How non-cool (but not un-cool) colours open up the small kitchen

If you want to open up a small kitchen space to the living area you’ve got to go light, right? Wrong! Though traditional kitchen design wisdom maintains that to lighten up a small space you must work with a pale colour palate, the new generation of interior designers are finding that they can achieve similar results with warm colours – from neutrals, to natural woods, to brighter options. And, not only do they work wonderfully well in the size-challenged kitchen, but transfer beautifully to an open plan living space.

Warm neutrals
If you’re new to warm colours and are not sure where to start incorporating them in your small, open-concept kitchen, try neutrals. They work because not only do they look great, but humans are also naturally comfortable with them. They bring us back to our humble roots living off of the land and roasting food over a smouldering fire. Earthy neutrals that are ideal for the non-initiated include shale, sage, French beige, ecru, cream, raw umber, olive and rosy quartz.

Start incorporating warm colours in your small, open-concept kitchen with neutral tones. (c) hansenkitchens.com

Start incorporating warm colours in your small, open-concept kitchen with neutral tones. (c) hansenkitchens.com

Warm radiants
Small and drab kitchens benefit greatly from warm colours in the yellow, orange and red families. Not only do they look warm, but the colours are actually proven to make you feel warm. For a kitchen that is French country give the sunny side of the radiant spectrum a try and go with butter yellow offset with natural wood dining furniture and stainless steel appliances. If you want to get your dinner guests in a hungry mood, try shades of red like cranberry. For those of you who think orange is simply an outrageous option for a kitchen, think again. What colour do you think terracotta is? A Tuscan or Mediterranean kitchen simply couldn’t exist without orange.

If you want to get your dinner guests in a hungry mood, try shades of red like cranberry. (c) terrysfabrics.co.uk

If you want to get your dinner guests in a hungry mood, try shades of red like cranberry. (c) terrysfabrics.co.uk

Warm naturals
If you think warm colours are only related to what colour you paint your kitchen walls, or tile your backsplash, think again. Natural materials in warm colours are one of the best ways to add vibrancy to a kitchen. Cabinets, worktops, floors and kitchen furniture in warm woods liven up the small kitchen and translate well into the adjacent living space. Hickory and cherry for example, are All-American wood options that make both modern and traditional kitchens very inviting. Cherry’s rich red colour, satiny texture and fine grain make it a standout for a cabinet-centric space. The spicy hue of hickory lends itself to hardwood floors that can go from the kitchen to the living room with ease. Plus they look as good brand new as they do in a distressed finish.

We feel warmer already!

The spicy hue of hickory lends itself to hardwood floors that can go from the kitchen to the living room with ease.

The spicy hue of hickory lends itself to hardwood floors that can go from the kitchen to the living room with ease.