5 colours that will instantly make your kitchen feel cosy

Discover the hottest ways to get all the cosy feels from your next kitchen reno

yellow kitchen in barn conversion with brick wall behind
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

If you want your kitchen to be the natural hub of your home, the place everyone gravitates towards and chooses to linger in, cosiness is key. While ambient lighting, snug soft furnishings and perhaps even a hearty range cooker will all help, selecting cosy kitchen colour ideas is the swiftest route to success.  

It won’t be a shock to hear that some of our favourite kitchen colour schemes with cosy vibes are heavily biased towards the warm half of the colour wheel. Literally, the colour of fire, and thus warmth, these shades are naturally more comforting and relaxing. 

Bringing cosy colours into your kitchen doesn’t have to be focused on the cabinetry. But as they represent the largest volume of vertical surface in the room, it is arguably the best place to make the strongest impact with your chosen hue and really invite those cosy vibes in. 

Colour that will instantly make your kitchen feel cosy

Many of the colours that will instantly make your kitchen feel cosy are pretty obvious. Warm colours like red and pink, are clear candidates. But there’s the occasional curve-ball that you may not expect. 

One great example highlighted by Anna Hill, Colour Consultant at Fenwick & Tilbrook, is dark jewel tones. ‘Think dark, rich blues, greens and purples to evoke a sense of warmth and intimacy, while maintaining a bit of glamour,’ she explains. Read on for more cosy contenders that are guaranteed to result in a warm and welcoming heart of your home.  

Anna Hill
Anna Hill

After more than a decade in corporate merchandising, Anna Hill trained as a colour consultant and now heads up the running of her family’s luxury, British independent paint brand, Fenwick & Tilbrook. Whether consulting in clients’ homes, or via the phone from Fenwick & Tilbrook HQ, she’s always on-hand to provide colour guidance and help unlock the emotional potential of colour.    

1. Mellow yellow

yellow kitchen in barn conversion with brick wall behind

(Image credit: Morris & Co)

Given how bright and sunny they can be, you might be surprised to find yellow kitchen ideas topping our list of cosy options. But yellow is an incredibly versatile shade that can bring all the cosy vibes, as interior designer Mary Barber Fray attests. 

‘Yellow can be a fantastically uplifting colour for kitchens, whether for walls or for cabinetry. I would avoid anything too lemon-toned or acidic, and instead go for warm, embracing yellows,’ she says. A great example is Sunflower by Morris & Co, shown here, which is one of the warmest colours in the brand’s historic paint palette and was inspired by summer sunsets. 

‘To take your kitchen in a cosy direction, work yellow with warm neutrals or something with a little more oomph like browns and deep reds,’ adds Mary, who lists Edward Bulmer’s Naples Yellow or Trumpington as well as Zoffany’s Vermeer Yellow as some of her go-to cosy yellow picks. 

Mary Barber Fray
Mary Barber Fray

BIID-registered, Mary Barber Fray is a long-established interior designer with a reputation for injecting reassuring colour, comfort and conviviality into homes across the UK. She’s committed to sustainable decorating and advocates re-using existing pieces and re-invigorating interiors with minimal impact on the environment. 

2. Deep red

red kitchen in classic shaker style

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Moving onto more obvious cosy colour territory, dark red is a visually warming choice that’s perfect for creating an intimate, even romantic, kitchen. Here, Farrow & Ball’s Preference Red, makes this small kitchen feel incredibly cosy. 

‘Counterintuitively, using the same dark red on cabinets, walls and ceiling makes the space feel larger because you can’t see the distinction between the walls and the units,’ explains the brand’s colour curator, Joa Studholme.

When going down the red route, try to avoid the clean Ferrari reds associated with fast-food chains and instead opt for earthier reds like claret and burnt sienna. If you are concerned that a red kitchen idea may feel too gloomy on a lovely summer’s day, interior designer Oliver Lyttelton recommends using it in smaller doses, such as on textiles and accessories or even to provide a splash of warmth inside cabinets. 

‘The careful placement of a deep red inside the kitchen cupboards, drawers and even pantry creates a subtle but stylish touch that adds a bit of excitement when preparing food or say if a guest goes to grab a wine glass from the cupboard,’ explains Oliver.

Oliver Lyttelton
Oliver Lyttelton

Oliver Lyttelton’s interiors are playful places that delight and entertain, yet remain grounded by timeless, functional craftsmanship. His design philosophy is rooted in the belief that comfort is paramount – with every element exuding a sense of ease.

3. Dusky pink

pink kitchen cupboards with wine column fridge in middle

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

If red is a little too bold, consider on-trend dirty, dusky pink, which has red undertones but is a little softer and easier on the eye much like Maude Apatow recently championing the pink kitchen trend. ‘It’s a colour that imbues warmth and gives a homely glow, perfect for bringing a sense of comfort into the kitchen,’ explains kitchen designer, Tom Howley.  

When considering pink kitchen ideas steer away from bubblegum pinks, you’re looking for moodier shades that are more grown-up and grounded. Tom Howley’s in-house Pink Dusk, shown, hits the spot, and you could also try Pudding by Coat Paints, which has even more of the Barbie-ness knocked out.  

‘Dusky pink can be as versatile as you like – paint walls and drench cabinetry, pare-back pink with soft neutrals and whites, or combine with zesty greens and deep blues for an energetic, more playful look,’ adds interior designer, Naomi Astley Clarke.

4. Emerald green

green and white kitchen with marble splash back and matching floor tiles, brass handles

(Image credit: Future PLC)

As well as adding a layer of luxury, the rich emerald lustre of dark, jewel green, is the cosiest way to do dark kitchen ideas

‘Deep green is an excellent colour choice when it comes to creating a cosy kitchen as choosing this shade instantly adds a touch of nature providing a comforting look and feel, especially when combined with a wooden floor in a medium to dark colour way,’ agrees Rebecca Nokes, Design Director of John Lewis of Hungerford, whose favourite deep green is Mid Azure Green by Little Greene.

‘Warm metallic hardware and fittings work well with deep green cabinets to increase the cosy feel,’ she adds. 

5. Warm off-whites

white classic shaker kitchen

(Image credit: Mylands)

Admittedly the majority of white kitchen ideas are anything but cosy. Light and uplifting, yes, but rarely toasty warm. The clue is in the name, but if you’re a neutrals fan that’s in dire need of a homely, inviting atmosphere, a warm white could be just the ticket. 

Sourcing the perfect white can be a matter of trial and error and will require tester pots in the kitchen to see how the light levels alter the colour temperature throughout the day. You can narrow down your options by seeking out whites with more yellow or brown under-tones, and swerving any that are made with even the lightest hints of blue in the mix. 

Off-whites on our warm radar include M&L’s White Pepper and Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White, which can be warmed up further by pairing with dirty pinks, soft stones or deep aubergine.

‘An easy trick to introduce visual warmth is to choose an off-white with a very subtle hint of warm colour on the walls, and amplifying this on the cabinetry,’ agrees Dominic Myland, CEO, Mylands. ‘This kitchen has our Limestone No.55 on the walls which gives an overall feeling of light-filled freshness without feeling stark, which is complemented by the darker Egyptian Grey No.154 on the cabinetry to pull out the warmer tones, making it feel inviting and interesting to the eye at the same time.’ 

Dominic Myland
Dominic Myland

Founded in 1884 by ‘Honest’ John Myland, the British paint brand is now run by his great-grandson, DominicMyland. Known for its historic paint palettes and progressive approach to sustainability, Mylands is beloved by professional decorators and interior designers alike. 


What colours make a kitchen happy?

The happiest kitchen colour, according to research, is white. But while a crisp white kitchen may well bring you joy, we think warm white is the way to go if you want to dial up the happy factor to blissful! ‘Warm white can brighten up the kitchen but also make it feel warm and inviting,’ agrees Nelly Hall, Brand Director of M&L Paints. It really is a win-win situation. ‘Warm white pairs well with various accent colours and textures, so it’s a really flexible choice, too.’

It would also be hard to feel anything but happy in a bright yellow kitchen, but if you don’t fancy wearing sunglasses indoors year-round, perhaps tone it down a touch with a yellow and green decorating scheme. But the best way to beat the doldrums when cooking up a storm? Get your Marigolds on and give your kitchen a jolly good clean!

What is the most appealing kitchen colour?

Colour is very much in the eye of the beholder, and a matter of personal preference so it would be virtually impossible to lock down what is the most appealing kitchen colour for you. But we have got intel on the most popular paint colours for every room in the house, and can reveal that green kitchens are winning the colour popularity contest. 

‘Remember, the actual colour choice might depend on various factors such as the kitchen's size, amount of natural light, other colour elements in the room, and personal preferences,’ adds Nelly Hall. ‘It's always a good idea to test paint samples in your kitchen to see how they look in different lighting conditions before making a final decision.’

Make your kitchen a cosy, colourful haven and grab some tester pots to try out one of these shade.

Linda Clayton

 Linda Clayton is a professionally trained journalist, and has specialised in product design, interiors and fitness for more than two decades. Linda has written for a wide range of publications, from the Daily Telegraph and Guardian to Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She has been freelancing for Ideal Home Magazine since 2008, covering design trends, home makeovers, product reviews and much more.