Talking Trends with Eric Cohler

Design master Eric Cohler says color is back in the kitchen—in a big way. He gives us the scoop on where design is going in 2019 and beyond in an exclusive interview.

A favorite here at Traditional HomeEric Cohler understands exceptional design. In his latest collaboration, he brings his color savvy to a collection of appliances for BlueStar Cooking.

“Color definitely is back in a big way,” Cohler says. “It’s transforming kitchens.”

Unlike the 1970s, when color meant overwhelming expanses of harvest gold or avocado green, today’s color in the kitchen consists of thoughtful pops of a sophisticated hue against white counters and white or natural-wood-tone cabinets.

Often, Cohler says, the color direction is set by a statement island—blue and green are currently trending. Then that color is repeated on the range, maybe even the refrigerator.

Cohler has a palette for each season, including a basil green and eggplant aubergine for spring, and blueberry and blackberry hues for summer. His fall palette included a turmeric yellow, while winter featured sage and cocoa bean hues.

“I wanted to create a palette based in foods and seasonings, colors inspired by the spice market in Marrakesh or fresh fruits and vegetables,” Cohler says.

“I don’t always agree with colors of the year,” the designer adds. “I like colors that unleash the imagination, colors with longevity, and colors that you can build on. I want to give people a usable color palette. Maybe you start with the appliance, and then you can build on that with fabrics and accessories throughout your home.”

While Cohler is seeing color appliances take hold as true alternatives to stainless steel—matte black and ruby red are now mainstays—he appreciates that homeowners do have to option to re-skin their BlueStar range if they want a different color down the road—or they can go even more budget-friendly and change out the knobs. “It gives a kitchen some verve, some dash,” he says.

BlueStar offers more than 750 colors and can also do custom colors. People have sent items as diverse as nail polish and plastic fruit to get the perfect color for their range.

What’s on the horizon? Cohler says look for blush, lavender, teal, blue-gray, and saffron to emerge as trending colors in 2019. “Temper that color with white,” he says, “and use black as a grounding element—like a setting for a jewel.”

In addition to using color on a statement appliance, Cohler likes to incorporate colorful trim on curtains and layer color into the kitchen with a subway tile backsplash. “Pratt & Larson tile can bake the same color you use on the range into tile,” he says. “A backsplash should be vibrant to give the kitchen a fresh look.”