15 March 2011

SENSIBLE STYLE - Color Charged

"Courageous. Confident. Vital... It's a color for every day, with nothing 'everyday' about it." -- Pantone LLC on its 2011 Color of the Year

Maybe Pantone 18-2120 Honeysuckle is your color of the year, too. You love its vibrant pink energy and want it in your kitchen. But how do you incorporate a hot, trendy shade without dating your kitchen or anchoring yourself into a strong color you may not love down the line?

Trust me on this one: Don't buy honeysuckle-painted cabinets, large appliances or honeysuckle stone countertops unless you've loved pink your whole life and are absolutely certain you'll never, ever, ever sell your house.

You can still use this rich hue in your kitchen, but a little bit of a strong color goes a long way. Here are some Sensible Style approaches to integrating a strong color like this.

Go soft

Integrate your preferred color into your kitchen fabrics:
  • Select pot holders in your chosen color
  • Use it in a festive apron
  • Find chandelier shades in your color of choice
  • Add dish towels in solids or patterns that tie in that shade
  • Find place mats and napkins that bring in your color du jour
  • Look for floor mats in the color you love
  • Tie it on with seat cushion fabric

Houdan Pink Fabric from Pierre Deux

Verano Pink Dish Towel from Crate & Barrel

Serve it up
  • Add the color in serving platters and bowls
  • Choose canisters in your selected shade
  • Incorporate it in your bakeware collection
  • Add drinking glasses in that color to your place settings
  • Find cooking utensils or serving utensils with handles in that shade
  • Look for trivets and spoon rests that incorporate it

Ikea's Yngaren bowl

Bigger splash

OK, so these strike you as wimpy and you want to make a stronger impression with your selected accent color. I'm still going to try to talk you out of big, expensive, permanent elements like cabinetry, countertops and flooring. But you can bring in your accent color with a bigger impact this way:

  • Perhaps there are countertop appliances available in your color choice
  • You can find cabinet hardware in pretty much any color
  • Use the color you love in easy-to-change wall paint
  • Select window treatments that include that color
  • Look for a kitchen-friendly art piece with that shade in it
  • If you've loved it forever, find an accent tile to integrate into your backsplash

Four-slice toaster from Dualit

Perennial Poppy Mosaic accent tile from Ann Sacks

Le Fleur knobs by Atlas Homewares

Final thoughts

Remember, always, that your space should reflect your personal likes and loves, not a website, TV show or magazine. I'm not a pink person myself and have no insecurities about missing out on Pantone's 2011 color of the year. I may miss next year's, too, without any regrets. But I have friends and clients who love the "now" color, style, look. This post is dedicated to the trendies among us. You know who you are.

Read all of the Sensible Style posts, linked from the right column!


  1. A piece of stained glass is also a good way to bring pink into the kitchen....easily moved to another room as well once you're tired of it (BG)

  2. Great tips, Jamie- I happen to like the same methods you mentioned for adding color in to our spaces. Not always necessary to bathe the room in pepto! ;-)


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