Erin Carlyle, Houzz
The white kitchen may still reign supreme in terms of popularity, but a surprising color also ranks among the top choices for kitchens these days. Green is making its way onto kitchen walls, backsplashes, even cabinets. The color can be used in a range of shades and tones, from a pale and soothing neutral to a high-energy color explosion. Find out more about this trend below and see some kitchens where green plays a starring role.
In search of a new neutral. All-white kitchens have been popular for years, and gray has also seen an uptick. But color expert Kate Smith, president of Sensational Color, says she sees kitchens “moving from just the basic gray to all kinds of pale neutrals — even pale greens.” Specifically, Smith is seeing greens show up on cabinetry and walls.
At the same time, she has noticed a shift away from the pops-of-color trend toward a more neutral and holistic palette for the kitchen. “Possibly it comes back to our desire for a need to feel calm,” she says. Though green can read as a strong color — think lime, Kelly green, grass green — many shades, like the pale one in this photo, or olive, can read as neutrals.
Wall paint: custom color by Donald Lococo Architects
Olive works for clothing — and kitchens. Green is definitely having a moment in fashion, with olive’s being particularly strong. For a fun fashion detour, check out an assemblage of the dozens of green designs among the spring 2017 collections from the recent fall runway shows, by bloggers Tom & Lorenzo.
“We are definitely seeing olive on the rise,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, color planning and communications manager for DuluxGroup in Australia. “[The] 2017 colors have beautiful, deep, almost army greens.” Though Lucena-Orr hasn’t yet seen this color translate to kitchens, it is on the horizon in terms of trend forecasting. “We are certainly seeing the olive green in other living spaces coming through,” she says.
Green-shy? Try an undertone. Lucena-Orr has noticed that green has been seeping into kitchen colors, especially as undertones on cabinetry — the cabinets may be primarily gray or beige but have green undertones, for instance. In the kitchen here, the green of the cabinets veers close to gray. Or you could say that the gray veers close to a shade of green. Either way, the eye can see both gray and green in this color.
Houzz research confirms the trend on walls. The 2016 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study from the Houzz research team, led by principal economist Nino Sitchinava, found that green was the most popular wall color among kitchen renovators after the trio of neutrals that swept the top slots.
Homeowners renovating kitchens were most likely to choose walls in gray (22 percent) or beige (also 22 percent), followed by white (17 percent) and then green (10 percent), making green the top nonneutral color choice for walls. The study surveyed more than 2,400 homeowners in late 2015 who either had completed a renovation project in the past year, were in the midst of one or were planning to start one in early 2016.
It’s also popular on backsplashes. Renovating homeowners also seem to like green kitchen backsplashes. Green was the only nonneutral single color to appear among the top five choices for backsplashes (multicolor backsplashes were more popular than green ones, and also more popular than gray or beige). As with wall color choice, green came in behind the neutrals as a pick for backsplashes.
For cabinets, a small minority. Green did not rank among the top five kitchen cabinet color choices for renovating homeowners surveyed last year by Houzz. Nonetheless, it was the cabinet color choice for 1.5 percent of survey respondents.