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Kitchen ideas from Food magazine

Bold use of colour is a new trend in kitchen design, giving the hub of the home a dramatic “wow” factor. Sharon Newey explores the latest looks.

Aluminium kitchen featuresAn aluminium coloured splashback splashback makes a moody contrast to cabinets painted Resene Black White in this kitchen designed by kitchen architect Toni Roberts.

After years in a wilderness of white, colour is starting to reappear in our interiors. And while white cabinetry in our kitchens will be a preference for many because of its classic good looks and versatility, there’s some interesting colour appearing in this most important of rooms. Stony neutrals have been a popular choice, but the more beige-based neutrals are being replaced by those with a cleaner, greyer look. Colours such as Resene Napa have a toasty tinge to the grey, while Resene Tapa moves further towards the grey spectrum. Both look stunning in kitchens, either in various strengths or partnered with white cabinetry.

Black, white’s colour opposite, has been transforming kitchens, too, used for both cabinets and walls. Charcoal greys are also appearing as a way of introducing depth to kitchens and interiors.

Splashback and cabinet ideas.
Left: This striking kitchen by award-winning designer Mal Corboy features Resene Black White cabinets and a splashback in Resene AltitudeRight top: Orange accents in Resene Flashback add a playful edge to this kitchen by Kitchen Elements. If you get tired of the orange handles, you can simply change them out. The cabinets are in Resene Black White and the dark wall is Resene Double DieselRight bottom: The cabinetry and splashback painted in Resene Pohutukawa look superb with the pale timber of the floors and other architectural details.

Boldly coloured accents – on splashbacks, island bench fronts and feature cabinets – have been lifting otherwise white kitchens above the norm. When we say white, we mean all of the amazing variations of white and off-white that are available. If you check out the Resene Whites & Neutrals fandeck and charts, you’ll see what we mean. There’s everything from the popular Resene Black White or Resene Sea Fog with their crisp cleanness, to cream-tinged Resene Rice Cake or moody Resene Ecru White.

We’re even starting to see cabinets being coloured quite strongly – think mustard yellow, orange, pale blue and even hot pink. Are we getting fed up with playing it safe? Or do we realise that in today’s uncertain times, we’re staying in the same house for longer and therefore can unleash our colour fantasies without the spectre of “playing it safe for resale” hanging over us?

Kitchen benchtops and seating. Left: A striking mix of grey, black and white is used in this kitchen by designer Natalie Du Bois.The kitchen features black stainless steel benchtops, a marble splashback, Resene Alabaster cabinets and Resene Quarter Ash walls.  Right: An icy blue splashback in Resene Half Escape is teamed with Resene Quarter Tapa cabinets and Resene Sea Fog shelves in a design by Kitchen Elements.

If you want to explore the possibilities of adding some vibrant colour to your kitchen, here are some ways to make a bold statement without going overboard:

Tone on Tone
Use one of the lovely soft neutrals on cabinets, for example Resene Quarter Napa or Resene Eighth Pravda. An effective way to use this scheme is to make cabinets on the island bench, if you have one, one strength darker than the tone you use on the taller cabinets. You might also use a stronger version of that colour on the walls.

Taking it to the wall
Kitchen walls don’t normally take up a lot of visual space compared to other rooms, as much of the wall space is covered by cabinets. Therefore, you can be quite brave and use bold tones, knowing that strong colours won’t overpower and bowl you over every time you walk in the room.

Just a touch
Use colour as an accent, as with the kitchen with its Resene Flashback highlights. Try a bright lime leg on an island bench, or on one tall cabinet. How about a deep blue front to an island bench? Or, if you’re not keen on strong colour being on show all the time, use it on the interior of a pantry or tall cabinet that slides open. The kitchen will look restful and neutral when closed down, but sizzle when opened up. Splashbacks have been common recipients of bold colours thanks to back-painted glass technology with red, green, orange and other strong tones. Choose your favourite Resene colour and ask for your splashback to be painted using Resene Imperite to get the true Resene colour.


Kitchen Decorating Ideas
View more kitchen decorating ideas from Food 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.