Photo: Zeke Ruelas

Who says white kitchens have to feel cold? Just add lush accents, warm metals, and pops of bold color.

June 09, 2017

Minimalism and the white-on-white trend has ruled kitchen design in recent years. Sure, this aesthetic looks clean and serene. But for the heart of the home, the all-white trend shows few signs of warmth (or even that anyone actually cooks there, for that matter).

That's beginning to change. "You're going to see a lot more color, a lot more layering, a lot more detail," says Atlanta kitchen designer Matthew Quinn.

Photo: Thomas Kuoh Photography, Grant K. Gibson Interior Design

Color is creeping in, but the white kitchen trend shows no signs up slowing down. The 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends survey reaffirms the popularity of white and gray painted cabinets. But that survey also reveals some new color trends, blue painted cabinets and both blue and black color schemes. Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, agrees. "A few years ago, 75 to 80% of cabinets were stained. Now, the trend has flipped, and 80% are painted white and gray, but navy blues, reds, and dark greens are also showing up as homeowners are embracing color again" she says.

Quinn has seen the shift firsthand. "Typically 70% of our clients do some version of a white kitchen. A giant chunk has been taking [some form of] color," he says.

For some clear signs of a warming trends, look to paint companies' picks for 2017 colors of the year. Sherwin-Williams' choice, Poised Taupe, is is a soft, gray-brown hue. Benjamin Moore's Shadow is a bold, dark purple. Valspar picked a dozen top colors for 2017, from a sunny yellow to a rich midtoned blue. The takeaway of this mixed color message: The time is right to add almost any color—or even a few—to your kitchen.

Ideas for a Warmer Kitchen

For the latest in color trends, we spoke with designers and experts. Here's what you need to know about adding color, shimmer, texture, and pattern to update your kitchen.

Photo: David A. Land, Meg Braff Designs

SMALL POPS OF COLOR
Glass-front cabinets or open shelving are ideal for displaying vivid art, collectibles, or dishes. To invest in both color and cookware, Le Creuset offers 40-plus shades. Their 2017 colors are inspired by the sea: Marine Blue and Oyster.

TEXTURED TILE
On-trend for 2017 and beyond is texture, especially for the backsplash. A new backsplash is expensive, Quinn says, "but it can be changed out much easier than countertops or cabinets."

Photo: Bjorn Wallanders/Otto

UNEXPECTED PAINT
Think beyond the walls. "Paint cabinetry, the ceiling, or around a favorite piece of art to give it proper scale and proportion to a wall," says designer Lori Carroll. Paint the entire base of your island or just the barstool side.

ONE BOLD FOCAL POINT
If you have the budget, go bold with a colorful oven range or fridge. Check out companies like La Cornue, BlueStar, and Viking for finds like this pastel fridge that comes in 14 hues.

Photo: Jessica Klewicki Glynn, A. Jennison Interiors

GREENERY
The Pantone Color Institute selects its color of the year based on current cultural trends. This year's pick is Greenery, reflecting our desire to connect with nature. If you're not a fan of green paint or accents, try actually greenery. If adds lush color and texture, especially in a sleek white kitchen. Shop green Le Crusets

WARM METALLICS
Silvery accents have long been expected, but gold, bronze, and copper are warmer and more inclusive. Crate and Barrel has a copper-hued colander. Target sells a gold-and-marble cheese tray. Or consider a copper range hood as an elegant accent.