Karen Williams shares her color tips with Beautiful Kitchens & Baths magazine

A kitchen’s color palette is 100 percent project-specific, Karen Williams told Beautiful Kitchens & Baths magazine in a  recent Color by Design feature headlined “The Beauty of Subtle Color.”  A home’s architectural style and location are two key elements she first considers.

Beautiful Kitchens & Baths Winter 2011 cover

Beautiful Kitchens & Baths magazine published four "no-fail" color palettes from Karen Williams.

For example, a white kitchen might work perfectly in a classic Hamptons cottage. But for an historic Baton Rouge home where many materials are natural or reclaimed, she recently recommended a classic French palette with Mediterranean influences.

With a color-shy client, Williams suggests considering a shade that appears in other rooms of the home, one they are already comfortable with, to inspire their kitchen palette.

Beautiful Kitchens & Baths Winter 2011 Karen Williams

Beautiful Kitchens & Baths cited Karen Williams' "dreamy color palettes" in a recent article.

Room size matters, too.  ”Most people think a large kitchen can accommodate a lot of color, but I feel that too much color in a large space can be overwhelming,” Williams told the magazine. “In such a setting the space itself provides plenty of drama, so I often use a more delicate palette to keep the overall impression in scale.”

“In smaller kitchens, you can have more fun with color because the space functions much like a piece of art that’s viewed singly and in its totality.”

Overall today she sees more combinations of color. “Homeowners are open to lacquered cabinets and grayer shades of oak. They’re experimenting far more now than in the past,” Williams told the magazine.


Karen Williams: More ways to ban boring

In her first column for East Coast Home + Design magazine, Karen Williams began a crusade against boring all-white or monochromatic kitchens. Here are a few more of her ideas to bring life and personality to your kitchen, the same way you would add embellishments to other rooms of your home with colorful fabrics, textures and details.

Mirror, mirror on the (cabinet) wall

A mirrored refrigerator armoire, stainless cabinets at the sink, and stainless feet on the mahogany cabinets keep a traditional kitchen fresh. The change in countertop material from marble to butcher block on the prep center spices it up even more.

A mirrored refrigerator armoire, stainless cabinets at the sink, and stainless feet on the mahogany cabinets freshen a traditional kitchen. The change in countertop material from marble to butcher block on the prep center spices it up even more. The marble repeats on the wall behind open shelves.

Create a centerpiece

The lipstick red cooking island dresses up this kitchen and makes everything around it look extra special. Think beyond     around

The lipstick red cooking island dresses up this kitchen and makes everything around it look extra special. Think beyond the predictable stainless when it comes to appliances. This range takes center stage on its own tile "rug."

In the hood

A dramatic hood can take center stage in a kitchen, becoming a focal point. Here Williams created a custom metal hood with special strapping detail. Other options such as wood or plaster hoods can also elevate a kitchen.

A dramatic hood can take center stage in a kitchen, becoming a focal point. Here Williams created a custom metal hood with special strapping detail. Other options such as wood or plaster hoods can also elevate a kitchen.

Dish it up

A glass-front china cabinet brings a fun burst of color to a kitchen without overwhelming the room.

A glass-front china cabinet brings a fun burst of color to a kitchen without overwhelming the room.

While Willliams does not advocate a free-spirited potpourri of color and fashion in a kitchen, she does believe that mixing materials, textures and colors adds a sophisticated and subtle excitement that can’t be achieved with a more conventional approach.

Copyright 2010 St. Charles of New York




Karen Williams: Banish the bland and boring

In her new column Kitchen Cookbook for East Coast Home + Design magazine, Karen Williams writes that far too many homeowners default to the safety of all-white kitchens or a dull line-up of matching wood cabinets. Yet some simple techniques can go a long way toward embellishing and personalizing the most frequented room in the home.

Here the Kitchen Mixmaster offers a few of her ideas for banishing the boring, banal and bland without going overboard.

Heat it up with color in the cooking center

A blue range with matching cabinets on either side creates a cooking center that enlivens a white kitchen. Glass doors and a stainless drawer also mix it up.

A blue range with matching cabinets on either side creates a cooking center that enlivens a white kitchen. Glass doors and stainless drawers mix it up even more.

Look the room up and down

williams scarsdale overall

Ceilings and floors are the largest areas of a kitchen, but the also the most frequently ignored when it comes to adding personality. Here Williams created a lovely soft ceiling treatment with detailed molding and a subtle paint color. And on the floor a tile mosaic "area rug" defines the space in front of the range. All are tasteful ways of escaping the mundane.

Counter play can be fun

Three countertop materials are artfully combined in this kitchen. Calacutta gold marble on the island inter- sects with a round American walnut butcher block prep center. Elsewhere, lava stone in a custom blue color coor- dinates with the wall tile.

Mixing up three different counter top materials brings life to an all-wood kitchen. Calacutta gold marble on the island intersects with a round American walnut butcher block prep center. Around the perimeter Williams brought in lava stone in a custom blue color to coordinate with the wall tile.

Treat walls wonderfully

A tile mosaic treated as a piece of art and illuminated with a picture light takes a white kitchen to a new level. The butcher block top on the prep station brings more texture to the space.

A tile mosaic treated as a piece of art and illuminated with a picture light takes a white kitchen to a new level. The butcher block top on the prep station brings more texture to the space.

Any kitchen can easily be elevated with a little creativity. For that bland  white or all-wood kitchen, the antidote is discriminate use of color, detail, texture and pattern. Stay tuned for more ways to banish boring.

Copyright 2010 St. Charles of New York