The color palette for modern kitchens is drawn from dominant and recessive tones. Kitchen & bath designer Leslie Roosevelt says she tries to balance the overall picture. In kitchen design, the dominant colors tend to be set by the home owner's choice of cabinets and counter tops--with the back splash tile providing a pivotal accent in the color scheme. So the direction we go with wall and trim colors in our home remodeling projects is usually one that will tie all visual elements discreetly together.
Here in Washington DC, most of our clients tend to be conservative when it comes to paint color in their homes. Some are very cautious about color. Left to their own they would probably go with white or (yikes!) beige. In that case, Leslie will gently encourage them to test the limits of their comfort zone--but not too much. Most of the time, the client has a preference, a favored color. In that case, the kitchen designer simply helps them to finesse that choice.
The next step is to test the color. You may love how it looks on the sample sheet but how will it react to light in the room? Leslie will paint color swatches directly on the walls or sometimes will paint up large sheets of poster paper so that the client can move them around to see how the color looks in different areas of the room.
She instructs the client to look at the swatches in morning light, afternoon light and most importantly at night. This will give them the best sense that the particular shade of color is versatile enough to do what they want it to do in all lighting conditions.