How to Choose a Wall Color for a Mixed-Materials Kitchen

Paint Swatches

It used to be that many people thought everything in a home — wood tones, metals, countertops — had to match. But today it’s perfectly acceptable to choose one type of countertop for your kitchen perimeter and another for the kitchen island. You might select one color for your upper cabinets and a different one for the lower ones. You can mix metals, wood tones, lighting styles and finishes.

It’s great to have freedom, but all this mixing and matching can also lead to confusion. After you’ve selected multiple finish materials, how do you choose a paint color that bridges them all? See how three designers approach this challenge.

Don’t head to the paint store first. This kitchen, by Tammara Stroud Design in Seattle, features a wide range of materials. The kitchen island countertop is butcher block; the perimeter counters are Costa Esmeralda granite, a natural stone that resembles soapstone. The tile backsplash — which appears both gray and ocher in places in this photo, due to the lighting — is actually a glossy pearl gray.

When it came time to choose a paint color that would work harmoniously with all the surfaces, Stroud turned to the blend of materials for direction. “There’s always something you have to pull color and inspiration from,” Stroud says. “The island is a beautiful solid walnut” that has red undertones, so she knew the color she selected could not clash with red. “The stone had subtle sand colors in the veining.” The paint color she selected — seen at right in the photo above and to the left of the double doors — is a gray with brown undertones that echoes the sandy tones of the countertop veining.

Designer tip: Stroud doesn’t have hard and fast rules for choosing wall paint color in a mixed-materials kitchen. “Every project is so different,” she says. “What I would advise never doing is picking one thing in isolation.” Instead, she recommends looking at all the surface finishes together before finalizing each one. Only then should paint color be selected.

To read the rest of this great article written by Erin Carlyle check out Houzz.