26-consumers-voice-cartoon-color-choiceThere is a certain guilty pleasure that forms while sitting on the couch watching home and garden shows.  Sadly, this may not be quite as large as the one that comes from watching the over-tanned under-punished cast of the Jersey Shore, but it is there.

There’s just something about being able to say, “There is NO WAY they should choose house #1!  Those kitchen cabinets remind me of vomit, and that countertop makes me think of a doctor’s office.”

You can give any “expert” advice you please, and no one will be angry.  It’s human nature to judge and make unruly assumptions, but keep in mind that while you criticize the Real Housewives of Orange County and their petty drama, someone else may be judging your kitchen cabinet choices.

What is Your Kitchen Saying About You?

In the world of kitchen remodeling, there are seemingly endless choices.  Cabinets alone come in many types of wood, stains, shades and styles.  But what you may not have considered are the meanings behind the kitchen choices you make.

An online article about kitchen cabinet choices states that people who choose oak cabinets, which are strong and traditional, tend to be reliable and sensible people.  The same article states that maple cabinets indicate the owner to be trustworthy, loyal and likely a good friend.  Contemporary black cabinets are said to show optimism and extroversion, and there are probably plenty of people who also associate cherry cabinets with wealth and white cabinets with tidiness.

If you have cabinets of every style and color in your kitchen you are reliable, trustworthy, loyal, extroverted and tidy.  Just kidding.

The Unofficial Survey

For fun, we presented a small unofficial survey to unsuspecting friends, family members and coworkers, and asked them to imagine that they were invited into someone’s living space without ever meeting them.  They were asked to make judgments based solely on colors, materials and cleanliness of the stranger’s kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances.  The following were some interesting assumptions.

If a kitchen is modeled with white or cream colored cabinets, our survey results generally showed that the owner is a clean person who likes country and/or beach style, whereas dark colored cabinets point to modern, rich people who may have a wardrobe full of dark clothes.  Our survey takers assumed that natural colored cabinet owners are earthy, green people who love nature and the beauty of the outdoors, while bright colored cabinet owners are artsy, bold, expressive & retro.  Cherry cabinets are thought to be owned by rich people who like elegant beautiful things whereas laminate cabinet owners are probably young, sensible or just don’t have a lot of money.  Steel cabinets or countertop owners are modern & probably run a business from home, but don’t have any children.

More interesting but maybe not surprising results showed that granite seemed to be the preferred countertop choice, and if you own them you’re assumed to be in good standing financially.  White appliances showed that the owners haven’t updated in awhile and are probably very old, very young, or just plain clean.  Black appliances are tasteful, but still not as preferred as steel, which are trendy and contemporary.  If the appliances are small, the person is single and if they’re large, they’re wealthy, have a large family or love to entertain.  We found that kitchens kept moderately clean (crumbs and plates here and there) are normal.  If there is a smell emanating from the fridge or trash (can’t tell which), the owner is dirty, messy, lazy, filthy and gross, but if the kitchen is so clean one could eat of it, the person living there either has too much time on their hands, is OCD or has a housekeeper.


The people we surveyed aren’t psychologists or kitchen specialists, so what do they know, right?  Well, who do you invite into your kitchen?  They’re probably a similar mix of people.  If you are someone who cares about what others think and are looking to renovate your kitchen, it might be worthwhile to ask around or look up studies having to do with kitchen design psychology.   There are limitless resources on the Internet and even studies showing the theory of different colors.

Did you know that too much of the color orange is said to cause an increased appetite or that too much of the color blue may lead to depression? We found this color theory article fun to read.

So now that we have made you aware of some hidden meanings behind kitchen design choices, take a deep breath and make sure you are comfortable with your future choices.   People may have their opinions, but you’re the one that will be cooking and eating there.

After all, if you get tired of your choices, you can always remodel.