A twist on tradition

We define our Chichester collection as being ‘classic English’ in terms of style, with its traditional beading and mouldings. Applying strong colour to it is, therefore, a fresh context for it to live in, but will also help to keep it grounded and tasteful.

Choose timber

Just as a timeless cabinet aesthetic will help to stop colour from running away with itself, choosing a design made from timber will also help to give a colourful kitchen quiet elegance. For us, this is true of any type of kitchen decorating scheme, but when you’re being more daring with your room’s interior, classic foundations such as these become even more important.

Not only that, there’s an innate sense of practicality with timber. So, should you fall out of love with your choice of colour later down the line, you can sand it back and paint it anew.

Use two shades

Even if you’re colour confident, using two contrasting shades of paint is still something that’s worth considering. Use an equal balance of both colours, and the one tempers the other, just like in our Chichester example.

If you want one to play a more dominant role, alter the ratio so that most of your kitchen is in the one colour, with just a hint of your secondary shade to nuance the palette. This is something we often do in our kitchen designs, although with two subtly different tones – typically painting an island in a different colour to the rest of the cabinetry. It’s an approach that can be particularly helpful if you’re considering using two poles-apart colours too, so the more subversive one acts as an accent.

Choosing your colours

In this case, it’s all about creating a stark contrast, but that doesn’t mean the colours don’t need to be compatible. Here, we’ve used Navy and Paprika – two shades that have a degree of both warmth and coolness, making them tonally well-suited.

It’s important to think about the light in the room too and what effect it’ll have on the paint colour. Paprika in eggshell, in a light room such as this Irish studio, has its pink undertones highlighted, which makes it a far more suitable companion for Navy. If this were in a low-ceilinged room with little light, the partnership wouldn’t be as successful, because its red-brown base would be coming through more strongly and the overall palette would feel a touch muddy.

The same thinking applies to the other elements in the room. Your colour coupling for the cabinetry needs to harmonise with the flooring, wall colour, hardware and tiles. In this example, the warm tones of the wooden floorboards are reflected in the Paprika paint, whereas Navy provides a nice contrast – therefore achieving balance. We’ve then kept everything else white and simple to form an unfussy backdrop.

Create another focal point

One other interior design tip to bear in mind is to create one (or more) points of interest in the room so that your eye isn’t only drawn to the use of colour. While a compelling use of pigment is exciting and powerful, it can dominant a space a little too much, when the key is to see it as just one of your room’s layers.

In this studio, colour is the first thing that most people see, but your eye then naturally wanders to the ever-so-intriguing bespoke cabinet on the far wall (made by our Bespoke team by blending multiple cabinet designs into one tall stack), then across to the sliding barn partition doors, falling copper pendants and of course, the exposed extractor fan and piping.