Who doesn’t want a happy kitchen? With the world so dreary, a little yellow can go a long way. In these uncertain times, we’re drawn to colors that don’t need to be impeccable, that can hide the messiness of life. “There’s a sense of energy and nourishment in bright colors,” said Ingrid Fetell Lee, the author of “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness.”
Alessandra Wood, the vice president of style for Modsy, an online interior-design service, told me that homeowners are looking for comfort and coziness in design choices, so why not our kitchens, too? “In this really unstable world, we are looking for anything that makes us feel comfortable, and we are definitely turning to our homes to do that,” she said.
Just look at the color Pantone chose for its color of the year: classic blue, because it “highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation.” Paint companies Sherwin-Williams and PPG also ushered in the new decade with blue as their picks of the year in a collective nod to what might soon be our new neutral — call it bluetral.
We’re also living in our homes differently. After decades of relentless moving, Americans are moving at the lowest rates since the U.S. census began tracking our mobility, with fewer than 10 percent of Americans moving between 2018 and 2019. Baby boomers are aging in place and millennials, facing rising housing costs and stagnating wages, are less likely to house hop. With no plans to stake a “for sale” sign in the front yard, why commit to the safe and listless colors of a staged house?
Greige, that dreary hue that is neither gray nor beige, but took over our homes for over a decade, is decidedly out. The relentlessly white kitchen may be next. It made a lot of sense in the era of house flipping. White looks clean and is unlikely to offend a potential buyer. Who hates white? And if your home is perpetually one renovation away from its next open house, white is a natural go-to color. It’s a kitchen designed for future buyers, not the specific tastes of the current inhabitants.
But let’s face it: White looks clean only when it is clean. The rest of the time, it is not the most practical color for a room that regularly gets splashed with marinara sauce. There is something to be said for a little color to hide the imperfections.
“We’re living in our spaces longer, so there’s an extra level of consideration that people are giving to them,” Ms. Wood said. “We’re thinking, ‘How do I make this space into a space that I really feel comfortable in?’”
So if there is no buyer on the horizon, if the kitchen remodel is just for you, the view widens. Why not wash the whole room in turquoise? It doesn’t really matter what some fictional buyer might think. You can be you and paint the cabinets pink.