Kitchen paint colours to avoid that give a ‘cheap and outdated’ look

A kitchen may be the one room in the home that is the most neutral, so households may be inclined to paint them a different colour. However, it is important to note that the colour they choose will likely be part of their home for several years – so it’s important to get right. While there are colours that can make a kitchen look it’s best, there are those that can have the opposite effect.

Tracey Hague, Director of Where Saints Go told that when it comes to painting the kitchen, households will want to choose something that strikes the perfect balance between stylish and timeless. 

She explained that this is why it’s often “best to avoid fads like the bold, trending colours” people are currently seeing in celebrity homes and in interior design magazines. 

The expert said: “While it might be fun to experiment with shades like bright yellow, hot pink, and cobalt blue initially, it’s also likely that you’ll tire of these shades and find that they make your kitchen look cheap or outdated when trends change and move on.”

Fiona Davies, research director at Kosy Co Living, argued that whilst a touch of certain bold and bright colours can be great, there are some shades that can transform a “classic” kitchen into a “tacky” one.

She said: “It’s important to note that not all bright colours are bad for a kitchen, and a touch of lemony yellow or sage green on a wall can help to brighten up the space and give it a classic feel. 

“However, neon or electric shades can make your space look cheap and tacky as they’re often associated with low-end establishments or fast-food restaurants – not the ideal look when you want to show off your cooking space.”

Instead, the expert suggested households opt for muted or pastel versions of these colours, such as blush pinks or creamy apricots on accent walls to give their space a rustic finish. 

Fiona added: “You could also use these bolder tones as accents to add some pop without overwhelming the space.

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“For example, a white vase with hot pink trim can help liven up an otherwise neutral kitchen without making the space feel tacky, giving it a chic but high-finish edge that is perfect for showing a touch of personality, but still neutral enough to not ruin your property value.”

Rather than opting for pastel shades, Tracey suggested households use shades like slate grey, sketch black, or Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue as they can be “a more enduring choice” for the kitchen.

However, she explained that if a kitchen has a relatively small square footage, households can make the kitchen feel more luxurious by avoiding dark colours altogether. 

She said: “It’s a well-known interior design trick to make compact rooms feel more spacious by decorating them with colours on the lighter end of the spectrum, such as white, cream, and an array of other pastel shades. 

“So, when picking out the colour palette for your walls, flooring, cupboards, and countertops, keep in mind that lighter shades can help a modest kitchen feel more expensive simply by making the space feel bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. However, bright white is best used sparingly as this can feel a little stark and clinical.”

Fiona disagreed with using dark shades for kitchens as she claimed that it makes them look “unappealing”.

She said: “Kitchens are not cheap, and what may seem like a fun or fashionable option now may quickly become dated or unappealing – this is especially true for dark and moody shades of blue, grey and purple which, while trendy right now, could quickly tank the value of your home.

“Sapphire blue, aubergine purple and charcoal grey are all popular colours this year as we embrace more moody tones, possibly due to our love of shows like Wednesday which has seen gothic chic take over interiors. However, while these shades are great for creating a certain atmosphere, they aren’t as timeless as more neutral colours like cream or light grey, meaning they will quickly become dated and feel oppressive, especially during cooler months when natural light is harder to come by. 

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“These shades can also make a room feel smaller, which, when combined with wall-mounted cupboards and cabinets means, a kitchen can look far smaller than it actually is, which isn’t ideal from a property value standpoint – plus it can take your kitchen from cosy to cramped in an instant.”

For those who want a darker colour palette in their kitchen, the expert suggested limiting it to just cupboards or surfaces, such as black marble countertops or dark grey cupboards. Fiona said: “This way you still get a touch of edginess, but in a way that is far more timeless and can easily be adapted as the trends and seasons change.”

Tracey noted that once a chic, timeless base has been created that looks high-end and luxurious, households can experiment with adding different colours, textures, and patterns by switching up the furnishings and accessories. 

The expert said: “Home decor features like bar stools, wall art, houseplants, and soft furnishings will allow you to incorporate a host of accent colours into your kitchen without making any drastic, costly changes that will soon go out of style.”

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