Picking colors for our new kitchen is one of the projects I need to get done before we move in a couple of weeks. I find picking colors for the walls of rooms challenging, not because I don’t like the task or don't have opinions about what looks nice. Rather, I find it challenging because I think it’s so important to pick colors that suit your house and the use of the room properly.


So for our kitchen, which is small, I feel like I need to be smart in my color choice. I have browsed numerous magazines articles and online photo galleries and had a variety of reactions to model kitchens. I am not an expert on design by any means. But, if you want to hear some ideas from someone who spends a lot of time in her kitchen, here goes:


1. Perhaps at one time designers actually followed a set of rules, but as I read numerous “experts” give advice on colors for kitchens, they often threw caution to the wind, burned the rule book, and did what they thought best. If you want to act like a designer, paint the walls in such a way that makes you happy. That’s what they do.


2. I think it’s vital that you consider what you want to use your kitchen for and what mood you need to be in when you are in your kitchen. Do you want it to be a place of activity or relaxation?


For example, blue is a very relaxing color. So, it’s not traditionally used on kitchen walls (though it is used by a lot of designers today!). However, if you find cooking stressful and would like to make your kitchen a more relaxing place, painting your walls a blue could be helpful. I, on the other hand, don’t want to get too relaxed in the kitchen, as it’s my work place. I also want it to seem light and airy. I dislike a lot of the yellow kitchen walls I’ve seen, but I do really like a yellow that borders in the realms of cream. It’s bright and cheery while still being subtle.


3. Whatever it is you decide, make sure it makes you want to stay there, not flee. There were a couple of overly colorful kitchens I saw that were overpowering. I couldn’t imagine staying in the room for an hour to make a nice dinner. So, keeping my first thought in mind  (doing what makes me happy), I’d want to paint my walls in a way that made me feel peaceful, yet energized, but not crowded with an overwhelming array of colors. Do what makes you want to stay in your kitchen.


4. If you consider the psychology of color, orange is generally associated with eating, overeating and feeling full, as well as bringing thoughts of food to mind. This is great if trying to stimulate your children’s interest in eating, but perhaps not the best choice for those on a diet! Using it as part of the décor of the dining area or kitchen is also possible, rather than painting a whole wall or room that color (which could over-stimulate). Red is orange intensified, causing strong reactions — think hunger or heat. Once, again, perhaps overwhelming to use in large amounts, so think accents instead. Blue makes people feel less hungry. Earth tones create a sense of closeness and warmth. It makes you feel safe.


5. For me, I think the climate I live in should also play a part in what color I paint my kitchen. If I lived where it was often very hot, I could easily see using a lot of white, grey or light blues for the cooling effect it would have in my kitchen. Being in the Northwest, I can see using a warm cream or bright yellow to brighten up the often gray cloudy weather I can see from my window.


6. I take care in what I cook for my family. I am attempting to put that same care into preparing our new living quarters. With that in mind, we are buying a “zero VOC” paint. This lessens our indoor pollution, which is especially important for us since we have very young children. I am very thankful to have less toxic paint available for us to use!


I’d love to hear your thoughts on kitchen décor and colors for kitchen walls! I am always looking for new inspiration and new ideas.


MNN tease photos of modern kitchen and paintbrush via Shutterstock
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