Choosing a kitchen colour scheme
When researching kitchen decorating ideas, gather together brochures and tear out pictures from magazines for inspiration. These should hopefully give you loads of ideas for different colour combinations.
By compiling these together to create a mood board, you'll have a good sense of the type of kitchen colour scheme and design ideals that appeals to you the most – and gives you something to base your design scheme around.
Choosing kitchen paint colours
The colour of a room can totally change the feeling and ‘mood’ of the space. Green is known for being serene and calming for example – but did you know red and orange help stimulate appetite? That’s why you often see them in restaurants or fast food venues. So, if you’re on diet – it’s probably best to avoid a red kitchen colour scheme. For more advice on how colour can change the feel of a room, read our article on how paint colour affects mood.
To create a really harmonious scheme, consider using two shades, which are close to each other on the colour wheel such as purple and pink, or green and yellow. Alternatively, a tonal scheme (mixing several shades of the same colour) might be a sensible choice for a kitchen colour scheme as it’s more subtle and easy to live with. Interior design Kathryn Rayward offers advice on how to use a colour wheel to choose a colour scheme , plus we have more advice on choosing complementary colours.
Image from Dulux
Colour ideas for cabinets
When mulling over kitchen design ideas, the colour of the cabinets should be your first consideration, since they will take up the largest part of the room. One failsafe option is timber. This provides a neutral backdrop but do think carefully about the shade.
Pale woods such as maple and birch teamed with light walls could look a bit washed out whereas a strong wall colour will act as a bold contrast. On the other side of the coin, darker timbers like cherry and walnut can overpower the room and may need to be offset with a pale paint, or additional kitchen lighting.
White units are also a good starting point for a kitchen colour scheme, guaranteed to make any room feel bigger and lighter, especially when teamed with good kitchen lighting. Don’t worry about white furniture looking boring, colour can easily be added in other ways. Beware brightly coloured hi gloss cabinets. While undeniably fashionable at the moment, this trend could date a few years down the line. There’s also the possibility you may tire of the shade. If you have the money, a better option is painted solid timber units. These can be easily repainted in the future.
If you want to change your kitchen colour scheme, but don’t want to replace your kitchen cabinets consider simply updating your existing ones. Painting kitchen cabinets or changing handles can make a big difference and will save you money. Read our article on updating kitchen cabinets for more inspirational design ideas.
Image from Wren Kitchens
Adding colour with kitchen tiles
Kitchen wall tiles are another great option for adding colour and texture to a kitchen design scheme. For fans of the neutral look, consider natural stone tiles which give a warm earthy feel. These are pricey, so if your budget is limited, try ceramic lookalikes, some of which are incredibly realistic. Another way of saving money on tiles, is to buy bargain plain white tiles and combine them with a few textured white tiles, alternatively mix gloss with chalky matt.
Patterned, mosaic tiles or textured styles will give your room a lift, and you could use different designs in different areas of the room such as a dining wall area or alcoves. Many manufacturers are now introducing ranges of coordinating tiles and borders that can be easily mixed and matched.
If you’ve chosen a neutral kitchen colour scheme, try a palette of coffee, caramel and cream for an easy to live with, contemporary effect. To ensure your kitchen colour scheme work effectively, tiles can either complement or contrast with cabinets. Another option if you’re wary of using strong colours is coloured grout. You’ll be amazed at the impact this can make to a muted kitchen colour scheme. The Tile Source offers a huge range including green, mushroom and silver. If you're planning to tile the walls yourself, watch our three-part video guide on how to tile walls – which includes essential advice on preparation, cutting and laying tiles and grouting.
If you’re nervous about introducing bright colours, ease yourself in gradually with a statement glass or laminate splashback behind the hob, highlighted with clever kitchen lighting to create a focal point. Take a look at our ideas for a kitchen splashback for inspiration.
Image from Topps Tiles
Kitchen design ideas for worktops
Virtually any colour of worksurface will complement timber and white units. Granites and laminates generally come in quite neutral shades but the ones with speckles, pearlised and veined finishes will add interest to a plain kitchen colour scheme.
If you want to include the latest kitchen design ideas in your room, try fitting coloured glass worktops for a touch of glamour. Sleek and sexy, Corian too is available in a rainbow of shades. Don’t feel you have to use the same material all over. Picking out an island or breakfast bar in a contrasting material is one of the latest kitchen decorating ideas. Our article on choosing kitchen surfaces offers advice on stainless steel, granite, composite stone, wood, Corian, concrete, stone and slate, laminate and even tiling.
Image from Stonemasters
Adding stylish kitchen accessories
Kitchen colour schemes can be further enhanced by clever use of accessories. This is one of the easiest ways to introduce a hit of colour on a budget. Don’t underestimate the impact a zingy orange kettle and toaster can make. Or how about a floral teal blind?
Be creative, display attractive crockery and gadgets. A row of red utensils against a white wall looks fabulous. Accent colours work best when they are vibrant shades, such as purple, lime or yellow.
We’ve complied some beautiful ideas in our galleries, stylist kitchen accessories and vintage kitchen accessories to offer some more inspiration.
Image from Shutterly Fabulous