Colour is often underestimated when it comes to designing our kitchens. You probably have the colours you like and don’t like, but simply choosing them and painting your kitchens and cabinets isn’t going to work. You need to pick certain elements of your kitchen to paint and you need to spend a bit more time thinking about different kinds of colour combinations to use.

But how do you create the perfect colour combination? What kind of factors do you need to consider? In this post, we’re going to explain a little about colour theory and offer some examples of colour schemes that will lift your kitchen to a new level.


As you may know, it’s impossible to just throw together your favourite colours and expect your kitchen to look good. It’s important that you understand some basic techniques on combining colours to create the desired look in your kitchen.

To help you understand the concepts below, we highly suggest looking at a colour wheel as a point of reference.

Monochromatic palettes

Monochromatic schemes use the same hue but at different lightness and saturation levels. This can create subtle contrasts between the elements of your kitchen despite it being the same colour, creating a harmonious look. Recommended if you’re passionate about specific colours.

  • Mixing a dark grey floor with cool grey countertops and white cabinets. This creates a balance of similar colours which give you the ability to highlight decorations and accessories such as plant pots and coloured cookware.

  • Combining white or black with a single hue of colour. For instance, you could use classic wooden floors and light brown cabinets with black or countertops to create a visual break between similar shades.
contemporary kitchen

Complementary colours

Complementary colours sit at opposite ends on the colour wheel. They provide a high level of contrast which can make them bright and prominent. However, when used in a kitchen colour scheme, it can be jarring especially if they are fully saturated. This can be a difficult concept to use in kitchens, but it’s not impossible.

  • Contrast your kitchen island with your countertops and cabinets. You could try navy cabinets on your kitchen island and light brown on your main cabinets. 
  • Similarly, you could try wooden floors together with dark navy cabinets and white granite countertops. If you have a kitchen island, you could try white cabinets and brown countertops to create even more contrast.

Analogous colours

Analogous colours are next to each other on the colour wheel. They match well and tend to create relaxed and comfortable designs. They are often naturally occurring in nature which creates a pleasing colour scheme. However, it’s important to pick one dominant colour and use the others as accents so that it doesn’t get too overwhelming.

  • A popular analogous colour scheme is the classic autumn trio of yellow, green and brown. Consider using brown as the main colour, such as having wooden floors to enhance the natural feel of the colour scheme, dark brown countertops, and light yellow for cabinets. Add green accents by placing plants around your kitchen for a finishing touch

  • If you prefer cooler colours, try a mixture of navy, light blue and teal. Focus on navy as the dominant colour to use for your cabinets, use a dark navy for countertops and add teal accents. Use a light floor such as natural stone to add a bit of contrast.
luxury kitchens

Colour triads

Colour triads are evenly spaced in a triangle across the colour wheel. This makes the colour scheme extremely vibrant, even if you lower the saturation of the hues. To use colour triads successfully, you need to let one colour be the main focus while the other two are used as accents, much like with analogous colour schemes


  • Brown, green and navy is a popular triad colour scheme to try. Use brown shades for flooring and countertops. Combine with navy cabinets and sprinkle green accents with plants.
  • A colourful triadic colour scheme is lime green, blue and magenta. This scheme can make your kitchen pop with a playful assortment of colours. Use white as a base then colour your chairs, accessories, kitchen utensils, dinnerware and appliances with a mix of lime green, blue and magenta. You can also use blue as the dominant colour for your cabinets.