Spiced-Up Kitchen Design Color Combos

These unexpected paint pairings are sure to get your spiced up kitchen design cooking

BY DEBORAH BALDWIN THIS OLD HOUSE MAGAZINE

Two Toned Kitchen TWO-TONED

If you’re looking for a way to give the hub of your home a new look with maximum impact for minimum hassle, consider a double dose of color, as shown in the kitchens we’ve rounded up here. Apple green with mustard yellow. Tomato red with carbon black. Taupe gray and pistachio green. Deep plum and pale mint. And cream paired with vintage-mixing-bowl blue. “Paint allows you to put your personal stamp on cabinetry,” says Brian Yahn of Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, whose clients often request a custom hue—or two. With upper cabinets in one shade and base cabinets in another, island and perimeter cabinets in contrasting colors, or simple pantry units painted to stand out like furniture, “it’s not your mother’s kitchen,” he notes. Case in point: the mix at right. For more on this and other lively pairings, check out the rest of this gallery.

Shown: Carefully plotted fields of color, including citrus shades of yellow and green, define prep, storage, and lounging spaces—and guarantee an upbeat mood. Cabinets: Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry

Cooking Up Color COOKING UP SOME COLOR

A new kitchen is like a blank slate: You can color it any way you want. Just take a look at this kitchen-and-family-room addition at Bonnie and Jim Connors’ house outside Chicago. The layout is pretty straightforward: The cooking area is flanked by small home-office and mudroom nooks; upper cabinets, prep space, and range are along one wall; windows, sink, and counters fill another; an island separates the cooking and family room areas.

But then things get interesting.

Working with architect Healy Rice and kitchen designer Kathy Walder, the couple stepped away from the traditional look of plain-vanilla boxes. “I’ve always loved color,” says Bonnie, and that includes her favorite shade of green. To keep the look sophisticated, she also opted for black base cabinets with an aged patina, off-white marble countertops, and plenty of stainless steel.

For a similar look, try Valspar‘s Green Tea (upper cabinets) and Pitch Cobalt (lower cabinets).

Bold and BrightBOLD AND BRIGHT

To get the right shade, she handed a piece of fabric to decorative painter Alex Stefanski, asking if he could replicate its zippy tone and soft texture. Using a bright green paint, umber-tinted glaze, and a specialty faux-finish brush to add texture, he covered the range wall’s upper cabinets with a broad swath of color. Then he tackled a hutch made of cabinets and butcher block on the sink wall, using a similar blend of paint, glaze, and brushstrokes to create an antiqued mustard yellow.

For a similar look, try Valspar‘s Yellow Chimes (hutch).

Keeping A BalanceKEEPING IT CLEAN

Cabinets for the home office were ordered in a factory-applied yellow that echoes the hutch across the room. Grass-cloth wall covering adds a sophisticated note and warm neutral backdrop, while red accents provide punch.

The color choices may be courageous, but they were hardly random. “It took a lot of time to think about ways to use color and create a balanced look,” says Walder. To help get it right, Bonnie made copies of the architectural elevations and used crayons to color them in a half-dozen different combinations.

Citrusy shades of yellow, green, and orange not only enliven the cooking space but also help give different areas of the addition distinct identities. More important, “the kitchen is really happy,” says Bonnie. “People love to be in this room.”

For a similar look, try Valspar‘s Golden Haze (office cabinets).

Should you find any of these color suggestions appealing or a kitchen remodel is in your Fall list of things to do, please be sure to contact Burns Home Improvements at 617.939.4185.

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Posted in Kitchen Design, Painting Ideas

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