Words by Jura Koncius, The Washington Post
The all-white kitchen, the reigning trophy room of most homes, is not going away anytime soon. But change is afoot: Colour is tiptoeing back into the kitchen. A growing number of consumers are looking to add some friendliness and warmth to the often cold, clinical white-and-gray cooking spaces that have dominated the past decade. Cobalt blue, pale pink and pumpkin are among the colors that are seeping into cabinets, islands, and even sinks and faucets.
“White is people’s comfort zone,” says Elle H-Millard, industry relations manager for the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “White is all about safety and cleanliness. It’s the feeling of purity we all want in the kitchen. White offers uncluttered, visual simplicity in a room where many of us spend a lot of our time.” Colour, she adds, provides emotion and personality.
“We are seeing more colour confidence as the economy does better,” says Wendy Mushow Werner, a Corian Design spokeswoman. “People are choosing more colour, and the brighter and bolder colours are trending upwards.”
According to a 2018 National Kitchen and Bath Association trends report, white and gray continue their dominance in kitchen colour schemes, with 90 percent and 89 percent of respondents selecting them as “hot” choices, but today, “more people are willing to take a risk,” says H-Millard, “especially millennials.”
Manufacturers are dishing up kitchen options in a new rainbow of hues. Here are some of our favourites.
Image: Greg Riegler
Want to make one big color statement? Get a major appliance in an unexpected hue, something fans of Aga and Lacanche luxury ranges have been doing for decades. The Italian company Smeg popularized Italian retro style in the 1990s with its pastel and candy-colored fridges, which are still popular today.
More and more designers are using two colours for kitchen surfaces, one for the island and one for the perimeter. Shades of white and gray are still the most dominant colors for kitchen counters, according to Werner, but brighter colors are becoming more popular, in small doses.
Image: Brand Viva
If you want to paint your own cabinets, you’ll want a hard, durable finish, like advance by Benjamin Moore or Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel by Sherwin-Williams. Paint can transform a kitchen at a very small cost. Always put the darker color on the bottom; otherwise, it looks top-heavy.
Image: Mark Luthringer
An island is a good way to bring colour into a kitchen, as it’s easy to change out or repaint,” Cramer says
A sink may be an unexpected place to add colour, but it can turn into a focal point of a kitchen. Farmhouse sinks with their big apron fronts are one of the hottest looks at the moment, H-Millard says.
Your choice of faucet finish used to be stainless, nickel, chrome or bronze. Now you can dress up your faucet with colour. The Essence Semi-Pro single-handle faucet by Grohe is available with interchangeable silicone hoses in nine colours including yellow, purple and green. You can use a colour to tie in a stand mixer or backsplash of the same hue. Or you can just make this faucet the only color in your kitchen.
Feature image: Unsplash