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Home > Ideas & Tips > Style, Colours and Textures

Style, Colours and Textures

These terms refer to the different ways designers use colour and materials. Become familiar with them, and you'll be able to communicate your ideas easily.

1. Define your style with Colours and Textures

WARM OR COOL: CHOOSING YOUR COLOUR PALETTE

Warm colours actually create a sunny feeling in a room:

  • Colours such as red, orange and yellow feel lively and warm.
  • Woods such as oak, cherry and maple work well with warm tones.
  • Metals with warmer tones include brass, bronze, gold and copper.

Cool colours that depict sky and water are calming:

  • Blues and greens create a restful environment.
  • Woods such as maple have cool tones.
  • Metals such as chrome, nickel, iron, steel and aluminum are in the cooler range.

WOOD AND METAL: COLOURS FROM NATURE

Wood

  • In addition to brown, natural wood may have gold, red or even green tones.

Metal

  • Colours of metal translate as yellowish, reddish, brown, orange or grey.
  • Stainless steel works as a neutral complement to most wood finishes.

TEXTURE

There are a variety of different surfaces you can use in your kitchen. Different appearances and tactile qualities create different effects. Think about the textures that appeal to you:

  • Smooth or rough? Polished or naturally honed stone surfaces?
  • Do you like wood with exotic, visible grain, or do you prefer a more subtle look?
  • Do flat surfaces appeal to you, or are you more interested in sculpted looks?
  • Solid colours or patterns?

SHEEN

Low sheen or high sheen refers to the amount of polish on a finish:

  • Polished: high shine, and very little texture.
  • Satin: less shine, with subtle texture.
  • Brushed: less shine, more texture.
  • Matte: no shine, varied texture.

COLOUR AND FINISH

Monochromatic

  • Uses several values of the same colour.
  • Contrast is soft and quiet because colours are similar.
  • The effect is soothing and peaceful.

Complimentary

  • Uses colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel.
  • Dynamic contrast feels energetic and stimulating.

Analogous

  • Uses two or three related colours that lie next to each other on the colour wheel.
  • Related colours create moderate contrast and pleasant combinations.
  • The effect is colourful yet comforting.

DEFINING VALUE, SATURATION AND INTENSITY

Value

  • Value is the relative lightness or darkness of a colour. Combining colours with the same values creates a soothing mood. Contrasts in value create excitement.

Saturation or Intensity

  • Saturation or Intensity refers to the brightness or purity of a colour. More intensity or saturation means a more powerful concentration of colour. Colours with similar intensities work best together. Think about whether you feel more comfortable with muted or bright colours, and design according to your own preference.
Kitchen

2. Traditional

The traditional look draws from classic English and European design. Symmetry is important. Classic elements such as columns, arches, decorative trims and patterns are part of the look.

COLOURS

Colours in traditional palettes usually include rich shades that blend harmoniously, rather than stark colour statements.

TEXTURES AND FINISHES

Textures and finishes tend to be smooth with highly polished surfaces and tightly woven, patterned fabrics. Cabinetry and furniture are usually embellished with carved details. Traditional finishes include dark or white and classically sculpted metals such as polished brass, antique bronze and satin nickel.

STYLE

The mantle design range hood, glass fronts on the cabinetry, granite countertops and tile backsplash add decorative elements to this classic style.

THE FEELING

Rich wood finishes combined with neutral colours on the wall, in the tile and on the countertops all contribute to the calm, warm, welcoming feeling of this kitchen.

THE DETAIL

The design details found in the faucet, sink, cabinetry, and lighting all nod to the past, and fit with the traditional style.

Kitchen
Kitchen Kitchen

3. Contemporary

Clean, unbroken lines. Sleek surfaces with very little ornamentation. Colour instead of patterns. In the contemporary kitchen, it;s all about simplicity and functionality. Here, less is most definitely more.

COLOURS

Colours that work best in contemporary rooms are usually monochromatic schemes. Sometimes a bold accent of more intense colour can be powerful. For example, white walls make an interesting backdrop for optic-yellow barstools.

TEXTURES AND FINISHES

Textures and finishes are smooth and simple in contemporary designs, whether they are polished, brushed, high-gloss or matte-finished. Angular or curved shapes can be incorporated. Fine-grained natural wood and glass work well.

STYLE

With the simplicity of the overall design, the horizontal lines of the cabinetry, and the lack of ornamentation, this kitchen makes a contemporary statement.

THE FEELING

Smooth finishes and soft colours with touches of bold colour make this kitchen feel fresh and alive. Clean and sleek lines add interest to the design.

THE DETAIL

The curves in the countertop design and the soft arch of the decorative hardware give this kitchen its unique look and add to its contemporary feeling.

Kitchen
Kitchen Kitchen

4. Casual

Natural and uncomplicated, the casual style kitchen welcomes family and friends to come in and relax. This lived-in look is always comfortable and inviting.

COLOURS

Colours in the casual style are usually analogous mixes, ranging from soft pastels to warm, robust tones inspired by nature. The casual palette gives a sense of security, tranquility and comfort.

TEXTURES AND FINISHES

Textures and finishes are not fancy or fussy. This is an informal approach to living and wicker, cotton and wood all feel at home here. Cabinet and hardware finishes that appear worn or aged add to the look.

STYLE

Materials inspired by nature always work perfectly in a casual setting. Alder and slate make great partners in this kitchen.

THE FEELING

Warm wood tones, natural colours, and interesting textures work with each other to create a comfortable feeling of home.

THE DETAIL

Open shelves showcase family collectables, adding a personal touch. Like an old farmhouse table, the island is the perfect spot to prepare food for large informal gatherings.

Kitchen
Kitchen Kitchen

5. Eclectic

In an eclectic kitchen, a variety of styles can be combined to create an individual look. This "freestyle approach" is often tied together with colour, texture or shape.

COLOURS

Colours are complementary, spirited, and visually stimulating. The unexpected variety is pulled together through the simple use of key colours.

TEXTURES AND FINISHES

Textures and finishes may vary dramatically throughout the kitchen, but they balance each other. Consider mixing appliances of different finishes to complement split finishes in the cabinetry. Coloured appliances make a bold statement.

STYLE

The combination of traditional, dark- finished cabinetry combined with a Shaker-style door in a soft white is a perfect example of an Eclectic style kitchen. These two styles merge to create a one-of-akind, truly individual look.

THE FEELING

Light and dark finishes create exciting contrast. Repeating this contrast throughout this kitchen brings balance, and adds a sophisticated, soothing feeling to the room.

THE DETAIL

The arched raised panel range hood in a very dark traditional finish surrounded by the off-white cabinetry and contrast wall colour creates a focal point in this kitchen. The modern bar stools and the detail of the architectural support at the conversation bar, against the dark raised panel cabinetry at the island are perfect examples of combining the two styles for a harmonious blend.

Kitchen
Kitchen Kitchen Kitchen

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