10 pastel kitchen ideas to add color, calm and playful personality

Ice cream, light and airy shades are the new neutrals for your cooking space. Nod to pastel kitchen ideas for a fresh new look.

Lilac kitchen scheme
(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

Do you love cooking up a culinary storm, but wish that your kitchen looked and felt more like the calm before the storm? Worry not. A seasoning of pastel kitchen color therapy will have your space transformed into a chef's paradise of calm, in no time. 

With so many kitchen color schemes to choose from, the rainbow of choice can be daunting. Although the versatility of play it safe white kitchens will always remain timeless in appeal, interiors enthusiasts are getting hungry for experimental color palettes that create unique spaces with dare-to-be-different bite. 

Injecting playful positivity, personality and serenity into homes everywhere. Are pastel kitchens set to be the new neutrals? 

Ice cream sweet pastel kitchen ideas 

Add more happy vibes into your kitchen with soothing pastel hues across feel-good designs. Setting the tone for 2022 kitchen trends, you've every reason to experiment with this color pick.

‘Colour sets the tone of a space, it tells a story and provides an environment to feel at home in. Our brave new paint colour Pink Dusk is perfectly suited for our timeless designs. An elegant, more playful alternative to grey it creates incredible warmth and an alluring appeal to a kitchen,’ says Tom Howley, design director, Tom Howley

1. Sweet treat combinations

pastel kitchen scheme with pink and blue color contrast units

(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

Combine tonal pastel shades for a modern kitchen idea that adds a breezy aesthetic full of subtle contrast and interest, without overwhelming the space in heavy, saturated hues. Alternate pastels throughout cabinetry for a balanced and cohesive look. 

‘Mix and match pastels for a fun, retro look. In Cotton Candy pink and Jelly Bean baby blue, this ultra-modern kitchen is as sweet as can be,’ say the design experts at Wren Kitchens.

2. Bring texture into your kitchen with natural materials

pink and blue stained wood cabinetry in pastel kitchen scheme

(Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens)

Kitchens are getting tactile with natural and mixed materials bringing depth, interest and texture into every space. Choose wooden kitchen cabinet designs in color stained finishes to allow the natural characteristics of the wood to emerge, whilst adding a warming, sensory appeal. 

‘Rich textures in the kitchen are becoming extremely sought after. In the same way that we are seeing bolder, brighter colors enter the kitchen, interesting shapes, textures, and patterns are also in demand. This is a trend that lends itself to individual expression as there are so many different ways to bring texture into your space; whether you want to keep it all natural or create the perfect basis for a pop of color, using wooden-style cabinetry in your kitchen design is a great sustainable design choice,’ says Paul Jenkinson, founder and managing director, LochAnna Kitchens.

3. Pave the way with bright, light tiles

Pastel kitchen scheme details with pink herringbone tile splashback

(Image credit: Rothley)

Transform the look and feel of your kitchen without the expense, effort and mess of starting from scratch, with some simple kitchen tiling ideas. Create a backsplash and attractive focal feature combined, with ‘color block’ sections of pastel-hued tiling. Choose a plain design in a herringbone formation for a fresh, modern look, or experiment with mixed patterns in pretty tonal shades to add homespun character or a globally-infused element.  

‘As grays and neutral hues are taking a back seat, interior enthusiasts are moving from using color blocks to separate the home office from the kitchen, to simply embracing color as a way of injecting personality and giving a space a new lease of life,’ says Sophie Hill, marketing and insight and innovation at Rothley

4. Let soothing mint green shades bring nature in

mint green kitchen scheme with patterned tiles

(Image credit: British Standard by Plain English)

Refuel your space with green kitchen ideas to instil a feeling of peace and natural nourishment – things are about to get minty fresh!

‘Green is one of the hottest color trends right now, with many designers opting for various shades of green for kitchen interiors. Associated with nature and rejuvenation, it is the perfect choice for achieving a calm, relaxing kitchen space with an inviting, fresh feel,’ says Francesca Wezel, colorist and founder, Francesca’s Paints

Wellness, sustainability and interiors with a distinct sense of personality have been prominent trends throughout 2021. Whilst we continue to move in this direction with our interior schemes, people are also becoming increasingly brave with colour. Look towards serene pinks, nourishing greens, versatile yellows and tranquil blues that promise to resonate with homeowners and interior designers alike. It’s these statement colors that are set to dominate with their ability to transform our homes, says Howley.

5. Lovely lilac reigns supreme

Modern kitchen with lilac island and cabinetry

(Image credit: Wren Kitchens)

Tap into your kitchen’s spiritual soul and be inspired by Pantone’s color of the year 2022, Very Peri, to create a balanced, luxurious space wafting in relaxing, soothing shades of lilac. 

‘We’ve seen lilac and lavender become more dominant throughout fashion and now it’s the turn of the interiors we will see flashes and accents of Very Peri utilized in spaces, harnessing color harmonies to evoke feelings within,’ says Beth Travers, founder and creative director, design house Bobo1325.

Victoria Yardley, founder of eco-friendly paint brand, Victory Colours agrees: ‘These hues draw their inspiration from nature and the calming tones have a serene vibe. Pair with ever popular, earthy greens like Cloud Tree or Novara Green or with Victory White for a crisp, fresh contrast.’

6. Choose chalky pastels for a grown-up edge

Pastel kitchen scheme featuring blue walls and pink units

(Image credit: Crown Paints)

Pastel decorating ideas can work in lots of different spaces. Opt for pale, chalky shades to lend a sophisticated edge and combine with streamlined fixtures and fittings that exude Scandi style simplicity and structure. Raw materials such as wood and concrete add a grounding foundation for a designer-inspired, contemporary finish. 

‘Using pastels in the home doesn't always have to be sweet and pretty. Shades of the palest pink, sherbet lemon or watery mint green can look new and modern if combined with tones of grey and hard materials like concrete and metal,’ says Justyna Korczynska, color consultant, Crown.

7. Create a striking focal point with a pastel pantry

Pastel blue kitchen larder

(Image credit: Life Kitchens)

If you’re worried about going the whole pastel hog, simmer down the color injection approach, and instead introduce a statement piece of functional furniture or kitchen storage design in a favorite hero shade. Keep your remainder scheme in a fresh neutral to enjoy the ‘color pop’ effect. It’s amazing how a bit of pastel color persuasion can elevate a utilitarian larder into a practical, knock-out beauty.

8. Elevate your everyday with sunny side-up shades 

Calming kitchen scheme with mellow yellow cabinetry

(Image credit: British Standard by Plain English)

Sunshine shades add a splash of cheer wherever they go. Steer clear from garish neons and update cabinetry with radiating, soft buttercup hues for an energizing overhaul. Yellow kitchen ideas work particularly well in spaces that don’t benefit from much natural light, adding visual warmth and creating a honey-soothing atmosphere. The natural luminosity that yellow evokes, makes it a versatile choice for all design styles. 

9. Combine light and dark elements for defining contrast

Light and dark colour contrast kitchen with pale blue island and dark cabinets

(Image credit: Quorn Stone)

Like chalk and cheese, marry dramatic darks with light pastel hues for a distinctive two-tone kitchen scheme. Warmer than the classic black and white checkerboard combo, feathery soft pastel tones add subtle color and playfulness to lift and energize. Shown here, black cabinetry is off-set by a central kitchen island in a delicate pale blue, creating a dramatic look with a light and breezy feel. Rustic wood accents add a grounding, organic nod.   

10. Minimalism is making a comeback in baby blue

Pastel kitchen scheme with light blue cabinets and minimalist aesthetic

(Image credit: Moores)

Simplified lines melt into infinity blues to create a seamless modern kitchen aesthetic that soothes and calms.

‘Softer wood shades juxtaposed against subtle neutrals are perfectly suited for creating minimalist, yet warm and calming spaces,’ say kitchen design experts at Moores

‘With the popularity of ‘hidden’ or ‘concealed’ kitchens, minimalism is back but in a new way. With straight lines, fuss-free details, and clean polished finishes, minimalist kitchen cabinetry, such as our Faversham collection, uses elements of the pared back handleless design, whilst incorporating some bolder features such as the distinct colour of the cabinets. Keeping the rest of the kitchen neutral tones makes this bold pop of color into a focused statement that avoids clutter,’ says Paul Jenkinson, founder and managing director, LochAnna Kitchens

Content Editor

Holly is a Content Editor at Real Homes, and has previously worked at Future Homes brands including Country Homes & Interiors and Livingetc. She has a background in interior and event styling spanning a decade, which previously took her from coast to city and beyond to Australia. 

Holly loves working with creative minds and discovering fresh, indie brands, and is a firm believer that no home can have too many cushions, unruly blooms or decorative details of happy