What Accent Color Will Pull My Kitchen Together?
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Question: We are in the process of redoing our kitchen for our 1785 Colonial. We are going to have black granite countertops. The cabinets will be an antique white/canvas color. The upper half of the walls will be white. The wainscoting, trim and doors will be oxblood red. I have an old hutch I want to paint—but I'm not sure if I should go green or yellow. Also, what about color for other accent pieces? Dish linens? Curtains? —Janet H.
Our attempt, using Valspar's online paint tool, to envision colors for your kitchen. Be aware when using online tools that colors always appear different in person than they do on the screen.
For advice on your accent colors, we turned to color consultant Kate Smith, principal of Sensational Color and chair of the Color Marketing Group’s 2008 International Conference. “I think green would work better than yellow for her old hutch," Smith responded by e-mail. She recommends a green with more yellow than blue, and a lighter shade rather than a darker, to offer more contrast to the oxblood red.
As an example, she pointed to this custom hutch by Crown Point Cabinetry, which used a brown glaze and green and black milk paints to create the distressed finish on the built-in hutch. Made for hundreds of years with milk protein, lime, clay, and pigments such as umber and iron oxide, milk paint is ideal for a true historical home such as yours. "The Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company is a fun company that has colors from the period of her home," wrote Smith.
"As for accessories, she could pick up the yellow/gold she mentioned," Smith added, suggesting you look for modern dishware in a hue similar to that of yellowware, a type of clay pottery made in the 1700s and 1800s. "Alternately, she could use a brighter golden yellow. Looking at the historic colors from any paint brand can be a guide to finding a yellow or gold that will blend with the other two colors."
Examples include Valspar's Colonial Revival Colors, Behr's Colors of the 13 Colonies, Benjamin Moore's Neo Colonial palette, and Sherwin-Williams' Classical/Colonial Preservation Palette.
For more color ideas, try Smith's blog, Color for Your Home.