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Beyond Neutrals: 5 Ways to Bring Colour into Your Kitchen - by Naked Kitchens

Beyond Neutrals: 5 Ways to Bring Colour into Your Kitchen - by Naked Kitchens

Calming neutrals and crisp, clean whites are always going to be desirable for kitchens, but in recent years we’ve seen an explosion of colour. Homeowners and interior designers are making really imaginative and clever use of different tones – not just classic kitchen colours like blues and greens, but also unusual shades that you might not usually associate with kitchens, such as yellows, pinks and purples.

When designing a kitchen, colour is one of the first and most important aesthetic decisions you’ll make – and it’s a bit of a mixture of science and art. Different colours are associated with different moods, with colours close to the blue/green spectrum creating cool and soothing effects, and those close to the red spectrum giving a sense of warmth and energy.

Then there’s the whole business of combining colours. The classic interior design approach is the ‘60:30:10 rule’, where 60% of the space is one colour (in a kitchen that might be the flooring, ceiling and the worktops), a second colour is used for 30% of the room (perhaps the cabinets and large appliances), and a third colour is then used as an accent, accounting for the remaining 10%.

But that’s not the only way to do things, and the truth is that interior design rules are made to be broken. (If you want to know more about colour theory in kitchen design, check out Choosing colours for your kitchen – an expert guide.)

The most important thing is to express your own style. We spend so much time in our kitchens: it’s where real life happens, so the key is to create a space that you love, and feel comfortable and happy in. Choosing colours is an opportunity to express your personality – and since the kitchen is the heart of the house, it’s a room to make a design statement that sets the tone for your whole home.

Here are five ways to bring beautiful, bold colours into your kitchen…

1. Combine cabinet fronts in multiple shades of the same colour

Harmonious green tones: The St Giles kitchen by Naked Kitchens featuring Armac Martin Edgbaston pull handles.

‘Tonal’ colour combination is where you use two, three or more different shades of a single colour together. The effect can be stunning, giving a space visual depth and a sense of harmony. A great way to achieve this in a kitchen is to paint cabinet doors, drawers and fronts in a range of tones from the same palette.

The St Giles kitchen (pictured above) combines three different greens from Naked Kitchens’ own paint colour palette, presented in visual layers. The glazed cabinet interiors are painted in Misted Fen, making for a subtle backdrop for the Marsh Green cabinets. The split-level kitchen island is painted in a third, deeper green called Sandringham Pine, providing depth of colour and a focal point.

2. Use exposed timber for natural colour

Warm, rich walnut tone in the Georgian Hall Kitchen by Naked Kitchens.

Painted cabinets and doors are an obvious way to bring colour into a kitchen, but an alternative approach is to embrace the beautiful, natural colours of exposed timber.

It’s easy to think of timber kitchens as being ‘neutral’ (see for example Japandi-style kitchens), but exposed wood cabinets and worktops can actually provide distinctive colour contrasts.

In the Georgian Hall kitchen (pictured above), for example, the walnut surfaces and cabinets of the island bring lovely rich warm tones into the room, contrasting with the cooler greens and whites.

3. Conceal surprise accent colours in your cabinet interiors

Bold as brass... the Houghton Kitchen by Naked Kitchens features a wulnut and brass bar with hanging wine glass racks by Armac Martin.

A more subtle way of bringing colour into a kitchen is through your cabinet interiors, which can be painted or finished in tones that complement or provide a contrast to the main colour scheme.

Cabinet doors can then be glazed so that the colour comes through… or why not conceal a bold, vibrant interior behind solid doors for a surprise factor?

In the Houghton kitchen (pictured above the soft Lavender painted doors open to reveal a bar cabinet with a stunning brass finish.

4. Make a statement with a splashback

In the Hampton Court kitchen by Naked Kitchens the cabinets in Pierhouse blue complement the gorgeous tones in the oxidised copper splashback.

A splashback isn’t just a practical necessity for protecting your walls – it’s a chance to add some wow factor and vibrant colour to your kitchen. Tiles are perfect for introducing pattern and texture as well as colour, while metals such as copper or brass can produce some wonderful, natural hues to complement the rest of your space.

For more ideas, see our guide Splashback statements - an expert guide to choosing and using kitchen splashbacks

5. Curate colours on your shelves

In a subtle scheme of whites and pastel greens in the Dulwich kitchen by Naked Kitchens, the open shelves provide an opportunity for striking dashes of colour. (Photo: Ben Sage)

Open shelving in a kitchen isn’t just useful, it’s an opportunity to add interest to the aesthetics. By carefully curating your collections of crockery, glassware, books and other objects, you can bring a dose of gorgeous colour to a neutral scheme in an understated way.

Naked Kitchens designs and makes bespoke kitchens that are as unique as you are, built for real life. Find out more at and find more interior design inspiration on their blog.

Image top: stunning purples, pinks and soft woods in the Harpley Kitchen by Naked Kitchens.

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