The Impact of Color Psychology in Luxury Kitchen Design

May 13, 2024

Alistair Fleming Design

The post explores how color psychology influences luxury kitchen design, emphasising how different hues like red, blue, and green affect mood and behavior. It also highlights the role of premium paint brands like Little Greene, Farrow & Ball, and Mylands in creating sophisticated and emotionally resonant kitchen spaces.


When stepping into a kitchen, one's mood can instantly shift. This phenomenon is largely influenced by the color scheme of the space. In luxury kitchens, where both design and functionality are paramount, the choice of color is not merely aesthetic but a deliberate decision aimed at evoking specific emotions and behaviors. This article explores how different colors can influence mood and behavior in the kitchen, with a particular focus on luxury aesthetics.

1. The Science of Color Psychology:

Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. Colors can evoke physiological reactions, influence perceptions, and alter mood and psychological states. In the context of kitchen design, understanding color psychology can help create an environment that enhances the user's culinary experience and enjoyment of the space.

2. Red – Energy and Appetite Stimulation:

Red, a color often associated with passion and energy, is known to stimulate appetite. It is a popular choice in dining areas and kitchens. Studies have shown that red can increase heart rate and blood pressure, contributing to a sense of excitement and activity in the kitchen (Elliot & Maier, 2014). However, in luxury kitchens, the use of red needs to be balanced with neutral tones to prevent it from being overwhelming, thereby maintaining an air of sophistication.


- Elliot, A. J., & Maier, M. A. (2014). Color psychology: Effects of perceiving color on psychological functioning in humans. Annual review of psychology, 65, 95-120. Retrieved from [Annual Reviews](

3. Blue – Calm and Clean:

Blue is considered calming, reflecting serenity and peace. It is less common in kitchens because it supposedly suppresses appetite. Yet, in high-end designs where a serene, spa-like feel is desired, blue can be used effectively in combination with warmer hues or natural elements to provide balance. According to Whitfield and Wiltshire (1990), blue can also create a sense of cleanliness and hygiene, which is beneficial in a kitchen setting.


- Whitfield, T. W. A., & Wiltshire, T. J. (1990). Color psychology: A critical review. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 116(4), 385-411. Retrieved from [PubMed](

4. Yellow – Warmth and Happiness:

Yellow, reminiscent of sunshine, is energising and uplifting and can make kitchen spaces feel more welcoming and warm. It’s ideal for creating a cheerful, inviting environment. In luxury settings, softer shades of yellow can add a subtle warmth without overpowering the senses. A study by Wexner (1954) found that yellow is often associated with positive feelings of happiness and energy.


- Wexner, L. B. (1954). The degree to which colors (hues) are associated with mood-tones. Journal of Applied Psychology, 38(6), 432. Retrieved from [APA PsycNet](

5. Green – Nature and Freshness:

Green, which denotes nature and renewal, is becoming a trendy color in luxury kitchen designs. It promotes feelings of wellbeing and freshness, making it an excellent choice for kitchens where health and organic living are emphasised. A study by Stone and English (1998) highlights that green is associated with calmness and tranquility, which can create a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen.


- Stone, N. J., & English, A. J. (1998). Task type, posters, and workspace color on mood, satisfaction, and performance. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 18(2), 175-185. Retrieved from [ScienceDirect](

6. Neutrals – Elegance and Flexibility:

Neutral colors like white, grey, and beige offer versatility and a timeless appeal. They reflect light, making the kitchen look larger and more open. In luxury kitchens, these colors provide a backdrop that highlights high-end materials and allows for flexible decor changes. According to a study by Yildirim, Akalin-Baskaya, and Hidayetoglu (2007), neutral tones are perceived as sophisticated and can make spaces appear more elegant and refined.


- Yildirim, K., Akalin-Baskaya, A., & Hidayetoglu, M. L. (2007). Effects of indoor color on mood and cognitive performance. Building and Environment, 42(9), 3233-3240. Retrieved from [ScienceDirect](

Luxury Paint Brands and Their Influence:

Luxury paint brands like Little Greene Paint Company, Farrow & Ball, and Mylands are known for their exquisite color palettes and high-quality pigments that contribute to the overall feel of a space. Little Greene's "Chocolate No. 124" offers a deep, rich brown that evokes warmth and comfort, perfect for a cozy yet elegant kitchen. Farrow & Ball's "Hague Blue" is a timeless deep blue that provides a sense of calm and sophistication, making it a popular choice for luxury kitchens. Mylands, with its heritage colors, brings historical depth and character to kitchen designs.


- Little Greene Paint Company (2024). Available at: [Little Greene]
- Farrow & Ball (2024). Available at: [Farrow & Ball]
- Mylands (2024). Available at: [Mylands]

Trends in 2023 and 2024:

For 2024, nature-inspired palettes are dominating luxury kitchen design, reflecting a broader trend towards sustainability and wellness in home environments. Shades of green, earthy browns, and muted blues are trending, as they bring a sense of the outdoors in, promoting relaxation and a connection to nature (Houzz, 2023).


- Houzz (2023). "Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2023." Available at: [Houzz]


The strategic use of color in kitchen design can transform a standard space into a profoundly psychological experience that complements the luxurious elements of the design. Choosing the right colors for a luxury kitchen requires a deep understanding of color psychology paired with an awareness of the overall aesthetic and functional goals of the space.

This exploration not only enhances the design process but ensures that the kitchen is a reflection of the owner’s style and emotional comfort, making it a truly central part of the luxury home.

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