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Kitchens | Colour schemes | Kitchen design | PHOTO GALLERY |

Using colour in the kitchen

Colour is a powerful design tool that completely alters the mood of a kitchen. It can change your perception of the space, making it feel wider and brighter, and it can draw the eye towards features worth highlighting. And, of course, it's a great way to express personality.

In the past, there may have been more of an all-or-nothing approach to colour in the kitchen - remember lime green and orange in the 1970s? The new palette is more restrained, with pale blues, greys and darker, inky shades proving a big hit. Tone is important too, even within the grey family, warmer greys create a different feel from blue-based shades of slate.

The accent colour is as popular as ever and here yellow comes into its own, particularly against darker greys. 'The rule of thumb is to go for a base colour with an accent shade to highlight areas or to add a vibrant splash to pieces such as a bench or sideboard,' says Gordon Boyd of Nolte 'Alternatively, try complementary pairs, such as green and blue.'

When choosing an accent colour or a mixed palette, you can't go wrong by following colour theory. 'Either select complementary colours, which are next to each other on a colour wheel, or contrasting shades from opposite sides of the wheel,' says David Motetrshead, MD at Little Greene 'Contrasting colours are energising, while complementary colours are calming.'

Don't just think about the colour on your walls - also consider the design and style of your kitchen flooring.

Vibrant orange kitchen
Vibrant pops of colour give this kitchen instant wow factor. The stainless steel extractor fan gives it a contemporary edge.

For more great kitchen ideas, take a look at these fabulous painted kitchens for inspiration.

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