White cabinets, safe wall colours, neutral tile backsplash and floors. That’s the safest formula for kitchen design. You see that combinkitchen-colorful-ideas-varied-paletteation on every home improvement show and, likely, in most of your neighbours’ kitchens. If you’re renovating your kitchen with plans to sell your home, you may keep it safe, but if you want to add a bit of your own personality to your kitchen, don’t be afraid to get a little bold with your colour selections. The kitchen, after all, is the heart of the home and it should reflect your own personal style. Just keep these tips in mind and you’ll create a colour palette that compliments your kitchen and matches your personality.




Build Your Palette Around the CabinetsPainted-Kitchen-Cabinets-Nice

If you’ve selected wood cabinets, or you have existing wood cabinets and simply intend to keep them, build your colour palette their shade. Wood shades range from yellow to orange to red to brown depending up on the species of wood and the stain and finish used on them. If you’re painting your cabinets, white is actually not a bad choice as it allows you to add colour in other parts of the room, but don’t be afraid to paint your cabinets a colour that suits your style. Yellow-based greens tend to add brightness to a room and are well complimented by white trim. Bold reds and bright browns are energetic while blues are softer and more subdued. Light blues trends towards the more comfortable and casual, while darker blues create a cooler, somewhat more formal feel.  Warmer colours like yellows and light brown can compliment wood floors and counteract the relative coolness of stainless steel with significant warmth.


orange-kitchen-counterMake a Statement With Countertops

The number of patterns, colours and materials in which countertops are available can be overwhelming. As in the rest of the kitchen, neutral colours and white are safe Given that countertops are a big ticket item, it makes sense not to follow trends, but there’s the number of options means that countertops are a tremendous opportunity to make a statement. If you are using three or more different colours in your kitchen, consider keeping the countertops simple. Select a marble or granite with minimal graining and colour variation. Otherwise, take the time to find the countertop that speaks to your style from the myriad of choices and you’ll be rewarded with a very special kitchen.


20kitchen-tile-backsplash-feb11Tie in the Backsplash

Your backsplash is literally and figuratively the connection between your cabinets and your countertops. It’s typically only 45 cm high, but for such a small area, adds a tremendous amount of style to the kitchen. Its colours should compliment those of the countertops. Here too, there are a myriad of choices in terms of materials, patterns and colours and it can be dangerous to loyally follow trends. Carefully consider the brightness and intensity of the pattern in your backsplash design. If you’re feeling brave, however, use the backsplash to add a punch of colour. There are a number of ways to do this, from a line of patterned tile that runs the length of the backsplash to evenly spaced bursts of colour within the tile pattern.


floor-squares-2-lDon’t Overlook Flooring Options

Traditional kitchen design calls for floor tiles to be consistent with the backsplash. If you take a traditional approach, though, be careful not to match them too closely. Your kitchen will be much more interesting if there is some variation, whether in pattern or colour. More modern kitchen designs feature a wider variety of flooring materials and colours. If your floors are wood, use a stain colour that ties in with the cabinets, or choose to paint them for a wider array of options. If you really want your floors to be a differentiator, consider options from concrete to vinyl to epoxy.





Kitchen Walls Are an AccentIA_int_red_kitchen_1200x880

Most of the wall space in a kitchen is covered by cabinets, backsplash and appliances. That makes the wall colour more of a compliment and less of a highlight than it is in other rooms.  Select wall colours like you would trim colours in other rooms. They can either compliment or contrast their surrounding materials. Don’t be afraid to select something that contrasts.





Traditionalists will tell you to design your kitchen with a minimum variety of colour. That is, in fact, a safe choice, but not necessarily one that will result in a kitchen that will fit your personal style. Don’t be afraid to spice up your kitchen design with up to three different colours and multiple hues of each.


Want to read more?

Better Homes and Gardens: Choosing Kitchen Paint Colors

This Old House: Five No-Fail Palettes for Colorful Kitchens