White kitchens have been in demand for decades. But, while there’s no doubt white will continue to stand the test of time, there’s another kitchen color that’s both a steadfast classic and perfectly on trend: blue.
“There are certain colors that never go out of style,” says Normandy Remodeling Designer Kathryn O’Donovan. “When you think about white, black, gray and navy, those colors have been staples in fashion and home decor for generations.”
Blue’s seemingly universal appeal stems from the fact that the hue is so abundant in nature that people tend to instantly associate it with calm and serene environments. “Blues are used in spas and other calming environments to make people feel relaxed,” O’Donovan says. “You can even add in a little bit of green, which is another color found in nature, and you wind up with a palette that is resilient to trends.”
A testament to blue’s ability to be both timeless and of the moment, “Classic Blue” was even named the 2020 Pantone Color of the year. “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
There is also plenty of versatility within the blue spectrum. “Some values can be more sophisticated than others, like a rich navy blue,” O’Donovan says. “Often, people will use these stronger colors in a more measured approach, rather than for the entire kitchen.”
Where and how you incorporate blue depends on your comfort level with color long-term. “The daring sort are going all in with rich blue tones throughout their kitchen cabinets,” O’Donovan says. “The half-step version would be just to put the color on the island because it would be somewhat easier to change in the future. But a classic kitchen design that pairs dark blue lower cabinets with crisp, white upper cabinets creates a timeless effect that will look fresh and in-style for many years.”
Commitment-phobic lovers of bold color may be more willing to make a less dramatic statement via the appliances or the backsplash. “Tile is a very visible way to incorporate color, whether that’s through a pattern or a solid shade throughout,” says O’Donovan. “There are also many appliance manufacturers like La Cornue that offer striking colors for statement piece ranges.”
“For people who are a little more timid with color, but aren’t fans of the starkness of white, a soft shade like a pale robin’s egg blue can mimic the feel of a traditional white kitchen, but with just the right amount of flirty color,” says O’Donovan.
Many of today’s current trends play well with blue. “Gold is its own trend, and you’ll see that in a lot of finishes, not just blue,” O’Donovan says. “But gold and blue pair nicely and create a luxurious look together. Blue, whether it’s a traditional warm tone or the pale beachy finishes that are trending today, is also a good companion for any type of wood.”
Whether it’s paired with white painted cabinets, all on its own, or accenting stained wood cabinetry, a pop of color brings a vibrancy to almost any kitchen design. And to those who are concerned about getting caught up in the trends? O’Donovan says you shouldn’t worry: “Blue is so classic, it’s almost a neutral unto itself.”