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The Kitchen Cabinet

Cookware and Accessories Arriving in a Range of Bright, New Colors

July 02, 1987|MINNIE BERNARDINO | Times Staff Writer

Whatever happened to the harvest gold and avocado kitchens? Safely holding up in color choices is neutral almond and still dotting many areas are specks of country patterns.

Pastels seemed to have quickly faded. The white kitchen stayed of course, and up until lately, the spic-and-span totally white look found continuing appeal. But now colors are splashing in again. This time they're going in all directions.

We're seeing dishes, glassware, tools and appliances in cobalt blue, bold red and stunning rainbow combinations. In mid-colors you'll find ceramic and glass accessories in the fickle turquoise, pink and violet. Growing rapidly is green but in a range of a thousand shades like Mediterranean green to bright kelly green that determine class or obtrusiveness. Peach is also extremely popular and would you believe even in major appliances?

Now slate blue is creeping in as many manufacturers followed the footsteps of Rubbermaid, which introduced its line of slate-blue storage accessories about a year ago.

Finding risk in subtle color trends, Crown Corning has decided to stick to its successful line of bright primary colors. "We believe that there is an increasingly strong correlation between the housewares and fashion businesses," said Robert Riso, the company's president. "Consumers are using the new design housewares as an inexpensive way to redecorate, a way to express individuality and a current life style."

Acquired by Corning Glass Works two years ago, Crown Corning is one of the first companies to respond to the new consumer attitudes by focusing on fashion colors in its broad range of products.

For the 1987 fashion palate, the company foresees that pink and violet will be very strong. It features this combination and other popular colors in several of its multipurpose Thermique thermal servers and coffee-brewing systems, plastic Thermique Outdoor thermal servers, canteens, lunch box sets, wine coolers, ice chests and thermal jugs and plastic-handled Pronto flatware. Called Uptown, Crown Corning also introduced a collection of 24% lead crystal barware and stemware with stems that come in pink, violet, cobalt, azure, emerald, citron, gray and black.

Corning Glass Works' Pyrex Design Four-Piece Rainbow Bowl Set ($19 per set) with colorful enamel finish has replaced the plain glass bowls in The Times' Test Kitchen. Durable and lasting as they were, the old bowls just couldn't compete with the fashionable appeal of the colorful glass bowls that always made the food look like they were being set up for food photography. The Corning rainbow bowl sets are available graduated sizes in blue, red, yellow and green.

Mainly used for mixing or storing, the microwave/ovenproof bowls make beautiful serving ware for hot foods as well as salads or fruits. In the Crown Corning line, the selection of colors run from solid black, white, red, yellow and blue. Also available is a set of yellow and red combination and a three-piece rainbow set with a large blue, a medium red and a small yellow bowl.

Le Creuset Cookware, another product that has always been a leader with color, has a new offering for the contemporary cook. Imported from France by Schilller & Asmus, Inc. in Yemassee, S.C., the enameled cast-iron cookware has added the subdued slate blue to its line.

Fired in a furnace at 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit, the handcrafted heavy cookware is sprayed with colored enamel and vitrified at 1,650 degrees. The two types available in the attractive Le Creuset line are the traditional but improved enameled interiors and the non-stick Castoflon surfaces. Castoflon is a base coat that interlocks with Silverstone and cast iron to form a diamond-hard surface that resists chipping, peeling and scratching.

Le Creuset cookware is also available in blue, flame, red, bright black and white, which was introduced last year. The utensils have the advantage of cast iron for even cooking over low heat and will not warp. They are an improvement over ordinary cast-iron cookware because they have heat-proof knobs and handles, are attractive enough to be used from stove to table and, best of all, are easy to clean. They also eliminate the time-consuming seasoning process required for maintaining cast-iron utensils. Some of the unusual pieces include the long pate terrine, the oval terrine, the buffet casserole and the covered chicken fryer. Another interesting set is the one- or two-quart pan whose cover doubles as a skillet. Prices range from $24 for the six-inch skillet to $185 for the 13-quart Dutch oven.

Rubbermaid has decided to color Heatables, its line of microwave-to-table plastic cookware. This time it went along with four consumer-chosen colors: slate blue, gray, mauve and vanilla. The five pieces ($3.49 each) include large and small entree plates, a divided, three-section plate, soup 'n' beverage mugs and 1-pint bowls. All products come with clear, snap-on covers to prevent spattering in the microwave or for convenient storing in the freezer or refrigerator.

Rubbermaid's Servin, Saver Clear Storage Containers (from $1.25 to $3.75) have detracted from the old-fashioned look of neutral and earth tones with their eye-pleasing slate-blue lids. The containers come in seven rectangle and square sizes plus four- and nine-piece sets. They can be used for just about anything, in addition to food.

Le Creuset and Corning products are available in most major department stores. Rubbermaid products are available in Target department stores.

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