Kitchen Colors That Stand the Test of Time
Designers share their tips for choosing kitchen colors that will outlast the trends and look fresh for years to come.
- By Gretchen Roberts
Filed under: Kitchen Appliance, Kitchen Backsplash, Kitchen Cabinets, Kitchen Color, Kitchen Countertops
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Still stumped? Try looking around the rest of your house for inspiration, suggests Peggy Deras, CKD, CID, owner of Kitchen Artworks in San Francisco. "My inclination is to take cues from the rest of the house. The kitchen should not look like it dropped in from Mars." In other words, a deep brick shade that complements your Victorian decor is bound to stay in style longer than a random manufactured pattern released as fad of the year.
If you're set on a trendy countertop: Cover the island in boldly patterned granite, Mary Jo says. "It can become the piece of art in the room."
"Backsplashes are all over the board, as unique as each homeowner," Paul says. Lately he's been using wood that matches the cabinetry, while Mary Jo has seen backsplashes used as intense splashes of color in the room.
White subway tiles are the go-to classic backsplash, Peggy says. She often uses them in small kitchens, since light colors recede and make the space look bigger. Other time-tested options include a custom-made mosaic reflecting other colors in the room, and organic, natural choices such as the muted, neutral colors in tumbled marble or limestone.
If you want to make a big splash: Install the backsplash on a removable board instead of directly onto the wall, Mary Jo says. "You'll have something that says 'This is a really sharp kitchen,' but is easily replaceable."
Burnt orange, fire-engine red and eggplant are just a few shades you could select for your stove and fridge, but even more popular is stainless steel. "Stainless steel has always been around, but we don't think of it as timeless since it's taken over the market and we'll likely see a resistance to it in the future," Mary Jo says.
Instead, think monochrome when it comes to appliances. "I have never seen a white appliance date anything," Paul says. Mary Jo favors black, since it blends well with wood. Even better than white or black is letting the appliances recede and disappear with panels that match the cabinetry.
If the kitchen is your stage: "A cobalt-blue commercial range is entirely appropriate as a focal point," Mary Jo says.
Ceramic tile and wood are the go-to floors for kitchens. "A few years ago, light maple wood floors were very popular, but they've given way to warmer tones," Paul says. "Colors are in for hard-surface, natural stone. I haven't seen a white-tiled floor for years."
Paul recommends medium-dark wood flooring paired with slightly lighter cabinets to give the whole room a classic look. For tile floors, any earthy, natural color is a good choice. Just make sure you stick with one color. "You can get into trouble if you use a tile pattern on the floor, because it might date itself, though an all-over pattern is more timeless than one with focal points," Mary Jo says.
If you're going for drama: "I love hardwood floors in a medium- to light-golden tone that run diagonal toward a view or focal point," Deras says.
It's true almost anything goes when it comes to color in the kitchen. Here's what the experts say.