The Complete Guide to Color for Kitchen Remodels

Choosing the perfect color scheme is one of the most exciting parts of planning a kitchen remodel. The right colors can transform the look and feel of your kitchen, creating a stylish and inviting space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. From lively accent walls to soothing neutral palettes, your color choices bring your unique style to life.

You’ll learn insider tips on creating cohesive yet vibrant color combinations that enhance your cabinetry, counters, flooring, and backsplash. With the right knowledge, you can confidently create a personalized kitchen that reflects your tastes and lifestyle needs.

Determine Your Style

The first step in choosing colors is to clarify your own personal style and aesthetic preferences. Define the look you want your new kitchen to embody. Traditional, modern, farmhouse, coastal, or eclectic? Do you prefer a soothing, neutral palette or vibrant, bold hues? Having a clear style in mind helps guide all your remodeling and color decisions.

Define your personal style aesthetic

Take inventory of the colors, materials, and textures you’re naturally drawn to. Collect inspiration from photos of kitchen designs you love. Keep an eye out for common threads that represent your ideal style vision. This makes it easier to curate a cohesive color palette for your kitchen.

Consider the home’s overall design

The color scheme you select for your kitchen should coordinate with the existing architecture, finishes, and style of your home. For a seamless, pulled-together look, choose a palette that complements the color tones used in adjacent rooms. Warm neutrals like tans and browns pair well with natural wood and mission-style homes, for instance.

kitchen remodel color schemes

Decide on a color palette

Once your style is defined, it’s time to decide on a kitchen color palette. Do you prefer the warmth of fiery reds, sunny yellows, and earthy browns? Or are you drawn to cool blues, greens, and calming grays? Strike the right balance with a blend of neutral, accent, and metallic colors that align with your personal taste.

Select Cabinet Colors

Your cabinet color choice sets the foundation for your entire kitchen scheme. Today’s popular options range from crisp whites to dramatic navy blues and forest greens. Keep reading for tips on selecting the perfect cabinet color for your space and style.

Most popular cabinet colors

Currently, white and light to medium gray painted cabinets are most sought-after in kitchen remodels. These neutrals create a clean, bright look. For more warmth, consider oak or walnut wood stain colors. Navy blue and forest green are trending paint colors for making a bold statement.

Wood cabinet stain colors

For natural wood cabinets, select a stain that complements your overall palette. Light brown stains with orange undertones enhance rustic and farmhouse schemes. Mid-range stains like cinnamon and cognac work well for traditional kitchens. Opt for dark espresso or ebony stains to make wood cabinetry pop against light walls.

Painted vs stained cabinets

Both painted and stained cabinets have pros and cons. Painted cabinets provide endless color options from light grays to jewel tones. However, the paint finish shows marks and needs more maintenance over time. Stained wood cabinets offer a classic, timeless look, but color selection is more limited.

Choose Wall Colors

The colors you select for your kitchen walls, trim, and accents dramatically affect the ambiance of the space. Follow these tips for choosing stunning, complementary hues.

Factors that affect perception of wall colors

The way a color appears is influenced by the light in the room, as well as adjacent colors and finishes. For example, warm wood cabinetry makes wall colors look cooler in contrast. Northern light gives a different effect than southern exposure.

Best wall colors for small kitchens

To make a small kitchen appear larger, stick with light neutral wall colors like soft whites, grays, and subtle blues-greens. Avoid darker or intensely saturated colors, which can overwhelm.

Statement wall colors

For a focal point, use deep dramatic hues like navy, emerald green, or brick red on an accent wall. Limit bold colors to just one wall to avoid an overpowering effect. Neutral walls allow them to pop.

Flooring That Complements Cabinets and Walls

Strategically selecting flooring colors and materials prevents your kitchen from feeling disconnected or busy. Here are ideas for floors that unify the whole space.

Warm wood floors

Hardwood flooring in oak, hickory, or bamboo adds natural warmth. Stained in lighter mid-tones, it complements most cabinetry without matching exactly. Distressed gray-toned wood also pairs well with cool grays and whites.

Tile flooring options

For a sleek, seamless look, choose stone or ceramic tile in muted neutrals that emulate materials like concrete, travertine, or slate. Or make a statement with bold patterns or colors in terra cotta, blue, or green Moroccan tiles.

Vinyl and linoleum floors

Budget-friendly sheet vinyl and luxury vinyl plank floors now offer gorgeous wood-look and stone patterns. Linoleum in gray oak or whitewashed pine patterns also beautifully complement white or gray kitchen schemes.

The Importance of Countertops and Backsplashes

Like flooring, your counters and backsplashes should unify the rest of your color scheme, not compete with it. Consider these recommendations.

Countertop materials and colors

White and neutral colored quartz or granite countertops pair well with most cabinetry. Butcher block offers warmth. Stainless steel and solid surfaces like Corian are sleek options. Pick a hue that complements your walls and floors.

The role of backsplashes

Creatively colored or patterned backsplashes provide the perfect opportunity to introduce your accent colors. Boldly painted tiles, multi-hued natural stone mosaics, or metallic and frosted glass tiles can make a dramatic statement.

Finishing Touches

Accessories and fixtures add those final flourishes of color. Make sure any accent colors from these elements relate cohesively to your main palette.

Decor that enhances color scheme

Tie everything together with kitchen towels, rugs, curtains, and other decor in compatible hues. For example, bring in pops of sunny yellow or sky blue with decorative bowls, vases, and barstools.

Add pops of color with appliances and accessories

Look for appliances like stand mixers, toasters, and utensil holders in your accent colors to inject personality. Colored glass knobs and pulls are another fun way to incorporate your chosen hues.

With proper planning and knowledge of color theory, you can create a kitchen scheme that perfectly suits your style. Determine your aesthetic, select cohesive cabinet, wall, flooring, and countertop colors, and finish with beautiful accents and accessories in colors that delight.

Most importantly, choose colors that make you smile. Your personalized kitchen remodel will provide joy and function for years to come when you use color thoughtfully to enhance your space.

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