Choosing the right colors and materials for kitchen counters, backsplashes, and walls can transform the look and feel of your cooking space. With so many options to pick from, it can be tricky to settle on a cohesive design that suits your style and needs. This comprehensive guide will outline the most popular color schemes and materials to consider for your kitchen remodel or redesign.
Neutral Tones Create a Classic Look
Neutrals like white, gray, beige and brown have enduring popularity in kitchen design thanks to their versatility. These muted, natural hues blend seamlessly together and with most cabinetry, appliances and hardware finishes for a timeless look. Neutral backsplashes and countertops also allow you to easily switch up accessories and décor down the road.
An absolute classic, white has a clean, bright feel that makes spaces appear larger and reflects light beautifully. White counters brilliantly pair with most cabinet colors from stark Shaker style white to warm wood tones. White marble or quartz countertops and backsplashes have high-end appeal. Keep walls light to prevent an overly sterile look. Add pops of color with appliances, lighting and accents.
Complex warm grays work with almost any color scheme from bold jewels tones to pastels to other neutrals. Gray counters and backsplashes feel richer than white but still neutral. Greenish-gray hues are especially versatile color complements. Matte finishes hide fingerprints and water spots. Consider gray washed wood wall paneling or ceramic tile walls to warm up the ambiance.
Beige and Greige
Beiges range from creamy ivories to earthy browns with incredible flexibility. Pair these soothing backsplash and countertop hues with blue, green, red or yellow paint colors and cabinetry finishes for a customized look. Greige – a blend of gray and beige – is an on-trend neutral with the coziness of beige and sophistication of gray.
Chocolate and Mocha Browns
Deep chocolate and mocha-colored countertops, backsplashes and accent walls provide a cocooning warmth. Lighter French vanilla and biscuit browns feel more airy. Brown works brilliantly as a backsplash or wall color with blue, green, cream or white countertops. Use dark brown sparingly to avoid overwhelming a space.
Sophisticated Black and White
The striking high-contrast pairing of inky black and bright white makes a dramatic style statement. Use these dark and light neutrals in contemporary minimalist kitchens or to add visual interest to traditional spaces. Options range from budget-friendly paint to luxurious marble.
Classic Black and White Checkerboard
Black and white checkerboard tile backsplashes or flooring lend retro diner charm. Go for bold wall-to-wall checkerboard tile or use it as an accent. Pair with crisp white counters and cabinetry to prevent an overly dark look. Pops of chrome and stainless steel enhance the vintage vibe.
Chic Black Counters
Sleek black granite, soapstone or quartz countertops make a luxurious style statement. Contrast with white upper cabinets and warm wood base cabinets. White or neutral backsplashes prevent black from feeling too heavy. Good lighting is essential.
Eye-Catching White Marble
Glamorous white marble backsplashes, countertops and accent walls exude elegance. The subtle veining adds depth and interest. Pair white marble with dark cabinetry and metallics for striking contrast. Use large-scale marble slabs for counters and walls to maximize visual impact.
Color Your Kitchen Vibrant
Beyond basic white, beige and brown, bold paint colors, countertops and backsplashes can infuse your kitchen with energy and personality. Eye-catching jewel tones, punchy primaries or sunny yellow transform the space. Consider open floor plans when using dark colors.
Vibrant Sapphire Blue
Navy and other rich blues impart a comforting, tranquil ambiance. Color the walls or use blue backsplash tile like Moroccan-style mosaics. Crisp white counters balance the strong hue. Blue glass or mirrored backsplashes inject modern flair. Coordinate with stainless appliances. Soft sage green is a harmonious accent color.
Zesty Lemon Yellow
Sunny lemon yellow instantly brightens. Use it sparingly on backsplashes, accent walls or tin tile ceilings paired with white cabinetry and countertops to keep the look crisp. Yellow counters too are cheerful. Consider deeper golden yellows or greens if lemony yellow feels too intense.
Jewel-Tone Emerald Green
Deep green hues like emerald evoke natural elegance. Vibrant green glass or ceramic tile backsplashes pop against white or wood cabinetry. Paint one wall green or use green open shelving. Green quartz or granite countertops feel striking yet earthy. Pair green with rosy reds and warm metallics like bronze.
Red backsplashes or accent walls infuse kitchens with energy and edge. Use true red or brick red and contrast with bright white countertops and cabinetry. Red open shelving makes a statement. Limit red to backsplashes and accent walls in smaller spaces to avoid visual overload. Hardware in metallic finishes give red extra panache.
Earthy Natural Stone
If you want an organic look and feel in your kitchen, choose natural stone countertops and backsplashes in beiges, browns, creams or multicolored options like granite. The natural patterning has variation and depth. Stones like quartzite, soapstone, limestone and travertine bring subtle elegance.
With crystallized flecks that sparkle in natural light, quartzite has the beauty of marble without the etching and staining. Gray, white and beige quartzite counters suit both modern and traditional kitchens. The strong stone stands up well to heavy use. Choose a simple mosaic backsplash.
Soapstone’s Silky Smoothness
Known for its sensuous, silky-smooth texture, soapstone has a soft, gentle aesthetic. The natural mineral mottling adds visual interest. Durable soapstone comes in gray, charcoal, brown and greenish-blue hues. Use for counters, backsplashes or rustic walls. White cabinets create contrast.
Granite’s Speckled Look
Granite’s speckled mineral pattern has timeless appeal. The most common colors include beiges, browns, grays and black and white. Granite is very durable and naturally scratch and bacteria-resistant. Use large granite slabs for handsome counters and backsplashes. Accent with warm wood cabinetry.
Travertine’s Rustic Charm
With its aged, rustic look of textural holes and rough-hewn edges, travertine limestone brings a sense of history. The natural tan, ivory and cream colors contain eye-catching veining. For counters, backsplashes, walls or floors, travertine feels right at home in Old World and farmhouse kitchens.
Modern Metallic Accents
For dramatic glam or industrial edge, bring in metal through backsplashes, countertops, cabinetry or accessories. Stainless steel, copper, bronze and brass infuse kitchens with shine and metallic appeal. Keep walls, cabinets and counters neutral to let metallics pop.
Polished Stainless Steel
Stainless steel backsplashes, walls and countertops provide an industrial modern look, combining beautifully with neutrals. Stainless is durable and easy to clean. Use minimally since it can feel cold. Warm up stainless with wood cabinetry and copper or bronze accents. Add pops of color.
Warm Copper Finish
The soft, inviting glow of copper feels both charming and sophisticated. Use copper metal tile, countertops or backsplashes with neutral walls and cabinetry. Pair with stainless appliances and metallics like brass and bronze. For quick small doses, opt for copper sinks, faucets, lighting or hardware.
Chic Brass Details
Brass cabinet hardware, faucets, lighting and accessories lend a hint of glamour. Brass tile backsplashes can feel retro or ultra-modern, depending on the design. Unlacquered brass develops a worn patina over time. For consistent shine, opt for durable lacquered brass finishes. Coordinate with black, white or wood cabinetry.
From dark oil-rubbed bronze to shimmery polished bronze, this blackened brown metal instantly classes up any kitchen. Bronze mirrors, tile backsplashes, and barstool bases work beautifully with whites, creams and natural woods. Bronze hardware and light fixtures provide metallic sparkle.
Creative Mix-and-Match Patterns
Why stick with just one counter, backsplash or wall color when you can combine materials and patterns for lively contrast? From checkerboards to mosaics, geometric designs to artistic freeform – the options are endless for mixing and matching eye-catching motifs and textures.
Using contrasting countertop materials or colors on the islands versus the perimeter counters makes a fun design statement. Try pairing white perimeter quartz counters with navy blue quartz island countertops. Or combine marble perimeter counters with concrete-look quartz island countertops.
Mixed Material Backsplashes
Blending materials like stone, metal and glass tile within backsplashes adds artistic flair. Try wide strips of metal tile between stacked stone tile. Or mosaic penny tile between marble subway tiles. Combining large-scale statement tiles with small mosaic tiles also works beautifully.
Bold Geometric Patterns
Diamond, triangular and chevron-patterned tile backsplashes make artistic geometry. Try bold black and white or two contrasting bright colors for maximum impact. Switch up patterns and placement on upper and lower backsplash areas to enhance visual interest.
Artistic Moroccan-Style Tile
Intricate Moroccan-inspired decorative tile features colorful zig-zag, floral and starburst designs for gorgeous global style. Use handmade ceramic, mosaic or back-painted glass tile. Layer and mix patterns for ornate stacked visual texture. Pair with simple shaker cabinets and counters.
The Art of Mixing Kitchen Materials
When designing your dream kitchen, don’t be afraid to get creative combining colors, textures and patterns. Contrasting countertops, multicolored backsplashes or an accent wall in a bold hue keep things interesting. Always view material swatches together in natural light to ensure an integrated look. With proper planning, you can delightfully mix and match your way to a dynamic kitchen that reflects your personal taste and flair.
- Neutral backsplashes like white marble or beige granite provide versatility and timeless appeal. Crisp whites feel clean and bright. Warm grays beautifully complement most colors.
- Sophisticated black and white delivers high-contrast drama. Consider black granite countertops, white marble backsplashes or classic checkerboard floors.
- Infuse color with emerald green or sapphire blue backsplashes or lemon yellow accent walls. Red cabinentry or shelving adds vibrance.
- Natural stone surfaces like quartzite counters and travertine walls provide organic beauty. Materials vary from silky soapstone to speckled granite.
- Metallic accents in stainless steel, copper, brass and bronze add modern shine and industrial edge. Use sparingly.
- Get creative mixing and matching patterns, textures and motifs in backsplashes and countertops. Contrast adds lively personality.