There’s something to be said for having a dramatic kitchen full of rich colors and vibrant textures. That style of decorating oozes luxury and class, and it can make you feel like a million bucks when it’s done right. On the other side of the spectrum is a neutral kitchen, and though a little less colorful, it doesn’t have to be any less beautiful.
Using a neutral color palette can seem intimidating because you have to approach it differently than you would other decorating styles. You can’t just choose white walls, white countertops, and white appliances. If you want a gorgeous kitchen with a neutral palette, you need to put a lot of thought into your design elements.
Neutral color schemes (when done right) can make a room seem larger and more open. That is exceptionally important if you have a small kitchen or lots of heavy cabinetry. By making a few changes in your kitchen, you will be amazed by the difference a neutral tone can make.
What is considered “neutral?”
It’s worth noting that neutral isn’t just tan and white; it can be almost any light, soft color. Grey, beige, greige (a popular combo of grey and beige), seafoam and sage green, light blues, warm tans, and even some pinks are all considered neutral colors. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to make the neutral palette work in your kitchen.
Choose Your Colors Wisely
If you find yourself wondering where to begin, start by heading to the paint store. When you’re browsing the paint swatches, look for the swatches with multiple tones on the same sheet. This gradation will give you a good idea of what colors will work together.
You shouldn’t be afraid to mix up your neutrals, either. Sage green goes really well with white as well as tan and beige. Having multiple neutral tones within the same room can give it depth without making the space feel claustrophobic.
The best way to beat the neutral blahs is to add as much texture as possible within your kitchen. You can keep things within the same color family, but look for window treatments, accessories, and utensils with a little bit of texture. Choosing a butcher block cutting board or wooden dishrack can add a lot of color variation and texture while remaining very functional. The pattern within natural stone slabs – whether swirls, veins, speckles, or streaks – can also add a lot of texture to your kitchen.
Consider Your Countertops
Your kitchen countertops are the central point in your kitchen. They are where all of the prepping, assembling, and presenting happen, so they need to be in tip-top shape. But how do you work natural stone slabs into a neutral kitchen?
The first question you need to ask yourself is if your color palette is warm or cool. Cool-toned palettes generally include blues, greens, purples, and greys, while warm-toned palettes are browns, and tans, but that rule isn’t set in stone. It’s important to remember that there are both warm and cool shades of white, grey and brown, so be sure to shop for swatches that fit into your overall color scheme.
Once you know whether you have a warm or cool-toned kitchen, you can look for countertops that play into that palette. Some examples from our stock that fall within the neutral spectrum include:
- Pitaya: cool, bright white with grey streaks and fleck of black
- White Ice: warm cream, dark grey, and tan granite
- Aurelius White: warm, grey/brown swirl and veining
- White Galaxy: warm white, flecks of red, amber, dark grey, purple
- New Caledonia: cool, grey speckles
Lighter colored granite countertops can make the area feel spacious and open, but dark countertops can add some depth and texture. Silver Mist, Volga Blue, and Absolute Black all add a little bit of drama and depth, but stay well within the neutral palette.
Accessories in a neutral kitchen aren’t limited to white spatulas and a framed picture of a polar bear in a snowstorm. Adding pops of color throughout the space makes things exciting and keeps your kitchen looking fresh.
- A countertop utensil caddy is a great, functional way to add little pops of color in your kitchen. The caddy itself can be the color statement, or you can choose a neutral-toned caddy, but fill it with brightly-colored spatulas and spoons.
- Using colorful appliances in a neutral kitchen can add a little bit of color without adding any clutter. Look for colored stand mixers, toasters, and even tea kettles (if you consider them an appliance). Some kitchens have even used heavy-duty vinyl (the stuff used to wrap vehicles, etc.) to cover their stove and refrigerator.
- Adding plants is another fantastic way to add color in your kitchen. Not only do they improve the air quality and overall atmosphere in your home, but they can also be helpful in the kitchen if you plant fresh herbs. Choose plants in varying shades of green for added dimension in your kitchen.
- Framed artwork can add both color and interest to your kitchen space. You can still frame your piece using a neutral palette, but don’t be afraid to choose something dramatic or brightly-colored to sit within the frame.
A neutral kitchen is the way to go if you want crisp, clean lines without the clutter. When you’re in design mode, keep your colors, textures, countertops, and accessories in mind, and you’re off to a great start.