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Find out how to colour your kitchen

PUBLISHED: 12:24 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:24 16 February 2015

A stunning style statement: this futuristic Onda kitchen features cayenne soft lacquer doors combined with wood panels and work surfaces.

A stunning style statement: this futuristic Onda kitchen features cayenne soft lacquer doors combined with wood panels and work surfaces.


In these days of neutrals and soft whites it’s easy to stay out of the colour zone in your kitchen and head for solid wood - perhaps softly painted in pastel-tinted washes if you are feeling really brave – but colour can work wonders in a kitchen and Interiors Editor CAROL BURNS shows you how

Mosaic tiling splashbacks make a stunning feature here adding colour and texture as well as reflecting light.Mosaic tiling splashbacks make a stunning feature here adding colour and texture as well as reflecting light.

It’s hard not to watch Grand Designs and find yourself dreaming of those barely-there kitchens that cost five figures. Think neutral colours, quality craftsmanship and clean lines. But when it comes to the kitchen, it’s time for colour to come out of the closet (or pantry). Unlike other rooms were decor rules, it tends to take a back seat in the kitchen where good design of your fixtures and deciding how you use it and what you need to include in it reigns. But once you’ve decided where to put the washing machine, it’s time to have some fun with the decor.


A kitchen will usually have plenty of shiny surfaces so any colour you use will probably be repeated when it reflects from white lacquered cupboards, glass dining table or stainless steel white goods or sinks. Kitchens work really well with accent colours and allowing it to reflect through the surfaces is a great way of bringing your kitchen all together.

Paint it

High quality kitchen units are made to be used and used and used. There are some incredible paints out there that you can use to revitalise your tired kitchen units. And some amazing kitchen designers who will do it for you. Head to Farrow and Ball ( for some wonderful ideas. If you are doing it yourself, make sure you prep any woodwork before adding your chosen colour. Look out for specialist paints to cover other types of cupboards.

These vibrant metal Venetian blinds from Luxaflex reflect their colour across shiny surfaces to dramatic effect.These vibrant metal Venetian blinds from Luxaflex reflect their colour across shiny surfaces to dramatic effect.

Go vertical

When choosing a kitchen, people can get very hung up on the style, colour and design of the kitchen cabinets. But what about your walls? From painting them zingy lemon to hanging luscious mosaic tiling, fused glass or vibrant perspex splash backs, you can have some real fun on your vertical surfaces. If you have a kitchen/diner try using different looks on your walls to differentiate between your eating and cooking spaces.

What the experts say

If you’d like to add some colour to your interior springtime decorating projects, why not look at introducing some bolder shades into one of the most creative rooms in your home – the kitchen.

Using reds with warm underlying tones is a brilliant way of adding a sense of vibrancy to the room. A deeper red such as Picture Gallery Red is ideal for conjuring images of warm spices or russet apples, whereas the lighter terracotta shade or Red Earth on the walls combined with a neutral like off-white Slipper Satin is a great way to create a chic country look.

Green is another popular choice, especially if you are blessed with a kitchen that overlooks a garden or has an abundance of natural light. While you might not want to paint the whole room green, try using the smoky tones of Card Room Green on any cabinets below the worktops and then a soft neutral like Pointing on the walls. This will create the effect of bouncing the natural light around the room making it feel bigger than it actually is.

If you want to add a real vibrant colour, what better than the aptly named Cook’s Blue? This colour will be sure to make you smile and want to put your apron on! However, if you’d like a blue which is a little less bright, you can look at more of a grey-based blue such as Mizzle. Neither truly blue or grey, this colour really comes to life when contrasted with sophisticated steel appliances.

Yukutori by Farrow and BallYukutori by Farrow and Ball

For something really different, try wallpapering one or more of the walls in your kitchen. All of our wallpapers are created using our specially formulated paint and then sealed with a protective glaze to ensure durability and wipeable surfaces. Our Japanese-inspired Yukutori wallpaper in a metallic colourway looks particularly lovely when combined with simple wooden cupboards.Happy decorating!

Sarah Cole, director

Farrrow and Ball


I once planned a whole kitchen around my red Kitchenaid; so don’t be afraid to do the same. With long-lasting purchases like the iconic designer mixer, it’s tempting to go for something safe, but if you really like red (and it is a colour that makes you hungry) than go for it. If you are a little more fickle, introduce colour through your textiles, window dressings and storage cannisters – and of course don’t forget the food. It’s amazing how great a bowl of shiny green apples or a giant basket of lemons, limes and oranges can look sitting on an otherwise bland surface, especially if it is reflective. Try glass canisters and bottles that can show off brightly coloured ingredients - a great look for foodies.


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