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How do you add color accents to a white kitchen?

How do you add color accents to a white kitchen?

Adding pops of color to an all-white kitchen can really help brighten up the space and give it some personality. When working with a white kitchen, the key is to keep the main elements like cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and flooring neutral, while bringing in color through accents like appliances, decor, textiles, and paint details. This allows you to easily change up the color scheme over time without having to redo major renovations. Here are some tips for incorporating color accents into an all-white kitchen:

Paint One Wall a Bold Color

Painting one wall in a vibrant hue is an easy and affordable way to add a serious splash of color. Opt for a shade like emerald green, cobalt blue, or mustard yellow on a main wall or on the island. This will instantly enliven the whole space. Just be sure to stick with paint colors that complement the undertones of your cabinetry and counters.

Choose Colorful Appliances

Appliances offer great opportunities to infuse color. Swap out your standard white/stainless range, refrigerator and dishwasher for options in brilliant colors like red, orange, teal or even a retro pastel. This is an especially good strategy if your appliances need an upgrade anyway. Just make sure to coordinate any accent colors in appliances with each other for a cohesive look.

Use Vibrant Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

Swapping out traditional bronze or silver hardware for cabinet knobs and pulls in bold colors is a simple switch that can make a dramatic impact. Opt for hues like turquoise, coral, lime green or canary yellow in a glossy finish. Keep the knobs and pulls looking coordinated by choosing the same color throughout. For extra flair, pick a custom shape too.

Color Mood
Red Energetic, inviting
Orange Fun, friendly
Yellow Warm, cheerful
Green Renewing, natural
Blue Calming, cooling
Purple Creative, royal

Display Vibrant Dishware

Fill open shelves or glass-front cabinets with brightly colored dishes, serving pieces and accents. Opt for patterns like polka dots, stripes, floral designs or solids in hues like mint green, navy blue, marigold yellow or bold black. The mixes of colors and patterns will lend an eclectic, collected look. Just be sure to tie it all together by limiting the color palette.

Add Pops of Color With Accessories

Use accessories around the kitchen to provide additional pops of color. Try placing a bowl of lemons, limes or other bright fruit on the counter. Add colored glass jars filled with pasta, grains or other dry goods. Hang vibrant teatowels on the stove handle or oven door. Place a colorful runner on the countertop. Small flourishes like these can make a big visual impact.

Use Vibrant Bar Stools

Bar stools provide the perfect opportunity to add a dash of color alongside your neutral base cabinets. Opt for stools with colored upholstery, painted legs or colored seat backs. Just be sure the colors complement your other accent hues. Good options include emerald green, sapphire blue, tomato red and sunshine yellow.

Paint or Wallpaper the Backsplash

For a super bold pop of color, consider painting or wallpapering the backsplash area. While tile is more common, don’t be afraid to get creative. Paint the backsplash wall an electric teal or lime green, or apply vivid wallpaper with a floral, geometric or abstract design. This will really make the backsplash the focal point of the kitchen.

Select Colorful Rugs

Area rugs are another way to easily inject color into your white kitchen. Choose a rug with a bold pattern and vibrant hues to anchor your space. Florals, geometrics and abstracts all work well. Place it in a high traffic spot like under the dining table. Make sure to pick up some accent colors from the rug and echo them elsewhere in the room.

Use Vibrant Kitchen Utensils

Colorful kitchen tools like spatulas, ladles, scoops and whisks add pops of color in an organic way. Search for tools in hues like mint, yellow, sky blue and orange. Display them in a colorful crock or utensil holder on the countertop or hang them from a pot rack or hook over the island. This will add a fun, functional dose of color.

Add Colorful Artwork

Don’t underestimate the impact that colorful wall art, prints and photos can have in a white kitchen. Opt for pieces that incorporate vibrant hues from your overall color scheme. Black and white prints punched up with hits of citrus shades, turquoise or chartreuse will really stand out. Cluster removable wall decals in comparable colors for easy customization.

Paint the Interior of Cabinets

For a concealed pop of color, consider painting the interiors of your cabinets. Choosing a color that contrasts with your dishes, like red, turquoise or lime green, will give your space a little extra whimsy. The surprise of color when the cabinets are opened creates a fun, unique detail. Just stick to low VOC cabinet paint.

How to Pull off the Colorful Accents Look

When planning a white kitchen with lively accents, here are some key tips for creating a cohesive, pulled-together look:

– Stick to 3-4 accent colors and use them repeatedly to tie the look together. Avoid going overboard with too many disparate colors.

– Balance colorful pops throughout the space. Don’t cluster all accents in one spot. Spread them around for visual balance.

– Anchor colorful accents with plenty of neutral white. Too many brights can feel chaotic and overwhelming.

– Echo colors in multiple spots. If the bar stools are teal, add teal accents elsewhere like dishware or a painted wall.

– Combine colors in natural ways like fruits, plants, artwork. Don’t just stick in random bright pieces.

– Ensure accents relate to the overall aesthetic. A farmhouse kitchen warrants different colors than modern or coastal.

Color Combinations that Work Well

Certain color combinations tend to look particularly pleasing together in an all-white kitchen. Here are some of the most popular and effective color schemes:

– Red, white and blue – Classic, nautical
– Yellow, white and green – Fresh, bright, vegetable garden
– Turquoise, lime green, and orange – Vibrant, tropical
– Lavender, light blue, and sage green – Soft, soothing
– Pink, peach, and light teal – Feminine, romantic
– Black, white, and one bright contrasting color – Bold, dramatic
– Multiple pastel shades like mint, peach, buttercream – Airy, Easter egg colors

Play around with sample paint swatches and throw pillows to land on a combo you love before committing it permanently to your space.


When working with an all-white kitchen, colorful accents in moderation can take the room from stale to spectacular. By painting a wall or wallpapering the backsplash in a vibrant hue, choosing appliances and bar stools in bold colors, displaying colorful dishware and accessories, and echoing punches of color throughout the space, you can easily infuse an otherwise neutral kitchen with liveliness, personality and flair. Just take care to stick to a coordinated color scheme and balance bright pops throughout the room for a harmonious look. With the right combo of white and colors, your kitchen is sure to be a showstopper.