Kitchen colors and continuity

mtnrdredux_gwSeptember 8, 2013

(xpost from home decor)

So, for the beachhouse, I have pretty much decided on Northstar retro appliances. I don't want a 2013 kitchen, and my house in CT already has a subzero tarted up to look like an icebox, so I don't want to do that again. Hence I will do a kitchen in my 1906 house that looks like I put it in the 40s or so, I hope.
I have narrowed it down to four colors: blue, white, yellow, or green.

White is the easiest... but I want to take a risk I wouldn't do in my primary home. I'd only do white if I paired it with pink and green. Last night I saw Sleepless in Seattle with my kids and she had a kitchen those colors --- but she was in a Victorian, this is a Dutch Colonial, so I don't think its right for the house. Too cutesy.

Blue (turqoise) is the most logical since I am basically trying to "blue up" to whole house in order to bring the ocean in...

Green would also work because it is harmonious with the turqoise.

BUT, I saw yellow in the showroom and it looked so ... appetizing. Like vanilla pudding. It was pleasant, fresh. It didnt' seem as trendy as turquoise, or as insistently retro as the jadeite green, KWIM?

So, a few questions:

1. Would you use yellow appliances in a house if you didn't plan or particularly like yellow anywhere else? i.e., I really prefer homes where every room seems to flow naturally from the last room, and all are of one. Do I have to add a nod to yellow somewhere else if I have it here?

NOTE: the kitchen is buffered a bit by a butler's pantry and a hall; it is not visible from any other rooms.

2. The only "givens" in the kitchen are one wooden china cabinet, and I am pretty sure I am putting in a black/white diamond patterned floor. The trim is wood but I may paint it in that room (it and the lone cabinet are pine or oak, IDK, but mid tone).

What color appliance do you think would be best?

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Love all of them. No help to you, sorry. Oooo! Have you seen the Big Chill two-tone fridges?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:37AM
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I voted on the other forum, but I still like green! Would look wonderful with all your wood (very 40's IMHO) and would complement a variety of color schemes. Pink, red, yellow, blues...even turquoise. Reminds me of Deedles wonderful range :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:55AM
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Love the buttercup. To me the blue, is too in your face and the green is too minty. I actually had the same stove as deedles in buttercup yellow ages ago. That is a Chambers' color.
That house was a 40's colonial. The kitchen had the yellow Chambers, a patterned ceramic tile, with taupe, gray, and sage. The cabinets were maple with a warm stain and the kitchen table was painted sage legs with a maple top- loved that kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:25AM
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On Houzz there was a yellow kitchen (yellow on bottom, white on top); it was beautiful.

Personally, I'm more of a turquoise person though I love sage green. That one looks minty. Whatever color you like best and can bring into other rooms will work.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:38AM
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like the green and the cool-ness of the shade with black/white floor which is a strong element. Don't care for the yellow shade. The green will work with blue accents if that's your inclination. The blue fridge would be too much blue,whereas you can bring in blue with the green fridge and have a little more flexibility with either pale blue or deep nautical blue. The green with white/black and maybe gray is a nice nod if you don't want all the blue accents.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Holly- Kay

What localeater said. I love that dreamy, creamy, buttercup.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Interesting, the yellow is emerging as a clear winner on the home decor forum.

The room has a fair amount of wood and a built in hutch. Id rather not paint the wood. There are no cabs; it is an unfitted kitchen and I want it that way. There is an adjoining butler's pantry.

Here ive shown two color schemes, both with the built in cab so you see the wood color. Does it change preferences.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:27AM
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Completely individual, but with the wood I prefer the blue.

The light yellow works pretty well with the wood, I think, but the yellow that is currently in the room really has a negative effect on my synesthesia --a have sort of a physical reaction/aversion to it--it tastes bad or something. So even though I like the paler yellow, IRL it might be too close to call for me.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Mon, Sep 9, 13 at 9:49

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:48AM
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The yellow on the walls is just awful, I agree. It's almost got a neon-y-ness to it to me

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Can you photoshop the green...or have you ruled it out?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:31PM
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The yellow. I wish I had a pale yellow stove that looked 40s/50s but NOT Big Chill/Happy Days/Doo Wop. I have enough neutrals and stainless for now. I love green, except minty ones. The blue is too much.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:17PM
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I would like the vanilla pudding yellow for appliances with natural tone wood for cabinetry and B&W floors and walls that are NOT yellow. I like the turquoise appliance but don't know how the rest of the colors will flow.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:29PM
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I've always liked this kitchen! I know you want to keep the wood, but the floor is wood and it looks really nice with the green and red.

From [1920s kitchen project](
    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:35PM
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You are right, Lav. If you are going with that green, it cries out for red accents. You have heard about my pathological aversion to red, yes?

: )

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:08PM
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I am doing a vintage kitchen in a 1910 farmhouse in a mix of creams, yellow-cream, and pale yellow.

All the trim, beadboard ceiling, and cabinets will be painted a buttercream color, then there will be pale yellow vintagy wallpaper, and a few yellow accents (very few).

What direction does your kitchen face? Mine is eastern exposure, so with all the yellow it is aglow in the morning when we eat breakfast:)

I think creamy yellow is a really nice vintage color scheme. I want my kitchen to look like it was once a brighter yellow, but has faded (that's the look I am going for in every room!).

Now after seeing that Buttercup fridge, I desperately want one! That is my first vote for your kitchen, followed by the green.

There is a fabulous vintage kitchen in the movie "Sleeping with the Enemy". The color scheme is a heavy creamy color with mint green. It's really cute. That is one of the best movie kitchens I have ever seen. I took a lot of inspiration from it.

Have you seen the Betsy Speert yellow kitchen she did for a friend? I LOVE it.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:16PM
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My absolute fav color is green. I had considered painting my stove and fridge green (jadeite of course, but I LOVE jadeite and not just because it's suddenly in/retro). I'm not sure that will ever happen, so I am happy with my green milkshake maker and white appliances, lol.

That said, I think the Elmira green is too minty, I like the Big Chill better. From the Elmira line, I'd pick the yellow. Yellow can combine with greens, blues, whites and wood to make for a very beachy, summery, relaxed feel (while still maintaining a vintage vibe as well).

So, I vote yellow on this one.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:27PM
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I also think this green is too minty. I like the blue, but like the yellow the best. My only reservation is with a black&white floor. I have never liked yellow and black together, it looks old and dirty to me. Grey and white (or even blue and white to pull in your blues) would be better. And no, I don't think that you need to have yellow elsewhere if you bring the blue into the kitchen.

I've been looking at blues and greens and whites for my kitchen. There are so many gorgeous choices! You will surely be able to find a blue, and a creamy white if you want to use that somewhere, that complements both the frig and the blues in the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:32PM
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What exactly is your inspiration for this space? Are you still thinking black and white tile floor? More of a beach theme? Vintage? All of the above?

I'm wondering if any of these are kind of what you're thinking about. Still trying to get a 'visual' to see how the wood and colorful appliances will look together :)

From 1920s kitchen project

From [1920s kitchen project]( From [1920s kitchen project](

I had to at least try some purple :)

From 1920s kitchen project

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 5:43PM
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Thinking way back I believe both of my grandparents had yellow in their kitchens. I also remember when I was little my mom had yellow and gray.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Eclectic, I am told the Elmira/Northstar is a better made product. I also like the look a bit better. I did forget to mention that I can get a custom color. SO I could get a different blue. But I am not certain enough of what I want to even order custom!

Lavender, I dont really have an inspiration picture. One thing I do know, is the house it probably too formal for anything vintage industrial or shabby chic, two of my go-to effects for my CT house. I don't think chippy paint will work, but I still love it. I think it should be utiliarian though, as a space probably used by the help more than the residents.

Rosylady, I love the sound of your project. I think the way you are using it, yellow is almost a neutral. That is probably what I am drawn to, too.

The tally, between this and the Home Decor Forum, stands at 16 yellow, 7 Blue, 3 Green and 1 White.

I am drawn to yellow (not common for me), which sometimes is reason enough, but I still think blue is worth considering. I will have to look at the (measly) samples on site and see if it becomes clearer.

Thanks all!

BTW, Lavender, that Louise Nevele (sp?) style mantle is so cool.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Love the buttercup yellow!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Blue and yellow

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:52PM
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In looking through a thread for something else, I saw a kitchen that made me think of this thread. If you scroll down the link, there is a kitchen with blues similar to the fridge above and a diamond floor treatment that really warms it all up. i love the mix! Can't wait to watch your progress. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen with blues and great floor

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:39PM
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I love that buttercup yellow. The blue is okay, but it's too big an object to be that strongly colored. I think I'd get sick of it after a while, but that yellow...makes me think of vanilla pudding, banana pudding, cake batter, butter mixed with sugar (ever try that as a sandwich? oh yeah...).

The green fridge is the exact color of the fixtures in my teeny early '60s master for me, no thanks.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Here's an unfitted kitchen from the late 30's in blue and yellow with natural wood cabinets (from an advert)

The stove is a bit earlier than what you're going for with your later 40's/50's style appliances, but it shows the color scheme pretty well with wood cabinets (hard to find!).

Here's another one, note the slip covered chairs-I'm not sure if you have a free standing sink or one open below, but if you replaced the benches at the table with chairs you could do this and use the same fabric below the sink (or as window treatments)

Another one, substitute the large yellow cabinet for a fridge. Obviously you'll have more wood, but this shows a large table with chairs, painted

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Thanks, eclectic. The thing is, what I definitely don't want is a yellow and blue kitchen. I know it's a tried and true scheme, and was good enough for Monet, but to me personally the colors are a little too clear and too baby-shower-ish, KWIM?

So if I go with yellow, I will use very little of it, and contrast it with a lot of creams and off white, and maybe a hint of light aqua/green.

That last kitchen makes we want an exposed brick wall -- gorgeous!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:23AM
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mtn: have you seen the "yellow" kitchen Sarah Richardson did for her farmhouse?

She wanted the kitchen to read yellow, but the cabinetry is mostly a mix of greys and whites, with a yellow island. It's a fun episode to watch if you can find it. The series was called Sarah's Farmhouse, I think.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:24AM
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I also have an aversion to red, so I feel qualified to weigh in. Blue is best with a black-and-white floor and wood hutch. Here's a teeny-tiny picture:

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:43AM
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LOL, Mpagmom!

If you we go w yellow, though, the floor will either be grey and off white or a muted aqua and off white

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:48AM
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So more functional basic than 1940's/1950's colorful vintage? hm....

What kind of sink is there? It kind of looks like there is a line of cabinets or something over by the fridge in the one pic from the flying blind thread-is there more natural wood over there?

I might change my vote to white then. Very basic, "back room" (not where the original owners/guests) would visit. I can quite honestly say white appliances work well with natural wood-my whole kitchen (walls, cabs-except the sink cabinet which is original metal and painted black) are unpainted wood with plain white counters (tile-ugh), a white "farmhouse" sink and white vintage appliances (stove, fridge, juicer and mixer).

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:03PM
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My vote is for yellow. After reading one of your responses to Lavender I believe, I think yellow will work best with the vision you described. It is funny how different projects take on a life of their own. Overall I am not a big fan of bold yellows but I find myself more and more leaning towards accessorizing our kitchen with hints of muted yellows. The buttercup yellow is very nice.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Yellow and blue make green, the most abundant color on Earth, the parts you can walk on that is. The human eye can see more shades of green than any other color in the spectrum, but yellow is a grounding color. It speaks of warmth, of light, and of conversation. I love the color yellow and being someone who used to live on the beach, it is a beachy color. You can drop a hint of yellow in any room as it will go with or contrast with anything, it can be cool or it can be warm depending on what you choose to go around it.
Trying to find colors that will match the green or the blue will be difficult as they are specific in tone. The black and white floors are very mid century as is the yellow. I remember my father painting our refrigerator yellow back in the 60's, so maybe that is why I am partial to it. We had medium toned oak floors, wallpaper with blue, green and orange flowers, and white laminate countertops. It was a very nice place to hang out in.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:50PM
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What a nice image you conjure, RoRo!

Thanks, Salt.

I only have two photos of the kitchen, but it's practically moot. I would say we are "gutting' the kitchen, but then you don't exactly gut an unfitted kitchen. Right now, it has a defunct woodstove, a china cabinet, and a line up of appliances and even a w/d, all lined up along the wall opposite the china cabinet.

We are removing everything that is there, and repainting walls and replacing the floor. The only thing staying is the china cabinet (and matching cabs in the adjoining butler's pantry). My first inclination is to keep the trim and cabinet unpainted, but there is no reason that can't be changed. I am disinclined, however, to paint the trim white as it is so 2103 and I want to be a little different.

The range and range hood will also be Northstar and will be the same color I decide upon for the fridge. The sink will be a white cast iron double drainboard with legs. I will top the d/w with a butcher block, and then also have a rolling cart (something by Boos) probably with a stainless counter. I will also have a small buffet where the old woodstove is now, probably for things like a toaster and coffeemaker. That's it ... a second sink and second d/w will be in the butlers pantry along w microwave and additional storage. There is already a pantry closet in the kitchen, and a china closet in the DR.

We have a lakehouse that we have used for 7 years, and I am basing our needs on the items that we currently use and store there... in other words I have a pretty good idea of what items we need and how much space we need to have a well functioning kitchen in a house that is used for vacation only.

One thing that just occurred to me is to paint the woodwork a color other than white .... that's a possibility.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 1:37PM
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I would personally lean towards no on painting the woodwork, for the same reason as in the living room. That darn bell, you know?

Ok, so you're going to have the sink I "saw" in my head that fit there, even if it isn't there yet!

If you're going for the "real" (for lack of a better work popping into my head) look of 1900's "updated" in the 40's but "original" to the house, I would say yellow would be "fancier" than what have been installed. Or I would imagine, not having ever really been in such a home (closest I got was a farm house we wanted badly but it was WAYYY to big for us that had a kitchen "ell" with what we believe was a room for farm hands above-unfortunately that kitchen was updated). It's a hard call, since someone with the money to hire help would also want to be sure to have "high end" items in the home but from what I've seen of slightly lesser ones most of the "pomp and circumstance" was limited to public spaces (fancy trim, etc was not to be found in private family areas however abounded in studies, foyers, etc).

I think this is one of those things where you don't need to adhere to the strictest interpritations however, since the use of the space has changed.

White would look great with the wood and give you the option to paint walls and accesorize with whatever colors you decide on. That yellow works well with that wood tone too, although it will limit paint choices a bit-but it's a little "bolder" than plain jane white.

I know what you mean regarding gutting it, lol.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Buttercup yellow/vanilla pudding! I'm not usually a yellow person, but I just love that creamy fridge with the wood china cabinet you have, and think it will make a nice calm/neutral/warm tone next to a checkerboard floor. To me, the blue and the green choices read more cool/cold next to a black & white checkerboard floor.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:40PM
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