Since we were ‘burned’ by the brash and bright colour palettes popularised in the 60s and 70s, modern kitchens have not been the most colourful spaces - often characterised by dull, neutral colour schemes. However, today, the trend is to bring ‘pops’ of colour into the kitchen.
This is according to Mercia de Jager from Miele, who says the kitchen is the heart of any modern home, so why should it be heartless, cold and sterile?
Choosing from an infinite number of kitchen colour schemes can be a daunting task. To make things a little easier, De Jager offers helpful tips on how to successfully go about adding colour to your kitchen scheme.
Define your colour palette
The first thing you need to do is determine your kitchen’s colour palette.
De Jager says to decide on a dominant colour, which will take up the majority of your kitchen area, as well as your secondary colour, which will serve as an accent colour to complement your dominant colour choice.
Of course, you could have more than two colour choices if you’d like. However, the dominant colour should be somewhat muted, while the secondary, tertiary and other accent colours, can be richer and brighter.
Here’s what you should consider when developing your kitchen’s colour scheme…
1. Never use equal areas of contrasting colour
The majority of your kitchen should comprise neutral or lighter colours, while bright colours should be confined to accents.
2. Too many dark tones can be oppressive
Always try to lift darker shades with lighter hues, or alternatively, add some richness to lighter palettes with some luxuriant darker hues.
3. Balance patterns and texture
An overabundance of textures and patterns can be overwhelming, therefore they should be used as specific feature points to liven up an otherwise simple or staid colour scheme.
4. Colour intensity
The natural light in a room can affect wall colour intensity - so before you choose a colour, it is a wise idea to test it out in the actual room beforehand.
Create a colour scheme
The concept of colour harmony is based on an understanding of how to arrange colours into practical colour schemes.
De Jager explains that there are five basic categories with regards to successful colour schemes:
This palette comprises a single hue which is used throughout, in various tints, shades and tones.
2. Analoguous hues
This palette uses various colours, usually three, that are adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. One will be the dominant colour, while the other two are used as accent colours.
3. Complementary colours
By using contrasting colours that are directly opposite each another on the colour wheel, the chosen colours will appear more intense, which creates a powerful visual impact.
In kitchens, this kind of colour scheme will be toned down somewhat, reduced in amounts and varied in intensity to lessen the often harsh visual statement.
4. Triad colour schemes
Choose any three tones that are equidistant on the colour wheel to achieve this kind of colour palette.
A neutral scheme is simple, and can be created by using black, white, grey, cream, beige, stone or brown. This choice of colour is perfect for small spaces, as it tends to create the illusion of added space.
Clever ways of adding colour to your kitchen
Aside from adding colour to your kitchen walls and window dressings, there are a number of creative ways of bringing colour into your kitchen’s design.
Kitchen cabinets take up a large majority of your kitchen’s visual space, and they are a great way of adding colour to the overall design.
De Jager says your kitchen cabinetry should be seamless, and not even the appliances should disturb the visual flow of their design.
“The integration of appliances into the cabinetry is increasingly in demand because customers want to create a clean, streamlined appearance in their kitchen space.”
An integrated design helps harmonise perfectly with respect to form and function, appearing to come from the same mould - seamlessly blending with the cabinetry in which they are housed.
2. Countertops, flooring and splashbacks
All three elements in the kitchen, the countertops, floor and the splashbacks, take up considerable visual space in your overall kitchen design, and can be segmented in order to add a ‘pop’ of colour into the kitchen space.
Remember that these three elements need to look good and harmonise with the rest of the décor, while still remaining functional, especially considering that the kitchen is a high-traffic wet area - so choose your materials wisely.
Your choice of appliances will make a big impact on the overall appearance and functionality of your kitchen.
De Jager says in modern kitchens with an open transition to the living area, built-in appliances should ideally form part of the overall concept of the interior design.
As such, she says it is no longer acceptable for appliances to be purely functional - they need to look good too.
Low commitment, high impact - lighting is a versatile and safe way of adding some colour to your kitchen design. If you tire of the colour, you can simply switch the light off and give yourself a break.
LED striplights are easy to install, are comparatively well-priced and are a great source of ambient or under-counter lighting.