Red may seem like a strange color for a kitchen. And in many ways, it is. Kitchens are supposed to be clean, light-filled, and above all else, practical. We like to save our statement-makers for elsewhere and leave our kitchens utterly simple.
The misstep with this logic? It pits function and form against one another, when often, they work seamlessly together. A bold red accent won’t disrupt your ability to cook a meal—and neither will a vibrant printed rug. If anything, a statement-making kitchen will be so inviting that you’ll want to spend more time there.
Coating any space with red is a pretty bold move, but there are tons of different ways to curate a stunning red kitchen—and many of them aren’t committal at all. Plop a rug on the floor, stock up on vibrant cookware, or go all in on red cabinetry. We’re not saying that chic red cabinetry will make doing the dishes more fun. But maybe some pretty red cookware will inspire you to tackle that sourdough recipe you’ve been putting off.
We found 19 kitchens that showcase red in gorgeous ways. Just add a little bit of red and your kitchen is transformed into an absolute show-stopper.
Opt for a Seriously Bold Backsplash
Your backsplash is the perfect place to make a statement. So why not opt for a bold red tile? By choosing a sleeker option, you can keep your kitchen feeling bright and light-filled. Any light streaming in from the windows will reflect off the tiles, diluting their dark color just a bit.
To keep things feeling cohesive, bring red accents into your dining nook, too. If you’re decorating an open-concept space, consider also echoing the color in your living room.
Stock Up on Really Fun Barstools
If your space is open-concept, your barstools will be on full display—and it's so worth it to invest in a statement-making set. Mix and match barstools from the same color family, or keep things sleek by choosing a barstool you love and sticking with it.
If you know you want to add red to your space, this is a great way to do it. The barstools will make a significant impact. But since they’re not built-in to your space, you can always swap them with another set whenever you want to.
Use a Rug to Add Color in a Noncommittal Way
So you want to add red to your space—but you don’t want to commit to a full-blown reno. This problem is a common one. And thankfully, there’s an easy fix for it: use a red rug to add color to your space in a totally risk-free way.
If the accent looks as great as you’d hoped, you can consider committing to something more permanent down the road. And if it doesn’t, all you’ve lost is the money spent on the rug. And since you learned something, you haven’t even really lost that.
Ground Your Space in Color With Dark Red Cabinets
Red can look surprisingly good on cabinetry, especially if you opt for a darker shade like a deep ruby or a rich burgundy. Of course, it’s easy for such a bold color to overwhelm your space, and so you’ll want to keep it below eye level if you can. If your cabinets run from counter to floor, it will be easy for you to keep your cabinets feeling grounded.
If you’re dealing with upper cabinets, consider taking a two-tone approach: paint your below-counter cabinets red and use a more neutral color for the rest.
Invest in a Boldly Tiled Floor
One of the most interesting ways to bring red into your kitchen? Cover your floors in the color. When it comes time to tile your kitchen, consider investing in a bolder shade like a brick red. The color is bright enough to make a statement, but since it contains a lot of warm brown tones, it’s surprisingly easy to decorate with.
Echo Color Around Your Space
Many of us add a bold rug to our kitchens and stop there, but your space will feel more cohesive if you commit to the accent more seriously. Echo a bold red kitchen runner by placing a red printed rug in your dining room, your living room, or somewhere else nearby.
To keep your space from feeling too matchy-matchy, opt for slightly different palettes and prints. Find pieces that look like siblings rather than twins.
Take Advantage of Almost Neutrals
Red tends to be a pretty vibrant color, but some shades of red are surprisingly subdued. Look for reds that have brown tones in them like burgundy or brick. While these colors aren’t neutrals, they can come pretty darn close—which makes them incredibly easy to decorate with.
Bring Classic Accents Into Your Kitchen
Accent pieces are abundant in every room in the home. But in the kitchen? We tend to keep things pretty practical—at the expense of less-necessary pieces that might actually look great in our kitchens.
If you have the space for a chair, a table, or even a striking floor lamp, consider adding it to the mix. It might be the perfect way to echo those bold barstools you just invested in or to complement that vibrant ceramic bowl you always have on display.
Let Your Stove Double as a Pop of Color
Some appliances are available in statement-making iterations. Think: fire engine red ovens or ruby red refrigerators. And while these pieces may seem tough to decorate with, they can be incredibly helpful in small doses.
If you find yourself drawn to a vibrant red appliance, don’t shy away from it. Instead, use it to add a pop of color to your space.
This can work if your space is sleek and minimalist or if it’s already pretty colorful. As long as the palette suits you, you’re in the clear.
Keep Built-In Accents in Mind
Red is abundant in many kitchens, even if you haven’t intentionally put it there—it’s a go-to color for buttons, knobs, and other accents you’re likely to find on appliances. So, keep this in mind when you’re decorating. If there’s already a little red in your kitchen, could you bring it out with a couple thoughtfully placed accents or even a printed rug?
To keep your space feeling harmonious, try to choose reds that fall within the same family but change them up just enough that they don’t match perfectly.
Play With Counterintuitive Color Combos
Once you’ve invested in a couple red fixtures, you may think your space can’t handle any more color. But the truth is, it probably can. A burgundy rug may look surprisingly great next to mint cabinetry, a jade green backsplash—or both.
The key is to keep your colors relatively subtle. Lime green and fire engine red might not make such a pretty pair, for instance.
Turn Your Cabinets Into an Accent Wall
When most of us hear the phrase “accent wall,” we envision a wall that’s been covered in vibrant paint or bold wallpaper. But, you can actually achieve the same effect by painting your cabinetry.
If your cabinets run from ceiling to floor (or close to it), consider covering them in a pretty shade of red. A brighter shade may be too intense for such a large space, but a darker one like garnet could make your space feel more dynamic without overwhelming it.
Choose a Print That Echoes Your Other Décor
Rugs are a popular way to add color to a space, and the best ones echo the décor you already have on hand. Look for a print with tones that match your kitchen utensils, your cabinetry, and even your lighting fixtures. These little details can keep your space feeling cohesive, making your bold red rug feel harmonious rather than isolated.
Use Your Appliances as Accent Pieces
Shopping for appliances tends to be a pretty practical matter. But, it can be an aesthetic exercise, too. Once you’ve found a stove, oven, or refrigerator you love, investigate whether it’s available in a brighter shade or more interesting silhouette. If it is, consider taking the risk.
Don't be shy when it comes to appliances. Who knows, a burgundy oven and matching kitchen hood might just take your kitchen to the next level.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Bold
Now that you’ve added a bold red rug to your space, you can’t possibly add any other statement-making pieces, right? Wrong. In fact, two bold accents can actually work together to make your space feel more cohesive.
If your rug is rendered in a bold print, choose a backsplash tile that echoes some of the shapes within it. A single clear similarity can help these elements balance each other out even if their palettes are totally different.
Turn Practical Must-Haves Into Statement-Makers
Function versus form is a false dichotomy. You deserve both. When you’re bringing a practical piece into your space, consider whether it can double as a statement-making accent.
Need a ladder to reach your highest shelves? Get one, paint it red, and let it serve as a pop of color. The same goes for pots, cookbooks, coffeemakers, and more. Why shouldn’t they serve the purpose you need them to and look good doing it?
Use Subdued Shades as Subtle Accents
Remember that you can add a red rug to your space without it being a bold red rug. Even a more subdued option can make a big impact. If you want your space to feel softer and more romantic, opt for a darker red—or even a washed-out shade of a darker red. This color will complement the other shades in your space without upstaging them.
Go All In on Texture
Remember that color isn’t the only design element you can play with. Texture can be just as fun, whether it’s visual, tactile, or both. Pair a sparsely printed red rug with a geometrically tiled floor—and maybe throw a bold piece of marble in the mix, too. Options abound, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
When in Doubt, Add Flowers
A bouquet of fresh flowers is the cherry on top of any pretty kitchen. And the best part is that they’re totally temporary. If you’re craving a pop of yellow one week and a pop of red the next, you can make it happen. Just keep track of which colors look great in your space—your bouquets might inspire more permanent accents later.