Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

WARM OR COOL PAINT COLORS?


This is one of the questions I get all the time. How do I choose warm paint colors if my kitchen finishes are cool? Or vice versa.

There is this idea that once you have selected your kitchen cabinets, countertop and backsplash in cool tones you are stuck with the cool paint colors throughout.
This is also very important for real estate agents when they show a condo unit that is all ‘cool’ and potential buyers seem to be against cool color tones.

Well, there is always a solution :) or almost always. While certain finishes combos allow for a mix & match of cool and warm tones, others seem to just simply work better if you stay in one range.

Let's have a look at some of the options…

You see the ‘scotch maplekitchen cabinets, with kashmir gold granite countertop? Many of you may be tempted to go with warm orange-sandy colors throughout. In fact, just by incorporating a cool tone backsplash (like the dark charcoal one shown- which is one of the color tones you actually find in the granite) you can play with a wide range of cool paint colors that will only make your cabinets and countertop pop and stand out as a vibrant accent in your kitchen area.

Another example is the off white kitchen cabinet doors. Off white is usually preferred (vs pure white) by people who prefer warm colors. When you pair off white kitchen cabinets with dark brown granite countertop and matching backsplash, you have both options on hand- to use off white paint colors and make the kitchen cabinets blend while the countertop & backsplash will stand out OR you can go the opposite direction, use cooler darker paint colors close to the backsplash and make the cabinets stand out.
 
The advantage of using granite countertops is that they almost all have a wide range of color hues which allow you to play with the paint colors and go from cool to warm in an instant!

 
 
One of the 'preferred choices'  in selecting your upgrades is to use the same countertop finish for the basksplash. Whether it is slab (best option if possible) or tiles of the exact same type of granite, it will allow you to create a kitchen with a very ‘clean’ look.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
However, as this may not always be the option, you have to think about your final outcome:

-       Do you want the kitchen cabinets, countertop and backsplash to be tone on tone and paint colors much darker or lighter? With this option your entire kitchen will stand out and could create quite a statement! This option is great for “U” and “L” shape kitchens.



 
 
 
 
 
 
-       Do you want the kitchen cabinets and countertop to stand out and backsplash to match (or go with) the paint colors? This option is great for linear kitchens.

 
 
 
-       Do you want the countertop and backsplash to be close in color and the kitchen cabinets to be much lighter or darker? Then you have the option to either visually connect your paint colors with the countertop & backsplash OR with the cabinets. 2 different options, 2 different looks! This option is also great for linear kitchens, however it works well with all other kitchen layouts especially when you have a reasonable amount of closed doors cabinets.

 



One more tip- the smaller your kitchen is, I recommend less changes in finishes and colors in the kitchen space. If you think about it, appliances take quite a bit of space and break down the overall look (that if you don’t have panel ready appliances) and the intent is to keep the overall look of your kitchen quite simple and not overdone so there is more visual space for your small appliances, accessories etc.

like I said....this should be fun! :)

44 comments:

  1. kitchen cabinets is more than simply a place to prepare meals; it is the essence of your home and an investment in your lifestyle. Whether you are looking to create a bold and punchy contrast or an understated look to coordinate with your surroundings, our team at Kitchen Essence ensure that the result reflects the character of the owner and the home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. what BM colour is the off-white cabinets painted in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi there :) each cabinet door was selected from a different manufacturer and they have their own paint colors which they won't disclose :) but if you let me know which color scheme you like better, I can select a BM color that will work with the paint colors I selected- shown on each side of the door/backsplash/countertop combo. Please let me know if US or Canada BM colors- they have different codes.

      Delete
  3. The second picture from the top. This is the caption beside the picture. Would go with one of the lighter colours for the walls. Thanks in advance!!

    Another example is the off white kitchen cabinet doors. Off white is usually preferred (vs pure white) by people who prefer warm colors. When you pair off white kitchen cabinets with dark brown granite countertop and matching backsplash, you have both options on hand- to use off white paint colors and make the kitchen cabinets blend while the countertop & backsplash will stand out OR you can go the opposite direction, use cooler darker paint colors close to the backsplash and make the cabinets stand out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello again :) so here my take on choosing the paint color for the kitchen cabinets (all in BMoore Canadian codes):
      - if you paint the walls in CC-90 Natural Linen and use a countertop and backsplash similar to the ones I have shown, you will get a very warm overall color scheme, so the cabinets can be either same as the walls or one tone down (lighter) which is Gray Mist CC-80.
      - if you paint the walls in CC-80 Gray Mist and same countertop/backsplash combo, you enter the cooler zone so cabinets can be either same as the walls or CC-70 Dune white.
      - if you paint the walls in CC-70 Dune white- cabinets should be the same color.
      When going with off white kitchen cabinets, the should be as light or lighter than the adjacent off white walls or they risk looking 'muddy'. Also when cabinets are a touch lighter than the walls, it gives you a bit of freedom to change the wall paint colors in the future.

      Hope this helps! best of luck and have fun painting :)

      Delete
  4. I have question regarding wall color. I have white (not off-white) kitchen cabinets, dark granite (brown-tan color), and dark wook look porcelain tile on the floors... my color problem comes in with the fact that my dining room furniture IS an off white with a dark wood top, and my new home is an open floor plan. I am trying to pick a wall color that will look good in all the rooms! and failing terribly! Sadly painting the cab's is out of the question...my husband would have my head...he says theyre brand new and do not need painting! I do kind of like the clean look of them too. any help would be appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh yes...and my appliances are stainless....

      Delete
    2. hi there :) if you can send me more info by email I will do my best to help you! a picture of the kitchen cabinets and the dining room furniture so I can see the overall open space.

      Delete
  5. Dear Carmen,
    I am really struggling here. I am planning on replacing our kitchen counters and adding a back splash, we have light maple cabinets that are in great condition and black appliances with a light maple floor. Here is my problem, this room opens to our family room that has a huge fireplace made with river rock, color tones are slate, some plum and a little taupe. I had a counter company here that told me to use a granite called Santa Cecelia with a bone subway tile. I am very concerned that this will give it a washed out look. If possible, I would love to end you a picture or two for your advise.
    Thank you so much for your time,
    Patti

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patti,
      Sorry for the delay in replying but have been to the design show in Milan and got so many great ideas!!! please email me a picture of the room showing all finishes. If you send it already can you please resend it?
      have a great day!
      Carmen

      Delete
  6. Carmen how can I contact you and send you pictures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Veronica, if you go to www.esqapedesign.com you have the option to send me an email at the email address noted there and you can attach pictures too...

      Delete
  7. What is a good color choice that can go with gray or beige? i have an open kitchen and lloving room, and all natural oak and want to change my colors. I hate to ditch the cabinets just because they are oak so hoping to paint woodwork but not necessarily all the came color in both rooms but coordinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cyn, it would be easier to advise you if you could send me a picture of the open kitchen/living space- with a natural oak floor, you could paint the cabinets in white or a dark grey, depending on how it coordinates with the countertop, backsplash and the rest of your furnishings...

      Delete
  8. I Carmen, I am hoping you can help me as I am struggling with deciding on some paint color and backsplash for my kitchen. My cabinets are off white glazed with butterscotch and my granite is black, very similar to Uba tuba. Not much natural light in the kitchen, what do you recommend? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Lagirl1213 :)
    I definitely recommend a light backsplash especially as you don't have too much light in the kitchen. Same for the walls around the kitchen cabinets, either a paint color matching the cabinets or just a slight darker- one tone up. Not sure if you have a contemporary kitchen or a more traditional one, but here are 3 good examples of butterscotch cabinets with dark/uba tuba countertops- hoper this helps :)

    https://cdn.decorpad.com/photos/2013/02/06/a54b7f465661.jpeg
    https://cdn.decorpad.com/photos/2011/11/08/b2a3d181113b.png
    http://www.minimalisti.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Uba-tuba-granite-with-white-cabinets-white-backsplash-kitchen-granite-countertops.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Carmen, thank you so much for responding so quickly. Thanks for sending the pictures, that helps!. My kitchen is more contemporary. We did find a backsplash that is light and are considering doing the subway tile with it (stone) what do you think? . Now the kitchen color I am really struggling with. I really like accessible beige and Kilim Beige for my family room which ties in with the kitchen (open floor plan) and was thinking of going a little darker then the kilim beige. What are you thoughts on accessible beige or canvas tan, with cabinets that are antique white with the butterscotch glaze? Thanks so much for your time. Any color recommendations are welcomed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. are these Benjamin Moore paint colors? I can't find them on the website, would love to help you :) can you send me the brand name for these colors and I will figure it out for you :)

      Delete
  11. Thanks Carmen, I appreciate it. I tried the Accessible biege - SW 7036, its sherwin williams, they all are. That color didn't look well in my house, maybe lack of light, purples/blue tones were coming out. Canvas tan - SW 7531 looks too white. Kilim beige - SW 6106 isn't so bad, just not sure if it will wash out the cabinets or I should go darker in the kitchen ( I am seeing a little peach with this but could me my eyes, lol) . We have a ranch with very high ceilings so lots of wall! Right now we have Relaxed Khaki SW 6149 throughout the whole house and it just looks too green to me, specially in the kitchen (no natural light at all in the kitchen) and green is not a color I really want. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh and also considering this one Softer Tan SW 6141 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you please send me a picture of the kitchen, ideally so I can see also the high ceilings in the adjacent spaces? Natural light makes a huge difference in how a color looks, same paint color could look perfect in one space and totally off in another...
      Also I want to send you a mix/ collage of kitchen paint color, stone backsplash and walls paint color so I can solve all your design dilemmas :)
      info@esqapedesign.com

      Delete
    2. Thank you, I will send you the pictures.

      Delete
  13. Hi Carmen, I am having our oak kitchen cabinets painted and I struggling with the color to choose. We have dark granite countertops(Uba Tuba), and the walls are painted in Sherwin Williams #6108 -Latte. I want to go with an off white color for the cabinets,what would you recommend? Also our floors are a terre cotta tile. Thanks for any help you can be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy,

      There are 2 SW paint colors that would look great with your ubatuba countertop (although it depends on how much green tones the granite has- hope not too much)...one is Divine White SW 6105 and the other one is Moderate White SW 6140 (a little bit warmer). Also it depends on how much yellow or red tones are in the terracota flooring tiles. If you can take a picture and email it to me at info@esqapedesign.com I will confirm the best color for your cabinets :)
      hope this helps...

      Delete
  14. Hello, I need your assistance. You have a granite and color board posted that shows the colors: Dune white, gray mist natural linen. Can you tell me which color is on the cabinet door in the picture as well as the Benjamin Moore match for each of those colors. We have the same granite in our small U shaped kitchen which is open to our sitting room and breakfast room, and we are trying to decide on a Color to paint the cabinets and walls so it will work with the granite, stainless appliances, and oil rubbed bronze fixtures. Any help would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Charles, the paint color used for the kitchen cabinet shown in that image is BMoore Gray Mist CC-80, if you have the same granite (called Café Imperial but it may come in other names too) you can also use Natural Linen CC-90. It all depends on how bright is your space as natural linen may appear darker in a space with little light (natural or artificial). If you send me a picture of your kitchen at info@esqapedesign.com I will tell you right away which color is best for the cabinetry.

      Delete
  15. Your Paint Colors are Benjamin Moore, Behre, Devoe? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello Carmen,

    I came accross your board because I'm currently struggling with re-design and notice you have the Giallo veneziano granite combo. We have painted twice the entire room (open kitchen-living & dinning area) have had two decorators recommend colors but so far we haven't had succes ������ I'm reading you and you seem to be a real expert on re-design so I was wondering if you could help us...
    We are trying to change the color of our oak cab. & paint Wall color.

    Our floor is similar to stonehawk cove tile, I can send you pictures when you are available.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yesenia, Please send me a few pictures showing the kitchen countertop/ backsplash combo- a close up shot, and a couple more so I can see the overall kitchen and the open space kitchen-living-dining. You can send them at info@esqapedesign.com and I'll find you a solution- what paint company do you prefer? B. Moore or?

      Delete
  17. Hi Carmen, I have a kitchen with medium toned oak hardwoods, maple cabinets with chocolate glaze with Kashmir Gold countertops. There is one piece of cabinetry in the room that is maple on bottom and top is off white with a different glaze (uppers come down to countertop and its on a side wall but still in kitchen). I am trying to paint the walls a different color: in the gray family. Struggling a bit. the kitchen is SW facing with large trees that shade in summer and let tons of light in the winter. I love the idea of some type of charcoal gray, but not sure if that will be too dark for the summer. I can send pics if you would like. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, yes please send me a couple of pictures at info@esqapedesign.com and I will give you 2-3 choices of paint colors, what brand do you prefer? Benjamin Moore or?

      Delete
  18. Hi Carmen, I love love the combination of colors in the bottom left pic. please post the info on the paint colors, granite and cabinet stain color. My house recently flooded in Louisiana and this exactly what I have pictured in my mind; however I do not know where to begin thank u

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandy, so sorry to hear about your house being flooded :(
      The paint finishes on the left hand side- the codes are all from Benjamin Moore.
      From bottom to the top- the first 3 are my fav, 1- American white, 2- cement gray, 3- stone.
      If you email me a couple of pictures I can guide you further!
      I checked and found a store in Louisiana that has some wonderful white granites like this one - which is very beautiful!
      http://www.stonegalleryno.com/vintage-stocks-1-and-2-granite
      and this one
      http://www.stonegalleryno.com/mayfair-white-granite
      also this one looks interesting with a little bit of a gold speckle in it
      http://www.stonegalleryno.com/persa-pearl-granite.
      Backsplash- I am showing a grey subway tile, many options on the market- for e.g. this one https://www.tileshop.com/product/sterling+glass+subway+tile+-+3+x+6+in..do?sortby=ourPicks&from=fn
      Choose the granite first and then pick a grey tile that matches the darkest grey tone in the granite.
      hope all will work out great...

      Delete
  19. Hello Carmen,
    I love all the color combo's above. I love the warm whites the best but the home we purchased over a year ago is very very warm. The family room/kitchen (15 x 30) has following: the ceiling is pine, the cabinets (kitchen & flanking the fireplace are honey oak, flooring is honey oak, all trim is honey oak, fire place is warm ledgestone, also same ledgestone on kitchen island. Back splash is multi colored uneven slate rectangle tiles and last, countertops are Uba Tuba w/green under tones but very hard to see unless light is just right, definitely green though. I have been debating color of walls (not much walls a lot of windows) and color of kitchen cabinets. I am open to painting trim but the pine ceiling is off limits says my husband. If you have any suggestions on paint colors for walls and new/refacing cabinet colors, I would greatly appreciate it ....as I have been in limbo for over a year now. All this yellow orange is so overwhelming for a girl like me who loves taupes and whites, farmhouse style. I am so lost...... Thank you for any advice, greatly appreciated is an understatement. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      If you could send me a few pictures at info@esqapedesign.com I will guide you further...for your piece of mind, pine has already a lot of yellow and orange tones in it, so best paint colors to pair it with are taupes, whites, grays...otherwise too much yellow and orange could be overwhelming :)

      Delete
  20. Hi Carmen,
    I'm so glad I found this! I am putting new cabinet and drawer fronts in an alcove that will house our tv in the familyroom. The family room is off of the kitchen and the cabinets in my kitchen are a dark espresso. Would it be okay to go with a different color cabinetry? I'm thinking grayish, but a warm grey. I am worried because I had been wanting to paint the walls in a a warm greige as well. I don't have a paint color picked out yet. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yesimkp,

      It may be OK to have a different color other than kitchen cabinets, can you email me at info@esqapedesign.com a picture that shows both the tv alcove and the kitchen so I can see the visual connection between the 2? and I will give you some color options.

      Delete
  21. BM color gray mist in photo #7

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is Gray Mist OC-30
      here is a link with the color used for the walls of a living room, it's a very soft off white
      https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-ca/colour-overview/find-your-colour/colour-a-room/1563/living-room-1?color=OC-30&source=%2Fen-ca%2Fcolour-overview%2Ffind-your-colour%2Fcolour-a-room&combination=OC-117,OC-117&room=1563

      Delete
  22. Carmen- I am redoing my kitchen plan to paint my cupboards off white hope to antique them with some stain. Small U shape kitchen. What do I do with counter tops, walls and backsplash? HELP!! don't want to mess it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year! :) Can you please email me a couple of pictures so I can see the kitchen area? please send them at info@esqapedesign.com
      is it an open concept kitchen? if so it's important to see the adjacent space so the kitchen can tie in with the rest of the space..

      Delete
  23. Carmen - I am painting my kitchen cabinets but am not changing the counter-tops at this time. My dilemma: the counter-top is the laminate that looks like butcher block and I would like to pain the cabinets a gray. Any ideas on what would be a good gray choice? I have a large kitchen with 3 floor to ceiling windows and 2 large windows over the sink area so I'm not afraid of a dark color. Thanks Marcy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marcy- the butcher block laminate has fairly light warm wood color tones- am I right? there are a few types on the market...I suggest going with a darker rich grey color tone for the cabinets- but before I give you the actual color I need to know what is the backsplash? these 3 elements- countertop/backsplash/cabinets always work in a team :) send me a picture to info@esqapedesign.com and I'll help you..

      Delete