Blue Kitchens: 10 Bright Ideas

Blue is my favorite color. When I play a game, I want the blue piece. My favorite fruit? Blueberries, of course. My bedroom is blue; my bathroom is blue; my sons’ rooms are blue; my living room is (mostly) blue, and my kitchen is….green. Okay, so it’s mint green, admittedly a blue-based shade, but still: not blue.

Why did I veer off track in that one, all-important room?

Because I wanted the kitchen to look warm, from the sand-colored countertops to the light oak floor—and blue just felt too crisp and cool for a space I hoped would shout “welcome”.

That’s not to say I don’t like blue kitchens. Actually, I love them. One of my all-time favorite kitchens is a study in bright white, with a backsplash of periwinkle blue subway tiles. But that kitchen was in a New Jersey Shore beach house, where the watery palette looked right at home, especially in the summer. Someday, I hope to have my own beach house to drench in all the blue and white it can take, but until then, I’ll have to live vicariously.

So, for anyone else who shares my blue mood (and I’m betting there are a lot of you; 40% of people worldwide picked blue as their favorite color, making it the most popular color on Earth), I’ve collected 10 brilliant blue kitchens. Dive into the big blue…

 

Southern Accents

This is similar to my all-time-favorite blue kitchen. I think the bamboo blinds are the key to the success of this space: They add just enough natural texture and color to balance all the stark white, cold glass, and shiny tile. Make sure the Kitchen Faucets you buy, matches the shade of the cooktop stove and chimney.

House Beautiful

Normally, when I ooh and aah over a blue kitchen, I’m drawn to paler shades of blue, but I love the near-navy cabinetry in this space. It’s so crisp and clean and feels surprisingly contemporary. I think I would have opted for a stainless steel refrigerator instead of one panel to match the cabinets, just to up the mod factor a bit, but still—it’s gorgeous, isn’t it?

Decor*Pad

Here’s a very different approach to blue cabinetry. Not quite as dramatic as the example above, but super-sophisticated. The linchpin of the design (Jennifer Lopez’s home, incidentally, is the black La Cornue range: It grounds the light-as-air space with an unexpected dose of depth. Donkee House

Here’s a solution for the blues-obsessed among us who can’t quite commit to a true-blue room: Go blue on the down-low. I love painted wood floors, and these aqua wide-plank floors are just perfect. The rooms still look warm and inviting, thanks to the mustardy walls and the pops of red, but cool, too.

Mother Nature Inspired

You might consider this kitchen “cheating”: after all, it’s not blue, it’s gray. But I chose it for the fabulous retro refrigerator—what a great way to introduce a strong color into an essentially neutral (and uber-chic) space. The flower-filled canisters on the island pull the turquoise from the fridge back into the picture just enough to make it work, without feeling too matchy-matchy. Design Wagen

I’m a big believer in balance, in design as in everything else. So in a very sleek, contemporary space like this one, I love to see some element that provides a counterpoint to all the minimalism. The busy pattern of oblong tiles does the trick quite nicely. And kudos to the designer for choosing wood countertops and floors—imagine how clinical this kitchen would have felt if either surface had been white.

Home-Designing

This shot is from a showroom, so the props are a little stagey (notice the weirdly placed macaroons and an overabundance of chickens), but I chose it for two important reasons. First, I really like the combination of pale blue and sandstone—it’s somehow fresher than blue and white, which (much as I love it) is just so expected. Second, the woodgrain: Note how you can see the texture of the wood through the stain. That little detail makes the cabinetry endlessly more interesting.

kitchenbuilding.com

One last take on blue cabinets. I’ve seen so many older kitchens with perfectly serviceable wood cabinets—invariably in an uninspiring shade of brown. Imagine if those dull doors were stripped and stained a soft blue, letting the wood grain show through a bit. Add some simple, contemporary hardware and inexpensive subway tiles and you’ve got a cool, modern kitchen. On a budget. Go blue…save green.

Interiorly

I hardly know where to start with this picture—there are so many great things to mention. The two shades of blue on the walls and trim are a genius: close enough to highlight the architecture without looking all period. And I love the way the prints are displayed, just floating inside plain black frames. Again, a modern twist on a traditional look. But the bright red chairs are the best part. I, for one, would never think to pair tomato red with pale blue (I always go for an orange-and-blue combo, myself) but it works amazingly well—even with the hint of chartreuse on the table. Amazing!

House Beautiful

Last but not least: Here’s an example of too much of a good thing. I love the patterned ceiling, and the island is fabulous—the chrome trim really makes it sing. To me, the floor, countertops, bar stools, and light fixtures are just overkill. But how great would this island look in the kitchen with slate floors and stainless steel countertops? Do you agree? Let me know!

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