Whether a bold accent wall or a strip of red-hued plexiglass, a strategic infusion of color makes a kitchen pop. Here, five inspiring tips and tricks from some of Dwell's favorite kitchens.
To keep vases, dishes, and small appliances handy but off the countertop in her Toronto home, resident Tamira Sawatzky, an architect, designed two niches within a wall of deep cabinets. Inset outlets supply power; butcher block lines all sides; and Plexiglas doors provide hits of bright orange. Plastic World, a local dealer, custom-cut the Plexiglas for the storage cubby which sits beneath a photo by artist Chris Curreri. Photo by Naomi Finlay.
Architect Bruce Bolander isn't afraid of color, and likes to clad his clients' cabinets with laminate in bright and electric hues. "My own bias is toward bolder cool colors," he says. "I always let my clients know that right away. But just because red isn’t my favorite color doesn’t mean they can’t have a red kitchen. Either way, I try to have a fairly uniform and limited palette of color and material in the kitchen. Kitchens tend to gather so much clutter and I find that starting off with clean and simple helps when the clutter occurs." Shown here is the Beauvoir House, located in Las Flores Canyon in Malibu. "The color was influenced by the color of the new growth on the chaparral that surrounds the house," says Bolander. See more of his kitchen designs here.
The saturated hues of the Devis-Purdy house, designed by Linda Taalman in Los Angeles, wowed readers and had our inboxes flooded with requests for information about the colors. We contacted the project contractor, who told us the following: "In order to get the color brightness and hues seen on the stucco walls we used a custom mixed process listed below: 1. The design team selected the following colors: Benjamin Moore Pink Punch 2006-50, Benjamin Moore America Cheese 2019-40.2. We acquired a lacquer concrete stain that custom-matched the colors.3. We added a yellow and pink color pigment to the stucco mix before applying both the base and finish coats on walls. (From Davis Colors)4. Before the 'finish stucco coat' had completely dried we applied the custom matched lacquer stain." Photo by Lisa Romerein.
Opened to the public for the first time in May 2011, the iconic Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, designed by Eero Saarinen, features a brilliant monochromatic kitchen with teal mosaic tilework and glossy cabinetry. See more of the classic midcentury design here. Photo by Leslie Williamson.
Colorful Ikea cabinets are an effective and affordable way to bring a space up to date. In Joe Dolce's summer house on Long Island, architects Bates Masi maintained original finishes—such as the cypress wood—while bringing in complementary materials like blue sandstone. The new patio, kitchen, and bathroom run together along an east–west axis, each room bearing a different finish of the same stone. This allows for a subtle contrast in texture, but it also carries the overall theme throughout the space, making it feel more expansive yet sharply defined. Photo by Raimund Koch.