Cure for a Moody Foodie: Color in the Kitchen

When you belly up to your kitchen island, do you feel refreshed or resigned? The answer to creating the energy you crave may reside in a paint can. Click to find a kitchen color that will influence your mood—and send a style message, too.

You Want to Calm Down

You Want to Calm Down

Ever wonder why we book it to the beach when life gets hectic? The sunshine and umbrella drinks are nice perks, but it’s the azure hue of the sea and sky that instantly relaxes a frenzied mind. Bonus: Blues are also associated with trustworthiness, dependability and security, so you’re likely to feel anything but the blues in a cerulean kitchen.

Strokes of genius: Use deep cobalt tones in small doses (the island cabinetry), and brush a gentle, icy blue on the walls to keep the space bright.

The color: Behr Pale Sky (560A-1)

You Want to Rev Up

You Want to Rev Up

Red’s not the color of romance for nothin’: Dramatic scarlet ignites passion, power and excitement. And if you haven’t got quite the chops to make it on Iron Chef, fear not: Even Monday night’s meatloaf should go down easier in a crimson kitchen, as red spaces have been shown to increase appetite.

Strokes of genius: Contemporary tomato-red walls will pop against stark white cabinetry.

The color: Behr Fiery Red (180B-6)

You Want to Smile

You Want to Smile

How can weedy dandelions put a smile on your face? It’s the yellow—a happy hue that exudes cheer, warmth and optimism.

Strokes of genius: In the kitchen, skip blinding hues that read “preschool” or “lemonade stand.” Instead, opt for mature shades of honey, pale citrus and peach flesh.

The color: Behr June Day (370B-4)

You Want to Energize

You Want to Energize

The avocado appliances of the disco era were ahead of their time: Green kitchens make us feel refreshed, rejuvenated and motivated—just what you need when you’re staring down weeknight dinnertime.

Strokes of genius: Right now, the entire green spectrum is trending, from brooding emerald on cabinetry to vivid Granny Smith apple on walls.

The color: Behr Crisp Green (410B-6)

You Want to Impress

You Want to Impress

Gray isn’t only chic, it’s a bit of a chameleon: Ultralight dove and smokey tints bend the disposition toward clarity, while darker steel and charcoal exude mystery.

Strokes of genius: Choose a tranquil, balanced shade for the hub of your home: A medium gray exudes sophistication and serenity, and makes an ideal backdrop for colorful accessories you can swap out whenever the mood strikes.

The color: Behr Sterling (780E-3)