Kitchen Colors That Work Together

How do you pick the colors that work best with your walls, countertops, cabinets and floor? Our experts give their top tips on creating kitchen color harmony.

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Ultimately, your paint color selection will depend not just on the color of your counters or the finish on your fridge but also on the overall look you are after. A kitchen that incorporates a stainless fridge, quartz countertop and cork floor will have an entirely different look with soft taupe walls than it will with a deep indigo blue.

Ask yourself: Do I want my kitchen to be relaxing or energizing? Trendy or timeless? A neutral backdrop or a knockout statement? Whatever mood you're after, the process of choosing a color will feel less overwhelming if you take it step by step.

"First," says Joan Osburn, of Osburn Design in San Francisco, "pick all the colors that you like, no holds barred. Then narrow them down to two or three options. Look at them in different lights and at different times of day."

Although many designers like to test paint right on the walls, color consultant Paulette Diamond, ASID, vice president of the International Association of Color Consultants - North America, suggests buying 8" x 10" flat canvas boards from an art supply store and painting one in each of the colors you are considering.

"This system allows you to move the paint color samples around the room easily," she says, "while eliminating the mess and confusion of having several different colors painted on the wall."

Finally, once you are pretty certain you have found the best color for your kitchen, "Just go for it," Osburn says. "Remember, it's only paint. If you aren't happy with it you can change it very easily."

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