Bosch doubles down on colorful fridges in Berlin, Americans green with envy?

A pearl aubergine fridge, anyone? The German appliances brand is doing everything it can to sell people on multicolored refrigerators with swappable doors.

Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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Ry Crist
2 min read

One year ago at IFA 2017, Bosch unveiled its Vario lineup of European refrigerators, available with easily swappable doors available in 19 different shades.

This year, Bosch is keeping the colors coming.

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The Bosch Vario refrigerator in "pearl green," one of five colorful new finishes.


Specifically, that's five new colors for the Vario lineup arriving this autumn: pearl aubergine, pearl bronze, pearl anthracite, pearl green -- and light grey, which apparently didn't get the memo about pearl tones being in fashion this year.

"The names alone have a tasteful ring to them," reads the Bosch press release. Bosch Home Appliances principal designer Robert Sachon goes on to explain that "we develop our colours with contemporary home and lifestyle trends in mind. Those trends are currently driven by warm and cosy environments with subtle shades and interesting, iridescent surfaces."

To Bosch's credit, the fridges look terrific, and as an American appliances journalist, I can't help but feel jealous. In the US, appliance manufacturers tend to be much more conservative when it comes to color, sticking instead to proven stalwarts like stainless steel, or whatever new shade of grey the product team thinks it can sell consumers on in a given month.

In Europe, things are a little different. Across the board, appliances tend to be smaller, less expensive and more focused on interesting features and aesthetics in order to stand out. Shop around, and you'll find inventive kitchen options with dazzling, forward-thinking designs. Plenty of the gimmicks crash and burn with consumers, but the market offers more reward for the risk, so manufacturers keep them coming.

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These five new colors join the Bosch Vario lineup.

Ry Crist/CNET

Bosch sells appliances in the US, too, though nothing nearly as stylish as the Vario lineup. Last year, the company told us that it was considering bringing the Vario approach over to the western hemisphere to try and sell Americans on more colorful kitchens. That hasn't happened yet, but with the brand doubling down on Vario at IFA this year, I wonder if that might finally change. I'll let you know when I hear an update.

As for price, the Vario refrigerator retails for 1,399 euros (about $1,635, £1,270 or AU$2,230, converted roughly), with each extra door costing an additional 170 euros (about $200, £155 or AU$270). Each one swaps out in seconds without need for tools thanks to concealed brackets and magnets, letting owners mix things up whenever things get stale (or whenever pearl stops trending).

For reference, the existing color options are:

  • Lime green 
  • Champagne 
  • Orange 
  • Espresso brown 
  • Cherry red 
  • Coffee brown 
  • Black mat 
  • Sunflower 
  • Raspberry 
  • Plum 
  • Mint green 
  • Aqua 
  • Pearl night blue 
  • Light rose
  • Pearl white
  • Light blue
  • Pearl gold
  • Stone grey 
  • Petrol
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