A question that crops up a lot is how to add colour to an all-white kitchen. Colourful kitchens aren't for everyone, but every kitchen can include a splash of colour to liven it up. While white kitchens have a restrained, crisp, clean feeling, they can tend to feel a bit sterile or bland if not carefully considered. A small splash of colour can elevate an otherwise white kitchen idea to a more joyful, inviting space.


From warm touches of neutrals to bold pops of brights, there are many ways to add colour to an all-white kitchen.

Create a statement with a bold accent wall

If you love the freshness of white but fancy an injection of colour then consider a feature wall idea and paint one wall in a bold shade.


White goes with every shade in the colour wheel, so the choice for walls and trim is really down to personal choice and taste. As a general rule of thumb, if the room is north-facing, go for a colour with a warm undertone, such as red or orange. If it’s south-facing, you can afford to choose a cooler shade, such as an on-trend blue.


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Low ceilings? Keep the white in the top third of the space

White works wonders in small kitchen ideas with low ceilings as it will brighten up the top third of the space perfectly. You can then introduce paler shades underneath the wall cabinets to prevent the look from being too stark and to keep the feel light and airy. This could be pale blue or blush pink base units, a painted splashback or a colourful worktop.

Choose a pastel shade for your kitchen cabinets

In a larger kitchen, you can afford to add more colour consistently throughout the space. Don't go too dark though if you want to retain a bright look. Pale pastel shades of pink, green or sky blue look wonderful with crisp white, making them great choices for a touch of colour. 


Warm up the cabinets with brass bar stools and plenty of plants and fresh seasonal flowers for extra colour. Laying a wooden floor in a herringbone pattern also adds depth and colour which helps to prevent a large white kitchen from feeling too stark.


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Source warm metallics

Brass has been the go-to metallic for quite a while and it's easy to see why – it's one of the 'warmest' metals to use and has a stylish edge. Introduce it to your white kitchen as a colour by starting with a pendant light and then following through with brass door knobs, handles, accessories and bar stools. 


Being a must in every room, lighting is a great place to start introducing personality. A mixture of brass, bronze and silver works wonderfully to create a sophisticated and glamorous look. A statement light over the kitchen island will add elegance and create a dramatic focal point against a white backdrop.


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Balance white with a darker scheme

If you love darker colours but don't want them to take over your white kitchen, then use both to balance the space. Proportionately, white can still be the dominant colour with the dark kitchen ideas confined to the base and wall cabinets.


White worktops and marble-style splashback tiles with matching floor tiles will retain the wonderful aspects that white offers while allowing a darker shade to stand out.

Paint your kitchen island

Adding colour can be subtle, and a good place to add it is to your kitchen island ideas. A colourful kitchen island can instantly uplift a primarily white kitchen, providing a unique and bold focal point. This allows you to incorporate a splash of colour and personality without committing to a full-on vibrant kitchen.


Offset your statement colour of choice with neutral wall units and white surfaces. For example, consider painting your island in a rich, grounding green with white surrounding cabinets and complementary finishes like gold and copper.

Embrace colourful floor tiles

If you love a white and neutral scheme but fancy perking it up, then invest in coloured kitchen floor tile ideas. They can be as bright or as subtle as you like, even if they are shades of one colour. 


Floor tiles are a great example of how to colour an all-white kitchen and there are some fabulous designs to choose from these days – from florals to hexagons, graphic designs to stripes.


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Colour your lower units

Cabinets tend to take up rather a lot of space in the kitchen – and in an all-white scheme, you're looking at row upon row of plain white doors. A pretty way to add colour to a white kitchen is to paint your kitchen cabinets.


Leave upper units and work surfaces white. Then choose another colour altogether for the lower storage units. Go for a pale or pastel tone for subtlety or a bright colour for impact. Whichever of the many kitchen colour schemes you opt for, due to the height it won't feel too in your face, or even be visible from all angles.

Add contrast with work surfaces

A gentle way to add a little something to otherwise white kitchen ideas is to choose dark, contrasting worksurfaces to sit above the white cupboards and below the white walls. Choose a deep wood for a more rustic touch, or a black stone for a more contemporary style.


Make these elements feel at home by linking the colour elsewhere in the kitchen, for example with chairs, window treatments and small appliances.


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Choose a colourful splashback

An easy way to add colour to a white kitchen is to rethink your kitchen splashback ideas. Tiling is one of the most practical ways of doing this, so choose a bright patterned option for added interest. When going for patterns, stick to one new colour, keeping some white included for a cohesive feel.


You may have one large or several smaller wall areas which require this extra protection from daily life. If the latter, you have the choice of whether to keep the areas the same or choose a different tone or colourway for extra drama in one spot.


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Paint stand-alone units

Many kitchens will have stand-alone storage units in addition to the built-in cabinets. Use this as an opportunity to add a pop of colour. Either buy a bright unit or paint the one which you already have. If opting for the latter, make sure to check out the best paint for kitchen cabinets, to make your life that bit easier.


When it comes to choosing a colour, consider linking with any other shades already in use. Look to window treatments, small accessories or even your tableware for inspiration.

Include natural tones and textures

Look to rustic kitchen ideas and add both colour and depth to your white kitchen by integrating natural materials. Wood, raffia and coloured metals add natural textures and patina without detracting from the neutral space. Look for natural materials to use in your hardware, too, such as leather handles or brass taps.


A white kitchen is a perfect base for creating a nature-inspired space by using warm wooden flooring, textural elements such as jute rugs, highly veined marble or porcelain splashback and worktops and plenty of luscious greenhouse plants.

Discuss your ideas with your kitchen designer
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