There’s probably nothing in the world of interior design that affects our mood quite like color does. It’s a powerful tool, and amazingly sometimes all it takes is a single coat of paint to transform a whole room. It’s the quickest and least expensive way to make over a space and transform the way it looks and feels.
But, as even seasoned professionals will quickly tell you, finding the right color is tricky – what works in one room may not work in another, what looks good by daylight can look totally different at night in artificial light. Add to that the fact that there are more than 3,000 colors to select from, and arriving at the right color can feel like a daunting task. And if you think white is your safe default choice, think again: White exists in nearly 300 shades!
Even if you are thinking of a white, begin by looking at the existing colors in the room -- on the floor, tiled backsplash, cabinetry, and countertops. A gray-blue granite countertop may inspire a cool white (Snow White OC 66) or a pale blue-gray (Polar Ice 1660) for the walls with white trim, for example; hints of green in a slate floor might suggest a sage for the walls, like Spring Meadow 486. If your kitchen gets a lot of light or if you have a lot of bright white cabinetry consider slightly more saturated color choices. Bear in mind the palettes in adjoining rooms, especially if the kitchen opens on to them – colors should flow comfortably throughout the house.
Once you have a color, or colors, in mind, test them out on sample boards, 2 x 2 feet is a good size. Because its almost impossible to guess from a 2-inch swatch in a paint store how a whole wall of color will look in an actual room, even professionals find that painting a sample (or several) is the best way to narrow down your options and find the color you love. Benjamin Moore sells pint sample cans designed just for this purpose. Move the boards around the room – looking at them in the darkest corners as well as the brightest sunlit spots, live with them for a few days and look at the colors in morning light and at night. You may want to go a shade or two lighter or darker, a little warmer or a little cooler, but its far easier re-painting test boards than an entire room. Don’t expect to find the right color on the first try. Be patient: once you find the one you love, it will have the power to make your kitchen a place where everyone feels at home.