A guide to selecting the perfect colour palette for your kitchen

Calming neutrals, rustic elegance or whisky-den noir – here’s how to whip up the perfect palette for this busy space.

The days are (blessedly) long gone when the cook was banished to a secluded room to prepare meals. Kitchens are a deserved focal point of the modern home, whether you’re feeding the family or entertaining. Enter the statement kitchen. Whether yours is farmhouse-cosy, city-slick or somewhere in between, creative use of colour and wood finishes can set the perfect tone for this hard-working hub. Here, we deconstruct the colourways of four showstoppers.

Neutral wonder

If you pair the right neutrals, not only will you create a soothing tone but your space will also have a strong presence. In this reno (above), the contrast of Resene Quarter Rice Cake on the living room walls and ceiling and Resene Armadillo on the kitchen ceiling draws attention to feature lines and subtly delineates the areas.

Top tip

Play with light in a space by choosing neutrals in contrasting colours. Use pale colours to amplify natural light, then create depth and solidity with darker shades

Into the woods

This creamy, dreamy kitchen (below) aces rustic elegance with its trio of pale shades. A warm palette of Resene Quarter Villa White on the ceiling and Resene Spanish White on the walls is enhanced by oak cabinetry finished with Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Unlike a stain, Resene Colorwood Whitewash isn’t absorbed into timber but coats the top of it, lightening and enhancing the surface.

timber kitchen cabinets with black tile splashback and a timber floor
Lightness abounds in this kitchen by Stephen Cashmore, with cabinetry in Resene Colorwood Whitewash, walls in Resene Spanish White and the ceiling in Resene Quarter Villa White.

Top tip

Remember the “sixth wall” – the floor. Rejuvenate the colour in wooden flooring with a wood stain or lighten it with whitewash or greywash.

Top of the pops

The use of Resene Colorwood wood stain in Resene Rock Salt on the ply-lined cabinetry in this kitchen by Studio of Pacific Architecture allows the beauty of the grain to show through and creates the perfect blonding effect, while Resene Aquaclear urethane protects it from water damage. Pops of Resene Wasabi add punch.

timber look kitchen with stainless steel benchtop and lime green splashback
Ply is in! In this case it’s sealed with Resene Aquaclear and stained with Resene Rock Salt. Resene Quarter Tea on the walls and ceiling tones in, while splashes of Resene Wasabi stand out.

Top tip

Painting just one or two small areas in your kitchen in a bold shade is a fun way to embrace a colour you love without being overwhelmed by it, and can be easily and inexpensively updated when you’re ready for a change.

Dark materials

Layered shadows and a cosy whisky
den vibe inspired this moody look by Cambridge firm Designmarked. To make the ceiling appear to recede, it was painted in Resene Element. The kitchen then got an injection of noir glamour with dark oak features teamed with cupboards painted in sophisticated dark green Resene Jurassic. The cupboards were coated with Resene AquaLAQ, a waterborne coating designed especially for preparing MDF.

dark black kitchen with open shelves and black cabinets with black bench and black marble splashback
In this stunner, a dramatic scene is set by Resene Jurassic on the cabinetry and Resene Element on the ceiling.

Top tip

When choosing cabinetry, be aware that acrylics and laminates come in limited colour ranges. If you instead get your cupboards painted or stained, you can have any shade your heart desires.

For more colour ideas and inspiration visit your local Resene ColorShop or use the free Resene Ask a Colour Expert service, resene.co.nz/colourexpert.

This content was made in partnership with Resene.

IMAGES VIA KATHERINE LU, JULIET NICHOLAS, TERRY HANN, JAMIE WRIGHT


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