Adding Personality & Color in Your Kitchen

After years of all-white kitchens starring in movies like Something’s Gotta Give, color has begun to creep into this room, showing up in cabinets, vibrantly colored ranges, backsplashes, and accessories. And the reason goes beyond the kitchen, as homeowners add not just color but pattern, texture and detailing throughout their homes to make them more personal. Some of this desire stems from years of being surrounded by grays and whites after the 9/11 tragedy, which made everyone want to wrap themselves in soothing, easy colors.

Typically it’s in the kitchen–our main gathering space–where home owners often test their color decisions. Yet, we also know that kitchen redos are costly. The average upscale remodeling now hovers around $123,000 and even a mid-level redo is now just above $62,000, according to the annual 2018 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine. So the trick is to use color to transform and freshen the room but also reflect personal preferences. Here are five tips to help you make the choice that’s right for you from color expert Amy Wax, developer of the Color911 app and blog:

Choose colors that make you want to spend time there. . A stark white room may feel clean and new, but it may also tire your eyes to work in such a reflective environment. A black kitchen can be dramatic, but spending time in a dark room can end up feeling claustrophobic. An additional downside to either is the improbability that the room will flow well into adjoining spaces. Think of a palette that can be carried through.

Credit: Devol Kitchens @devolkitchens

Add in color that works with all parts of the room. If you are designing your kitchen—or have—and cabinets are neutral or stained wood, the paint color for the room can be a good place to start. How about walls of air light blue or creamy yellow? A second place for color may be an island. Always consider the style of the room. A muted sage green or slate blue-gray are appropriate for a design with vintage feel; a clearer color like creamy yellow can be best as a foil in a modern kitchen with white cabinets.

Credit: Brittany Kingery

Consider borrowing colors from nature. Colors in the kitchen often are more successful if they come from nature. Lighter greens denote freshness, wheat colors contribute warmth and lighter blues suggest daylight. All are likely to appeal long-term.

Credit: Designed by: Banks Development

Be careful about relying too heavily on the annual color trends of the year. The votes this year are for a variety of exciting deep saturated tones such as Pantone’s royal-blue purple Ultra Violet and Benjamin Moore’s rich Chinese Red Caliente. Many have an emotional hook. Deep red is said to improve appetite and add excitement, and used against white cabinets, it spells boldness. The more important question is whether the red or any hot hue will appeal long after the initial wow?

Credit: Lindsay Salazar Photograpy ( Styled by Alice Lane Home (
Remember that color works as an accent. Color can go a long way and using it in a backsplash, on the back of cabinets with glass fronts, window treatments and through colorful glass hardware all introduce some favorite hues. These kinds of color switches are affordable and easy to change…again.

Happy Styling

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