A pink ceiling and bold splash of orange paint highlight a modern, monotone kitchen.
A country kitchen is powered up with a focal point island counter and painted stool.

The kitchen is such a busy space with so many jobs to do. As the hub of the home it is important that you feel happy and industrious here. When setting up a kitchen from scratch, there are a mind-boggling number of elements to consider, from floor to ceiling, backsplashes, cabinets, counters and the major appliances. Whether you are starting from scratch or embarking on a facelift, begin with lots of research. Scour the internet, mags, books, stores (and other people’s homes) for ideas and inspiration.

Until the budget allows for a full do-over, a fresh paint colour offers myriad opportunities to build the mood you dream of and it’s an easy fix. For nature lovers, bring the palette of the natural world inside with shades of green. Choose a gray/green for walls and cabinetry to produce a peaceful mood. For a more pronounced effect, leave upper cabinets light and paint the cabinets below the counter and island in mid to dark green tones.

If your kitchen is dominated by chrome appliances and dark cabinets, bring relief with a bold colour choice on the walls. Shown here from Farrow and Ball is a striking paint effect that runs above the cabinetry. The ceiling is a warm shade of pink. A surprising flash of orange on the upper walls shows off a random pattern of brush and roller strokes contrasting Farrow and Ball’s Charlotte’s Locks with white. A medium sheen highlights the crown mouldings.

Open shelves have become a popular option for kitchens. The lack of cabinet doors, especially on the upper walls, opens up the space, provides easy access to crockery and adds interest to the walls. In this kitchen by Benjamin Moore an infusion the colour of cherry wine brings a clear focal point to the neutral whites and wood. A lighter shade of the saturated tone on the island counter is picked up on the painted stool. Following the colour, a few counter accessories and a bowl of fruit keep your eye moving. If the kitchen is open to living area, bring one of the colours into the kitchen to connect the spaces.

A small dose of colour can make a big statement in the kitchen. Why not do a little experimentation. Paint up a piece of Bristol board or plywood and lean it up against the wall or backsplash. (You can do the same with tiles or patterns that you aren’t sure of.) Live with the new colour for a week and you’ll know if it suits.

For a final bold touch, check out the latest bright hues available in small appliances. I’ve spotted a royal blue cast iron braiser for slow cooking weekend meals, retro style kettles in crimson, bright yellow baking dishes and copper coloured mixers. Always have fun with colour.

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