A monochrome environment is a space in which most architectural elements are of a single color. Although it is common for architects to design black or white monochromatic spaces due to its neutrality, it is possible to use almost any color to design a space, taking advantage of their infinite tones, undertones, and shades.
Choosing the right color composition for an environment can aid in executing design strategy, as we analyzed in the articles How Colors Change the Perception of Interior Spaces and How Color Affects Architecture. Exploring a series of constructed examples, today we will talk about three strategies through which color can make a difference: highlighting, unifying, and zoning.
Designing with a single color in the kitchen is a useful strategy when looking to highlight the entire space or any of its elements in particular. Through this means, it is possible to contrast the color with household appliances, accentuate special coatings, or emphasize objects, utensils, and accessories.
Contrast with Appliances
The architects of E/L Studio designed the kitchen of the Jade Residence using wood paneling and ceramic tiles on the walls, both in greenish tones, highlighting the appliances in black.
The side kitchen of Flat#5 project, the result of a partnership between Marcio Kogan, Diana Radomysler, and Luciana Antunes (Studio MK27), was designed to accentuate the materiality of the wood. Inside, the contrasting black chairs and lamps add a touch of elegance to the environment, connecting with the style of the living room.
The Cobogó Apartment, designed by Lelalo arquitetura e design, presents a kitchen in which the floor, walls, counter, and carpentry are all black, contrasting with the stainless steel appliances. The wooden floor in the living room transitions into a granite floor in the kitchen, respecting its same layout and format.
In CR2 Arquitetura's Tetrys 607 Apartment, the appliances, taps, and accessories, in silver tones and finishes, contrast with the orange of the kitchen, which extends to the apartment's entrance door.
The kitchen at Escu House, designed by Bijl Architecture, is a strong example of how a monochromatic kitchen can help highlight a cladding with a particular design - for example, tiles or wallpaper.
Objects and Utensils
The architects of TACO (taller de arquitectura contextual) designed the kitchen of the Monte House with a soft monochromatic palette in earth tones. Since no doors conceal the shelving, utensils and other stored elements stand out.
In the white kitchen of the Casinha project by Daher Jardim Arquitetura, the four wooden chairs add contrast and stand out in front of a kitchen that seems to disappear.
In A House for Four, Harry Thomson designed a monochromatic subtle beige kitchen, highlighting utensils and accessories in their open niches.
Opting for a monochrome palette can be an effective strategy for unifying the elements that make up an environment, making it a widely used option when looking to design a bolder kitchen atmosphere. In these cases, it is common for architects to take advantage of the infinite shades, undertones, and variations of each chosen color.
For those looking to create a warm and natural environment, the Skigard Hytte Cabin by Mork-Ulnes Architects serves as a good example. The house is mostly monochromatic, as all surfaces and furniture items are clad in the same wood tone.
And why not a kitchen with lime green tones? The 3in1 kitchen enclosure, designed by batlab architects, is unified from floor to ceiling by a lively green color.
For those who want to live in a calmer environment, blue tones are always a good option. This was the choice of the architects Plaini and Karahalios in their design for the Apartment in Korydallos.
100% white kitchens, if well kept, give the impression of intense cleanliness, which can be a desirable feature for a food preparation environment. The kitchen of the T Concept Apartment, by Itay Friedman Architects, is so seamlessly incorporated into the white walls that it can even go unnoticed, helping expand the sense of space. We noticed a similar effect in YCL studio's The White Triangles Apartment.
However, it cannot be denied that its opposite - a totally black kitchen - can create a thoughtful and sophisticated atmosphere, as seen in the kitchen of the Tori Tori Santa Fe Restaurant, designed by Esrawe Studio.
For those who want a neutral color, but who want to escape black and white tones, it is possible to use soft grayish hues or opt for lighter woods. The kitchen in House 28, from the edwards studio, is completely clad in 9mm plywood.
Some projects prefer to organize their spaces by separating them. Some use color to achieve this goal, enhancing this zoning through mobile partitions that open or close depending on the use of the kitchen.
NatureHumaine architects were very creative in designing a corridor with black surfaces, separating the white kitchen from the yellow stairs at Casa Canari.
We already mentioned the unified space of the 3in1 citrus kitchen. However, when looking at the apartment as a whole, it can be seen that its greenish tint also has the function of separating the kitchen from the rest of the interior spaces.
Finally, IDIN Architects architects chose to create a totally white kitchen for the JB House, which can remain hidden when not in use. Its mobile wooden panels come together to partition the kitchen from a large social space, in which soft wooden tones predominate.