Next time you make a trip down to the washer/dryer department at your local Sears (NYSE:S) store, make sure you have Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" playing on your Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPod, because, dude, you'll need to get ready for all of the groovy colors!

Sears has come up with an interesting marketing scheme. It seems as though the company believes that the domestic scene needs a change, from a long aesthetic stagnancy. According to the company's press release, female homeowners whom Sears surveyed desire more in their washers and dryers than just mere practicality and reliability -- they want something more pleasing to the eye, something that fits with the interior decor, something that reflects their personality and overall state of being. Dig?

This is where Sears' new color scheme comes in. I suppose this initiative shouldn't be surprising, what with all the home-improvement reality shows that are all over the cable channels these days. The country, in the midst of an oft-debated housing bubble, seems to be highly concerned about striking a copacetic balance between functionality and pulchritude. Nothing wrong with that, and there's certainly nothing wrong with a retailer trying to monetize a trend.

So take your pick. Champagne, Pacific blue, and Sedona are the shades that Sears says it has available for the heavy appliances. Sounds wild and out of sight! Lightheartedness aside, I understand the power of color choice as a tool of salesmanship. Apple certainly has used it to good effect, as has Nintendo, although we must keep in mind that those companies' products are an entirely different fruit altogether, and probably more appropriate for a -- dare I say -- motley-colored strategy. I'm sure Maytag (NYSE:MYG) and Whirlpool will be watching with keen eyes to see the effect of Sears' new palette-mixing experiments on consumer behavior.

I can't say, though, that a rainbow is going to help Sears and its challenged sales growth. Domestic comps were down 3% for the December period; total domestic sales weren't colorful, either, coming in at a decrease of 2.4%. Gift-card redemptions might save the retailer when January's sales figures are tabulated, but who knows -- Sears is still having a tough go at living in a world with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Home Depot (NYSE:HD), and Target (NYSE:TGT).

The big thing going forward in Sears' corporate life is the impending merger with that phoenix of the discount universe, Kmart (NASDAQ:KMRT). Perhaps the company that ultimately results from the closing of that deal will be fit enough to fight in this ultra-Darwinian retail landscape. As for me, I am not interested in playing the merger, and I would suggest a wait-and-see attitude once the new entity emerges. For now, I am satisfied to wash and dry my clothes in appliances that are finally a bit more charming (and the Iron Butterfly tune will outlast the cycle -- rock on, Fools!).

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.