Johnny Galecki's 'quiet luxury' kitchen color palette has us reaching for the paint can, but there is an unexpected twist

Unexpected color combinations are proving they shouldn’t be overlooked. Here's why...

Johnny Galecki
(Image credit: Getty Images / Michael Tran / Contributor)

There is no doubt that neutrals have been the most popular tones for home use during the first decades of the 21st century – and perhaps for good reason. Many people feel most comfortable when surrounded by carefully balanced colors that create an understated environment and make few demands on the eye. 

Neutrals offer infinite possibilities for making spaces airy and relaxing, refined and timeless, or elegantly sophisticated. However, decorating with neutrals alone is not a fail-safe combination and it is all too easy to fall into the trap of using bland, depressing colors that are nothing like the complex palettes featured in Johnny Galecki's home.

Designed by interior design firm Pierce & Ward, Galecki's kitchen features a quiet luxury color palette that beautifully blends warm and grounding beige, taupe, and ochre hues with an unexpected pale blue. This season we are drawn to color quiet luxury colors, but we are mixing it up with unexpected color combinations for rooms. 

It is safe to say that we've steered away from Millennial favorite gray and magnolia color palettes. These days, rich, tonal color schemes take center stage, and it is about time.

The interior design duo behind Pierce and Ward, Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward frequently throw out the rulebook with their penchant for unusual color combinations for rooms. Shades of beige, mustard, and brown are rarely the go-to paint and fabric colors of choice for the discerning decorator but, Pierce & Ward, who coined the term 'ugly colors', say every house needs a dose of underappreciated muddy tones to dial down the pretty and perfect. 

Along with these so-called ugly colors, pale blue is the one color trend having a moment in the spotlight. It is easily the tone of choice for many, from amateur decorators to interior designers as it's incredibly easy to live with and perfect for layering, believes Patrick O’Donnell of Farrow & Ball. ‘Pale blue also has positive attributes in color psychology, such as enthusiasm, sympathy, warmth, encouragement, spirituality, loyalty, and thoughtfulness.’ It is a good color to have around the home.

Pale blue makes for a calming backdrop for a busy kitchen which can be instantly warmed up with beige, ochre, oranges and yellows. ‘We are very careful when picking blues for a room that doesn’t get too much natural light to make sure that the undertones are not too gray,’ says Liv Wallers and Cath Beckett, co-founders of Yellow London.  

Calm, subtle and surprisingly versatile, this gentle shade – with a hint of steely gray – is the underdog of 2024's biggest color stories.

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Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.