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Color Schemes

Things to Consider When Picking a Color Palette

Close up of someone matching color swatches to a small jug

Choose a scheme that fits your home's style, your kitchen's design and your taste.

There are many options for designing with color. There is not one way only. However, no matter the colors we choose, we must consider the following:

  1. Will the scheme be memorable?

  2. How will the palette meld with the building's architecture?

  3. What kind of emotions will the colors inspire?

  4. Will it leave a strong taste in the mouths of the occupants?


In the kitchen, the cabinets are the major color. Besides the cabinet finish, you also need to consider the appliance finish, the wall color, and the colors and materials for the floor and countertops. Think about how all these elements will work together. You can use the architectural style of the home as a starting point.

Choosing a white, chromatic, or natural scheme is one way to approach designing with color. Everybody is familiar with the white scheme: Almost everything is painted white and that which isn't white has meaning underlined by the fact that it's not white. The white palette says tasteful, modern, spare. You can introduce other colors through patterns and geometric shapes, which give nuance to the look.

The chromatic scheme applies color to every surface. Its effect is to create a stronger mood that's more stimulating and current.

The natural scheme is in right now. It uses neutral earth tones and saturated jewel tones and finishes like brick, concrete, wood, and metal. It communicates earthbound, honesty, and straightforwardness.



-Faith Baum, architect, part-time faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design

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