Color is an important part of our environment, especially in the ways it's used to remodel our kitchens and bathrooms.
"Color is a free energy lift!" says Rebecca Ewing of In Living Color, Decatur, Ga." It tickles, delights and motivates us. Our attraction to color is an energy boost that feeds and fuels us."
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommends selecting colors for your new kitchen or bath under lighting conditions in which they'll be seen in your home. Also, when designing your space, remember that color can be used to adjust the visual perception of an overall space, and perceived size of a room. Cool, light and dull colors that keep contrast to a minimum can expand a room's dimensions to appear larger than it actually is. Warm, dark, bright colors with several contrasts can actually shrink a space in the mind's eye.
Although white continues to be the number one color used for kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures, other colors are frequently used in designing these two rooms. Take for instance:
Yellow: the color that the eye sees the fastest. Soft yellows can be cheering and make individuals feel sunny. Bright yellow used as an accent that attracts attention and helps to brighten a room, but in large amounts yellow can be over-stimulating.
Green: the ultimate pacifier. Often associated with nature. It is both relaxing and reassuring. Pale yellow-greens conjure images of growth while deep greens are associated with status and wealth.
Blue: arouses feelings of freshness, coolness and relaxation. In lighter hues, blue is airy and open, while dark blues represent wealth, strength and respect, evoking the feelings of reassurance in individuals.
Purple: a noble color in its deepest values, yet it can be flowery and refreshing in pale violet colorings. Deep purple is rarely used in large amounts, but is a great effect as an accent color.
Red: attracts attention, causes excitement, and even raises blood pressure. Intense red is stimulating; however, it can also be distracting in large amounts. Red is associated with wealth and sophistication, while high value reds (pinks) can make people feel good about the way they look.
Orange: stimulating in its pumpkin orange hue or warm in its terracotta and peach version. As with other intense colors, orange can be distracting, but it is ideal for attracting attention to details.
Black: evokes feelings of fright but also transcends the feelings of elegance, excitement and wealth. Like white, black is a color of contradictions that relies largely on the effect of the other colors used with it. Black can make large spaces seem smaller and more intimate.
White: sterile, airy and refreshing, depending on what other colors it is combined with, while making smaller spaces feel larger and more spacious.
The Color Marketing Group, consisting of over 600 professional color designers, is predicting that the following 12 colors will be the color trends for the new millennium.
Innocent Blush - a sheer pink that envelops the viewer in softness and comfort. Feminine and nurturing, this color has slight peach undertones.
Biscotti - a new neutral that is softer than the traditional carmel.
Wasabi - inspired by Asia, where foliage is more yellow than in North America and Europe. This sophisticated hue is a sheer wash of Celadon, faintly yellowed, with a whisper of gray.
White Veil - spoken of as nature's white because its coolness and lack of purity are natural.
Aluminum Foil - the coldest and most urban interpretation of silver yet.
Colorado Mist - whether metallic or pearlized, bridges beige and gray. It is described as a warm silver that is both Zen and urban.
Spaqua - the green side of water imagery, this hue is similar to the edge color of a thick sheet of plate glass.
Aero Blue - a timeless and spiritual color. Represented as a sky approaching dusk.
Atlantis Blue - a universal blue for all cultures. Atlantis is intense and iridescent, the slight influence of green adds a unique spark that slightly stirs the psyche.
Royal Plum - expands the purple palette with coloring that is acceptable for all markets. In its deep hue, royal plum can serve as a neutral, a bridge to other colors, or it can stand alone.
Wild Berry - a pure, nearly true, bright red.
Red Rock - an Australian-influenced metallic color that will generate a re-introduction of iron ore hues.
NKBA recommends that color selections be made under lighting conditions that are representative of the conditions under which they will be used. This is an important fact to keep in mind when choosing the color for your kitchen and/or bath.
With so many things to consider about planning and styling your new room, you may require a little assistance. You have probably realized by now that you can't go it alone. You'll need the help of a kitchen and/or bathroom professional. The NKBA can provide you with a list of member firms, including Certified Kitchen Designers (CKDs) and Certified Bathroom Designers (CBDs). These are the professionals to consult when planning your new space. Not only can they design the layout of the space and supervise the installation, they can also help you to achieve a room that fits your style.