Can Kitchen Colour Choices Affect Your Appetite?



“I can’t cook in this kitchen!” That’s a classic reason we often hear from customers on why they want to renovate their kitchen.


The best part about kitchen renovations is designing the colour scheme. And that’s more important than we may realize. There have been many studies done on how colour affects people’s perception of food. This particular one published in BioMed Central on how plate colour influences restaurant food is especially enlightening.


There definitely are certain colours that suppress appetite and others that stimulate appetite. So how can you bring that to play in the kitchen? And what if you’re also interested in using colour psychology to help in dieting?


A healthy balance to strike is to go with appetizing colours on the kitchen surroundings and unappetizing colours on the dinner table. You want the kitchen itself to inspire you to cook delicious and healthy food. The dinner table is where you want to control the risk of overserving yourself.


Colours that suppress appetite

Let’s get the unappetizing colours out of the way first. Some of these descriptions may be a little too descriptive, but it helps to understand the psychology behind why these colours are appetite suppressants.

You can use any combination of these colours at the dinner table to discourage yourself from overeating. Choose these colours when you’re buying dishware, eating utensils, napkins, and tablecloths. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you should pick the most disgusting shade possible. You can select these colours as the starting base and let your inner designer put them together stylishly:


Black turns off the appetite because it’s associated with toxins, poison, and burnt food. Coincidentally, it’s also a slimming colour in fashion. That makes it a good reminder to have at the table if you’re on a diet.


Except for blueberries, you don’t see blue very often in the food world. So, right away, that colour is a turn-off for your brain.

There’s also a positive reason though why blue isn’t appetizing. Blue has always been a calming colour due to its associations with peace and stability. It probably has a lot to do with the blue sky as a constant in everyone’s lives. The colour is so soothing that your entire body – including your appetite – can actually slow down to the point of lethargy.


When you link brown with food, you usually think of waste and decay. Or overcooked food. All of which doesn’t sound delicious at all.


Grey brings to mind a dry and bitter taste – kind of like ashes. Mmm-mm.


With perhaps the exception of medium steak, pink is an unnatural food colour. It’s reminiscent of raw meat. And thousands of years of cooking in our DNA have taught us to avoid that.


Other than eggplant, this is another uncommon food colour and therefore less trustworthy.


Colours that stimulate appetite

Time to regain your appetite! Mix and match these colours for your kitchen walls, cabinets, countertop, and even cookware. These colours will inspire you to cook more gourmet but healthy meals:


Green is a colour of health and abundance in nature. Besides our parents repeating the benefits of eating greens, our healthy view of the colour is probably also a throwback to our primitive days of being mostly herbivores.


Orange is always welcoming because of the warmth and comfort associated with it. It’s also an autumn colour, when the last harvests of the year are reaped before the cold sets in.


Red is the undoubted colour of passion and energy. Just the mere sight of it is enough to make your heart beat faster, which primes the rest of your body functions like appetite for action.


Turquoise whets your appetite mainly because of the imagery it evokes. It gives you that tropical feeling of crystal-clear waves smoothing over a sun-kissed beach. Then you start thinking about tropical drinks, tropical food, and what Caribbean recipes to try.


White is an odd one on this list because it’s attached to the taste of blandness. It leaves you feeling dissatisfied and wanting more of something else. While it doesn’t open up your appetite per se, it’s a good base to pair with other appetizing colours so that you’ll want more of those. Just don’t use white dishes to serve food.


You can trust the colour of the sun to make you happy. Yellow is also a colour of optimism. And when you’re in a good mood, your appetite is naturally stimulated.


Here’s to happy cooking and healthy eating!

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