Bonnie Henry: Return of avocado kitchen surely a sign of end times

2012-10-07T00:00:00Z 2014-07-01T17:08:22Z Bonnie Henry: Return of avocado kitchen surely a sign of end timesBonnie Henry Special to The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

What?!! Are you out of your minds?!! A few weeks ago, an article ran in this very paper promoting a young, obviously delusional couple who had remodeled their kitchen back to the Avocado Epoch.

You remember that era, don't you? Back when Nixon was president, phones came with cords, and every totally modern kitchen boasted green appliances - preferably set off by some sort of burnt-orange wall coverings.

And indeed, that appears to be the same coloring adorning a wall of Jon and Trixi Hunt's Minnesota kitchen.

It all began, the story goes on to say, when the Hunts spied a bit of green, brick-patterned vinyl floor peeking out from beneath a more modern "vanilla" vinyl floor covering.

It took them two months to scrape off that offending vinyl floor, revealing the avocado wonder below.

Inspired, the couple then went on to uncover a Formica countertop beneath their gray counter tile. I mean, who would want real tile when you can have Formica? They finished off the retro look with a 1968 avocado refrigerator they found on Craigslist.

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

But hark, the Hunts are far from finished. They've also restored a pink bathroom and plan to remodel the basement rec room - no doubt with some sort of "walnut" paneling.

Ah, yes. I remember walnut paneling - just like the stuff we attached to the living room wall of a home where we lived in the late 1960s. Wonder if it's still there.

No need to wonder, however, about the avocado appliances, flooring and kitchen countertops we had installed in the new home we bought in 1973.

I'll tell you, I was so smitten with the color I almost had the toilets and bathroom sinks installed with that same hue. Luckily, sanity ensued, though not for a neighbor. I heard she later spent thousands of dollars ripping and replacing it all.

As for me, a kitchen fire took care of the avocado cooktop, Formica countertops and avocado flooring. Attrition took care of the refrigerator and dishwasher, and I had the oven doors repainted a tasteful shade of the then-popular "almond."

That, too, has now joined the dust heap of appliance color rejects, along with pink, turquoise, harvest gold and coppertone. Mother was right. She never went with any color other than white. And today, you can still find it, tucked among all the stainless steel.

But lo, I didn't stop at the kitchen. For years, we lounged around on avocado velveteen sofas, highlighted underneath with burnt orange shag carpeting, which required regular raking.

The orange shag was eventually replaced with something much smoother and blander in color. The sofas we gave to a daughter who before long put them out on a sidewalk for someone else to claim. No one ever did.

Too bad the Hunts weren't around back then to scoop them up - or that avocado refrigerator we donated to the Salvation Army.

If someone out there still has that fridge, you might think about putting it on Craigslist. Or as philosopher George Santayana never said: "Those who cannot learn from the history of avocado are doomed to repeat it."

Bonnie Henry's column runs every other Sunday. Contact her at Bonniehenryaz@gmail.com

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