Electrifying Kitchen Color Combinations

Inject a little drama into your home and love your cooking space even more with these inspiring, energizing, beautiful, bold kitchen color combos.

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    Choose a Personal Color

    Color is, by its nature, idiosyncratic: What works for one person might not work at all for another. Some people favor bold tones, while others swing lighter and brighter. If you have a particular bold kitchen color you'd like to use, be mindful of how it might look when used in a whole room. If you're worried, choose key focal points -- here, a built-in bookcase and peninsula table -- as options to display your favorite hue.

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    Reverse the Expected

    Bold colors are often used as accents to inject a cheery pop into an otherwise neutral kitchen scheme. Here, that principle is flip-flopped: A sunshiny hue takes center stage on cabinets and even around windows and on ceiling trim, with gray-black as a soothing accent.

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    Create Balance with Bold Colors

    Adding bold color into a space is all about balance -- the vibe you want to create along with the energy of the color. For a particularly bright hue, offer a counterpoint with neutral finishes and fixtures. Here, the eye gravitates toward the orange tile wall -- a fresh, lively addition to an open cooking space. Cool gray cabinets and warm wood provide room-smart counterpoints.

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    Use Bold Kitchen Colors Everywhere

    Sometimes homeowners delicately dole out a bright hue, using it here and there. There's an alternative, though, especially with a take-charge color such as red: Use it everywhere. Red is a color that dominates, but by choosing a single-minded color focus, that bold hue doesn't have to compete with another shade, which lends balance to rooms such as this.

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    Mix Bold Colors in a Kitchen

    Bright, dramatic colors can be difficult to embrace, which is why homeowners often gravitate toward one hue. But if your aesthetic is a bit more eclectic, you can blend a few options, particularly if they're in the same shade family -- here, hues that are more neon than they are calming. The key to making this work is the rest of the space: There are no fussy details on cabinets, no excessive wall treatments. Instead, the color mix of turquoise, yellow, orange, and green works its magic because it's the sole focal point.

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    Color Scheme Tips

    Watch and learn how to pull together an incredible kitchen color scheme.

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    Create a Color Triad

    The color wheel is the best tool you can use to help integrate bold hues into your kitchen. Once you understand the basics, such as analogous and complementary colors, you can tweak those rules to your personal preferences. Here, a subdued green plays foil to the bold blue for a twist on analogous. Gray cabinets offer a neutral visual resting point, and the yellow chairs pop as tertiary to the green. It's complex but visually interesting, too.

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    Create Light with Bold Kitchen Colors

    Bold colors are generally used as more spirited hues, but they can offer different color flavors, as demonstrated by this stylish kitchen. Instead of choosing just one shade, the homeowners used a mix of light and dark turquoise tones on the mosaic tile backsplash for an elegant yet color-forward palette. Wood cabinets and floors offer warm contrast, while yellow makes a color wheel-smart statement.

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    Bold Pattern, Small Square Footage

    Although a striking assembly of shapes and colors can add a one-of-a-kind flourish to a kitchen, it can also easily overwhelm and distract. If you fall in love with a color-forward pattern, consider giving it a focal point -- here, as a backsplash behind the professional range. Notice the subtle color accent with the range's knobs, as well as the cooling contrast of stainless-steel cabinets and vent hood.

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    Use Bold Kitchen Color in Multiple Ways

    Bold color can be a great tool to indicate a transition from one kitchen zone to the next, as well as pick up a color that's used more subtly in the rest of a space. This richly painted hutch does both: It clearly defines a dedicated drink station as well as brings to the forefront the blue that repeats on the window treatment's Grecian key pattern.

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    Create a Mood

    Colors have the power to create energy. Blues -- cool colors -- are generally seen as calming, while reds -- warm colors -- are more energizing. Keep that in mind, and use color to counteract any structural constraints. For example, in a kitchen with just one window, a mix of warm colors -- here, a buttery yellow, some quick pops of red -- helps to bounce light around the space and animate the overall feel, too.

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    Think in Threes

    Many designers rely on the power of three to create kitchens with pleasing aesthetics. That rule is on display here and provides good explanation as to why the mosaic -- powerful and unusual -- doesn't become a distraction. The main color (a chartreuse green) is used on cabinets and pops up on the tile, while blue and brown (both secondary colors) work as both complement and accent. The use of chartreuse cabinets and wood floors and wall pieces also helps the eye find visual spots to rest.

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    Don't Discount Small Doses

    Many homeowners complete renovations -- especially of high-profile spaces such as kitchens -- with an eye toward resale. That can make it more difficult to embrace very distinctive colors. But if you love a color, there are ways to integrate it into your kitchen, especially if you make it work with other basics such as cabinets. Here, pops behind the stove and in the eating nook are details that could be changed easily but still offer a bold color accent.

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    Find the Beauty in Black

    It's often referred to as a neutral, but black is as bold as it gets when it comes to kitchens. And if you choose black as a focal point, you'll suddenly realize how rich and diverse of a color it can be. Although black is often thought of as a contemporary style choice, there are ways to temper its misconstrued severity. Here, a joyful red stove -- matched by a few select cabinet pulls -- adds warmth to this kitchen space.

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    Use Bold Color for Contrast

    Many people are hesitant to embrace color contrast, but it's a great way to energize and enliven a kitchen. This space embraces incongruity in both color and texture -- the cool, sea-inspired tile mosaic, the quirky organic lines of the starkly styled chandelier. Choosing a similar combo in your kitchen? One tip: Make sure the same colors repeat elsewhere in other accents, and give dominance to one color (this homeowner chose blue).

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    Consider the Rest of the House

    We often think of color in a room as an independent entity, but spaces work as a coordinated whole for a house that embraces bold color. Here, a warm palette provides a guiding element, and the red in the dining space makes a quiet appearance in an accent rug in the orange-focused kitchen. Taken together, it's an energetic combination for the living spaces.

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    Use a Bold Tempered by a Neutral

    Closed cabinets are standard in kitchens, and with that storage choice comes a visual weight that often makes picking a bold color tricky. This kitchen deftly works through that dilemma while integrating distinctive hues. The key choice was to pick a dark color for most of the lower cabinets and a lighter tone on top. The space is also a good lesson on the power of picking three related colors -- here burgundy, blue, and yellow -- and a design palette for a space.

  • Next Slideshow Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors

    Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors

    A fresh coat of paint is an easy and inexpensive way to update your kitchen cabinets. Whether you prefer a crisp neutral look or bold, standout shades, these crowd-pleasing kitchen cabinet colors are sure to inspire.
    Begin Slideshow »
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