5 Color Ideas for Small Kitchens

If you have a tiny kitchen, you may be tempted to splurge on an intensive remodel. But before you knock down walls or ditch your 20-year-old fridge, consider a cheaper alternative: paint

A quick coat of paint can transform the ambiance of a small kitchen, making it feel brighter and (dare we say?) more spacious. Simply put, a warm blue or antique white can add the oomph you’re looking for without breaking the bank.

Here, we delve into five color trends and explore how they can work well for a smaller kitchen. 

Keep It White & Bright

It’s no secret that stark white walls make a room feel bigger, especially south-facing rooms with lots of natural light. Yet many homeowners steer away from this paint choice, writing it off as dull. So, how do you brighten up a kitchen without boring dinner guests? We have tips:

  • Choose a less sterile shade of white, such as ivory, chiffon, or linen 
  • Pair white walls with dark accessories like knife racks and towel hooks
  • Paint the ceiling a lighter shade of white to make the walls feel higher
  • Pull pops of color from adjacent spaces

You may also choose paint with an eggshell or satin finish. These glossy sheens reflect natural and artificial light, creating the illusion of more space.

Color Me Pink

We get it—pink is a bold choice. But with some finesse, pink paint can work magic in tiny kitchens, adding comforting vibes to even the darkest of galleys. Still not convinced that your kitchen won’t look like something out of the Barbie Dreamhouse? Follow our guidelines for a positively-pink kitchen:

  • Select subtle shades of blush that provide a non-yellow warmth
  • Paint lower cabinets a lovely rose for a pop of color
  • If you’re feeling noncommittal, paint an accent wall a just-barely-pink shade of nude 
  • If you’re feeling brave, partner hot-pink walls with retro appliances for a groovy look 

For extra flair, incorporate gold drawer pulls and rose ceramic wall tiles. Floral chair cushions up the ante even more.

Befriend the Green-Eyed Monster

Green smoothies are trending and so are green walls. Shades like aloe and avocado add freshness to tiny kitchens. Green also provides grounding contrast to white walls and stainless steel appliances. 

Of course, green can be a tricky color for a small room. Shades of yellow-green (think: key lime) are overly bright and offensive while shades of green-brown or green-gray can be too dark. Do you need help befriending the green-eyed monster? If so, here are some pointers:

  • For an elegant and clean look, pair muted greens with off-whites 
  • For a more contemporary aesthetic, pair a gutsy green (think: emerald) with stark white cabinets
  • If you choose darker greens, incorporate natural wood accessories or a live-edge kitchen island
  • Paint the ceiling a lighter shade of green to draw the eye upward  

Pro Tip: Incorporating hanging baskets, succulents, and other potted plants can transform your cramped kitchen into a botanical hangout.

Sunny With a Chance of Yellow

At its worst, yellow is overstimulating and anxiety-inducing. But at its best, yellow can turn a cramped and gloomy kitchen into your happy place. If you’re worried that your home will look like Big Bird, take a deep breath and follow these guidelines:

  • Pick an accent wall to paint a bold yellow and then incorporate matching accessories
  • Accent walls aren’t just for paint—choose an eccentric yellow wallpaper instead
  • Rock a two-tone cabinet aesthetic by painting the lowers a pale yellow and the uppers a stark white 
  • If you want to paint the entire space yellow, choose a softer shade like honey or melon
  • Pair a soft yellow with botanical greens for visual contrast

Though yellow isn’t for the faint of heart, subtle shades can add much-needed warmth and openness to tiny spaces.

Feeling Blue

Blue is a popular choice in kitchens. However, if you choose too dark of a shade, it can make already-narrow spaces feel depressing. So, how do you add a pop of navy or turquoise without catching the blues? We suggest that you:

  • Select a dusty, gray-blue—the same color as the sky on a foggy day
  • Partner blues with creamy whites for a traditional but contemporary atmosphere
  • Paint cabinets a baby blue for visual contrast 
  • Reserve bold blues like cobalt or midnight for kitchen islands, trim, or accent walls 
  • Use multiple shades of light blue for a tailored look 

Depending on your budget, you may even consider purchasing blue appliances to match your new paint job.

Tips for Picking the Right Color

Selecting a paint color for a small kitchen can be daunting. That’s why we’ve developed a three-step process for picking “the one.”

Step 1:  Don’t Be Too Choosy

During your first trip to the hardware store, get crazy. Peruse the paint swatches and select 15 to 20 different contenders. If the color strikes your fancy, grab a swatch.

Step 2: Dwindle Them Down  

Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to determine if a color will work in your kitchen while you’re standing in the hardware store. So, bring your swatches home and hold them up to your walls. Dwindle your list down to three picks.

Step 3: Get To Painting (Sort Of)
Purchase paint samples for your top three and try out the colors before committing. At this point, you may decide to return to Step 1. Or, you may decide to incorporate all three colors into your kitchen design.

Big Ideas for Small Kitchens

A dash of paint can do big things for a small kitchen, helping the room feel more spacious and functional. However, if you decide that your kitchen needs more than a coat of midnight blue, get in touch with Team Portico.Our general contractors can provide the professional kitchen renovation guidance you deserve, transforming your small kitchen into a light and bright gathering space. What’s more? We’ll provide a no-hassle quote with transparent pricing before we hammer a single nail.

Contact us online or call Portico’s kitchen renovation experts at 704-915-5151 to learn more!