rachelnapier

Kitchen colour scheme

rachelnapier
5 years ago

I have a north east facing kitchen-diner, gets very little sun and looks dark, especially in the afternoon when light comes in from the adjoining utility room's southwest facing window and makes a huge light contrast between the two spaces. I am naturally conservative with colour (scared, perhaps?) and am struggling to decide on colour and style of cabinet to lighten up the room and connect the spaces. Advice please.

Comments (23)

  • Sarah West
    5 years ago
    The only real way to lighten the room is with light. You can't fight nature. Perhaps you could add some reflective surfaces such as mirrors, light work tops or a light coloured floor to bounce around the light you have. Then choose a mid tone colour that works with the natural light for the base cupboards, and a lighter colour with similar base shade (not white, but a white shade that has some of the base cupboard tone) for the cupboards at eye level and higher. This should help to balance the space. I have the same problem in my own kitchen.
    rachelnapier thanked Sarah West
  • domkav2
    5 years ago

    If the room feels dark and you don't get much sunlight then always keep colours bright as this will help with the light in the room

    rachelnapier thanked domkav2
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  • craftycountess
    5 years ago
    It is a lovely kitchen and I love the blue cabinetry but I can see what you mean - I think that if you replaced the wall cabinet doors, worktop and tiles in cream or ivory it would make a big difference without being too expensive. I tend to not use tiles in my kitchen using eggshell washable paint instead. It is durable and you can change your mind about colour any time you like!
    rachelnapier thanked craftycountess
  • Daisy England
    5 years ago
    It's a nice kitchen. Perhaps take the tiles off especially bearing in mind it's dark grout which does rather stand out.
    rachelnapier thanked Daisy England
  • rachelnapier
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your advice and photo, Your recommendation to use a complementary, darker colour wall shade is very helpful, as is your comment about lower cabinets not receiving much light.

  • HU-581954
    5 years ago

    The grey colour of the Units is quite dark. If you can't afford to replace the kitchen then I'd paint the doors white and add a wooden work top to add warmth. Either re- tile or re grout in white. But if white tiles are to stay then maybe wall cupboard doors could be done in a colour (baby blue?) and tie it together with a blue blind and kettle accessories etc so that you don't spend too much.

    rachelnapier thanked HU-581954
  • rachelnapier
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    We are gutting the whole kitchen, new everything, but thanks for your suggestions.

  • PRO
    Smart Showers Ltd
    5 years ago

    Another perhaps out-of-the-box suggestion for bringing in light to your kitchen is with a tap...


    Luce | 36 LED Kitchen Tap · More Info

    As you can see, this tap has an opal-glass hemisphere bulb containing 36 LED light diodes. It can often be little changes like this that make a big difference to a space, offering light, mood, style and of course function.

    If you'd like more information, do let me know - 01793 822775

    Many thanks, and good luck with your kitchen!

    Maxine, Smart Showers Ltd

    rachelnapier thanked Smart Showers Ltd
  • Sarah Dunne
    5 years ago

    We have just finished our kitchen / diner renovation on our north facing kitchen. The best thing we did before we started was to get an architect in for advice about increasing the amount of natural light. He also gave us ideas on the best kitchen layout, some of which we incorporated into our new design. Of all the money we spent this was without doubt our best spent. We still have a north facing kitchen but one that is now light and bright and a joy to be in. We also went to Farrow & Ball and spoke with one of their (colour) consultants who gave me the confidence to choose their Pelt (for peninsula/low units), Purbeck stone (wall of tall units) and dimity for the walls, all of which look warm.

    rachelnapier thanked Sarah Dunne
  • Catherine Ellis
    5 years ago
    Yes I agree, you need warm colours for north facing or dark rooms. You can't fight it, you have to embrace it.

    I went with painting my cabinet doors white (they were yellow pine), adding a wooden worktop, the walls are Charleston gray which is a purpley grey from f and b and I've added navy and white patchwork tiles as a feature, it actually feels lovely in there now, where before it was dark and dank and miserable.

    I also removed all the wall cabinets and put up a shelf and cooker hood, to maximise the light flooding through the top of the room from the Windows, and prevent the space feeling closed in. I've put up a pic, disclaimer I am working with the worlds teensiest budget and this is a temporary stop gap till we can afford to extend!
    rachelnapier thanked Catherine Ellis
  • rachelnapier
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Sarah dunne, thank you for your comments, I had been wondering about an architect consultation, and for sharing your colour scheme. Woule you mind posting a picture of your new kitchen? Thanks.

  • mcslw
    5 years ago
    Is there any scope for knocking through/switching position with your utility room, if that is the lighter space?
    rachelnapier thanked mcslw
  • Sarah Dunne
    5 years ago

    rachelnapier - yes will post some pics just need to find them and get them loaded up.

    Re mcslw comment - on the advice of our architect we knocked out our useless utility room. The kitchen was built as a square room but as with a lot of houses like mine built in the 1990s, they put in a utility room which served to sell it as having a 'utility room' but all it did was turn a square room into an L shaped room and being on the east side blocked out most of the light - it also became a dumping ground for stuff that should really have been housed in the garage! Knocking out the utility room and inserting two windows on the east side has dramatically change the amount of light - as have two sky-lights (its a single storey/bungalow). Appreciate that in a house unless you extend you might not be able to do this. People that have seen the before and after have asked where the extension starts - but we haven't extended, the light in the room and the space we have gained from knocking out the utility room has created a much larger / lighter space. Our utility room is now housed in one cupboard (with washing machine and dryer stacked). We now have room for a dining table and are currently in search of a small sofa to complete the room. This is also is our 'forever' home so for us was worth the cost, going to the additional expense might not be justified for every home.

    rachelnapier thanked Sarah Dunne
  • rachelnapier
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Yes we are thinking of knocking through into the utility room which is currently the ubiquitous 'dumping ground'. Washing machine is in the garage already. It will let in more light but the main body of the kitchen will remain dark and there is a big contrast in light levels between the two spaces which I will need to even out through contrasts in the colour scheme. I am learning that I need to make bolder colour choices and appreciate all the advice so far.

  • Daisy England
    5 years ago
    I agree with forgetting the utility. I too knocked the utility into the main kitchen and ended up with a lovely big square kitchen that can now include an island.
    All the utility was used for (as others have said) was a dumping room. Getting rid of it is a good idea.
    rachelnapier thanked Daisy England
  • PRO
    Lorna Lambrecht Interiors
    5 years ago

    Hi. I like to advise clients with a dark space to embrace their dark side! Paint the walls in a tonal shade, complementary to the lovely cabinet colour. Create light with well placed up and down lights placed under and above the cabinets. The dark grout seems a bit old-fashioned next to your lovely cabinets. Consider changing the tiling, or at least covering the grout with grout the same colour as the tile. Changing the grout is hard work but so worth it. Good luck.

    rachelnapier thanked Lorna Lambrecht Interiors
  • PRO
    Dub M
    5 years ago
    Ours is a North East facing tiny kitchen that's almost finished post renovation and would love to see Rachel's kitchen too as colours
    sound similar. We put in as much glass at back and skylights as we could afford and as suggested by architect. Plus chose a light grey wood floor and a pitched roof again to give idea of light.
    Island is similar to down pipe but Main run of units is a cashmere colour similar to elephants breath so warm tones. For paint colours I now have to choose between purbeck stone and Little green French grey to give colour and so as to not leave it feeling cold and sterile with the light. Paint colours and some skylights could really change the feeling of the kitchen
    rachelnapier thanked Dub M
  • rachelnapier
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Looks great, I love the impact that the glass tiled spashback gives. Thanks for sharing.

  • PRO
    Dub M
    5 years ago
    It's actually beveled light grey tiles but they bounce the light very well
    rachelnapier thanked Dub M
  • Sarah Dunne
    5 years ago





    rachelnapier - before and after photos - The photos of the new kitchen don't really do justice to the amount of light / light bounce that we now have. The first before photo shows the utility room on the right - now gone. The first and third photo of the new kitchen shows the walls painted in dimity. In the second photo it looks more cream when in fact it actually has a pink hue. Unfortunately some of the photos where uploading upside down so couldn't show the space we have gained post the utility room . The photo with the chair in it - to the right of that chair in front of the peninsula is where our new table now sits and the chair will be replaced by a small sofa (my husband put the chair in the kitchen because he said I'm now living in the in there - and he is not wrong!). Garden project is next on the list! .

    rachelnapier thanked Sarah Dunne
  • PRO
    Dub M
    5 years ago
    Looks fab Sarah great space
  • rachelnapier
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Sarah Dunne, thankk you for taking the time to post your photos. Looks fabulous, very inspiring, love the warmth in the colour scheme.

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