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Kitchen ideas from Dish magazine

Create a kitchen you love by using colour to bring together a space that’s not only ideal for making your favourite dishes but a feast for the eyes.

There’s a lot of truth to the old adage that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Much like the heart in the body, the kitchen is central to the functionality of your home; it’s where you create delicious meals, entertain guests and sometimes where you eat too. As one of the busiest places in your home it needs to be not only efficient and practical, but pleasurable to be in and visually appealing – and colour is a key tool for creating kitchens that are both functional and fabulous. We share a few tricks from the pros using Resene paints and wood stains so you can create a kitchen you love the look of, and one that lets you get on with the fun stuff, like creating your favourite recipes in the latest dish .

Kitchen by Jordan Kroon of Gold Kitchen

Kitchen designer Jordan Kroon of Gold Kitchen wanted to create drama and elegance in this Auckland kitchen and paired Arabescato marble with Resene Black White and Resene Black for the island. “This marble is beautiful but busy. A black back wall combined with the marble would have been too much drama so I chose white along with the glass doors to create balance,” says Jordan.

Foodie favourites

A new kitchen is a considerable investment and good planning is key to creating a design that you love. Colour is as much of a consideration as appliance choices and layout. Before you start designing, think carefully about how you use your kitchen and use colour to set the tone. If you use your kitchen for entertaining, colour is an easy way to create atmosphere. Darker colours such as Resene Noir, greys such as Resene Tuna or dark blues such as Resene Dark Knight can be used on walls, cabinetry, splashbacks or islands to create a cosy feeling and a sense of intimacy. Dark reds like Resene Cab Sav or Resene Merlot are not only on trend but also known for their appetite-stimulating qualities. If dark red is too bold for a wall colour, try just a little on a splashback, on the base of an island or in the back of open cabinetry. White or brighter coloured kitchens, on the other hand, create energy and can make a smaller kitchen feel less enclosed. Try Resene White Pointer or soft creams such as Resene Merino or even pale green such as Resene Half Ravine.

You should also consider how your kitchen works with the rest of your home. “It's important to establish if you want the kitchen to be the feature of the house and stand out or if you want it to feel like it blends into the rest of the home,” says kitchen designer Katie Scott of Sticks + Stones Design. “If you want the kitchen to stand out, choosing a strong contrasting palette to the rest of the house is key. If you want a nice open plan feeling, a softer palette can be effective. Use similar tones in the kitchen to the rest of the house and create contrast with furnishings."

A blue and white kitchen from Kitchen Evolution

The owner of this heritage home wanted a timeless kitchen look. They called on Kitchen Evolution in Brisbane to create this functional and stylish kitchen in blue and white, with striking Resene Dark Knight on the cabinetry.

Practical magic

It’s easy to be seduced by the smouldering looks of a dark-coloured kitchen but consider the practicalities. While dark colours make great Instagram backdrops, a pale, textured benchtop in marble or stone is great for putting down hot trays without pot stands, and a white bench is the best friend of a baker concealing flour and dough spills.

“Lifestyle is an important consideration,” says kitchen designer, Jordan Kroon of Gold Kitchens. “A busy family with young kids will be grateful for a matte white cabinetry colour as it doesn’t show up fingerprints."

Create a mood board to coordinate your benchtop and paint colours. Natural materials and nature-inspired hues are a huge design trend, so mixing marble or stone benches with soft creams such as Resene Thorndon Cream, Resene Pearl Lusta or Resene Sour Dough or biscuit colours such as Resene Biscotti or Resene Desert Sand, creates a coherent theme for the kitchen. Wood stains used on floors, cabinetry or islands, such as Resene Colorwood Heartwood, let the natural grain of the timber show through. Blue works well in a natural scheme and never seems to go out of style.

If space allows, sculleries can be a great place for cooks to keep their favourite gadgets on hand but out of sight, leaving islands clutter-free and great for entertaining. As sculleries are often enclosed, lighter colours like Resene Black White are a good option.

Kitchen by Katie Scott of Sticks + Stones Design

In this kitchen by Katie Scott of Sticks + Stones Design, the reeded island is painted in Resene Ravine, the units are Resene Foggy Grey, the walls are Resene Half Foggy Grey and the ceiling is Resene Alabaster. Photograph: Mark Scowen

Paint it right

If you don’t have the budget for a complete kitchen redesign, using colour is an easy way to modernise dated cabinetry. Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom is an ideal choice: as a waterborne paint with enamel style qualities, it is well-suited to steamprone areas like kitchens. It also contains added Resene MoulDefender and antibacterial silver for extra protection. Available in flat and low-sheen finishes, Resene SpaceCote can be used on kitchen ceilings and walls. You can even add Resene Fly Deterrent to your ceiling paint to help reduce fly spotting on your ceiling.

Whether you prefer Classic Eggplant Parmigiana or Karaage, variety is the spice of life and Resene has a colour to suit every kitchen or cooking style.

Top tip: Make sure your designer specifies Resene AquaLAQ for your painted cabinetry to ensure your cabinets are the authentic Resene colour you have chosen. Resene tinters are only available in Resene paints. There are many horror stories from clients who have chosen their colour only to find the supplier has cut corners and used a cheaper product and their kitchen colours don’t look like what they chose.

If you need help choosing your colours, book an appointment with a Resene Colour Expert. Resene Colour Experts can help you curate colour and wallpaper choices to suit your tastes.

Resene Noir

November 2021

Kitchen Decorating Ideas
View more kitchen decorating ideas from Dish magazine in the Resene kitchen inspiration gallery.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.