It's easy to gravitate toward neutrals when designing a kitchen, but utilizing color is a fun and simple way to amp up your space without a complete overhaul.
Photo: Eric Piasecki
The trick to working with a lot of one color is to utilize different shades and applications. In this kitchen, designer Gideon Mendelson used gingham wallpaper on the ceiling (see more creative kitchen ceilings and floors) and created a lively display of antique china to offset the boldness of the island. "Green is such a versatile color," Mendelson says. "Use it to make a room feel vivacious, luxurious, or natural."
Photo: John M. Hall Photographs
Painting your cabinets is an affordable way to give your kitchen a fun, new look. While white cabinets are nearly always on trend for coastal homes, don't be afraid to pick a color you love. For extra interest and depth, consider using more than one shade in the same color family, like Austin Patterson Disston Architect did in this pretty two-tone blue kitchen.
Photo: David A. Land; Styling: Martha Bernabe
In this light-filled home along Cape Cod’s treasured shore, swaths of yellow (from a painted runner on the stairs to the family’s yellow lab) are as prevalent as sandy feet. In the kitchen, sunny yellow cabinets are well-balanced against white shiplap walls and open shelving. The cabinets are original to the home, and were painted Bright Yellow by Benjamin Moore.
Photo: Jessica Glynn; Stylist: Liz Strong
It takes a bold move to go all out with a shade like this pretty light lime—and even more muster to incorporate a striking grapefruit-hued pendant light. But in this Palm Beach, Florida, abode, the hues are right at home. “The kitchen is like one big bowl of citrus,” says designer Lindsey Herod. White Corian countertops lend a neutral layer to the happy room.
Photo: Brie Williams; Stylist: Liz Strong
With its orchid-hued exterior, it’s no surprise this Jamaican cottage sports floral hues inside the tiny kitchen. The pine cabinets were built by a local craftsman, and the doors are made from tin with decorative punched nail holes. Above the miniature stove, the window opens out to a view of the sea.
Photo: Colleen Duffley; Stylist: Anne Turner Carroll
In this Gulf Coast kitchen, the pretty blue island, painted Old Pickup Blue by Benjamin Moore, is the star—and the inspiration for azure echoes throughout the space. "I love how the color adds energy to the neutral space and inspired our cabinet knobs, one of my favorite things in the room,” says the homeowner. "I wanted to pick up the blue on the island somewhere else, so we chose bright blue glass cabinetry knobs," says designer Erika Powell. "For contrast, we used white glass pulls on the island." Open shelving completes the beachy look.
Photo: Francesco Lagnese
This Nantucket kitchen cheekily ties one of our favorite color combos (classic red, white, and blue!) together without looking too patriotic. Even the pens used to mark childrens' growth fit the color scheme! The red metal cabinets are made by St. Charles Cabinetry, the preferred cabinetry fabricator of celebrated midcentury architects Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright; the countertops are white Formica; and the turquoise, retro-style refrigerator is by Big Chill.
Photo: Richard Leo Johnson
Glass mosaic tiles in cheerful colors and graphic patterns add bright energy to this happy Tybee Island, Georgia, kitchen. Try painted ceramic tiles to get the same effect with a more traditional style. The vintage-style range and refrigerator in saturated hues add a hefty dose of color and infuse the space with a nostalgic, upbeat vibe. Bright enamel finishes are also available on more-modern appliances.
Photo: Annie Schlechter; Stylist: Karin Lidbeck
In the galley kitchen of this 850-square-foot Cape Cod cottage, designers Herbert Acevedo and Kevin Miller took color cues from existing navy quartz Silestone countertops and painted the open shelving and lower cabinets deep blue. "It gives that small kitchen depth and drama, like diving into the cool, deep blue sea," says Acevedo. The kitchen cabinetry, shelving, and trim are painted Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Ball.
Photo: Peter Murdock
The inspiration for this punchy, Granny Smith-green kitchen? Pure nostalgia. Designer Michael Murphy “wanted something unexpected, a fun hue that would almost act as a time capsule. When I was growing up, people had those green kitchens. They were so chic," says Murphy. The bright hue (Kiwi by Benjamin Moore) is tempered by organic elements like reclaimed barnwood floors and a large white-oak island, which Murphy custom designed and paired with sleek metal counter stools and light green cushions.
Photo: Annie Schlechter; Stylist: Elizabeth Beeler
Designer Amanda Lindroth took cues from the stunning view when settling on a paint color for the interior of the cabinets in this Abaco, Bahamas kitchen. The color is custom mixed, but a similar hue is Capri by Sherwin-Williams. Stools in a slightly lighter hue further mimic the view outside and pull the look together.