Ina Garten’s Favorite Kitchen Color Ties in Perfectly With ‘Barefoot Contessa’ Recipes

Ina Garten carefully designed her kitchen to best suit her needs and part of her design included paint color. The Barefoot Contessa star shared why her favorite kitchen color is a perfect complement to the recipes she cooks.

Ina Garten smiles for cameras while attending 'Ina Garten in Conversation with Danny Meyer'
Ina Garten | Noam Galai/WireImage

Ina Garten’s favorite kitchen color isn’t flashy for a reason

During a 2009 interview with House Beautiful magazine, Garten shared her thoughts on kitchen design, including the color that she painted the walls.

When the interviewer asked, “What kind of colors do you like to have around you in a kitchen and why?” Garten explained that her design process starts with color. “Most people start with the design of something but I want to know what color the room’s going to be first,” she shared.

“For a kitchen, because you’re dealing with very brightly colored things, I want something that’s a great foil for the colors of the fruits and vegetables,” Garten continued. “So in my kitchen in my house, it was for a long time sage green stripes and black and white tile.”

“It was a great backdrop for color,” she added. “So when you bring in a pumpkin, it really punches.”

Garten designed the magazine’s Kitchen of the Year and explained her color choice. “In the Kitchen of the Year, what we did was my favorite color … it’s like a taupe-y gray and so that’s what the walls are,” she explained.

“And it really makes the colors of the fruits and vegetables pop,” Garten noted. “The countertop is a really dark gray which is a great color for making whatever you’re working with. If there are bowls of lemons or bowls of lime, it makes that look fantastic.”

“I don’t want them competing,” she said of choosing more neutral colors.

“If the room is like bright red, then you’re aware of the room, you’re not aware of what’s in it,” the Barefoot Contessa star explained.

The paint color used for Garten’s 2009 Kitchen of the Year display in Rockefeller Center was Glidden’s Wood Smoke.

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Ina Garten shared her kitchen design tips

While giving a tour of the kitchen, Garten shared her thoughts on why it’s “the new living room.”

“Everybody hangs out there, they come there in the morning, they stay all day, and then we have dinner there,” she explained.

Garten pointed out some of the design elements, including comfortable seating by the fireplace, counter stools, and the dining table which provide ample space to entertain.

She also discussed the kitchen work triangle, which is the arrangement of the sink, the stove, and the refrigerator. “They all need to be within some proximity of each other so you don’t need roller skates to get there,” Garten noted.

The Barefoot Contessa star also shared her thoughts on space, explaining that she prefers a large room for the kitchen, but keeps her workspace area quite small. She designed her kitchen to allow traffic flow, but it never cuts through the area she’s working in.