Be inspired by these fabulous and daring kitchen colour schemes. Colour is a powerful design tool that completely alters the mood of a kitchen. It can change your perception of the space, making it feel wider and brighter, and it can draw the eye towards features worth highlighting. And, of course, it’s a great way to express personality.
In the past, there may have been more of an all-or-nothing approach to colour in the kitchen – remember lime green and orange in the 1970s? The new palette is more restrained, with pale blues, greys and darker, inky shades proving a big hit. Tone is important too, even within the grey family, warmer greys create a different feel from blue-based shades of slate.
The accent colour is as popular as ever and here yellow comes into its own, particularly against darker greys. ‘The rule of thumb is to go for a base colour with an accent shade to highlight areas or to add a vibrant splash to pieces such as a bench or sideboard,’ says Gordon Boyd of Nolte ‘Alternatively, try complementary pairs, such as green and blue.’
When choosing an accent colour or a mixed palette, you can’t go wrong by following colour theory. ‘Either select complementary colours, which are next to each other on a colour wheel, or contrasting shades from opposite sides of the wheel,’ says David Motetrshead, MD at Little Greene ‘Contrasting colours are energising, while complementary colours are calming.’
Don’t just think about the colour on your walls – also consider the design and style of your kitchen flooring.
Glossy black appliances give this kitchen a sleek, modern finish, while pretty floral wallpaper prevents it from becoming too dark.
Love country style? Team rustic wooden furniture with pale yellow walls and low-hanging pendant lights.
Give your kitchen a modern update with a vibrant blind. Pick out your favourite colour and reflect it into the kitchen. We love the lime green wallpaper and matching cushions.
Breathe life into a stark white kitchen with eye-popping colours and fluid shapes. Canary-yellow accessories complement the pink and red chairs.
Colourful tiles in muted tones can add interest to traditional schemes. Exposed brick walls and wooden stools add to the look.
Want to make a statement? Pale blue units look fresh and modern ? and they look great against wooden flooring.
Charcoal grey walls make a dramatic statement in this glamorous kitchen with pops of bright and cheerful colour added with token accessories. A zingy yellow splashback and matching chair give the room an eclectic edge, while the floral blind adds a welcome touch of warmth to the striking design and dramatic room.
If you like this look, don’t miss our round up of the best grey kitchens.
Feeling brave? Team berry red walls with chrome units, a colourful splashback and decorative grey flooring.
Create a feature wall with a bright red stencil. Alternatively, use wall stickers as these are easy to remove. Red and white stools bring the look together.
Yellow brings energy to a scheme and this unusual kitchen with its sleek blocks of colour is inspired by the artist Mondrian. Matt lacquered MDF kitchen in Daffodil Yellow, Royal Blue, Racing Green and Chalk White with reclaimed oak and stainless steel worktops, from £15,000, GIQ Design
This island works well in a shade that tones beautifully with the chocolate-brown grain of walnut and other dark woods. Bespoke Grove kitchen in American walnut, with island painted in Teal Tension by Dulux and tulipwood cabinetry painted in Plummet by Farrow & Ball, from £20,000, Baker & Baker Furniture
Colour blocking modernises traditional cabinetry and panelling. The trick is to use one colour for each area to keep the look clean. Painted birch ply kitchen with beech drawers and oak worktops, from £7,000, British Standard. Walls painted in Pale Powder Blue, sink cabinet in a one-off mixed yellow and chairs in Deep Egyptian Green, all Papers and Paints
Paint is one of the easiest – and most affordable – ways to give your kitchen a whole new lease of life. If you’re not brave enough to go the whole step, introducing small areas of colour to a crisp, white palette will dilute the look. A pocket of vibrant yellow creates a three-dimensional effect within these pure-white cabinets.
For a unique look in the kitchen, a bespoke vinyl floor can be printed with any image you choose. Modern designer vinyls are available in a range of bold colours and will help create a warm, friendly space. They’re durable and easy to clean, too. Teamed with white cabinetry and vibrant orange walls, this lively scheme is sure to draw attention.
This red, white and blue kitchen is distinctly patriotic. Victorian-style metro tiles will add colour and pattern to your space. If you’re unsure about going for a bold shade, make sure you check the colour at different times of the day and under natural and artificial light. Bear in mind that matt looks darker than gloss, even in the same shade.
This mixed material kitchen cabinetry looks great above a run of white units. Not only does it make a statement, the different shapes and heights add interest. Balancing the units with a dark worktop offers contrast and makes a great backdrop for the gadgets on display. Restrict strong shades to accessories, walls and key pieces of furniture to tone down intensity.
Francesco Draisci Studio
The painted kitchen really does lend itself to a splash of colour. Here, traditional bespoke oak cabinetry is paired with an eye-catching, plum-coloured island unit. Make an island the focus by painting it in a daring tone and using soft shades elsewhere. Consider scale – a big kitchen can take stronger colours, particularly if there’s plenty of natural light.
Red has long been a popular choice for hi-gloss kitchens, but there’s been a definite move away from pillar-box tones to richer berries and burgundy. Make a statement in your kitchen with glossy mulberry cabinets like these, with white walls and grey floors as a neutral background for the colour.
Monochrome is usually considered a ‘safe’ choice for kitchens, but go for a handleless design, a high-gloss finish and throw in a curve or two and you can achieve a surprisingly bold look. A vibrant glass splashback should satisfy any colour cravings.
Restricting colour to base units prevents it from overwhelming a compact space. One strong tone works best overall in a smaller space, but another accent shade can be added through accessories or splashbacks.
Holloways of Ludlow
This uplifting shade of yellow will bring a smile to your face every breakfast. Not a shade for the timid, but you can tone it down by pairing with elements in industrial graphite or warm walnut. Strong colours need to be balanced with cool neutrals to keep the space comfortable.
Extra-thick composite worktops in cool white are the perfect foil to zingy citrus cabinetry, while a bank of matt grey units adds a sophisticated edge.
Arcos range, shown in white and sunflower yellow with hi-gloss grey units, from £6,500, Schmidt
Pairing wooden worktops with hi-gloss blue cabinets adds a country feel.
Abstrakt range, shown in a blue foil finish, also available in red and grey hi-gloss, around £1,435 for the cabinets shown, Ikea.
These classic cabinets can be painted in any colour to order, proving that colourful kitchens don’t have to be contemporary in style.
Shaker kitchen, shown in bright green, from £17,000, Harvey Jones
Polished grey marble worktops look great set against these deep wine-red cabinets.
Java range, shown here in Burgundy with a hi-gloss finish, prices start from around £170 for a 600mm base unit, Caple
These laminate pearl doors offer an alternative to a hi-gloss finish. A dark wood breakfast bar provides contrast and a place to eat.
Solutions range, shown in Mango Yellow, from around £13,000, Neil Lerner
Not sure about coloured units? Satisfy your colour cravings with a vivid glass splashback instead.
Lexington range, shown in Gloss White with a bubblegum-pink glass splashback, from £10,000, Ellis Furniture
This uplifting shade of turquoise will bring a smile to your face every breakfast. Team with a cream Aga for a classy combination.
The Cook’s Kitchen range, in-frame design shown hand-painted in a turquoise shade, from £35,000, Mark Wilkinson Furniture
Add some contemporary glamour with this striking lime kitchen, with blue and cream accents. A polished concrete floor makes sure the cabinets take centre stage.
Chromatica range by Maistri, shown in a combination of Blue, Lime and Cream hi-gloss, from £20,000, Cococucine
Red has always been a classic colour for kitchens, but these clean-lined minimalist units are in a matt lacquer which brings the look bang up to date.
One Kitchen range, shown in vibrant matt red lacquer, from £25,000, Schiffini