Choosing a Colour Scheme for Your Kitchen with Rachael Workman

Pink and grey shaker kitchen with white worktop

Choosing a Colour Scheme for Your Kitchen with Rachael Workman

Choosing a kitchen colour scheme can be a minefield and the options are plentiful!

To make it less overwhelming, first think about the style of kitchen you’re after. When I talk to someone about designing their new kitchen, I always ask about style first rather than colour. Are they after a traditional or contemporary kitchen? This is a really good starting point for a kitchen colour scheme discussion, and enables me to start taking them through the finishes and styles that would work best for their preferred style.

For my customers that are after a modern and contemporary look, I ask whether they are after a glossy or matt finish, and what textures they like. For example, wood, marble or concrete? This really builds a picture in my mind of the kind of kitchen I think will really fit their vision. We can then start to narrow down the perfect combination of colours, textures and concepts.

Customers that are after a more traditional look, colour is more important to discuss early on. This is because the kitchen can be painted any colour and therefore can really dictate the overall concept. If you don’t have a clear idea of what colour you want, or you’re struggling to visualise what might work. The best thing to do here is break it down by discussing the practicalities of the new kitchen space.

About your space:

  • Is it flooded with natural light or actually quite dark?
  • Do you eat all your meals in there, or just generally a quick breakfast on the go and you use a different room for eating?
  • Is it open plan?
  • Do you have young children and/or pets?

These details all impact what kind of tone you want for the kitchen. This insight helps inform a colour scheme that is both practical and stylish.

Colourful or colour fearful?

Very dark coloured cabinets are very fashionable but I don’t recommend you go for them across your whole kitchen. If you like the drama and ambience of the dark cabinetry, instead choose specific items to carry the colour. A dresser for example, or kitchen island looks great in a contrasting dark colour. What works really well for a classic and timeless look is a combination of dark charcoal grey and soft dove grey. It looks great every time.

If you’re a bit fearful of colour, or you’re mindful of choosing something that is too of the moment. I really recommend looking at grey, white and stone to start your kitchen colour scheme off. These are tonal colours more than statement colours and do not clash with anything, ANYTHING! This means you will have a neutral and very classic palette across your kitchen cabinets and worktop, and you can then experiment with colour elsewhere. You can add pops of colour to elements such as your kitchen blinds, tiles, walls or even your splashback. These are all elements that can be changed more easily and cost effectively in a few years if your tastes change.

However, if you are bold with colour and looking to make a statement, I would still recommend choosing elements of your kitchen to display in this way. Dark blue looks fabulous, is really on trend at the moment and looks great on a kitchen island to create a dramatic focal point.

Top tip #1

Coloured glass splashbacks are a great way of adding colour and reflecting light. Best of all, they can be chosen once your kitchen is fitted. So you can wait to see how your chosen colours and finishes look in the flesh before picking the splashback to then bring it all together. A carefully placed panel of deep coloured glass can also be a really clever tool to enlarge a narrow kitchen space. Placed strategically on the wall at the end of a narrow or galley kitchen will really bounce light around the space. This will make it feel more roomy and add a statement of colour without swamping it.

The hottest trend right now is black! Black is definitely the new grey and during a visit to a supplier in Germany recently, it was a black, black black. Black taps, black cabinets, black sinks and black handles, some really gorgeous matt and gloss finishes to be inspired by. However, my word of caution with all trends and especially the very bold ones, pick accents rather than go the whole way. Showrooms and brochures are lit and staged to make a kitchen look inspirational, but recreating this at home can be more challenging and may be something you fall out of love with after only a short time.

Top tip #2

If you have young children, I would really recommend avoiding very dark cabinets (matt or gloss) and glossy dark worktops.  Or you will be polishing out finger and smear marks several times a day! If you have pets, go for mid tones on your flooring, very pale or very dark floors will show up every speck.

The really important point to remember is that you can’t really go wrong! We’ll make sure your new kitchen reflects your personal style, your home and the practical needs of the space. Drop me a line if you want to chat about your kitchen colour scheme and book a design consultation; rachael@kitchensbespoke.co.uk


  • Lee
    Posted at 11:27h, 29 June Reply

    What a kitchen

  • Patricio
    Posted at 10:32h, 12 June Reply

    The listed questions are actually helpful and would totally come in handy when I’ve decided to renovate my kitchen.

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