Going bold and colorful is always fun, but embracing today’s top trends may not appeal to your customers. Not everyone will appreciate deep red, bright teal, or forest green as a finish. How can you have fun with color yet stay within the comfort zone of your customer’s expectations?
It is true that whites and grays remain the most popular colors for kitchen finishes. “Over the past few years the most popular kitchen trends remain in the whites to gray ranges, and we’re still seeing the occasional dark black cabinets too,” shares Terry Parrish, CEO at Wood Finisher's Depot. "One reason these neutral colors are popular is because they feel safe and provide a clean aesthetic that people gravitate towards. Some appreciate that softer colors won't mean renovations if they sell their house. It's possible to stay “safe” and still bring some color to the kitchen."
One way to shift while staying in the neutral zone is to introduce the blue side of the color spectrum into the gray. Royal blue and navy accents will harmonize with bluer grays and allow for pops of color in the kitchen. Greens are another popular color choice. Earthy shades of these colors bring a sense of peace and calm into the area. These colors complement and pair well with the walnut and rift cut white oak finishes that are commonly seen in kitchens today.
If you want to make room interesting yet visually appealing, accents of bold color are a common way to approach this. Designers often use warm or subtle color choices for walls and primary cabinets. By using accents of bold color, you can pull a room into a color scheme and create a pleasing color pallet. For example, in kitchens it's very trendy to use traditional colors everywhere except the island. The island becomes the accent and uses a bold but complimentary color. All white cabinets allow colorful accents, such as backsplashes and fixtures, to pop.
Another way to play with color in the kitchen is to use two-tone cabinetry. Choosing a color scheme. Apply a darker color finish for bottom cabinets and a lighter color finish for upper cabinets. This gives the space a different look and feel. It makes a bold statement while remaining versatile. Be sure to stick with the darker color on the bottom so that the room doesn’t feel top-heavy.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all colors provide the same coverage. “Deep bold colors don’t have the same coverage (color strength) that lighter colors have. You should expect to apply extra coats for total color coverage, especially if your covering a light primer coat," shares Iris Martinez, Color Delivery Manager at Wood Finisher's Depot.
In the industry “deep” colors (like blues, greens, and reds) are formulated from a clear tint base instead of a white tint base. This is true no matter what type of coating you are using. Manufacturers publish “tint load” limits for bases. That's because application and durability performance are affected if you exceed these limits. This would include drying time and curing rates. A certain ratio of ounces of tint paste per gallon has to be adhered to, and that means bold colors have weak color strength.
Whether looking to be dramatic or subtle, there are options for playing with color in design. Finding the perfect balance for the customer is key. If you get it right, you'll create the perfect space they love for years to come.