Blog by Beebe Cline

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Cooking With Color: When to Use Green in the Kitchen

We tend to associate green with nature, renewal and youthfulness, making it a fantastic color choice for a kitchen. Bright, crisp greens such as lime or leafy green give a kitchen a fun, energetic, modern vibe. Or add some yellow to a light green, and you have a terrific neutral celery hue that can add a little zing to a traditional kitchen. Of course green has a negative side too, as it also represents envy, illness and toxicity. But stick to greens found in nature, especially the color of foods you like to eat, and you can't go wrong with this fresh hue in your kitchen.
When picking a green for your kitchen, go for one that reminds you of a favorite green food. An appetizing hue in your kitchen will make cooking and eating a more pleasant experience. Here are some of my favorites.

Green paint picks for kitchens (clockwise from top left):

1. Pale Green Tea 080-1, from Mythic Paint
2. Fernwood Green 2145-40, from Benjamin Moore
3. Green Chantilly 17-3, from Pratt & Lambert
4. Romaine SW6730, from Sherwin-Williams
5. Ivy Vine 207-5, from Pittsburgh Paints
6. Fresh Guacamole, GLG23 from Glidden
7. Grass, from Serena & Lily
8. Alligator Alley KM3390-2, from Kelly-Moore
This kitchen illustrates my favorite color advice: Use bold color in ways that are relatively affordable and easy to change out, such as via wall and ceiling paint.
I'm a big fan of wood floors, wood-paneled ceilings and butcher block countertops, but if you add unpainted wood cabinetry to the mix, it can be too much of a good thing. Painting these cabinets a mellow guacamole green and a rich cranberry red avoids wood-tone overload. This is also a great way to freshen up a vintage kitchen that has a good layout and high-quality cabinets in need of being refinished.
I love electric chartreuses and lime greens, and they are fun hues to use in a kitchen. If you are a fan of clean, modern, uncluttered interiors, a bright green will keep your space from appearing too sterile or dull — just know that a little of these assertive colors goes a long way.
This is one of my favorite kitchens on Houzz. I love the colors and materials, the cool vintage modern vibe, the open cabinetry and the smart use of tight space. These very handsome greens can be used in large amounts because they are toned down and play well together.
Here's an example of a nice neutral gray-green that will work well with any other color you choose. It contrasts nicely with the warm wood floor and brown-orange brick in a fetching, soothing palette.
Another beautiful kitchen featuring rich, rustic materials and gorgeous green cabinets. This is an example of a kitchen that would appeal to a wide range of tastes, even though it is colorful and has character. If you want color in your kitchen but are worried about resale value, either use color in a way that's easy to change out or pick colors that are tonal, such as the green on this cabinetry. Tonal colors are those that are light in saturation but have gray or brown mixed in. This prevents them from appearing too pastel-like. It's color that is soft and muted but also pleasingly rich and complex.
Now this fun aqua and leafy-green galley kitchen is anything but soft and muted! These are intense colors, but they work here because the kitchen appears to get a good amount of natural light from windows, reflecting off the white floor, countertop, walls and ceiling.
Black and white is a classic color combination for a kitchen, but I always root for the introduction of a third color to bump up the fab factor. This palette is so crisp and fresh, it would work in any style of kitchen.
Here's another fabulous green kitchen from the same architects. There are many shades of cream, green and wood tones going on here, but because the colors are toned down, they all work well together. What a charming space to cook and entertain in.
If you love green and are ready to make a color commitment in your kitchen, consider one of the many gorgeous green backsplash tiles available. Keep everything else light and neutral and let the tile be the star of the kitchen.