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Brighten up your kitchen with these colour scheme ideas


Not everyone wants to use neutrals in the kitchen.  However, you may worry that changing the paint scheme means changing the cupboards and cabinets too.  Yet, with some simple choices, you can brighten your kitchen space and change the mood completely.  You can create a perception of space, and you can highlight sections that are worthy of visitors’ attention.

You may worry that we are advocating a return to the dreaded days of the 1970s.  If you can’t remember, there was a bit of an all or nothing approach to colour – with avocado green everywhere and maybe a wash of burnt orange.  Although we are suggesting you brighten your kitchen with a colourful palette, we are proposing more restrained colours such as pale blues, greys, inky shades and more.

When selecting your scheme, you can use colour theory to choose from a bank of complementary colours.  Using the colour wheel can help you create sharp contrasts, which will bring a vibrant feel to your kitchen.  However, it is not just the mood that you are hoping to create.  You need to think about the units and the style of your kitchen flooring.  All these factors come together to help you select the right colour palette.

Option 1: Go coastal!

Do you have a wooden floor and white units? How about making the most of this with hints of blues, off-whites and greys to create a coastal look?  The trick is to create layers of colours, using two or three different shades. You can use shades in your paintwork, tiles and cupboards to create a feeling of the seaside.  It looks both bright and clean looking.

Option 2: Unexpected splash of colour

You may have black and white tiles, creating symmetrical designs.  You can have dark grey colours to add to the industrial theme.  Then, to offer that hint of surprise, you can add a red tile here or there or have a bright pan on a shelf.

If you have bland white cupboard fronts, you can bring these up to date by using the dark grey paint, which is bang on-trend.

Option 3: Go bright white

If you are like us, you want to shout that white is not a colour, it is a shade.  However, in some ways, white is the most colourful of colours – as it is all the colours combined.  Technicalities aside, a bright white minimalist kitchen – with white literally everywhere – can be a robust and vibrant look.  Beware, the cleaning needed to keep it bright white might feel a little off-putting. You will also want to coordinate your appliance – ensuring these are genuinely white goods.  Maybe this is for those who are entirely ready to commit to this stylish choice.

Option 4: Go contrasting, go modern

Creating a modern look is relatively easy.  You take the colour wheel and choose colours that appear at extremes.  This is especially effective where you use primary colours.  If you team these contrasting colours with white worktops and cabinets, you can create a light and spacious kitchen.  Lines along the floor can add to this modern look and add length to your room.

Option 5: Go floral

If you want to add some vibrancy to your kitchen, you can use floral wallpaper.  This is quite the vintage look and would go well with a welsh dresser and other classic furniture.  Remember the aim is to match your existing furniture with your use of colour.  Therefore, if you have a cottage-feel to your kitchen, then using this floral look is highly effective.

Option 6: Accessorise

If all this feels like a lot of work, you can add colour with the accessories in your kitchen.  You can make the simple choice to coordinate your kettle, toaster and other smaller electrical items.  Equally, you can buy matching storage pots and plates to have out on display or some colourful scatter cushions for your seating area.  The best thing about using accessories in this way is that if you change your mind, it will not cost you the earth to replace the colour scheme.


The overall message about colour is to be bold and be brave.  Your kitchen does not have to be drab and utilitarian.  It can be a place of life and high design – just with some simple choices for the walls, cupboards or even your plates of the shelf.

Edward Sloane

Edward is the managing director of Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs. He is an expert in quality, comfortable upholstered chairs.


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