Deciding on a new color scheme for your kitchen can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. But armed with some basic color theory and an understanding of how different hues can impact the look and feel of your space, you’ll be ready to take the plunge into a colorful new kitchen makeover.

Benefits of Using Color in the Kitchen

Bringing color into your kitchen design offers many advantages:

  • Creates an inviting atmosphere – Vibrant, cheerful colors make the kitchen more welcoming and energetic. Neutral walls with pops of color in accessories and accents make the space feel lived-in.
  • Reflects your personality – Select colors that appeal to your own personal taste and style. The kitchen is often the heart of the home, so the colors should reflect you.
  • Makes a design statement – Color provides the opportunity to create a unique, one-of-a-kind kitchen that reflects your sense of design.
  • Influences mood – Colors can help instill certain feelings in the kitchen, like calm, happiness, elegance, etc.
  • Adds visual interest – Strategic use of color provides contrast and prevents an all-neutral kitchen from feeling flat and monotonous.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Color Scheme

Choosing a color palette may seem intimidating initially. Keep the following factors in mind as you evaluate options:

  • Architecture – Consider the home’s architectural style. Certain classic color choices complement traditional spaces, while contemporary rooms can handle bold colors.
  • Natural light – The amount of sunlight the kitchen receives will affect how colors appear. North-facing rooms may require lighter shades.
  • Existing elements – Factor in colors of existing fixtures, countertops, floors, etc. so that the new hues will coordinate.
  • Purpose of space – Formal dining areas may require more elegant colors than a casual family kitchen.
  • Personal preference – Incorporate favorite hues to create a personalized palette that excites you.
  • Combinations – Determine a multi-color scheme with coordinated accent shades.

Helpful Strategies for Choosing Kitchen Colors

Keep these useful tips in mind as you think about injecting color into your kitchen:

Start with a Neutral Foundation

Painting the walls and ceiling a light neutral shade provides a versatile background. Off-whites, warm ivories, pale grays, and beige work well.

Add Pops of Color Through Accents

The easiest way to incorporate color is with accessories and accents rather than permanent elements. Switch out vibrantly colored towels, appliances, bar stools, rugs and artwork anytime you want a new look.

Repeat Colors Throughout the Space

Pull the color scheme together by repeating accent shades throughout the kitchen. For example, use the same blue on bar stools, dishes, and a backsplash.

Contrast Cabinets and Countertops

Choose cabinetry and countertops in contrasting colors and tones for visual separation. For instance, white cabinets really pop against a black granite counter.

Limit Colors to 3-4 Maximum

Stick to 3 core hues plus 1 accent shade. For example, navy cabinets, yellow walls, and red bar stools with green patterned tiles above the stove.

Consider Undertones

Factor in undertones so that all the colors work together. A red-orange backsplash will pair better with warm wood cabinets than cool gray ones.

Use Color to Define Zones

Paint an island, eat-in area, or prep zone in a contrasting color to the rest of the kitchen to define the separate functional spaces.

Recommended Color Palettes for Kitchens

Certain classic color combinations work especially well in kitchen design. Here are some stylish, tried-and-true palettes to consider:

Blue and White

Crisp, timeless, and nautical, various shades of blue beautifully complement bright white cabinetry and counters. Add in metallics like brass for a sophisticated accent.

Green and Wood Tones

Earthy sage or moss green look fantastic with natural wood cabinetry and butcher block. Terracotta floor tiles also coordinate well.

Yellow and Gray

Cheerful sunny yellow walls invite happiness against a backdrop of cool gray cabinets and slate floors. Stainless steel appliances also pair nicely.

Red and White

Nothing pops more than true red against bright white. For a softer look, try brick red walls with antique white cabinetry and bronze hardware.

Purple and Green

Regal purple walls contrast elegantly with emerald green mosaic tile backsplash and dark wood cabinets for a jeweled effect.

Orange and Blue

Vibrant orange walls make a bold style statement against navy cabinetry. Stainless appliances provide polish.

Ready to Try Something New? Guides to Color for Your Kitchen

After reviewing inspiration from recommended color schemes, it’s time to choose your own kitchen color palette! Here are some final tips as you move forward with your colorful kitchen redesign:

  • Order paint samples to view hues in the space before fully committing.
  • Purchase removable accessories like throw pillows and rugs in new colors to test drive before painting walls.
  • Be bold! There’s no need to play it safe with color in the kitchen.
  • Mix high-gloss and matte finishes for extra dimension.
  • Display vibrant dishware to complement the color scheme.
  • Change out old lighting fixtures to coordinate with the new palette.
  • Reupholster or purchase new chairs and barstools to match.
  • Use area rugs to define colorful zones.
  • Pick a memorable color for an accent wall, island, or open shelving.

With some thoughtful planning and experimentation, you’ll create a kitchen color scheme that you adore! Have fun making this lively, engaging space your own. Don’t be afraid to try something new – you can always repaint if you don’t love it. The key is finding a color palette that sparks happiness in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a color palette for my kitchen?

Consider the amount of natural light, existing elements you want to incorporate, architectural style, purpose of the space, and your personal preferences. Select 2-4 coordinating colors in the same tonal family for a cohesive palette.

What are the best color combinations for a kitchen?

Some popular combinations are blue and white, green and wood tones, yellow and gray, red and white, purple and green, and orange and blue.

Should I paint my kitchen cabinets a bright color?

Painting the cabinets a vivid, non-neutral color is a great way to make a bold statement. Just be sure the hue complements your wall color.

How can I add pops of color in my neutral kitchen?

Use colorful accessories like barstools, rugs, curtains, appliances, dishes, wall art, flowers, and other décor items. Bold painted islands or accent walls also enliven neutral spaces.

Should I match kitchen cabinet and wall colors?

Either choose matching wall and cabinet colors for a streamlined monochromatic look, or contrast them for more visual interest. There’s no wrong choice!


The kitchen is a space that should reflect your personality while also serving your lifestyle needs. Don’t be afraid to introduce vibrant, unexpected colors when designing your dream kitchen. Consult the color combinations and tips in this article, gather inspiration from photos, and then make choices based on what makes you happy. The resulting colorful kitchen will provide many years of cheerful convenience. Be bold, try something new, and use color to create a kitchen that you truly love.