Shades of grey
It’s nigh-on impossible to have avoided the reign of the dark grey kitchen. The nation’s love affair with shades of grey in home decor touched every corner of the home from bedrooms and dining rooms (Shingle and Charcoal being the two most popular paint colours to use here) to, you guessed it, kitchens.
Out of the eight kitchen colours we’ve seen applied most in our kitchens, three are variations of grey. Pale and pretty Shingle slips in at number seven, our second-to-darkest grey Smoke sits at the third highest spot, and by leaps and bounds, our most popular paint colour of all for a kitchen is our deepest grey of the bunch – Charcoal.
Proof that dark grey kitchens aren’t all about appearing ‘on trend’, Charcoal’s unrivalled number one position provides reassurance that it’s a colour suiting contemporary spaces as much as classic ones, big kitchens and little ones, and both bold and pared-back interiors.
The draw of the dark side
What might come in second place then? Presumably a lighter, quieter neutral to offset Charcoal and Smoke either side of it? Wrong. The second most-loved kitchen colour is, wait for it, one of our darker greens, Cactus.
Yet another deeper pigment and very much a colour rather than a neutral, Cactus is a colour people gravitate towards because of its earthiness and its ability to make a space feel warm even though it has cool base tones that help it suit contemporary homes too. And it’s not the only green in our top eight kitchen colours of the year chart either. Moss is in at number five. More of a mid-green than dark, if truth be told, but another example of a richer coloured kitchen winning the hearts of homes far and wide.
Surprised at the lack of blue being mentioned when navy is known for being one of the most flattering colours to feature in a home (and a wardrobe)? Rest assured then that our SS16 seasonal shade has made the cut too, despite being archived (more of than in a few paragraphs’ time). Navy is our sixth most popular paint shade for a kitchen, offering up a softer and ever so slightly more traditional alternative to Charcoal.
The new neutrals – where do they feature?
Dark kitchens may win on the popularity contest, on the whole, but it goes without saying that a handful of neutrals feature in the colours chosen most of all too.
Driftwood – the standard colour that our Suffolk collection comes in – is the current favourite for kitchen neutrals. It has more depth than a whiter shade like Salt and is an elegant alternative to a pale grey. Driftwood is a neutral that lends a kitchen a sense of comfort and ease, but has a period sort of refinement to it too. Try painting the walls in the room the same colour as well and watch how wonderfully they melt into one and make a space feel larger and lighter.
Shell and Shingle also appear in the most-wanted list, occupying spots seven and eight, and suiting every collection from Chichester to Henley.
Kitchen habits – picking paint and where to put it
Anybody who has a Neptune kitchen will know that you’ll have the option of whether to have your cabinetry painted in its ‘standard’ colour – typically an easygoing neutral chosen to best suit each collection – or to go bespoke and pick your preference of paint from our 28-strong palette.
Over a third of our kitchens are fitted with the bespoke paint service with 10% of you selecting two tones to play with, be it having the kitchen island in one colour and the cabinetry run in something contrasting or occasionally base cabinets in say Shale and wall cabinets in Shell or Shingle.
Note too that if you fell for a seasonal colour from a collection gone by, the recipe will be stored in our archive and can be blended on request. That’s precisely what happened for James and his statement, Teal Chichester kitchen or indeed Liz who requested Teal for her Chichester kitchen island – you can read all about both in the ‘your stories’ section of our journal.
There’s no denying that paint is what carries the most impact of all in your kitchen’s colour scheme, but don’t overlook the effect of hardware either – the two really do work in tandem.
A navy-coloured kitchen with polished brass handles proclaims an entirely different statement to one with chrome knobs and hinges. Similarly, a soft, neutral kitchen painted in Salt will look much more Georgian townhouse with antiqued brass handles than it would if you picked out blackened bronze.
Right now, we’re seeing a definite surge in interest for brass handles in our kitchens. A longstanding favourite finish for sure, brass had seen a little levelling out as the rise in interest for matte black finishes piqued, but now we’re seeing brass take pride of place at the top of kitchen hardware wishlists.
So there you have it. Deep and mysterious greys, earthy and multidimensional dark green and bottom-of-the-lake blue are the colours most coveted in the great British kitchen. The only question that remains is, do you dare?