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Little Greene’s Simon Hutchinson Talks All Things ‘Brave and Bold’

Little Greene
Simon Hutchinson b W

Earlier this year, we embarked on a project that was one of the brightest we’ve seen! We had the delight of working with The Little Greene Paint Company’s ‘Colour Specialist’ Simon Hutchinson on creating his dream kitchen. As someone who knows colour pretty well, we left that down to him! Colour is something people usually tend to steer clear of when designing their kitchen, due to not feeling confident and it being an unfamiliarity. I think this kitchen proves just how great colour can be, in any kitchen. We got the chance to ask him some questions regarding his profession and to give some tips to those who would like to explore colour a little more in their own home.

Firstly, could you briefly describe your role at the Little Greene Paint Company? 

My job title at Little Greene is ‘Colour Specialist’ which takes many forms really. I formulate and make the paint colours but also have a heavy hand in advising on colours for historic buildings. These can be anything from private residences to commercial properties and of course, The National Trust with whom we are affiliated. It was actually a client of mine who recommended you for my own kitchen.

What was your inspiration behind choosing the palette for your kitchen? What attracted you to creating two bright colours and pairing them together?

Kitchens to me should be happy places! You spend a lot of time in them and they tend to be the hub for social gatherings, so I wanted something that would make my friends feel happy when they were in there. That said, I didn’t want anything too naff or something that I would tire of but something slightly ‘out of the ordinary’ and very much my own… it’s a fine line between the two! The blue was a little of a nostalgic afterthought… We had bought this old pine dresser and wanted it to be distinctly different from the rest of the kitchen so my wife suggested I made up some of the colour that we had painted our kitchen units when we had lived in London many years previously. So I tried it… as soon as I started painting I knew it was going to look great.

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The choice of Blue and Orange for your new kitchen, some would say, is very brave and bold – We think it’s great! So, what would your best piece of advice be for someone looking to experiment with colours, patterns and so on? 

One thing that’s really important when going for bolder colours is that you consider the ‘not so bold’ aspects just as much. It’s those breaths between the strong colours and patterns that create a cohesive scheme. In my kitchen, the ceiling and Walls are painted in Little Greene ‘Clay Pale’ which gives a much-needed space between the bold colours and allows them to sing without it all being too over the top, whilst the dark worktops and floor really ground the scheme.. I’ve also put the bold patterned tiles against the ‘white’ walls and ‘black’ cooker top and hood which again, gives a neutral backdrop for them to really shine.

My advice would be to go as bold as you like but remember that you need those little bits of respite!

Finally, any other pieces of wisdom or advice to offer on this topic?

Whether creating a bold scheme or a more neutral scheme in a kitchen, I always offer one very important piece of advice and it’s nothing to do with colour! …It’s actually about tone and essentially about balance. A kitchen needs a balance of light tones, mid-tones, and dark/deep tones. These can be in any order and really in any medium but when done right, will really tie a scheme together. For example, you could have pale walls, dark units and a mid-tone floor (such as oak) or a mid-tone colour on the walls, light units and dark worktops. You need all three to get that all-important balance and it’s when people miss one of these out that their kitchen can look a little washed out or ‘OTT’.

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Are you looking to design a new bespoke kitchen? The White Kitchen Company would love to help! Give us a call at 01604 435835 and we can chat through our processes with you. Alternatively, if you would like to get in contact with us via email, you can do so here. We look forward to hearing more about your project!