Colour in the kitchen

In the dark, grey months of January and February, our spirits can be low so why not inject some colour into your kitchen. It will not only enhance the room but lift your mood at the same time.

Our kitchens can too easily be ignored when it comes to colour and we opt for safe options particularly if we have a very contemporary, streamlined look. But it is so easy to introduce all sorts of colours into the kitchen by a clever use of paint, careful choice of flooring and surfaces and great appliances and accessories.

Hard surfaces

When designing a kitchen from scratch or simply updating or refreshing an existing one, there are some basics to consider. The walls and floors are the largest expanses of available colour surfaces and will set the tone for the whole room. Perhaps the single most important thing to consider when choosing a colour for your walls is light: get to know your room through the subtle changes as daylight moves to the gentle light of early evenings. Is your kitchen south facing, filled with light or is it darker and north facing? Both these situations need a different approach and can be hugely enhanced by clever paint choices. The size of your room is also important and think about the mood you are trying to create. If you want a warm, cosy, heart-of-the-home type kitchen, warm tones will make the room appear more snug whereas cool bright tones will enlarge the space: great for the contemporary trend towards open-plan living.

The floor is not to be underestimated when it comes to bringing colour into the kitchen, whether we introduce it through tiles or the beautiful patina of aged floorboards. A bold option is to choose from the stunning array of contemporary vinyl or rubber that come in a huge variety of colours, both neutrals and brights.

The Painted Kitchen

The painted kitchen is an enduring look because it is so versatile, achievable and can be changed to suit our changing mood and taste very easily. Cabinetry looks beautiful and full of character¬†with today’s heritage paint brands like Farrow and Ball, Little Greene and Dulux Heritage all offering rich, timeless colours inspired by the natural world. Discuss with your designer the best options to choose for a painted finish. When planning a painted kitchen, it is important to discuss the look you want- a distressed finish will soften any colour you choose to bring a lovely, weathered look that looks particularly good in coastal or country kitchens.

To add character and enhance the unfitted look, you can opt for different shades for free-standing furniture. One very on-trend idea is to use a striking colour for a central island unit: be daring and choose a deep pink, red or aubergine for a stunning effect.

High gloss

If the pained look is not your thing, there are exciting options with high-gloss units for a sleek, contemporary look. This design option looks great with bright, citrus style colours – it works best if the flooring and walls are kept neutral: white looks stunning with the acid brights that are a key trend for units right now. As with any strong colour, think about how it will work in your kitchen long after the trend has passed to something else.  Try a bright splash-back or vivid tiles to introduce some colour if you are not quite brave enough to go all out on the units.


Years ago, our kitchen appliances were white or cream and that was it: today we can opt for multi-coloured American style fridges or stunning range cookers in colours we would never have imagined years ago. Think about the colours that will work in an existing kitchen and if it is a new kitchen, create a mood board to make sure the appliance will enhance the kitchen rather than dominate everything else. Smaller appliances like toasters, kettles, food mixers and coffee machines now come in a myriad of colours and they are a great way to add contrast and interest to our kitchens.

Be imaginative in how you see colour and remember it is found in everything we have in our kitchens that make them unique to us. A beautiful display of blue and white china, the colourful spines of a shelf of cookery books, french coloured cast-iron pots, all bring personality.

At this time of the year, as we wait impatiently for spring, nothing looks more lovely and uplifting than a pretty jug of glorious daffodils or tulips whatever colour our kitchen.