How kitchen colours influence our feelings
Colour is important as it addresses one of our basic needs for neurological stimulation. As people, we are highly visual beings and base a lot of our likes, dislikes and subsequent decision-making on sight, and on how the objects we are looking at make us feel. This includes how kitchen colours make us feel. For example, a vibrant red kitchen can evoke a very different response from two different people. One person might find it vibrant and energizing, where the other finds it overpowering, even making them feel physically tense and unsettled. In both cases, and whether the response is positive or not, the colour reflects on the person and influences how they feel.
Natural kitchen colours and elements
I am told the ancient art of Feng Shui acknowledges this effect of colour on our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It also suggests that colours are connected to the 5 elements from the natural world, consisting of Earth, Fire, Metal, Water and Wood. If putting this theory into practice it is easy to find each of these elements represented within everyday kitchens. For example, wood, copper, stainless steel and earthy kitchen colours are all steadfast and hugely popular choices. Neutral tones associated with the natural world are particularly popular because they appeal to our senses of sight and touch. There is a familiarity to them, which usually evokes a relaxed feel and sense of calm …which is ideal for a kitchen environment!
It’s all about you
But whatever kitchen colours, textures and materials you’re drawn to, no preference is ever wrong, it’s just personal. Your choices denote freedom of expression, reflecting your individualism and personal style. And quite rightly too, because a kitchen is an intimate place; You are the one who will be spending time here and so it should be a place where you want to be.
Don’t ignore your instincts
There are a wealth of kitchen colours and finishes to choose from when planning your new kitchen, and of course it’s a big investment so you want to be 100% sure you’re making the best decisions to suit you as well as your home. And instinct can be a powerful tool when first considering a kitchen colour scheme, so don’t ignore it!…Perhaps you’re drawn to a bold coloured kitchen door, yet all the magazines and online images you’ve seen feature white kitchens, or muted tones, citing them as ‘the latest in design.’ Well, that might well be the case but it’s you that has to live with the end result of your project so if natural and neutral tones don’t appeal, then don’t choose them! Otherwise you risk regretting your decisions later on, and might always wonder ‘what if!..’
Less is very often more
But that said, whilst you can include any colours you want, some kitchen colours do need more careful introduction than others. Where the popular all-white kitchen is easily achievable, a lively or dark colour throughout the entirety of your kitchen could prove ‘too much,’ or else clash with other finishes. It usually depends on your kitchen’s shape, size and lighting, but some colours simply work better as accent colours, or in combination with a second colour in a two-tone design. An example of this is my own recently finished kitchen, pictured below:
When designing this, my colleagues all thought I would choose LWK Kitchens’ teal kitchen door as they know this is my favourite colour. If trying to describe teal I would say it’s a serene tone, which makes me feel relaxed and happy. But the teal doors would have been excessive throughout the entirety of my small kitchen. If I had still wanted them a solution would have been to include teal base units with white wall units…but personally, the colour tone just wasn’t right for me.
Instead we incorporated a teal splashback, colour-matched to the exact shade of teal I wanted. This teal splashback later became the corner stone for my adjoining living room’s décor (as pictured) which now also features teal as an accent colour. And rather than Pearl Grey doors throughout the whole kitchen, we balanced the look by incorporating warm white wall units.
Think ahead and consider the full picture
Whilst fully in support of homeowners using colour and the creative possibilities this can bring, there are a few essential considerations before committing:
- Are you confident you will still like your intended colour scheme in years to come?
- If you wanted to sell your house in the future would your intended kitchen colours appeal to others too?
- Are all of your intended kitchen colours and finishes in the best location for usability within your kitchen design? (Eg. White might not be the best choice for base units if you have pets or small children, yet would be fine for out-of-reach wall units).
Of course an expert kitchen designer can offer more in depth colour and finish recommendations based on your individual needs, tastes and lifestyle. And whilst colour choice can at first seem a daunting prospect, they can work with you to understand and achieve the kitchen look you want, inclusive of colours and materials you like, and which in turn will make you feel good too!
For further help in planning your kitchen, including choosing kitchen colours, please contact us to speak to one of our expert designers: