In these kitchens, color makes a tastefully cheerful statement
1 of 10John Ellis
Green and red isn’t the most expected color combination in a kitchen, but it works in this Washington lake house. That’s because designer Michelle Burgess combined a more mellow tone of green—in the glass tile that runs all the way up the wall—with hot tomato red, on the recycled metal chairs. White cabinetry, concrete countertops, and a wood wall provide visual balance.
In typical Scandinavian style, this kitchen is dominated by warm wood and white—a perfect blank canvas for showcasing small shots of color. The cobalt blue legs and green dishes on the open shelving pop against the backdrop and add personality.
This kitchen started with one dramatic color choice—a custom sapphire blue concrete tile from Kismet—which designer Brian Paquette used for the island. From there, he applied what he calls the rule of threes—using the same color in three different ways for visual interest. Here, the hue is repeated on the walls and window seat fabric, with orange serving as an accent color.
With playful blue and green cabinet faces below and sophisticated walnut ones above, this inventive modern kitchen shows you can have the best of both style worlds.
5 of 10Thomas J. Story
Highlight a showstopper
Upon entering this Bay Area kitchen, all eyes go immediately to the hand-tooled yellow Heath tiles on the wall. That’s by design: Flush-mounted lights on the soffit and under the cabinets act as a subtle spotlight on the tiles, while the soft gray walls and mushroom-colored concrete counters recede into the background.
Color in the kitchen doesn’t always need to be on the bright and cheery side of the spectrum. Here, a brick-red paint on the island looks sophisticated, especially paired with dark wood surfaces. It’s also in keeping with the rest of the home’s neutral color palette.
This kitchen was designed to be adaptable: The blonde wood cabinetry, white countertops pair well with any color. Even the deep blue tile of the backsplash almost functions as a neutral. Against that simple backdrop, the tomato-red stools and yellow clock bring instant cheer.
The owner of this kitchen in Vashon Island, Washington, wanted to use color as a cheerful counterpoint to the often-gray Northwest skies. She found inspiration for her red-orange, olive green, and sky blue palette in a favorite dishtowel—and then splashed it on open shelving and appliances.
There may be no palette more soothing—or timeless—than blue and white. This kitchen features a seaglass-inspired shade in multiple spots—backsplash, appliances, dishes, and lighting. Balanced out by plenty of white, the effect is airy, not overwhelming.
The owner of this Los Angeles kitchen loved the vintage look of the black and yellow tiles, but wanted to bring down the cutesy factor. He achieved that by adding a modern island topped with stainless steel and painted bright orange for contrast.