Here’s a good article from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine on color tips for small kitchens by Ann Wilson.
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Color goes a long way when it comes to stretching a small kitchen’s visual appeal. Check out these popular palettes that set an array of moods, stretch spatial perceptions, and beautifully amplify style.
As long as colors are applied judiciously, almost any hue will work in a tiny kitchen. Cool whites, warming earth tones, beachie pastels, and even primary chromes can be used to personalize small kitchens. The best color schemes for small kitchens weave interest throughout the space, without making the kitchen feel claustrophobic. The color scheme shouldn’t distract from chores at hand, and whenever possible, the colors should tie the kitchen to adjacent spaces, which in turn causes small kitchens to appear larger.
When selecting small-kitchen paint colors, cabinet finishes, surfaces, and fittings, consider the mood you want to create, the amount of natural light the kitchen receives, and how you can distribute color to create a streamlined look. Try to limit small kitchen colors to just two or three principal shades (add pops of a vibrant accent color if you like a lively look) so your small kitchen design doesn’t feel cluttered or too busy. Here are 10 of our favorite small kitchen color ideas. Give one a try to re-energize your work space.
White, Robin’s Egg Blue, and Dove Gray
This way-cool combo enlarges small kitchens and opens up an array of design possibilities. White walls, ceilings, and backsplashes reflect light and make the perimeter of a small kitchen recede, which causes the room to appear larger. Picture bright white walls and ceilings showcasing cabinets painted a soft blue, gray-veined marble countertops, and displays of cheery yellow dishware.
White, Off-White, and Natural Wood Finishes
Paint colors for small kitchens don’t have to be bold. Opt for a white-on-white palette to really push back your small kitchen’s borders. Mix crisp white, buttery white, and gray-toned white finishes to create a seamless look. Select wood cabinets and floors that take the chill off white surfaces and give your small kitchen a cool modern vibe.
Paprika, Cinnamon, and Curry
Spice-trade route hues, similar to those that blaze as the sun sets and rises, create small kitchens that offer the warmest of welcomes. Red tones are a good color choice for small kitchens; the ruddy hue stimulates appetites and conversations. Balance these zesty tones with polished fixtures, white finishes, and other light-reflective elements.
Brown, Copper, and Blue
Take your color cue from slate tiles and natural stone surfaces to devise a neutral palette rich with earthen appeal. Think medium-brown cabinets, limestone backsplashes, blue granite countertops, and slate tile floors. Mirror slate’s pronounced coppery tones by hanging copper pot racks, installing a copper farmhouse sink, or hanging copper-shaded pendant lights. The best paint color for this small kitchen? Pale khaki, beige, or sage paints craft walls that nicely complement the stony tones.
Chartreuse, and Goldenrod Yellow
Go retro with a color palette inspired by Fiestaware and happy-days hues. Paint the walls a muted shade of one of the colors, then deepen that tone as a cabinet finish. Use fun medleys of vivid ceramic tile to craft bold backsplashes. Install vivaciously hued Formica, quartz, or glass countertops to energize your small kitchen design.
Yellow, White, and Black
Yellow has long been a favorite paint color for small kitchens. Whether used as a wall color or as a cabinet finish, the soul-warming hue makes a pleasing splash. It offers a cheerful greeting in the morning and sets a room aglow once lights flicker on. Yellow walls handily highlight white cabinets; conversely, white walls make yellow cabinets advance. Black marble or soapstone countertops provide good-looking anchors for the buoyant hues.
Charcoal Gray, Dove Gray, Silvery Gray
A monochromatic color scheme fashions serene scenes that allow the eye to move freely around a small kitchen. When there is little difference between walls, countertops, and woodwork, a kitchen space reads larger than its actual dimensions. This small kitchen color idea translates to most any hue; choose the lightest, darkest, and mid-tone hue on one paint card. Distribute the colors so they complement each other, while providing subtle contrast between surfaces and finishes.
Mint Green, Aqua, and White
This calming combination still packs a punch, thanks to a lively interplay between minty pastels and saturated aqua tones. White surfaces keep the look bright and breezy; orange accents add a tropical zing that furthers the scheme’s seashore leanings.
Black, White and Any Color
High-contrast black and white makes for striking checkerboard floors and fetching chevron-patterned backsplashes. White or off-white walls expand perimeters while emphasizing black-painted or stained cabinets. Consider black-and-white backdrops as neutral stages that handily showcase dishware, fixtures, and collections of most every color.
Grassy Green, Buttery Cream, and Oaken Finishes
Mother Nature’s colors continue to come inside to cultivate big style in small kitchens. Grassy green, buttery cream, and golden wood finishes all boast yellow undertones, which supply convivial harmonies and luminous character. The refreshing hues contrast for interest without bogging down or darkening a small kitchen space.