9 Kitchen Color Ideas That Aren't White
Believe it or not, there are other options out there.
Don't get me wrong: White kitchens are cheerful, clean and classic — it's no wonder why they're so popular. But since white kitchens are everywhere, it's easy to forget that there are other colors that can also look great in this space. Thinking about bucking the trend in your kitchen? Consider one of these options, from alternative neutrals to bright, bold hues.
You can't go wrong with these versatile picks.
If you want a cool neutral that'll add a bit of drama to your kitchen, look to charcoal. Bright accent colors — or even white, as seen in this kitchen designed by Brian Patrick Flynn — really pop against it.
Neutral Transitional Kitchen With Lavender Barstools
In and of itself, this neutral transitional kitchen is a design beauty with its large kitchen island and all the amenities. Add in the lavender barstools and brass pendant lights and you've got a playful design superstar.
A mix between gray and beige, greige is an incredibly versatile neutral for the kitchen that can complement both warm and cool colors. In this space designed by Tobi Fairley, greige cabinets bridge the gap between warmer brass elements and cooler marble accents.
A black kitchen may sound dreary, but it can actually be stunning if done right. Just take this gorgeous room that goes all in with black cabinets, a black vintage stove and a black-and-white tiled floor. If you're not on board with an all-black kitchen, try adding one black element like a backsplash or a sink.
Chip and Joanna cut a wide archway to open up the kitchen and dining room, letting light flow throughout the space. They also created industrial-style open shelves made from plumbing pipes and reclaimed wood.
The Kitchen Island
Now that's more like it — new appliances, industrial pendants and updated cabinets give a distinctive look to this space. A brand-new island and bartop, plus a stunning marble tile backsplash, add a hint of color.
A fresh coat of paint throughout the space, white subway tile backsplash and updated fixtures brighten up the formerly dreary kitchen.
The New Bar
Chip and Jo made clever use of otherwise wasted space by extending the kitchen's new bar seating into the living room. We're big fans of the floating shelves, too. See more from this episode.
Walls were removed to open up the kitchen, effectively tripling its size. New recessed lighting and pendants were added as well as new cabinets and wood flooring.
Other new features in the kitchen include white cabinets extending to the ceiling, concrete countertops, subway tile and an antique copper vent hood.
Modern accents, like the cement countertops and subway tile backsplash with a dark grout, contrast beautifully with the space's vintage look. See more from this episode.
The black subway tile backsplash and wood-covered vent hood add unique charm to the family's new kitchen.
The New Breakfast Bar
The kitchen's new pass-through gives the impression the kitchen, living room and foyer are one contiguous space while also making room for a breakfast bar. The wooden barstools were custom made by craftsman Clint Harp who specializes in using vintage and reclaimed woods for his unique furniture creations.
Chip and Joanna got rid of the washer/dryer combo to make way for more counterspace and new appliances. Light gray walls and a subway tile backsplash replace what was once peeling floral wallpaper and pink walls.
Joanna and Chip completely transformed the dated, dark space. The gorgeous new kitchen features brick walls througout, black granite countertops, industrial pendants and a custom-built island.
The Hidden Charm
Furniture artisan Clint Harp fashioned the island's surface out of shiplap salvaged from one of the home's original walls. See more from this episode.
How's that for a fresh start? Chip and Jo took down walls, added brand new cabinetry and gave everything a coat of white paint to brighten up the space. The new island creates the perfect spot for Preston to hang out while Mom cooks.
Chip and Joanna reconfigured the kitchen's layout, removing a formal dining room in the process, to take advantage of a large picture window and create space for a long kitchen island. The old tile floors were replaced with wood and the cabinetry was also updated. The new light fixtures also give the space the French flair the couple were looking for. See more from this episode.
Knocking down walls made room to give the kitchen the sleek, open layout it deserved. The new flow of natural light throughout the space allowed Joanna to make a bold choice of black cabinetry with brass hardware. A marble backsplash, countertops and and a waterfall edge island keep things nice and bright.
The Coffee Nook
Another perk to opening up the kitchen? Chip and Joanna were able to create this stunning coffee nook with a view. New windows and glass doors were added to this corner space adjacent to the kitchen. The floating bar top with bar stool seating is the perfect spot for morning coffee and savoring the view. See more from this episode.
Joanna recommending taking the kitchen to the next level, literally: The kitchen was moved to the upper floor, giving it an open, central location in the home.
Mosaic tile in shades of turquoise and green fit the bill for the coastal theme the couple was looking for.
The Butler's Pantry
Back downstairs, the couple was also given a sleek addition to their space—a former mudroom was converted into this butler's pantry with barn doors painted in a beachy blue. See more from this episode.
The duo brightened up the kitchen with new white and gray custom cabinetry, twin chandeliers, white stone countertops and a subway tile backsplash. They also added a butler's pantry that hides behind an antique wooden door. See more from this episode.
Add a touch of color without overpowering your space.
Traditional Cottage-Style Kitchen with Updated Appliances
The family wanted a space that blended vintage charm with the conveniences of modern appliances, so they chose traditional elements, such as the gold accents and wood trim, and added modern-day touches, like the stainless steel oven and a farmhouse sink. The end result is an overall cottage-style feel.
Hints of green in the stone countertops inspired the cabinet color in this country-style kitchen. The soft hue brings coziness to the space, yet still feels bright and fresh.
Particularly charming in a cottage- or farmhouse-style space, pale yellow adds a cheerful, sunny touch to a kitchen. Try it with robin's egg blue or with neutrals, as seen in this kitchen designed by Sarah Richardson.
Navy is practically a neutral — it pairs beautifully with everything from tangerine to turqouise to chartreuse. In the HGTV Smart Home 2014 kitchen, navy cabinets are offset by a black-and-white basketweave backsplash for lots of eye-catching contrast.
Stick the Color Right On
Wall decals aren’t just for sports fans — they’re for design lovers, too. (And renters, because they aren’t permanent and don’t damage walls.) WALLTAT Wall Decals, for example, offers hundreds of images inspired by nature, pop art and vintage design. All you need is masking tape, a friend to help hold the decal in place, and the squeegee included with the product to apply directly to your wall. Presto, instant color!
Use Open Shelving
Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a top designer, you can still take a cue from her design strategy. This high-end kitchen designed by Jennifer Gilmer includes open shelving that makes the most of a beautiful collection of colorful dinnerware. Gilmer’s advice for a cohesive look: “Don’t use objects that conflict with one another in both color and shape,” she says. “And give the items room to breathe by not cramming too much into one space.”
Add a Bold Window Treatment
A new window treatment can dramatically change the look of the whole kitchen, especially if you pair it with just a single prominent accessory in the same color. Here, the red shade is complemented by a vase and bowls, but you could also harmonize with that shiny red toaster or sunny yellow stand mixer you’ve been eyeing. Shown is the Bali® Soft Roman Shade from Blinds.com; the fabric is Bazaar Off Broadway.
Sink Your Color Budget Here
If you’ve got just a bit of money to spend on color, consider putting it into one high-impact piece: your sink. While showstopping cast-iron or fireclay sinks can run you well into four figures, this porcelain-coated stainless steel Porcela sink from Houzer is durable, lightweight and can be found for under $400 at Wayfair.com. This model comes in lemon yellow, mint green and navy blue (shown).
Add Color Underfoot
Instead of searching endlessly for the perfect area rug, create your own colorful look with carpet tiles. You can achieve a big look on a small budget by going modular; just six FLOR® tiles can make a roughly 3’ x 5’ rug or a narrow 10-foot runner, and the individual tiles can cost as little as $8 apiece. Shown is the FLOR style House Pet, which comes in a rainbow of hues and can stand up to heavy foot traffic.
Try Living Color
Paint a Single Wall
“Painting just one wall can completely transform a room,” says Erika Woelfel, VP of color for Behr Paints. “Pull your inspiration from existing kitchen decor, your favorite foods or BEHR Color Trends to find a color that suits your space.” The intense green accent wall in this photo is Behr’s Japanese Fern.
Revamp Your Seating
Swap out your matching kitchen chairs or barstools in favor of more interesting options — you could paint them, replace them with a set of colorful vintage chairs, or simply give them a makeover with new slipcovers or cushions. You can sew your own or browse Etsy for custom handmade versions like the red barstool cushion shown here from Britta Leigh Designs.
Transform Your Island Topper
Instead of remodeling your whole kitchen, just refurbish your countertop to add a dramatic sweep of color, says Erika Woelfel, VP of color for Behr Paints. This neutral kitchen gets a pick-me-up from Behr’s Mountain Blueberry paint on the island topper (plus Marsh Grass on the upper row of cabinets). Woelfel recommends using a high-gloss or semi-gloss enamel for kitchen surfaces — get more tips on repainting countertops here.
Display Bright Linens
A set of brightly colored hand towels can perk up the kitchen for mere pennies. And you aren’t limited to the oven door handle: hang interesting linens (aprons and oven mitts, too) from hooks or pegs on a floating wall shelf or line a wooden bowl on the countertop to add punch. Shown are waffle-weave Salsa dish cloths and towels from Crate & Barrel.
Freshen Your Fixtures
Don’t know if you got the memo, but light fixtures don’t have to blend in. This set of taxicab yellow pendants pops right into the foreground in this kitchen — add a bowl of lemons and a flower arrangement and you have a complete look with limited effort.
Chalk One Up for Color
Chalkboard walls in the kitchen are functional and fun, adding color and personality that can change right along with your mood. Even better, they’re easy to install — learn how here.
Go all in with these daring shades.
Brian Patrick Flynn
Want to instantly energize your kitchen? Just add a vibrant shade of red. To keep it from feeling overwhelming, try contrasting it with a cool color, like the blue-gray Brian Patrick Flynn used here. If you're not ready to commit to red cabinets or walls, incorporate the color in small doses with red countertop appliances, dish towels and other accessories.
White Kitchen With Blue, Green and Floral Accents
A white kitchen doesn't have to be ALL white. Here, designer Andrea Schumacher opted for just two small shelves in lieu of upper cabinets, making the fanciful floral wallpaper the star. For contrast, she chose an emerald green tone from the wallpaper to paint the kitchen's island. The standout green piece complements the blue floral wallpaper, the Murano glass chandeliers, white cabinetry and Carrara marble backsplash.
Just a splash of this gorgeous green will make a big impact in your kitchen. In this design, Andrea Schumacher painted only the island, pulling a color from the floral wallpaper to keep the space cohesive. For an ultra-rich look, pair emerald with other jewel tones.
Stylish Orange Kitchen With Brown Cabinetry
A rust-orange wall in this kitchen provides sharp contrast to the room's dark wood cabinets, drawers and kitchen island. Stainless steel appliances, a stainless steel hood and built-in range add to the room's contemporary feel.
Orange is thought to stimulate the appetite, making it an ideal color choice for the kitchen. In this space by Jennifer Gilmer, an orange backsplash and zebrawood cabinets add warmth, keeping the contemporary design from feeling cold. Smaller orange accents, such as pendant lights or window treatments, can also liven up a kitchen.
The Recipe for a Balanced Look
A colorful kitchen doesn't necessarily require look-at-me cabinets or a bold backsplash; instead, color can be added in small doses for a more balanced look. Here, designer DD Allen creates a peaceful backdrop with soft grays then brings in lots of kicky colors with the kitchen's accessories, furniture and artwork.
Designer Robin Siegerman chose the upper cabinets' intense hue for its mood-lifting qualities. Studies have shown that the color orange stimulates optimism and a positive outlook. Considering most of us spend a little time each morning in the kitchen, starting each day with a cheery outlook is ideal.
Bright, White and Buttery
Designer extraordinaire, Sarah Richardson, breathed new life into her 1885 farmhouse with this bright and airy kitchen. White wall cabinets offer plenty of storage space and act as a clean backdrop to the kitchen's real star: the massive butter-yellow island that features a charming salvaged newel post at the corner of the bar. Rather than restaining the 130-year-old hardwoods, Sarah chose to simply strip then protect them with a clear coat so the wood's natural golden tone would show through.
Chocolate + Yellow and Green All Over
Rich, espresso-stained wood cabinets provide a dark backdrop to this kitchen's sunny yellow island. Sustainable materials, like a mosaic backsplash made from reclaimed stained glass, quartz countertops, energy-efficient appliances and low-voltage lighting make this HGTV Green Home kitchen as eco-friendly as it is beautiful.
Copper, The Hot New Metallic
Remodeling pros Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, the Kitchen Cousins, give this moody, dark kitchen just the right amount of glitz with a custom copper range hood. Positioned above the freestanding gas stove to remove cooking smoke, fumes and steam, its sculptural form combines the best of form and function.
As any fan of her shows can attest, designer Sarah Richardson certainly isn't shy of bold colors — but she's equally adept at creating a high-end space using a softer, neutral palette. To update this formerly cookie-cutter suburban kitchen, Sarah used shades of gray in the island, honed granite countertops, fabrics and Carrara marble mosaic backsplash.
Saturated red walls in this kitchen by designer Meg Caswell are a real showstopper — but the intense hue isn't courtesy of a tile backsplash, instead Meg painted the walls red, then covered them with glass panels for added shine and ease in cleaning.
Just a short distance from the shore in Jacksonville, Fla., this HGTV Smart Home kitchen's watery color scheme certainly puts you in a vacation state of mind. Designer Linda Woodrum chose crisp white for the wall cabinets, quartz countertops and glass subway tile backsplash then painted the walls and ceiling in a soft teal. For the kitchen's hard-working island, she chose a more saturated turquoise.
John and Anthony, the Kitchen Cousins, relied on the perennially popular color combo of yellow and gray for this kitchen remodel. Sleek, laminate cabinets in a bright and cheery hue pair beautifully with the cook space's stainless steel appliances and island countertop.
A Splash of Pumpkin
This sleek, ultra-contemporary kitchen — with a vast amount of countertop space — is the perfect place for preparing intimate dinners. Its Macassar ebony veneer cabinetry and glazed pumpkin walls emit a warm and inviting feeling from the moment guests walk into the room. To add a shiny, contrasting look that still creates warmth, designer Jennifer Gilmer mixed in white lacquer accents from the island to the countertop. Image courtesy of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchens
Cool and Playful
To suit her clients' love of eclectic interiors and all things vintage, designer Meg Caswell created this kitchen that has a decidedly whimsical, retro vibe. Fused glass tiles in shades of blue, green and white create a funky backspash while the wall cabinets receive a coat of soft powder blue paint. Meg tops a creamy center island with a glass countertop with just a hint of green, reminiscent of the jadeite pieces collected by the homeowners.
It's true that yellow is an energetic, eye-catching hue that can easily uplift moods and inspire, especially in the kitchen. In this casual family kitchen, yellow is only seen along the upper half of the walls and in the island light fixtures. However, the playful color scheme is undeniably the first thing noticed. The yellow, mixed with white cabinets, coffered ceilings and a soft backsplash, emits an airy feel that would make anyone feel right at home. Image courtesy of JAS Design Build
These high gloss wall tiles from Italian manufacturer Fap Ceramiche add maximum color while eliminating worries over kitchen spills and splatters. To break up the sea of blue, a painted chalkboard border can display a recipe, notes to family or a grocery list.
Cousins on Call Anthony and John chose the cabinets' fresh, minty hue to tie in with the rest of this home's vintage details. A Carrara marble countertop and mirrored tile backsplash keep the kitchen feeling bright and airy.
Cooking With Blueberries
A subtle dose of blue adds just the right amount of vintage-inspired charm to this contemporary kitchen. The most noticeable design element is the scattered blue-and-ivory tile backsplash above the stove. The sporadic tile placement makes the backsplash the focal point and ties the entire color scheme together. Image courtesy of Slifer Designs
The walls and countertops may be a cool shade of white, but sometimes the most color, saturation and pattern can lie in a beautiful piece of wood. SPG Architects designed this contemporary kitchen at Casa Torcida around a species of local wood and refined stainless steel elements for a crisp, polished look. When the kitchen requires an extra dose of color, a stunning flower arrangement is all that's needed. Image courtesy of SPG Architects
Peachy-Keen Cottage Kitchen
Although salmon isn't typically a color that comes to mind for modern kitchens, designer Judy O'Neil Labins chose it for just that reason: she wanted a color that was warm, cheery and had just the right amount of vintage charm for her cottage-style kitchen.
Eat Your Greens
In most room settings, green is known for being a cool, soothing color that can easily bring comfort and calmness. The crisp, apple-green hue and natural wood ceiling planks mesh beautifully with the sleek, stainless steel cabinetry and appliances while still maintaining an organic look and feel around the room. Image courtesy of St. Charles Cabinetry
A Scoop of Vanilla
Designer Gail Drury combined traditional sage-green accents and ivory cabinets, along with contemporary materials and conveniences, to bring an updated look and feel to this charming bungalow home. An eclectic mix of wood finishes in the island and barstools further add to the kitchen's old-fashioned appeal.
Red Hot Kitchen
Nothing spices up a rich, gourmet kitchen quite like a playful pop of red. These colorful barstools are the perfect complement to dark wood cabinetry and floors in this Old World-inspired kitchen. White coffered ceilings, recessed lighting and white marble countertops help reflect light around the room, which visually expands the already spacious gathering spot. Image courtesy of SFA Design
This contemporary kitchen is immediately illuminated by the sky-blue light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. This cool blue hue is carried across the room, from the expansive island and accessories to the lights reflected in the back wall shelves. Image courtesy of St. Charles Cabinetry
This airy kitchen feels open and inviting with its French doors, skylights and crisp, white-on-white color scheme. To add a modern edge, the designer included sharp black and fuchsia accents in the barstools, place settings and geometric light fixture. Using deeper contrasts in the kitchen helps create a barrier between the two areas, creating a softer, more intimate space in the dining room.
Warm Pecan Finish
In this vibrant and contemporary kitchen, pecan-finished cabinetry offers the greatest amount of color, especially when paired with light golden walls and olive marble countertops. Sleek stainless steel accents were added to balance the natural elements while still maintaining a cozy, at-home feel. Image courtesy of Slifer Designs