When it comes to decorating the home’s most popular spot, people tend to fall into two categories—light and bright, or timeless and white. As a workspace and de facto gathering ground at parties, the kitchen is often splashed in either soothing neutrals or stimulating shades (hello, yellow).
But it seems those tried-and-true hues are falling into a new category: the one that more and more people are beginning to ignore. According to a new report from Houzz, homeowners today are finding their kitchen bliss in dark, moody shades—think navy, forest green, and even black.
But before you avert your beach-loving eyes, you might want to hear this trend out. Darker shades certainly add more drama to space, but when paired with crisp whites and loads of natural light, they set just the sort of comfy tone you’d want in your beach home.
While neutral-coloured kitchens may never truly leave the spotlight, 2019 might just be the year darker hues truly take over. While our kitchen mood boards started seeing more black accents, from fixtures to cabinets, in 2018, this year, experts are predicting we get a little more playful with colours (hurrah!). Here are the shades you can expect to see more of in kitchens everywhere-perhaps even yours.
Not only is this giving us chic Southwestern vibes (another excuse to buy more cute cacti, anyone?), but we’re loving the warmth it adds to any space, while still remaining versatile. And with Pantone’s Living Coral taking the décor world by storm, it’s no surprise orange-tinted palettes are creeping onto kitchen walls as well. “Terracotta is the best version of orange, in my opinion, it’s more muted,” says Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams (whose Color of the Year is a gorgeous Cavern Clay).
Not ready to part from a previously neutral kitchen palette? Fear not, you can still play with this fiery tone as Wadden adds: “It’s also a great complementary colour to grey. To everyone who’s painted their rooms grey in the last five years, this is a great way to bring some colour and a boost of energy into space.” She also suggests incorporating hints of terracotta in accent pieces from a freshly painted kitchen island to chairs and cabinets.
Light and Dusty Pinks
When it comes to creating soothing spaces for a new year, we couldn’t be more on board with the soft touch pink palettes are bringing to the table (and the pantry! and the walls!). And while this may seem like an unusual paint pick for you outside of your little one’s playroom, you might also find yourself quickly converted-especially if you love a good classic look with a twist. “The Sulking Room Pink, a dirty rose, is elegant on kitchen units,” says Joa Studholme, International Color Consultant at Farrow & Ball. “Particularly when combined with darks like Paean Black and Railings.”
If you still have reservations about going full pretty-in-pink, Color Expert and VP of Color and Creative Services at Behr, Erika Woelfel, suggests a more subtle blush peach, like Sand Dance, for brightening cabinets and creating accent walls. “And if you’re ready for a fresh take on a space in your home, but don’t want to take the plunge and paint the whole room, try painting an accent piece, like a bench, in a trending colour.”
Deep Blues and Greens
If you’re looking to make 2019 the year of big, bold moves, a new paint job could be calling your name, and you don’t even have to commit to the entire kitchen. “As we shift from the all-white kitchen, we see more cabinetry painted in deeper hues increase in popularity, even if it’s only the island or a select section of millwork,” says Andrea Magno, Color and Design Expert at Benjamin Moore. Magno suggests trying Hale Navy (a perfect complement to Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year!) on pantry doors for a timeless look; it also pairs well with hardware in warm golds. “The result is a balance between a modern sensibility and classic appeal.”
Green is a soothing colour that can lend an earthy, organic vibe to a kitchen when paired with wooden accents. Mint and apple green are other options that can add even more character to your kitchen and look good with white cabinets and countertops.
Craving to take more inspiration from Mother Nature? Consider going green-literally. In addition to trending navy hues, Woelfel adds: “A dark, rich green like Vine Leaf adds drama on a wall or painted cabinets.”
Okay, so the all-white trend isn’t ready to leave just yet. But it’s certainly getting a sophisticated upgrade with various warm, brown-grey tints, according to Wadden. “I’m obsessed with mushroom neutrals, bone colours, and oatmeal whites,” she tells us. “They’re creamy, but not stark and will be key as we move forward to replace all-white kitchens.” In other words, the future may not exactly be looking bright, but honestly-we’re not complaining.
Since kitchens tend to be one of the busiest areas in a home, it’s wise to pick a calming colour such as white or ivory for your walls. Light and airy, the colour will instantly brighten up your kitchen, and it’ll be easy to add in pops of colour here and there.
If you prefer a more playful colour palette right off the bat, consider yellow. Energizing and eye-catching, it works well on the walls, as a backsplash or on the inside of cabinets.
Red is believed to stimulate the appetite, so it’s a colour that’s often used in kitchens. But be careful with this bold colour; it can overpower the room and make it feel too dark if not used sparingly. Reds that have hints of pink can really work wonders in a kitchen. You wouldn’t want to paint your entire walls with them, but raspberry-coloured tiles would look striking as a backsplash, or you could consider cranberry-red cabinets paired with neutral countertops.
Many shades of blue can work in a kitchen. Crips blues paired with white can create a beachy vibe, while robin’s egg blue really pops when paired with wood accents. Navy blue is showing up in kitchens more and more, most often on kitchen cabinets or islands. A striking colour, it feels modern and sophisticated when paired with white walls and stainless steel appliances. Pops of blue paired with ivory accents can add a vintage charm.
grey is being touted as the new neutral, and it can work wonders in kitchens as well. A soft, soothing grey can ground a kitchen space and create calm in one of the busiest rooms in the house. grey countertops would pair nicely with navy blue cabinets and help create a sophisticated space. If you’re open to more bold colours, grey can complement an array of other shades including raspberry, pumpkin and yellow.
Setting the Mood for Your Meal
A splash of fresh colour always promises a big impact on the atmosphere of any room. After all, not only does your paint colour choice establish the base for your aesthetic (whether that’s traditional or something more modern), but it can also alter the energy of a space. Subdued kitchen paint colours take the stress out of cooking, for example, while brighter tones create a lively setting for wining and dining guests. To create a suitable backdrop for all of the time you spend in your kitchen, start with one of these 14 colours that are trending for top paint manufacturers.
De Nimes (No.299) from Farrow & Ball
Inspired by cloth used to make workwear in the French city of Nîmes, this down-to-earth blue-green is among the best kitchen colours to anchor a contemporary kitchen with surrounding surfaces of varying textures and colours. The De Nimes paint on the upper half of the wall ties together the sprawling grey-streaked marble countertops and blue-black Railings base cabinets and shelves, achieving an ultra-functional space for meal prep with a moody style.
Pure White (SW 7005) from Sherwin-Williams
As timeless as colour comes, this crisp white hue lends a refined air to rustic or modern kitchens. And it’s not just classic—it’s versatile, too! Take a cue from the nautical palette of this contemporary kitchen and create a harmonious high-contrast look by pairing Pure White walls with a dusty white pantry and a navy-blue island lit by regal gold-plated glass pendant lights.
Fashion grey (PPU18-15) from Behr
Anything but drab, a warm grey swatch with brown undertones lend restrained elegance to traditional kitchens. In this old-world-inspired kitchen filled with conversation-starting pieces, Fashion grey interior walls serve as a dignified backdrop for Ultra Pure White display cabinets with Leather Clutch backing, a chocolate-coloured wooden island, and yesteryear wall sconces—simultaneously unifying them and allowing them to take centre stage.
Oyster Bay (SW 6206) from Sherwin-Williams
If you prize the uncluttered charm of Scandinavian design but prefer to inject some colour into its characteristically all-white colour palette, bathe the walls in this pleasant greenish-grey tone. Amidst the white cabinetry, countertops, and trim in this effortlessly elegant kitchen, the Oyster Bay walls provide a whimsical and welcome escape for guests seated at the island and serve as an ideal backdrop for the decorative wall-mounted dishes.
Kitchen Paint Colors: Clay Beige from Benjamin Moore
This off-white with brown undertones confers a sun-kissed look on stark white spaces that may otherwise skew cold and clinical. But like the best kitchen paint colours, it need not live on all four walls of the kitchen—or even directly inside the kitchen—to have maximum impact. These homeowners splashed Clay Beige paint on a wall opposite the kitchen to draw the eye out and give the kitchen depth.
Kitchen Paint Colors: Treron from Farrow & Ball
Like its namesake, a bird known as the green pigeon, Treron is a dark grey-green tone that lends a touch of the outdoors to traditional or modern kitchens. It’s a particularly complementary paint colour for spaces that showcase other earth tones, such as greys, browns, and creams. Here, Treron wall panelling is paired with off-white cabinetry and houseplants to evoke a fresh, back-to-nature-inspired interior where you can cook and wash up in peace.
Cameo White (MQ3-32) from Behr
Dimly lit kitchens instantly look brighter with Cameo White on their walls. The white hue with ash-grey undertones is perhaps the best kitchen colour for a traditional or modern space that employs other neutral tones in its palette. Follow the lead of the designers of this classic kitchen with a gentle gradated palette and combine Cameo White walls with Swiss Coffee cabinets, light grey marble countertops, and a pastel-toned tile backsplash to achieve an airy ambience for cooking, dining, or entertaining.
Raffia Ribbon (PPU7-20) from Behr
Capture the sun-soaked ambience of the French countryside with warm yet rustic kitchen paint colours like this particular shade of creamy brown. To recreate the undeniable country charm in your own culinary corner, apply Raffia Ribbon to panelled walls and combine with navy Nypd cabinetry and Cameo White pantry doors.
Berry Brown (PPU24-02) from Behr
This chocolate brown hue with red undertones makes any traditional or rustic kitchen look and feel more defined, particularly those of imposing height. The red undertones can even boost appetites. Despite the lofty beam ceiling in this kitchen, the Berry Brown walls make the space feel intimate and inviting, even cozy. The lighter Off White cabinets and lustrous hardwood floors provide balance, ensuring that the darker colour of the walls doesn’t overpower the space.
Golden Field (PPG1107-7) from PPG
Get your morning pick-me-up from this dark citrus yellow hue, one of the most effective kitchen colour ideas for cheering up space (especially when used in combination with large windows, as seen here). In this cookery, a subway tile wall painted Golden Field, white cabinets, and baby-blue drapes provide the jolt of colour needed to uplift the space. At the same time, black countertops allow the kitchen to retain an air of sophistication.
White on white (30GY 88/014) from PPG
When the focal point of your kitchen is a natural wood surface treated with a clear coat rather than a stain, the right paint colour can be the difference between a dingy, dated space and a more airy, modern aesthetic. As seen here, pairing light wood with a pale white with magenta undertones achieves the freshest results. Copy these homeowners and integrate White on White walls, counters, shelves, and island stools for a kitchen that feels more open than its actual footprint would suggest.
Anew grey (SW 7030) Sherwin-Williams
“Greige” has been trending as a kitchen colour idea in recent years as a richer alternative to either of its components, grey and beige. Its gold undertones add a luxe quality that’s right at home in kitchens used for entertaining in addition to cooking. See here: Anew grey walls give a regal air to this kitchen and provide a warm contrast to the cool-coloured steel appliances and white marble countertops.
Mascarpone (AF-20) from Benjamin Moore
The colour equivalent of comfort food—named after the decadent Italian cheese, no less—this creamy off-white paint colour brings warmth without sacrificing brightness in a small space. Take this dreamy kitchen and dining room setup: Mascarpone walls live alongside Simply White cabinets and a wooden table with wicker chairs to create a pleasant cottage-style interior.
Stardew (SW 9138) Sherwin-Williams
One of the top kitchen colour ideas for high-traffic zones of the home, this muted grey-blue instils a calm to cooking spaces of any aesthetic. In this contemporary kitchen, Stardew walls provide a soothing distraction from the more dramatic black stone countertops, tray ceiling, and oblong pendant lights, making everyday cooking a relaxing, unrushed affair.
Tiffany Blue: OUR BEST BLUE KITCHENS
Create a serene kitchen setting with a light and cheery hue inspired by the sky. This airy, bright blue paint lightens the look of the deep espresso floors and complements the clean white cabinets, marble countertops, and classic subway tiles. Be sure to use painters tape—especially if the walls curve, as in this archway—to achieve the desired crisp lines.
Take neutrals to the next level. Taupe-color walls serve as a warm but subtle backdrop for dramatic accents, like this kitchen’s bold blue island and shimmering ocean-inspired backsplash. The sandy paint colour, along with clean white trim, helps ease the transition between an open kitchen and the surrounding rooms. Keep in mind that for such a high-traffic area, you’ll want a paint that lasts and is easy to clean. Opt for a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish.
WHITE KITCHENS WE LOVE. Few hues are more timeless than crisp, clean white. For a warmer look, opt for a shade with a yellow undertone. Then dress your kitchen with the neutral paint colour, then layer on colour through cabinetry, lighting, and decor. If you choose to paint cabinets, be sure to apply two to three coats of paint, letting cabinets dry in between coats. This provides extra durability in a high-traffic area.
There’s no happier place to enjoy that first sip of morning coffee than in a yellow kitchen. The cheery paint colour provides a golden glow all day long and helps brighten taupe-grey cabinetry and dark countertops. Yellow works especially well for kitchens that don’t already get a lot of light, so try it in a basement kitchenette or a home where the blinds stay closed.
A deliciously rich mix of grey and beige, greige feels at home in any style of kitchen. Greige is incredibly versatile. The colour can be mixed up depending on the ratio of grey to brown you choose. Balance the deep hue with white details, such as this cottage kitchen’s beaded-board panelling, or an off-white ceiling colour like khaki.
Our Favorite Neutral Paint Colors
From rich grey to clean white, find your next paint colour in our roundup of top neutral paint colours that work for any room. The trick is to pair neutrals together or amplify the shades with a single accent colour.
Usher in an earthy atmosphere with an organic shade of green. Tan undertones help calm this statement-making shade of chartreuse. The kitchen paint colour livens up white cabinetry and enhances natural materials like bamboo curtains and raw pine shelves. Keep the bright shade from overwhelming the space by using it as an accent colour.
For a fresh twist on cottage style, coat your kitchen walls with pale blue paint. The soft, powdery shade showcases rich wood floors and sets off white-painted cabinetry. When it comes time to pick a paint shade, look for inspiration in other accents of your kitchen. This blue-grey shade can be found in the tile backsplash above the countertops, leading to a lovely uniform look.
For a colour scheme that’s not as stark as bright white, look to cream. The muted yellow-white adds warmth to rustic and modern kitchens alike. Paint the ground with colour with a darker shade on your island base, or pair with a rich wood tone, like this room’s espresso ceiling beams, cabinets, and countertops. Plus, the shade is versatile enough to blend with this room’s various shades of wood.
GORGEOUS grey KITCHENS. Discover the beauty and elegance of a black kitchen with charcoal paint. Dark and moody, the colour is always in style and creates a sophisticated backdrop for retro relics, such as funky pendant lights, a restored wet bar, and colourful banquette seating. Consider painting a portion of the wall with actual charcoal paint for an easy-to-use message board perfect for writing grocery lists and little reminders.
What’s old is new again. Mint paint creates a beautiful blast from the past when used in the kitchen. Feature the pastel green hue on walls for full-on colour, or use it on cabinetry or an island for a subtle statement. For best results, use mint in a room that gets plenty of daylight. Mint and light combine to create a bright, happy atmosphere that works in a variety of climates.
Subtle differences in shades of grey provide surprising palette-focused interest in this expansive kitchen. The neutral kitchen paint colour offers just a hint of monochromatic colour, keeping the room light and bright while showcasing a pantry door with a pop of citrus colour. Keep it cool with stainless steel appliances.
Paint Color: Silver Satin, Benjamin Moore.
If you’re having trouble finding the perfect hue, play it safe by choosing shades that are favoured by designers and the majority of homeowners.
White, ivory, yellow, red, green, blue and grey are all popular paint colours, both for walls and as accents. But it’s important to understand how to use them if you want to brighten up the most important room in your home.
If you’re still unsure which colour to use, flip through some magazines or scroll through online kitchen galleries. Notice which kitchens you gravitate toward and consider incorporating their colour schemes into your own.