Kitchen Colors – How to Create Kitchen Ambiance with the Right Colors

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Kitchen colors represent a critical design element of any kitchen remodeling project. Selecting the right kitchen colors might not seem like a difficult task, but the shades you choose not only affect the overall appearance of the room – they can also be a reflection of your family’s personality. Many design professionals also believe that certain kitchen paint colors can be used to inspire, relax, or excite a room’s occupants so that might also be a consideration when planning your design palette.

If you want your completed renovation to be perfect and are concerned about making a mistake with your kitchen colors, consider using a kitchen designer to assist with the planning. Most designers have professional training in using paint colors to create an ambiance that suits the room and your family. However, keep in mind who will be using the kitchen on a daily basis – you should always have final approval of your colors.

Just about every designer has their own ideas on how kitchen paint colors should be handled in the room, but two primary guidelines seem to be prevalent throughout the profession:

Buck the Trends

There will always be fashion trends for kitchen colors (avocado and harvest gold appliances come to mind), but they aren’t important unless the intention of the renovation is to prepare your home for the real estate market. If you plan to live in the home for a while after the remodel is complete, choose colors that fit your planned décor or personality rather than a trend that will soon run its course. While all white kitchens were in vogue just a few years ago, earth tones seem to be all the rage these days and who knows what will be next in line.

Match Large Surfaces

Many kitchen designers suggest that at least two of the large surfaces in your kitchen should match in color shades. This could be the countertops and wall colors, the backsplash and the floor tile, or the cabinets and the primary color shades in the hardwood floor.  The two large surfaces should complement each other and other hues throughout the room can be used as contrasts or accents to the primary color. But what about the kitchen colors themselves – what do they say about you and the room?

Colors and Moods

Interior and kitchen designers often recommend that no more than three or four paint colors be used in a room or it can have a tendency to have a cluttered appearance. Most agree that lighter kitchen colors can make a smaller space look larger and more open and darker colors can give a larger room a warm touch, but the actual shade you choose can often illicit a specific response. Consider the emotions these paint colors can convey:


Red is considered to be an energetic shade that can be used to stimulate conversation and may even raise the room occupants’ blood pressure. While it might do a good job of waking your family up in the morning, red might not be the best choice for enjoying a relaxing meal at the end of the day.


This is a color that can evoke different emotions depending on the shade. A light blue is considered to be relaxing and creates a sense of comfort, but a dark blue can be almost depressing – hardly the emotion you want in the room when serving dinner.


This color is considered bright and airy and can bring a sense of sunshine in the room. It’s a good shade for creating a happy atmosphere in a dark kitchen, but be cautious of overdoing it – some studies have shown that too much yellow can cause anger and fatigue the eyes.


This shade is thought to be one of the most relaxing colors in the spectrum. Green can bring a sense of warmth and togetherness to your kitchen – always good sentiments when sharing a family meal.


If you consider yourself royalty or just want to be treated that way, this might be your color shade. Dark purples are thought to convey luxury, but they can also make a kitchen seem very small. On the other hand, lighter purples such as lilac and lavender are considered calming and peaceful.

Combining paint colors can bring a range of emotions to your kitchen. Choosing light greens, blues, or yellows as a primary color can give your kitchen a warm inviting feel and you may wish to add some dark blue, purple, or red for the dramatic effect. Following a color wheel available at most paint and home improvement stores can also be very helpful in making your color selections.

And be sure to research kitchen remodeling costs and their return on investment if you are planning kitchen remodeling project as you consider various kitchen paint colors.