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How To Choose the Best Colour Scheme for Your Kitchen

Large kitchen with a white, light blue and light wood tone colour scheme.

The colour scheme you choose for your kitchen can directly affect the mood that you create. Different colours will enhance different moods. The right colour can transform a dark and uninviting room into a bright and conversational living space!

Finding the right colour scheme for your kitchen is an important element in kitchen design. The colours you choose should work to create both the look and feel you want your dream kitchen to have. In this article we explore how colours influence mood, functionality and ambiance within your kitchen.

Consider the size and layout of your kitchen

The size and layout of your kitchen should be considered when choosing a colour scheme. This includes elements such as ceiling height, natural light, and width.

To fully explain what we mean here, we’ll look at two kitchen extremes. The first is large, has lots of natural light and high ceilings. The other is small, narrow, has little natural light and low ceilings.

Because the first already has so many elements that make it light and airy, too many light colours would make it feel sparse. Using darker and warmer colours here will help it to feel more welcoming and comfortable.


A large white kitchen


A large white kitchen with a dark grey kitchen island.

With the second being so small and having little natural light, it’s all too easy to create a space that feels restrictive and cave-like. Colours with darker shades can be used, but they should be limited. Instead, it should be filled with lots of light shades to make it feel brighter and bigger.


Small and dark kitchen before photo
Image from Becker Home, showing their kitchen renovation before photo.


Small and bright kitchen after photo
Image from Becker Home, showing their kitchen renovation after photo.

Using colour to create visual interest in a large kitchen

Painting a large kitchen white will not only make it feel sparse, but result in a kitchen that feels sterile. Adding warm accent colours will add visual interest and help to balance the ambiance of your kitchen.

If you have a large space to work with, there’s no limit on the colours you choose for your accent. In fact, strong and bright colours are becoming a popular choice amongst kitchen designers. Whatever colour scheme you choose, try not to pick more than 3 to avoid your kitchen feeling too busy or overwhelming.

Here are some ideas on how you can work colour into your large kitchen:

Colourful Appliances

Did you know that you can get appliances in lots of different fun and bold colours?! Colourful appliances create a fun visual interest, without the need to repaint.

Explore a wide range of stylish colours with our colourful selection of Rangemaster and Smeg appliances.

Bright Rugs

Using bright and vibrant rugs in an otherwise neutral kitchen can add interest in a simple yet effective way.

You can use large area rugs for big open spaces, or a runner for narrow areas such as kitchen walkways.

Interesting Tiles

Source: The Spruce

Decorative tiles are a great way to add style and interest to your kitchen.

With so many materials, colours, and styles to choose from, a tiled splashback can be an easy way to create a colourful feature.

Colourful Light Fixtures

Bright light fixtures
Source: Trendir

Many people go simple when choosing a light fixture. However, they can be perfect for adding interest to an otherwise simple kitchen.

Large and colourful lights work well above kitchen islands and dining areas.

Bold Cabinets

Bold yellow kitchen cabinets
Source: Sunset

Cabinets in bright and bold colours are becoming increasingly popular. If you want to add an eye-catching feature to your large kitchen, consider painting your cabinets.

This works for any style, from a subtle pastel blue, to a bright and demanding red.

Choosing colours that make a small kitchen feel bigger

As mentioned above, lighter shades can make a kitchen feel bigger and brighter. Light colours can therefore transform your small kitchen into a welcoming and communal space.

White Caple kitchen
Source: Caple

White works perfectly for this. You simply can’t get any lighter or brighter! However, any light colour that has a tint of white will work. The idea is that light is able to bounce off of white, and create the illusion of more space. This concept also applies to reflective surfaces. We would recommend incorporating these into your smaller kitchen space too.

Once you’ve decided on your main colour, try to make it consistent. Having the same consistent colour across your walls and cabinets will allow your eyes to keep moving, instead of stopping short at each colour break. This will make your kitchen feel even larger.

If you need more advice, we’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to make a small kitchen feel bigger.

Painting Techniques

There are several wall painting techniques that can create different illusions within a space. You can make a room feel shorter, longer, wider, narrower, and everything in between just by painting certain walls a lighter or darker colour. Check out our helpful guide for wall painting techniques:

Wall painting techniques guide

Take into account the existing finishes and materials

If you’re redecorating your kitchen and want to keep the existing finishes and materials, the colour scheme you choose should match. Below we have some tips for finding the best colour to compliment existing finishes. This could include countertops, cabinets, or flooring.

Creating High-Contrast Drama

If you want to create a more obvious statement, you may prefer the drama of high-contrast. A high-contrast design means that the elements in your room are very different from each other. This allows each element to stand out and create visual interest.

A high-contrast design works well in a large space. This is because it can help to break down the design into smaller zones that’s easier for your eyes to digest.

To create a high-contrast design with your existing finishes, you should choose a highly contrasting colour. This usually means choosing a colour that is a lot darker or lighter, or is a complementary colour. For example, if you have a lot of dark finishes, opt for a light colour such as pastels or white. Alternatively, if you have a lot of light wood finishes, consider dark colours.

Complementary Colours

What is a complementary colour and how can you use it to create a high-contrast design? Complementary colours are opposite each other on a colour wheel. For example, red and green or blue and orange. Complementary colours can be used when choosing a paint colour to complement a wood finish for a high-contrast design. Green paint contrasts well with wood with red or orange undertones. Meanwhile blue works well to contrast yellow or orange undertones.

Creating a Subtle Low-Contrast Ambiance

Bosch low contrast kitchen design
Source: Bosch

If you’d rather create a more harmonious space, consider a low-contrast design. This design works well for smaller spaces as it helps to open up the room. In a low-contrast design, colours will more easily blend together, and can create a more relaxing ambiance.

You can create a low-contrast kitchen by pairing hues of equal intensity. For example, if your existing finish has a lot of warmer tones, pair it with another warm paint colour. Or if you have existing finishes in a light colour wood, pair it with light paint colours.

If you do decide on a low-contrast colour scheme, you can add an accent colour to create more visual interest. This can help you to liven up your kitchen. A rule you could decide to go by when adding an accent colour is the 60-30-10 rule. This means 60% foundation colour, 30% secondary colour, and 10% accent colour. To achieve this, you could use your foundation colour for the cabinets, the secondary colour for your countertop, and a coloured small appliance for an accent colour.

Think about the desired ambiance and style

There is a strong relationship between colour and the mood that it creates. For example, warm colours can create a cosy atmosphere, whereas cool colours can feel refreshing. The colour scheme you choose should reflect the desired ambiance you want to create.

Below we have put together a list of how each colour can influence mood and atmosphere:


Mood: Passion, excitement, love, anger.

Atmosphere: Increased appetite and energy levels.


Mood: Creativity, excitement, pleasure, abundance.

Atmosphere: Increased appetite, energy levels and creativity.


Mood: Joy, happiness, communication.

Atmosphere: Optimistic, better communication, and increased appetite.


Mood: Balance, relaxation, joy.

Atmosphere: Relaxed, balanced, calm.


Mood: Calm, peace, relaxation.

Atmosphere: Creates balance, encourages independence, enhances love, and slows heart rate.


Mood: Love, tenderness, innocence, optimism.

Atmosphere: Increased creativity, soothing, calm.



Mood: Relaxation, imagination, calmness.

Atmosphere: Calm, relaxed, powerful, and increased creativity.


Mood: Comfort, security, resilience.

Atmosphere: Grounded, increased relaxation and feelings of safety.


Mood: Calmness, maturity, comfort.

Atmosphere: Sophisticated, timeless, moody.


Mood: Comfort, hope, calmness.

Atmosphere: Refreshing, organised, sterile. 


Mood: Strength, seriousness, negativity.

Atmosphere: Luxurious, elegant, comfortable, aggressive and depressing.

Although it can be helpful to learn how different colours can affect your mood and the atmosphere, we don’t think you should base your entire decision on this. How strong the effects are will depend on how much of the colour is used, and your chosen colour pairings. For example, although white can create a sterile environment, this is only true if no other colours are added.

Ultimately, you should choose colours that reflect your personal style. Below we have put together some images of colour combinations in different kitchen styles to give you some inspiration.

Contemporary/Modern Kitchens

Modern Blue and White Kitchen with Light Wood Finishes
Source: The Spruce
Modern Black and White Kitchen
Source: Osborne Interiors
Modern Green and White Kitchen with Light Wood
Source: Ideal Home

Farmhouse Kitchens

Blue and Grey Farmhouse Style Kitchen with Medium Wood Finishes
Source: Mpls St Paul
White, Brown and Black Farmhouse Style Kitchen with Dark and Medium Wood Finishes
Source: Homes and Gardens
Green and Beige Farmhouse Style Kitchen with Dark Wood Finishes
Source: Country Living

Industrial Kitchens

Black, White, and Grey Industrial Kitchen
Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Black, White and Orange/Brown Industrial Kitchen
Source: Livingetc
Grey and White Industrial Kitchen with Dark Wood and Brick Finishes
Source: Foter

Bohemian Kitchens

Green, Yellow and Orange Boho Kitchen with Light Wood Finishes
Source: Lily Ann Cabinets
White Boho Kitchen with Red, Blue and Yellow Accents
Source: Homes and Gardens
Blue, Orange and Grey Boho Kitchen with Medium Wood Finishes
Source: Decoholic

Test out the colours before committing

Once you believe you’ve chosen your colours, be sure to test them out before committing to them! Colour can look very different on a screen or in a shop compared to when they’re actually in your kitchen.

To test colours out you can paint samples on your walls, stick sample cards to your walls or cabinets, or even create a mood board to pin up. This will allow you to not only see how light will hit your chosen colour, but see how different colours work together.

Once you’re happy with your chosen colours, feel free to paint away. Good luck!


You should consider various factors when choosing the right colour scheme for your kitchen. The size and layout of your kitchen play an important role. Large spaces can benefit from vibrant accents. Meanwhile smaller kitchens can be visually expanded with light colours.

Understanding the psychological impact of colours is helpful. But, personal style should ultimately guide your decision. Experiment with colourful appliances, bold cabinets, interesting tiles, and bright rugs to add character to your kitchen.

Before committing, test out your chosen colours through samples, cards, or mood boards. Colour perception can vary in different lighting conditions. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

Our experts are always happy to help with any questions you may have when looking for new appliances to refresh your kitchen.

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