Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? As anyone who has completed a kitchen remodel can tell you, there are a lot of decisions ahead of you. From picking out countertops to finding the right knobs and pulls for your cabinets, you’ll need to get all the details right if you want to build the kitchen of your dreams. This includes a critical one: color.
In this article, we’ll review how, in a kitchen, color is more than meets the eye. We’ll also go over how to best incorporate color into your remodel, and how you can start planning out your project.
Here’s how color impacts your kitchen
As it turns out, color isn’t just a personal preference, or something people choose because it “looks good.” There’s a whole psychology behind color and how color influences our mood and our feelings about any particular space. For years, interior designers have used color theory in their design of restaurants, office buildings, shopping malls, and more. But, it can also help you design a better kitchen. Here’s how different colors work in a kitchen.
As you’ve probably already guessed, blue is a calming color. Just like the ocean on a still day, it’s peaceful and serene. If your kitchen is your refuge from the storm of everyday life, blue is a good color choice. It’ll put you at ease and make you feel more comfortable and relaxed. After a stressful day, that’s what everyone wants.
The color of life, we naturally associate green with plants and growth. Shades of green make a kitchen feel alive and vibrant. Paired with houseplants, green makes a kitchen feel connected to the outside world. Interestingly, multiple studies have shown that green also encourages us to eat healthier.
Red is a color associated with passion and feeling. Deep reds can be reflective, while brighter reds can be energizing. Studies have shown that red also helps to stimulate appetite, which is why it’s such a good fit for kitchens. Just be careful not to overdo it: our brains are also programmed to interpret bright red as a sign of danger. Too much red can tip a kitchen from energizing to nerve-wracking.
A bright color that brings energy into any kitchen. If your style of cooking, baking, and entertainment is a high-energy affair, you should consider incorporating yellows and golds into your kitchen remodel.
There are some colors that are less suited for use in the kitchen. Purple, for instance, is a more intense version of blue. It can make us feel relaxed, but also encourages us to sleep and rest—probably not the color you want greeting you when you go to make coffee in the morning. Black is commonly used in modern kitchens as part of a neutral color scheme. Just be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll find that it will absorb natural light and make your kitchen seem a lot darker than it should be otherwise.
How does color factor into design?
Want to bring color into your new kitchen? Here are all the points where color can potentially factor into your kitchen remodel.
Whether you’re refurbishing your existing kitchen cabinets, refacing them, or replacing them with new cabinets, you have the option of painting your cabinets and using them to bring a whole lot of color into your reimagined kitchen.
This does involve some risk. If you’re going to bring color into your kitchen through your new or refurbished cabinets, make sure you really like the look and think through what it will look like with your new countertops, floors, backsplash, and more. If you change your mind later, you’ll have to repaint or refinish the cabinets, which could require a fair amount of work.
This is why so many homeowners decide to go with neutral cabinet (and countertop) colors. You don’t want to wake up one morning and decide that your choice of yellow isn’t working for your kitchen.
It’s much harder to incorporate color into your new countertops. Countertops, of course, can be colorful, but they’re not painted like cabinets or a tile backsplash. In most cases, you’ll want to pair a neutral countertop with your newly painted cabinets. For example, if you’ve opted to use a navy blue for your cabinets, go with a white or off-white quartz for your countertops.
If you want to bring color into your kitchen, you can always paint its walls. As you probably know already, there’s a nearly unlimited number of color options to choose from when it comes to wall paint.
One of the main benefits of adding color to your kitchen through wall paint is how easy it is to reverse course. If, six months down the road, you decide your color choice isn’t working out, you just need to repaint your walls. That’s much easier than replacing your backsplash, getting new appliances, or repainting cabinets. If not totally committed to the use of a particular color in your kitchen, incorporating that color through paint and pairing it with neutral cabinets, countertops, and appliances might be the best bet.
Many stylish kitchens use the tile backsplash to bring a “splash” of color into the kitchen, pairing a vibrant backsplash with neutral cabinets and countertops. Just like with wall paint, this gives you a degree of future flexibility: while not something you’ll want to do every year, replacing your backsplash is an easier and less-pricey way of “refreshing” your kitchen’s design.
When considering backsplash options, make sure you look at them alongside your countertops and cabinets. You’ll want to make sure the three elements all go together. This is one of the reasons why many homeowners leave the backsplash to the very end of the project: it’s easiest to nail down the countertops and cabinets and then find a backsplash that works with them.
Most kitchen appliances today come in either white, black, or stainless steel. But, there are other options out there. Many retailers carry refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and more in other colors. A cherry red refrigerator might be the perfect addition to your home’s throwback kitchen.
Don’t just think in terms of major appliances. You can also introduce some color through countertop appliances, such as stand mixers, toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves, and blenders. All of these countertop appliances come in a wide assortment of colors, which means there’s bound to be a great fit for your remodel out there.
Finally, don’t forget about the finishing touches. They can also bring color into your kitchen. Planning on hanging pendant lights over your kitchen island? Look into your color options. If you have white cabinets, you can bring some color and fun in through the knobs and pulls. Again, as with paint and the backsplash, the great thing about introducing color through accessories is that you can always switch them out later if you change your mind.
Work with a design professional
We’ve only scratched the surface of how you can incorporate color into your new kitchen. There are so many options out there. If you’re ready to move forward, we recommend you speak with an experienced kitchen remodeler or interior designer in your area.
A design professional can help you plan out your kitchen remodel from start-to-finish, while also helping guide you through design decisions and procuring materials. If you’re ready to get serious about your long-planned kitchen remodel, they’re the person who can help you.