Bringing The Kitchen To Life With Color. Feast Your Eyes!

Posted on | April 25, 2014 | No Comments

When done well, color adds so much life, vibrancy and warmth to a kitchen. That being said, it can be difficult for homeowners to fully embrace the idea of color. Often, they fear making a mistake that they will have to live with for a long time. That’s where a good designer can absolutely make a difference. Thom Knowles, and his staff at the Charlotte kitchen design company, E3 Cabinets and Design, are known for their impeccable use of color, and exquisitely designed kitchens. North Carolina Design spoke with Thom to get his perspective on using color wisely, and to find out how he encourages clients to love color.

Images Courtesy of E3 Cabinets and Design ©

White kitchens may be prevalent today, but Thom makes a conscious decision to do things a bit differently. “We like white, don’t get me wrong, but we also like to add a little flair and personality to the space,” he explains. “That could be in terms of a backsplash, countertops or accessories. An all-white kitchen is great, but I find that incorporating a balance of colors and textures makes a space more soothing and well thought-out.”

Thom has found that apprehension about color is common among his clients. “People are scared of color in general,” he concedes. “They think it may be trendy – something that’s not going to stand the test of time. But it really all depends on the color and how you use it. Again, balance is key. Bold colors are fine, as long as they’re done in a subtle way. The whole room should capture your attention, not one or two items. The color has to blend.”

Treading carefully with clients who fear color is essential. “How we approach the idea of color depends on the client’s risk tolerance,” Thom explains. “We have to find that perfect zone. We don’t want to scare them away from color, but we don’t want to overwhelm them with color, either. We want them to push their comfort level, but not to the point where they end up saying ‘I hate this, I’m not comfortable in this space.’ They need to accept the idea of color, then fall in love with the colors we use.”

Thom uses several tools to encourage homeowners to embrace color. “When you’re convincing homeowners to stretch their comfort zone, swatches of a small design board are not enough,” he affirms. “If someone is really scared of color, we have to take things to the next level. They have to see for themselves how the colors work together in a real, functional space. We might take them to a full-scale model home, or have them look at the full-sized displays in our showroom. Seeing great kitchens in resources like North Carolina Design is also really helpful.”

Today’s preferred kitchen style certainly lends itself to a wide range of color choices. “People are looking for a more transitional style, with very clean lines and minimal applied moulding,” Thom explains. “This style can go very traditional, or very contemporary, depending on the colors that homeowners choose. Bolder colors like purples and fire engine reds are more contemporary, while softer colors are more traditional. We like to be in the middle, and create a something that blends the two worlds.”

Thom sums up his views on color in kitchens beautifully. “Color brings a space to life and changes your mood. You do a lot of work in the kitchen. Let’s make it a happy place – a place that exudes the homeowner’s character and personality.”

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