By Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS
One of the most common questions readers ask is how to incorporate color into a kitchen without dating it. Unless you’re completely committed to a beloved blue or red, and resale is not an issue, you may not want to change all your cabinets, countertops or appliances to that hue. Here are some ways to add a hot color without a major investment.
One of the easiest and most affordable ways of adding this season’s hottest colors to your kitchens is with dish towels, accent rugs, table settings and pot holders. If you want to make your kitchen sunnier, add a pop of yellow to your black and white kitchen with one or more of these items. Or add a burst of orange if you’d love an energy boost each time you walk into the room! Or go soft with one of the season’s gentle greens.
A detail as small as dish towels can update your kitchen. These cotton towels from NapaStyle are both attractive and organic.
Paint is another easy, affordable way to incorporate the latest colors into your kitchen. It’s especially inexpensive if you’re providing the sweat equity yourself. Some of the hot paint colors that work great with popular cabinet finishes include:
- Deep plum or cool gray with light maple cabinets
- Watery blues with cinnamon cherry or painted white cabinets
- Spring or seaweed green with black cabinets
Note, too, that paint doesn’t have to be limited to walls. You can also paint your ceiling, and, for a color surprise, the inside of glass-fronted cabinets.
Paint adds instant impact to a room. Here, Valspar’s Seaside Retreat adds a cool, coastal note to a white kitchen.
Canisters, spoon rests, utensil crocks and even cutting boards can be swapped out for colorful components, giving your kitchen an instant and very affordable update. You can find traditional or contemporary styles in the latest shades, and donate them easily to a charity’s thrift shop if you want to update again in a few years.
Add color and charm to your kitchen with Italian ceramic spoon rests from Sur La Table in blue, yellow or green.
Choosing non-neutral countertop appliances is your next level of color commitment! Not as pricey as a range or refrigerator, but not as inexpensively replaced as a canister set. Be sure that you love the color you’re selecting, as you’re likely to own that appliance for a number of years. Consider, too, whether your chosen color will look good on your counters—an easy answer if your tops are black or white.
Colorful countertop appliances can add a kick to your kitchen’s color quotient. Just choose one you won’t kick yourself for in a few years. KitchenAid’s Empire Red artisan stand mixer is a classic.
Many kitchens have windows over a sink or doors to a patio. Adding an updated shade to these areas can brighten the space without a major color commitment. If your windows are a standard size, this can be an affordable update with in-stock retail or online offerings. If you need a custom size, this will be a costlier investment. Add accents in the same color to your table settings—both indoors and out—to extend the color in your space.
These woven waterfall shades in jilin/moss from Smith + Noble add a soft color note to a black and white kitchen.
Visit my blog for more tips on adding color to your kitchen.
© 2010, Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS. Excerpted from Gold Notes: Nuggets from the World of Residential Design. Jamie is an NKBA-certified kitchen designer in San Diego, CA. She works on all size homes and projects and writes on design for a wide range of publications.