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Shelley Craft

Shelley joins longstanding ambassador and interior designer Darren Palmer and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and advice with budding renovators.


What are the best colours to use for my kitchen design?

What are the best colours to use for my kitchen design?

kitchen design best colours scheme

Colour is one of the central ingredients of any design, so the importance of making the right colour decisions should never be underestimated.

In the kitchen though, I like to think of my colour scheme as you would a plate of food. There are  bits that you need - the central building blocks of the dish, like the fridge and the oven. Then there are the accompanying flavours, like the flooring, cupboards and sideboards. And finally, once the essentials are in, you get to add the garnish or the condiments - such as kettles, toasters, pictures and accessories.

kitchen design style best colours scheme

While colour is integral to every step, sometimes we only have the opportunity to work with the condiments when it comes to adding colour, so we need to ensure that our whole kitchen design works from the bottom up.

interior tips kitchen design best colours

While the big kitchen items (white fridges, chrome grills) might seem as if they restrict your design, they actually give you the foundations to decorating with practically any shade from the colour palette. Kitchen colour is versatile, the most versatile element of kitchen design, and I particularly love the opportunity to try new combinations that the range of kitchen accessories offer in order to create a really unique room.

The best kitchen designs look at colour in terms of layering. It really is like a chef creating a fancy dish. Three layers which, chosen carefully, all work together.

interior ideas kitchen design best colours

So these are the three simple colour-picking steps that will get you the look you want for your kitchen:

    1. Pick a base colour. This should be simple and neutral so that you can build layers on top without overcrowding things. It will be the colour that sits in the background of your design. In modern kitchens I like to go for brilliant white, the ultimate blank canvas. In more rustic kitchens a natural feel can be better though; beiges that range from cream to brown with everything in between. In quaint country style kitchens a pastel shade can also work, light pinks or blues might restrict your other options, but the background will become the feature characteristic itself.

    1. Pick a textured overtone. This is the best colour to lift your design, to create the lines and depth in the kitchen that determine the overall look. So, the ultramodern kitchen design will have dark gloss sideboards or textured slate tiles. The more natural look will look to wood for texture, on either the sideboards, cupboard doors or floor. The country kitchen might turn to a light coloured wood, or white painted wood.

    1. Pick your trim. This is where the real fun starts when picking your kitchen colours. The trim will be your decoration; think of the trim colour as the garnish on your plate, or the condiment. It's where you can add a dash of sharp lemon or a sprinkle of deep green herbs. Just make sure they compliment your whole dish. In most modern kitchens this will be the opportunity to go for the bright dazzling colours; designer kitchen appliances can now be found in all sorts of bight colours which helps a lot. But while the bright colours will go great against a blank canvas, they won't look so good in a natural country kitchen where you've gone for pastel tones. If, of course, you've already gone for the bold colours on steps 1 and 2 you'll want to keep your garnish simple, white or chrome kettles and toasters will be a tidy accessory. It's all about making sure the layers look and feel right.

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