Painting your kitchen walls is one of the quickest, and easiest ways to re-do a kitchen. Before you rush out and buy gallons of paint, think carefully about what your dream kitchen looks like. Experts agree that it’s not just the color on the walls that determine how a kitchen looks and feels. There are many influencers.
Lets talk about LIGHTING.
Before you buy paint, test sample swatches on your walls and observe how the colors look at various times during the day and evening. Which way does your kitchen face and how much light comes into it? Keep in mind that natural sunlight in the kitchen will change in intensity throughout the day. Morning light appears differently than evening light, and shadows can affect the color perception. Color is essentially light – how we perceive a color depends greatly on how light is reflecting off of that color. There is a term used to describe this color-changing experience: illuminant metameric failure. It simply means that two colors may look similar in one light condition but might not match in another. So understanding the light patterns in your kitchen, and knowing what other colors will be going into the kitchen, is incredibly important.
Northern Exposure: Northern light is cool, indirect, and even in appearance, making it the preferred light of artists and painters. Light from northern exposure won’t shift as much throughout the day, so expect a more even color tone in the room. The cooler sun rays will enhance cooler colors like blues and greens. Even cool tones of white will look good in northern light.
Southern Exposure: Southern light is stronger, more direct and tends to shift throughout the day. This might make your paint colors look very different at different times. You might notice that the strong sunlight makes paint colors reflect onto nearby surfaces. Kitchens with a southern exposure can do well with all walls being painted with the same color but keep in mind that during the day, each wall might appear to be a different shade. As the warm light will draw out warmth in the color, choose earthy colors.
Eastern Exposure: An eastern exposure kitchen will have strong sunlight first thing in the morning and lots of shade in the afternoon. Expect shadowing throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky. You can play up the effect of the sun by having a kitchen with contrasting colors.
Western Exposure: Kitchens facing west will have strong sunlight in the afternoon and into the early evening. Dark colors will help absorb excessive light (and heat). Combine strong cabinet colors with a lighter tone.
No Windows: A windowless kitchen will need to rely on artificial light. The best kitchen will have a combination of task lighting, overhead light and ambient light and the types of bulbs you use will greatly influence the type of light. Incandescent and halogen bulbs cast warmer, more yellow, tones. These bulbs will bring out warmer hues and cast a warm glow in the room.