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Studio Blog

September 12th

Cook Up a Plan Before Changing Kitchen Colors

Contrasting cabinet finishes adds depth and richness to this kitchen.

Choosing a color scheme for your kitchen can be a daunting task. Although everything can be changed, of course, it is not as easy or affordable to swap out cabinets, countertops and backsplashes as it is to just repaint your living room or replace your bedroom draperies. That’s why you should give careful consideration (and preferably work with a designer!) when remodeling or redesigning your kitchen.

One way to approach it is to think about any collections or special items you might want to feature in your kitchen. For example, we have a client who has a beautiful collection of Delft pottery from the Netherlands. Since it is has a bold blue and white pattern, she wanted her kitchen to carry that theme too. Her kitchen is going to be a stunning space with white cabinets around the perimeter and blue cabinets on the island, plus a blue and white glass backsplash. There will be just enough blue to accent the theme but not so much that it overwhelms the kitchen.

An otherwise neutral kitchen gets its pop of color with a dynamic backsplash.

Contrasting island cabinetry as we did for that client has become a really popular strategy for providing more color and depth to kitchens. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with all-brown or all-white cabinets, that punch of color in the island can be fun and interesting. Or if the cabinets are all one color, you can jazz up the backsplash. What you don’t want is a bland, one-note color that runs throughout the kitchen (or any room, for that matter).

If you don’t want to make permanent color changes in the kitchen, use accessories for that color-splash effect.

That said, it’s possible to add color to a completely neutral kitchen hardscape in other ways, especially if you are not in your forever home and don’t want to make permanent changes. For example my house is a suburban tract home. We plan to sell it at some point, so I don’t want to add a bunch of personal touches to the kitchen that will have to be removed before we sell. That means the requisite medium-color wood cabinets, granite countertops and travertine backsplash. But my window treatments and accessories such as plate racks and dishes are full of color and personality, and I can easily remove them when it’s time to sell.

The best way to choose a kitchen color combination is to go with the arc of your home. We designed a mid-century modern home, for instance, that was perfect for the lime green colors the owners loved. On the other hand, a Spanish-style home could call for a colorful tile backsplash. However, if it is done right, most any color works well. As long as it is appropriate and cost effective – and you love it – go for it!

Need some assistance in choosing a color scheme for your kitchen? Please contact us for a personal interior design consultation.