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Color Makes a Comeback: Vivid Looks for the Kitchen and Bath

Kitchen with Color

Now, we have nothing against the clean, all-white kitchens and master baths that have been all the rage in recent years, but we’re thrilled to see that color has resurfaced, and that some daring new designs are hitting the home front. Whether used liberally throughout a space or as splashes for key features, the use of color in kitchens and baths energizes a space, casting a distinct mood and injecting personality. 

For the Kitchen

Blue kitchen

Interior design by Kotzen Interiors; millwork by Modern Heritage; photography by Sam Gray

As the “it” color, blue is featured in some of the today’s coolest kitchen designs. Barbara Kotzen of Kotzen Interiors puts the “royal” in classic royal blue for the cabinetry of a spectacular white and blue kitchen. The lively tone is crisp and striking against a shimmering white backsplash and marble countertops (and fireplace surround in the next room), and warmed by the rich wood flooring and beam. The powerful color choice serves as an exclamation mark for the wide-open floor plan, anchoring the subdued blue tones woven throughout the living room.

Open kitchen in blue

Interior design by Kotzen Interiors; millwork by Modern Heritage; photography by Sam Gray 

Pale blue kitchen

Roomscapes Cabinetry and Design Center; Interior Design by Barbara Bahr Sheehan; construction by Mackenzie Brothers

For a grand-scale new construction in Plymouth, the client’s penchant for periwinkle informed both the kitchen design and the soft treatments integrated throughout the home. “We always want to bring in the personality of the client,” contends designer Julie Lyons of Roomscapes Cabinetry & Design Center, “so it was key to bring that color into the island.”

Pale blue kitchen

Roomscapes Cabinetry and Design Center; Interior Design by Barbara Bahr Sheehan; construction by Mackenzie Brothers

As a focal point in the main living area, the island provides a perfect opportunity for a color infusion. It was important for the client to have a spacious kitchen with generous clearances where many people can walk comfortably—but not at the expense of coziness. Lyons explains that the custom color, tempered and enriched by a vintage glaze, brings intimacy to the open and roomy kitchen.

Gray Bar

Roomscapes Cabinetry and Design Center; Interior Design by Barbara Bahr Sheehan; construction by Mackenzie Brothers

The front door wears the same shade of periwinkle, greeting guests and providing a visual cue that pulls traffic into the home’s public spaces. “You get that connection the minute you walk into the house,” says Lyons. As you move through the space, the tonal composition crescendos from soft gray in the bar area to the deeper blue in the kitchen, defining the layout as it goes.

Beach House Kitchen

Kistler & Knapp Builders, Inc.; photo by Dan Cutrona

For a modern home in Truro, Kistler & Knapp Builders, Inc. brings the beauty of the natural landscape indoors when crafting a kitchen with tones that evoke the sea, sky and dune. A spirited turquoise was chosen for the lower cabinets and shelving in the island, enlivening a palette of sun-kissed driftwood hues. The solid fields of glossy color have even more impact against the beachy striations and nuance in the counters and backsplash.

Beach house kitchen

Kistler & Knapp Builders, Inc.; photo by Dan Cutrona

The color scheme makes for an easy, “feel-good” vibe that lends itself to a home on Cape Cod. Here, color most certainly conjures a mood, and it’s one that harnesses the energy of the sea and the state of relaxation instilled by wide stretches of sand. 

Red kitchen island

Rock Pond Kitchens & Bath

On Martha’s Vineyard, owner Paul Lazes of Rock Pond Kitchens & Bath was thrilled for a departure from the coveted white kitchens when a client wanted to give their kitchen a shock of chili pepper red. “The island has long been a place for a contrasting material or color,” he explains, so the island served as the nexus for this kitchen, pulling in the red of the tile pattern in the backsplash as well as the couches in the adjoining sitting area. At 7x7 feet, the island already makes a statement, but dressed in that fiery shade, it is gutsy and gorgeous.

Purple Kitchen

Interior design by Denise McGaha; Kohler Artifacts faucets and Strive Sink available at Snow and Jones, Inc.

Speaking of adventurous, interior designer Denise McGaha unleashed the power of purple when imagining an Art Deco kitchen with modern functionality. Painted in shades of lavender and plum, this open-layout space has a palpable glamour and midcentury style achieved by its gold accents, patterned tile and oil-rubbed faucets that cast a vintage feel.

Art Deco kitchen

Interior design by Denise McGaha; Kohler Artifacts faucets and Strive Sink available at Snow and Jones, Inc.

For the Bath

Indigo Powder Room

Lapis from the “Linea Couture” collection, Cumar, Inc.

The first-floor powder room is often a space for the bold and the beautiful; the one setting in the home where interior design risks don’t feel so risky. Sealed off from the rest of the living spaces, and both a private and public realm, the powder room can be a spectacular surprise and a design showcase. Both are true of this “jewelry box” of a bathroom for which designers Kristin Paton and Dawn Carroll of Cumar, Inc. selected the solid, semiprecious Lapis stone from the company’s “Linea Couture” collection. The rare indigo and cream-colored stone is “coveted by collectors worldwide” and a flawless companion to the luxe, hand-painted silk wallpaper.

Orange bathroom  

Newton Kitchen & Design

Pierre Matta, co-owner of Newton Kitchen & Design, added a world of color to his showroom to demonstrate that features steeped in color can be sleek and sophisticated as well as bright. Mission accomplished. Newton Kitchen & Design’s bright orange cabinetry makes this vanity come alive, and it’s functional as well, with cutouts in its drawers for plumbing to best utilize its space. With its high-gloss finish on top of lacquer, the cabinet looks smashing against the natural quartzite counter and “waterfall” of stone that cascades between the sinks. The citrusy hue is happy by day—“it makes you smile,” says Matta—and dramatic at night. The quartzite is backlit to give the design a lustrous glow. 

Colored faucets

The Sigma 350 Series in Baron Red, available at Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply

Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply finds that more often than not customers are seeking just a touch of color. Sigma’s colored faucet handles are a dream for both the commitment shy and for customers looking for a fresh new update for their sinks. The “Splash” collection is available in a spectrum of shades and finishes (think slate PVD, black nickel PVD and brushed bronze PVD), and can even be customized with multicolor spokes, for homeowners seeking a rainbow connection.

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