Monday, May 31, 2010

Learn how to best use color in the kitchen.

•Determine which colors fit your personality.

It’s one of the easiest and most economical ways to heighten drama and interest in our homes. So why, then, does color seem to strike fear into the hearts of so many?

“There are a lot of people out there who are color phobic, yet color gives you so much pleasure,” says Janet Davidson, ASID Allied Member and owner of Details in Design, in Wheaton, IL. “And, since you have so much wall space in a room, adding color is one of the most inexpensive ways to create a dramatic change.”

Setting the wheel in motion

When creating a color scheme for a room, the place most designers start is the color wheel. Basically the rainbow wrapped around a circle, a color wheel visually demonstrates how colors interact with each other and offers harmonious options in combining colors in a single space – whether the desired outcome is soft and mellow or full of energy.


If you’re feeling bold, for example, you might opt for a complementary scheme – a high-contrast look that features two colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. Think of the vibrancy found in a kitchen of yellow and blue. On the other hand, if you’re looking to create a sophisticated, elegant feeling in a room, a monochromatic scheme, which uses different values or intensities of a single color, might be the answer. Take the same kitchen and swap out the blue for ochre and cream. Identical space, but a completely different feel.

Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty

Whichever route you decide to go, a wide variety of cast iron color options makes it easy to match the kitchen sink to your personal tastes.

“People should keep it simple, just go with [the colors] they like,” says Davidson. “I always look at a client’s home and wardrobe. It’s easy to spot colors they like to use as a starting point.”

Color me happy


Color does more than add life and personality to a space, it sets the mood for the entire room. Red denotes a sense of passion. Yellow is vibrant and happy. And nothing says “regal” quite like purple. Colors even seem to give off their own “temperature” - red and orange are considered warm, whereas blue and green feel cool.

“If you took a sunroom and painted it yellow, people sitting in it would feel warmer than if the same room were painted blue,” says Davidson. “Blue is just much more calming. It’s like watching the waves roll in on the beach.”

This sense of energy that comes from a warm color, such as orange or
yellow, may explain why they’re popular choices for kitchens today. They’re colors that inspire hunger and heat, whereas blue actually represses the urge to eat. “If you want to lose weight, don’t use red in a kitchen,” she says.

The great cover up

In the same way women use makeup to highlight their best features (and disguise their flaws), color can take your home to the next level, highlighting a room’s architecture or creating visual interest where none exists. To emphasize a tray ceiling, pick one color, then use a darker shade of it on the tray and a lighter value of it on the ceiling. The result will add depth and create a focal point in the room.


Color can even change the space itself. Since warm colors tend to jump forward and cool hues recede, a carefully chosen color palette can make the room seem bigger or balance the shape of the space.

“I had a client who had a very long room – like a bowling alley,” says Davidson. “We painted the far wall a darker color and the side walls lighter to visually balance the room.”

And what about the long-held belief that painting a small room a deep color will make it seem smaller? Toss it out. According to Davidson, using different values of a dark color in a small space will actually make the room feel bigger. Adding texture in the chosen color can add depth and interest and keep the eye moving.

“If your eye is bored, it’s not good design,” she says. “That’s why we use color.”

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