Not too long ago, neutral kitchens seemed to be the dominant style. (Blame it on the availability of coordinating appliances, but we just weren't seeing too many bold hues in the heart of the home.) But lately, we've noticed a growing trend of infusing our most hardworking spaces with bold pops of color and deep, dramatic hues. And it's opened up a whole new world of kitchen color palettes—from peacock blue cabinets to statement-making pink fridges and soft sage green accents, things are getting a lot more vibrant in this space. So we caught up with a few of our favorite designers to ask which color schemes they find themselves returning to again and again when creating compliment-worthy kitchens.
The resulting color palettes are like a breath of fresh air. They're versatile and livable enough that no homeowner should be intimidated when trying to replicate their effect, yet they undoubtedly pack a punch when it comes to personality. If you're considering a kitchen redux, look no further—these designer-approved color schemes for the kitchen are surefire winners.
Green + White
This airy kitchen by huit designer Tania Casill is a masterclass in how to use dark and moody colors without overpowering a space. The expansive ceilings and surrounding walls are painted a bright white, freeing up the lower cabinets and island to exude a more statement-making look.
"We wanted this island to be the center of the entertaining area," explains Casill. "I chose the saturated green (Benjamin Moore's Tarrytown Green) to anchor the space and added white quartz, a brass foot rail and wood accents to complete the 'saloon feel'." A bright red rug completes the look, proving that red and green is a classic color combination that can still seem modern in a context like this.
Navy + Black + Gold
Blue kitchen cabinets are undoubtedly one of the biggest trends of the last five years, but since the hue is such a versatile and multifaceted one, we're always discovering new ways to make this palette work. And when designer Jewel Marlowe undertook a kitchen remodel in her own home this year, she turned to none other than this favored color combo—with a unique twist. Classic navy and gold gets a jolt of newness with graphic black and white mixed in—as is evident by the island, which is the showstopper of the space.
"The dramatic Bentley Cambria waterfall kitchen island is where we spend time eating snacks, doing homework, and preparing meals," she explains. Instead of letting the fridge blend into the cabinets, Marlowe opted for a handsome matte black Cafe fridge—proving once and for all that navy and black can (and should) be used in tandem. The final accents bring in more natural elements in the form of metal and wood. "To make the room 'pop', we added warm accents like Emtek hardware and burl veneer details"—another distinctive design choice that we'll definitely be co-opting in the months to come.
Wood + White
"Less is more" is a maxim we often take with a grain of salt, but in the case of this color palette, it's definitely true. Lindye Galloway turned a subdued color palette into something truly show-stopping in this kitchen, which uses texture to add depth and interest to the largely neutral scheme. "We designed this kitchen with a thoughtfulness of form and function," Galloway explains.
Though the only real pop of color in the room comes from the island cabinets (which are painted with Dunn Edwards' "Turbulent Sea"), the room is full of design elements that draw the eye. Neutral tiles in a herringbone pattern lend subtle pattern and variation to the walls, while the grain of the warm (but not too warm) wood cabinets echoes the veining on the stunning countertops. A mix of metals in the form of drawer pulls, faucets and light fixtures brings a bit more variation and character to this cozy kitchen.
Black + Green + Yellow
This color combination isn't for everyone—but it has stolen our hearts in a big way, simply because it is so unexpected. Designer Liz Caan advises using bold hues for a small kitchen to give it big impact. "For smaller, more self-contained kitchens—like the sweet, country-mod one pictured here—I like to add personality and a touch of drama by way of colors like Off-Black by Farrow & Ball," she says, noting that it reads as "instant drama."
Throw in a few primary and neon pops—like this sunshine yellow and bright Kelly green—and you've got an unmistakably imaginative space that's sure to inspire many late-night trips to the kitchen. Keeping the cabinets a refreshing shade of white lets the space "breathe" a little, so even with all the color, it's far from overwhelming.
Sea Blue + Poppy + Brass
We're hook, line & sinker for coastal blues in the kitchen—but what we love most here are the unexpected pops of pink. "Heron Blue is that classic coastal blue… a little dusty, and not too crisp, but still impactful," explains designer Stefani Stein. "It is softened by the Dolce Vita countertops and the handmade tile backsplash"—which seems to be the source from which the designer pulled the subtle poppy accents, which are fully expressed in the artwork just in view.
Brass accents complete the look with some metallic shine that feels organic and not-too-glam: "All the brass is done in a living finish that acquires a lovely patina over time," Stein notes.
Pale Sky + Saddle Brown
This barely-there shade of blue is a welcome breath of fresh air from the cobalt hues we're used to. "When our clients wanted to incorporate a soft blue in their kitchen, I knew I would have to get creative," says designer Kate Lester. "I'm not one for pastels, so I included some major contrast to prevent it from feeling too washed out. The black and white tile adds dimension, and the leather barstools and vintage runner bring much needed warmth and texture."
We love the juxtaposition of the light blue and rich red-brown chairs, which is picked up again in the floor runner—not only do they liven up the space, but they incorporate tons of texture into what might be our new favorite color scheme.