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7 Best Kitchen Colors

Perennial Favorites and Expert Recommendations


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It's impossible to take into account everyone's leanings; so while none of these colors go too far in any direction, it's hard to go wrong with any of them.

Designers seem to agree that earthier colors, neutrals, and yellows tend to be the best kitchen colors. They satisfy many purposes: coordinating with cabinets; reflecting light; providing cheer; and being palatable to subsequent buyers of your house.

Blues, greens, purples, and other colors in similar families do not promote hunger, and in some cases even curb it. Thus, they don't work as well in kitchens. However, if you're fortunate enough to have a dining area completely divorced from the kitchen, then there is less of a pressing need to lay down colors conducive to eating.

1. Light Yellow

© Valspar
Many homeowners and designers agree that light yellow is a winning color. It's friendly enough not to raise any eyebrows, yet distinctive enough that it will complement most types of kitchen cabinet wood species.

My Personal Take:
I'll be honest: this yellow makes me feel a little sick. It is not my favorite. Also, I think yellow as a kitchen color is played-out.

2. Neutrals

© Benjamin Moore
With enough white tint, any color can become a neutral; it's just a matter of which type of neutral you want. The best thing is that you can't exactly go wrong with using mid-range neutrals in your kitchen.

My Personal Take:
Kitchen neutrals languished on this list at #5 for a long time until I began to educate myself further on this weird class of colors. Neutrals are usually equated with "boring," but they don't have to be. With the addition of red, yellow, or orange, neutrals can be warmed up. With green, blue, or violet, they can be cooled down.

3. Darker-Tinted Yellow

© Ralph Lauren Home
Stronger yellows, such as the color from Ralph Lauren Home pictured here, help evoke the mood of a traditional, classic kitchen.

My Personal Take:
My favorite kitchen yellow. It's shaded-down with just an iota of black to give it depth and character.

4. Browns

© Sherwin Williams
Brown is considered earthy and evocative of the very place where you food comes from: the earth, the farm. For those who are neutral-averse, brown almost becomes the New Neutral: safe.

My Personal Take:
I like very much! This kitchen from Sherwin-Williams is expertly color-coordinated. The reddish-brown of the walls play well with the darker-brown cabinets. Even the kitchen island's green fits into this family.

5. Red

© Valspar
While red as a kitchen color is not for everyone, it should be considered if you want to add spark and spunk to your kitchen. In a kitchen with plenty of dark colors, it can cut through the gloom.

My Personal Take:
Red is modern. For kitchens with a multiplicity of stainless steel and black, red provides the necessary counter-balance.

6. Green

© Sherwin Williams
Green is a tough sell. Strong greens, such as the one pictured here, positively can turn stomachs.

My Personal Take:
I purposely chose the strongest, most in-your-face green possible. Worse would be those dark-shaded forest greens that evoke the feeling of being in a dark woods at dusk...with the wolves howling nearby.

7. Blue

© Behr
Blue barely makes the best kitchen colors list: it's considered a "downer" color, not conducive to stimulating one's appetite.

My Personal Take:
I worked hard to find an acceptable kitchen-blue. From Behr, this one looks good against those dark cabinets. Used sparingly or as an accent color, blue can work in a kitchen.
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