Brighten your day with our favourite kitchen colour ideas

Get inspired for a new kitchen look with these colour palettes to suit every taste

Sometimes it can feel as if there are as many kitchen colour ideas as there are stars in the sky. Choosing one can be tough. Not only is a new or updated kitchen an investment of time and money, then there are the emotions to consider.

Kitchens are memory capsules. Ask yourself – what colour or colour combo is best as a backdrop to all the pleasure, laughter and joy that are a part of a kitchen’s story? In the end, you’ll just have to follow your heart. We all know that colour, like cooking, is all about what tickles your tastebuds.

But read on for the most delectable and up-to-the-minute kitchen colour schemes around. If you like what you see, order some samples, paint them up and see whether you have found your own missing kitchen design ingredient.

Sean SymingtonCredit: Sean Symington
A colour blocked kitchen by Sean Symington Interior Design

1. Pink, the colour of the moment

Sophisticated pinks are a designer go-to

Roundhouse KitchenCredit: Roundhouse
The Ali Kitchen – Roundhouse, from £35,000

Remember when navy became the new white in kitchen design? Now, our hunger for navy has finally been sated, leaving the field wide open for a new go-to kitchen colour. We think it will be pink.

Why pink? Name one colour that is more optimistic, soothing and calming.

The secret to using pink well is choosing the right shade.

We spoke to Ben Hawkswell, senior design consultant at Roundhouse, who designed the Ali kitchen. “This kitchen was designed for an energetic, fun-loving, and stylish family as part of a large open-plan redesign of their living, kitchen, and dining area,” he says.

“The clients were inspired by another pink kitchen I had recently completed, and we chose the colour for its contrasting effects with the dark veneer and deep greens elsewhere in the room. The Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster colour also had the unifying effect of pulling together the two natural stones that the clients had fallen in Iove with and chose for the worktops.”

Curious about the other finishes that went into creating this kitchen? They include:
  • Matt Lacquer Farrow & Ball in ‘Setting Plaster’
  • River smoked walnut veneer
  • Taj Mahal quartzite worktops
  • Fusion La Sera wall cladding
  • Antique brass detailing

Pink and green is one of the most beautiful colour combinations around. If luxury marble is out of your budget, a green porcelain finish might help you achieve a similiar look. Mirage offers large scale porcelain tiles in a marble effect.

Porcelain tiles by MirageCredit: Mirage
Porcelain tiles by Mirage

2. White, a forever-classic colour

Calming white kitchens will never go out of style

Roundhouse kitchenCredit: Roundhouse
The Dunne Kitchen – Roundhouse, from £35,000

Sometimes a look sticks around for the simple reason that it has transcended trend status to become a confirmed classic. The all-white kitchen might not seem like a cutting-edge colour scheme – in fact, some might even claim it’s a tad old-fashioned. But we think this look is now as perennial as potatoes.

Why? Four reasons. First, due to their popularity there is an off-the-shelf white kitchen to suit all interior styles – great for those on a budget. Second, they boldly demand one of the key aspects of any decent kitchen: scrupulous cleanliness.

Third, all-white kitchens look glorious. It helps that the best-looking white kitchens aren’t shy about using lashings of Carrara marble. Still, with the right upgrades (fresh composite worktops and gorgeous handles) even a bargain all-white kitchen can look the part.

Dowsing & Reynolds HandlesCredit: Dowsing & Reynolds
Well designed high-quality but pocket friendly kitchen cabinet hardware will make any white kitchen look the business

Kitchen cabinet handles, Dowsing & Reynolds, from £13.99

Our fourth and final brilliant upside to an all-white kitchen? Should you get bored with it, white joinery is usually the easiest to transform with a lick of paint. So there’s no need to rip out your cabinetry for an update.

White cabinetsCredit: Roundhouse
The Dunne Kitchen – Roundhouse, from £35,000

A white kitchen case study

Allison Lynch is senior design consultant at Roundhouse and designed this Dunne kitchen, which was repainted white to suit the clients’ changing tastes.  “Farrow & Ball Wimborne White was chosen for the cabinetry. The neutral cabinetry and stone worktops elsewhere allowed the statement stone on the island to pop.

 “There are so many white shades and selecting the one that works well with the rest of the materials is key. You can have white with blue, grey, pink, and even green undertones , so while whites are safe as a colour choice, picking the right one is not easy. We found that Farrow & Ball Wimborne White worked for the space both in areas that are in shadow and direct sunlight.

“While most clients want to explore dark moody colours, the white kitchen will remain a classic choice. Also, if used in a clever way, it will enhance other features in the space.

“White will not feel dated as long as it’s paired with interesting shapes and warmer colours. For example, Scandi-style interiors, which are very popular at the moment, use a lot of white but include wood for warmth and texture. Normal wear and tear and fingerprints will be less visible against white cabinets. I would say that white kitchens are still a good investment for the mere fact that you are unlikely to get tired of the look as its neutrality makes it easy to refresh the space with soft furnishings, artwork on walls, and even flooring.”


3. Cream and navy, a smart mix

A decadent colour pairing that will always feel timeless

Todhunter Earle kitchenCredit: Todhunter Earle / Paul Massey
Todhunter Earle kitchen

Mellow”, “calm” and “warm” are adjectives that spring to mind when beholding a cream and navy kitchen colour scheme. It’s a little pretty and a little posh.

To achieve this divine colour palette, renowned design studio Todhunter Earle lavished the cabinetry in Papers and Paints’ 9-097, while the walls are treated with Paint & Paper Library’s Sand III.

Describing the design process, founder Kate Earle says: “This project involved reconfiguring five floors, and we relocated the kitchen to the front of the house, overlooking a garden square. The ceilings are high, and the room has plenty of natural light, which is perfect for introducing strong bolts of colour. The bold blue also fits well with the client’s collection of characterful furniture and art.”

4. Sand and brown, for warmth

Enjoy the natural feel of the world’s earthiest colour

Brown kitchenCredit: Todhunter Earle / Paul Massey
Todhunter Earle kitchen

This is a kitchen colour idea that is so rare that, done well, it will certainly set tongues wagging. Brown is rarely used in kitchen design, but as Todhunter Earle proves, with this beautifully modern and gracious kitchen, its decor worlds loss.

The clients brief? Create a “beach house in the city”. Earle says: The house is light-filled, airy and uncluttered with an emphasis on polished plaster walls, grainy timbers and textural fabrics and floor coverings.  The palette for this kitchen very much reflects that.”

Texture and pattern are the name of the game – the various shades of brown draw the eye around the room and ensure there is never a dull moment in this concept.

The top tip for creating a masterly brown kitchen is to think of earthy brown finishes  – such as resin, textiles, leather, wood – and to use each a little here and there for a kitchen that is grounding yet energetic.

5. Muted primary colours

Try colour blocking in pastels that pop

Sean SymingtonCredit: Sean Symington
A colour blocked kitchen by Sean Symington Interior Design

Cant decide on your favourite cabinetry shades and want to use them all? How about narrowing those kitchen colour ideas down to your top two? Colour blocking has been described as “carefully constructed chaos”, a phrase that really captures the fun of this kitchen colour idea.

Its all about pops of vivid colours. Apply one bright colour to your wall-mounted joinery and another to your island, or try using two different colours adjacent or opposite each other.

We think this kitchen by Sean Symington of Sean Symington Interiors is a masterclass in colour blocking. The House and Garden Top 100 interior designer says: “Our client was a huge fan of colour and wanted to incorporate some fun, punchy tones into their kitchen. We designed the curved banquette to optimise comfort for dining as well as television viewing and entertaining.

“The room wasn’t quite wide enough to incorporate a sitting room and dining room setup, so the banquette offers the practicality of both. The island is painted in Farrow & Ball Brinjal and the kitchen cupboards are Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue.”

We think blue is an excellent colour to base your colour blocking concept around and it is so universally loved. 

6. Fresh, joyful orange

Choose the cheeriest kitchen colour around

Sean Symington orange bedroomCredit: Sean Symington
A cheerful kitchen by Sean Symington

In our opinion, orange isnt used nearly often enough in kitchen design. Its a real shame because the colour is absolutely bursting with “good times” feeling. Perhaps one of the challenges is that when orange is used, it is often limited to hyper-modern kitchens where some of the warmth of the colour is lost in translation.

Contrast that with a peachy orange applied to classic wooden joinery and the outcomes are worlds apart. What you get is a friendly, inviting kitchen that feels like a perpetual summers day.

Picking the right shade of orange is key to getting it right. Also, orange is in its element when paired with complementary greens and blues.

Sean Symington orange kitchenCredit: Sean Symington
Sean Symington orange kitchen

Designer Sean Symington is a master of using colours to evoke emotions. To create his orange kitchen, he used Farrow & Balls Red Earth. Sometimes in smaller spaces, it is more interesting to make more of a statement with colour,” he says. “We decided to build a bench in to the eating area of this kitchen to optimise the space and painted it to match the cabinetry. We love the combination of the earthy terracotta tone with the walnut butcher block worktop.”

Dont feel you have to paint all your walls or joinery orange to get the look. Try picking a key piece of furniture – such as an island, pantry cupboard or kitchen – to paint orange as a bright and joyful accent.

7. Paint it black

The tailored black kitchen is set to make a polished comeback

John Lewis black kitchenCredit: John Lewis of Hungerford
A tailored black kitchen by John Lewis of Hungerford

Here is a top-shelf kitchen colour idea: black.

For years, black paint has been overlooked in kitchen settings, with navy blue and dark grey doing most of the moody and sophisticated heavy lifting.

Well, we say it’s time to take a fresh look at black paint, because frankly, it’s seriously elegant.

And what’s more, as is the case in fashion, black can confidently be paired with absolutely any colour and look great.

We think it looks best when some natural elements – think untreated woods, or aged freestanding furniture – are included to soften the edges.

Today, all-black kitchens in spaces with an abundance of natural light feel modern and fresh paired with lashings of grey, and you have a kitchen that feels cerebral and elevated.

John Lewis of HungerfordCredit: John Lewis of Hungerford
A kitchen with black details by John Lewis of Hungerford

We spoke to Rebecca Nokes, head of design and brand creative at John Lewis of Hungerford, who shares these tips: “Black works well with both classic and contemporary cabinetry styles and can create a truly dramatic kitchen scheme.

“Black works best in a large space with lots of natural light so if you’re short on this, you’ll need to carefully consider your lighting.

“Finish with metallic hardware and complementary flooring such as a warm wood or cool stone to create a timeless sophisticated scheme.”

Dress your shelves with plenty of plants and your favourite miniature artworks to give a touch of flair and prepare to engage in some wonderfully enlightening conversations while you cook.

8. Grounded greens

Bring the goodness of avocados and olives into your kitchen

Tom HowleyCredit: Tom Howley
Elegant green Serpentine Kitchen – Tom Howley

When choosing a colour for your kitchen, why not take a cue from natures own bounty? Any interior designer worth their salt would agree that as kitchen colour ideas go, Mother Earths colour palette takes some beating.

Lets consider, for example, these two culinary staples: avocados and olives. Not to smear on toast or throw into a salad, but for your kitchen cabinets.

Tom Howley, founder and design director of his eponymous kitchen company, sees first-hand the growing appetite for “green gourmet” kitchens. They are having something of a moment right now. As a colour we associate primarily with nature, this grounding shade has an incredible way of reconnecting us with our surroundings, creating moments of calm and positivity.

Tom HowleyCredit: Tom Howley
Details of Tom Howley green ‘Serpentine’ kitchen

“Serpentine, a striking olive green, is used to splendid effect here in our latest Devine design. It’s a stunning colour with earthiness and depth that leaves you feeling nourished and full of life, perfect for kitchen environments.

“This bold colour may pack a punch, but you have a scheme with undeniable appeal when combined with burnished brass hardware and Caesarstone Organic White worktops.”

And, if you’ve ever eaten your greens off crisp white crockery, you can attest to the appeal of this pairing.

9. Reach for red

Take a colour psychology trick from restaurants

DeVOLCredit: deVOL
deVOL red kitchen

Want to pique your dinner guests’ appetites? Reach for red – it’s the top pick for restaurateurs that know the colour brings on the hunger pangs by speeding up metabolism (add a dash of yellow and you have colour psychology’s top kitchen colour combo for rumbling tummies).

We first featured deVOL’s Refectory Red in our round-up of our favourite kitchen design ideas. It’s used to beautiful effect on the cupboards of their Shaker kitchen, alongside Farrow & Ball’s Dead Salmon on the walls. The deVOL team describe the pairing as a “lovely combination” and we are inclined to agree.

Both red and pink are warm tones and so they have a similar undertone and intensity – and of course pink is red with white added to it, so it’s hard to go wrong.

If you want to create a kitchen that truly takes centre stage in a home, this could be the colour combination for you.

10. Neapolitan ice cream colours

Try this trio of winning colours for a sweet treat

Plain EnglishCredit: Plain English
Pink and Yellow colour combo – Plain English

Neapolitan ice cream has it right – a little pink, a little brown and a little yellow. Delicious. Perhaps that was what inspired this Plain English kitchen colour palette? There is certainly something sweet and familiar about the look.

The power of three in design is well documented and who says the brilliance of this magic number shouldnt extend to kitchen colour ideas?

We are giving extra marks for the island for featuring handles that are lavished in yellow paint, too – a nice cohesive design touch that might bring new life to handles past their best.

Also, we like the use of painted freestanding furniture pieces. With a lick of paint, vintage and antique finds can be used to create a kitchen thats a unique expressions of who you are.

11. Purple and beige feel timeless and elegant

Try a colour combo you don’t see every day

A purple kitchen by Martin MooreCredit: Martin Moore
A unique purple kitchen by Martin Moore

Associated with royalty and upward mobility, it makes perfect sense that purple sits comfortably in what tends to be the most expensive room in our homes.

But ironically, it is rare to come across a purple kitchen, which means this example from Martin Moore really stands out.

One of the more versatile colours, there is a purple to suit all tastes – from decadent dark aubergine to the lavenders of Provence and the slightest whisper of a lilac. And how could we forget juicy plum?

Purple OnyxCredit: Marble & Granite Specialist
Purple onyx

If you are going for purple, you might as well give your kitchen the sort of luxury accents that will get people talking. Is there any stone more spectacular than purple onyx? Get your hands on a sample and see for yourself why it is so highly prized. Even a small area featuring the material would up the regal stakes.


Written by Joy Archer she/her