Sexy Colour Touches for Neutral Kitchens

Sure, you chose your color palette sensibly, doing your kitchen up in bright, timeless and sophisticated neutrals. But now those planes of ecru, ivory and ice are feeling a little ho-hum, and you’re ready to bring some character. Maintain the elegance (and your investment) by augmenting neutral countertops and cabinets using a color or personality-rich two or detail. Here we look at over a dozen smart neutral-based kitchens which have sexy color or details and that will inspire you trade in ho-hum for hubba-hubba.

MN Builders

Glass Backsplash

The backsplash is one of the greatest regions to switch your kitchen’s character. Due to its limited expense and setup time, it can be a great place to indulge in, say, the color of the minute.

This kitchen’s white cabinets and grey countertops play second fiddle into a cheery grass-green back-painted glass backsplash. Smart too, to tuck it behind the range, as the glass makes for easy cleanup of sauce splatters.

Amitzi Architects

A wall of white cabinets and counters almost disappears when played against ruby-colored back-painted glass. The discreet robin’s egg blue on the island retains the palette modern.


A turquoise back-painted glass backsplash commands all the focus in this otherwise clean and simple white kitchen.

This white kitchen is elevated with a timeless cobalt-blue tile backsplash from countertop to ceiling. Opting for a few shelves and the drama of all that tile instead of upper cabinets led to a just luxurious kitchen.

Green Apple Design

Tile Backsplash

Potentially normal white countertops and cabinets look more intricate paired with an eye-catching tile backsplash that’s extended from countertop to ceiling. A single isolated wall similar to this is a excellent location for a unique substance, as it produces a focal point and also can cut the expense of pricey particulars.

Buckminster Green LLC

This striking Cuban Heritage Design handmade cement tile backsplash is well shown off against an otherwise straightforward and neutral kitchen, where its character can shine. The swing-arm wall sconces are a fine and unexpected means to light a kitchen counter, too.

Pale blue and white encaustic cement tiles, extended full width and also into the ceiling, lend a cheery chicness against the backdrop of white cabinets.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors


This mostly white kitchen’s character comes using scene-stealing hand-painted wallpaper that’s sealed to protect it from wear and tear. (Ironically, these chandeliers are no shrinking violets either.)

More: Background from the Kitchen: Is it a No or a Go?

Renewal Design-Build


All these glass-front cabinets with mint paint in the backmake for a candy kitchen feature. If you do not have any glass-front cabinets, you might have a pair or two made. As an alternative, you could just remove the doors from one of the upper cabinets boxes and then paint the trunk for a special screen.

Layouts by individual.

Envision this kitchen without the orange paint. Nice, but a bit boring.While paint is an obvious selection for spiffing up a kitchen, few pictures illustrate the power of paint so well.

Jeni Lee


A sexy faucet? Really. This wise architect-homeowner had a typical faucet powder covered. Alternatively, Vola offers faucets in a rainbow of colors. This unexpected color move might be all that’s required to bring some fun and character to your kitchen.

Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders


Lighting is just another component where you can readily exercise your style whims. The designer of the light-filled kitchen reinforced its white cabinets and counters with fresh-looking large-diameter shades which could be easily swapped out.

Marsh and Clark Design

This handsome but fundamental all-white kitchen is adorned and transformed using a dramatic chandelier in Restoration Hardware on the island.

360 design studio

This sleek kitchen employs sparse but fearless use of color with not just one but better still — a set of bold orange bracelets to lend some critical character to an otherwise stoic space.

Inform us : How will you spice up your kitchen in the new year?

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Kitchen of the Week: Tiny, Fruitful New York Kitchen

Although she’s been desperate enough to wash dishes in her bathtub, Yossy Arefi-Afshar can find plenty of things to appreciate about her tiny rental kitchen in New York. A lack of storage and prep space surely makes things difficult, but it also forces her to get creative with decor and cooking.

Whether it is turning a drawer to extra prep space, utilizing every square inch of vertical storage or changing up the darling artwork on her kitchen wall, Arefi-Afshar embraces her little kitchen and utilizes it to whip up tasty seasonal desserts and keeps for her website, Apt. 2B Baking Co..

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What’s your go-to dish for a dinner party?

A. I like to keep it simple for dinner celebrations. I’ll never forget the time I got too rough with my menu and ended up doing dishes in the bathtub the following moment. It was a great celebration, but I believe I used every single bowl, pot, pan and utensil I possessed.

Lately, I have been really into cooking up a big pot of mussels with garlic, wine and a lot of parsley, with a side of whatever veggies are in season — peas and fava beans sauteed with shallots are a favorite — and some sliced sourdough bread to consume all of the delicious juices from the mussels. For dessert I adore rustic fruit tarts, pies or crumbles with ice cream.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What are the three kitchen necessities you use most?

A. My sturdy kitchen scale, that has lived quite a few falls; parchment paper for all manner of cooking tasks; and my bench and bowl scrapers. They’re a baker buddies.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. How have you heard to earn cooking in a little kitchen easier?

A. Just like a lot of people with little kitchens, ” I wish I had more counter space. When I’m working on a large project at home, like a wedding cake, I totally clear the decks and temporarily relocate everything to another portion of the apartment.

Subsequently to give myself a bit more surface area, I’ll pull out a jar or two and put a sheet pan in addition to make a few more inches of counter space.

Hint: sterile as you go, instead of leaving all of the dishes until the end. “Small kitchens get cluttered fast,” states Arefi-Afshar. “Particularly when your sink is about 12 inches square.”

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What are three kitchen luxuries you really adore?

A. Delicious-smelling dishwashing soap for all of my hand-washed dishes — Mrs. Meyer’s Basil Scent is my very favourite — my Le Creuset and All-Clad cookware I hope will last a lifetime, and my Ateco cake turntable. It’s heavy and hard to store, but it makes cake decorating so simple.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. Tell us something else you love about your kitchen.

A. My little rotating collection of artwork on the walls. I like to shoot photos and cards and stick them up using washi tape. It’s a simple, inexpensive means to add a little colour to the room and very simple to switch up when I get tired of what is hanging. Right now I have a few of my own photos hanging together with a letterpress baseball card Ray Pepper, created by Left Field Cards — a card from BDRStudio, another card created by my pal Ellie and a great fruit and veggie print from the Little Canoe shop on Etsy.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Q. What’s a good storage or space-saving secret?

A. I try to use my little distance very efficiently, and that means a lot of stacking and lots of bowls, pans and serving dishes. I also try my best to use wall and vertical area. I store some of my sheet pans in the distance between the top of my cabinets and the ceiling, and my dish rack resides on top of the refrigerator. Knives are stored on a magnetic strip on the wall above the stove, and pots and pans go on hooks outside of the kitchen.

Hint: If you have an extra-small kitchen, a shopping habit could cause some storage issues. Before you purchase something, constantly ask yourself in which you are going to store it. If you can’t answer that, it might want to remain in the store.

Apt 2B Baking Co..

Arefi-Afshar is originally from Seattle. She began Apt. 2B Baking Co. throughout her stint working in restaurant kitchens and proceeds to chronicle her cooking and baking adventures now.

Portrait: Ellie Connell
Pictures of kitchen: Yossy Arefi-Afshar

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Renovation Detail: The Kitchen Sink Window

We purchased our house completely recognizing our kitchen’s openings, but a standout feature no matter what our renovation decisions may be is the window over our kitchen sink. I frequently find myself washing dishes for longer than needed, staring adoringly out the window. Endlessly amused by chubby birds, bunnies and squirrels, I’m attached to the great outside by the kitchen window.

No matter what style kitchen you’ve got, a window over the sink is obviously appropriate. Whether you’ve got a sleek modern cookery or a traditional cucina, letting the sun shine in is a bonus. Actually, hanging window treatments on the kitchen sink window isn’t even essential. I plan to replace our double-hung window with a casement and our surface-mount sink having an apron to enhance my own nature-viewing experience.

Related: How to Remodel Your Kitchen


Massive bifold windows have been featured over an apron sink. Perfect for enjoying with a breeze.

W.b. builders

Suitable in all styles of kitchens, this modern beauty includes a undermount stainless steel sink with a two-lite casement window.

Joan Heaton Architects

Located on a remote site in South Lincoln, Vermont, this property can be accessed only by foot. What I would give to gaze out of the kitchen window.

Watch the rest of the home

Pinto Designs and Associates

A massive stainless steel apron sink sits under black-trimmed casement windows in this Florida residence, allowing to get a palm tree view.

Smith River Kitchen & Bath, Inc

Enjoy a view of the Hamptons, New York, out of the dual window. I’m particularly in love with all the farmhouse sink with built-in backsplash.

Rauser Design

This Texas farmhouse kitchen includes an undermount sink and an apron sink, both under windows. Double the pleasure, double the Lonestar view.

Arch Studio, Inc..

Light bounces around the walls (from Benjamin Moore’s Solitude) and also on the cabinets (from Cotton Ball) within this bright kitchen thanks to the many windows, including both over the apron sink.

Jeff King & Company

Double-hung windows, placed over an undermount stainless steel sink, permit for viewing a superbly landscaped San Francisco backyard.

Michael Abraham Architecture

Entirely surrounded by shadowy cabinets, this kitchen window particularly pops over the sink.

Cameo Homes Inc..

The snowy Utah landscape is visible just outside the windows with prairie-style muntins, over an undermount stainless sink.

Your Kitchen: Farmhouse Sinks
23 Inspiring Real-Life Kitchens

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Contractor Tips: Countertop Installation from Start to Finish

The secret to a fantastic countertop installation is prep — and installing a countertop involves a lot more than considering which materials to use. Counter installation is just one of the things to happen in your kitchen or bath renovation. Before your installer displays up to template, all cabinets must be installed nothing is able to move between template and set up.

Below you’ll find information you’ll need to be well prepared with on template afternoon and suggestions for following the counters are installed.

More: How to Remodel Your Kitchen

Amoroso Design

1. Sink and faucet installation. Consistently have your sink onsite prior to templating. For standard undermount or drop-in sinks, your contractor should make sure that they will fit in the sink cupboard. The faucet should be in the ideal place before template afternoon. The cabinet may need to be changed for the sink to match, so don’t hesitate talking about this with your contractor.

If you’re installing an apron-front sink, there may be many distinct ways to set the bowl. Think about the spot where the front edge of the counter and the sink match. Some sinks have a notch to which the counter fits. In this photograph, the counter was coped around the edge. How this detail will align with your counter overhang should be decided ahead of template afternoon.

As for positioning of the faucet, it shouldn’t always be based on the sink. The sink drain may be offset. You may want to centre the faucet onto a window along with other architectural detail on the wall rather than on the sink.

Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors

2. Wall-mounted faucets. It’s much easier to wash down a counter with a faucet. To get this piece right, you ought to know where the final wall will fall once the backsplash is installed and where the sink will be based so you’ve got a faucet that emerges above the drain. Ahead of the plumbers start roughing in pipes, every decision has to be created or you risk ending up with components that don’t work nicely together.

Susan Teare

3. Overhangs. If any part of your countertop will overhang the cupboards, think about how you’ll support this area. Overhangs of 6 to 12 inches will be possible without bracing, based on the substance, but an appealing bracket adds reassurance and peace of mind should someone jump up and sit on your counter tops.

Beautiful Kitchen Layout

4. Counter height. Different individuals and tasks need different counter heights. If custom cabinets are not in your budget, 1 way to vary the final height of the counter is to use substances of different thicknesses set on conventional cabinets. A normal kitchen counter top is 36 inches off the ground, but if you have someone tall in your family, 39 inches may be much comfortable height. Here, a butcher block place lower than adjoining tops gives the person chopping more leverage.

Jennifer – Rambling Renovators

5. Countertop support. In many spots, your cabinetry will provide the support for the countertops, but think about what will support the counter around the appliances. A slide-in range such as the one pictured includes a 2-inch strip of counter tops behind the cooking surface. Since it is tricky to move two big slabs linked by a 2-inch strip, this spot will frequently be seamed together onsite. Make sure that you put in wood blocking flush with the top of the adjoining cabinets so that the contractor can correctly attach this strip.

Another frequent trouble spot is where a countertop finishes on a dishwasher. The dishwasher can not support the counter, so provide structural support on the side — ideally greater than a 3/4-inch fill panel.

Atmosphere Interior Design Inc..

On template afternoon, you may still need to make a few decisions.

Decide how much of the sink will show within an undermount install. If maintaining the sink clean with very little hassle is a priority, then have the builder bring the edge of the countertop flush with the walls of the sink. If you prefer the look shown here, where a few of the best flange indicates all around, allow your installer know.

Ask where the tiles are. Hardly any counters lack seams. In rock with veining, you could be able to hide a seam together a vein, and colored epoxies must make all seams difficult to spot.

Tongue & Groove

Templates are often performed in one of two manners. The low-tech way is to use strips of thin luan plywood and a hot glue gun to form rectangles that match the spaces in your kitchen. High-tech templates may use paper targets placed around the kitchen and photographs of those spaces in a procedure called photogrammetry, or your installer may use a laser templating system. Both approaches may produce flawless results.

Once the templating is completed, you’ll normally have to wait for one or two weeks to your countertops to be fabricated. Be sure you get a firm date from your installer, because you’ll want to schedule your plumber to get right after the counters have been installed.

The sink will be clamped and siliconed in place, and the faucet holes drilled, on install day, but your plumber will need to hook up the faucet and drain before you are able to use it. Silicone and the epoxy used to seam substances together give off powerful fumes, so make sure that the room is well ventilated daily.

Brennan + Company Architects

After the countertops are installed, it’s time to think about backsplash painting and installation. Your countertop sets the lower line to your tile, so although you can install the tile before templating, you’ll get a better-looking backsplash if you wait. Muscling a heavy counter into place is a difficult job, and a few walls inevitably will get bumped or dinged. Save your finish painting until after the install for this particular reason.

Buckminster Green LLC

One final tip: If you have recycled paper counters (like in the previous photograph), or ones made of soapstone or wood, I recommend Real Milk Paint’s Soapstone & Wood Sealer. This finish is created from food-grade walnut oil (meaning it’s safe for meals to touch the surface without any the fear of contamination) and T1 carnauba wax aromas. There are no solvents, meaning no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or additional fragrances.

More Contractor Tips: Installing Tile | Installing Windows | Building a Deck

Kitchen Countertops 101: Selecting a Surface Substance
12 Ways a Kitchen Countertop Changes Everything

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Kitchen Backsplashes That Function

Backsplashes break or can make a kitchen area. Is this why the idea of making one is nerve-racking to a lot of home-owners? It will not need to be this way.

When choosing the tile, appear for one that functions nicely with all the key components in your kitchen: cupboards, counter top, and flooring. Bring your samples when you visit with a tile showroom. Determine whether your backsplash is going to be point or a backcloth. In case you want assist or suggestions, consult with a designer.

Under are a few of my favourite Houzz splashes to inspire you. Love!

Susan Serra

Lovely blue- white cupboards that are clear set grey subway tile. The orange-toned flooring complements the blue. Ever wonder why orange and blue seem so wonderful together? They can be opposite each other on the colour wheel, creating them real colours that are complementary.

Fiorella Style

Carrara marble tile in a color of blue-grey shares white and the grey . See the way that it supplies a touch of colour to lightness to balance the wood flooring.

Divine Design+Build

This multicolored diamond-formed tile produces a dramatic focus in a pleasant mix of honey onyx and ivory and grey limestone, burgandy marble. The colour combination unifies all the materials and finishes of the kitchen.

Divine Design+Build

Light travertine tile combines nicely together with tones of the granite counter and the cupboards. The metal accent tiles talk to the stainless range, and hark back to the flowery motif of the hood ornament, enhance the grey flecks in the counter.

Dean J. Birinyi Images

The amber hues of iridescent glass tile add depth and sparkle to the wonderful kitchen. This backsplash becomes the focal level and “jewellery” of the chamber.

Amoroso Style

White subway tile will never go out of fashion. Here, itis a backdrop for fitting shelves and the magnificent hood. The tile molding protrudes very slightly to turn into a flat component counter and in the visible area between the ledges.

Feldman Architecture, Inc.

Big aqua tile place on the diagonal provides some calming colour -white kitchen.

A pleasure checkerboard pattern gives a small country charm. Does not it seem fantastic with the aqua cupboards?

What Is your favourite tile look?

More: Excellent backsplashes for wood cupboards