Kitchen Design Colour Theory

CityLifeStyle CAMBRIA Color Theory Viking Yellow Cabinet

Kitchen Design Colour Theory

Written by Amanda Lecky Cam​bria​.com

Over­whelmed by the prospect of choos­ing col­ors for your home ? Take some sur­pris­ing­ly sim­ple tips from top inte­ri­or design­ers and cre­ate a palette that will please for years to come.

CityLifeStyle CAMBRIA Color Theory Grey Kitchen

How to simplify the color selection process ?

Both Beson and Los Ange­les-based design­er Nicole Sas­saman sug­gest start­ing with a sin­gle col­or­ful focal point and then build­ing the rest of the scheme around that anchor. For exam­ple, if you’re plan­ning to use a gor­geous rug in your liv­ing room, you might pull one of the soft­er or more neu­tral shades from its pat­tern and use that col­or on the walls, then repeat some of the oth­er col­ors from the rug in your fur­nish­ings and acces­sories,” says Sas­saman.

As a gen­er­al rule of thumb, it’s smart to keep per­ma­nent invest­ment” ele­ments on the neu­tral side. Stick with clas­sic designs for cab­i­nets as well as floor­ing and coun­ter­tops, such as Cam­bria in Water­stone, Mar­ble or the newest Ocean­ic Col­lec­tion. Save the more sat­u­rat­ed design choic­es for items you can change more eas­i­ly : like paint, acces­sories, and art­work.

Color Trends

Hot” hues come and go — think cir­ca-1970 har­vest gold and avo­ca­do or the 80s mauve-and-gray schemes — so it’s smart to be care­ful when using these col­ors. Use them in small dos­es,” says Beson. Instead of paint­ing your entire house in this year’s trendy shade, just use it in a small area, like on an accent wall.”

For­tu­nate­ly, some of the most on-trend col­ors right now are also peren­ni­al clas­sics. Navy is very hot right now,” says Cana­di­an design­er Janette Ewen. But it’s one of those col­ors that will still look great ten years from now — it’s a clas­sic that will real­ly nev­er go out of style.” Beson and Ewen sug­gest pair­ing a dark col­or like navy with plen­ty of white, for the most mod­ern look. The same goes for black” says Beson.

A black room can look very dra­mat­ic, but to keep it from feel­ing con­strict­ing, it needs con­trast, so think about deep mould­ings and base­boards paint­ed in white or off-white, and add a lit­tle sparkle to the space to reflect light around.”

Living spaces

To fig­ure out which col­ors (trendy or not) you grav­i­tate toward, Ewen sug­gests think­ing of the places that most inspire you and that make you feel hap­py to think about. If that’s a beach in the Caribbean, you might pull sand and sea col­ors into your rooms ; if it’s an Indi­an bazaar, you might pre­fer rich­er spice tones.” While there are no hard and fast rules for which col­ors work best in which rooms, a gen­er­al rule of thumb is to choose calm­ing col­ors like blues, greens, grays, and laven­ders for bed­rooms and bath­rooms ; warmer neu­trals for the main liv­ing spaces, such as liv­ing rooms and kitchens ; and more dra­mat­ic hues — rich red, deep brown, sap­phire — for those rooms you spend less time in or use pri­mar­i­ly for enter­tain­ing, such as din­ing rooms and pow­der rooms.

Choose your coun­ter­tops and appli­ances first, then pick col­ors to com­ple­ment them, not the oth­er way around. — Bil­ly Beson, Bil­ly Beson Co.”

CityLifeStyle CAMBRIA Color Theory Grey Kitchen Cabinets

Open Plans And Connectors

Today’s flow­ing floor­plans can cause more col­or con­fu­sion. When one space con­nects to anoth­er — think of an open kitchen, din­ing area, and fam­i­ly room — it can be dif­fi­cult to know how to choose a col­or scheme that feels cohe­sive and yet helps to dif­fer­en­ti­ate each space. Ewen prefers to keep it sim­ple. Don’t try to use wall col­or to sep­a­rate the dif­fer­ent areas,” she says. Choose one com­plex neu­tral for the entire space, then let your rugs, fur­nish­ings, and acces­sories cre­ate slight­ly dif­fer­ent col­or schemes in each zone.” Bil­ly Beson agrees, adding a sug­ges­tion : An accent wall in a din­ing area or on a wall with a fire­place can lend some dimen­sion and cre­ate a focal point in an open plan.” For hall­ways that link spaces, again head toward sophis­ti­cat­ed neu­trals. We’re real­ly lov­ing sil­very, even metal­lic, shades right now,” says Beson. That slight sheen bright­ens hall­ways, which are usu­al­ly dark, and lends a very sub­tle glam­our.”


Versatile Grey Kitchen


Pale grey cre­ates a clean, crisp look in the kitchen.

CityLifeStyle Versatile Grey Kitchen Benjamin Moore Paint

CityLifeStyle Versatile Grey Kitchen Benjamin Moore Paint Colours

Sun-Splashed Kitchen Corner


Pair­ing of grey cab­i­netry, gold­en-yel­low walls, refresh­ing & con­tem­po­rary.

CityLifeStyle Versatile Sun Splashed Kitchen Corner Benjamin Moore Pain

CityLifeStyle Sun Spalshed Kitchen Corner Benjamin Moore Paint Colours

Uncomplicated Kitchen


Two shades of taupe grey give this space a mod­ern, con­fi­dent edge.

CityLifeStyle Versatile Clean Uncomplicated Kitchen Benjamin Moore Pain

CityLifeStyle Benjamine Moore Paint Clean Uncomplicated Kitchen Colours

Northern Roots Kitchen

CityLifeStyle KOHLER Northern Roots Kitchen Benjamine Moore Paint Colours

CityLifeStyle Nothern Roots Kitchen Benjamin Moore Paint Colours


Deep greys, hints of taupe and stony colours coat the walls, cab­i­nets and back­splash in this farm­house kitchen by Kohler® and Ben­jamin Moore. The Pol­ished Stain­less HiRise faucets and Cash­mere enam­elled cast iron sinks and cab­i­nets coat­ed in iron moun­tain 2134 – 30 recall the soul­ful char­ac­ter of the home. Wall : ston­ing­ton gray HC-170 ; Product/​Sheen : Aura® Inte­ri­or, Mat­te ; Ceil­ing : WB Ceil­ing Paint ; Wain­scot­ing : spar­row AF-720 ; Product/​Sheen : ADVANCE®, Pearl.