As the heart of the home, we spend so much time in the kitchen — making deciding on a colour scheme crucial to how we feel. You don’t decorate your kitchen every month, so how do you make sure you get it right? Harvey Jones, experts on contemporary kitchen design, have provided the following guide to choosing a colour for your kitchen.

Neutrals are now

With a spectrum of colours to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Don’t want to plump for a bold plum or rich red? Start with the ‘new neutrals’.

The neutrals of the moment include soft greys, warm stone and pale blues. They’re great on their own but they also work in conjunction with a bold hit of colour, neon pink, for an island for instance, or dark graphite grey on a bank of cabinetry.

These subtle shades work well with most work surfaces and flooring, and won’t date easily. Neutral colours are particularly susceptible to change at different times throughout the day – looking quite different in natural and artificial light. Use this to your advantage by opting for shades that will appear fresh by day and welcoming by night. It’s always a good idea to test colours to see how they feel both in the evening and the morning in various parts of your room.

The position of your kitchen can also have an influence on the colour you choose. For example, if your kitchen is north-facing, avoid colours on the cool spectrum as the light will tend to make it feel cold. Lighter shades work well if there’s little or no natural light and remember to install lots of task and mood lighting.

Little and often

If you’re intimidated by colour, don’t worry—you don’t need to paint a full wall orange to make a statement. The right shade in small doses will add real pizazz to a scheme. While most of us probably won’t opt for a bold green or bright pink over the whole kitchen, adding accents with the use of selected pieces of furniture, surfaces and accessories can be a great way to be a little more adventurous.

Popular shades include deep blues, dark greys and warm reds. The secret of using colour well is to use it carefully. While trends help to inspire, it’s best not to follow them too slavishly, although the beauty of a hand-painted kitchen is that you can have it repainted if you tire of the colour in two or three years’ time.

Not convinced? Use colour sparingly, below your direct sight line, as you go into the kitchen as that will make it easier to live with. Remember, colours will affect the mood of a room, too. In general, warm colours that ‘advance’, reds and yellows for instance, tend to be energising and stimulating, while cooler ‘receding’ shades such as blues and greens will feel calming and soothing.