Colour in the kitchen: shades of blue

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  • White, grey and other neutrals are safe bets in the kitchen but, if you want colour, get ready to dive into the blues

    What is it about blue in the kitchen? For a start, it’s cool and calm which is great news for when you’re toiling over a hot stove, but it’s welcoming too, making it an easy going choice for open-plan rooms. Plus blue really isn’t difficult to design with. It’s a colour from nature and it works beautifully with natural materials such as wood and stone.

    Country, modern or classic?
    The good news is that there is a shade of blue for all styles. Country shades tend to be soft and pale such as cornflower, duck egg and periwinkle. In classic schemes, mix two or three shades using the darkest or boldest shade on a stand out piece such as an island or a larder unit – this is an easy way to create the relaxed feel of freestanding furniture in a fitted kitchen. Modern, flat-fronted cabinetry looks great in any of the grey-toned shades of blue from pale to super dark, and it can take very pure shades of blue too.

    Where else to use blue
    You don’t have to commit to blue on the cabinetry to make it a big player in your scheme. Painting walls or a single feature wall is a super easy way to inject some colour and looks great with white cabinetry. Wallpaper is another option, adding more of a living room feel to a dining or living area in an open-plan scheme. And don’t forget about splashbacks. A pale smoky blue is a good shade for glass, and tiles are definitely back in fashion. There’s an amazing amount of choice in tiles, some with real character too, ranging from metro bricks to classic Delft patterns and Portuguese Azulejos. The current trend for mixing and matching a patchwork of patterned tiles looks simply fabulous in shades of blue.

    How to pick a shade
    With cabinetry in particular, blue can look markedly different in situ so always look at a good-sized sample in the room at different times of the day in different lights – your kitchen company will be able to oblige. It’s important that you get a sample in your chosen finish too, as there is a big difference between any colour behind a matt, satin or gloss finish. For paint shades, paint an A4 sheet of paper with a tester pot and view it on all walls at different times of the day so see how it responds to the changing light.

    Blue trends
    From barely off-white to midnight shades, there is a vast palette to choose from. The current trends in kitchens are for the very dark shades such as Farrow & Ball’s Railings and Stiffkey Blue, and Little Greene’s Deep Space Blue. We’re also seeing a lot of teal and the greener shades. But pale is also interesting, especially in the blue-greys which look fabulous with warm shades of wood such as walnut.

    Island life A stand out shade for a stand out piece of furniture in a painted kitchen by Mowlem & Co, with silver leaf mirrorer splashback and pale wood flooring. Try Dinesen for similar.

    Dark star Deep inky shades are the dark stars of painted cabinetry. This shades is Hicks Blue by Little Greene.

    Natural match Dark blues work beautifully with natural shades of timber and stone. These Travetine effect floor tiles are by Amtico.

    Bright and beautiful This clear shade of Petrol Blue was chosen for the satin glass cabinetry doors of this Leicht kitchen as it really sings against white gloss units and a deep inky shade on the walls.

    Make a splash The resurgence of tiles offers so many creative opportunities. Here it’s a mix and match approach, using Fatto O Mano handmade tiles, available in the UK from Laurence Pidgeon.

    Big mix up A patchwork of patterned tiles is one of our favourite looks of the moment and it works so well in blue. These tiles are from Aaparici.

    Country colours A painted finish with natural wood and stone worktops – what could be simpler for a inviting country kitchen scheme. Oak and painted kitchen by Rencraft.

    Simply sleek This Bulthaup kitchen shows how beautifully the grey-toned blues work with natural wood and stainless steel in a modern scheme.

    Open story Teal is one of the dark star shades that works brilliantly as a painted finish. It makes furniture feel less ‘kitchen’ and more like a classic ‘library’ or ‘gentlemen’s club’ which can be an very appealing look in an open-plan space.

    Calm and open Blue makes a great choice for open plan schemes as it’s restful and easy to live with. This kitchen by Mereway has units in Priory Blue with an island in Dainty Blue.

    Pick a palette The mix and match shades for walls, cabinetry and even the bar stools create a sense of calm in this stylish scheme by Sola Kitchens.

    Stand out appeal Blue has an easy going charm so you can choose a shade with quite a lot of oomph, if you balance the scheme with warm shades. This kitchen is by Richard Baker Furniture.

    Great taster Here, blue makes a lovely accent colour in Smallbone’s Brasserie kitchen – a range inspired by a dresser in a French cafe and which has a unique pickled oak finish.

    Find more bright ideas for your kitchen project from Beautiful Kitchens.


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