Avocado green and harvest gold will always harbor memories of a time long gone – when bell bottoms and orange shag carpet were all the rage.

For many years, color was king in the kitchen but just as quickly as those trends faded, so did the trend of brightly colored appliances. Harvest gold soon turned into black and white.

As all trends come and go, black and white were soon replaced with stainless steel which has reigned as the hottest finish in kitchens for years, but is stainless steel finally starting to get dethroned?

Jessica McConnell, a color, finish and material designer at the Whirlpool Corporation says that the days of traditional stainless steel may be numbered as consumers crave more color, and even texture in the kitchen.

“We are starting to emerge out of a really bland era for appliance colors – if you think about it, Harvest Gold was the last popular color outside of black, white and stainless and we haven’t produced that color in ages. It’s time for new colors to emerge again.”

Jessica says in the last five to ten years there has been a real shift in kitchen design away from ostentatious luxury finishes to more understated and sophisticated finishes. That shift has led to new color options in appliances.

In 2015, stainless steel got a sophisticated makeover when the KitchenAid brand released the first ever black stainless steel. This softer satin finish brings a new dimension to the typical black or stainless steel, while still staying neutral.

“Black offers just the right amount of timelessness and freshness and edginess. Black is also a very versatile color that works well in modern environments and also in traditional or even country.”

During September, Jessica and a few other Whirlpool Corporation designers attended an International Design show in Europe, which highlights the design trends of the future. Jessica says that she sees the industry moving towards colors and textures that closely resemble the natural environment.

“I think we will see color be more tied to nature in that it is either an authentic material, such as stainless, or the colors are more inspired by natural materials in which they are toned down and blend seamlessly into the kitchen. So, think about sophisticated neutrals with just a hint of color and authentic metal colors, like brass, copper and bronze.”

While it may be some time before we see a shift in appliance colors, there are many ways to incorporate current design trends in the kitchen. Jessica suggests small changes like updating kitchen fixtures. A new faucet, or light fixture in an authentic metal like copper, bronze or even rose gold can really add to a more modern design.

For more of Jessica’s design tips: What’s Hot in Design 2016