20 Colorful Kitchens That Will Make You Rethink Neutrals

updated Jan 23, 2024
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An industrial home kitchen with wooden cabinets painted chartreuse and stainless steel appliances

While a clean, white kitchen certainly has its place in interior design, we’re thrilled that our cook spaces have become more and more colorful in recent years. The heart of the home deserves the same amount of design attention that our living rooms and powder baths get, and there’s plenty of inspiration out there to help you get inspired. 

Whether you have a modernized, industrial kitchen or a retro-chic cook space, there are myriad ways to upgrade your color game in this important room, whether you consider yourself a minimalist, maximalist, or somewhere in between. Check out these brilliant ideas from the Apartment Therapy archives to help you create the colorful kitchen of your dreams. 

1. Paint kitchen cabinets red.

The candy apple red kitchen cabinets in this Australia home are delightfully retro, adding depth and warmth to the otherwise neutral space. It looks stunning with stainless steel appliances, too, lending to a mid-century look.

2. Use yellow to liven up the kitchen.

The renters in this colorful Pasadena apartment really committed to the color yellow in their kitchen by painting all of their cabinets this bright, lemony hue. It’s practically impossible to feel down in this cheery space.

3. Add a teal backsplash to your kitchen.

During the renovation of this classic Buenos Aires home, owners Fernando and Maximiliano focused on using natural materials. This is showcased in these stunningly simple cabinets made from recycled wood. A teal tile backsplash is the cozy accent that makes this a truly colorful kitchen.

4. Incorporate orange accents.

The kitchen in this NYC rental is full of cool-leaning tones, like jet black, stark white, and silver. The bright orange tile backsplash instantly adds warmth, making the small space feel vibrant instead of sterile. While it isn’t the most colorful kitchen out there, it’s ideal for those who want a more subtle pop of color.

Credit: Andrew Bui

5. Get polychromatic with colors like blue, green, red, and yellow.

If you’re looking to unleash your inner maximalist, check out this phenomenal kitchen in a Long Beach loft. Here, homeowner Haley Boyko turned the dishwasher into a statement piece, swathed the fridge in a rich blue, and put her colorful glassware collection on full display, thanks to open shelving.  

Credit: Jiyan Zandi

6. Go for gold.

Not only does Bridgette Whitney’s use of color make for a memorable home—95% of her San Diego loft is filled with vintage items. Her vibrant thrifted glassware collection pairs well with all the gold seating and storage that enlivens her cook space. 

7. Think pink (or green, blue, or yellow).

There’s something exciting about going all-out with one specific color in a room, and this Nashville home is a perfect blueprint for doing so. Homeowner Adora’s pretty pink kitchen looks straight out of a Barbie dream house, and she painted everything herself. 

Credit: Retro Jo

8. Use bright yellow to create a retro feel.

We love a retro kitchen as much as the next person, and the owners of this colorful U.K. home nail the look. Exhibit A is the funky kitchen which uses painted, retro-looking plywood cupboards from Plykea to bring some vintage vibes to the space. 

Credit: Erin Derby

9. Utilize yellow and green decals for a pop of color.

We’re guessing you won’t be surprised to learn that this adorable kitchen belongs in an illustrator’s NYC apartment. Renter Gica Tam says that the kitchen mural was her proudest DIY project in the home, as none of the wall decals online spoke to her. Tam ended up purchasing several types of colored wallpaper to create the mural of her dreams.

Credit: Emily Smith

10. Bring in some organic green.

We’re loving this plant-filled Philadelphia home that radiates natural beauty. The owners’ kitchen complements all the plant life with gorgeous green countertops and vintage-inspired green and white tile flooring. Plus, the addition of houseplants really makes this cookspace sing. 

11. Use bright green to embrace your home’s character.

This 1950s New Jersey home has been given a glorious new chapter, thanks to a fresh coat of paint. Homeowner Lady Soule found the perfect retro green to swathe the countertops in, plus some retro-inspired drawer pulls for an instant kitchen upgrade. 

Credit: Viv Yapp

12. Bring a bold green pattern into a minimalist space.

This light and airy U.K. home is filled with smart bursts of color and pattern while still feeling like a soothing retreat. The homeowners’ breakfast bar is a perfect balance of minimalism and maximalism as the simple addition of a colorful rug and a tiled island in a chevron pattern really ups the design ante and visual interest. 

13. Paint cabinets chartreuse in an industrial kitchen.

We love how this Atlanta home showcases the design possibilities that industrial kitchens have. Cookbook author and stylist Annette Joseph softened the space with a fresh coat of energizing green paint, plenty of well-collected kitchen objects, and chic lighting. 

Credit: Oh So Kel

14. Go green with patterned wallpaper.

One of the simplest (though not always easiest) ways to bring some color to your kitchen is through wallpaper. Here, this South West England home features a fresh, jungle-themed kitchen inspired by the owners’ love of Florida. The Wallpaper Direct wallcovering brings some instant Florida flair to the British abode. 

15. DIY a beautiful backsplash and paint cabinets a sage green.

Recipe developer and blogger Christine Han offers the ultimate backsplash inspo for lovers of color. She DIY-ed the backsplash in her Brooklyn apartment that pairs swimmingly with light green cabinetry and her colorful kitchen essentials. 

16. Bring a bold pop of pink to an otherwise neutral kitchen.

You don’t have to undergo a full reno to get the colorful kitchen of your dreams. The owner of this vibrant U.K. home made use of the existing appliances and flooring while zhushing up the space with a coat of fuschia paint, a bright yellow light fixture, and brightly colored kitchenware. 

17. Use gray to ground a colorful kitchen.

Just as you may personalize a bedroom or living area with plenty of unique heirlooms and collected decor, the owners of this Sydney home show how brilliantly this also works in the kitchen. The family embraced its Indian heritage and love for bohemian style here, showcasing their aesthetic by bringing in plenty of color, natural materials, and plant life for a one-of-a-kind, inviting cookspace.  The space is grounded with gray tile backsplash.

Credit: Erin Derby

18. Consider contrasting hues, like orange and blue.

We’re loving this stunning kitchen in a century-old Long Island home for its artful use of color. While orange and blue isn’t the most common color pairing, vintage obsessive Kate Pearce found the chic bar stools and cobalt blue range worked well when used with other neutral colors. Such an unlikely pairing actually makes the room feel ultra-sophisticated, and the black-and-white backsplash adds to the elegance. 

19. Paint the ceiling bright blue and add eclectic decor.

This stunning kitchen really packs a design punch thanks to homeowner and designer Carissa’s affinity for all things eclectic. She remodeled the area in this Texas home herself, creating a unique hand-painted mural, using leftover terrazzo tile from the bathroom to create an island accent, and collecting all the funky trinkets and decor that really give the space its vibrant personality. 

Credit: Viv Yapp

20. Brighten things up with red, pink, and plenty of art.

Love to collect art? Why not let the heart of the home become your new gallery space. Let the colors from your favorite prints, paintings, and sculptures be your guide in establishing a new color palette, as shown in this lively London home in the artsy Hackney neighborhood.