- Red is a warm, almost hot color used only if there is a minimum of wall space. Too much red may cause feelings of anxiousness as the color in large doses tends to overstimulate the senses. Offset the red with a cool white or toasty brown to play against the heat of the red to create balance and provide excitement and comfort within the kitchen.
Oranges and yellows are also considered warm colors, and are less intense than a pure red. Warm colors work well with traditional design and, in particular, country style or Tuscan style kitchens. For a more contemporary or modern design, use the brighter shades of the warm colors to match the sleek appeal of the kitchen design.
- The blues and greens found in nature bring a sense of relaxation to the kitchen space. These cool colors are refreshing to look at and work well in both traditional and modern design.
Lighter shades of cooler colors in a kitchen offset darker woods and large appliances. Dark shades of blue and green, though, may need sharper contrast to prevent a sense of lethargy. Use splashes of red in accessories to offset darker greens, and use bright whites to play off darker shades of blue.
- Neutral colors in a kitchen needn't translate to safe or boring. Painting kitchen walls a sandy brown, a slate gray or an antique white allows for versatility in color play with artwork and accessories. A bright red ceramic tea set on a countertop pops when played against walls painted in a whisper of color.
- There may be more than one wall in a kitchen, and not all the walls must be the same color. Use a mix of contrasting colors to create a dynamic feel. Use a warm color, such as a bright red or yellow, for an accent wall, and paint the remaining walls a smooth white or creamy brown.
Another option is to pair paint colors. Paint the bottom half of the wall a cocoa brown and the top half a cool blue or soft white. This option works well in smaller kitchens as the contrasting colors cause the eye to travel, providing visual interest.