A colour lover’s kitchen: Why you should be brave to go bold with colour in your Kitchen!

I’m not entirely sure if you all know that I currently work for Wren Kitchens as a Kitchen Designer. This has been an amazing opportunity for me to design kitchens and utilities for people of all walks of life no matter what their budgets are.

 

Majority of the time, most of my customers go for more neutral or grey colours within their kitchens. This is due to the belief that if they go for a grey, white or beige kitchen design, it will make their home more attractive and easier to sell in the future.

However, there are many designers, as well as myself, who don’t believe that to be true.

Of course, with more neutral cabinetry, you can accessorise with lots of colourful objects, go for a bolder worktop, splash back or even paint the walls in a bright colour as a way of bringing in your own personality. But, they would always shy away from adding colour to their cabinetry for fear of falling out of love with the colour within a year of installation.

Every now and then however, I meet kindred spirits, colour lovers like myself who want to be brave with colour and really make a statement within their kitchen.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the space you probably use the most without even realising it. You make your 3 meals a day in there, as well as for trips to the fridge for a midnight snack. So, why wouldn’t you want it to reflect your personality and sense of style by experimenting with colour? It’s a huge investment, so why not go for something you know you are going to love?

 

Enter my customers: a lovely couple that live in Hampshire. Their original kitchen was white cabinetry with red and terracotta walls and lime green tiles. Just by looking at their original kitchen, I knew that they are colour lovers and wanted to freshen up the space, however I wasn’t entirely sure whether they were going to be brave with the door colours.

 

When talking to my customer’s about what they were looking for within their kitchen and creating a brief with them, they were leaning towards a pebble grey colour on all of the doors, with Quartz in “Highland White” and a Luxury Laminate in “Italian walnut” being used as the worktop surfaces, and they wanted a wow factor on their peninsular island with a feature colour. My customer had expressed that she loved the colours at Wren called “Midnight” Blue or “Bumblebee” Yellow to go on the island but she couldn’t choose between the two.

We spent about 2 to 3 hours creating the design together, coming up with a layout that works for their space and meets their needs. Quartz is a very expensive worktop material, so we agreed it would be best to save that for the island as it will also add to the wow factor and statement of the peninsular they were looking for, and have the luxury laminate on the rest of the run of units.

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(Not my own images. Images are illustrative and created with Wren Kitchen’s online kitchen planner to represent colour combinations.)

We played with trying one or the other colour on the island with pebble grey around the rest of the kitchen, but my customer just didn’t feel like it was giving them the dream kitchen feel.

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(Own design)

At this point, 2 and a half hours in, her husband had to excuse himself for a little break and a little walk around to get some more inspiration. Me and my customer were sat there having a chat, trying to figure out a way together to make these colours work. I had an idea and pitched to them to paint their walls a light grey instead, and have both the blue and the yellow used in their cabinetry. I suggested that they have midnight blue around the whole of the kitchen with the Italian walnut laminate worktop, and the bumblebee yellow on the island with highland white quartz worktop. Although my customers were colour lovers, I think they weren’t entirely sure whether this would work.

RYAC3095(Own design)

That was until I showed her how it looked in 3D and in virtual reality. She loved this idea! We waited for her husband to return, and we discussed what we had discovered. Funnily enough, he had the same idea whilst he was away from my desk, except with yellow around the whole of the kitchen and blue on the island.

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(Not my own image. The image above is illustrative and created with Wren Kitchen’s online kitchen planner to represent colour combinations.)

We tried his idea out. I thought it looked awesome, but he did not seem to keen on having yellow everywhere. So I showed him my idea, and he also loved the colour combination with blue on all the units and yellow on the island.

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(Own design)

However, it was when they saw the design in virtual reality that they absolutely and completely fell in love with the layout and the colours used within their space. They could really see themselves working within and living with this kitchen, and the island gave them that really unique feature they were looking for within the space.

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(Own image: Colour palette and product board created in Photoshop)

Fast forward a few months and I went round for a visit to see the end result. I thought I loved it when I designed it for them, and I fell in love with it when I finally saw it in person:

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(Own Photography)

The view from their dining room is absolutely breathtaking. They made the wall with a view in to the kitchen a feature wall by painting it in the same colour as their peninsular, which really ties the two rooms together and has such an amazing visual impact!

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Not to mention the ingenious use of the bright pink on the archway and back wall, adding in another colour to the mix. This colour really highlights the architecture of the space along the archway and carries your eye around the room.

 

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(Own Photography)

When I expressed my love for using such a vivid colour, my customer’s said that they were going to paint all of the walls a light grey, but that I inspired them to be even bolder with their choices. We had joked in the appointments about having a pink kitchen and when I created the visuals for them I had styled them with bright pink placemats as a nod to our conversation and little inside joke. They loved it so much that they decided to paint the walls in the same colour and it works perfectly with their design!

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(Own Photography)

I also love that they didn’t stop there with their colour choices. They bought their own splash back that has a picture of a bright green lime on it which adds another pop of element to their colour palette.

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(Own Photography)

They also incorporated the lime green colour within their blinds, which you can’t really see due to the sunlight coming in through their window, but you can see the light reflecting the colour on to the ceiling. This also tied in perfectly with their parasol outside in the garden. I love that it is also a little homage to the lime green tiles they had in their previous kitchen.

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(Own Photography)

The sink they chose is a black glass top sink with stainless steel bowls, which matched perfectly with the appliances they chose. As their island isn’t exactly a traditional island and more of a peninsular (meaning it comes off a run of units from a wall in to the middle of a space), they didn’t want one colour cabinetry to intrude too much on the other. So we designed the peninsular and the corner where the colours meet to be mitred so that they got a clear line going down the centre between the two.

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(Own Photography)

To add to the uniformity of the kitchen, we made sure that the worktops were the same thickness and the upstands for each material were the same height, so that it was one continuous line along the back of the worktops along the walls. As the feature unit on the end of the island has a frontal on both sides, I advised that they place false doors underneath the breakfast bar to tie it all in together. The customer chose to go for open shelved feature units in the same colour as the laminate worktop to carry it throughout the space. The use of the dark wood effect worktop, the dark grey flooring and the light grey walls work really harmonise with the brighter colours and help ground them.

 

When I asked my customers if they are happy with the end result, they replied,

Absolutely! Every morning when we come downstairs, the kitchen really brightens our days and it’s so inviting. We wanted to be more brave with the colour and we’re happy we chose went for brighter colours in the space. Whenever we have visitors round, they always compliment the design and say how well all the elements work together. We are really pleased and were lucky to have you as our designer.

I (obviously, because I am a colour lover and am biased) honestly loved the end result! I think even though it’s a country styled door, it is still quite a modern kitchen, with a fantastic mixture of traditional and contemporary. It makes me happy when my customers want to express themselves within the design and, trust my vision and ideas. If they are happy, then I am happy!

 

I feel it’s so important to experiment with colour in the home and that it doesn’t have to stop at just being in the living room or bedroom, that you should experiment with colour in the kitchen, too. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a whole brand new kitchen. You can easily update the space just by painting the doors or buying replacement doors if you know where your current kitchen originally came from. Colours in the home can really lift our spirits and affect our moods, and that is no different in your kitchen!

 

However, if you are looking at buying a whole new kitchen and changing the space, why not go bold with your colour choices? It’s a complete myth that going for plainer, simpler colours will affect the resale value. Chances are, if it comes to you selling your home and you’ve fitted a white or grey kitchen, the person buying that house will most likely rip it out anyway. A Kitchen is a HUGE investment, so why not choose a colour that you love? Even if you are living there only for 3 or 4 years and plan to sell, you will always feel better about going for what you want and spending your time in a space you love, than going for something safe and wishing you had invested a bit more in your kitchen.

 

It’s easy to be bold, you just have to take that leap of faith with a colour you truly love! Why not try creating a design with your favourite colour? Or secondary favourite? This can be on the doors and drawer frontals, the walls, the worktops, the splash backs, the ceiling, you name it! Trust me, once you’ve added some colour, love and care to your kitchen, you will love it so much and not want to go back!

Additionally, if you are in to monochrome, then that’s absolutely fine, too! You do you, do what makes you happy and not what you think society and everyone else will want. If you love dark cabinets with white worktops, and lots of contrast, go for it! High contrasting kitchens are sexy and sleek no matter what the style is!

 

What do you think of this kitchen design? Has it inspired you to go big and bold? Or do you prefer more calmer colours? Or are you in to monochrome colour schemes? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Danica x

Visiting my first Kitchen I designed

Hello there!

So, I’m not sure if everyone knows this, but I’ve been working for Wren Kitchens for about 6 months now as a kitchen designer! It has been amazing and I’ve loved every minute of it so far!

 

I’ve met so many different people who I have designed for, however these things do take a bit of time and it’s only now that their dream kitchens are becoming a reality!

 

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from my first ever customers that I sold to earlier this year asking if I’d like to come over for a coffee to see my first kitchen design as they knew I wanted some pictures for my portfolio. It was so lovely to hear from them, so we set up a date and time for when I was off and they were free and I went round to have a look and a catch up with them.

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(Image: CAD visualisation of their kitchen design)

Well, even I am impressed with the outcome! The showroom I work in is so inspiring and full of incredible displays and design ideas, but it’s not until you see the product in a real home that you fully understand how amazing it is!

The brief for this kitchen was to create a modern space. My client wanted their dream kitchen to be streamlined, clear, uniformed and sleek, yet also warm and welcoming. My client loves to bake and wanted an area in the kitchen where they can prepare the dough, with easy access to the ovens. My client has a lot of members in their family and they wanted an area where they could entertain but also somewhere they could sit with their grandchildren when they come to visit. Both aesthetics and functionality was important to them, and they needed plenty of surface area and storage space. Their kitchen before was in need of an update and did not have as much storage or worktop space that they required.

 

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(The complete installed kitchen reveal! My own images.)

The space they had to use was quite large. The seating area was originally the garage, which they ended up converting to be part of their kitchen space, giving them more room in the home to have guests over for dinners.

When designing their kitchen with them, my clients felt that a handless style would give them the sleek contemporary look they wanted to achieve. After going through the different handless options Wren has to offer, we came to a conclusion that the Milano style in the Infinity Plus range was the right option for them. This style of handless doors is better for them for functionality and accessibility because of the profile that runs along the top of the door frontals and vertically down the tower units, giving their fingers a comfortable grip when opening the doors and drawers. The carcasses for this style of kitchen are made by Wren and the profile cuts in to the carcass, meaning that the doors are squared and it also means that the cabinets are truly handless.

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(One end of the kitchen. My own image.)

This also meant that we could create a great atmospheric vibe with LED lighting along the profile under the worktop and match that lighting underneath their wall units. These LED strip lights are not only fantastic for energy rating, but they also really pull this look together. My clients loved this as when it’s late at night, they don’t need to turn all the lights on to see where they need to go. They did joke that they’ve had comments from their family and friends that the lights make their kitchen look like “Starship Enterprise”. Something that I’ll take as a compliment as I love Star Trek, so the geek in me was giving herself a high five!

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(Bank of tower units! My own images.)

How incredible does this bank of tower units look!? Originally there was a door along this wall that goes in to the living room, however my clients wanted to utilise the space to fit in the ovens, microwave and fridge freezer. We felt that it would be best to have their cooking appliances at eye-level, with the single ovens being placed on either side of the oven to achieve symmetry. Then we finished off the row of towers with a 70/30 integrated fridge freezer. This helps carry the eye around the room, as all the lines match up under the appliances and the lines are at the same height as the worktop.

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(Cooking area. My own image.)

At the top end of the kitchen is where majority of their utility services are, which is where the majority of activity would be happening in the space. There was a lot that had to be fitted in to that part of the kitchen, which includes the sink, a dishwasher, their washing machine, a gas hob, extractor, as well as storage space and a drawer stack for their cutlery. This also needed to be within the rule son the working triangle, to ensure that my customers didn’t have to walk very far to get what they needed in order to complete any tasks they are doing in the space. The glass splash back is their own addition and they sourced it from Fleet Glass. I love it and think it adds in just the right amount of colour to the space and really lets their personality shine through!

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(Island units. My own image.)

This is where the island units come in. You may be thinking it’s a tiny island, however in my customer’s old kitchen, they had an island just like this, at the same depth and width. The island is there to serve as a place for my customer to do their baking, where they can then turn around and place things straight in to the oven. When I visited them, they said they don’t use the island surface area for baking now, and actually use that as a place to serve up their meals or when they have visitors they set food out. They said that they now use the peninsular island as their prep area for any baking activity!

 

I’m so pleased with how this design turned out and I was really proud of it! My customers were really pleased with the end result as well!

 

What do you think? Would you go for a modern kitchen design? Or would you go more traditional like a shaker or country style? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Danica x