Is green the new white? When it comes to kitchens, it may be. While 39 percent of the industry experts who participated in 1stDibs’ 2023 Designer Trends Survey said that white would remain the go-to color this year, 26 percent felt sage was destined to be the top hue, and 24 percent predicted that emerald would be the most desired.
With 56 percent of survey respondents expecting to take on kitchen renovations and upgrades in 2023, you have to believe we’ll be seeing a lot more green in the near future. For that reason, we asked 11 forward-thinking interior designers how they’ve already incorporated it into their work.
“I love to use shades of sage,” says Jake Arnold. “They feel like a neutral, yet they’re unexpected.” That partiality is evident in the kitchen of a Los Angeles residence Arnold designed for a family who wanted it to be a “comfortable and inviting” gathering space. At the same time, he aimed for a look that fit with the home’s Tudor style.
Using Farrow & Ball’s Lichen green to set the serene tone, he installed Waterworks fixtures in another neutral, gold, for a little shine. Along with the marble tile and island top, it conveys a polished feel.
When revamping the kitchen of a 1910 Craftsman home in Los Angeles for clients who love to give dinner parties, interiors firm Charlap Hyman & Herrero dealt with a challenge designers frequently face: maintaining cohesion with existing aesthetics while creating a sense of newness. “We wanted the kitchen to feel like it belonged in the house but had something uncannily fresh about it,” says firm cofounder Adam Charlap Hyman.
With that mission in mind, the team used a rich spruce-green tile from Heath Ceramics with a slightly iridescent sheen. The result is a contemporary look that still feels true to the period and style of the home. Even the 1980s pendant lights by André Rotte for RAAK, which were found on 1stDibs, have an Arts & Crafts air.
Noz Nozawa looked to food for inspiration in choosing a color for the kitchen of a San Francisco firehouse turned family home. “While I love any well-designed, elegant navy or neutral kitchen,” she says, “a green hue picks up on ingredients we cook with and brings a nature-driven charm to the space.”
No surprise, then, that she selected Herb Garden from Benjamin Moore to give this kitchen a peppy, happy vibe. Designed as part of a great room for a couple with three children, the space is the perfect color to match the young energy in the house.
Nozawa kept the clean, fresh feeling going by employing Carrara marble for the backsplash and counters and stainless steel for the sink and fixtures. To add a contrasting texture, she used stools in a burnished-brass finish and transparent pendants that play off the glass wall.
Anyone who’s ever discovered that the wrong appliances can ruin the aesthetic of even the most thoughtfully conceived kitchen will appreciate the advice of Becky Jarold. “Cover as many as possible with millwork — they call these custom-panel-front appliances,” she says. “It’s less busy looking, prettier and will make the space look larger and cleaner.”
Jarold did just that in this tiny but handsome kitchen in a historic Pittsburgh townhouse, hiding the refrigerator. The earthy olive green of the millwork beautifully complements the knotty wood floors and exposed brick. Meanwhile, café curtains by Schumacher give the room an airy feeling. For a finishing touch, Jerold displayed artwork and plants on shelves among the few exposed necessities.
How do you revive a kitchen if the client doesn’t want construction going on? For a house in Locust Valley, New York, the answer was “to change the character with paint, wallpaper, hardware, fabric and lighting only,” says Celerie Kemble.
She started by using a subtle and sophisticated pastel green on the cabinets, cleverly dotting them with “spearmint-colored milk-glass bin pulls.” To provide contrast, Kemble used cantaloupe-colored seersucker fabric inside the glass cabinets and a Lee Jofa wallpaper with a blue background around the room’s entrance. Adding just a dash of rustic charm, she completed the look with wood-and-iron stools.
When designing the kitchen for a Southern country house, Hattie Sparks took inspiration from the pastoral environs. “The client wanted the kitchen’s character to feel cohesive to its location — a wooded area of rural Alabama,” she says, “and for it to be super-functional for hosting and cooking for large groups.” Accordingly, Sparks chose a green that looks as if it had been plucked from the trees outside. A custom butcher-block island continues the rustic theme.
Deploying a style she calls “millennial gothic,” Kati Curtis combined the Old World with the new in the Greenwich, Connecticut, home of a young family that loves to cook. “We sought to fuse the classic elegance of a 1920s Tudor with a contemporary, practical living space,” Curtis explains.
To that end, she painted the cabinets and trim a vibrant bespoke green she created in collaboration with Fine Paints of Europe. She also used backsplash tiles hand-decorated with a cross motif, for “a touch of unique character.” Black appliances and hardware “were carefully chosen to enhance the gothic details while ensuring maximum functionality for the clients.” The custom counter stools were covered in a Perennials fabric for extra durability.
Martha Mulholland was tasked with infusing this small kitchen in a Craftsman-style Los Angeles home with “warmth and character” while keeping the existing floors, cabinetry and counters. She chose a soothing, creamy green with an elegant vibe, complementing the hue with luminous ceramic pieces by Victoria Morris and a delicate gold faucet, for a bit of pizazz. The vintage pendant is by Peter Behrens (purchased on 1stDibs), and the windows are covered in barely-there shades by Rose Tarlow.
Her advice for remodeling your kitchen? Assess your old one: “Pay attention to what you like and don’t like about your existing space before embarking on a redesign.”
“Don’t overcomplicate the kitchen,” stresses Melissa Morgan, of M Interiors. She adhered to that rule in designing the kitchen of a guest house on a property in Fredericksburg, Texas, in the state’s famed Hill Country.
Using a “sage mouse green” that “reflects the outdoor elements” of the estate, Morgan created a space that might be described as laid-back and easy. Anchoring the room is an antique French table surrounded by six classic Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs. Pendant lamps by Urban Electric play off the color of the island.
Finally, proving that keeping things simple doesn’t have to mean strict minimalism, Morgan added floral-print window treatments with just enough green to tie them to the rest of the room.
“The kitchen is always the room people spend the most time in,” points out designer Heidi Caillier. “Functionality is very important, because it’s such a high-use space.” She kept that in mind when designing the kitchen in her own Tacoma, Washington, home for her family of four — in particular, her husband, whom she describes as “an avid cook.” Boasting plenty of soapstone counter space for easy meal prep or even a buffet spread and equipped with a Viking range, it’s a true cook’s kitchen.
Balancing practicality with polish, Caillier painted the cabinets a muted celadon green and finished them with brass hardware. In contrast, the earthy brick flooring gives the room a homey, grounded feeling. To illuminate the work areas, she chose a Lostine pendant and a Visual Comfort ceiling lamp.
Pulling out all the stops for this dream kitchen in a home in Santa Monica, interior designer Adam Hunter swathed the millwork in deep green and used a custom brass range hood as a focal point.
Dolomite countertops and an ample kitchen island provide plenty of space to cook, while the woven leather of the custom stools offers a soft contrast to the room’s hard surfaces. A set of statement pendants by Lasvit hangs overhead.