It’s no surprise that most people start planning a room by deciding on the colour scheme. We are surrounded by colour every day but it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Whilst red increases energy, spontaneity and passion, and yellow radiates happiness, intelligence and creativity, the brightness can be overpowering if not used in the right way. So how can you use colour in a decor scheme without going overboard?
Clearly colour choices are very personal, but there are some tips which can ensure that the colours you choose help the room come together as a whole. One tip is to choose a palette of complementary colours which will help tie different components of the room together. Using different tones of the same colour or colours close on the colour spectrum, like pastels, will provide consistency and blend the different elements of the room together.
Whilst some people like things to match, others like contrast. Picking out specific features such as a splashback or a mantle can work well for highlighting feature elements. For a bolder look, a whole kitchen island could contrast; for example, a cream kitchen with a dark grey island works well. Or if you’re really brave, go for a striking colour…
Highlighting specific features works particularly well if the layout of the space is open plan. Whilst it’s nice to tie together colours between the kitchen and the rest of the space, be careful not to go over the top; the spaces should complement one another rather than match. One way to do this is to bring in elements of a colour scheme through soft furnishings and accessories. Coloured glass or china is a subtle but effective way to ensure the colour scheme runs throughout the design without it becoming overpowering.
Appliances are another feature in the room that can be used to form a colour scheme. An Aga is the perfect example of how to use colour through appliances – from black to white to pink to green, there’s an Aga to match every colour scheme. Similarly if you have stainless steel appliances the metallic finish can be echoed throughout the design – making the appliances part of the aesthetic design as well as functional design features.
When it comes to choosing the right colour scheme for your particular kitchen, there are no hard and fast rules, simply some guidelines which are good to keep in mind. For example, small kitchens or kitchens which are lacking light should avoid using dark woods and colours. If you want the room to feel as airy, bright and big as it can, then it’s best to use lighter tones. For example, a large room will benefit from the warmth of walnut, whereas a smaller room may look better with a lighter wood, such as oak.
On the other hand, it is often thought that light and bright is the only option even in a big room. Sometimes it’s nice (if the room is big enough) to purposefully add some darker tones – for example incorporate a walnut breakfast bar, replace a few painted wall cabinets with walnut or oak, or simply add dark worktops. Adding a bit of contrast between light and dark can look stunning. However there are no ‘set in stone’ rules; it is best to opt for the look that you want to live with!
However, it’s also important to recognise that whilst you have to live with it, it doesn’t have to be forever. For example, because all of our cabinetry is hand painted, should you want to change the colour scheme in 5 or 10 years’ time, that’s not a problem, and will cost a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen. The only limit is your imagination; if you know the name and make of a particular paint then our designers can replicate this colour on the kitchen furniture – so any painted surface can be your inspiration, including walls. However, it’s important to understand that some things are not as easily changed; a bold worktop can certainly look striking, but cannot be repainted; if you fancy a change it may mean replacing the whole work surface.