Choosing Colors To Decorate Your Kitchen

Decorating starts with color.  Choosing colors to decorate your kitchen is no exception.  It is one of the most important aspects of planning a room.  It can make or break the finished look and it is the most challenging for most people because the number of options are overwhelming. 

Color affects us visually, physically and emotionally.  There is a whole psychology about color and many books have been written about it.  You can choose a color based on the function of the room, to match the furnishings, based on an inspiration piece or photograph from a magazine.  You can even choose a color based on your personality.  Typically, in a room where you sleep, you want a palette that is restful.  However, in the heart of the home, the kitchen, and in an area where you entertain you may want a palette that stimulates conversation and even stimulates the appetite.  Here are some examples of emotional responses to some basic colors to help you when choosing colors to decorate your kitchen.

 Red.  Red is the most emotional color.  It can actually stimulate a faster heartbeat; boost blood pressure and breathing rates.  It can stir up confrontation like the red cloth in a bull fight.  It can stimulate conversation, appetite and raises a room’s energy.  Red is a warm color, but it also has cool versions that have blue undertones.

 Yellow.  Yellow is a happy, cheerful color.  It can be warm and welcoming, friendly and energetic.  It is said to enhance concentration but is also credited with causing people to lose their tempers.  Yellow is also a warm color with cool versions.

 Blue.    Blue is calming, cool and peaceful.  It can bring down blood pressure and heart rate.  People are said to be true blue when they are trustworthy and loyal. It is a color that signifies confidence and professionalism.  People are sometimes more productive in blue rooms.  We wear blue suits to interviews to denote responsibility. You can also have “the blues” and be sad or melancholy.  Blues run from blue green to blue violet with many hues in between.  There are probably more blues than any other color.

Green.  Green is the most calming and relaxing color.  It is quiet and soothing.  It signifies nature, renewal, growth and things that are good for you, like vegetables.  Green is easy on the eyes.  It is no accident that surgical gowns and hospital rooms are often green.  Green is a secondary color, made from yellow and blue so it can be warm or cool but is usually considered a cool color.

As you mix the primary colors; red, yellow and blue with the secondary colors; green violet and orange, there are an infinite number of colors to choose from.  The more colors that are mixed together, the more possibilities exist for new colors.  Often the complex color mixes are much more sophisticated looking and design oriented than the basic colors.  They are typically the colors we gravitate to when looking at all the samples in the paint display.  They are beautiful, but because of the complexity, it can be tricky to know what goes with what when choosing colors to decorate your kitchen because there are a variety of surfaces that are colored.  Cabinets, tile, countertops all have color and need to be considered.

Take white for example.  Is it a color or the absence of color?  It is most definitely a color when you are choosing paint, furnishings or accessories and there are a staggering number of whites.  White signifies purity.  It is clean and simple.  White goes with everything, but white paint is usually tinted either warm or cool so be careful to choose the right white to compliment the entire color scheme when choosing colors to decorate your kitchen.

Black is also a color.  It is powerful, dramatic and grounding.  It can be classic, exotic (think animal prints) or modern.  Black goes with everything and can be used in any décor.

So how do you go about choosing colors to decorate your kitchen?   It is best not to choose one color, but to develop a pleasing color palette of  2-3 colors to create the feeling you are trying to get in the kitchen.  Choose a main color for the biggest impact such as your walls.  Make sure it is complimentary to your cabinets, countertops and tile.  Use the other colors in your palette sparingly as accents in accessories. (placemats & napkins, window treatments, a bowl of fruit, artwork, etc.)   Use your accent colors in 3 places around the room for a cohesive look.  There are numerous suggested color palettes at your local paint store to get you started, you can talk to your kitchen design professional to create a custom palette just for you.


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