The effectiveness of a colour scheme in any one room in a house depends upon the colour schemes of all the other rooms. You might find a house with colour schemes of strong, contrasting colours in room after room visually exhausting. If, however, the predominating colour schemes in most rooms strike a balance between warm pastels--wheat and linen colours--and cool pastels--light colour greys--a kitchen with a high-energy black and red colour scheme provides a welcome counterpoint.
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Red and Black Accents
Create a contemporary kitchen design with a balance of warm and cool pastels, then introduce strong red and black accents that add energy and drama. Bleached oak kitchen cabinets and light grey walls take up most of the visual field. Add black granite countertops, simple black door and drawer pulls and a burgundy red Le Cornue stove.
An Update on a White Kitchen
An update on a 1950s all white kitchen features the white walls and white painted cabinets of the modern kitchen of that period, but adds anachronistic dark red linoleum floors and polished concrete countertops treated with black concrete acid stain.
An Urban Kitchen
An all black and red kitchen, particularly a small galley or open plan galley kitchen, works well in a setting such as a downtown Manhattan or Los Angeles loft, where these colours connect to similarly strong colours in the urban environment. This restricted colour scheme might become visually overwhelming in a large kitchen. A small black and red kitchen becomes a welcome accent in a large, otherwise monochromatic loft space. You can further dramatise the differences between the kitchen and the rest of the loft by emphasising hard, shiny and reflective finishes in the kitchen: stainless steel appliances and countertops, black floor tiles and high-gloss red walls and ceiling.
Horizontal and Vertical
When designing an all red and black kitchen, use a strong design principle that organises the colours and textures of all the architectural elements. Make all horizontal surfaces red, all vertical surfaces black, or vice versa. Paint the walls and cabinets a glossy mandarin red. Use matt granite slabs on the countertops and matt granite tiles on the floor. This opposition of both colour--red and black--and texture--gloss and matt--heightens the dramatic effect.
Black and Red Checkerboard
Buy small scale linoleum or vinyl tiles that measure 1 to 3 inches on a side. A black and red checkerboard kitchen floor pattern using these small tiles hides dirt very well and adds a note of playfulness. Repeat the pattern on a full-height backsplash. Vary this design by deliberately disorganising the alternating black and red tiles in front of doors--as if the tiles had come through the doorway randomly, then organised themselves into a checkerboard pattern as they progressed into the room.
An Architectural Color Division
Paint two adjacent walls a glossy black. Paint the other two walls a glossy Chinese red. Put black cabinets in front of the black walls and red cabinets in front of the red wells, or do the opposite: put black cabinets in front of red walls and red cabinets in front of black walls.
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