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Color Guide for Contemporary Kitchens

Posted by Brian on April 6, 2017
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Contemporary kitchen

Kitchen designs vary, from country to retro, but the contemporary kitchen, which simply means current, is most often what you will find. What does that mean for homebuyers who want to make the kitchen their own? It is the color that allows you to create a kitchen that reflects your personal tastes.

What Is a Contemporary Kitchen?

The modern kitchen is built on a clean and simple philosophy and is often described using the adjectives minimal and geometric. It offers clean lines, without things like molding or ornamentation, and it provides a space that is highly functional yet very livable.

Enhance Contemporary to Meet your Tastes

To personalize the modern kitchen, color is the tool. Based on cabinet colors and lighting, one can choose from neon yellow to navy blue. White cabinets are favored by some designers, adding life with bold colors like a neon green, while other designers prefer stainless steel appliances, creating comfort with warmer, more neutral colors such as a light gray accented by an earth tone.


Contemporary retailers, like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel, offer many items for the kitchen that sport clean lines but which are influenced by other design concepts like Danish modern or country. Within the contemporary design, you can personalize without changing the whole layout. Its simple presentation allows space for you to make it your own.

Color Ideas

 Ktichen color idea

The traditional white kitchen, which still holds favor with many, can be modernized with a geometric backsplash and black appliances or it can be brought to life with color, and, these days, the brighter and bolder the better. Adding that splash of color puts you in the room; thus, it becomes your kitchen.

It is best to choose a dominant color for most of the space so the contemporary feel of sleek and clean is maintained. However, once you decide on that, you can choose a secondary color or an accent color. If you have a pantry or a wall of shelves for storage, many people like to paint them in a secondary color. An aqua wall brings the beach to a white kitchen; a pale yellow adds just that hint of sunshine.

Red kitchen wall

A common color design is painting three walls one color and one wall a different color, with kitchen items in an accent color. For example, navy is great in a kitchen with a lot of light but confining in a small kitchen, and can be complemented with white cabinets. By using a lighter color for the pantry and yet another color for the small appliances, a flow is created. Life is movement, and color creates that movement.

Small Kitchens

For the smaller kitchen, pale colors or white with a color splash are best. Deep orange is the newest accent color and creates a warm and welcoming feeling upon entering the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are still very popular and look great with a geometric tile floor of white and black or a darker hardwood floor. The accent can be a lighter, solid color; maybe a shade of gray, to maintain a more neutral look throughout, or a bright yellow that adds a powerful element to the room.

Muted Colors

If you like a more rustic look, textures can be added to the color scheme. Shades of sage, mauve, and grays can bring a bit of the prairie feel to the clean and simple lines of the kitchen. Too much brings commotion not needed in a functional but livable kitchen. Remember, the prairie is open and wide, filled with muted colors that bring it to life.


Colored appliances bring a retro feel to the kitchen while keeping it contemporary.  A pink stove with a geometric white tile backsplash will bring the 50s to the room without redoing the design.


Color is the answer to making the kitchen your own. Many homes today have a contemporary kitchen because it is clean and simple. If you find yourself in the position of loving a house, but wanting to soften the lines of the kitchen, the contemporary design offers the opportunity for you to add your personal touch.

Whether you like country, retro, or modern, you will find you can give the space your personality while maintaining the function and livability desired. Add that forest green wall, that glass panel to the cabinets, or that orange pantry wall and, when company comes to enjoy time in your kitchen, they will look about and say, “Oh this is so you. I love the colors.”