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What are warm colors for kitchens?

What are warm colors for kitchens?

Warm colors like yellow, orange, and red can make a kitchen feel cozy and inviting. When used appropriately, warm paint colors and decor create an energetic and welcoming kitchen space. In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly warm colors are, the psychology behind them, and tips for using them effectively in your kitchen design. We’ll also provide specific warm paint color recommendations that work beautifully for kitchens.

What are warm colors?

In color theory, colors are categorized into “warm” and “cool” families. Warm colors include shades of red, orange, and yellow. They are said to be warm because they evoke sensations of heat, sunlight, and fire. Cool colors include shades of blue, green, and purple. They are considered cool because they elicit thoughts of water, ice, and the sky.

Warm colors tend to visually pop and stand out, while cool colors recede. Warm shades also appear to advance towards you. This means that walls painted in warm tones will seem closer than those painted in cool shades.

In terms of psychology, warm colors conjure feelings of energy, joy, comfort, and cheer. They also stimulate appetite, which makes them fitting for kitchens and dining spaces. Cool colors evoke tranquility, calmness, and relaxation.

Why use warm colors in kitchens?

There are several excellent reasons to incorporate warm shades when designing your kitchen:

– They create an inviting, energizing mood. Warm reds, oranges, and yellows make the kitchen feel cozy, lively, and hospitable. This encourages people to gather and socialize.

– They stimulate the appetite. Studies show that people eat more food in red and yellow environments. Warm colors also evoke sensations of taste and smell. This helps get you in the mood for cooking and eating.

– They visually stimulate and uplift. Warm shades are energetic and spirit-boosting, helping combat dreariness and winter doldrums. This makes the kitchen an inviting place to spend time.

– They make small kitchens feel more expansive. Because warm colors advance towards you, they can make walls seem closer. This makes small kitchens appear more expansive and spacious.

– They accentuate natural light. Warm walls capture and amplify the light from windows and skylights. This brightens up the space beautifully.

Tips for using warm colors in kitchens

Here are some top tips for effectively incorporating warm paint shades and decor in your kitchen:

– Stick to lower saturation hues. Deeply saturated warm colors can be overpowering. Opt for yellows, peaches, and terracottas with soft saturation instead. This prevents the space from feeling too intense.

– Add pops of color with appliances or decor. Use a rich cherry red mixer, brilliant orange utensil crock, or sunshine yellow curtains to inject color. This avoids an all-over overwhelming effect.

– Pair warm walls with cool cabinetry or floors. Balancing warm and cool tones creates a more soothing, harmonious look. Try pairing golden walls with blue cabinetry and cool tile.

– Use texture. Warm paint colors show off texture beautifully. Consider a plaster finish, exposed brick wall, stone backsplash, or wooden beams.

– Accessorize with metallics. Brass, copper, and gold accents really make warm walls sing. Display copper pots, add brass hardware, or use gold decorative bowls.

Best warm paint colors for kitchens

Here are some of the best warm paint shades that look beautiful in kitchens:


– Buttercup – Cheerful, sunny shade. Uplifts and energizes.

– Mustard – Tangy, spirited golden hue. Stimulates appetite.

– Banana Rama – Vibrant, saturated yellow. Use in moderation.

– Tumeric – Earthy, grounded burnt yellow. Pairs well with wood tones.


– Peach Schnapps – Soft, juicy orange. Feels playful and cheerful.

– Firecracker – Punchy reddish orange. Creates instant energy.

– Carrot Cake – Subdued, earthy orange. Soften with cream trim.

– Clay Pot – Rustic terra cotta. Warming complement to blues and greens.


– Rosy Blush – Soft, elegant pink-toned red. Soothing feminine energy.

– Cherry Tomato – Mid-tone cheerful red. Adds fun pops of color.

– Barn Red – Classic red that feels grounded with brown undertones.

– Chili Pepper – Bold, spicy, saturated red. Use in moderation.


– Almond – Versatile warm beige with yellow undertones.

– Khaki – Earthy, soothing tan that feels warm and natural.

– Oatmeal – Subdued warm grey-beige. Muted but cozy.

– Sandstone – A warm, dusty brown-grey hue. Grounding with reddish undertones.

Tips for pairing warm wall colors

The key to creating a cohesive look is to coordinate your warm wall colors with other kitchen elements:


– White or light grey cabinets provide cooling contrast to warm walls.

– Blue cabinets complement yellow and orange walls beautifully. Try a teal or navy.

– For red walls, opt for neutral beige or brown cabinets to ground the space.


– Quartz in white, light grey, or subtle earth tones balances warm paint colors nicely.

– Butcher block provides natural contrast and texture against warm hues.

– Marble with grey veining can cool down fiery yellow or red walls.


– Warm wood floors emphasize the cozy feel of warm kitchen walls.

– Cool-toned grey wood or tile flooring contrasts with warm paint colors.

– White or light floors reflect light and keep the space feeling airy.


– Neutral, textured rugs and window treatments prevent color overload.

– Pops of blue, green, or violet in fabrics provide the perfect accent colors.

Warm kitchen color schemes

Here are some stunning warm color schemes for kitchens:

Yellow and Blue

Pair a vibrant yellow like Banana Rama with navy blue cabinets and brass accents. Add in butcher block countertops and slate tile flooring for natural contrast. Finish it off with fun red vintage appliances and accessories. The blue provides balance while yellow energizes.

Red and Brown

Combine a deep red like Barn Red on the lower cabinets with warm chocolate brown uppers. Match this with an earthy backsplash tile and polished concrete floors. A sleek stainless steel appliances and modern light fixture keep it contemporary. The browns ground the red for a sophisticated effect.

Orange and Green

Paint the walls a zesty orange like Carrot Cake and contrast it with emerald green open shelving. White quartz countertops, a brick backsplash, and hardwood flooring provide additional warm-cool balance. The green makes the orange sing while providing natural contrast.

Neutral and Metallics

Use a warm tan wall color like Sandstone as a base and accessorize with metallic touches. Brushed brass hardware and light fixtures really pop against neutral walls. Add in cane cabinetry, marble counters, and an intricately patterned backsplash for texture and interest. The metallics enrich the neutrals for a welcoming glow.


Warm paint colors can transform the look, feel, and function of your kitchen. Shades of red, orange and yellow create an energizing, appeizing environment. When used thoughtfully, warm colors make kitchens feel cozy, spacious and full of light. Combine warm paint with cool cabinetry and flooring for proper balance. Ready to stir up a new kitchen color palette? Start with a warm base and accessorize for a heartwarming kitchen space.