What Colour Are You Thinking of Painting the Kitchen?

Kitchen colour when cabinets are white

Interior renovation projects frequently include choosing new paint colours for the walls as well. Once you are done deciding colours for the main rooms, it is time to choose colours for the kitchen. Painting the walls is one of the simplest ways to make the most used room of a home stand out. Before you hit the local paint store, take a breath, relax and think about what your dream kitchen looks like. This is one space that you can completely personalize according to your taste. Colour consultants do suggest that apart from wall colours, homeowners must also think about the style and function of the space. For instance, think about how the wall paint colour will match with the tiles, countertops, appliances and lighting. These are few of the many components that should be taken into account before selecting a paint colour.

If you already have a set idea of how your kitchen should look, it may not be very easy to find decorating elements that mesh with each other. A colour scheme can be that unifying factor, provided you know how to tie everything together.

However, make sure to test paint samples on the kitchen walls. Observe how the colours appear at various times of the day and during the evening. Make sure to have all other personal accents around so you know how well the paint blends with the surroundings.

We Have Some Colour Tips for Your Kitchen

If you are planning to invest in painting any residential space in the near future, let’s start with one of the most important rooms of your home, the kitchen.

Tip #1: Try One Dominant Tone

Homeowners often wonder if sticking to one dominant colour in the kitchen is a bad idea. It doesn’t have to be, provided the overall colour scheme is able to unify all disparate elements of the kitchen such as walls, appliances, flooring etc.

For instance, if you have a countertop that is a mostly black granite, then the other colours in the kitchen need to align with this. So, choose cool colour tones that will go with the already cold black granite. This means that the colours you pick for the kitchen space need to be on the cooler end of the spectrum, rather than the warmer. Think of grays, whites and blues, warm colours with cool undertones may also work. The cabinets can be white or a light gray, floors can be gray ceramics or maple, and walls can be very light gray/beige. If you feel like experimenting, some bold charcoal accents can be introduced.

Dark gray Colour in Kitchen

Tip #2: Remember: Colours can change

Natural sunlight in the kitchen will change in its intensity depending on the time of the day. Morning rays of the sun seem to light up a space in a way that is so different than the evening sunlight. Shadows can affect the colour perception as well.  

How we see a specific colour is dependent on how well the light reflects off it. So when someone says that a blue-gray colour looked more gray than blue in the evening and that it changed, don’t be surprised. A colour doesn’t have a mind of its own, it’s just that light conditions altered the way it looked. Hence, it is important to understand how lighting works before selecting the paint colours for your kitchen.

Tip #3: Compare/Select Paint Colours at Home

Colour decisions shouldn’t be made in a hurry. Some people like to visit paint stores and decide the colour there. This isn’t the ideal approach.

Make sure to bring some paint samples home (most paint stores will sell sample pots) – you can shortlist 3-4 colours and paint some on the walls. Paint the swatches in a way that they’re in close proximity to the countertops, cabinets, and any other decorative elements you plant to use. Next, observe how the paint colours change as the day progresses and whether other kitchen accents look different because of it. Does the paint reflect on/off any other surface? For example, a burgundy/red will at certain times of the day make a white floor/cabinet look pink. Make sure to read our detailed blog on how to paint colour samples at home.

Try colour before you buy it for the kitchen

Tip #4: Warm Shades May Work

In the past, kitchens consisted of open fires, large earthen ovens and slow cooked food. Over time, we have begun to associate warm hues with kitchens. Research shows that colours like red and orange enhance appetite, whereas food placed on blue dishes has the opposite effect.   While warm colours may be the preferred choice, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the blues and greens. It is always possible to cool down hues with warm neutral colours. Try to balance suppressing and stimulating colours within the space to produce a room where people feel comfortable eating, as well as cooking, relaxing, or just spending time together.

Tip#5: Consider Your Countertop

Kitchen counters should be used to their advantage. It is often easiest to coordinate kitchen wall colours with them. Most counters have a number of different flecks of colour. This holds true for most quartz, granite and solid surface counters like Corian. By using the counter as a starting point, you can find a whole palette of colours for the rest of your kitchen. Granite like Uba Tuba, will have flecks of gold, turquoise, and cream against a green and black background.

So how can you work with a colour scheme like this? It is not very difficult. First, start with cream colored cabinets, a soft yellow/gold backsplash, and very pale yellow walls.  Complement that with furnishings in the same cream, while any natural wood tones would be selected to have a golden undertone.  In order to complete this beautiful kitchen, include shades of forest green and turquoise via accents like drapes or chair cushions.

Colour Inspiration for Kitchens

If you have:

A Tiny Kitchen: You don’t need to stay away from dark colours if you happen to be stuck with a small kitchen. Including a mix of contrasting colours will make your kitchen look larger. Paint colours with shades of blue, gray and red are versatile enough to work with a variety of other colours and lighter cabinets.  To further break up the paint, add rows of shelves and use the vertical space to increase storage. Some more paint colour ideas for small kitchens here.

An Open Floor Plan: Some newer homes, especially condos comes with open floor plans. This makes the colour choice slightly more difficult. If you have to work with open kitchens, that have adjoining dining or family rooms, you will need to choose the main wall colours carefully. The paint colour will need to match the kitchen accents and also match with the other rooms as well. Avoid extreme splashes of colour and try a gray-based neutral that goes well with a variety of colour palettes. In fact, try crisp and clean whites in glossy paint. Take a look at this beautiful Toronto condo/loft pictured below.

Beautiful white kitchen in Toronto Condo

Wood Cabinets: In love with wood cabinets? Have too many of them already? Fear not but do be smarter in wall colour selection. If you want the wood colours to disappear into the background, use a paint colour that’s a shade or two lighter than the cabinets. If you want to highlight the cabinets, use a shade from a contrasting colour scheme that has complimentary tones and you’re good to go! 

Dark/Black Appliances: Similar to stainless steel, black or dark-coloured appliances can seem cold and dark. Some people enjoy the stark, minimalist look that these appliances work well with. However, after a point, they will seem monotonous and suck up all the light like black holes. Balancing the strong elements and colours in a kitchen is the key here. Incorporate splashes of colour or use a warm brown to create a sophisticated look. Make sure to take into account the colour of the cabinets as well.

Dated Personal Accents:  When budgets are limited, repainting walls in one of the quickest and cost-efficient ways to incorporate freshness into your home. Paint can help hide or downplay unattractive features of a space. If you have an ugly brown countertop, use a paint colour that will dominate or one that plays up the existing accents. For example, paint three walls the same colour as cabinets (if you want to hide them) and the remaining wall can be painted as an accent wall with a bold colour.

With just a little bit of attention to the overall colour scheme, it is easier than you think to achieve a cohesive kitchen look. Look for common elements within your kitchen colours to plan and design a timeless kitchen that never goes out of style.

This blog was updated on 12/06/2017 by Dhiti, for Ecopainting Inc.

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