (avocado or harvest gold appliances, Tuscan kitchens, etc). Note that coppertone appliances (also popular in the 70s) don't earn as much vitriol as avocado, because they are basically brown, which is neutral and more conservative than green.

But manufacturers want to sell new appliances, so they change up their lines and start pushing new colors (bisque! black! stainless!) and the old colors start looking, well, dated. If they haven't made fridges in some color for a decade, then having that color instantly dates your kitchen to that era. Even if it was a nice color and you loved it, you might start coveting something more up-to-date. Oh, and if your MOM owned that color, forget about it, because nobody (well, almost nobody) wants their mom's kitchen.

My mom had a coppertone range and hood and a white refrigerator when I was growing up. She probably would have liked avocado, having used a lot of green elsewhere in the house, but I don't think they made it when she bought her fridge (ca. 1960)

I personally would be thrilled if appliance manufacturers re-introduced avocado green appliances. Or any other halfway interesting color. Yellow. Turquoise. Brown. Red. You can get them in high end appliances, but for mass market stuff the market is solidly neutral.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

For me the mention of avocado (also the 70s gold and orange) conjures up images of dark, dark woodwork (and at worst, fully paneled walls), low ceilings, thin, slab door cabinets, mottled brown shag carpet... Just a dark cavelike palette and atmosphere. The avocado appliances were a dirty, muddy sort of color if I remember correctly... There are ways to do a similar green that aren't dingy looking. For me the colors of that time are just not colors I like. I look sick in them and feel sort of sick around them. I hated them then, was so happy to see them move on, and don't want them back. JMO.

But you're right, Palimpsest, that for some reason it's harder to take on appliances than in pillows. Maybe the size? Especially if done in suites, like back then.

I can actually imagine that avocado appliances might have an entirely different impact in a kitchen with lighter cabinets, for a softer combo.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I have an avocado green(ish) travel trailer from 1974 and even it has the decency to have a paneled fridge and harvest gold cooktop.

Those 70s appliances were an ucky shade of green. If they were the color of an actual avocado, we might like them better.

But I agree, all those colors would look better with soft colored kitchens.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I remember when my parents purchased an avocado stove, to coordinate with their green indoor/outdoor carpet (oh, yes, they did--in the kitchen, even with five kids dropping stuff all over the place). Their next stove was white, purchased after the oven and three burners on the avocado stove quit working, one at a time.

By the time I was out on my own, almond was all the rage. I'm slow to accept change--I've always had almond or bisque. I find it comforting and serene. I also prefer off-white spices--garlic, ginger, white peppercorns (just kidding ;).


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

OK--I'll be the first to own up. Had it all. Avocado refrigerator, stove and sink.
Built the house late 70's when we were in our 20's. Remember this was the 70's and avocado, coppertone and harvest gold were the "in" colors for appliances (Midwest). Thankfully the refrig and stove eventually died. Hate to admit this, but the sink first went in the big dumpster a couple months ago. DH says it was still good! What were we thinking?
Never did the shag carpet and paneling though. There are other bad decorating memories to go with the avocado appliances but I'm not going down that memory lane.
I'll post pics shortly of the new kitchen..you'll see, my taste has improved.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Not really but close.......

Photobucket

Photobucket

Here is a link that might be useful: Retro for Today?


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Agree with the "That's so *whatever date*" reaction to things like this.

The house we bought (still have) in the mid-eighties had an avocado bathroom and a harvest gold kitchen. Still have the bathroom except for new white toilet. The harvest gold is now just the countertops and the dishwasher that we haven't ever used (Why DH won't let me rip it out and use the space for storage is a many year old mystery. Next time he is out of town I might just get rid of it on my own.) due to necessary appliance replacements. The green in the bathroom doesn't bother me and I actually like the harvest gold left in the kitchen. Yellow kitchens are cheery, avocado kitchens not so much?


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I think it has to do more with the particular colors than any tendency to have a backlash against the too trendy. For a long time appliances were almost always white. I know that we see retro appliances in turquoise and such, but I don't ever remember seeing them in real life - in the 50's and 60's, any appliances I saw were plain old white.

I think that, when harvest gold and avocado green came out, we liked them because we were tired of white. I'll own up to having bought avocado green appliances in the 70s and they seemed like a good choice at the time. In retrospect, it was a kind of yucky green and we came to our senses after a while and realized that. It was muddy like rhome said. It's hard for me to understand why we ever liked it and the closest I can come is that it was a change from white.

In smaller amounts mixed with the right other colors it may be okay, but also slight changes that make it a less muddy green make a big difference. Maybe it was some limitation of the tints that they could apply durably to an appliance that made it that way because the harvest gold has a similar muddy feel to it. The color of the appliances that Michelle posted is very pretty - it isn't close to the avocado green of the 70s.

There is no other trend that I can recall where I embraced it at the time and then felt so repulsed by it afterward. It seems like it had that effect on a lot of others as well because it's the example that always comes up when people are worried about making a trendy choice. It was 40 years ago and I can't think of a more recent example that comes close.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Avocado for a ref creates a really nice boat anchor.

I believe I may have mentioned before my mother's love of that color - counters, matching formica backsplash, appliances, and cabinets painted avocado. Thankfully, she stopped before having the walls painted avocado cause I'm remembering avocado green brick floor tiles too.

I get nervous around any darker sorta olive green. I don't think anything goes with it except for the above mentioned boat.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I like avocado. Both as a fruit and as a color, in general. I like it in clothes because it makes my hazel eyes look green.

My 91 year old grandmother just replaced her avocado slide-in electric range and fridge (last month!) when a dumb serviceperson made her range start smoking as they tried to repair it. She built her house in 1969, and they were original. She hates her Frigidaire stainless replacements.

I think her walnut kitchen looked better with the avocado.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Most people who make fun of avocado green appliances never had them or used them when they were new. If you are younger than fifty, the only time you ever saw them in person was when they were already dated. If you ever did see them in person.

I agree 100% with what pal said. I see people plopping this color all over their houses today. Their distaste for using the color in appliances doesn't have much to do with a desire to stay neutral in expensive metals--people may look at a bright red Bluestar and say it's too much of a commitment for them, but they never talk about it like they do avocado. To be blunt, except for people who really had them and tired of them, it's mostly a matter of people repeating what they think they're supposed to believe.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

No, the avocado green appliances really were a bad color.

There are some good shades of harvest gold though. And that sunny yellow you can sometimes find--that is still wonderful.

Maybe Marcolo is correct, though. Maybe by the time many of us were old enough to notice it, the avocado green had turned shabby with age.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

What is see people describing is the whole package. As bmore pointed out, it was part of a period where people did a lot of dark saturated colors all together. Sorry bmore, but your mom's kitchen was probably pretty hideous even in the avocado heyday. "Too much" is relative by prevailing tastes, but I don't think avocado monotone was ever in good taste. More common? Maybe. Good? No.

On the other had I have been in some older kitchens with avocado, gold, or yellow appliances without all the accompanying dark paneling, patterned indoor outdoor, walnut formica cabinets, and the colored appliances looked fine.
Most of these kitchens were pretty pale neutrals in terms of the other elements...light wood, and white or pastels, so the appliances may have been the only signature "color" in the kitchen, not part of a jumbled morass of color overload.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Design swings between warm earth and cool sky. The '60s were about artificial colors. The '70s brought in serious earth tones and the dreaded Mediterranean Revival furniture with four-inch thick plastic appliques all over it. The '80s were all sleek again, then we had Tuscan and Moroccan and British colonial golds and greens and oranges again the 90s. The OTK is very cold in color, and on it swings.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I hated avocado green even at the time. It's just a vile color, and I still think so when I see people going gaga over it today for other uses.

>And that sunny yellow you can sometimes find--that is still wonderful.

Yes, I love those! I wish they'd come back, along with turquoise.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I thought that "Mediterranean" furniture was hideous at the time, and I was like six. Now all it reminds me of is 70s porn.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Though my parents never had avocado appliances (they had brown), I lived through those years. I'm not a design expert of the transitions from one style to another but I if my memory is accurate, we went from very dark cabinets in the 70's to oak and white in the 80's. Huge transition from dark to light, where the muted tones no longer fit with the cabinetary as much. Manufacturers weren't selling them, so the line was discontinued making them appear daughty in the country/white kitchens.

IMO it's not just about the appliance color but the woods/tile/colors around it that make or break it. The retro colors I've seen are very bright and far from the muted colors of the 70's appliances.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I think it's a product of the time you grew up in.

I'd far rather have avocado than mauve.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

For me green can be a beautiful color. I have green walls and carpeting in my house. I occasionally wear green. But I would never ever drive a green car. Why? To me it doesn't fit my "car" personality. I laugh because it makes no sense but I do know that green used cars are cheaper than other colors. Not sure how I would feel about cooking on a green stove.

I'm really enjoying reading all the responses. Everyone has an interesting take on it.

cawaps, thanks - Coppertone was my range and hood color. It really wasn't that bad. I just hated the ugly coil burners.

marcolo, your right. I'm a little younger than 50 and have never seen them in person. Oh and you had to mention the plastic mediterranean. I remember as a child my parents buying their first brand new bedroom set in that style. It got passed to me and two dressers still live on in a family cabin. I really didn't like that at all. It was the plastic. I remember thinking "why can't my parents buy real furniture?"

Sounds like most think that the 1970's in general had very ugly design. Maybe some of our experts here could tackle that subject.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

LOL, Bmore! It took me a looong time to be able to like anything close to olive, but I can like certain shades now.

My first apartment in 1984 had the original turquoise appliances. I'd never seen any like it, but they did exist!

Our first home had a 1970s all gold kitchen...Except the previous owners tried to "play it down" by adding a wall paper border and paint in dusty rose and gray blue. I wouldn't be any more excited about those colors and mauve than the avocado.

Bmore brings up a good point that decor in that time seemed to go with one color and do it everywhere. My BIL and SIL had a rambler with the 70s orange and almost black, dark brown cabs and woodwork... Paneling, too, I believe. But the carpet was black and orange, the countertops were solid orange (red-orange...no tangerine there!), and orange printed vinyl in the kitchen. I think the appliances might have been brown.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

For me, it's more than just the appliances. We had a 1968 history exhibit here in St. Paul and I could not bear any of it. Too many memories of the Vietnam era.

When PBS runs those nostalgic music shows from the same period, I burst into tears.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

It was an ugly shade of green! For me, that's the bottom line. Harvest gold wasn't much better...but the cinnamon color wasn't bad and seems to be making a comeback as a variation of the new 'copperish' color. Not as shiny as copper, but still nice with wood tones and warm colors :)


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Sounds like most think that the 1970's in general had very ugly design.

Mass market design was pretty ugly in the '70s for a simple reason. It was all about the mainstream trying to absorb the '60s counterculture. That's how you got middle-aged men with a paunch stuffed into tight-fitting shiny Qiana shirts sporting perms that made their heads look like the backside of a poodle. They wanted to be a little revolutionary and edgy, but not too much. Recipe for disaster.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

What a trip down memory lane! The kitchen I grew up in had the harvest gold refrigerator, wall oven, and sink. It also had avocado green textured vinyl flooring and coordinating wallpaper. The adjoining living room had avocado green shag carpeting and wood paneling. I don't remember my parents being wild about it when we moved in, but with four of us kids, there wasn't money to do anything about it until years later.

>Bmore brings up a good point that decor in that time seemed to go with one color and do it everywhere.

You know, I remember the toilets being avocado green too!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

>I remember the toilets being avocado green too!

Yep, the first apartment I rented had matching avocado green in kitchen and bath. There's nothing quite like an avocado green tub. It still makes me slightly queasy to think of it after all these years.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

My parents built their house around 1975. Dark paneling downstairs with blue-black-brown-white shag carpet(!); harvest gold appliances and countertops, dark walnut cabinets, and brown patterned carpet in the kitchen; harvest gold tub, toilet, sink and possibly also gold tiles with brown cabinets in the main bath; gold shag carpet in the upstairs living room; blue shag in my brother's room; red, gold and white shag in my room. The only decent carpet in the house was the low-nap green in the master bedroom. Bit by bit things were updated, thank goodness.

So as debrak said above, what went wrong in the 70s?? As a kid I hated the colors. I've recently come to love brown and green in some shades, and I will admit to having a soft spot for harvest gold appliances (like in my last sun-filled apartment). The whole package though..whoof. And actually, now that I like green I figured I'd like the green appliances now found in antique stores...but they're an ugly, muddy shade of green, like over-cooked green beans. Just can't do it.

A reminder to anyone who's forgotten of just how bad these things are:

green appliances

Though if you click on the link to the Ugly House photos, I actually kinda like some of the funky wall papers, and the green carpet underneath the green appliance photo may be the same as my parents' old bedroom carpet (which was primarily my favorite because it made nice grass to play My Little Ponies ;)).

Here is a link that might be useful: Ugly House Photos >> 1970s


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

we still have an energy guzzling avocado green fridge in our basement that seems to work better than any the 3 new fridges we\ve gone through over two decades upstairs. It looks pretty good with the light birch slab cabinets and grey counter. It really needs to be changed out for energy star, but my husband is resistant since it works so well.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

marcolo, you are so right. Even as a kid growing up in the 1970s, I thought a lot of trendy things then were actually tacky. Older things looked so much more elegant. I also remember liking the cars from the early and mid-1960s much more than the 1970s era cars like the Pinto.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Avocado green appliances make me nostalgic. I grew up with them, along with shag green carpet, and I have fond memories in that house. I'm not sure I'd seek them out for my new house, but if it became trendy again I'd consider it. I'm not a huge fan of SS, but I guess that's what we're getting because I can't find anything I like better. fd


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RE: colored appliances

And in case anyone else hasn't seen some of the colors that were mentioned above (I hadn't), this link has some copper, brown, blue and yellow appliances that are definitely preferable to the avocado.

Ugly House Photos >> 1960s

And the 1950s has a cool white range and a pink wall oven:

Ugly House Photos >> The Quality of Yesteryear


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

The tract I grew up in was built in 1963, and the new owners were given a choice of turquoise, harvest gold, avocado, or coppertone appliances. Thank goodness my parents chose coppertone. My first and last set of appliances were harvest gold hand-me downs. Not that bad since I had the whole shebang, including the sink. My grandmother chose them to go with her orange and gold flowered kitchen wallpaper :) I would love to see some colorful appliances (or cars) these days. Everything is so bland. Where are the yellow cars and refridgerators?

Renee


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I liked the avocado green appliances! When I met my now xdh he was building a house. We got married the month it was finished... green sink, fridge, corningware cook top. about 2 yrs later we had a dw put in - avocado green!

The walls WERE paneling! rough sawn cedar wood panels (and cedar panels and cedarshake shingles on the outside). It was an A-Frame in a woods on a small 'bluff' overlooking a creek. The wood floors didn't work out (bad builder) so within about 2 yrs when our baby was starting to crawl we put in carpeting - green in the LR and a brown and gold in the Kitchen. Didn't find one I liked w/the green in it so went with what I liked even if it didn't match.

About 14 yrs later when I moved into town (divorced) I bought my sister's harvest gold stove and fridge from her and put in my house in town. I had blue and gold kitchen carpet in there. It was carpet specifically for the kitchen. I loved it. I still like both of the kitchen carpets i had. Raised 4 kids with it on the floors.

I don't hate the green, I just wanted something different when I moved and loved the gold. I kept it til in the mid 90's moved when I lived in my last rental house. Then moved in with a co-worker while I got my land and moved out into the country again (different place, different state). Now I have an almond fridge w/harvest gold sink - lol! and avocado bathroom sink/tub/toilet! for the last 14 yrs.

Soon to move again - will take my almond (more a bisque)fridge w/me and have a bisque sink and stove for there.

I still don't hate avocado tho I'd rather not have a lot of it. I wear a lot of green. the pants I have on now are about that color! I'd probably take it in an appliance over SS too.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Jessica, I kinda like that. Eek. THAT kitchen is rather tastefully put together. The countertop makes it work!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Reading this thread sent my husband and me down memory lane to our first house, built mid-'60s, bought by us in 1972. We were so proud of our avocado green refrigerator (remember the edges were a slightly darker shade). Of course it was simply fabulous with the green shag carpet in the living room next to the kitchen! But when I wanted a change, there was no need to buy a new frig - no, sir, my husband bought the appliance painting kit, this time the dark brown. There were two paint cans in the kit, and of course one can was the slightly darker shade for around the edges of the doors. He was so proud of his finished product and all the neighbors came in to admire it and wonder whether they, too, could pull off such a feat. The intricately pattered brown and yellow vinyl floor and the bright yellow Formica countertops all worked together like a 1970s dream!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

fori, it is a rather understated kitchen, at least! ;)

Maybe one of the next DAT threads can be on how to make avocado appliances look good?

desertsteph, didn't you find it hard to clean kitchen carpet? I remember when my parents first got vinyl; it was so fun to slide around on the floor in socks!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Wow, what an interesting thread.

I'm fascinated by the suggestion that the whole, um, "political ambiance" of the time matters too. I think that must be right at some level, I think social pressures and customs must influence design. No question the 70's were a time of interesting political upheaval. I'm not sure how that translates to design. Except then there's also this suggestion that whatever it was of that time that's linked to the avocado, well most (many? some?) of us only saw the avocado *After* the fact and associate it with something passe' -- *what* that's passe', well - dunno.

So some of the distaste associated with the avocado appliances is 'transferred', if you will, distaste for the times. Hmmmmm..... I thought I was reading that in agglomeration of a bunch of posts. Hope I haven't totally missed the nail there.

Because one thing is, I know there was a lot of interesting design going on in the 60's and 70's. Design Research for one, and I can think of a lot of really good designs from then. Somehow, this is the "bad" design from then, and it's very flamboyant. or muddy; whatever. It's very obtrusive.

I'm not really up on history very well, but when is the "middle class" said to have been in full swing in this country? I'm thinking these times were sort of the apex, or near to it?

Anyway, those colors are immensely evocative and not just of the specific kitchens they graced. I buy the argument that they're surrogates for a time, place and social situation.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

The problem with the 70s, speaking as one who was there, was that it was the first time that the industry seriously forced a single color scheme on everyone. Everything was earth toned, and if you didn't want orange, brown, avocado, and gold, too bad for you. It was just a hideous drab dark look and it was everywhere.

Those who deride the ducks and colonial blue and rose and gray that followed don't understand what a relief it was to get away from the hideous '70s and their dark pseudo Mediterranean interiors.

It's not so much political, I think. I was in college in the early '70s and by '74 all the more violent upheaval was pretty much over and things like streaking were making news (well, and watergate, but that was a political scandal, not a social upheaval). But we still had to deal with avocado green bath towels--I still have two (at least they were made to last).


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I still think that the extreme earth-tone or avocadoism, followed by the pastel ducks Holly Hobbyism were mass culture phenomena that did Not reflect *good taste at the time either.They were exaggerated middle and low culture expressions of the trends.


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RE: class and taste

Right, pal, but if you were in the middle class financially it was hard to avoid. When you went into even a kitchen supply store, everything available was in those colors. I remember desperately searching for years for things like a red teakettle. Couldn't be done, for the longest time.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I grew up in a house with white appliances, and never had anything but white till stainless came on the market, but I love the retro and modern colored appliances, any color, especially avocado, I think they're cool. I do not covet much, but gsciencechick's aqua Big Chill is up there, it's just so, umm, chill.

However, my LR is painted BM Pine Grove (think what would happen if avocado and coppertone mated) and my entry is painted BM Medieval Times (mating of harvest gold and avocado), so I come by my avocado love honestly.

sandyponder


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

When we bought our first house in 1980 it had avocado appliances and I thought they were pretty nice (seriously). This from a girl that had grown up in an old faRmhouse with the above mentioned kitchen carpet.

I did get new butcher block countertops to replace the orange, in that house and I really thought I was living high then.

It's all a matter of perspective sometimes, lol.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

O.T. to writersblock...I heaved out my drab green bath towels years ago but in cleaning a closet recently here I found a gone missing orange hand towel. Oh, and a roll of adhesive shelf paper in giant orange flowers. My mother thought I liked orange and she always gave me such things. Orange candles, orange placemats, orange ashtrays (remember those?). That was the ultimate accent color. Personally, I liked the gold and still do.
___

If you remember the winter/spring/summer/fall color analysis fad that we used for clothing selection, I'm a spring. The color palette that was so very fashionable in the old colored appliance days of the 1930s-1940s was summer (pastel pinks, turquoises, seafoam greens) or winter (black and white) and the 60s-70s was either winter (stark contrasts of b&w with Schiaparelli pink and chartreuse) or fall (oranges, browns, dull greens). The spring palette of clear colors has had a longtime struggle with fashion. Apparently it's not as common as the others in the biological world of the U.S. and I suspect that there are just fewer customers for it. The DAT Yellow thread may address the void. Go gold! Go mustard!

As for middle class, I think those who had aspirations and who wanted to declare "we've made it!" bought the trendy things like colored appliances. But there were also the stodgy stick-with-white people who raised me who knew that white would always be practical and would return to fashion, at least utilitarian fashion. That was also the middle class but it was the conservative middle class not the blatant one. We drove Fords.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I do hold market pressure to some fault in decorating evils. I didn't understand how much we are influenced by that until I started to see what I always thought of as my parents "art" be sold in junk stores ($1 to $10).

I am somewhat afraid of picking something popular and somewhat resigned to it.

(@jessicaml - uglyhouse isn't a sufficient warning. That was like every bad home decorating ad campaign rolled up in a page. Loved every thrilling picture.)


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Most people who make fun of avocado green appliances never had them or used them when they were new. If you are younger than fifty, the only time you ever saw them in person was when they were already dated. If you ever did see them in person.

Pretty much agree. Everyone wanted a Brady Bunch kitchen in the 70's. An Alice in the kitchen would have been nice too. It was a mix of avocado,orange and stainless. Our first house had harvest gold appliances,orange counter tops, and a stainless cook-top on the stove.

I still have some old Sunset kitchen books from that era. All the "new stuff" everyone has orgasms over today was around then. Except for solid surface and engineered stone products. The rolls-outs, the stainless, all there.

At the time everyone wanted to get rid of grandma's gas range and go electric. People wanted streamlined kitchens that they weren't slaves to cleaning. Women weren't willing to spend their whole day there. They discovered there was life outside the kitchen.

Many of the styles people covet today were things grandma would have been thrilled to get rid of.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

>>>Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?>>>

Because no one has renamed them as "Mediterranean Sage" or "Scandinavian Forest" yet.

LOL!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Appliance colors will definitely date a kitchen...avocado, harvest gold, coppertone in the 60's and 70's, almond in the 80's. Wonder if 20 years from now someone will look at my kitchen and say "stainless appliances--that is so 2,000's."

When we moved into our 5 year old house in California in 1959 the appliances were turqoise...I don't remember having them very long. Mom's least favorite color was green, so we would have never had avocado. She was a practical gal--always had white appliances and white dishes ("they go with everything"). When I got out on my own I rebelled and bought patterned dishes for years....but with my new kitchen, I bought white dishes...why? because "they go with everything." We DO turn into our mothers!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Those who deride the ducks and colonial blue and rose and gray that followed don't understand what a relief it was to get away from the hideous '70s and their dark pseudo Mediterranean interiors.

I grew up and into adulthood with the dark and dingy 'earth tones' of the 70s and hated them, then started married life with the Colonial shades and just wasn't much fonder of those. Agreed they were better, but a step up from awful can still be bad. ;-) At least they allowed the use of cleaner and brighter creams and whites, and a bit more variety... Not so heavy.

I have to say that I'm not sure we ever had colored appliances in my parents' home, as we weren't monied enough to have trendy. But I just moved into them later on. --Actually, I'm pretty sure the portable dishwasher we had in my later childhood that rolled in from it's inconvenient spot in the family or laundry room and attached to the faucet was gold or avocado...Even with a butcherblock top... Woohoo!

Florantha, my personal color palette is "Winter," so the colors in both of those trends are my worst.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Marcolo- LOL! Can you provide pictures (especially of the hair style) or should we just google the '70s show? :)


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I am under 50, so I certainly fit in the classification of one who never used them or even saw them when they were new. I agree that part of the backlash is the combination of mass-production and adoption, over use of a single color in one space, and frequently cheap (looking) materials. Additionally the other colors and materials typically used in combination with these (avocado green, harvest gold, brown) colors were within the same family of dark browns, golds, and muddy greens.

For me personally, I have never really loved the quintessential 1970s "earth" colors in any form: clothing, paint, furniture, appliances, automobiles, etc. I generally dislike gold and brown. The avocado green of the 1970s is very "muddy" as someone described it, having a lot of brown. I distinctly recall my aunt and uncle's house being entirely brown, gold, and orange. I remember wondering (hopefully just to myself - I was quite young) why did they ever pick such ugly colors for the whole house that didn't even look good together?

I recently ripped out two harvest gold bathrooms. One had a harvest gold tub and toilet with speckled harvest gold and white wall tile, but had been "updated" with a cheap vanity, cream paint, and cream vinyl flooring. The other was worse with harvest gold toilet and sink in a dark brown oak cabinet with dark brown splotchy laminate counter and brown vinyl flooring. Personally I find gold fairly unpleasant as a color. I prefer softer pastel yellows and bright sunny yellows. But for me, the combination of the dark brown and gold was reminiscent of exactly what goes on when sitting on a harvest gold toilet. I wish I had pictures of the bathrooms in their heyday when they had wallpaper and original vinyl flooring.

Even today, I find myself bothered by rooms overwhelmed with certain colors. For example, I realize that soft beiges and browns are currently considered "neutrals" but I strongly dislike color palettes that are almost exclusively these colors. I am even bothered by kitchens that seem to have (brown) wood cabinets, brown or beige counters, beige floors, etc, even though I realize they are popular and many people love this "warm" look. While I might enjoy a kitchen filled with Viking cobalt colored appliances, I wouldn't combine that with blue cabinets or blue floors and blue counters. Yet that seemed common with the avocado greens and harvest golds of the 1970s.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

"remember the edges were a slightly darker shade"

yes! maybe that's why many think of it as 'dingy'.

kitchen carpet - no problem keeping it clean - just like other carpet. call the dog if you drop food... vacuum and steam clean. My neighbor and I would rent a steam cleaner about every 3 months and clean our carpets. her dh went to get it and we returned it.

and if I'm remembering correctly, sandyponder's kitchen is on my 'favorites' list of gw kitchens!


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

"What a trip down memory lane!"

More like a repeat of a nightmare.

The last avocado appliance I had to deal with was a massive 48 inch electric stove.
Despite its huge size, it had only the requisite four burners (in two sizes) and a lot of wasted space around them.
Someone must have thought that having a place to land hot pans without a trivet (late 1950s early Formica counter with metal edging) on the stove top was worth the loss of counter space for other uses.

It died a horrible death at the scrap yard, along with the matching refrigerator.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

My mother-in-law still has an avocado slide in electric range and matching (recirculating) hood...I actually think it looks pretty cool, to tell the truth. Sadly, their avocado refrigerator broke and was replaced a number of years ago.

Its a very late 60's/early 70's kind of look, and it makes me think of macrame owls, but that is partly why I like it. I understand that most people have a strange hatred for design of that era, but honestly - I would take it over most of the 80's, any day.

What I always wonder is why people hate these appliances with a passion, but they like Le Creuset cookware which has a very similar aesthetic - especially some of the classic colors like flame.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I didn't mind the macrame, the plants or the brick and wood...just the green, gold orange theme. Not my favorite colors. However, if they had gone with leaf greens and morning glory blue...I could dig it! :)


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I still maintain that avocado has simply become a shorthand for a lot of people, and so everyone knows you're supposed to hate it even if they've never seen it. Otherwise, why target the '70s so exclusively?

I never saw a refrigerator as ugly as this.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

> Appliance colors will definitely date a kitchen...avocado, harvest gold,
> coppertone in the 60's and 70's, almond in the 80's. Wonder if 20 years
> from now someone will look at my kitchen and say
> "stainless appliances--that is so 2,000's."

Absolutely. I haven't the faintest doubt in my mind. I don't think they'll be hated like the avocado, but they'll feel old fashioned. Luckily appliances are the easiest to swap out.

My parents were never trendy enough to have avocado appliances in the '70s, but we had a harvest gold refrigerator. However, from buying their house in the 60's (at which point everything in it was from the '50s) to today my parents have only ever swapped appliances, repainted and changed flooring and countertops in their kitchen, and it still looks OK. Their master bath, however, was completely covered in redwood paneling in the '70s (turning it into a dark cave), and then completely changed again to white walls and tiles 15 years later.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Does anyone Not think the combination of pea soup, spring, and forest greens in the Gardenweb heads is hideous?


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Perhaps the header should be the topic of the next DAT.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

It's the fuschia 'go' button that really irks me up there, Pal. I could handle the header with a burnt orange accent.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

What I always wonder is why people hate these appliances with a passion, but they like Le Creuset cookware which has a very similar aesthetic - especially some of the classic colors like flame.

I strongly dislike those, too... For the reason that they immediately remind me of those awful old colors, especially with the color gradation. I always figured those who bought them were at least 10 years younger than my almost 52 years, so didn't remember the relief of living past them. They have so many more beautiful colors to choose from! Still not a fan of the color fade, and the price. ;-)


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

My MIL bought a house built in the 50s with pink appliances.

Do you think pink was better than avocado green? I DUNNO.... I think pink is up there in the appliance color disasters of Americana.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

Ah, I think the petal pink appliances were beautiful.


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RE: Why everyone hates avocado green appliances?

I wouldn't put pink in my kitchen, but the pink appliances were at least a nice shade of pink.

I guess I just dislike the colors of the 70s. And much of the styling.

I also dislike many of the popular dusty colors from the 30s, but love most of the design elements from that period. Now THAT was a nasty shade of pink. (Of course it didn't end up on appliances.)


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