Blue · green · kitchen · Red · White · yellow

Color psychology in the kitchen

Normally I am partial to all-white kitchens that bring in color through the accents, accessories, rugs and fixtures, but lately, I am really enjoying the use of bolder color choices in more substantial ways in the kitchen.  So I naturally find myself wondering, if I were to stray from my tried-and-true white cabinetry and white walls, what statement color would be best for how I utilize the kitchen?  Every color can evoke a long range of emotions, so today I am going to explore the psychology behind some basic primary colors (yellow, red and blue) plus green and see how each application may impact a kitchen dynamic…


Yellow is an attention grabbing color that can be used in small doses to add punches of color.  When designing with yellow, it can be a cheery and exciting color to use, you should also keep in mind that the color yellow may invoke feelings of anger or frustration so it should not be overwhelming.  The kitchen below balances out yellow cabinetry in the island with white in the rest of the kitchen because a little bit of yellow can go a long way.  Also interesting-to-note: it is also thought the color yellow can increase metabolism (for all of you weight watching aficionados)!  



Red can evoke intense emotions and excitement.  It creates an energized environment and brings about passion (seems fitting for the kitchen right?!?), which is it probably no wonder that many kitchen accessories often come in the color red.  The bold kitchen below used red in the cabinetry, but reduced some of the intensity by adding glass to the upper cabinets and keeping neutral colored walls.



Blue is one of my favorite colors to use in design, and has some interesting psychologic uses in the kitchen.  Blue is often thought of as a calming and peaceful color and is known for lowering your pulse and body temperature.  This makes blue a nice color for the kitchen if you often find yourself stressed in the kitchen (either early in the morning or trying to cook with kids running around), adding a little bit of blue might help keep you calm.  Research also shows that people may be more productive in a blue space, which is why blue is a great choice for working spaces like the office or the kitchen.  Lastly, blue is also thought of the least appetizing color (as very few foods are naturally blue) so adding a little blue in the kitchen may curb your snacking (or perhaps that is just wishful thinking for this blue lover…).



Green is another calming color that when used correctly can create a tranquil and peaceful space that reduces stress.  Again, perfect for one of the spaces you visit first thing in the morning, don’t you think?!?  And, the green paint used in the kitchen below has hints of blue as well, which is like getting the best of both colors at the same time, I think (a little green + a little blue = relaxation?).


So, I have run the spectrum from the intense, emotionally driven colors like red and yellow to the more mellow, calming colors like blue and green.  Depending on the type of environment you would like to create in your kitchen can help you to determine if, how much and what colors to bring in.  Does your kitchen currently have any color in it?  Ours is white cabinetry with pale yellow walls (although as renters, this was not our choice)…But, I have to admit, I still do LOVE white in the kitchen…


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