Kitchen color schemes: 15 ideas that aren't white (or cream, or grey...)

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

Kitchen color schemes
(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Bold, bright kitchen color 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 color is a must since it will set the tone for the space, and in fact, since the kitchen is probably where you spend the most time, the of your home.

Exactly how bold you want to go and how many colors you want  to add is up to you, but our kitchen color ideas are such to leave you feeling inspired.

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

1. Go for a retro kitchen color 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 color. These simple kitchen cabinets have been painted with Benjamin Moore’s Normandy – try combining this darker hue with candy colors and vintage kitchenware to recreate this look.

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

2. Mix complementary colors

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 colors can still result in a standout kitchen. We love the blue and gold color scheme in this kitchen, it’s a very simple design if you look closely but the colors prevent it from being plain. 

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

3. Or go for a color clash 

Colourful modern kitchen

(Image credit: Alistair Nicholls)

If maximalism is more your thing, choose a contrasting kitchen color 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 favorite maximalist ideas.

4. Add a colorful splashback 

Kitchen with a colourful splashback by Ikea

(Image credit: Ikea)

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

5. Get creative with colorful tiles

colourful splashback in old home with butler's sink

(Image credit: Perrin & Rowe)

Adding some colorful 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 colored kitchen cabinets, try painting your existing ones. Check out our guide to painting kitchen cupboards 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 color 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 colors with a marble worktop and gold accessories to prevent it from looking too twee. 

For more country kitchen ideas, check out our feature. 

8. Combine deep grey with a pop of color 

Grey and yellow kitchen with patterned tile floor

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips )

Grey counts as a color too right? Steal the idea from this kitchen and pair dark grey cabinets 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 colors for a more subtle kitchen color scheme

deVOL kitchen in dark teal

(Image credit: deVOL)

If you don’t think crazy bold colors 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 colorful 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 color 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. 

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 color. We love the way the same color 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 colored kitchen, but that doesn't mean you can't introduce color 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.

14. Hang wallpaper for a subtle two-toned effect

Kitchen wallpaper ideas

(Image credit: Little Green)

Like paint, wallpaper can be a really easy way to subtly introduce color into your kitchen. We like how this wallpaper almost totally matches the green of the cabinets but still brings in that pink hue for contrast – another two toned kitchen done beautifully. 

For more kitchen wallpaper ideas head to our feature. 

15. Create a soft look with pastel tones 

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer © Future)

Does it get more dreamy than pale pink and sage green? Oh wait, yes, you throw in some copper too. You can recreate this combo by painting your kitchen cabinets and walls, but if your kitchen is already quite a neutral space, think about bringing in these two tones in a smaller, much easier way. Paint a pink feature wall and look out for sage green accessories and kitchen storage to create a similar vibe for just less effort. 

If you love pink as much as we do, be sure to check out our pink room ideas gallery. 

More kitchen inspiration: