Wake up your kitchen with eye-catching color

If you are itching to change up the look of your kitchen but a full remodel is not to be, there are still plenty of ways to punch up your space with refreshing color and bold details. From painted ceilings, floors and patterns to color scheme ideas and more, join us and discover 12 creative ways to add color to your kitchen with little more than a can of paint and ingenuity.

Lift your mood with a cheery striped ceiling. Your arms will beg for mercy with all of that taping and painting overhead, but your eyes will thank you when the job is done. Wide stripes in sunshine yellow and white are a bold choice, but kept to the ceiling they feel fun and unique without overwhelming the space.

Try an all-over stencil. Want the look of wallpaper without the high price tag? Why not try your hand at an all-over wall stencil instead? There are many cool, modern versions on the market, and even doing a single accent wall would make a big impact.

Read up on the technique in this handy Houzz tutorial.

Use superpigmented hues for a rich effect. Vibrant turquoise is gorgeous on its own, but it really stands out when paired with equally bold red and a gleaming metallic touch, like the chairs and pendant lights shown here.

Map out a new color scheme with large-scale wall art. A great way to instantly bring a splash of color into the kitchen is with an oversize piece of art. It need not be precious to do the job; think topographical maps, vintage school charts and botanical illustrations.

If you like what you see, you can further the look by pulling your room's paint colors from the art for a built-in color scheme.

Double up on tropical hues for a bold, zesty look. Fresh lime green or Caribbean blue would be striking on its own, but put the two together and you can instantly evoke the laid-back pace, swaying trees and crystal-clear waters of the tropics. Clean, cleared surfaces and modern stainless steel help steer this look into sleek rather than gimmicky territory.

Add color and pattern with carpet tiles. The kitchen floor must withstand heavy traffic, spills and frequent cleaning, making it a less-than-ideal candidate for a traditional rug. But adding softness and color on the floor can be accomplished in a more practical way with carpet tiles, which can be removed individually for cleaning or replacing.

Paint the floor for an easy-care "rug." Another appealing option for the kitchen is to paint or even stencil the floor for a built-in rug effect. The glossy pale blue shown here is light and pretty yet won't show every single crumb that falls, and it cleans up easily.

Enlarge your space with sky-blue ceilings. Blue ceilings are often found on porches, but why not give them a try indoors? A blue ceiling in the kitchen will make you feel like you are cooking in the open air, increasing the sense of space.

Accent wood cabinets with warm sunset hues. When you are looking to add to an existing kitchen scheme, working what you have into the new design is key. If warm woods are already in play with counters and cupboards, try laying down sunset-hued carpet tiles and painting the walls crisp white for a fresh look.

Use a focal wall at the end of a galley kitchen. If a narrow galley-style kitchen is cramping your style, try taking the emphasis down the hall with a bold painted wall in the breakfast nook. Add a sculptural pendant light and shapely chairs tucked into a round table to complete the scene.

Start small with a single painted accent. I love the idea of painting the interior of one cupboard (with doors removed and holes filled) or the wall behind a set of floating shelves to frame a selection of your favorite dishes or cookware. It is always surprising how much impact a small change like this can make to the entire room.

Wash your kitchen in soothing shades of a single hue. For a tranquil look, try working in several shades of the same cool color in different parts of the kitchen. Here, a pretty turquoise was used to repaint cabinets, while a paler, watered-down version of the same hue was used on the walls to great effect.


Laura Gaskill -- You can find Gaskill on her blog Lolalina (http://www.lolalina.com/), where she shares inspiring interiors, design finds, cute baby pictures, and updates on her own progress in decorating her first house.

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