Five visits to paint stores and approximately 30 jars of paint samples later, and we may finally have found the color of our kitchen cabinets…hopefully… The maddening process of color selection has brought home the age-old design rule: sample everything, and then sample it again just to be sure.
In spite of having found the “perfect” color (a few times) (a few of which were referenced in dream kitchens), actually throwing the paint up on the wall proved a total game-changer. Our whites turned yellow, our greens looked blue, and we barely recognized the gorgeous color we had chosen for our fence. And worse, the colors morphed entirely depending on what room they were in; a white that looked crisp in the one bathroom turned almost champagne a few feet down the hall in the master bathroom flooded with natural light thanks to an oversized skylight overhead. The lesson: the amount and source of light in a given room proves just as important a the color you choose. (Is it artificial or natural? How does it change throughout the day?)
The same applies to tiles and countertops. Our tip is to hold off on selecting tiles and countertops until you know exactly how light filters into a given space and you can physically stand in a space with the desired material. In our case however, we were overeager and super excited, and had basically made our selections before construction had even started. Fast forward to the install of our countertops a few weeks ago, and we realized that our warm, light-filled kitchen brings out the beige tones in our white and grey-veined quartz - a far cry from the stone we saw in the cold and manufactured light of the tile warehouse.
While still delicious, this “new” countertop necessitated a new direction for our kitchen design. The stark white lacquered cabinetry we had initially settled on would do little to enhance the quartz, and would instead only emphasize its beige qualities. Rather, by daring to be bold and select a green or blue color for the cabinetry, we could find back to the crisp blue-tone of the stone.
After a few runs to the paint store with a sample of our stone in hand, and a few paint swatches up on the wall, we thought we had found our color… and then sheen came into play. The sophisticated and decadent green we chose turned into a silvery baby-blue you might expect to find in an old-school American diner. Not quite the look we were going for. And so we learned yet another lesson: test the sheen! Or in the very least, account for it when you’re making your choices (as many paint-stores only allow you to sample in flat or eggshell). Know that there’s a pretty substantial difference in how a color looks flat versus even semi-gloss (the recommended sheen level for cabinetry that is in constant use).
Choosing color -and doing it well- is a science. Even if you are a genie with the color-wheel and possess instinctive design know-how, humble yourself and buy those samples and test them out in every desired space. You can thank us later.
Stay tuned to see how you feel about our final color choices.