Are you looking for colour inspiration and ideas for a beautiful and striking kitchen? We present 10 paint colour schemes for your hardest-working room.

One of the most fun aspects of interior design in 2021 is that there is no homogeneity when it comes to colour.

While the 1990s were all about taupes and neutrals, as the millennium turned, we discovered a collective willingness to go darker, the inexorable rise of Farrow & Ball daring home improvers to opt for muted palettes that had, in our lifetimes, been hitherto chiefly the domain of National Trust properties.

In 2021, though, anything goes and nowhere more than in the kitchen. After all, paint is paint; it’s not fixed. It’s one of those areas of design in which you really can go bold; if you really hate it, after all, you can always reach for the brushes and change it.

We still love a moody, sophisticated hue, yet when it comes to kitchen colours, we’re equally persuadable on the white-washed front as we are on retro pastel palettes and pops of bright colour. And then there are those neatly drawn together neutrals and soft sagey greens to consider too; the choice is dizzying.

When it comes to kitchen colour scheme ideas, it is worth trawling the archives and magazines for inspiration – and aside from anything, it’s fun. On which note, we present ten kitchen colour ideas for your consideration.

Earthy Kitchen Colour Scheme

When designer Samantha Todhunter was commissioned to create a design for this Maida Vale house, the brief was to ensure that the space should be both open and light.

For the client, that longing for a cavernous feel came in response to having spent years living in necessarily more compact high rises in Hong Kong. Duly then, throughout the house, the palette is consciously soft and calm, but – crucially – without ever being dull. And nowhere is that approach more in evidence than in the bespoke kitchen, where we love the choice of kitchen cupboard paint colours; the ‘dirty pink’ manages to strike the balance between neutrality and the off-beat and is beautifully offset by the knurled bronze hardware.

Almost putty-like in feel, this would work well in most schemes, unobtrusive yet interesting as it is. However, we naturally envisage it in homes which marry the traditional and the pared-back with the harder clean lines of contemporary detailing. Click here for more info on the scheme.

Faux Concrete & Teal – Small Kitchen Colour Ideas

Levi Austin is a New York-based interior designs with a highly attuned eye for colour, composition and materials. He is, then, accustomed to the common constraints of city life; as compared to their country-dwelling counterparts, urbanites’ kitchens are likely to be somewhat more compact thanks to the predominance of apartment living.

Yet, as evidenced by this scheme, there is no need to compromise on style on the grounds of not having much space to play with. We love the textural faux concrete, paired with subtle flashes of teal to lend warmth, interest and draw the eye in. This is an ideal scheme to take inspiration from for a contemporary studio apartment.

The neat bar, with the smart rose-gold stools, makes a perfect perching spot for guests to enjoy a glass of wine while you rustle something up, as well as offsetting the cooler palette. As small kitchen colour ideas go, this is interesting yet unfussy, simultaneously making the most of the space and ensuring it’s a talking point. Click here to see more.

Black Modern Kitchen Colour

Whilst darker, more atmospheric kitchen cupboard paint colours have abounded in recent years, most people stop short of choosing black. And yet, if you’re in the market for a sultry, masculine and ultra-slick kitchen, then the darkest colour in the palette can be dramatic and effective.

We like the uninterrupted lines of this Wren kitchen, which is available in stain, gloss or wood grain finish (we would opt for the latter for an earthiness that would also add texture to the whole). Do note that excellent lighting is imperative when it comes to a scheme as uncompromising as this. Click here for more info.

Dark Orange Kitchen Paint Colour

In the context of interiors, orange is a colour that has largely been boxed away and filed away under ‘1970s mistakes’. And yet, if you’re thinking about what colours to paint a kitchen, do not dismiss it out of hand.

For retro-style homes, it can be striking and beautiful – particularly, as in this picture, if the shade you plump for tends towards the ‘burnt’ end of the orange spectrum. We like this scheme’s simplicity and its nods both ways towards the ultra-contemporary and the nostalgic. It’ll be avocado bathrooms next. Click here to see more.

Maple Cream Kitchen Idea

For anyone whose tastes tend towards the fresh yet traditional, a maple cream kitchen idea such as this could be one to consider.

The colour itself is, in fact, one that lends itself to all manner of schemes, spanning the ultra-luxe and contemporary right through to shaker styles to this more intricate kind of kitchen, which marries elements of the two. If you’re in the market for the latter, the colour works well, as it doesn’t distract from the details, such as the more elaborate woodwork flourishes, the trio of chandeliers, or the sleek marble worktop. Click here to see more.

Sunflower Yellow and Brown Colour Scheme

It has seemed so de rigueur to paint kitchen cabinets in recent years that it can be easy to forget that there are other ways of approaching kitchen design. Why not, rather than using colour on the fittings, instead consider adding interest courtesy of paint colours for the kitchen itself?

This example illustrates how well it can work to choose a rich, unadorned wood for the cupboards and then opting to inject fun and colour via the walls. Is there a sunnier proposition than this yellow kitchen, with its grounding wooden fixtures? Click here for more info.

Blue Walls in Modern Design Ideas

Underlining the point about allowing your kitchen walls to do the talking is this wooden and blue scheme. Here, the coolness of the blue is offset by the warmth of the natural materials but then picked up again in the granite worktop of the island. Click here to see more.

Green and Peach to Design Kitchens

We couldn’t love this delightful kitchen any more than we do and that is, in large part, down to its beautiful colour scheme. DeVOL’s kitchens are renowned for being amongst the best of the best and this, its Classic English Kitchen, underlines why that should be.

The exquisite cabinetry in a rich, warm green is complemented perfectly by the softness of the pink walls (if you so happen to have some vintage green kitchen tiles knocking about, then all the better).

While many people shy from the peachier end of the colour spectrum for their kitchen colour schemes, we love that it is both earthy and pretty. Plus, we will never not love a good wood burning stove in the beating heart of the house. It is, after all, the most convivial room in the home. All we need now is a slumbering dog to complete the picture. Click here for more info.

Magenta Kitchen Schemes

Subtle, muted hues and tone have long been the order of the day in interior circles. And while they can be gorgeous kitchen ideas, such a bias towards the ultra-tasteful leaves little room for those who adore colour – and the brighter the better.

The good news is that when it comes to our own homes, we are at perfect liberty to decorate in whichever way that brings us the most joy (which, of course, goes without saying). And this scheme, with its eye-popping magenta cupboards, is bound to bring delight to such colour-worshippers.

We like the fact that it concentrates all of its impact on the cupboards themselves, leaving the walls white and the splash-back chrome. A graphic striped rug makes the whole pop. Click here to see more.

Mint Appliances and White Walls Schemes

Do you live for a white-washed room? If you do, you’re not alone (we particularly love the idea of a cosy, cosseting sitting room contrasted by a celestially white kitchen, flooded with natural light. In short: the dream).

This one, which belongs to Elsie Larson, blogger at A Beautiful Mess, hits those light, bright and fresh notes with dash and panache. We like the symmetry, the subtle gold handles and the perfect pop of colour courtesy of the minty-fresh cooker, plus the single shot of warmth, thanks to the well-loved rug on the floor.

If you have a brood of young children, this may not be one for you (sticky paws would not go down well in a room such as this). But for those who can keep it tidy and uncluttered, it’s a dream for a mid-sized kitchen. Click here to see more.

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.