Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Picking the Right Color Scheme

Your kitchen colour scheme will play a key role in determining the look and feel of your kitchen. There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a colour scheme and if you make the wrong decision, you'll have to live with it every day of your life. So it's advisable to get out to as many showrooms as possible to check out colour schemes on offer.

However, when you're picking your colour scheme, make sure that it blends with the rest of your house - a super-modern kitchen that looks fantastic in a showroom may not be as great in your country-themed house.

Here are some hints for getting the most from your kitchen colour scheme.

Colour Wheels

A colour wheel is a circular card that shows the relationship between different colours. This will be a useful tool in determining how colours will work together in your kitchen. Search online and you'll find a number of programs that allow you to play with colour schemes on your computer. Colours that have some kind of relationship with each other on the colour wheel are called colour harmonies - these will generally look good when used together.

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary

Red, yellow and blue are the primary colours in a subtractive colour model. These are mixed together to create the secondary colours green, orange and purple. From these secondary colours, another six tertiary colours can be made.


Tints are created by adding white paint to a colour to make it lighter. Tints are a popular choice for interior colours as they give rooms a hint of colour without being overpowering.

Shades and Tones

These are trickier to use in an interior than tints. Shades add black to a colour to darken them, while tones add grey to a colour, resulting in a different tone.

Analogous Colour Schemes

This scheme uses colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel (for instance, light blue, green and light green). Analogous colour schemes tend to be easy on the eye and peaceful to look at.

Complementary Colour Schemes

This is a scheme using colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel - for instance, red and green. Complementary colour schemes tend to be vibrant but can be overpowering when used in a large space - they're best saved for highlighting a particular feature.

Triadic Colour Schemes

Three colours evenly spaced on the colour wheel are used (red, light blue and yellow, for instance). Triadic colour schemes tend to be vibrant - one colour should dominate the other two.

Tetradic Colour Schemes

These are quite difficult for the beginner to pull off. Two complementary colour pair are used - these pairs are situated in a rectangle shape on the colour wheel.

Split Complementary Colour Schemes

In a split complementary colour scheme, there are three colours - the main colour, and the two colours directly adjacent to the main colour's opposite (complementary) colour. This is also a vibrant scheme but is much easier to make work than a straight complementary colour scheme - a good choice for beginners.

Light and Dark

Remember that if your kitchen is small, light colours will tend to give an appearance of more space. Dark colours will make the space appear smaller and in most cases are best left for feature walls and highlights.

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