Revive Your Cooking Space With Our Favorite Non-White Kitchen Ideas

White kitchens may be the popular choice, but sometimes you want something a little bolder and more unique. Non-white kitchens can look just as stylish and timeless with the right design approach. From moody dark cabinets to cheerful pops of color, there are so many possibilities beyond basic white. Ready to revive your cooking space with some fresh color? Keep reading for our favorite non-white kitchen ideas.

Dark and Moody Kitchen Cabinets

One of the boldest non-white color choices for kitchen cabinets is to go dark. Deep, dramatic cabinetry can create an elegant, cozy ambiance. The most popular dark cabinet colors include:

  • Black – A true classic that looks great in any style kitchen
  • Charcoal Gray – Slightly softer alternative to black but still striking
  • Navy Blue – For a more unique twist on dark cabinets
  • Deep Brown – Warm, woodsy appeal perfect for rustic kitchens

Dark lower cabinets paired with light uppers is a great way to dip your toes into the dark cabinet trend without going all in. Matte and high-gloss finishes both work beautifully for sleek, modern dark cabinets. Add in brass hardware and fixtures for a nice contrast. White quartz countertops also help keep things fresh and prevents the space from feeling too dark. Proper lighting is key – be sure to incorporate ample task lighting, under cabinet lighting, and pendant lights to brighten up the aesthetic.

Benefits of Dark Kitchen Cabinets

Beyond just looking stylish and elegant, dark kitchen cabinets offer several advantages:

  • Provide an intimate, cozy ambiance perfect for small kitchens
  • Classic and timeless so they won’t go out of style
  • Visually ground and anchor the space
  • Allow you to experiment with bright accent colors

Tips for Styling Dark Cabinets

To help dark cabinets look their best:

  • Add plenty of task and accent lighting
  • Pair with light countertops and backsplash
  • Use glass cabinet doors to prevent a closed-in feeling
  • Incorporate metallic accents and hardware

Pops of Color for Visual Interest

While dark cabinets make a dramatic statement, another approach for a non-white kitchen is to incorporate pops of bright, energizing color. Vibrant accent colors are a fun way to personalize your cooking space. Excellent places to add punches of color include:

non white kitchen ideas
  • Backsplash tile
  • Barstools
  • Small appliances
  • Kitchen island
  • Decor accents like vases, rugs, and artwork

Some lively color combinations we love include:

  • Bright turquoise backsplash against white cabinets
  • Cherry red barstools providing contrast to dark gray cabinets
  • Sunny yellow appliances paired with navy blue lower cabinets and crisp white uppers

When using multiple colors, vary textures and patterns to prevent the space from feeling busy. For example, pair a bold floral patterned backsplash tile with solid color cabinetry and appliances. Retain balance by ensuring one color remains dominant. Neutral countertops also help anchor colorful schemes. Most importantly, embrace color with confidence – straying from safe white allows your unique style to shine through.

Tips for Adding Pops of Color

To successfully incorporate pops of color:

  • Stick to one dominant color
  • Use neutrals like white, beige or black as a baseline
  • Add color through replaceable elements like stools vs. cabinets
  • Consider a colorful accent wall instead of all colorful cabinets

Mix Natural Materials for Depth

The key to keeping a non-white kitchen looking elegant is depth and dimension. Natural materials like wood, stone, brick, and metal add gorgeous texture and interest. Ideas include:

  • Butcher block wood countertops
  • Exposed brick backsplash
  • Marble, granite, or soapstone waterfall island
  • Antique brass fixtures and hardware
  • Wrought iron light pendants
  • Stainless steel appliances

While most stainless appliances are silvery-hued, opting for black stainless finishes can provide a striking contrast to white cabinetry. The combination of different natural materials creates depth and character. Just be mindful of balancing colors and textures. Too many competing elements can feel disjointed. Try for an eclectic yet cohesive look.

Tips for Mixing Materials

When combining natural materials:

  • Select 1-2 for larger surfaces like countertops and backsplashes
  • Use additional materials sparingly as accents
  • Anchor the scheme with classic white cabinetry
  • Repeat elements like brass hardware for cohesion

Make a Statement with Decorative Lighting

Unique lighting fixtures provide an easy way to showcase creativity. Consider adding:

  • Retro-style drum pendant lights over the kitchen island
  • Vintage lantern fixtures flanking a decorative range hood
  • Exposed Edison bulbs for an industrial vibe
  • Sleek linear LEDs shining under cabinets

In addition to eye-catching pendants and fixtures, sufficient ambient and task lighting ensures the non-white kitchen stays bright and functional. Under cabinet lights provide ideal task lighting for food prep and cooking zones. Dimmer switches allow you to control the mood lighting. Today’s smart lighting options even allow you to program settings and automate based on schedules and activities.

Tips for Decorative Lighting

When adding unique lighting accents:

  • Focus on Islands, sinks, and other workstations
  • Highlight architectural details like exposed beams or textured walls
  • Coordinate fixture metal finishes
  • Balance style and function

Incorporate Two-Tone Cabinets

Another non-white cabinet option is choosing a two-tone color scheme. This approach pairs an upper cabinet color with a different lower cabinet hue. Or vice versa – lighter lowers with bold uppers. Reasons to consider two-toned cabinets include:

  • Provides contrast and visual interest
  • Allows you to be bolder with one of the colors
  • More design flexibility to mix-and-match hues
  • Easier transition from all white cabinets

A few stylish two-tone combinations to inspire you include: navy blue lower cabinets with bright white uppers, charcoal gray lowers with creamy ivory uppers, and graphite gray uppers with light oak lowers. The contrast between the two cabinet colors immediately livens up the kitchen.

Tips for Two-Tone Cabinets

To pull off two-toned cabinets with panache:

  • Use the darker color on the lower cabinets to ground the space
  • Tie together with matching hardware like black metal handles
  • Accent with a coordinating mosaic tile backsplash
  • Echo one of the colors in the kitchen island

Add an Accent Wall for Personality

Painting one statement wall in a bold color, chic wallpaper, or textured finish packs personality into a non-white kitchen without overwhelming the space. Strategically placed accent walls work beautifully to anchor non-white cabinetry. Ideas include:

  • Rich navy blue behind the range
  • Dramatic dark green flanking the sink
  • Weathered brick behind open shelves
  • Retro wallpaper as a unique backsplash

Accent walls make it easy to change up the kitchen down the road – just repaint one wall instead of all cabinets and walls. When designing an accent wall:

  • Limit to one wall to avoid sensory overload
  • Use a neutral color paired with a bright accent wall for balance
  • Add architectural interest with shiplap, beadboard, or tile
  • Anchor furniture like hutches in front of the accent wall

Ensure Functionality and Workflow

While aesthetic appeal is important, a kitchen must also function efficiently. When conceiving your non-white design:

  • Maximize natural light with ample windows and skylights.
  • Incorporate easy-access drawers and pull-out shelves.
  • Select materials and surfaces that withstand heavy use.
  • Arrange appliances based on kitchen layout and traffic flow.
  • Include seating at islands and peninsulas to promote interaction.

Clever storage solutions keep items organized without cluttering up valuable counter space. Custom built-ins provide both storage and display space for decor. Most importantly, ensure your non-white kitchen is highly functional for cooking, socializing and everyday living.

Tips for Functionality

To keep functionality a priority:

  • Incorporate drawers and pull-outs whenever possible
  • Use lighting to create ambiance as well as illuminate tasks
  • Select low-maintenance materials
  • Include seating for gatherings and meals

It’s clear non-white kitchens offer tons of possibilities beyond safe, predictable white cabinets. Dark, moody cabinets create an elegant ambiance. Pops of vibrant color and mix-and-match materials add energy. Decorative lighting and accent walls provide personality. Two-tone cabinets offer flexibility. Most importantly, thoughtful non-white kitchens remain highly functional and livable.

Hopefully these ideas have sparked inspiration for your own cooking space. Don’t be afraid to express your unique style through color, texture, lighting and materials. Revive your kitchen with our favorite non-white design ideas to create a creative, inviting space tailored exactly to you.

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