Choosing your colour palette is perhaps one of the most important steps when designing a kitchen. Your kitchen colour scheme sets the tone for the whole space, whether that’s fresh and light or bold and dramatic. And while it is a big decision, it’s also one of the most exciting parts of the process.
Our German kitchen furniture from Schüller and next125 comes in a variety of finishes, with total flexibility over your cabinetry combinations. With so much freedom, it can be tricky to shortlist potential colour palettes. To help you narrow down your choices and decide on the perfect colour scheme, we’ll be going through our favourite kitchen colour ideas to give you some inspiration, plus tips for choosing the right tones for your space. We’ll cover:
- How to choose a colour scheme
- 10 of the best colour schemes to inspire you
How to choose a colour scheme
While there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing your kitchen colour scheme — and we’d always encourage experimenting with colour where you can — there are a few aspects you may want to bear in mind, including the size, shape, and position of your room as well as the longevity of your colour scheme.
Size: Light colours such as white, cream, and pastels work best in smaller kitchens as they can help keep the space looking fresh, open, and airy. Too many light colours in an expansive kitchen can make the space feel sparse, so be sure to incorporate one or two darker tones if your kitchen is on the larger scale.
Shape: With small kitchens, dark colours can make narrow spaces feel even more cramped. If you’ve got a mix of narrow and large areas in your kitchen, you could opt for dual-toned cabinetry to get the most out of each space.
Position: The position of your kitchen in your home can affect how much natural light it gets. If you have a south-facing kitchen and plenty of windows, you should get a few good hours of sunlight each day. However, north-facing kitchens won’t benefit from direct sunlight. To brighten up your space, a light and fresh colour scheme in warm tones will work best in a north-facing kitchen.
Longevity: On-trend colours are very effective, but some fashionable designs can quickly become dated or boring, so make sure you’re not just choosing a colour because it’s in vogue. Finding a kitchen colour scheme that you love is a guaranteed way to ensure you don’t get bored of it quickly.
This applies to your kitchen appliances too. If you’ll be changing larger pieces like your cooker, sticking to neutral colours like stainless steel, white, or black ensures a timeless look in your kitchen.
10 of the best colour schemes to inspire you
If you’re looking for some kitchen colour scheme inspiration, we’ve pulled together 10 of the best colour schemes to give you a starting point. Once you’ve decided on a look you love, feel free to play around with tones and finishes to find your perfect style. Your kitchen designer can also help you narrow down the perfect kitchen colour scheme during your design appointment.
Monochromatic is perhaps one of the most popular kitchen colour schemes, and for good reason. Whether you opt for shades of white, grey, or black, this single-hued palette has timeless appeal. Better yet, a pared-back colour scheme can be matched to any other accent colour, from organic neutrals and pastels to bright and bold tones. This makes monochrome the perfect option if you’re still undecided on a colour, or if you like to switch things up every few years.
To get this look, pair white cabinetry with a white worktop or backsplash, or combine various shades of black and grey for a dark and contemporary look. If you like the idea of going with a dark kitchen colour scheme but your kitchen is on the smaller side, opt for grey tones instead. For instance, pair cashmere with slate grey for a harmonious and sophisticated look. This will also give you the warmth you’d get from an all-black kitchen, with the same freshness of an all-white kitchen.
When going monochromatic, texture can add the same level of depth that colour combinations would otherwise add. To keep things looking interesting despite the lack of colour, opt for various gloss and matt finishes, such as matt cabinet fronts and a glass or stone worktop.
If you love the look of an all-white kitchen but want something a little more homely and inviting, why not opt for a cream kitchen colour scheme? This will add some warmth to your space while remaining minimalistic and elegant. For a modern aesthetic, match your cream cabinetry with white or black worktops, or choose a wooden worktop for a more country-style look.
Alongside being neutral and comforting, the appeal of cream also lies in its versatility. This natural hue can be paired with a whole spectrum of colours, from sweet pastels like rose, mint green, and baby blue through to deep jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue, or ruby red.
If you’re looking for a neutral kitchen colour scheme with a soft and homely touch, look to natural tones. This doesn’t just mean beige or grey either, because there’s a whole spectrum of earthy hues to consider, ranging from cool stone grey and fresh sage green to warm and fiery terracotta and chocolate brown.
No matter what kind of kitchen aesthetic you want to achieve, there’s a natural luxe palette for you. Go bright and airy with shades of oatmeal, sand, linen, magnolia, seashell, and pistachio, or go deep and moody with shades of caramel, fawn, slate, taupe, fern, and ash.
Combine your tones by pairing light cabinetry with darker accents to create a sense of space and freshness associated with natural luxe, while still retaining balance. Alongside earthy tones, you can incorporate plenty of natural textures, too, including wooden fronts and stone worktops. Take a look at our blog post on neutral kitchens for even more inspiration.
Clean and green
If you want to add a little more of the outdoors into your space, a green kitchen can provide a touch of the organic. From deep leafy shades to light pastel tones, green kitchens can offer a fresh, energising feel — perfect for cooking up something special. What’s so great about this kitchen colour scheme is that it works for almost any style, from traditional shaker kitchens to more sleek and modern designs.
For a refined, sophisticated look, opt for a deep emerald, olive, or forest green. White and cream worktops and cabinets will provide lightness and balance to complement the dark green tones. Alternatively, embrace the natural aesthetic, bringing more organic textures in the form of a marble worktop or waterfall island, or combine your green fronts with dark wooden cabinetry.
If you’re looking for something a little brighter, choose paler hues such as sage or mint. Again, these colours work best when combined with light tones such as white and cream, as well as other pastel shades.
The warm, yellow undertones of sage and olive, as well as emerald and forest green, make them the perfect pairing for gold, bronze, and copper hardware. Meanwhile, greens that are more on the blue side of the spectrum, such as mint, will match better with silver or chrome.
Incredibly versatile, there’s a blue kitchen out there for everyone. Whether you’re looking for something dark and stylish or fresh and undemanding, there’s a whole spectrum of cool tones to choose from. Combine dark navy hues with black, ash, and slate grey to create a moody yet welcoming space. Or, for something a little more understated but no less stylish, choose a grey-blue, which offers all the modernity and appeal of a blue kitchen, with the timelessness of grey.
Alternatively, if you’re working with a small space, a kitchen without much natural light, or want to design a kitchen that’s bright and airy, choose a paler shade such as sky blue or baby blue, both of which pair perfectly with white and cream tones. You can also combine a white or grey kitchen with bright and bold teal tiles for an ocean-inspired space that showcases your personality without being overpowering.
Bright and bold
Your kitchen is the heart of your home so it’s understandable that you want to make it as unique and personal as possible. With a bright and bold kitchen colour palette, you can show off your individuality. Vibrant cabinetry will instantly make your space pop, and you can combine it with one or two other more muted tones on the opposite end of the colour spectrum to avoid overwhelming the space. For instance, mix a run of bright yellow cabinetry with cool grey to offset the golden tones and create balance and harmony within the space.
Go bold with a monochromatic palette, choosing various shades of one colour. For instance, combine curry yellow cabinetry with cream and eggshell, or match deep ruby red kitchen units with rosy tones to add softness. To let your kitchen do the talking, and to avoid your space looking too overpowering, keep clutter to a minimum with clever storage solutions.
If you want to incorporate colour in a more understated way, opt for a bold backsplash or patterned wallpaper on a statement wall, keeping your kitchen cabinetry more subtle in white, cream, or light grey.
A pastel kitchen colour scheme is the perfect option for those who want a colourful kitchen in a more subtle way. Fun yet calming, these candy-coloured hues will inject some energy into your space, whether you choose rose, lilac, lemon, mint, or powder blue. The fresh tones of these colours make them the perfect pairing for white, cream, and light grey kitchen cabinets, so choose these hues for your worktops, backsplash, walls, and flooring for a clean look. You could also mix and match your pastel cabinetry with cream, grey, white kitchen cabinets for a two-tone look.
Alternatively, combine two different pastel shades such as green and pink or pink and lilac to create a unique kitchen style. For instance, with dual-toned cabinetry or by opting for a statement backsplash. If this is the colour palette you choose to go with, try to incorporate one other neutral tone too, whether that’s with a white marble kitchen island or white appliances to keep the space looking and feeling calm and serene.
A warm retro colour palette can add a welcoming touch to any space, especially the kitchen. Combine earthy, 70s-inspired shades like curry, saffron, cognac, chocolate brown, and olive green to create an inviting kitchen colour scheme. To incorporate a rich colour palette without overwhelming the space, choose a base colour like olive or chocolate, accenting with colourful patterned tiles. Finish off the look with walnut or oak worktops and flooring.
Handleless kitchens work best for this look to really show off the colour of your cabinetry. However, if you do want to include handles, warm-toned hardware in gold, bronze, or copper will pair perfectly. If you’ve picked yellow kitchen cabinets, choose a contrasting metal such as black or pewter.
For fans of the subdued, a dark and moody colour scheme might be more your style. Deep tones like black, forest green, burgundy, and navy can add a modern metropolitan or dark academia look to your space depending on your cabinetry style.
For instance, choose black shaker cabinets and decorate with bottle green subway tiles, or combine dark kitchen cabinets with deep wooden finishes and other dark tones like slate grey. House plants can add some subtle greenery and brightness to the space.
This kitchen colour combination works best for kitchens with lots of natural sunlight, but you can brighten it up by adding lighter touches such as white or cream worktops and adding under-cabinet lighting. For even more dark kitchen inspiration, take a look at our blog post on designing and styling black kitchens.
Two tone beauty
If you can’t decide between two different colours, why decide at all? A two-tone kitchen gives you the best of both worlds when styled correctly. You’ll most commonly see a two-toned kitchen when deep coloured cabinetry, such as navy or green, is combined with cream. This look works particularly well in kitchens with a low ceiling height, as adding light coloured wall units can open the space up and give the illusion of height.
Alternatively, you may see deep grey kitchens with a complementary colour such as cobalt green, or light grey cabinets with pastel tones. This adds extra depth and interest to more neutral hues. The accent colour can also work to highlight specific focal points in your kitchen, such as a stylish island.
Another popular way to style a two-toned kitchen is by opting for contrasting colours such as pink and green. These hues sit opposite each other on the colour wheel, but the addition of a third neutral colour such as cream or eggshell helps to bring the two together in harmony.
Your kitchen’s colour scheme can help set the overall tone of the space, so it’s important to take your time when deciding what palette to go for. These 10 kitchen colour scheme ideas should provide a great starting point in your design journey.
At InHouse Inspired Room Design, we’re here to support you in bringing your dream kitchen to life. Start your kitchen remodel today by browsing our inspiration pages. Or, head over to our Hexham showroom to see our Schüller and next125 kitchens in situ.