Sunday, 17 January 2021

Navy Is The New Black In Kitchens And Bathrooms, Design Pros Say

Every year, paint companies and design industry experts come up with their annual color choices for our homes. Color authority Pantone chose Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838) as its 2018 color. Sherwin-Williams named blue-green Oceanside (SW 6496) and Benjamin Moore went another direction altogether with its spicy red Caliente (AF-290).  You may paint your walls in one of those colors, or choose towels for your bathroom, but it’s less likely that you’ll buy Caliente cabinets for your master bath renovation or an Ultra Violet dual fuel range from Italy.

When a kitchen costs $63,829 to $125,721 for a major midrange to upscale remodel and a full bathroom redo spans $19,134 to $51,662, according to Remodeling’s Cost vs Value Report, you’re not factoring color trends for a single year into your calculation; you’re designing for 10 to 20 years. Paint is easy and relatively affordable to change. Cabinets, countertops, fixtures and appliances are larger, more permanent investment choices, and they need to stand the test of time. So why is one particular color proving to be a popular and enduring choice?

“Navy blue is definitely the new black,” declares Mary DeWalt, an Austin-based model home designer for regional and national builders. “Navy is classic and, like black, I’ve never found a color that it clashes with,” she adds.  Designers are pairing navy with stained woods for two-toned kitchen cabinets. It’s also showing up in quartz countertops, upholstery, window coverings and, yes, paint, too. White fixtures against a navy wall contrast as they would with a black wall.  “However, navy is less ‘serious’ and seems to be embraced by all,” DeWalt notes.

Navy tile creates a classic backsplash for the white cabinetry.Designer: Mary DeWalt / Builder: Buffington Homes Arkansas / Photographer: Kathy Hader Depict it Studio

“Navy blue has always been a classic ‘go-to’  hue for me for its timeless quality and ability to pair so well with any wood finish or neutral paints,” comments Annapolis-based kitchen and bath designer Richard Anuszkiewicz of Alt Breeding Associates Architecture.  It provides a sophisticated color punch, but is also “effortless, chic and will not age out over time,” he says. Anuszkiewicz incorporates the color into custom cabinetry, countertops and other major elements in his projects.

A navy stone countertop adds sophisticated color to this classic white kitchen.Designer: Richard T. Anuszkiewicz of Alt Breeding Associates Architecture / Photographer: David Boroughs Photography

“Strong blues are definitely showing up more in renovations–particularly in kitchens,” observes Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of New York-based renovation matchmaking firm Sweeten. “Navy is versatile. It’s a neutral pigment without being too trendy or heavy, and comes in many tones,” she explains.  There is also an emotional component to this color: “Classic navy makes us feel safe – think police uniforms.” It also conjures up the military, school uniforms and ocean vistas, all of which can evoke positive memories and associations. “”Painted lower kitchen cabinets are a smart way to incorporate color, and deep blues look especially great with brass hardware.”

An earlier kitchen might have gone with black cabinets. Navy softens the dramatic look.Sweeten

While there’s little reason to assume that navy blue will dominate the $134.1 billion kitchen and bath industry in 2018 or beyond the way white has, (think Shaker cabinets, marble look countertops and bathroom fixtures), it’s also safe to predict that it won’t create the type of risk in your remodel that a transient color of the year might, as leading design professionals and their clients continue to embrace it through the decades. Save those for your placemats and vanity sets.


« »