So (drum roll) I have to choose the colour for my new kitchen units. I know I want dark blue (the new white where 'la cuisine' is concerned!) but which blue?
There are so many. In fact, when you look at the Pantone chart (used by industries worldwide to match colours) there are over 100 variations and it seems to me the paint manufacturers have easily matched that.
In the end, I think you have to feel your way into a colour - collect as many colour charts and colour cards as possible, lay them all out and then use a process of elimination. Bin the ones that you definitely don't like, then narrow it down to half a dozen or so that keep drawing your eye. Nine times out of ten, they'll all be of a similar tone - marine blues, purple blues, grey/green blues etc depending on your taste.
It might also help to think about the other things you're going to add to the mix - do you fancy jewel coloured Moroccan-style tiles as a splash back, in which case a Mediterranean blue (the name often helps here) might be just the thing. There are some fabulous gloss kitchens on the market too, that come in various shades of blues, so it's worth shopping around.
If you're fitting a timber work top in oak or beech, you might want a darker navy or nearly-black blue to add real contrast and drama: this combination (especially with a traditional in-frame design) with white walls and white crockery stacked on open shelves adds a really smart twist.
I've taken a shine to Stiffkey by Farrow & Ball - a petrol blue which takes me right back to the 70's - and knocks spots off the nasty mahogany doors I have at the moment. The lovely chap who's building my kitchen brought a sample round the other night and I'm tempted...
Interestingly, the colour blue has been found to act as an appetite suppressant. According to Reader's Digest, researchers found that we eat 33% less in a blue room: apparently the bluish light that's reflected makes food look less appealing. So there you go - blue kitchen equals skinnier me. I'm sold! Now, where did I put those blue colour swatches!