Cream kitchen ideas – all beautifully classic and sure to stand the test of time

Neutral shades are a far cry from ‘boring beige’ and will bring a sophisticated, low-key look to kitchens
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  • Looking for cream kitchen ideas? For many years now all shades of cream and magnolia have been shunned for brilliant white and hues of grey. But for 2021 the tide has turned, and those creamy neutrals have been brought up to date with a new, sophisticated colour palette – offering a wider choice of soft neutrals.

    Cream kitchens are the ideal choice for those looking for a safe neutral choice, but a colour warmer than white but not as outspoken as grey.

    Complete the look: Kitchen worktop ideas – to ensure your work surface is stylish and up to the job

    Cream Kitchen ideas

    This steadfast neutral colour lends itself to a number of decorating styles, from rustic to contemporary. Harvey Jones kitchen designer Leisha Norman tells Ideal Home, ‘Cream is a versatile shade that looks beautiful in both traditional and contemporary settings. It is light enough to make the room feel more spacious, yet it’s not as stark as white can be.’

    As a new kitchen is a huge investment, it’s no surprise that so many of us opt for a shade that will stand the test of time. Cream kitchens are one of the most popular styles – with colours such as ivory, off-white and buttermilk proving popular choices.

    You might choose an ultra-modern glossy cream kitchen that combines streamlined cabinetry with the latest appliances, or perhaps use painted cream cupboards to transform a cottage kitchen that has low ceilings. However you use this versatile shade, here are our cream kitchen ideas to inspire your design.

    1. Make cream feel contemporary

    cream kitchen ideas with contemporary lights

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Cream doesn’t have to say ‘country-style’, it can be highly effective as the backdrop in a more contemporary setting. In a modern home, choose a cream kitchen to create a bright and summery feel. Combine cream units with black  metro tiled walls and granite worktops for a practical, family kitchen. Choose statement glass pendant lights to add a living room vibe to the space – a design feature which is very on-trend for 2021. Add contemporary wireframe barstools to amplify the modern style credentials.

    2. Give neutrals a new lease of life

    cream kitchens ideas

    Image credits: Polly Eltes

    If you prefer your kitchens pale, opt for a palette of off-whites and buffs – imagine shades of vintage paper. Cream cabinetry feels fresh and modern teamed with white fittings and chalk-white walls. Matching stone worktops and floors help to keep the look cohesive. A warming cream AGA adds a classic country finish.

    3. Go for splashes of on-trend grey

     cream kitchen

    Warm cream cabinetry is an ideal backdrop for sophisticated grey worktops, light and accessories. Choose a shade of grey with warm undertones to help retain the warm qualities of cream, avoiding blue-toned greys. Finish the look by painting the walls with a putty colour, to meet the two tones of cream and grey halfway.

    4. Factor in freestanding furniture for flexibility

    Cream kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Simon Bevan

    Why not opt for freestanding furniture instead of fitted kitchen units? Choose pieces such as a painted cream sideboard for storage, a dresser where you can display favourite china and glassware, and a large farmhouse table surrounded by spindle chairs for family meals. Fit shelves instead of wall cupboards for Kilner jars, cookware and serving dishes – touches of copper, pink and stone bring this country kitchen scheme to life.

    5. Play it safe with an off-white scheme

    Cream kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Jamie Mason

    If you want to create the perfect family kitchen, be inspired by this modern cream kitchen. This open-plan design has ample worktop space for food preparation, a stainless-steel range cooker and chic white metro tiles. Built in an extension, the units curve round to form a breakfast bar for a casual eating space, with stylish pale blue pendant lights above.

    Want more kitchen colour ideas? READ: Kitchen colour schemes – to give your space a vibrant lift

    6. Create a café-style kitchen

    Cream kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    For a café-style kitchen combine cream walls and cabinetry with an area decorated with blackboard paint – and never forget anything on your shopping list ever again! Keep the look light and cheerful with cream painted base units and a practical wooden worktop. Continue the warm wood tones with dining furniture, then add black and copper accessories as a finish touch.

    7. Create a classic scheme you’ll love for years to come

    Cream kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Brent Darby

    A cream painted kitchen is the perfect choice for a cottage with low ceilings, as it makes the space feel light and open. Create this look with Shaker-style base cabinets, cream wall tiles and pale flagstone flooring. If you have space, an Aga will suit a cream country kitchen perfectly. As an alternative to wall cupboards, install a kitchen island in the centre of the room to provide plenty of storage.

    8. Invigorate with strong blue accents

    Cream kitchen with blue kitchen island

    Image credit: David Parmiter

    Inject personality with the use of one strong accent colour. In the case of this neutral kitchen scheme cream walls play the perfect backdrop to display midnight blue storage and shelving. For adding effect there main kitchen island is also blue. The delicious shade of mushroom on the tiles adds a subtle layer on from the cream, to create a harmonious palette of neutrals to compliment the punchier blue accents.

    9. Create focus with a feature wall

    Cream kitchen with red walls

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Like with all good neutral schemes, a hit of strong accent colour can go a long way to uplift the spirit of the room. Red is a trusted colour combination for cream, especially in a country-style kitchen. Here one striking red wall helps to add a focal point of interest within the cream colour scheme. The painted wall anchors the red accent colours dotted around the kitchen, from the appliances to textiles it all flows seamlessly.

    10. Offset cream with dark flooring

    cream kitchen with black slate floor

    Image credit: Douglas Gibb

    Maintain an all-cream colour scheme with the cabinetry and walls and instead use the floor to add a statement shade. A dark tiled floor helps to add depth to the room, ideal for small kitchens because it highlights the amount of floor space – which when the rest of the room is bright and airy, it can give a greater perspective. Natural wooden worktops help to break up the look further, without drawing the eye away from the two contrasting tones of cream and black.

    11. Team with green to create a country classic

    cream kitchen

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    12. Compliment with cream in a country kitchen

    Cream kitchen ideas

    Image credit: David Still

    In a farmhouse choose a kitchen design that complements the original features in your home. Here cream cabinetry and pale stone flooring blend seamlessly with the vaulted ceiling and exposed wood beams. The island unit has been painted in coordinating stone and accents of colour with fuchsia pendant lamps, glassware and a pretty patterned blind.

    13. Keep it classy and sophisticated

    Cream kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    A cream palette keeps the look fresh, with the dresser and vintage wooden table create a charming country feel. A combination of antiques, vintage accessories and salvaged pieces give this kitchen a sense of grandeur.

    Does grey go with a cream kitchen?

    We can hear the whole nation asking, because grey is a firm favourite for the modern home. All will be pleased to hear the answer is yes, the key is keeping the tones similar in warmth. Grey and cream can offer an ideal soothing colour combination to create a strong neutral base – avoiding the starkness of brilliant white. Thanks to the undertones in both colours they work together in unison to add warmth and depth.

    What colours go with a cream kitchen?

    Thanks to the warmth of cream it works best with colours on the warmer scale of the spectrum, such as red. The colour combination of red and cream is particularly popular for a country kitchen, which teams well with natural woods and stone worktops and flooring.

    While warm colours are the most welcome, green and blue can work just as well despite being colder in tone. It’s about choosing the right depth of colour, which can compliment the cream. For instance sage green has an earthy quality that helps to bring warmth.

    ‘As cream is a soft, neutral shade, it works really well with a multitude of colours’ explains Leisha Norman, kitchen designer at Harvey Jones. ‘Consider having your cabinets or walls in a different tone – perhaps a deeper blue-grey or a forest green – as this will add more of an edge to the final space. Another good idea is to add some interest with standalone pieces, such as an old AGA in a black shiny finish.’

    Painting your kitchen? READ: Painted kitchen ideas – to give your space a new lease of life

    Do you like our pick of the best cream kitchens? Which one is your favourite?

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