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Wild Kitchen Colors, Practical Approaches

Conventional wisdom says neutral kitchen colors help sell a house. Why conform? If you’ve ever thought about living in a freewheeling kitchen, here’s the inspiration, plus tips for materials and care.

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Painting with Light

A combination of LED and fluorescent lighting paints this kitchen an electric blue at night. Low-voltage LED lights save money on energy: They use only about 2-10 watts of electricity and can burn for more than 60,000 hours — 60 times longer than an ordinary incandescent light bulb.


Credit: Design by Marcel Jean Vos of VosLED

Image: Design by Marcel Jean Vos of VosLED
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  • Easy-to-clean recycled glass tiles, like these luminescent aqua and sky blue mosaics, are a good choice for potentially wet surfaces, such as kitchen walls and bathroom flooring. Glass tile is comparable in cost to glazed ceramic tile — you’ll spend $5-$20 per square foot at a home improvement center. Save money on kitchen upkeep when you green clean countertops with non-toxic homemade cleaners.


    Credit: Designed by The McMullin Design Group, LLC / Photo by Rich McMullin

  • Believe it or not, this kitchen used to be all white. But that’s nothing that a couple of cans of low-VOC paint and a vivid imagination can’t cure. For an inexpensive kitchen remodeling, painting is hard to beat.


    Credit: Michele Fauss, Mixed Media Artist

  • Hard to look at this kitchen and not think of a creamy frozen treat on a hot summer’s day. This ultra-clean space features tough laminate kitchen countertops and cabinet surfaces. At about $25 per square foot, installed, laminate countertops are about half the price of ceramic tile, and minor scratches are easy to repair. A high-gloss paint sheen on the ceiling helps reflect lots of natural daylight.


    Credit: Doepel Strijkers Architects / Photo by Maarten Laupman

  • A combination of LED and fluorescent lighting paints this kitchen an electric blue at night. Low-voltage LED lights save money on energy: They use only about 2-10 watts of electricity and can burn for more than 60,000 hours — 60 times longer than an ordinary incandescent light bulb.


    Credit: Design by Marcel Jean Vos of VosLED

  • Sometimes, a little color can go a long way. Sink curtains take the place of more-expensive finished cabinet fronts, saving money while adding vibrant hues. Green clean sinks to keep everything sparkling.


    Credit: Frank Espich/The Indianapolis Star

  • Paneling the front of this built-in refrigerator with stained plywood helps it blend with the parquet look of this geometrically styled kitchen. Using high-quality materials, such as hand-crafted kitchen cabinet hardware, helps preserve the resale value of this home.


    Credit: Lou Ann Bauer, ASID, www.bauerdesign.com, San Francisco

  • Although your adult side wants a nice, functional kitchen, the irrepressible child in you knows how cool it would be to build a kitchen with Legos. Score one for the dreams of youth. This mail-order kitchen cabinet was covered with more than 20,000 of the tiny plastic building blocks (about $1,000, used). New kitchen cabinet hardware is an easier, low-cost way to jazz up your kitchen.


    Credit: Céline Clanet

  • Wire racks provide plenty of low-cost kitchen storage, and are perfect for displaying your collection of bowls and canisters, and for showing off your bold kitchen colors. A 24-inch long shelf is $15-$25.


    Credit: Shelly Kay

  • Got an out-of-date kitchen? Fear not: Retro looks are making a comeback, according to Pam Kueber, publisher of RetroRenovation.com. Shown here is Kueber’s kitchen, a time-capsule throwback featuring genuine 1960s-era steel cabinets in a distinctive aqua enamel. For those willing to do the legwork, buying salvaged building materials can save hundreds of dollars over new building components.


    Credit: RetroRenovation.com

  • If you like these, you may want to take a spin through HouseLogic’s library of slideshows.

     

  • Playing the Blues
  • Cornucopia of Kitchen Colors
  • The Dreamsicle Kitchen
  • Painting with Light
  • It’s Curtains for You, Kid
  • Woodn’t Expect It
  • Childhood Aspirations
  • Shelve That Idea
  • Vintage Advantage
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  • childhood-aspirations
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