Not only is the kitchen the heart of the home, but it's also one of the most expensive rooms to refresh. Needless to say, when you take the renovation plunge, you want to get things right the first time around. But when it comes to kitchen color ideas, it's easier to be flexible and make changes without blowing your budget. You can experiment with accent walls, tuxedo cabinets that feature two different hues, and even shades with different finishes like high gloss and matte. You may even be surprised by the impact just a lick of kitchen paint can have.
Stuck for ideas? Here's our ultimate guide to finding the perfect shade for your culinary space. For helpful tips and dreamy inspo, too, continue reading below.
How to Find the Perfect Kitchen Paint Color
Most color schemes can work in any cook space, but there are some basic rules to bear in mind when selecting a hue. You need to consider the size, shape, and overall layout before you commit. And don't hastily assume that the color you love in someone else's kitchen will work for your interior design. Paints tend to look different depending on the location of the room and the natural light (or lack thereof). We'll help you determine which color family is best suited for you.
Neutral Kitchen Colors
Neutral colors will create a timeless and long-lasting look, which is perfect for small kitchens. If you have a narrow or awkward layout to work with, these lighter shades will help make your space feel larger and brighter.
No, white kitchens don't have to be boring. In fact, some of our favorite cook spaces feature crisp white walls and cabinetry. We recommend going this route if minimalist and modern styles are your favorites.
If you want to feel calm and collected while you cook, a gray kitchen might be for you. Reminiscent of cloudy skies and London fog, this color will add intrigue without being too loud.
The perfect mix of gray and beige, greige is for those who love neutrals but have a hard time fully committing. It's a simple color for a kitchen that needs a little twist.
Do you dream of having a classic kitchen with timeless features and a color scheme that will only get better with time? Then cream accents are the way to go. This shade will make your cook space feel warm and traditional in the best possible way.
Bright Kitchen Colors
There are so many bright kitchen colors to choose from. These shades are interesting enough to make a statement without overpowering the rest of your kitchen design. Depending on the other elements in the space, an idea that incorporates your favorite color could be perfect. For an incredibly fun moment, go all out by featuring two bright shades. Or use one color as the basis for your entire color palette. You could also try a color combination that involves bold lower cabinets with neutral uppers for contrast.
There's a special place in our hearts for green kitchens. Spaces that feature this verdant shade automatically feel energized and lively. But depending on the tone — whether it's an olive tint, vibrant emerald, or pastel mint — you can end up with an eclectic room or a contemporary one.
Much like the sun, yellow kitchens feel warm and so cozy. This bright hue can give even a drab, dated cook space the perfect touch of coziness.
It's true — purple kitchens tend to feel luxe and glam in all the right ways. But this hue isn't for the faint of heart. So if you're not willing to paint the walls and cabinets with this color, start small with purple appliances and decor.
If you're in the mood for a kitchen idea that will impress your friends and family, bring in pops of pink. This bright hue will make even older cook spaces feel brand new.
Dark Kitchen Colors
If you're lucky enough to have a large kitchen with lots of natural light, an inky hue can help create a dramatic and luxe feeling. In fact, dark cabinetry against light walls will feel balanced and moody at the same time.
We believe black kitchens are best reserved for those who like to take risks. If you go this route, you'll have instant drama on your hands. Inky spaces don't typically bounce light, though. So make to sure add multiple light sources to keep your prep zone illuminated when you need it most.
Want a quick way to make your culinary zone Instagram ready in a flash? Inject navy blue accents. Try painting your kitchen island this shade or going for a navy backsplash.
Kitchen Color Tips
Once you've decided on the perfect color, it's time to start thinking about the overall look of your space. We recommend checking out popular kitchen color trends to see how different hues work with each design style. And to remove a lot of the additional guesswork, give these tips a bit of consideration.
1. Keep it simple with a monochrome kitchen.
Monochrome kitchen color ideas ooze style, no matter your design aesthetic. From a white subway tile backsplash with dark grout to black countertops and two-tone cabinetry, a high-contrast palette is oh-so-on-trend for anyone with a penchant for black and white.
2. Try two-tone cabinetry.
The two-tone cabinetry look is still perfectly on-trend, so don't conform to the norm. Instead, paint your upper cabinets in a shade that contrasts with the lowers. The possibilities are endless, but we especially love this approach in retro and farmhouse kitchens.
3. Give your kitchen just a pop of color.
Bring a feel-good accent color to your space, and you'll have an instant modern hit. Even if you prefer a simple look with minimal white cabinetry, a few colorful hints will add the perfect amount of fun.
4. Combine blue and gold.
For the bold aesthetes that don't mind a little glimmer: Try pairing a cerulean blue backsplash and floor tile with gold cabinets and fixtures. The look will be both classic and eye-catching. Complete your cook space with counter stools made of natural materials to keep the focus on this stellar color combo.
5. Play with the furniture.
If you want to keep your cabinet colors white and don't see yourself changing any major fixtures, try playing with your kitchen bar furniture instead. An otherwise standard black-and-white kitchen, for example, will feel fresh with a splash of color from a few eye-catching yellow chairs. Tie the look together with fresh flowers here and there.
6. Infuse a bit of muted color.
If bright, sunshine yellow doesn't quite fit your style, opt for a kitchen color scheme that's a little more muted instead. A subtle color like mustard, olive green, or pale pink can easily transform your cook space without seeming overwhelming. Pair that simple color with white stools at the kitchen island and wooden decor throughout for a laidback vibe.
7. Go for a youthful blend of pink and green.
Create a modern yet playful look by bringing together green cabinetry and pink accessories. Your kitchen (and guests!) will thank you for the youthful combo.
8. Don't forget that black and gray can make an impact.
Sometimes your quest for a new kitchen color scheme could end up taking you in a more subtle direction. You could, for instance, infuse your cook space with ash gray and black that pops in a subtle way. Add brass hardware to complete the sophisticated look.
9. Delve into the rustic side of pink.
For a rustic kitchen take that's millennial-approved, try pairing a more subtle shade of pink wall paint with dark brown cabinets. Keep the backsplash simple, and let the wall color take the spotlight. This combo will evoke lazy weekend mornings and it's easy on the eyes. That's what we call a win-win!
10. Experiment with colored floors.
Don't leave your floors out of the fun. If you have wood flooring that could stand for a refresh, give it a few coats of durable varnish to bring life into your kitchen from the ground up. You can check out our floor painting guide here. Alternatively, you could add stick-on tiles in a vibrant hue for a colored look that's removable and renter-friendly.
11. Bring in verdant color with lots of greenery.
If you prefer for your kitchen color to feel organic, go with indoor plants that thrive in the kitchen and small herbs and veggies that grow well on sunny countertops. It'll be just like bringing the outdoors in.
12. Let your appliances do all the work.
We love a colorful appliance here and can't think of a better way for you to punch up your kitchen than by incorporating things like a pastel fridge, oven, and dishwasher. Brands like SMEG and Samsung nail the larger appliances, while Frigidaire and KitchenAid have the smaller countertop gadgets in a wide array of shades.
13. Sample color-blocking.
The ever-popular color blocking trend shouldn't be limited to your living room walls. Bring in a few shades you really love (we're partial to ochre and burnt orange), and create a dynamic kitchen look that will wow your guests. If you're feeling especially bold, you could even paint a mural using your colors of choice.
14. Find a color that works with vintage.
Vintage and retro kitchens are our favorite, so when you're looking for color inspiration in your cook space, try selecting a hue that will complement old-school accessories. If, for example, you've got a traditional-style oven that features a funky hue like olive green, pick a paint color that complements the look.
15. Install a colorful backsplash.
A colorful backsplash tile installation is the hallmark of a vibrant kitchen. Whether you go for an ocean blue shade, a daring orange, or even a subtle yellow, you won't regret covering the wall behind your stove and sink with something bright.
16. Try painting the ceiling.
When it comes to color, don't forget to look up. The ceiling is a prime — and often overlooked — spot for a fun hue. We recommend a painted ceiling for kitchens that are on the larger size, though, because it can be very easy to overwhelm a petite space with color.
17. Style open shelves with colorful decor.
If you're lucky enough to have open shelving in your kitchen, deck it out with colorful gadgets, utensils, and serving ware. You don't want your kitchen storage to feel cluttered, but floating shelves deserve a standout style moment. And accessories that burst with color are perfect for making a statement. We also love the look of colorful art on kitchen shelves, so add in a few fun prints, too, if space allows.
18. Paint an accent wall.
Contrary to popular belief, colorful kitchen accent walls are still very much a thing. Pick a color that will feel timeless for years to come (anything in the inky green, navy, or charcoal family should work), and get to painting. You can DIY this color switch up in less than a weekend.
19. Let your cabinetry shine.
Making your cabinets the standout accessory in your kitchen can be easily accomplished with simple adjustments or a major overhaul, depending on your timeframe (and budget, of course). For a quick cabinet makeover, upgrade the hardware to a sophisticated hue like gold or matte black. To really switch up the look, choose a non-traditional paint color that will help your cabinets be the kitchen focal point.
20. Work with complementary colors.
When it comes to color choice, ensuring that the shades work well with one another can make a huge difference in the level of comfort you experience in your kitchen. For instance, if you want a warm and cozy cooking area, pair shades of gray, green, and cream for the main color scheme.
21. Work with the natural light.
Some kitchens just need a quick wall paint change in order to make the most of natural light that already floods the space through skylights, large windows, or sliding glass doors. If this sounds like your kitchen, but you have dark-colored walls, consider changing the color to white or a light neutral shade that better reflects the light.
22. Add color to your countertops.
Whether you're meal prepping or just propping up on your countertops while someone else does all the work, you want counters that look just as good as they function. Liven them up by going with a bold quartz color that really pops. You could also get inventive and install a colorful tile.
23. Change the temperature.
Each color gives off its own temperature. Darker colors can make a room feel more intimate and enclosed, where bright colors lighten and liven up a space. Whatever the current mood (or temperature) your kitchen is set at, turn up the heat or take it down a notch with a fresh new color. Crisp blues, white, and grays will feel invigorating, while warm cream, orange, and ochre shades will feel perfectly cozy.
24. Go all white.
If you're all about having a kitchen color that looks crisp, we dare you to go all white. To make sure things feel airy and open instead of sterile, mix it up a bit with unique open shelving and shiplap wall paneling.
25. Don't forget the lighting fixtures.
Swap out those glass shades for a more snazzy option like a red pendant light that complements your wooden countertops or vintage table lamps with satin blue shades to anchor your kitchen island.
Where to Add Color
Once you've chosen an unexpected color that's perfect for you and your cook space, it's important to think about where the shade is going. Yes, the kitchen wall can definitely be your starting point. But also consider giving your cabinets a colorful moment. Even the backsplash could get some love. And renters don't have to be left out of the fun either: Removable wallpaper, as well as stick-on tiles in vibrant hues, will be your best bet for a quick change.
The finishes, decor, and equipment you choose to include in your food prep area are just as important as the accent walls and will help inject a bit of personality. Skip the bland barstools, for example, and go for ones that feature your color of choice. Add complementary window treatments to match. And finally, let your appliances (think: fridges, microwaves, stand blenders, and electric kettles) get in on the action. There are many retro versions that showcase the shades of the rainbow. So no need to go with neutral colors or stainless steel if you don't want to.
Where to Shop for Colorful Paint and Appliances
Now for the fun part — adding items to your cart. We've rounded up the best paint color brands and colorful kitchen appliances for your shopping pleasure. Your cook space is ready for its makeover.