Light and Dark Kitchen Design - Misc. NZ
Light and Dark Kitchen Design

Light and Dark Kitchen Design

As the hub of any home, the colour scheme of your kitchen can transform the mood and size of the space. Typically, when choosing kitchen design, most people are choosing between a dark or light colour palette for their bench-top and cabinetry. And we know just how hard it is to make that final decision!

Words by M A Building

Before picking your colour scheme, it’s important you know your kitchen space well so you can make an informed decision for the space. Here’s some simple questions to get you started:

  • Is the area large or small?
  • Does the area have ample natural light?
  • Will the area be used by a family?
  • Are you planning to sell your home in the near future?

Dark and Dramatic

Darker kitchens give your space a sense of luxury and moody sophistication as the inky colour palette provides warmth and richness. To work well, darker kitchens require expert consideration when it comes to design and lighting. If you are working with a small kitchen area, adding a dark colour scheme can make the space seem even smaller as the colour encloses the space. Darker colours don’t reflect natural light as lighter colours do, so if you’re planning to go with darker cabinetry, seek some expert advice about strategic lighting to ensure your kitchen space is well lit. Now we can’t talk about dark kitchens without talking about the fingerprint problem! Thankfully you can now source cabinetry that is more resistant to fingerprints which turns the dark cabinetry idea into a more enticing, less cleaning option.

Light and Bright

Lighter colour palettes give your kitchen area a sense of airy spaciousness as the cool colours provide a minimalist and understated feel. We find lighter coloured kitchens to be slightly more flexible when it comes to furnishing, as light colours are easier to tone in with most colour options for paint, tiles and furnishings options. Lighter kitchens also work really well in smaller kitchen spaces as the lighter colours reflect the natural light during the day, making the space feel larger. However, with lighter kitchens you can find that they show dirt, grease and smudges more than darker kitchens do, which is why we encourage all of our clients to talk through their kitchen design and products with a kitchen design specialist so they know exactly how their kitchen will deliver.

Here in Wanaka, we are lucky to have the skilled team at Wanaka Joinery as our preferred local kitchen designer and supplier. Although we’ve seen many different kitchen designs over the years, we couldn’t write a post about kitchens without getting their expert opinion to share with you all.

Whether you like a modern, light kitchen or prefer the edginess of a darker palette, it's important to consider the practicality of your kitchen space when choosing your finish. Designer Michelle Andringa explains "it's important to recognise how your kitchen is going to be used and who is going to be using it. Both a light and dark kitchen can be beautiful in their own way, but if you don't choose the right surface for your home, you may find yourself in an endless cleaning battle which is never fun!""A light panel tends to be less maintenance and generally easier to integrate with the overall interior design of your home. You can always make a lighter kitchen into a statement with accessories or a featured wall colour. Compare that with a darker kitchen, which is a statement in itself - but more difficult to keep sparkling clean, though there are some fantastic darker panel surfaces available for hiding those sticky fingerprints well, like darker woodgrain". Or, why not have the best of both worlds and consider a two tone kitchen - darker cabinets on the bottom and lighter up top or vice versa, or perhaps a darker splashback. Have fun with your design - the options are endless!
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