A new kitchen is like a blank slate: You can color it any way you want. Just take a look at this kitchen-and-family-room addition at Bonnie and Jim Connors' house outside Chicago. The layout is pretty straightforward: The cooking area is flanked by small home-office and mudroom nooks; upper cabinets, prep space, and range are along one wall; windows, sink, and counters fill another; an island separates the cooking and family room areas.
But then things get interesting.
Working with architect Healy Rice and kitchen designer Kathy Walder, the couple stepped away from the traditional look of plain-vanilla boxes. "I've always loved color," says Bonnie, and that includes her favorite shade of green. To keep the look sophisticated, she also opted for black base cabinets with an aged patina, off-white marble countertops, and plenty of stainless steel.
For a similar look, try Valspar
's Green Tea (upper cabinets) and Pitch Cobalt (lower cabinets).