A common challenge interior designers face when tasked with an older home, and the blank slate of a brand new kitchen, is to ensure that the cabinets do not look fresh off the factory line. While white cabinets may never go out of style, we think they can often look too shiny and new. We find white cabinets to feel unoriginal when dropped into a new home or kitchen. I can also assure you that nine out of your ten neighbors are also thinking white for their sparkly new homes.
That being said, we think it’s time to be a little more original. The objective here is to be bold without being flashy. Classic and refined kitchens should appear natural in their settings, even with new construction. One way we’ve accomplished a chic yet timeless look is to have your contractor or installer hand-paint your kitchen cabinets in a bold color. Remember, colors are not to be feared! Just make sure you and your designer choose the tone and finish wisely.
Rather than the common spray-gun technique, which we find to look too synthetic, a hand-painted cabinet will add subtle sophistication that you never knew your eyes craved. While this bespoke application may be more costly, we find the outcome to be worth every penny. Hand-painting your cabinets creates a restrained quality that uniquely defines the space with a sense of muted calmness. The goal is always to create spaces that feel established as if they’ve always been there. The hand-painted strokes will age and grow within your kitchen and give the impression of being a self-evident part of your surroundings.
Here are some of our favorite colors to tone down that new kitchen:
Merlot Red, Benjamin Moore
Red tones are often thought of as jarring, bold choices, but when muted with a matte, hand-painted finish, the color can be quite sophisticated. Red cabinets work well with whites, light & dark browns, natural wood finishes, and antique brass.
Duck Green, Farrow & Ball
Green has exceptional versatility. It can take your kitchen in any direction you desire. From a dark and softened hue, for a classic English style, or a more vibrant green for a retro playfulness.
Narragansett Green, Benjamin Moore
Narragansett Green is part of BM’s Historical Collection, inspired by America’s historic landmarks. It’s a beautiful bold green with loads of blue undertones. The shade is rich and luxurious, perfect for any style and space.
Corngold, Farrow & Ball
A yellow kitchen may seem unworkable or perhaps immature, but choosing the right yellow can bring a clever airiness to virtually any space. Farrow and Ball’s ‘Corn Gold Yellow’ does just that. Style it with subtle whites and neutrals or heavy contrasts like black, brown, pink, green, or purple. Your yellow kitchen is bound to be a show-stopper, even when dealing with a compact galley or kitchenette.
Greenblack, Sherwin Williams
Black doesn’t always mean masculine. While it can be intimidating, with ample sunlight, delicate hardware, and deliberate design choices, a black kitchen can be quite graceful.