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10 Kitchen Colour Schemes That Will Stand the Test of Time
A new kitchen is a long-term fixture in your home. Ensure yours won’t date by choosing a timeless colour scheme
To aid you in your selections, I have provided one benchtop suggestion and one cabinet door colour suggestion to help you achieve a similar look to each of the schemes in your own home (the colours and materials I have suggested are not necessarily exactly what was used in the photos). Your cabinet maker or kitchen designer will be able to easily source all these materials for you.
Take a look at some ‘real life’ colour swatches when you are shopping. You will notice that some colours will look different on your computer or tablet screen than they do in real life. This is because it depends on what type of screen you are viewing it on, the resolution of the uploaded images and the calibration of your screen. This is why it is always best that you choose colours for your kitchen, or any room in your home, from real swatches or sample paint pots and never from shade cards (unless real paint chips have been used) or websites.
The contrast of black and white has been a much loved colour combination both in fashion and interiors for many, many years. Although the contrast of black and white is strong, it’s still a very easy scheme to live with. Because there is no real colour as such, a black and white scheme can be brightened with various coloured accessories that can easily be changed as you tire of them.
When we think black and white, we think black tie – smart and sophisticated, and most definitely not out of date. To create maximum impact with this colour scheme, look for the brightest, most crisp white and the purest black. Then soften the harsh contrast of black and white by introducing some grey tones.
Black is a strong tone that creates big impact, so if you have a small space, use it sparingly. Consider a glossy finish for your black surfaces; this will help to bounce light around the room and make the black feel less heavy.
Cabinet colour: Resene ‘Black’
The purest black in the Resene colour range.
Benchtop colour: Carrara marble
Material: Natural marble
Probably one of the most well-known and most popular marble choices for benchtops and sometimes floor tiles.
Getting its name from the British Royal Navy, the colour navy is sophisticated and timeless. When we think of navy, we think of uniformed soldiers or figures of importance such as police. The colour instills a sense of trust and order in us – so it’s no wonder we love it so much.
Look at various tones of the colour and select one that suits your home and the lighting in the space the best. It doesn’t have to be the typical uniform navy that you might have in mind. A dark navy can look almost black while a more muted navy with grey tones might be more suitable as it’s not as dark and overpowering.
Team your chosen shade of navy with contrasting rich cream tones. Think coastal chic. Use warm creams that don’t appear too yellow.
If you love the idea of navy but are afraid that it may make your space appear too dark, you could just use navy as a feature colour on your island bench or some overhead cabinets, leaving the rest of the kitchen a brighter cream colour.
Cabinet colour: Taubmans ‘Old Mill Blue’
A muted greyish navy colour that isn’t overpowering.
Benchtop colour: Caesarstone ‘Buttermilk’
Material: Quartz (engineered stone)
A natural-looking colour variation with warm creamy tones.
Natural, like white, doesn’t have to mean boring. A natural colour scheme is warm, homey and is completely timeless due to the fact than none of the colours are strong and overpowering, so you won’t tire of looking at them. They are soft and inviting.
Think sandy and stone colours. This colour scheme looks great on either modern or traditional-style cabinets, but it really adds a grown-up touch to a traditional or country-style kitchen too.
Look for benchtop colours that mimic the look of natural stone, or better still – if it’s within your budget – consider using real granite or marble for a completely authentic, natural style. Select a stone or stone-look material that isn’t too busy – after all, we’re aiming for a timeless look, so you don’t want to choose something that you will tire of easily.
For your cabinet fronts, pick up a colour from within the benchtop to tie both surfaces together and continue the natural feeling.
Cabinet colour: Laminex ‘Moleskin’
A natural, earthy, creamy colour that isn’t too yellow.
Benchtop colour: ‘Colonial Gold’
Material: Natural granite
Non-uniform spots of brown and gold scattered across a creamy base.
I know what you’re thinking … boring! But white on white kitchens, although admittedly not to everyone’s taste, are perhaps the most timeless of all kitchen colour schemes and the most popular, with very good reason. White is a very easy colour to live with, it’s easy on the eye, doesn’t demand attention, you won’t get tired of looking at it and, best of all, there is an endless choice of coloured accessories that you can team with white without them clashing.
An all-white kitchen exudes an air of sophistication, simplicity and grace. It looks fresh and bright and never dated. You can easily add colour to an all-white kitchen, and change it often with the use of coloured accessories such as pendant lights, small appliances and even plants.
Choose your shade of white carefully. Opt for shades that are on the cooler side (with a slight blue undertone) as opposed to whites that are too warm, as these can sometimes appear yellow depending on the light in your home.
Cabinet colour: Dulux ‘Lexicon Quarter White’
One of the whitest white paints out there. It’s bright, fresh and is guaranteed to never date.
Benchtop colour: Caesarstone ‘Calacatta Nuvo’
Material: Quartz (engineered stone)
This is Caesarstone’s interpretation of natural Calacatta marble. It has a crisp, white base with an elegant grey vein.
Everything about the French is sophisticated and timeless, especially their provincial kitchen style and colouring.
French provincial-style kitchens tend to use subtle soft colours such as light blues, soft greys, antique whites and muted coffee colours. These soft colours highlight the detailed design of French provincial-style kitchens.
These soft subtle colours can be used to create a timeless colour scheme in both modern and traditional-style kitchens. Soft greys can have a tinge of blue, yellow and even pink to them if you would like to add a hint more colour.
Combine soft grey cabinets with a natural colour benchtop that also contains some grey tones, but don’t forget to create some contrast – make sure that the cabinets and benchtop colours are not too similar or you could end up with a flat, uninteresting scheme.
Cabinet colour: Resene ‘French Grey’
A soft grey that isn’t too dull or dark and will never date.
Benchtop colour: ‘Thunder White’
Material: Natural granite
A beautiful natural granite (one of my favourites, I have to say) with varying tones of grey, and sometimes almost black veins, spotted with burgundy flecks on a white base.
It doesn’t get more natural than timber, and it’s that natural beauty that makes timber such a timeless choice. Regardless of whether the material you use is real timber or a timber effect laminate, the look of timber creates a welcoming and homely feel that you will be happy to live with for a very long time.
Combine timber colouring with white for a beautifully contrasting, once again, timeless scheme that simply won’t date because the white doesn’t compete with the timber for attention and therefore has a soothing effect.
Confine the use of timber to feature areas such as benchtops, feature paneling or open shelves, so it’s not too overwhelming in the space and avoid timbers that are too reddish or too dark in colour, as you may tire of these more easily than a light, natural colour timber.
Depending on whether you are creating a traditional or contemporary style space, combine your timber colour with either a modern crisp white or a more traditional creamy white.
Cabinet colour: Laminex ‘Polar White’
This colour is the whitest, brightest white available in the Laminex range.
Benchtop colour: ‘Tasmanian oak’
Material: Solid wood
A light-coloured solid wood with subtly varying tones – neither too dark nor too light – a perfectly timeless choice.
When you think olive green, army uniforms and camouflage clothing may be the first things that come to mind. However, olive green is a tasteful and sophisticated colour choice for interiors. Olive is a dark yellowish green with a soothing, earthy aesthetic.
Just as the earthy taste of green olives is complemented by the refreshing acidity of champagne, the same can be said for colours that carry the same name in interior decorating. Dress olive green cabinets with warm metal handles in champagne, brass or gold colours. When selecting a benchtop colour, choose a light-coloured material with a creamy undertone instead of crisp white. Consider a natural stone or stone-look material that has subtle veins in darker cream or champagne to provide a refreshing contrast with the more muted aesthetic of olive green.
Other greens worth considering in the kitchen are sage green and any earthy or dusty green. Think muted and murky with grey and yellow undertones.
Cabinet colour: Laminex ‘Bayleaf’
A muted and understated sophisticated green tone.
Benchtop colour: ‘Taj Mahal’
A creamy beige natural stone with hints of champagne and green.
The combination of blue and grey tones creates a soothing and tranquil colour scheme that can be applied to both contemporary and traditional-style kitchens.
Here, the darker tone of the blue cabinetry is instantly brightened with the introduction of lighter grey benchtops and grey and white feature tiles.
Any shade of blue and grey will work well together as long as there is some contrast. Ensure that one of the colours is a darker tone than the other to avoid a bland effect. Add some white accents to further lighten the colour scheme.
Concrete benchtops, or engineered-stone benchtops designed to look like concrete, are a popular choice for kitchen renovations at the moment. Concrete has actually been used in kitchens of different styles for many years and is certain to look just as good in 15 years as it does now.
Real concrete will slowly patinate over time, changing slightly in colour and appearance, whereas engineered-stone benchtops are consistent in colouring and won’t change over time.
Cabinet colour: Dulux ‘Stream’
An elegant blue with dark grey undertones.
Benchtop colour: Concrete
Material: Real concrete
Real concrete benchtops will each have unique colourings and markings.
This is the perfect colour scheme for those who love black and white but want to add a little something extra. It’s a warmer alternative to the stark ‘tuxedo’ look of mixing black with white.
Timber has always been a popular material choice in kitchens, whether it be on cabinetry, benchtops or flooring. Its warm colouring and natural aesthetic is appealing and inviting in any space.
Almost any timber colour will work with black, just avoid anything too dark or too red as it will jar with the black.
Look at timber veneer and laminate options when choosing timber colour materials for cabinetry fronts for a more cost-effective and durable alternative to solid wood. Veneer and laminate will also offer more consistency in colouring and grain pattern for a more uniform look.
A matt finish black will look more natural and work much better with timber tones than a high-gloss finish.
Choose a marble or marble-look benchtop that has a white or light grey base with darker grey veining to tie the look together.
Cabinet colour: ‘American White Oak’
A warm timber colour with a mostly straight grain.
Benchtop colour: Silestone ‘Calacatta Gold’
Material: Engineered stone
A manufactured material with marble-look veining with hints of gold, a perfect tie-in with the warm tones of American oak.
Black-on-black oozes sophistication and elegance and, given its longstanding popularity in both interiors and fashion, is much less likely to date than ‘on trend’ colours.
However, an all-black kitchen won’t be to everyone’s taste and won’t suit every home, and it’s certainly not one for the faint-hearted.
Black by its very nature is a dark and sultry colour that should be considered carefully before being used in any space, especially small and dark areas.
Some tricks that can be used to make an all-black kitchen feel less dark and overpowering include combining different textures and finishes to create visual interest, and using high-gloss surfaces to bounce more light around the space.
Add subtle highlights to break up the continuous block of black by selecting handles in a brushed stainless steel, polished chrome or polished brass.
Cabinet colour: Polytec ‘Black Woodmatt’
A solid black colour laminate with a natural wood grain appearance and texture in a matt finish.
Benchtop colour: Caesarstone ‘Jet Black’
Material: Engineered stone
A solid black colour highlighted with random fine white chips.
Furnishing means giving meaning to our world, transforming the space in which one finds oneself living in a place suited to one’s way of being. Translating the space into the home becomes something more than choosing the furnishing elements to “fill” the living environment that is the setting for your daily life. The house has become a private space, lived as an oasis in which to take refuge and dedicate oneself to oneself. The choice of furniture becomes a mirror in which to recognize each other to give life to a scenario with which to feel good about yourself and with others, and to define the character and way of life of those who choose it.
The latest in a trend of task-specific appliances, Taurus is designed for stir-fry fanatics and is the first of its kind! Just as the name of the action suggests, stir-frying requires a great deal of attention. Taurus eliminates the need to continuously stir the ingredients by integrating an automatic stir feature. This way, users can add their ingredients, set it to cook, and concentrate on other kitchen tasks. Using a smartphone or the intuitive device interface, users can choose from a variety of food and preset cooking modes to ensure their specified dishes are just right each time.
Functionally speaking, the stir fryer simply houses a rotisserie style motor on the top that powers an implement, that stirs the vegetables slowly and surely. It’s the aesthetic however that should be the point of interest. An absolutely new product category should have a radically new form factor to help it differentiate from other appliances. While the Taurus certainly looks incredibly premium, with the brushed metal + jet black finish, it outwardly looks too much (and can get easily mistaken for) a rice cooker… which I don’t need to tell you, isn’t a good thing for an innovative, new product!
Designer: Chunghee Joe