Color in the Kitchen

tomatofreakAugust 22, 2014

I just perused these painted kitchens featured in TOH. A few I liked, a couple made me feel queasy and I had a "what-were-they-thinking" response to others.

My kitchen is bland, which I blame on the guy at the paint counter who insisted that I needed a much paler shade of yellow than the one I initially chose. Sometime this fall, I need to do a budget makeover, starting with paint. I'd like to have a punch of color, just not sure what.

What's your reaction to these kitchens and their color combos?

Here is a link that might be useful: TOH painted kitchens

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Exactly the same reaction as yours. Definitely consider repainting your cabinets to something that you really enjoy. But consider also that the "punch" could come from including a color (ex. red) or theme (ex. apples) for new towels, sink mat/rug, window coverings, counter useful/decorative items (like sugar and flour canisters), things that you could easily and relatively inexpensively change if you decided you didn't like them next year.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is the only one I really liked. The one with the orange island is attractive. The rest of them, something in each kitchen didn't appeal to me.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I liked them all, now would I put myself in many of those kitchens every day. No..but they were all fun kitchens, but I love color! Lot's of color.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I liked some of them--(Jadeite and Buttermilk, #12, Cool Gray + Hot Orange #6, Leaf Green + White #3 except for the checked ceiling). I didn't like where they mixed colors on the same cabinet, the light/dark blue combos didn't work for me, and neither did the red/green combos. And I like color, with chartreuse on the kitchen walls and purple in the scullery.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the cool, calm one romy718 chose, but I think that's just because my life is a trainwreck right now and I seriously need calm. Otherwise, I'd probably get bored.

I also like the jadeite and buttermilk combo. Blue in a kitchen just doesn't do it for me, but I love cool pale blues in bathrooms. Go figure. I'm partial to hot colors and orange is a favorite. (Also didn't like the two-color cabs.)

Right now, I have no upper cabinets, but that's supposed to be the next project. (Which is why I'm loving all the posts about cabinets and colors.) My kitchen probably has more cubic yards of space from bottom to top than from side to side. The exterior wall is 9' and the interior wall (to laundry) is 18' so there's a lot of wall to paint - and somehow decorate, design or do something with.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 3:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I ADORE the lemon lime kitchen. I don't know what the rest of it looks like but based on this side I could move into this kitchen, cook, eat and live in it for the rest of my life without changing a thing!! It looks like nothing at all like our new kitchen, which I also adore, but given the right house on the right piece of property, this could be my dream forever kitchen!!

I love color in my kitchen and everywhere else in my house.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree, my favorite is the one romy718 chose. Those kitchens are certainly bright, cheery and unique, but not for me. I find even with wall color, I get bored with it quickly. Its only the neutral colors that I don't tire of easily. So, I think one of those kitchens I might love at first, but soon find myself want to paint it to tone it down. Just me. I prefer pops of colors with accessories that I can change out easily.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For me, the ones I think work the best are the ones that are "all or nothing." While I love the cool, calm palette in the one romy posted I hate the pops of color, especially the uber-modern blue artwork. I think the aesthetic is confusing. If one is going to add pops of color to such a soft scheme I think it should be less drastic. But most of the other ones (hate the orange! Gah!) are actually pretty appealing even if I could not personally have them in my full-time kitchen.

Definitely would never have wallpapered the ceiling in the green kitchen. The only way to realistically get rid of that would be to drywall over it again.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Remember you are going to have to be in this kitchen everyday. Sure, bold is fun and exciting, but are you going to love in a yr or two. I suggest going for calm and cool then adding punches of color with accessories that can be changed out when you want change again.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the gray cabinets in the orange/gray kitchen but there's not enough gray and too much color in the open shelving.

Can you imagine keeping the basket contents in the island clean?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's with the SS backsplash continued:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And with less colorful uppers:

Still not doing it for me, but I still love the lower gray/blue cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And now I find myself removing the orange from the island. There, much easier to live with :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm going to answer before reading others' posts.

I like the Sea, but not the Sky. I'm (most of the time) not a fan of two colors of cabinets. I would have liked it if it was all Sea. But I don't like the style of the island with the wood around it and I could never, ever clean that thing. (Someone referred to an island like that as a continent).

I like the Barn Red and Sage green okay, but they're just not my colors together like that. But I like the arrangement of color better than most two color kitchens.

There's a lot about the Cool Gray and Hot Orange that I like, but I hate the cool gray next to the stainless. Probably my hangup. Again, I like the two color treatment better than most, but I'd have to tweak the colors. I love the open shelves with all the color, and that's probably why I like the orange island.

I could live in the Lemon and Lime kitchen. It's not my style, but it's the most pleasing to me overall so far. (Maybe it's just the giant Bluestar.)

I love the Greenish Blue and I don't mind most of the kitchen, though I'd do all the cabinets greenish blue rather than two colors. But I hate that painting and it jolts me out of the otherwise soothing kitchen. DH has a background in art, and he always tells me that art isn't supposed to match it's surroundings. But that looks like they were trying and failed. It absolutely ruins the picture for me.

Straight kitchen-color-wise, since you mentioned yellow, I like that Soft Yellow. I don't like the Flame Red though.

Cornflower and Yellow. Like the cornflower. Like the yellow. Room doesn't work for me for a ton of reasons.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The kitchen with the baskets? My cats would pull each one down and dump the contents.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting how easy it is to change most of these with a little paint--or a fair bit of skill at Photoshop.
Nice for those of us who tire of one decorative theme and want another.
There's a lot to say for basic white and the-sky's-the-limit-because-it's-easy-to-change-paint colors on small areas.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 10:14

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oldbat, your photo shop skills are amazing.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like the kitchens where they go all out with color! It takes a lot of courage to do that! The only reason we didn't go that way, is because we wanted to make sure that we wouldn't get tired of the kitchen in 10-20 years and have to redo it. If you are thinking of resale, it might be a positive or negative depending who the buyer is. We opted for doing wood cabinets and adding pops of color- although we won't achieve the same effect of painted cabinets. But, it will be more interchangeable down the road as far as switching out the accessories. That being said, if I did color cabinets these would be my inspiration!!

Eclectic Other

Traditional Kitchen by Philadelphia General Contractors Buckminster Green LLC

Eclectic Kitchen by Los Angeles Home Stagers Platform

And a kitchen that brought in a lot of color with wood cabinets

Contemporary Kitchen by Melbourne Interior Designers & Decorators Camilla Molders

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Contemporary Kitchen by Weston Interior Designers & Decorators Katie Rosenfeld Design
I've always liked this balance of color and clean white.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the Traditional blue kitchen and Conptemporary kitchen brought in by peppermintleaf better than anything (except maybe the lemon and lime) in the TOH article. And I think I like the one by jubilante the best...and I'm not a white kitchen fan. I'm going to send that one to MIL for when she reno's.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

jubilante, that kitchen hits on all 8 cylinders! Not enough room in my galley kitchen for the full treatment, but I could use some features.

thpeppermntleaf, I'd never think green when considering a kitchen, but that first pic in your post is amazing. I love that kitchen.

oldbat2be, that was so much fun to see how changes affect reaction to that kitchen. I liked the extension of the SS backsplash best (wonder why they didn't do it?) and I was surprised that I liked the monochromatic color scheme as well.

Like linelle said, baskets - and open shelves - in my kitchen would just be kitty cubbies.

I really do want to move, so your points about keeping color to things I can take away or easily change make sense. At the same time, I'm here now and want something different! Before we bought the 'mistake' house, every kitchen we saw that had been redone for sale was 'safe', mostly white or cherry.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I usually try to catch Jamie's 15-minute meal show on Saturday mornings. I'm fascinated by the wall of pull-out drawers. While I was searching for this online, I found many of his previous TV kitchens. One was stark white contemporary and another was a jumbled mess of open shelves. Have you seen kitchens on cooking shows that inspire you?

Here is a link that might be useful: Jamie Oliver's TV kitchen

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hmm, let's see.

1. Sea and Sky, not really something I would care for.

2. Barn Red and Sage Green, I like this color combo, maybe because it reminds me of my kitchen which has deep cherry colored cabs and green walls.

3. Leaf Green and White, oh my gosh yes!!! I LOVE this one. Get rid of the ceiling detail and I could definitely use that kitchen every day and be very happy.

4. Bold Blue and Soft Blue, eh, not my cup of tea but it doesn't look bad either.

5. Bright Red and Midnight Black, for some reason it reminds me of the early 90s when black, white and red seemed to be everywhere. I think if they softened the black to maybe a charcoal, it would work better.

6. Cool Gray and Hot Orange, these colors work together but that kitchen with all its open storage does not. I would not want to have to clean that on a daily basis.

7. Lemon and Lime, yep, I like this one a lot too!!

8. Deep Aqua and White, ehh, I'm neutral on this. I don't like or dislike it.

9. Pale Grey and Greenish Blue, I thought they said color? I know those are "technically" colors but they are so close to neutral, the room feels bland to me in a list of colorful kitchens.

  1. Flame Red and Soft Yellow, I really like this one! It reminds me of the color scheme I used in my old kitchen with a Tuscan feel.

  2. Cornflower and Yellow, I don't really like this one. It feels like a cross between a kindergarten room and French country.

  3. Jadeite and Buttermilk, this reminds me of stepping into a grandmas kitchen, in a good way. It has an old time feel which works great with the farmhouse kitchen. Not a look I would choose for my own home but I can appreciate it.

So after looking at each kitchen and typing what I think of them, a few things are apparent to me.

I don't like blue in a kitchen. Every single one that had blue was one I wouldn't want.

I favor green, not really surprising as it is my favorite color.

I'm drawn to green used in conjunction with reds, oranges, yellows, etc. Again, probably not surprising since that is how I tend to do my kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Love them all except the Cornflower Blue and Yellow kitchen, which uses two lovely colors that don't seem to have a dialogue with each all. But every other kitchen, I'd move into happily.

Currently my new cobalt-blue kitchen cabinets are being installed (I'll post pictures when they're not covered with plastic tarps, which are themselves covered with sawdust due to the trim/woodwork being crafted for the rest of the downstairs). DH and I made bold, warm color choices colors for every room in the house, and the kitchen is a continuation of that.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With the exception of Pale Gray/Greenish Blue (what romy718 posted above), I could not live in any of these spaces. Too much color makes me nervous--it doesn't jive with my aura, or something.

But if I were to walk into each of these kitchens in someone else's home, I would admire them for their bold choices.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I LOVE the green and white. I also love the orange and grey. I find the one romy posted to be too pale. I don't really see any colour in there.

Most of the ones with multiple colours though, I'm not a fan. I think colour needs some white to give the eye a rest.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like the lemon and lime one especially since if I got tired of the combo I'd be fine painting all the cabinets either color. Hate the backsplash however but not sure why as it looks like something I'd like. Too many different colors of tiles I suppose.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tomatofreak, glad you liked- good post! I am unfortunately not capable of envisioning how an element will look; need to actually see things before I can make any decisions. Being able to play in paint, photoshop and sketch-up makes all the difference.

romy718 - you're way too kind! I should really take some tutorials; I use maybe a 10th of the tools available :) (And this is just with Photoshop Elements, not the full version).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I liked many of them, but then again, this is what my kitchen looks like:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

P.S. -linelle - loved the visual!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a link to a bunch of other color combinations of kitchens. Note the oak (?) builder-grade kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: color combinations in kitchens

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really dislike several of those kitchens, including the one dcward89 adores. That backsplash would be gone before I moved in. Agree with Romy, she posted the only one that I really like and several made me feel queasy....might be a good weight loss plan?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Omigosh, I went through those pics twice - no, three times - looking for something to like. I gave up on excited. The only two I think I could live with were the blue-gray and tangerine and the one with the rose cabinets. Maybe, maybe the first one with the soft blue would do it. Honestly, I think it was really the windows that did it for me. (I don't have a window in my kitchen and so wish I did.) All those dark colors just made me feel depressed. I noted that some of the commenters felt so, too.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've taken a look at some of the retro sites before and like this one in particular. It's interesting to note that almost every cabinet is painted and many are white. There's only one that appears to be unpainted wood.

I think that, with the exception of the mustard yellow and barbie-doll-pink, most of the colors are the ones we're seeing today. Lots of bright blue and red here, along with soft green. What do you think of these color combos?

Note: If I could find the furniture in some of these photos, I'd snap 'em up in a minute. I **love** the tables, chairs and stools in one of the first pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retro kitchens color and design

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanx Everybody -- all of the kitchens and ideas you shared are greatly appreciated.

I'm really thinking of going with traditional kitchen with muted soft yellow kitchen cabinets. I think I'll put white marble tiles on the wall, and go with a white countertops.

We're moving to Cresent City, (where it frequently rains, and the days there can be dreary), so I want a "cheery" kitchen to brighten my days. But I'm a bit concerned that after a while the pretense of the yellow won't seem as "cheery". Hence the question do you tire of your colorful kitchens?

FYI Bowbat, your beautiful kitchen is the closest to what I have in mind :)

So here's my question, if you had to live with a totally yellow kitchen year round, would it make you nutz?



    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Take a look at 2LittleFishies' yellow kitchen. It is the epitome of cheery, yet calm.

oops! I see you've already been directed there!

Here is a link that might be useful: The perfect yellow kitchen

This post was edited by alex9179 on Mon, Dec 22, 14 at 23:06

    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have a colorful kitchen. Green cabinets and a colorful backsplash. It has been four years so far and I still love it. I can't see myself tiring of it because I really like the color. And I chose it because I like it- not because of some fad. If you like yellow, go for it. You will be happy that you don't have a generic looking kitchen.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2014 at 2:44AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Sexist or Fun?
Trouble from young feminists over this billboard.
Joseph Corlett, LLC
What are your thoughts on Ikea Sektion base cabinets?
I've commented here over and over that since this little...
Undermount sink keeps separating from granite
We recently had granite installed in our kitchen and...
Showplace cabinets
Does anyone have any experience with Showplace cabinets?...
New to Kitchens? Read Me First!
Welcome! If you are new to the Kitchens Forum, you...
Sponsored Products
Lippa Dining Side Chair Set of 4 in White
$649.00 | LexMod
Denby Cherry Oven to Table Flower Dish - OTC-571
$29.99 | Hayneedle
Eggplant Textured Silk Mini Pendant Light
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
Carlton Off-White Linen Bisque Glaze Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
25" Four-Wheel Trolley
$230.00 | Horchow
Sample-Pier Ski Slope Marble Tile Sample
$2.99 | TileBar
Turtle Soap Dish
$6.99 | Dot & Bo
Olde Bronze Island Chandelier 2-Light
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™