Navy blue is fast becoming one of the most popular colour choices when it comes to modern kitchen design. Thinking about going for a navy colour palette in your kitchen? Our navy kitchen ideas to help guide your design journey, because with bold colour it's essential to get the balance right.
A navy kitchen might not be your first thought when deciding on a new kitchen colour scheme, but don't be afraid to go dark. This classic and smart shade of blue can create a crisp and sophisticated look. What's more, it works with any style of cabinetry or property.
'Gone are the days where dark colours in the kitchen and living spaces feel all 'doom' and 'gloom',' says Matt Baker, kitchen designer at Harvey Jones.
'Colour completely alters the mood of a room. Used cleverly, darker shades of blue give a side of sophistication and drama to the space. Especially when dressed with statement metallic ironmongery and well positioned lighting.
Our pick of the best kitchen ideas in shades of navy emphasise how this dark hue can enhance a kitchen, adding depth and atmosphere to the heart of your home.
Navy kitchen ideas
1. Unite living spaces with a navy scheme
Use this rich tone on the walls throughout your downstairs living areas. If the kitchen is off the living room help to create a seamless journey into the next room with the help of a matching colour palette.
Navy is the perfect shade to set a striking, sophisticated balance for a living room and an open-plan kitchen and dining area. Using the same colour to decorate both helps to make the spaces feel united, identifying a personality for the most sociable areas of the home.
2. Off set bold blue with gold fittings
For a kitchen where style is the essence, opt for gold handles and fixtures to really add the wow factor. Use smart kitchen lighting ideas, such as the one shown above, to highlight the bold kitchen colour.
Exposed bulb pendants allows a bigger pool of light to expose the shade fully, rather than cast shadows. With an already dark cabinet colour you may not want to welcome any more of a moody atmosphere due to bad lighting.
3. Choose floor-to-ceiling cupboards along one wall
If you can't decide between a blue or a grey kitchen, why not go for a shade somewhere in the middle? The kitchen above has gone all out with the grey-blue colour by filling an entire wall with bespoke units to create a feature-like wall of colour. The streamlined navy blue cabinetry against just one wall draws the eye and injects life into the area, making a strong statement.
Choosing an island in the same shade helps to compliment the main wall, anchoring the colour back to the feature wall. Keep surrounding materials light to create contrast, with white painted walls and light wooden floors.
4. Ground darker cabinets with lighter flooring
To keep the look balanced when using darker colours on the cabinetry, the general design rule is to add in lighter surfaces. The floor is a good place to start in order to keep the look grounded.
Melissa Klink, Head of Design at Harvey Jones, advises, ‘Light worktops and/or flooring will balance the overall look and will make the space feel brighter and more lively. A dark flooring choice might overwhelm the space and make the look too gloomy.'
5. Keep it light
Frame an L-shaped kitchen space with beautiful blue cabinetry. Running an L-shape of units under a window will help to welcome natural light onto the corner, to prevent the dark colour from feeling too dramatic or claustrophobic.
The smart shade stands out even more against light worktops and when paired with silver accents.
6. Float an island of block colour
If painting all cabinetry blue is a little daunting, why not go for one focal piece, such as a dresser or kitchen island. Navy compliments all neutrals, making the overall scheme feel cohesive.
If you want more of a matching vibe you could go one step further and tie the scheme together with navy kitchen tiles, smart kitchen splashback ideas or accessories.
7. Frame navy kitchen cabinets with white
Using white surfaces to frame the navy stops the bold colour from overpowering the space – especially great if you're looking for small kitchen ideas. Smart kitchen worktop ideas in white marble and white painted walls encasing bold blue cabinets within a white backdrop keeps the room light, fresh and airy.
8. Add warmth with touches of wood throughout
From worktops to flooring; shelving to accessories, wooden materials can go a long way to bring out a warmth within a navy kitchen. Work with warm wood finishes such as maple, warm oak, and reclaimed teak.
9. Give the look a glamorous touch
Navy blue can turn ordinary into sensational. This elongated modern kitchen is eclectic and characterful. The simple white backdrop keeps the space fresh while wall units have been replaced with a single white shelf for a more open feel.
Standard veneer units are transformed with a rich shade of navy giving the space depth and style. The glamorous chandelier (which is not a classic kitchen piece) makes the perfect finishing statement.
10. Pack a punch with pattern
Incorporate the colour in all aspects of your kitchen design. From the painted cabinets to the patterned tile choice, navy gives pattern a punch and works wonders within this kitchen.
When opting for pattern choose just one or two neutrals, such as soft taupe or linen to work alongside. The simplicity of this combo is its strength. It will lose impact and become too overwhelming if too many shades or accent colours come into play. If you must add an accent, keep it tonal with stainless-steel appliances.
11. Paint the walls to get the look
If you're looking to get the look of a navy kitchen but navy blue cabinets are too permanent, a smart painted kitchen idea is to paint the walls instead.
A quick coat of paint on a wall is the simplest and most cost effective way to add the tasteful shade to your cream or white kitchen for super chic results. Thanks to its striking richness, it acts as a beautiful backdrop for neutral cabinets, helping to add depth to the overall scheme.
12. Pair navy framework with pastel pink
If you like the shade but don't want a fully pink kitchen, pastel pink is a deliciously complimentary colour for navy. As this kitchen pantry shows, a splash of pastel pink offers a warming shade to enhance the blue. Used here inside the cabinets it can create a beautiful backdrop behind navy doors.
13. Keep navy cabinets low level
If you're looking to use a dominant navy blue on the cabinets but fear it proving too overpowering, we suggest opting for the colour on the low level cabinetry.
The wall-mounted cabinets work perfectly well in a complimentary soft grey, as Homebase demonstrate above with their new Classic Shaker-style kitchen. Choosing two different colours allows you to be bold with an element of your colour choice, without feeling out of your comfort zone.
14. Pair with grey for effortless style
Navy and grey as a colour combo never fails to delight. Both shades manage to emulate effortless cool, making them easy to live with but uber stylish.
For an open-plan kitchen and living area, where all one shade would feel flat, choose grey to compliment the statement shade of blue. Choose grey furniture pieces, opting for structured shapes that feel more elegant.
Sofas with feet allow the light to flow beneath, keeping the scheme feeling light and airy, despite the dark tone present. Mimic the blue into the adjoining space with accessories and soft furnishings.
15. Tailor the colour for a traditional style
For more traditional kitchen tastes, Shaker units become accentuated and high-end when painted in classic navy blue. This is a tailored look perfect for those who love classic design. Here, navy blue cabinetry gives this Shaker-style, open-plan kitchen a super stylish and refined look.
Natural finishes such as parquet flooring and smooth wooden stools lend a warm lived-in feel while a crisp white backdrop keeps the room light, fresh and airy.
16. Elevate the colour scheme
If coloured kitchen cabinets is a step too far for your tastes, stick to working with a limited sliver of this striking shade of blue. A navy blue border around the edge of a white or cream kitchen goes a long way to lift the colour scheme without overwhelming the look. Introduce matching colour through kitchen textiles, kitchenware and accessories.
17. Incorporate colour at the windows
Flood the kitchen with a hint of blue by framing the windows in the same rich navy tones. If you're lucky enough to have traditional wooden shutters, even better. Match the shade to completely blanket the windows in navy blue. If not you can simply paint the wooden surrounds and finish with a matching navy blue blind.
18. Stick to feature walls for bold colour choices
If you really want a navy kitchen colour scheme but are fearful of the colour dating or perhaps you're too nervous about committing to the whole look, why not try dipping your toe in with a navy painted feature wall. You get to embrace the look without having to jump in wholeheartedly by painting units.
Navy blue walls pair beautifully with all the tones most favoured in the kitchen – warm woods, sophisticated greys and crisp white.
19. Create a classic country scheme
The fresh contrast of French navy, cream and sage green is perfect for a contemporary country kitchen. The half and half of navy blue units and sage green tiles offers an injection of warming colour. White on all walls helps to create a perfectly balanced feel.
Mix in warmer elements, such as wooden flooring and worktops, to support the rustic country aesthetic. Ticking stripe fabrics add pattern to enhance the look.
20. Add decorative navy blue touches
Who says your kitchen has to embrace coloured cabinets to qualify as a navy blue kitchen? Painting the walls and choosing complimentary blue tiles can help to get a stylish navy blue scheme, without the expense of new cabinets or the effort of painting the old ones.
In this kitchen, the beautiful kitchen tile idea doesn't match the colour on the wall, but that's ok. Blending different tonal blues welcomes a depth to the overall scheme. It stops the surfaces looking too matchy-matchy.
21. Extend colour scheme to the splashback
Tie the hue through from kitchen cabinets to a tiled splashback for an impactful approach. If you have a kitchen with a high ceiling, why not continue the navy colour scheme by adding in some light fittings in a slight different tone of blue like in this kitchen.
Here, the tiles with navy accents are the main attraction. However, by pairing it with simply navy cabinets and a neutral counter top they don't take over the room but work with it to create a fun space.
22. Make it your own by painting cabinets
Ever wondered how to paint kitchen cabinets? Painting the units yourself is a great way to transform the space on a budget, allowing you to tailor the look to suit your tastes.
Update a traditional kitchen with a coat of this on-trend colour, painting as much or as little as you wish. Enhance the impact with red accents for a retro kitchen look or pare it down with shades of grey or biscuit. Painted kitchens can look incredibly stylish and sophisticated when done right.
23. Set the scene with warm accents
Navy blue and white are the perfect combination for modern country kitchens. This beautiful kitchen island idea stands out against the bright white. Elegant, fresh and timeless, the contrast is instantly uplifting. Mix in warmer elements like natural wood to soften the strong effect. A trio of copper pendant lights is right-on-trend and adds a dash of shine to this scheme.
24. Use colour to create zones
Choosing contrasting shades helps define zones in a large open-plan kitchen-diner. For modern kitchen fans, navy blue can really pack a punch when used with clean-lined gloss cabinetry. The light grey central island is a social station that calms and balances the look. The hi-gloss finish bounces the light around the room and adds to the sense of openness.
What colours go with a navy kitchen?
What colours go with a navy kitchen is an easy question to answer. Navy lends itself perfectly as a sharp and sophisticated accent shade, taking on a different tone depending on the colour combination.
When paired with gold and brass it has an impactful presence, striking in its contrast. Whereas, against soft muted neutrals, navy feels somehow softer. Splashes of pastel pink on walls works wonderfully within a navy kitchen, as the pantry cupboard above demonstrates.
White will also work to make the space feel light and airy, even when contrasted with a darker kitchen colour. Navy and white together allows you to create a kitchen of two contrasting tones, without it taking on a monochrome scheme.
‘For a smart, uniformed look, I'd recommend opting for a matte finish and pairing with light worktops and with silver accents to help the shade stand out,' says Olivia Anderson, Trends Forecaster at B&Q.
What floors go with a navy kitchen?
In reality, what floors go with a navy kitchen depends on the look you wish to create. If your kitchen is traditional in style then navy cabinets will benefit from the warmth of wooden flooring. From real parquet flooring to realistic wood-look laminate, the tones underfoot will help to add a warming quality to the scheme. If the kitchen is contemporary the design can afford to be bolder with white-painted floor boards, sleek marble or stone flooring to create a stark contrast.
‘When it comes to choosing the materials and colours that go with a dark kitchen, consider the mood and overall look you want to achieve,’ advises Melissa Klink, Head of Design at Harvey Jones.
‘Generally, when paired with dark cabinetry, light worktops and/or flooring will balance the overall look and will make the space feel brighter and more lively. If you opt for dark flooring and/or worktops, you’ll have a more serious, refined look. No matter which scheme you want to achieve, we always suggest adding a few lighter touches in your kitchen to bring a little brightness and make sure the room doesn’t look too gloomy.’
Have these navy kitchen ideas inspired you to step into the blue?
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
Here's how to get rid of a mattress that's seen better days
Making room for a lovely new mattress? Here's how to get rid of a mattress that's seen better days, whether recycling, selling or donating
By Katie Sims
This stunning kitchen makeover is a unique blend of minimal Scandi design and Victorian character
Getting the colour right was key to this makeover
By Laurie Davidson
Pantone announced its colour of the year for 2024 – it’s the nurturing, mood-boosting shade no one saw coming
This is the soothing shade that’s set to be everywhere next year – meet Peach Fuzz, Pantone’s colour of the year 2024
By Sara Hesikova