Kitchen Colour Ideas 2023: How To Choose The Right Colour Scheme

Use colour theory to help you pick the right shade for your kitchen.

Kitchen colour ideas

by Natalie Corner |
Updated on

Inspiration is all around us in our lives, so whether you have a particular colour in mind or need some kitchen colour ideas for 2023, look no further. Choosing to makeover your kitchen is the easy part, especially if your space is looking outdated or tired and needs a crucial redesign, but coming up with the right kitchen colour ideas may take some time. After all, colour can really make a difference in a kitchen, whether you paint or use vinyl kitchen wrap.

You may have the budget to install a fitted kitchen and a completely new layout or stick with what you have but want to refresh the colour, appliances or flooring. So picking a colour scheme is a significant part of how your kitchen will fit into your home and choosing the colour can prove to be a challenge without professional help. You could opt for a light shade and it brightens the whole room or you want something cosy and warm to reignite memories of your favourite holiday destination. Of course, you'll have to think about your kitchen lighting, also.

How does colour theory work?

According to Wren Kitchens, the key to choosing a colour palette is no real secret – consult a colour wheel: “Colour wheels are great for helping you to understand what shades sit well together.”

Complementary colours – This is the most common way to use the colour wheel, selecting colours opposite each other that are known to complement each other, creating a bold impact and high contrast. For example, red and green, yellow and purple, orange and blue or green and magenta. There are endless combinations that can fit your taste and kitchen.

Analogous colours – If you don’t want a high contrast design but still want strong colours, choosing a group of three colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel can bring depth to a kitchen. The analogous colour contains one shade of the primary colour in each. For example, yellow, yellow-green and green, violet, red-violet, and red or blue, blue-violet and violet.

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How do I choose a kitchen colour scheme?

Once you know the layout of your kitchen you need to consider what you want your kitchen to make you feel. As a Wren Kitchens expert explains: “Colours are strongly associated with mood. One way to narrow down the rainbow is to think about how you want to feel when you're in your kitchen.”

Think about warm and cold colours, do you want to be energised when you enter the kitchen to start your day, or do you want it to be calm and cosy? You can go for bold pops of colour to bring vibrant energy into your space and add touches of your personality via quirky prints and patterns. Or, go totally neutral and keep your kitchen minimalist with earthy grounding shades - from your kitchen blinds to cabinets.

Also, look at the size of your kitchen and see where you can afford to add bold splashes of colour. Colour should not be feared in a small kitchen, adding bold shades can make your kitchen still feel bigger if you don’t get messy. Think monochrome, opt for one shade and keep it throughout, or choose two complementary primary colours for the top half of the kitchen and one for the other.

A kitchen theme can also indicate a colour scheme which helps you settle on a colour, so whether that’s a traditional farmhouse, minimalist art deco, earthy or coastal nature tones, a retro era, or a Tuscan villa, inspiration is everywhere.

Kitchen Colour Ideas 2023

Thanks to Magnet, we have the top three kitchen colours for 2023. In their new study, Magnet has analysed the over 250K tweets relating to interior design over the past year, as well as glancing at internal sales data, social media and Google search data for their choices. Plus, they have been consulting their Senior Design Lead, Jen Nash.

Jen comments: "The kitchen has, over the decades, moved from a primarily functional space to the centre of the home.
This evolution of use also brings a new, invigorated appreciation of colour. People are increasingly using the home to express themselves but need versatile spaces. Multi-use spaces need extra thoughtful consideration but an emphasis on living spaces rather than practical is getting peoples’ imaginations flowing.”

Nature-inspired Green

Much to our delight, 'sage green kitchens' are up 48 per cent.

Over the past six months, Magnet reports that green kitchens are on the rise. Google and Pinterest searches for ‘green kitchens’ have increased by a substantial 50 per cent, with the term now achieving an average of 74,000 monthly Google searches. How cool is that? At A Modern Kitchen, we're beaming with pride. Green is a favourite of ours.

Jen comments, ‘’From deeper forest and olive shades to the more subtle tones of eucalyptus and sage, the versatility of the green hue is, in part, what makes it the go-to palette in today’s modern kitchen. Combining associations with nature and an evocativeness of balance, growth, renewal and harmony, green is a refreshing colour that allows the hardest working room in the home to feel both invigorated and calm in equal measure."

Blue is on the rise

Coming just behind green is blue. Thanks to the likes of Reese Witherspoon's powder blue kitchen, Magnet reports that demand for light blue kitchens is on the rise. Google searches for the term have increased by 24 per cent over the past year and 25 per cent on Pinterest. Plus, 'beach blye kitchens' seem to be very popular with a 271 per cent increase on Google. Finding something refreshing to reignite memories of your favourite holiday destination sounds ideal.

Jen comments, ‘’As people look for more contemporary takes on classic palettes alongside brighter environments, we are seeing lighter shades of blue kitchens increasingly grow in demand. These heritage-inspired shades offer a timeless, fresh and versatile approach but with an added sense of playfulness and personality, at home in both classic and contemporary spaces. Similar to green, the translucent, airy quality of these blue shades are evocative of nature - creating a feeling of serenity that works in tandem with the social demands and functions of a modern kitchen.’’

Neutrals are here to stay

Despite all of these bright colours and the popularity of maximalism, neutral and cashmere may be old, but they're reliable. They're still one of the biggest kitchen colour trends of 2023. When choosing a colour for your kitchen, it doesn't have to be bold. you can go for something neutral and understated - that's OK.

As for the stats, Magnet also reports that Google searches for ‘neutral kitchens’ have increased by 47 per cent over the past year, and by 54 per cent on Pinterest. Similarly, searches for ‘cashmere kitchens’ have increased by 22 per cent on both Google and Pinterest. How cool is that? Cosy, timeless neutrals are here for the long haul.

Jen comments, ‘’Although we are seeing more people embrace brighter and more saturated colours in the kitchen and beyond, the minimalist kitchen trend and its accompanying neutral palette still hold strong in 2023. These hues have a space-enhancing effect and offer the clean and timeless finish all-white kitchens have so long been used for. Many of us are now migrating from whites to neutrals, tapping into these more earthy tones that elevate spaces in a warmer, cosier way with which white can’t compete."

Small kitchen ideas FAQ

What colour goes with oak kitchen units?

If the feature in your kitchen is wonderful oak units or a fabulous-looking kitchen island and you are not looking to change them, you need to consider what colours suit the light wood.

It all comes down to your own personal taste as we mentioned above because the beauty of oak is that it, well, pretty much goes with any colour thanks to its neutral tone. Consider what your chosen theme is and then go from there.

Furniture brand Oak Furnitureland points out that oak tends to have a warm tone to it, but the final look of any wood is always dependent on the stain finish. You can work with similar warm undertones, or go bold, bright and contrasting, “Colours like cherry red, ochre yellow, lime green or rusty orange will bring out those warm hues in oak for a zesty palette that warms up a space.”

Should I paint my kitchen?

Not only is it a considerably cheaper option but painting your kitchen cabinets or walls is a simple way to refresh the most-used room in your house.

It is a big job and can take a lot of time if you want to do it yourself, so you must make sure you are set on taking on the task to save on your makeover budget. Factor in things like cleaning all your doors and sanding them so there is no disappointment when grease marks show up, and then you must remove all doors to be painted. Do not think for one moment that they can stay in place, and it is a quick workaround, they will need time to dry which can take a few days.

Another tip is to label all your doors, so you know which cabinet they belong to in your kitchen. Make sure to pick a good quality paint and do a test strip if you can to see how it will look before painting them all and deciding you hate it. If you have access to or can source a professional sprayer, skip the painting and hire it. Your arms will thank you.

Natalie Corner is the Commercial Content Editor across the Specialist Portfolio for Bauer Media. She specialises in all things coffee and tea related for A Modern Kitchen. When she's not hopped up on caffeine she's testing the latest space-saving hacks to organise her small kitchen.

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