Warm colors -- including fiery reds and oranges, sunny yellows, and toasty neutrals -- take the chill off a kitchen's polished surfaces and can be combined in ways that suit every decorating style. Blend two or more warm hues to create a cozy kitchen, or balance spicy-hot tones with cool blues and soft neutrals to fashion galleys with a beachy attitude. When it comes to creating warm color palettes for your kitchen, you'll find the possibilities are almost endless. Here's a look at 11 kitchens that stylishly sizzle, thanks to savvy homeowners who employed warm (along with a few cool) colors to perfect effect.
Kitchens are busy workplaces that benefit from peaceful-hue perimeters. In this kitchen, buttery yellow paint (cued by the wood floor's golden undertones) softly warms the walls while showcasing cabinets finished in a deep khaki. When opting for kitchens finished in shades of creamy gold and medium brown, boost the temperature by accessorizing with copper pots, wooden accents, and woven baskets.
Warm kitchens and breakfast rooms rely on a fine-tuned mix of colors in a range of shades and intensities. Vivacious jewel tones -- such as the pinky eggplant that advances as artwork and textiles in this eating area -- pair nicely with muted and moody hues. Here, a dusty sage green cabinet joins other neutral surfaces rendered in light and dark finishes to allow bright shades of eggplant to move to center stage. Magnify a neutral's impact by presenting the color in architecture. Wood-clad ceilings, cove moldings, distressed floorboards, and turned furniture legs all contribute to this breakfast nook's appeal while preventing the room from appearing too busy.
Create a memorable kitchen scheme by using complementary colors of equal intensity. Navy blue and soft grays stimulate and add substance to hardworking spaces. Add in vibrant orange surfaces, like these pumpkin-color walls, and you've got a winning combination. Keep the mood light by incorporating white trim and stainless-steel finishes.
Daffodil-hue cabinets supply a lively wakeup call that ensures mornings start on the most cheerful of notes. Yellow is a fine companion for red, but when you combine the two flashy shades, you're likely to end up with a too-loud space. Instead, try cherrywood furnishings that present red undertones in an understated manner. Here, a cherrywood island and barstools add a rich and warming anchor to the already inviting space.
Choose one especially warm hue, such as the chocolate brown pictured here, to heat up different levels of your kitchen. Deep brown pops as crown molding that highlights both the honey-tone wood ceiling and light khaki cabinets. The rich shade reappears in the window trim, shelf brackets, granite countertops, and distressed wood flooring. Striking metal pendant lights highlight the ceiling's golden finish.
White cabinet finishes remain popular because they bring light-reflecting brightness and spick-and-span character to kitchens big and small. Although white is a classic color choice, it can come across as cold if you don't temper it with warm hues. A ginger-hue ceiling with mocha-stained recessed wood adds warming layers to this otherwise all-white kitchen. Mocha finishes resurface as barstools, island cabinets, and a butcher-block countertop. Gilded pendant fixtures provide golden forms that introduce yet another warming hue.
If you like eclectic spaces that reflect an affinity for bold colors, you'll love this kitchen's combination of warm and cool hues. Sunny yellow walls and cabinets, mahogany wood finishes, and wallpaper boasting persimmon-hue motifs create an interesting interplay of vibrant and muted colors. The warm tones nicely balance cooler greens and blues. Both the persimmon wallpaper and pink window seat fabric play off the red undertones in the surrounding mahogany.
Mix beige and gray, and you'll come up with "greige," a shade valued for its neutral presence and warming brown undertones. In this kitchen, greige makes a statement as perimeter cabinets, painted woodwork, and a brick backsplash. The greige elements, which deepen the silvery tones of stainless-steel fittings, are enhanced by warmer honey golds seen on barstools and a wood-clad ceiling. When choosing a paint color for your walls, look to the room's wooden expanses for inspiration. Repeating the wood's underlying shade on a kitchen's walls in a paler shade results in a charmingly cohesive view.
Reddish oranges -- be they cabernet, persimmon, or brick -- make red-hot statements, especially when presented in large sweeps. Thanks to their unexpectedly vibrant hue, these red cabinets surprise and delight while setting a spacious kitchen aglow. The luminous cabinets partner beautifully with the room's cool concrete countertops, stainless-steel fittings, and white tile backsplash. Add another accent hue -- like the golden tones that appear as coffee mugs, barstools, and window shades -- to enhance your kitchen's warmth.
Fuse complementary shades -- colors across from each other on the color wheel -- to create high-contrast designs that demand attention. This kitchen mixes burnt orange with cool blue accents to create a space that wraps visitors in a warm embrace. Navy blues pop against the vibrant orange walls, which highlight white finishes. Robin's-egg dishware and a barely-blue backsplash balance the warmer hues while providing a tantalizing transition between the zesty walls and crisp white cabinets.
Visually the warmest of neutrals, brown is valued for its handsome appearance. The color of coffee, hot cocoa, and freshly turned earth, brown contributes a sense of richness, a feeling of stability, and an easygoing presence that complements many colors. In this eat-in kitchen, brown walls supply a pleasing backdrop to showcase gilded frames and soft greens that appear in accent fabrics and botanical prints. When opting for deep-brown perimeters, include white furnishings, finishes, and fabrics as cool counterweights that keep the warmer hues in check and the overall look clean and crisp.