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Ask the Editor: Kitchen Color Trends

A kitchen with soft natural shades

Courtesy of The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

What Colors Are Being Used in New Kitchens?


Question: "My husband and I are going to start building a house within the next couple of months. What colors are being used in new kitchens? I want the kitchen to really 'pop'. I appreciate any advice you can give us."

Answer: To some extent, the style of your kitchen dictates color options: A rustic kitchen might call for warm, earthy tones; country would more likely allow for fresh yellows, greens and blues. Material selections will affect your color choices, too.


Cabinetry in Dark Brown and Black

When it comes to wood cabinetry, dark brown has been the buzz for the past few years. Jenny Owen, an interior designer with Kitchen & Bath Cottage in Shreveport, La., points to chocolate and black glazes. Java stains, ala Barbara Barry's collection for Baker Furniture, are another top choice, says Antoinette Fraser, founder of Saint Clair Kitchen & Home in South Orange, N.J.

Not that lighter colors don't have their place. "A lot of people are using cherry as the wood tone. It's not super-dark, more a medium-toned cherry with a matte finish," says Owen. Another option is to go with dark cabinetry on the perimeter and contrasting island cabinetry, perhaps in a lighter maple or painted white.


Red Goes Anywhere

If you're into contemporary Euro design, red-of the glossy, candy-apple or fire-engine sort-is a great choice for cabinets. If that's a bit much, consider bringing in red as an accent color, whether in a tile backsplash, pendant lighting or even a range hood.

When it comes to appliances, most homeowners are still getting them paneled to match the cabinetry or choosing stainless steel. But shades beyond white, black and biscuit are making a comeback as makers of pro-style appliances add glossy primary colors and subtler metallic finishes to their palettes.


Mixed Metal Accents and Trim

Mixing metals such as pewter and brass, says Fraser, is another important trend. That means switching up, rather than matching, your faucets, cabinetry hardware, and appliance handles and trim.

Consider applying the same concept to your counters. Owen suggests dark granite or another natural stone on the perimeter counters, with a butcher block top on the island. Fraser, a self-proclaimed Francophile, often works with white marble and Lagos blue limestone;  or their quartz-based equivalents, which stain less easily.


Paint in Soft Natural Shades

Of course, the least expensive way to add or change color, especially if you're apprehensive, is with paint. If you're afraid of going over the top, the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute recommends trying dusty shades of blue and lavender, as well as rosy browns. While found in nature, these colors offer more pizzazz than earth-toned neutrals.

Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert for the Paint Quality Institute, also suggests trying metallic paint as an accent option, and treating the ceiling with something more than a flat white paint. That could take the form of a glossier paint, a different or color or a different material and color-tin ceilings in an Old World or farmstyle kitchen, for example.






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