10 Yellow Kitchen Ideas That Are Anything But Kitschy

Updated 05/31/18

The thought of a yellow kitchen may conjure up images of old-fashioned, traditional décor, but there are so many ways to use the bright hue in a way that's modern and fresh. "Yellow is becoming a more mainstream, go-to color in home décor," says Jessica McCarthy, creative director and elite designer for Decorist, the online interior design service.

Yellow is a universal color that can work with different design styles, she points out. "Yellow can go in different style directions, from retro to farmhouse to preppy traditional," McCarthy states. So just how do you incorporate this poppy color into your kitchen without going overboard? It's all about using a variety of shades and hues, carefully selecting accent pieces, and finding playful furnishings. Ahead, McCarthy shares her best yellow kitchen ideas to make your vision come to life.

a yellow and white kitchen
Dan Cutrona ; DESIGN: Alys Design

Decorating a kitchen with the color yellow in mind doesn't mean you have to paint the room yellow at all. Try out bright barstools to utilize the color as a simple accent. "Modern yellow bar stools are the perfect playful pop and look great contrasting with a neutral kitchen," says McCarthy. This bright and airy kitchen has just the right amount of color thanks to the understated yellow barstools around the kitchen island.

overstock gaucho antique counter height stool (Set of 2)
Overstock Gaucho Antique Counter Height Stool (Set of 2) $71
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a yellow and white kitchen
Lucas Allen; DESIGN: Ashe+Leandro

This modern kitchen features small pops of color that make a major impact. From the mismatched dining chairs to the art, yellow plays a subtle but dynamic role in the aesthetic of this kitchen. McCarthy advises picking a theme first before sourcing any décor. If you're going for an ultra-modern look, pick yellow accents after you've determined your style.

Poketo Cotton Tea Towel Set in Indigo/Yellow
Poketo Cotton Tea Towel Set in Indigo/Yellow $28
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a yellow kitchen
Atticus & Milo

"Don't forget the accents," McCarthy urges. Whether that's something as large as a yellow refrigerator or as simple as yellow dishware, these pops of yellow will create the bright and lively space you want. "Even if yellow is not the main color in your kitchen, pops of yellow dishware, artwork, and planters will make a bright and positive impact in your space," she says.

Ekobo Recycled Bamboo 4-Piece Place Setting
Ekobo Recycled Bamboo 4-Piece Place Setting $40
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a yellow kitchen
Thomas Dalhoff; DESIGN: Brett Mickan Interior Design

Incorporate the color yellow with a set of pastel yellow dining chairs. "Even if it's just a touch of yellow, the color is always sure to bring a bit of sunshine to your décor," McCarthy says. Here, chairs with a soft hue of yellow enhance the mint green walls and botanicals already in the space.

West Elm Classic Cafe Dining Chair
West Elm Classic Cafe Dining Chair $99
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a butter yellow kitchen
Brewster McLeod

If you really want to go for it, yellow paint is the best way to make a bold statement, whether you're drawn to a more muted tone or a bright and energizing hue. "Choose from one of the many different shades of yellow," McCarthy says. "I'm specifically loving the bold look of a mustard yellow or a neutral buttercream."

Benjamin Moore Traditional Yellow
Benjamin Moore Traditional Yellow $75
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a kitchen with yellow barstools
Denise Davies; DESIGN: D2 Interieurs

"Yellow is such a positive accent color that creates happiness in any room," says McCarthy. Sprinkle yellow accent pieces throughout your kitchen to manifest these good vibes. Find yellow barstools, mugs, and containers to bring the theme together.

Zipcode Design Louisa Bar Stool
Zipcode Design Louisa Bar Stool $105
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a kitchen with yellow accent and green drapes
Black Lacquer Design

If you like the idea of having hints of yellow in your kitchen but aren't ready to commit to a major paint project or furniture haul, invest in a bright piece of statement art. McCarthy says that pops of yellow artwork are a great way to incorporate the color in a way that's modern and new.

Playing in the Grass by Brittany McGraw
Brittany McGraw Playing in the Grass $185
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a yellow kitchen
Papilio Bespoke Kitchens

"Add a retro touch through your appliances with a pastel yellow Smeg fridge or KitchenAid mixer," McCarthy says. It's an easy way to bridge traditional with modern for a look that's truly original. This Scandinavian yellow kitchen plays up the bright theme with a modern yellow refrigerator and matching accent elements throughout the space.

KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6 Qt Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6 Qt Stand Mixer $480
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yellow kitchen pendant lights
Mike Garten; DESIGN: Studio DB

Pendant lighting is another opportunity to bring color into your kitchen through accent pieces. "If you want a vintage look, there are numerous yellow pendants you can use over your kitchen island," says McCarthy. "Look specifically for something vintage to create an authentic retro feel." You can also switch things up with modern pendants with clean lines for a more contemporary look like in this bright kitchen.

Rejuvenation Carson 12
Rejuvenation Carson 12" Cord Pendant in Honey Yellow $159
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a kitchen with yellow cabinets
Veronica Rodriquez Interior Photography

"There are endless amounts of yellow tile that you can use on your backsplash or kitchen counter," according to McCarthy. You can also find fresh wallpaper to introduce the bright color into your kitchen. "Use wallpaper in a fun and vibrant yellow pattern in your connecting dining nook or dining room," she says.

Williams Sonoma Dualit New Generation Classic 2-Slice Toaster
Williams Sonoma Dualit New Generation Classic 2-Slice Toaster $240
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With these yellow kitchen ideas, you'll be able to create the bright and positive space you've been dreaming of. Now the only decisions are which shade of yellow and which accents pieces to choose.

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