The #1 Mistake to Avoid in Your Kitchen Design

The kitchen. The core of the home. The center where the family meets, eats, starts their day, does their homework and hangs out in whenever there is a party.

Since the kitchen is such an important room in the home, really think about its function when designing your kitchen. Also, really think about your kitchen color palette and layout before you commit to any plans.

I’m not an official Kitchen Designer but do have a background in kitchen and interior design. I have been in enough homes to notice where all the design flaws are and I’m going go tell you a really easy way to either avoid it or fix it. Ok, let’s find out what the #1 mistake to avoid in your kitchen design is.


So what is the #1 mistake to avoid in your kitchen design? In one word – COLOR. Now color includes a large spectrum from walls to floor. I’m going to show you how to pin point the right color palette for your kitchen and save you tons of money and a whole lot of aggravation. It’ll also make my job easier if I come to your home to choose color for the rest of your home (call me) … 🙂

This is so crazy important to specify in the design stage. If you conquer just this part of your kitchen design, the rest will really be a piece of cake.

There are really just two basic ways you can go with color. You have to decide on a color flow which boils down to undertones. I can’t stress enough how important this is.

Do you want a Warm & Cozy kitchen or a Cool & Sleek kitchen? Answer that question and you are 99% on your way to the perfect kitchen. That’s it! Warm or Cool but not both.


What does this mean and how do you do it? Ok, that’s two questions and I’ll break it down for you but first I want to add this. Really take your time and decide which of these two color choices are for you. I’ve been in dozens of kitchen where these two elements are mixed up and it makes my job as a Color Specialist in Charlotte a challenge to unify a color palette for the rest of the home.

Mixing “warm and cozy” with “cool and sleek” is like having a Spaghetti dinner with soy sauce on it. The two just don’t go together. I’m not saying you can’t make it work but it just won’t be 100% right. Is putting soy sauce on spaghetti fixable? Not in my world but I’m sure there are some people who love that.

Anyway, a stomach upset later, here’s a visual of what I’m talking about.  This is a very typical kitchen design in both color product. Most of my clients have the gold-brown granite, the golden tone cabinet, average neutral floor tile and lighting with the amber glass.

Scenario Ι Warm & Cozy

Designed by Donna Frasca

Designed by Donna Frasca

You’ll also see one of these three paint colors on the wall. Bet you have one of these hues don’t you or at least something close to it. And it makes sense. These colors are “warm” colors that will go with your Warm & Cozy kitchen design. Perfect.


You can even choose colors along this line which are not so typical of warm and cozy but will work with that kitchen design.


or go bold …bold_kitchen_colors

Now here’s where the trouble starts and I’ve seen this in kitchens before and it’s very unsettling. Are these horrible colors? No but they are a nightmare when the rest of your kitchen is Warm & Cozy and cooler colors are on the wall.


So what’s the lesson learned here? If your kitchen is Warm & Cozy (yellow undertones) than it’s really important to keep your paint color in the same family. Don’t try to be cool when you’re not 😉

Scenario ΙΙ Cool & Sleek

designed by Donna Frasca

designed by Donna Frasca

Now let’s see some paint colors that will look best with Cool & Sleek. See how these colors work better? Look back and the warmer colors and compare it to these cooler hues.




If you can remember to keep your undertones the same, you will be headed in the right direction. Just look at a paint color, door hardware, floor tile, backsplash, counter top, or lighting fixture and ask yourself if it’s warm or cool. When you master this, you’re on your way to a beautiful kitchen.

If you can’t master deciphering your undertones, contact Donna Frasca, a Color Specialist in Charlotte and I’d be more than happy to help you avoid the #1 mistake in your kitchen design.

About Donna Frasca

I am an energy that has found a new vibration and frequency. Through many years of writing, learning, and experiencing, I've found comfort in trusting in myself and in Spirit.
This entry was posted in Color, Color Tips, Kitchen, Kitchen Colors, Paint Color and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The #1 Mistake to Avoid in Your Kitchen Design

  1. The people of Charlotte need you, Donna! Kitchen renos are so expensive – hiring a color specialist is a drop in the bucket by comparison, and it’s money well spent to ensure you don’t end up with a brand new kitchen you hate because something’s “not quite right” (usually, it’s color!). And there is nothing more satisfying (for me, anyway) than helping a client avoid disappointment and, ultimately, save money and headaches by doing it the right way the first go-around! I like how you broke it down by warm/cool :).

  2. You have amazing ideas. For that cool kitchen, what color flooring, hardwood, would you use?

    • Donna Frasca says:

      Thank you Christa! For the “Cool” kitchen I would use a wide plank, hand scraped laminate flooring, in a medium/dark walnut on an angle of course. Can’t you just see it? Pretty 🙂

  3. GREAT post, Donna – good explanation of something I run into all the time: people who want to design their own kitchen, but who choose elements that are both cool and warm. The combo can be, well, let’s just say it would have been well worth the investment to have pulled in a kitchen designer or color expert for a couple of hours before all those decisions were set in stone (pun intended).

  4. I absolutely love what you have written here because it makes the whole color selection business simple. Most people struggle with choosing colors and often still end up with something that doesn’t quite look right. You’ve nailed it. Why stop at the kitchen? Your formula will work in other rooms as well, yes? Thank you. I’m posting this link on my Facebook Group page and tweeting it!

  5. June Blasey says:

    Hi Donna! I really like your ‘warm and cozy’. By chance do you know the name of that granite? I am trying to find a granite that does not have any purples or pink tones. Thanks!

  6. jblasey says:

    Donna, I really like your ‘warm and cozy’. Do you know the granite in the pic? I am trying to find a granite without purple and pinks. Thanks.

  7. Dawn Huckeba says:

    Donna, I am in Love with the “warm and cozy”. Can you tell me the name of the iridescent accent tile please. Thanks

  8. Diana Colombo says:

    We are doing our kitchen over, we have chocolate glaze maple cabinets with black pretoria granite, the floor is brown tile ( only thing we didn’t change) stain less appliances. Think we are cool colors, the walls will be rever pewter. Trying to decide on back splash. Subway tile I like. Any suggestions?

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