Kitchen colour schemes: 13 ideas that aren't white (or cream, or grey...) | Real Homes

Kitchen colour schemes: 13 ideas that aren't white (or cream, or grey...)

Love living with colour? Check out these kitchen colour schemes to get you inspired

Kitchen colour schemes: 13 ideas that aren't white (or cream, or grey...)
(Image credit: deVol)

Bold, bright kitchen colour schemes will give the hub of your home instant personality, whether yours is a high-gloss kitchen in a contemporary home or a painted kitchen in a period property. Choosing the right colour is a must since it will set the tone for the adjacent rooms. Whether you want to limit the colour to the kitchen island, to the cabinetry only or to the walls, too, is a decision that needs to be made carefully.

Looking for more kitchen inspiration? Head to our kitchen ideas page. 

1. Go for a retro kitchen colour scheme

Retro kitchen with cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore Normandy

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Retro kitchens are definitely making a comeback and a key part of the design trend is plenty of colour. These simple kitchen cabinets have been painted with Benjamin Moore’s Normandy – try combining this darker hue with candy colours and vintage kitchenware to recreate this look.

If you love the vintage style go and take a look at our retro kitchen design ideas

2. Mix complementary colours

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue with Brass Leaf gilding on splashback

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Choosing a palette of a just a few similar colours can still result in a standout kitchen. We love the blue and gold colour scheme in this kitchen, it’s a very simple design if you look closely but the colours prevent it from being plain. 

The cabinets in this kitchen have been painted in Aubusson Blue and the walls finished with Metal Leaf in Brass. 

Love the look of a high end kitchen? Don't miss our luxury kitchen design ideas (that we'd copy if money were no object). 

3. Or go for a colour clash 

Colourful modern kitchen

(Image credit: Alistair Nicholls)

If maximalism is more your thing, choose a contrasting kitchen colour scheme. The bold shades in this modern kitchen work perfectly combined with stainless steel worktops, accents of white and plenty of natural light. 

Find more ways of getting the look with our favourite maximalist design ideas.

4. Add a colourful splashback 

Kitchen with a colourful splashback by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you aren’t ready to commit to a techno coloured kitchen, or maybe you're renting so holding back from creating the colourful kitchen of your dreams, try adding just a touch of colour with a splashback

5. Get creative with colourful tiles

colourful splashback in old home with butler's sink

(Image credit: Perrin & Rowe)

Adding some colourful patterned tiles can be a really quick way to create a lot of interest in a kitchen. It’s even something you could do yourself over a weekend, just check out our guide on how to tile a wall

6. On a budget? Try painting your kitchen cabinets 

Kitchen painted in Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

If you are doing up a kitchen on a budget and don’t want to splash out on brightly coloured kitchen cabinets, try painting your existing ones. Check out our guide to painting kitchen cabinets to get you started. These cabinets have been painted in Farrow and Ball’s Stiffkey Blue, we love how it looks mixed with the contrasting yellow kitchen accessories. 

7. Create a country feel with pastels 

Pastel kitchen by deVOL

(Image credit: deVOL)

If you didn’t think that a bold kitchen colour scheme could work in a country-style kitchen, think again. The pastel hues of this Shaker kitchen by deVOL work perfectly in the more traditional space. Team these pale colours with a marble worktop and gold accessories to prevent it from looking too twee. 

8. Combine deep grey with a pop of colour 

Grey and yellow kitchen with patterned tile floor

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips )

Grey counts as a colour too right? Steal the idea from this kitchen and pair dark grey cabinets it with a bright feature wall, quirky decorations and a statement tiled flooring. For a similar sunshine yellow, try Dulux’s Lemon Punch

9. Choose muted colours for a more subtle kitchen colour scheme

deVOL kitchen in dark teal

(Image credit: deVOL)

If you don’t think crazy bold colours are going to suit your kitchen try picking out darker, more muted hues. We are still obsessed with dark, atmospheric interiors and we can’t get enough of this dark teal Sebastian Cox kitchen by deVOL. 

10. Small kitchen? You can still go big on colour

Kitchen by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

We have this tendency to play it safe in small spaces – all white everything is going to make the space look bigger, right? Wrong! You can still be brave in a small kitchen, just look at this lovely teal kitchen from Ikea. It doesn’t overwhelm the space but it far more interesting that various hues of greige. 

We have loads more small kitchen ideas over in our gallery. 

11. Choose a colourful kitchen island

Magnet kitchen in grey with a dark red island

(Image credit: Magnet)

We are big fans of a kitchen island. They are a great way to add a bit of extra storage, more prep space and you can always use them to tag on some extra seating. But practicalities aside, they also give you the opportunity to be bolder in the finish or colour you choose, or perhaps allow you to choose a more expensive worktop material that you wouldn't have dared to use for the whole kitchen. 

Here Magnet’s classic Dunham shaker style kitchen in Pass the Merlot and Truffle Oil has been paired with white worktops for a clean, crisp finish.

Check out more kitchen island ideas in our dedicated gallery. 

12. Choose a vibrant shade of green 

Peckham Rye kitchen by deVol

(Image credit: deVol)

Want to add real oomph to a kitchen? Our answer is: a bold, vibrant green. A juicy green shade will really bring out the quality of your cabinets – and bring to life other details, such as lighting and handles. 

The Peckham Rye kitchen by deVol makes a truly stunning case for going bold with colour. We love the way the same colour and finish has been applied to the walls and the cabinets, making the decorative elements of the kitchen stand out. The addition of marble completes the luxurious, eclectic look. 

13. Introduce colourful furniture to a neutral space

grey kitchen from original btc

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Not everyone wants a brightly coloured kitchen, but that doesn't mean you can't introduce colour to a neutral room with brightly painted furniture. Giving wooden dining furniture a lick of paint is the quickest way to achieve a new look – as in this pretty space.

Find out how to paint furniture in our step by step guide.

More kitchen inspiration: