Bright blue kitchen cabinets with contrasting earth tones home remodel
Above: Bright blue kitchen cabinets with contrasting earth tones.




Choosing Colors For Your Home Remodel

Colors are an important aspect of a home remodel that can bring visual appeal and increased comfort to a space. For instance, the best kitchen colors can stir your appetite. Or, the perfect bathroom color can make you feel more relaxed. In other words, choosing the right color is important and integral to the success of your home’s design.

How to Choose a Color Scheme for Your Home

Dark blue and white bathroom color scheme

Above: Dark blue and white bathroom color scheme.

Calming light green accent color in modern kitchen

Above: Calming light green accent color in modern kitchen.

The first question Mary Miksch, Design Consultant at Neil Kelly, asks her clients is: are you open to adding color? “Sometimes the consideration is that they’re looking to sell in a couple of years, and they want to keep it more universally appealing. Sometimes, it could be a personal decision — like a bright red special teapot they want to work in. That’s where it all starts.”

This is where basic color theory comes in. Bright colors such as red and orange are stimulating, while blues and grays are calming. Brighter colors are often used in more active areas like kitchens, while shades of blue and green are popular bathroom colors — though lately, Miksch has been seeing blues becoming a popular kitchen accent color. “Green is a color that could go either way. If a green has more yellow tones in it, it could be an energizing and activating color. Greens that have more blue mixed in are more spa-like and can be calming,” she said.

Historical Color Palettes

Patterned light blue kitchen wall color in home design

Above: Patterned light blue kitchen wall color in home design.

What are the first colors you think of in an outdated 70s kitchen or bathroom? Probably harvest gold or avocado green. That’s no accident. Each era and decade has its own color palette. Some homeowners want to keep those colors and emulate an era’s style, regardless of today’s trends. Others go the opposite direction and use color to try to modernize the feel of a space.

Miksch recalls a Craftsman home in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood where the previous owner added contemporary dark walnut cabinets and a gray backsplash to the kitchen. “It felt dark and modern in what was supposed to be a very charming house. The fix was a kitchen remodel that restored it back to a typical white cabinet Craftsman kitchen with some black accents,” Miksch said.

Consider Lighting When Choosing Colors for Your Home

Bright, bold colors in bathroom home design

Above: Bright, bold colors in bathroom home design.

Soft purple with contrasting bright color accents in bathroom

Above: Soft purple with contrasting bright color accents in bathroom.

When choosing a color for your kitchen or bathroom, the amount of natural or artificial light the rooms get can play a huge role in how the color behaves. The shape of the room, whether tall or narrow, low or high ceilings, can also play a big role in how and where a room is lit.

“In the Northwest, we don’t get as much sun year-round as say, Tucson, to help bring out a color’s warmth and energy,” said Therese DuBravac, Design Consultant at Neil Kelly. “Our light tends to be more diffused, making colors appear more neutral.”

Exterior Environments Can Affect Your Color Choice

Think about the placement of windows and what type of environment is outside or near your home. What’s outside your window can affect how colors react inside your home.  

“A condo’s interiors on the southwest waterfront will have a much different impact on how the homeowner perceives color than a home next to a large green field or a condo on Division,” said DuBravac. “That large green field will cast a lot of green in a room while the waterfront condo will cast more shades of whites and blues.”

Everyone has reasons for the use of a specific color in their home remodel. It may be an emotional attachment, it may match the style of the home, or it could merely be based on personality. “Some people like cool tones, some like warmer tones, or they might choose a color based on the color of a kitchen cabinet. It all comes down to personal preference,” said DuBravac.

Home Remodeling and Design Experts at Neil Kelly

Have questions about choosing colors for your home? Need help selecting a complementary color scheme? Whether you’re planning a bathroom refresh or a whole-home remodel, our experienced designers can help you choose the best colors for your home. Get in touch.