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Be Bold, Go Blue.

There seems to be a general resistence in the design world to decorating a kitchen in anything other than neutrals or whites -- probably because of the expense and difficulty of overhauling a kitchen should you decide just a few years later that you're no longer so enamored with, say, peach. And that's fair. I, too, eskewed bolder choices in favor of safer, buyer-friendly selections when I designed my kitchen last spring. But the end result is that, while I like my kitchen, I don't really love it. So I wish I'd stretched myself a bit more, been a bit bolder with my choices and maybe gone with, say, a blue kitchen.

The great thing about a blue kitchen is that, while it's a bit of a departure from the oft-used white, it's still fairly traditional. Nobody is going to think you've gone completely off your rocker and there's a good chance that you'll still love it in a few years' time. And even if you don't, repainting cabinets (or riping out backsplash) isn't the enormous hassle or expense that it's often made out to be.

One of my all-time favorite kitchens is this one by Sherrill Canet (shown in two photos above). Of course the towering cathedral ceilings probably have a lot to do with it, but I also love how Sherrill used a lighter blue on the wall cabinets and a darker blue on the island to anchor it in the space. My favorite element though is the glimmering stainless steal subway tile backsplash around the oven and the gorgeous stainless steel hood.

Elle Decor

This kitchen deservedly made the rounds in the design blogosphere when it first appeared in Elle Decor. I love the contrast of the large white island with the indigo wood floors and cabinets. The pendant lights and the milk glass chandelier are also envy-inducing.

Massucco Warner Miller Designs

A more modern take on a blue kitchen. I absolutely adore the (Silestone?) countertops and backsplash. The reddish tones in the natural wood floors and trim are a great contrast to the stainless steal and the cool blue of the cabinets.

Michael J. Williams

This kitchen from Michael J. Williams was featured in the latest issue of Traditional Home. As a brief aside, if you haven't picked up the February issue of TH yet, I highly suggest you do. Between the spread on Ruthie Sommers' latest work and Kara Mann's, it's one of the best issues I've seen from any shelter magazine in quite some time. Both spreads are also so reminiscent of domino that I found myself flipping back to the cover periodically just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating and reading a "new" issue of domino. In any case, the blue on this island is almost a chambray and it's this denim-like quality that I think really gives the space a laid back, family-oriented vibe.

Retro Renovation

This kitchen is retro to the point of kitsch, but turquoise and red always make me smile.


When this kitchen first appeared in domino a few years ago, it made me desperate for a chandelier in my kitchen. I love the contrast between the ornate black glass fixture and the sleek and modern kitchen.

House Beautiful

I love the deep royal blue featured on all the cabinetry -- it works so beautifully with the pops of bright citrus that the stylist brought in for the shoot. The color choice here is undoubtedly brave, but it's what elevates this kitchen into magazine-worthy status. The designer also wisely kept the rest of the kitchen quieter with classic Carrera marble counters and backsplash. Matching your counters to your backsplash is a great way to create a seamless and sleek look, which is ideal if you've got a lot of "look" going on elsewhere in your kitchen.

Frank Roop

The Ann Sacks tile featured on the backsplash in this kitchen makes me a bit weak in the knees. It works perfectly with the sleek gray (soapstone?) countertops without feeling overly match-y. I think backsplash is a great way to bring color into a kitchen if you don't want to go for a bold color for your cabinetry. If your tastes change, it's also not nearly as onerous to replace.

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