Conventional wisdom says to use neutral colors or simple wood stains for anything as permanent as kitchen cabinets. It makes sense, right?
Homeowners craving a burst of color have generally been advised to bring it in through easily changeable items like curtains or seat cushions.
But home-design TV shows and glossy shelter magazines have changed that calculus by showing colorful, painted kitchen cabinets that look like a commitment worth making.
Designer Brian Patrick Flynn, one of my favorite design experts to interview, filled the kitchen of HGTV’s 2017 “Urban Oasis” giveaway house with bright blue cabinets and a blue island in the center of the room. This cheerful color fills the room with energy in a way that traditional stained-wood cabinets couldn’t.
Every homeowner doesn't have Flynn's comfort level with color, of course. “I can go with fire-engine red cabinets all over and never flinch,” he told me.
But since many homeowners want a balance between bold choices and timeless ones, Flynn suggests a compromise: "I’m a fan of doing the lower cabinets or just the island cabinets in a color," he says, "then going white or gray with the others.”
The result? The neutral cabinets "will balance out the intensity" of the bolder ones, offering "some visual breathing room so the eye can rest.”
Another great tip: Colorful lower cabinets look great combined with open shelving on top, says apartmenttherapy.com founder Maxwell Ryan. Or paint the lower cabinets black, and then paint or tile the wall behind the upper, open shelving in a bold color or pattern you love.
Want to know more about colorful kitchen design? You'll find the full story here.