Related to limestone, travertine is a stone with intricate marble-like veins and markings. When used for kitchen or bathroom counters, it may be polished to a brilliant shine or milled with a subtle, matte finish. Travertine's natural colors tend toward light to medium tones on the warm side of the color spectrum -- ivory with gray, for example, or shades of gold, yellow and ocher. Some travertines appear green, and some exhibit darker shades such as red, mahogany or walnut. The earthy appearance and color range of travertine allow it to pair handsomely with many color schemes and paint colors.
Neutrals and Pale Tones
A wide selection of neutral paints coordinates with almost any shade of travertine.
- In addition to the traditional gray or tan neutrals, you can find paint in soft shades of gold, gray-green or taupe that handsomely accent travertine.
- White stands out because it's one neutral that works with any shade of travertine. For example, white with a pale ivory-gray travertine creates a pristine look compatible with decor styles, ranging from traditional to sleek and contemporary.
- Earthy, mid-tone travertines lend a grounded look to white, while the darkest shades of mahogany or walnut travertine provide dramatic flair with paired with white.
If you aren't drawn to neutrals but would still like surround your counters with pale colors, consider an earth-and-sky approach. Travertine in warm gold, soft orange or brown shades look beautiful against paint colors such as light sky blue or grassy green.
Add excitement to medium-toned travertine counters by choosing a complementary paint color as the basis of your color scheme. a complementary hue is the color on the opposite side of the color wheel.
- Colors that complement travertine's golden to orange shades include variations of green, blue and purple.
- For cabinets, use a mid-tone range of these complements and select shades such as dusty aubergine, turquoise, medium sage green or country blue.
- Walls can off-white or a lighter shade of the cabinet color.
Dark and Dramatic
- For maximum drama, pair light gray or ivory travertine counters with cabinets painted in dark neutral hues such as ebony black or deep charcoal gray.
- If your travertine is a light, warm yellow or gold, set it off with a deep brown paint color, such as espresso or chocolate.
- To keep the room functional and bright, lighten up the walls by painting them white, pale gray or very light tan.
- If you'd prefer a colorful palette, paint your cabinets in dark shades of burgundy, midnight blue, eggplant or forest green. As the dark color, use soft white or pale tones of the same color family on the walls.
Before making your final paint selection, make swatches by painting a few shades of your desired color family on white poster board. Set the swatches against your travertine counter and view them for several days in varying light conditions.