Decide what mood you're trying to create
Reds, pinks and oranges are considered "warm" colors; blues, greens and purples are "cool." Warm colors make a room feel smaller and cozier, while cool colors tend to make a room feel larger and more tranquil. Paler shades on the ceiling make rooms feel taller.
The trend this spring is for more cool colors throughout the home--heather gray, pale blue, and light green. But many people have fond memories of their grandmother's cheery yellow kitchen--and as a result, yellow will also be showing up more often in today's kitchens. Americans are also drawing inspiration from the warm, spicy colors of South Asia and Latin America: saffron orange, paprika red and cocoa browns.
What are your favorite colors?
Do you like monochromatic color schemes, or bold geometric shapes? Is blue your favorite? If you're planning to stay put for the foreseeable future, now is the perfect time to update your kitchen to match your personal tastes.
Are you getting ready to sell?
If so, painting walls a neutral beige with white trim will appeal to the widest range of buyers. Add interest with throw rugs, hand towels and table linens in deep reds.
Add color with accent pieces
Even if your appliances are all white, you can experiment with a set of brightly colored dishes or tabletop fabrics. You can even buy a blender or toaster in a bold red or bright blue. It's less expensive to change colors later when you use accessories that are easy to replace.
Consider a faux finish
Many people add pizzazz to their kitchen walls with specialized painting techniques, such as combing, ragging, striping or sponging. The texture adds visual interest. (Start with only one wall to see how you like it.) Check with your paint supplier for complete instructions.
Tie it all together
Many paint stores and home improvement centers can mix a custom color to exactly match a fabric swatch, artwork or other color source. You can coordinate the colors in carpets, upholstery, wallpaper and walls to tie the whole room together.
Take your time
Paint color is the most versatile element of your remodel--it's the easiest and least expensive thing to change if you aren't happy with the results. Still, it's best to wait until you have a color scheme for the whole room, including fabrics, window coverings and rugs, before you buy. That way, you have the best chance for a matched look.
Getting used to new colors may take some time. But add fabrics, furniture and other things you love, and you'll soon feel as at home in your new kitchen as you did in Grandma's.