colour & design surgery – kitchen colour conundrum

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Newsletter - 2011 May - Charlene's kitchen.

This is part of the colour & design surgery series, answering questions from clients and readers.

Question: “My partner and I are in our first home together and have, maybe out of laziness, decided to keep all walls white. You’ll see from our photo of kitchen that the cupboards & appliances are white too. We do love colour and would like to know what we can add to the flat to get some colour without painting the walls?”
– Charlene Hutsebaut

Answer: At present your kitchen is predominately a cool colour scheme (white & black) so using other cool colours (blue undertone) will harmoniously work best, however this may not mean those colours work best with your personalities.  Without knowing you or your partner’s personality type (which I would do in a consultation) I’m not able to provide you with a personalised colour scheme.  So I’ve jotted down a few simple yet effective ways  you can bring colour into your home.

Colour flow through
It looks like you may have an open planned kitchen.  If you are already using a colour/s in the adjoining rooms think about bringing one or more of them into the kitchen.  This can be done inexpensively through accessories such as tea towels, utensils, a picture.   A beautiful plant or vase of flowers brings colour & life.

Due to your limited space look at what you already have in your cupboards, there may be something colourful that you can bring out.  Instead of putting your  fruit and vegetables in the fridge, think of using they as a display.  Functional, practical and colourful.

Newsletter - 2011 May - colourful kitchen accessories.

Colour & Proportion
Use as much or as little colour until it feels right for you. If it’s too much then just take something away until it feels right.

Newsletter - 2011 May - colour through kitchen accessories.

Let your personality shine through
Create a home that you love, one that sustains, nurtures you and is an expression of you; not what you think you should have or just because it’s in fashion. Fill it with things that you love, fill you with joy, that resonate with you. If you create a home that is an expression of you, you can never get it wrong.

Newsletter - 2011 May - bright kitchen colours.

Remember, an interior is never static, change it as you change. Never be afraid to experiment. If it doesn’t feel right, just change it until it does.

I hope this article has given you some inspiration. You may like to look at how you can use plants, wall art, to bring colour and design into your kitchen.

“Be brave, experiment and above all, have fun!”

If you have a colour or design question you’d like answered send me an email.

Share the knowledge


  1. Charlene Hutsebaut on April 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you so much for your excellent answers to our question about adding colour to our very white home. I love the idea of using fruit in a bowl as a feature and of course every women loves cut flowers in a vase. We will definitely be doing these things. I also like your ideas on nurturing who we are and allowing things to flow and change as time goes by. This kind of gives us permission to change things as the mood hits!
    Thanks again for your colour ideas!
    Charlene Hutsebaut

    • admin on April 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      You’re welcome Charlene,

      I’m so pleased you found inspiration. No doubt you’ll now start being more consiously aware of how much colour you already have in your home, in every day items.

      You picked up on a very important point, it’s your home, you have absolute permission to experiment, change depending on your mood, feelings, time of life and so on.

      And now you can justify to your partner why you need fresh flowers every week! 😉

      Enjoy x

  2. Tanya Rennick on April 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I love the idea of not having to commit to colour but using accessories to liven things up. I especially love using bowls or platters of fruit to add a welcoming look. In her wonderful book “Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me,” Lucinda Van Der Post writes that a house is not a home without fresh fruit and flowers and chocolate. I couldn’t agree more.

    • admin on May 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks for sharing Tanya. A home filled with things that you love…

      That’s the great thing about colour in accessories, change it to suit how you feel, or how you want to feel.


  3. Felicity Lerouge on April 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    It’s a great idea to find out which colours suit both your personalities before spending a lot of time and money and time making mistakes. I had some major struggles, trying to decorate, with a previous boyfriend and we were both stubborn about whaat we wanted, so would often reach an impasse – bare tight bulbs and the original magnolia walls for years. Perhaps if we’d had a colour consultation we’d have been able to reach an agreement.

    • admin on May 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Felicity for sharing your experience. That’s a common problem that people sharing the same space experience, not resonating with the same tonal colour group, let alone the same colours. Living in colours you don’t resonate with may over time bring feelings of overwhelmed or not feeling a sense of belonging. Something a trained colour psychology consultant can easily help with.

  4. Aeg Appliances on April 5, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Nice tips to add color to your kithchen the right way. Thank You

Leave a Comment