Make Color Work for You in Your Kitchen Design

Color is an essential element of any design, as it significantly impacts the style and mood of a space.  Color is both a visual and emotional component of design.  The color scheme you pick and how you incorporate it into a room set the tone for that space, offer a glimpse into your personality, and influence the mood of everyone who enters the room. 

Even in a kitchen design, which tends to use a basic color palette, the neutral tones you select alter the atmosphere of the space.  An all-white kitchen is quite different from a wood tone kitchen or a gray kitchen.  Even gray paint, tiles, and countertops come in a range of shades with different undertones that fit into the warm or cool color range.    

There are several elements that must come together to form a cohesive color scheme in a kitchen design, including kitchen cabinets, walls, countertop, floors, backsplash, hardware, and more.  Here are 5 areas to review when finding your perfect kitchen color combination.

1.  Kitchen cabinets form your base color scheme.

They line the perimeter of your kitchen, some of them may go from floor to ceiling, and they generally take up almost half of the surface space in the room. Cabinetry takes a prominent position in the kitchen and, therefore, form the foundation of your kitchen color palette.  White, gray, gray-beige, or wood finish are among the many neutral options available, each of which give the room a different appearance. If standard neutral is not your style, then perhaps you want to evoke a cheery farmhouse look with yellow painted cabinets, or a modern look with black or brightly colored cabinets.  Use the style and finish of your kitchen cabinets as a starting point for your color palette.

2.  Accent it with countertop and backsplash colors.

Once you have selected cabinetry, turn to the color of those surfaces directly next to the cabinets.  The countertop holds a prominent position and must work together with the cabinet color scheme.  If your cabinets are white, this may mean you pick a white countertop to achieve an all-white kitchen design.  Or, you may decide on a dark countertop material to offer a striking contrast with the cabinets.  Similarly, the backsplash fits in between the countertop and wall cabinets, and is directly in the line of sight for most people in the kitchen.  Backsplash colors and designs may become a design focal point if you opt for a contrasting color, or you could select a material that offers a fluid transition between the countertop and cabinets.

3.  Finish it off with hardware, faucets, lighting fixtures, and appliances.  

Think of hardware and faucets like jewelry to finish off the perfect outfit.  They are available in a range of shades with a polished or matte finish that set off the cabinets, countertop, and backsplash. Appliance finishes also accent the color scheme, with stainless steel one of the most popular choices.  Paneled appliances allow them to blend in with the cabinet colors, while a more recent trend toward brightly colored appliances make them a focal point standing out against the kitchen color scheme.

4.  Provide a backdrop with wall and floor colors. 

The floor and wall color schemes offer a backdrop behind these base colors.  Floors and walls are often neutral tones, though a brighter wall paint color could be selected to stand out against the cabinetry.  The color of the floor tends to take a backseat to other elements of the design, but it plays a key role in setting the tone for the room.  A warm hardwood floor offers a different feel for a kitchen design than a beige or gray tile, and any color selection must work in harmony with other design elements.

5.  Add accent colors with accessories. 

Against the typical neutral kitchen color palette, accessories can add a pop of color to brighten up the design and bring out your personality.  Turquoise barstools against dark wood cabinetry or red cushions next to a gray color scheme make a statement and give your room a unique look.  Adding a pop of color is an excellent way to brighten up an otherwise monochrome kitchen, and can be incorporated in a way that is easily altered when your tastes change.

The color scheme is a key part of any kitchen design, as it helps to define the style of the space.  This is especially important in a room like the kitchen, particularly with open plan designs.  A kitchen design professional can help you figure out the perfect color combination for your next remodel.