Kitchen- paint & backsplash color help needed
Shawn
March 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have a small, very bright galley kitchen that I'm updating. I've recently painted the cabinets (Benjamin Moore calming cream) and put new hardware on them. I need to paint the walls, tile the backsplash, and tile the floor. The rest of my condo is very neutral heavy (think browns, greys, and beige) so the kitchen needs something bold. I was thinking white subway tiles for the backsplash, and a dark apple/lime paint on the walls. Thoughts? I'm open to suggestion.

Thank you!
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Shawn
Here is a second view. Please excuse the mess in this one; it's been a busy week at the office!
March 20, 2013 at 6:53pm   
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Karen Echols
I saw apple but RED...sort of a BURNT red something with depth that has a glaze over the top so you can see yourself in it , almost like a candied apple... like the white back splash idea...you could use the green for accents for things like small appliances and think of it as your little orchard...use different apple colors....then you ca carry the colors subtly into the rest of the space to connect it all together...
March 20, 2013 at 6:58pm   
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PRO
Stamps Design Services
I would recommend against using such a strong color as it may seem too overwhelming in such a small room. White wall tiles come in a variety of styles. I will post a couple for you from Home Depot. I am also posting some stencil patterns which you may (or may not) want to consider, to give you another paint option to think about... the stencils were found on the "Cutting Edge" site.
March 20, 2013 at 7:07pm   
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mishbooth
Use the color you want in your backsplash. Glass mosaic tiles add color and texture. there are a variety out there even ones with apple green. Keep the walls neutural and add color with tile and accents.
March 20, 2013 at 7:09pm   
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Shawn
Thank you for your comments. Karen, I like your enthusiasm, but red definitely scares me in any room, beyond a simple accent. Otherwise, it seems like the advise is consistently be adventurous with tile, and use a neutral on the walls. I like this mosaic tile, but I'm hesitant to use it for the entire backsplash. Also, given that I have cream colored cabinets, what wall paint (and floor tile) would you suggest to match it?
March 20, 2013 at 7:17pm     
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kblitp4
Don't be afraid of color. Most of your kitchen is neutral.
March 20, 2013 at 7:21pm     
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Abode
That mosaic tile looks like it would be great with your counter top and cream cabinets! I wouldn't be afraid to use it all the way up, and then paint the walls with the deeper neutral. You can tile the floor again with a porcelain tile to match the neutral color in mosaic, with random set in squares (4 small mosaic tiles) of the mosaic trim. Would tie the whole kitchen together beautifully!
March 20, 2013 at 7:30pm     
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Dee Gould
I know useing colour in your baclsplash seems like the way to go but....you will live with that colour for a long time...what happens if months, yrs dont the road you want a total change / or come to hate the colour! Or plan on saleing & the realitor says its a sale nitemare you must change it..if money is no object then go with colour...white subway, is classic, beautiful and never ages... This is an expensive lesson to learn..get your colour from paint goodd luck on whatever you decide!
March 20, 2013 at 7:34pm     
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Shawn
I'm interested to go see what the mosaic looks in person. For anyone so inclined, this is the colour I originally had in mind for the walls. Too bold? As stated, the rest of my place is fairly neutral.
http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-ca/paint-color/springmeadowgreen
March 20, 2013 at 7:34pm   
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Shawn
Dee- this is my main concern. I've changed my mind about 5 times in the past 15 minutes :)
March 20, 2013 at 7:35pm     
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mishbooth
Painted my kids bath in a similar color. It's was fun for a little while and now I want to repaint it. It is very bright on the walls. If you are a person that likes to change colors often (every couple of years) it might be a fun change. but if your are looking for something a little more timeless I would pick a shade of green that is more muted and suttle. With a house that is mostly neuturals any color you add is going to magnify itself in that space.
March 20, 2013 at 7:43pm     
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mishbooth
If you type in "green backsplashes" the first several images show great examples of using color (apple green) tiles or glass tiles.
March 20, 2013 at 7:50pm   
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Fine Art Tileworks — Handmade Relief Tile
For your backsplash I'm envisioning off-white or pearlescent tile with strong horizontal look & feel, stopping about an inch below the outlets. Guesstimating the dimensions, I'd say white tile about 5" up from the splashguard, then a single row of 1/2" black or dark bronze liners to build on the theme you started with your new cabinet handles, then 2" more of white. Use bullnose along the top and side edges, which should be easy to find in white, but not sure you'll find a bullnose end piece for the skinny black liner.

I did a little color editing on your photo, still not perfect I'm sure but closer to your actual cabinet color:
March 20, 2013 at 8:02pm   
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Shawn
At this rate I may just keep the neutrals theme going, as that's served me well in everything else I've done. I like the idea of doing neutrals with accents, as it's appealing to most people and it's relatively cheap and easy to change the look. This is the current color plan for my condo:

Living/Dining room: brown with green accents
Master Bedroom: Grey with red accents
Ensuite: Cream with chocolate accents
Second Bedroom: Blue
2nd bath: Silver with black accents
Hallways: Cream

My original plan was cream cabinets, white subway tiles, and sage green on the walls. Using a bolder, brighter green seemed a good way to give it some flair, and if I decided to sell I could just repaint.
March 20, 2013 at 8:06pm     
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Shawn
Thank you for the photo editing- that is a much better representation of what they look like. The handles are actually oil rubbed bronze though, which is admittedly hard to tell from the original photo.
March 20, 2013 at 8:10pm     
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Jo Ann Garrett Martinez
I like your original idea. I have white subway with a slight "waviness" to it and I love it! It reflects light and is beautiful. I think the green walls would be great. I picture Granny Smith. I think a darker floor, maybe a slate grey would ground the room. Good luck.
March 20, 2013 at 8:18pm     
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Shawn
Thanks. I'm leaning towards a dark tile regardless of which option I take. I'm currently leaning towards a grey I think.
March 20, 2013 at 8:21pm     
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Robin W
If you put in dark tile, try out some cabinet lighting too.
March 20, 2013 at 8:27pm     
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Karen Echols
I like the sage on the walls idea better than the BRIGHT green...I LOVE red...and have seen it used in small spaces where it worked..the trick is in the TONE...It's a misnomer that dark colors cause a space to feel smaller...actually, a dark color can expand the space because of the way the eye bends light...White and similar colors TO white reach the visual sensors first...If you like the Apple Green, you could tone down the color a bit to keep it from being so bright...a good paint tech could use a little black or add red to it to mute it or soften it...so that the TONE complements the things you accessorize with...Color is such an intricate thing...there are undertones that effect the way the light accepts it...Good idea to take a sample of your cabinet paint with you, too..So you don't end up with tone that isn't complementary to what you've already chosen...I don't see a window so I recommend what ever you do, you paint a test area in a couple of spaces before you make the final color decision...It looks like you have florescent lighting which can have a COMPLETELY different effect than incandescent...AND the color you buy in the store may be different when you get it on the wall, even though THEY have florescent lighting ...I agree that you should go for a neutral on the tile...tile is a PAIN to take out and replace...paint is pretty easy...if you find an appliance or a kitchen towel that speaks to you...makes you happy, take IT to the paint tech and start from there...It's MUCH easier to find the rugs and the baubles and then match the PAINT; than to pick the PAINT and then find things that match IT...You can't take the WALL to the store. after all...LOL...If you COOK a LOT that is important, too..you need a color that you like being wrapped up in...if you do it in a color you don't LOVE, you won"t WANT to spend a lot of time in there...I think GRAY Slate is IDEAL for the floors...Post results...
March 21, 2013 at 7:23am   
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handymam
I am late to the game, but I actually liked sbmarti's original apple green idea best. You can change the paint on the wall, but you can't change the tile as easily if you tire of the color. I would go with your first inclination.
March 21, 2013 at 7:32am     
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barblt001
That's a pretty bright green, not too forgiving if you want another color to contrast or complement it. One with a bit more olive or a bit more blue or grey tone to it might be better. Look at them in more than one light cause they will change.
March 21, 2013 at 1:09pm     
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Shawn
Hi All- thank you for the continued comments. I'm going to a few home improvement stores today, so hopefully I can find something that fits with my plans. You've all made me very eager to do these things, so hopefully I can get everything lined up for doing it over Easter weekend (I love the three day weekend home improvement jobs!) I will of course post after pictures once I'm done.

Also- if anyone has ideas that are completely off the wall from what I'm currently thinking about, please go ahead and post them. If I've learned anything by reading through these comments it's that you all seem to know a lot more about color than I do!
March 22, 2013 at 6:12am   
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quixie
Based on your paint do you want to continue with warm colors or contrast with cool? In a small space I would continue with warm. I suspect subway tiles may be going out of fashion.
March 22, 2013 at 6:34am   
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handymam
I don't think subway tiles ever really go out of fashion. They are just more "in" now.
March 22, 2013 at 6:39am   
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Fine Art Tileworks — Handmade Relief Tile
...

sbmarti2 — Re: Off the wall ideas:

-- I don't see any art in your 'before' photos. Perhaps you could find a small piece of wall sculpture or fun painting by a local artist to hang in the area above your cat calendar, or above the doorway. Then play off the artwork to establish other color and/or theme possibilities.
-- Make the doorway wall an accent wall with another color of paint, pattern, texture, or wallpaper...or incorporate a section of chalkboard paint for notes and whimsy
-- Use LED under cabinet lighting to draw attention down from the fluorescent panels overhead
-- Get a red (or whatever color ends up working with your final design) toaster and/or other counter items to be illuminated by the LED lights

Granted, I'm a guy, but I say 'who cares' about fashion...make your kitchen a fun place -- by your own definition of fun, not someone else's.
March 22, 2013 at 6:55am   
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Shawn
At the moment the kitchen is just purely functional, so no real art or anything. That will change, but maybe you're right with getting accents first and matching paint to it. I believe someone mentioned that earlier as well, and it does sound like good advice. I keep changing my mind, but ultimately I'm switching between something fun (white subway tiles and granny smith walls) or something more serious (some kind of stone backsplash with sage walls). Hopefully later today I'll have some better ideas once I've seen what is at the stores.
March 22, 2013 at 7:00am   
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Simpson Signature Homes
I love the look of white subway tiles and It appears that you dont have a ton of actual wall space so I think you could pull off a green apple look just fine! They way I look at it is... its just paint and you can cover it if you hate it! I love using bold colors! Go for it! Good Luck!
March 22, 2013 at 7:10am     
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Shawn
Hi All- I went shopping today, and really didn't see anything that I loved, so I think I'll stick with the white subway tiles. For a kitchen this size I was thinking 3 x 6 is likely a better choice than 4 x 16. Thoughts? If the paint colour is a flop, then oh well, I tried. Now, just to give a bit of added context, I figured I'd post a picture of my living/dining room. If anyone thinks that granny smith colored walls would clash with the rest of my decor, then please let me know. Also, for additional added context, I'm a 27 year old male, which explains all the brown and the bar.
March 22, 2013 at 10:25am   
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handymam
I agree with the smaller, and about the fact that it is just paint!
Maybe just find a way to carry a bit into the other room--throw pillows on the couch perhaps.
March 22, 2013 at 10:36am     
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Shawn
The old bowl of fruit trick is probably an easy sell. Green is the accent color I was likely go for in this dining room anyway because of the painting.
March 22, 2013 at 10:38am     
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Mottles Murals Ceramic Tiles
Shawn I may have an off the wall idea. A kiln fired mural surrounded by subway or traditional standard size wall tiles. Please feel free to visit my web site for custom decorated accent tiles and murals.
March 22, 2013 at 7:56pm   
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Shawn
Thanks, I'll have a look! I'm mainly going with white tile because it is so simple and will match anything, but you never know when you find something you love.
March 23, 2013 at 6:09am     
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quixie
White tile is smart, because you can change the look easily then. I once painted a room the apple you picked and loved it! It was VERY bright. I have also had sage. Sage gets darker as the sun goes down or on a rainy day. There is a lot of pure hue in the apple, you can add white to pure hues and get nice tones, you can add black and get shades. Neutrals are created when you mix compliments like red with green. Most neutrals are greens, browns, or deep purple/black. You could add white to neutrals too, but if it was my kitchen I would use pure hues and tones. Think about a pastel version of apple. It will be bright, and open, and at night you can use the right lighting to warm it up. Lighting can also create the illusion of space. Do some brainstorming about that. Sorry my advice is so written in a curt way. Hope it helps you anyway. Can't see what you decide next!
March 24, 2013 at 11:00am     
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Shawn
Well I'm going to follow through and do the painting on Saturday. I'll do that and then the tiles, just because I'm not ready to do those yet. I'll probably go with a lighter granny smith apple green, but we'll see. I might accent it with orange stuff on the counters... thoughts? Hopefully I'll have pictures for you soon.
March 24, 2013 at 8:27pm     
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Shawn
What do people think are appropriate accent colours? This is just for things like pictures or cannisters. I was thinking maybe orange and lilac?
March 25, 2013 at 5:02pm   
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handymam
I like the orange, but not the lilac. Think of the colors of a bowl of fruit. I see them all working together , the apple green, reds, oranges, lemon, pears, but no lilac fruit. :)
March 26, 2013 at 4:25am   
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Fine Art Tileworks — Handmade Relief Tile
...
Shawn,

Search for terms like 'color generator' and you'll find dozens of sites like colorhunter.com which I used to generate the following swatches for 'lilac' and 'orange.'

For the first image below, I combined slices of jpgs of a plum and orange still on the tree with green leaves etc. The plum had a light purple (aka lilac) haze on it, not deep purple. I combined the slices into one jpg and uploaded it to colorhunter.com, and it returned the color swatches.

For the second image below, I entered the keywords 'lilac' and 'orange' into the search box within colorhunter. It searches images on Flickr with those tags and makes suggestions based on what it finds. This can give unexpected serendipitous results, such as the kind of retro avocado, deep peach, dark wheat, cool white, and muted blue top row. Note that the colorhunter site does not necessarily generate color harmonies, it just pulls swatches from photos. It's up to you to judge if they are harmonious or not. Other sites use color theory to suggest harmonies, but in your particular case it might be difficult to "force" them to work with apple green, lilac and orange...they would want to start with complementary, analogous, triadic etc relationships.

(In both photos below I've cropped out the source photos, out of respect for possible copyright holders, but colorhunter displays little jpgs of the source images at the end of each row of results.)

It's fun to "spin the color wheel" on this site http://www.colorsontheweb.com/colorwheel.asp and see what fun color combos it suggests!

Here's a list of 25 palette generating sites: http://www.cssjuice.com/25-popular-color-scheme-and-palette-generators/

Happy hunting!

Steve Eichenberger
March 26, 2013 at 8:54am   
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quixie
The color of your bar will go well with the Apple, in fact I think buying some other furniture in that stain would look good too, and it would be neutral, so when you repaint in the future it will still work. Check out consignment, and Thrift stores in wealthy areas, look for pieces with real wood in the construction even in places you don't see, for example the bottom of a drawer. I think the apple and gray will be fine if you find some gray canisters for the kitchen and apple pillows for the couch. You can relate the spaces with those accents or others like them. I hope the shopping goes well. Orange does look good with Apple Green, if it's a yellow orange, the apple is a yellow green. Throw some orange accents into the living room as well as the kitchen. Keep us in the know!
March 26, 2013 at 1:56pm   
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Shawn
Thank you all for the great ideas and the links. After thinking about it, the lilac doesn't really fit. I'll probably replace it with red, as why not? The fruit bowl idea seems like a good idea. It won't be too overbearing anyway; just a cannister set and some other small things to put on the counters/tables.

After reading all of this there is a lot I need to learn about colour!
March 26, 2013 at 8:06pm     
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Shawn
Thoughts? It's more of a melon green, but I think I like it. One tester jar (8 oz) covered all of the walls except behind the fridge, so if there is an overwhelming no then only out about five bucks.
March 30, 2013 at 10:41am   
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Shawn
Alright, I've thought about it, and I just feel that the colour, while nice, doesn't fit with the theme of my place. I might stick with a sage green, but at the moment the front runner is Shelburne Buff from Benjamin Moore.
http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-ca/paint-color/shelburnebuff
March 30, 2013 at 11:51am   
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Abode
Shellburne Buff is a great color, but a lot of gold. You might also try Powell Buff - just a little more subdued. It's one of the Historical Colors, and we use it a lot as a great background color that doesn't demand attention but warms and softens a room.
March 30, 2013 at 10:18pm   
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Shawn
Thank you- if I go the neutral route this is the kind of colour that I want. I think it's a good sign that in the 'goes well with' section it pairs it with two browns that are similar to what I have in my dining room and living room.

I'm still not sure though to go that route, or to paint another colour. I don't want anything too wild, but I'm definitely open to suggestion. Does anyone have any neutral-ish recommendations for this space?
March 31, 2013 at 10:43am   
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Shawn
OK, so for anyone still kicking around, I've painted (again) and I've gone with shaker beige from Benjamin Moore. It looks suspiciously like the original colour, but the extra bit of warmness it adds makes a big difference. I plan on potentially putting in brown countertops and brown floor tiles, along with a travertine mosaic backsplash (a light colour like ivory perhaps). I'd like to use colour, but I'll just stick with what I know, which is brown.

Thanks for the help everyone!
April 21, 2013 at 2:48pm     
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Mottles Murals Ceramic Tiles
Sounds good.
April 21, 2013 at 5:05pm   
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Shawn
That's probably what I'll go with. The below caught my eye, and I may do a 2-3 inch strip of something brown to try to tie to the floor. If I go with brown countertops that is probably unnecessary though.
http://www.homedepot.ca/product/interlock-ivory-ceramic-mosaic-19-inches-x-1225-inches/812790
April 21, 2013 at 6:59pm   
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