Red kitchen ideas – burgundy, scarlet, rust and terracotta cabinetry to add personality to the heart of any home

From freestanding furniture to flooring, there's a colourful idea to inspire all
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  • When it comes to kitchen design, colour can transform in a big way – adding both warmth and character. You can choose to go subtle or bold, but if you decide to make an impact with colour, nothing will create drama as instantly as these red kitchen ideas.

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    As the heart of any home, it’s important to make our kitchens feel like a space we take comfort in, as we spend so much time here. To create this environment we look for rich warming tones, such as  of red, to enrich the senses and create atmosphere.

    ‘Colourful Kitchens are set to be a huge trend for 2021,’ says Hayley Simmons, Head of Merchandising at Magnet. ‘As we spend more time indoors looking for colour to enhance our mood. It seems like we’ve been staring at the same four walls for some time now, 2021 is all about taking risks with interiors, creating a new and very different feeling environment. Homeowners will be looking to experiment and introduce new bolder shades that bring their kitchen to life.’

    ‘Red is set to be a big colour for this year’ says Sinead Trainor, Kitchen Category Manager, LochAnna Kitchens. ‘Red is a very warm colour which motivates us to take action and symbolises confidence and courage. At a time when we are spending more and more time at home, red is a great colour choice for homeowners looking for ways to brighten up rooms and create a positive and inviting space’

    Red kitchen ideas

    1. Take a soft approach

    red kitchen island

    Image credit: Magnet, Dunham kitchen in Pass The Merlot & Truffle Oil, Price from £4,655

    With a whole range of shades and finishes available for cabinetry, you can introduce red to your colour scheme without it feeling too much. This delicious shade of ‘Merlot’ red in a matt finish is an ideal way to incorporate colour, with a softer approach. Used on the lower level cabinets prevents the colour from taking over. Blended with chic grey units and natural wood elements helps to keep the overlook soothing and rustic.

    ‘Shades of red may seem daunting in the kitchen but the beautifully elegant Pass The Merlot offers a muted red that is the perfect combination of style and comfort’ explains Hayley, at Magnet. ‘By pairing Pass The Merlot with neutral greys, truffles and cashmeres, families can experiment with daring colour without it being over powering’.

    2. Decorate walls with warming reds

    Red kitchen with wooden cabinets

    Image credit: Farrow & Ball

    Painting walls is far less of a commitment to colour than painting the cabinets, but it still achieves the desired look. Farrow & Ball’s colour curator Joa Studholme reveals how red is the unexpected pigment set to be the next big trend in our homes.

    ‘In 2021 we have moved away from dark charcoals and blues and towards the warmer tones of nature, like Deep Reddish Brown and Tanner’s Brown, which are strong and subdued but achingly fashionable’ Joa explains.

    ‘Incredibly chic by day and cosy by night, they bring a grounded but luxurious atmosphere that is thought-provoking as well as soothing, particularly when paired with other hues found in the natural world.’ This is demonstrated perfectly by this inviting kitchen.

    3. Embrace burgundy


    Image credit: CRL Stone

    Burgundy red is a deep, mature shade that’s especially suited to a country kitchen. It looks fabulous in combination with warmer taupe-grey units, and can be paired with worktops in black granite, white composite or warm timber.

    In this kitchen, a feature wall is painted in the same colour as the island to draw the colour through the wall. A white range cooker, walls and ceilings lets the furniture take centre stage.

    4. Create character with contrasting colours

    neutral kitchen with red walls

    Image credit: Optiplan Kitchens

    Add splashes of contrasting colour to create a scheme that shows your individual tastes, and breaks away from the norm. Here an otherwise all-neutral kitchen space is lifted by a warming red on the walls. the earthy tone of the red is in-keeping with the tonal colour palette of muted stone and oyster hues, but adds aplomb and personality to the overall look. Rich copper accents, on the handles and cookware, helps to set the scene for a more colourful story too.

    ‘As we have spent the most amount of time in our homes in the past year, many have started to re-think their interiors,’ says Optiplan Kitchens’ interior designer, Andy Briggs. ‘Seeking to add their own individual style to suit their ‘new’ needs and desires. This includes really adding personality and colours to walls, units and accessories. Colour-blocking is a great way to add colour, contrasting wall colours to those used in cabinets.’

    5. Add statement accent pieces

    Image credit: Polly Wreford

    Red doesn’t have to feature on walls or cabinetry to make instant impact in a kitchen. Here a freestanding dresser is more than enough to inject a splash of bold accent colour into the space, alongside thoughtfully selected accessories and fabrics to establish a red theme for the decor.

    6. Take red to new levels

    red kitchen with green base units

    Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens

    ‘Red is set to be a big colour of 2021. More than ever before, people are bravely choosing bolder colours for their home décor’ says Sinead Trainor, Kitchen Category Manager, LochAnna Kitchens. As a result the Tavole Collection is available in a brand new ‘Deep Cherry’ colour, which takes a soft but stylish approach to red.

    Sinead goes on to say, ‘Red is best paired with lighter, cooler tones like beige, white or grey. But for those willing to make some bolder design choices, it can be beautifully and elegantly suited to black.’

    7. Create a focal point with a vibrant splashback

    red splashback

    Image credit: Harvey Jones, Shaker Kitchen, from £20,000

    Use a vibrant splash of red centrally within your kitchen to make a statement. ‘Coloured splashbacks are a very popular option for bringing energy into the kitchen, especially when combined with cabinetry in neutral colours’ explains Melissa Klink, Head of Design at Harvey Jones. ‘The expanding market has allowed customers to bring block shades of oranges and reds into the kitchen as accent colours, helping you to create a bold pop of colour without dominating the space.’

    8. Mix on-trend colour combinations

    kitchen with grey and red units

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Can’t decide on whether you want an of-the-moment red kitchen or an on-trend grey kitchen? Why not mix and match, to embrace the qualities of both. A darker crimson red is the perfect shade to sit alongside a lead grey colour, complimenting each other without overpowering the look.

    This open-plan kitchen space allows the dominant colours to create a clearly defined kitchen along along one wall. The floating shelves on the far side, in a brighter shade of red, help to incorporate the colour further.

    9. Paint a feature wall

    red kitchen ideas with feature wall

    Image credit: Crown Paints

    Let your decorating scheme determine red as the most dominate shade, rather than choosing coloured cabinetry. Painting a feature wall in a vibrant shade of red will ensure the colour will stand out. This glorious orange red by Crown is  Spice Jar, drawing on of spicy paprika for inspiration. Red is best suited to more muted colours, as demonstrated here with cream units and Toffee Apple coloured walls.

    10. Go for gloriously glossy red cabinets

    crimson red kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    For those looking for a real colour fix, go for high-gloss cabinetry in cherry red alongside built-in appliances offer a streamlined feel. The sheen on the contemporary finish helps to reflect the light, adding depth to the colour during different times of the day. Pristine white worktops and splashbacks keep the colour scheme feeling fresh and contemporary.

    11. Complement monochrome for a modern look

    red and white kitchen

    Image credit: Richard Gadsby

    This ultra-modern kitchen certainly has the wow-factor! If you love this primary shade in all its glorious beauty then you’ll love the colourful red cabinetry, curved island unit and sleek built-in appliances in this modern set up.

    12. Ground the look with a terracotta red floor

    kitchen with red flooring

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Terracotta red is a popular choice for many a country kitchen. This example demonstrates that terracotta red is not just for farmhouse tiled floors either. These days vinyl solutions offer a wealth of alternative floorings to suit tastes and requirements.

    The earthy red shade of this floor provides a grounded canvas on which to build a country-inspired  kitchen scheme with French grey cabinetry. A selection of well-chosen country-style accessories incorporating the same shade would help to tie to the look together.

    13. Make a bold statement with a bright red island

    red kitchen ideas with islands

    Image credit: Dawie Verwey

    A striking pillar-box red kitchen island is the dramatic centrepiece to this traditional country kitchen. Balance out the strong colour with dark granite worktops. Echo the colour throughout the rest of the kitchen, with coordinating blinds and curtains.

    14. Add a simple splashback to reflect colour choice

    red kitchen splashback

    Image credit: Brian Harrison

    Sometimes less is more. A slither of crimson red goes a long way to inject a touch of personality to this otherwise ‘safe’ kitchen space. The two-tone kitchen is broken up with a hit of intense red with the addition of a practical splashback.

    This effect would work well in any otherwise seemingly plain kitchen, because the use of a minimal accent colour isn’t at risk of overpowering the look.

    15. Invest in uplifting red worktops

    red worktops in white kitchen

    Image credit: Jennifer Collins

    Commit to colour. Go for bright and bold with a red worktop if you wish to make a colourful statement – just be sure you won’t get bored of the shade before you make the investment. Keep everything else paired back and neutral in tone, to allow the work surface to shine. On a practical note, red will be easier to keep clean than lighter alternatives.

    16. Add pops of red with accessories

    white kitchen with red fridge and red barstools

    Image credit: Darren Chung

    If you love red but are not feeling brave enough to use it on fixable kitchen fittings, go for accent pieces. Small pops of red can lend personality to a neutral colour scheme, stopping a largely plain area from looking clinical and washed out.

    A chilli red fridge and leather barstools help to perk up this all-white scheme. The matching red shades of the barstools and fridge link the prep and seating areas, and create a cohesive scheme with almost no effort.

    What shade of red is best for my kitchen?

    Like all dominant colours there’s a whole spectrum of different depths and tones of red. It’s not all about attention-grabbing pillar box reds. Finding the right shade is vitally important, to consider how red will work with the rest of your scheme. Consider whether cooler (more blue) or warmer (more orange) tones will work in your space and with the amount of light you have.

    Don’t despair if your kitchen naturally receives little daylight, where a largely red decor could risk seeming heavy – the colour can still be incorporated in clever ways, such as a dramatic backdrop colour on shelving, to highlight your crockery.

    Otherwise colour can be used on walls to create warmth, as a bold cabinetry colour, or as an accent colour in a paler scheme to highlight features.

    Whether you’re bold enough to choose a strongly red-toned decor, or you want to know how to work just a little of this appetising hue into your space, here are our pick of the best inspiring examples of how to use red in a kitchen scheme.

    What colour goes with red in a kitchen?

    Depending on style, modern or traditional, there’s a colour combination to suit all red kitchen ideas. Red is often a popular choice in country kitchens, where the shade is paired with sage greens and creams. In a country kitchen red pairs perfectly with the traditional warmer wooden worktops, such as honeyed pine and walnut. Here the shade is used to enhance the cosy ambience of the shade.

    Consider all aspects: Kitchen worktops – everything you need to know to choose the right material

    While in a more contemporary style kitchen red is best suited to starker colours, that offset the shade to make it more striking. Such as brilliant white on walls and on cabinets to create a real style statement. Red is considered the perfect accent for a monochrome scheme, where the colour red plays a role to create balance between the two extremes of black and white.

    Red traditionally represents heat, passion, love and even danger. It’s also indelibly associated with food, from strawberries and plump tomatoes, to rich pasta sauce and fiery chillis, making it a natural choice in a kitchen.

    Which of our red kitchen ideas inspires you most?

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