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make it sizzle

From Habitat magazine - issue 23

These colourful kitchens fly in the face of the more common all-white approach.

Kitchen storage space

Red hot

When Rochelle Jackson of Kitchen Elements had a brief from clients that "after a hard day's work, they wanted to come back to something that's cheery and bright," she didn't hold back. The result is a red hot Resene Roadster kitchen.

In what was once a dark, u-shaped room, the rich red reflects natural light. Base cabinets in Resene Half Black White provide a crisp contrast. Says Rochelle: "Colour has such an impact on your mood. If you find a colour that you're naturally drawn to, such as a favourite dress, bowl, or pot, and it's a colour that makes you feel good, you know that you're onto a winner."

Bright red kitchen

By sticking with one bold colour, her client Lynda Jelbert can accessorise with other punchy colours – a red toaster here, yellow tulips there, a bowl of bright green apples. And to add texture, the Kitchen Elements team designed elegant patterned laser-cut panels to run along the back wall and sides of the prepping station.

While Rochelle helped choose the gutsy red for this kitchen renovation, she suggests you stick with a colour that you absolutely love.

Hello yellow

A decision to paint the walls of this classic Lockwood home gave designer Tracy Murphy the perfect neutral backdrop for a bold black and yellow scheme for her own kitchen. Yellow may be an on-trend accent colour but few would think to include it with such confidence in their kitchen.

Yellow and black kitchen

Tracy thoroughly researched the right white for the walls and ceilings, as it had to work with the existing cream-coloured window joinery. The solution was Resene Half Merino. Most of the kitchen cabinets are finished in Resene Black, the glossy finish of which reflects light and maximises the feeling of space.

French doors replaced a single fixed window in the lounge, which gave enough room to have a large kitchen island with a generous 980mm overhang at one end for casual dining. Resene Spotlight was then used on the island cabinets and on wall-mounted cabinets beside the kitchen window.

Says Tracy: "I love the yellow. It brightens up the whole space and makes the room so inviting." Perhaps it's no surprise that this kitchen actually began life with bright green accents before the change to yellow… part of the beauty of being a kitchen designer. Tracy works for Vekart in Rotorua.

And if yellow isn't vibrant enough, Tracy used LED lighting under the breakfast bar, on the toe-kicks and to up-light the ceiling above the tall units to add extra dimension for entertaining at night.

Top tip… If you want to achieve the true intensity of Resene colours like these, make sure your cabinetmaker is using Resene ArmourCat. It's especially formulated for kitchen cabinets and will give you the exact Resene colour you want.

Kitchen colour trends

Call it a retro revival but citrus shades have come back to the kitchen. And having returned from the interior design wilderness they're packing a truly powerful punch.

Says Bay of Plenty designer Tracy Murphy: "Green, orange and yellow look particularly good with the highgloss finishes that many homeowners are currently opting for," she says. "The secret is to use your favourite colour as a back-painted splashback, or a panel under the breakfast bar, keeping everything else very classic; in black or white, for example.

"This way – in a few years – you can change the look quite dramatically without going to the expense of installing a whole new kitchen!"

Some of the colours Tracy has seen used recently include Resene Juicy, a lively sun-kissed orange, and Resene Wasabi, a complex lime green. She's also had clients wanting hot pink and sky blue kitchens.

In Wellington, Rochelle Jackson of Kitchen Elements has noticed slightly different kitchen colour trends.

"People here can be more conservative when it comes to choosing colour and during a recession they tend to want something classic and timeless. Now that we're out of the downturn many are being bolder. Just lately I've done a couple of kitchens in navy blue." Another trend Rochelle has noticed is the use of subtle refined pastels.

"So much of it depends on the environment though. If your house is sunny you can get away with brights. If it's not sunny you'll need warmer, more natural shades."

pictures: Capture, Chris Parker

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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.