Kitchen colour schemes – to give your space a vibrant lift

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  • Neutrals aren’t for everyone and the sizeable cost of a new kitchen shouldn’t dictate that you play it safe

    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 avocado green and burnt orange in the 1970s? The new palette is a bit more restrained, with pale blues, greys and darker, inky shades proving a big hit – though that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with kitchen colour, as you will see in the schemes below. Tone is important too – even within the grey family, warmer greys create a different feel from blue-based shades of slate.

    Want more great kitchen advice? Check out our kitchen ideas channel for more inspiration

    When choosing an accent colour or a mixed palette, you can’t go wrong by following colour theory. Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel and will create a strong contrast with a vibrant feel, while colours that are near each other on the wheel will give your scheme a more relaxed vibe.

    Don’t just think about the colour on your walls or units – also consider the design and style of your kitchen flooring.

    1. Create a coastal colour scheme

    Kitchen colour schemes

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    For a fresh look, a coastal palette of gentle blues, off-whites and greys is a particularly versatile choice. It’s also considerably more forgiving than a brilliant white kitchen. Build up colours in layers, perhaps opting for units in two or three shades and using tiles and paint to create a clean but warm and inviting scheme.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar Ideal Home 12-Piece Edge Dinner Set, £34.99, Very

    2. Introduce colour in unexpected places

    Kitchen colour schemes

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Don’t limit pattern to walls and go bold with flooring instead. Try black-and-white tiles in a geometric design for a sophisticated yet fun result. As a nod to industrial design with a touch of nostalgia, team simple white ceramic brick tiles with dark grout. Stuck with white grout? Colour it in with a grey grout pen as a quick fix. Finally, update boring and bland wooden kitchen cabinets by painting them in an on-trend dark grey and changing the handles.

    3. Paint it white

    Kitchen colour schemes

    Image credit: David Giles

    Embrace minimalist style in glossy white. Go for a fuss-free scheme with plenty of glam touches and design-led details. Paint walls in a hard-wearing kitchen paint that allows you to wipe away splashes easily. Why not install a splashback using textured white tiles for added depth? White gloss units blend seamlessly with the walls. For continuity, choose a white fitted oven and co-ordinating appliances.

    Want to see more ways to work with white? READ: White kitchens for every style and budget

    4. Go for impact with contrasting colours

    Kitchen colour schemes

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    This modern look is bold yet easy to achieve. To really add wow, choose shiny high-gloss units in a vibrant primary colour. Team with white worktops and wall cabinets, so the area still feels light and spacious. Lastly, add a hint of colour with striped vinyl flooring. Lay the lines along the length of the room to further increase the feeling of space.

    5. Create a vintage vibe with bold florals and fresh pastels

    Kitchen colour scheme

    Celebrating spring all year round with a pretty kitchen scheme full of colour and pattern. For a bold, vintage look, select an oversized floral wallpaper bursting with colour. Restrict it to the one wall, then keep the rest white for a fresh, modern take on shabby chic. Complement floral walls with co-ordinating cushions and blind fabrics. It’s okay to clash prints, but aim to stick to one colour palette. Make less patterned accessories sing by going for country-feel furniture in white.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar Ideal Home Axxon 120 cm Dining Table and Four Chairs, £329, Very

    6. Add colour with accessories

    Kitchen colour schemes

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Why not be adventurous with colour and texture by mixing hand painted bowls and coloured glassware to add personality to a table? Accessories like tablemats and napkins are not only functional but a good way of injecting pattern and fun into the kitchen. Invest in classic shapes in quality ware for kitchen staples, including wine glasses, everyday glasses and porcelain dinnerware, because they will stand the test of time. Building a collection of treasured pieces, whether blue-and-white china ware, copper pans, stoneware or antique plates is a good way to introduce a splash of consistent colour in a scheme as well as creating a decorative touch.

    7. Don’t be afraid to go for a standout colour

    Kitchen colour schemes

    Image credit: Chris Snook

    To prevent strong colour from overpowering, use it in small portions – perhaps to highlight a key focal point – or keep it below your direct sight line as you enter the kitchen. Also consider scale: a big kitchen can take a much bigger burst of colour. Pair a strong colour scheme with matching accessories to make it look considered.

    Love these kitchen colour schemes?

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