‘Absolutely avoid’ – Kitchen colours that can make the room smaller

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Tobie Lewis, head of marketing, brand and digital communications at Valspar, recommended homeowners to “experiment with the colour of the kitchen” this winter and not be afraid of repainting it, which can be a “great way to bring through your personality into the room”.

“Whether the space you are painting is on the smaller side, or slightly larger the colour you opt for can completely transform the space,” he said.

Colours you should never paint your kitchen

Tobie warned against painting the kitchen red: “Something to be careful about would be painting large areas of your kitchen red. The kitchen is a space where you should unwind and relax while cooking, eating, or hosting your friends. For many, the colour red is powerful and too distracting for this specific room.”

Another colour homeowners should avoid is bright white. According to Liberty Riggs, a designer from Studio Riggs, the shade “tends to feel stark or clinical”.

Real estate professional Parisa M. Afkhami of Coldwell Banker Warburg warned against using dark green: “Colours to absolutely be avoided are darker colours and shades of green, blue, red, and purple, which will cast a shadow on food and darken the space. Green and orange, in particular, should be avoided in kitchens,” she said.

Colours that make a kitchen feel bigger

Tobie explained that anyone can easily make their kitchen feel wider than it is, but it is not so much about what colour they use, but about how they use it.

According to the expert, the best way to achieve this is by painting the walls and the cabinets with the same colour.

He explained: “If you want to make your kitchen feel bigger, create the illusion of space by matching the colour of the cabinets with the adjoining wall, which will give the impression that your kitchen is wider than it actually is.

“Wood absorbs light, so if you have wooden cabinets, painting these is a fool-proof way to make your kitchen feel instantly brighter.

“Induce a sense of warmth and brightness with pastel shades such as Valspar’s Fearless or Soft Focus,” he recommended.

For those who have an L-shaped kitchen, “painting your lower units the same colour and contrasting this with your walls will instantly add depth,” the expert revealed.

“Creating focal points is another fun way to introduce colour,” he added, and said that “to achieve a bolder look, combine bright neutrals with rich berry tones like Virtuoso, or a refined grey in Moonlight Dance”.

Tobie shared one last piece of advice for those considering repainting their kitchen this winter: “When painting your kitchen it is important to use a paint that’s hard-wearing.

“Valspar’s Kitchen and Bathroom Paint is resistant to mould and common household stains, providing low splatter, maximum coverage and durability,” he said.

In terms of the best shades for your kitchen, experts at Wrenkitchens explained that the colour scheme of your kitchen can “have a big impact on the impression of the space available”.

They said “light colours with plenty of white tint will naturally reflect light, which helps to avoid the room feeling cramped and dark” and are always a better option than dark colours, which don’t reflect light.

“Bright white or cream is an obvious choice, but don’t feel limited. Light greens, yellows, blues and even greys can work well too,” they recommended.

Best colours for a kitchen



Light green

Pale yellow

Light blue


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