7 ways to use invigorating and on-trend shades of green in a small kitchen

Experts explain how to use shades of green to breathe life into a small kitchen

Annie Sloan green kitchen with pink tiled floor
(Image credit: Future PLC / Caroline Mardon)

A kitchen is one of, if not the most-used room in the house, so the design and colour scheme needs to be invigorating and joyful, yet still timeless. Small green kitchen ideas will be your ticket to a classic yet creative space. The shade has seen a huge growth in popularity in recent years thanks to its bright, nature-inspired tone that makes it easy to incorporate.

Kitchens are a huge investment so picking the perfect colour scheme is no small decision. Green kitchen ideas make this an easy call though with a variety of different shades that means there's something for everyone, no matter how bold you're prepared to go.

If you're working with small kitchen ideas, as many of us are, then you can be safe in the knowledge that green will complement a room of any size. Whether you're favouring an emerald hue or a softer sage, it's sure to make a tiny kitchen pop.

Small green kitchen ideas

Green makes for the ideal kitchen colour scheme - as a shade associated with nature, it's perfect for a communal family space that often connects to the outdoors.

It will breathe new life into your cooking space, especially in a small room where vivid colour is often necessary to add character.

'Green as an accent colour brings life, nature, and freshness to a small kitchen. This colour is incredibly versatile and is suitable for modern, minimalistic, or rustic kitchens, depending on the intensity and saturation. From emerald green tiles to light sage, the possibilities are endless,' explains Al Bruce, founder of Olive & Barr.

1. Go tonal

Annie Sloan green kitchen with pink tiled floor

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

The beauty of green is that there are so many different tones you can choose from, and they work even better together than they do alone.

In a small kitchen, using one block colour can have the tendency to make the space look flat, so choosing a combination of shades will elevate the design. To make it easier to decide what colours go with green, simply stick with tonal variations.

Keeping the darker shade towards the bottom of the room with base cabinetry will ground the look, while lighter shades on the walls will make a small kitchen feel bigger.

2. Keep cabinetry pared-back

A green kitchen with a washing machine

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

When using more of a statement shade in a small kitchen, keeping cabinetry fuss-free will help the colour to remain the focus. While green Shaker kitchen ideas are incredibly stylish, if you're renovating a really tiny space then slab cabinet doors might offer a neater look.

Lighter shades of green work really well as a modern kitchen idea, taking inspiration from Scandi interiors where laidback living comes first.

3. Pick panelling for a traditional touch

Olive green kitchen with wall panelling

(Image credit: Laura Stephens/Boz Gavowski)

'It’s important to use the right shade of green in a small kitchen, as darker shades, such as forest green, can enclose the space,' explains Darren Watts, showroom design director at Wren Kitchens.

While we're firm believers in choosing a colour that you love, earthy shades of green will be a softer choice for small kitchens. If traditional kitchen ideas are more your style they'll also complement Shaker doors and classic features such as wall panelling.

'Opt for the likes of Drawing room green for a toned-down look, or sage green, which offers a clean look, especially when paired with rustic timber worktops and neutral décor,' Darren concludes.

4. Team with other bright shades

Fresh green kitchen

(Image credit: Future / David Giles)

For a small kitchen bursting in colour and personality, team a leafy green with other primary colours or pastel hues.

Pink and green is one of the most popular kitchen colour combinations as it makes a pretty pink scheme easier to incorporate.

5. Create a cohesive open plan space

Open plan green kitchen with green velvet sofa.

(Image credit: Future)

If you're decorating a small space, it's likely that this is also an open plan kitchen where living and cooking take place in one room. A green kitchen is the ultimate choice for designing a versatile space with more than one purpose as it's super easy to bring through into living room decor.

A green sofa in a slightly darker or lighter colour will create a cohesive design that flows, but still defines the zones for different purposes. Dunelm's Beatrice sofa is a fan favourite on the Ideal Home desk and comes in a gorgeous matte velvet material.

6. Create a high-end look

Green kitchen with ruggable checked rug.

(Image credit: Ruggable)

A green colour scheme feels contemporary and of the moment but it also works well in antique-inspired kitchens. To amp up a classic look, use a light sage green palette and adorn with jewellery-like aged brass hardware. Completing with a kitchen rug and some artwork will complete the layout.

'Metal brassware, such as handles or sinks, also pairs extremely well with shades of green and adds a more luxe, industrial feel to a small green kitchen,' echoes Darren Watts, showroom design director at Wren Kitchens.

7. Make a feature of flooring

Green kitchen with bright yellow wall

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

The easiest way to add flair to a small kitchen without making it look cluttered is through kitchen flooring. Either go bold with matching green flooring and cabinetry or good one area to make a statement.

Tie in green tones by choosing a tile with the same palette but make sure there's plenty of white featured so that it doesn't make a compact room look too dark.


What is the best shade of green for a kitchen?

With so many shades of green to choose from, where do you start? And what is the best shade of green for a small kitchen?

'If you have a small kitchen, dark green is still a powerful choice and can add depth - also it doesn’t show the dirt as much! Deeper richer greens work very well with traditional styled cabinets,' explains Sophie Smith, founder of Zhoosh Paints.

'Frogs at Night is a moody, bluey green that works brilliantly alongside patterned wallpaper, as is Under the Oak Tree, which has a warmer tint which complements yellows and oranges. To make the room feel larger, use the paint all the way around the room, including on the doors and skirting boards.'

If darker hues aren't your thing then there are plenty of softer green shades that will look effortlessly chic in a compact room.

Sophie adds, 'Green is fresh and clean, so a natural choice in the kitchen, reflecting the plants, herbs and vegetables that are used in this space. Forest Bathing is light, vibrant and optimistic, an ideal colour for walls or cupboards if you are looking to refresh an old palette - and green brings the outdoors in so can make a small room feel larger, as it leads the eye towards the window and outdoors.'

Are you a fan of a bold palette or are you leaning towards earthy tones?

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).