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Beyond White: hot color trends for the kitchen and bath

So many of us love the rich colors featured in kitchen and bath magazines, but when it comes to selecting colors for our own homes, we tend to play it safe. It’s time to be bold and get out of the color comfort zone.

Consider these top five color trends for kitchen and bath spaces:

1. Gray reigns king

The 2013 NKBA Trends Report names gray the coveted color of the year. According to the report, use of gray color schemes in both kitchens and baths has dramatically increased since 2010, particularly over the past year. The hue is currently used in 55 percent of kitchens and 56 percent of bathrooms.

“I regularly work gray into my projects because it instantly elevates the design and adds depth to the palette,” says senior interior designer Travis Rotelli, who works at the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wis. “I love incorporating it with Kohler enameled cast iron sink - there are five different shades of gray to choose from, which makes it easy to find one to complement the other colors in the space and then echo that shade through the backsplash tile or paint color.”

2. Bold and beautiful hues

Neutrals are classic, but pops of strategically placed color add life to kitchen and baths. “Emerald and varying shades of green are hot pops of colors for 2013, and the color for 2014 will be all about cobalt,” states Rotelli. While he says “it” hues are fun, he encourages homeowners to identify colors they personally enjoy. “We all have one color we’re always drawn to; the one that repeats in our wardrobes and home decor. That is the color to use as an accent in the kitchen or bath. Color trends come and go, but one that resonates with your design aesthetic and reflects you as an individual you’ll always love,” Rotelli says.

3. Evolve from white

Neutral no longer simply means white. Homeowners are eagerly embracing other colors in place of white, like Dune from Kohler, available for sinks, baths, shower bases and toilets. “Dune is a subtle balance of beige and gray that brings a cool tone to the space - a true neutral that works well in place of white and adds a nuance of sophistication to the room’s color palette,” says Rotelli.

4. Colors that evoke emotion

“Color psychology is a powerful thing,” Rotelli says; restaurants use appetizing hues to stimulate hunger, and stores harness its influence in hopes that you’ll shop more. “Certain colors can evoke certain emotions throughout the home, as well.” Homeowners who keep the emotional aspect of color in mind during the design process reap the reward of a truly personalized space. “Blues and greens are popular bathroom choices for good reason: both evoke a soothing sense of calm and healing.” When it comes to kitchens, Rotelli says people are often drawn to colors from their past, because it evokes fond memories from their childhood.

5. Unexpected color

When it comes to color, sometimes you need to break the rules. Some of the best kitchen and bath designs incorporate color in unexpected ways. Remodeling projects provide the perfect opportunity to incorporate color beyond a fresh coat of paint or new window treatments. “Glass tile in kitchens or baths make it easy to introduce new color and texture,” Rotelli says. For those looking to create a more cultivated color scheme and palette, he also suggests thinking outside the box by considering a new faucet finish or incorporating new materials, such as metal.

If you’re ready for color, but still feel a little unsure, Rotelli has one final piece of advice: “When you do select a color, bring samples, swatches and chips home. Let them sit in the space and observe them at different times of the day. Materials can look much different in your home than how they appear under the bright lights of a showroom,” he says.

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