Color is a key element in any artfully decorated room, but it’s particularly important in your Long Island kitchen. A kitchen is more than jut a room where you prepare meals for your household. It’s the place where family and friends gather to share news of the day, swap stories and enjoy each other’s company. Whether your tastes run to casual and cozy or sleek and sophisticated, the colors you choose for your kitchen will have a huge impact on how everyone feels while they’re in the space. Happily, picking the right colors is made simpler by following a few basic rules.

Identify Your Color Preferences

Chances are you have a favorite color or two, even if you’ve never given the subject much thought. A glance at your closet will likely reveal your color scheme leanings. Pay attention to the lightness or darkness of your clothing choices too. If your wardrobe isn’t bursting with brilliant hues, a muted palette will probably be a more pleasing option for your kitchen than pops of bright colors.

The great outdoors can help you determine the best colors for your kitchen too. Think about the natural environments you love the most. If your idea of paradise is a stretch of beach overlooking the ocean, then a green or blue scheme with sandy-colored accents is an ideal choice. If mountains and forests are more appealing to you, a kitchen filled with natural wood cabinets and neutral stone countertops is a great option.

Know the Characteristics of Color

Colors play a significant role in establishing the mood and atmosphere of a kitchen. Shades on the cool spectrum tend to feel light and airy while warm tones generally make the space feel cozy and comfortable. Colors have visual weight as well. Dark colors recede while light shades expand. A dark-colored base on your kitchen island, for example, can add feeling of solid security to the space. Walls painted the same light color as the cabinets, on the other hand, can make the entire room feel larger than it is.

Consider the Cabinets

Because they encompass so much space, cabinets are by far the most important feature in your kitchen when it comes to color. If your cabinets feature details like molding, recessed panels or carved details, making them a lighter color than their surroundings will showcase their architectural style. Streamlined cabinets in darker shades benefit from small but strong accents, such as handles and knobs in a contrasting color or finish.

If you’ve opted for natural wood cabinets, make the beauty of their color and grain the star attraction. Dark wood cabinets can be showstoppers when paired with lighter elements like white marble countertops or backsplashes. For wood cabinets in pale tones, consider a monochromatic approach. Using deeper and lighter shades of the same color throughout your Long Island kitchen can create a calming and subtly elegant atmosphere.

Keep Everything in Proportion

Interior designers often use the 60-30-10 rule when creating a color scheme. The main color in the palette covers around 60 percent of the space, and a secondary color is used on 30 percent of the room’s features and furnishings. The two main colors are typically analogous, meaning that they’re close to each other on the color wheel. The remaining 10 percent is used for accenting colors in your Long Island kitchen for features like fixtures, lighting, hardware and accessories.

Be Wary of Fads and Trends

Although it’s fun to be fashionable when choosing colors for your kitchen, the last thing you want is for the space to look dated in a year or two. It’s a safer bet to confine your use of trendy colors to things that won’t cost a bundle to change, such as curtains, linens and accessories. More than any other room in your home, your Long Island kitchen has the most built-ins and permanently installed features. Colors that will stand the time of time will make your kitchen color scheme pleasing for many years to come.