3 Modern Colour Schemes for Small Kitchens

8th October 2021

Many of us dream of a huge, spacious kitchen to let loose in, but that isn’t always the one we end up with. Maybe your kitchen seemed like the perfect size when it was just you and your partner, however, it seems a little cramped now you have three kids. Or perhaps you live in the city where kitchens on the smaller side are the norm. Luckily, size doesn’t have to be a problem when it comes to creating a kitchen you love — especially if you go bespoke, where every feature is tailored to your requirements. And if you’re at the start of your project, one of the main things you’re thinking about is probably the colour scheme.


Obviously, picking shades that are attractive and in line with your personal style is of chief importance. But when it comes to small kitchens, you also want to choose colour combinations that will make the space look bigger. There are endless possibilities, and here at Harvey Jones, we can paint your kitchen in any colour you like. To give you some inspiration, here are three of our favourite modern colour schemes for small kitchens. 

1. Dark Hues, Natural Browns and White

You may think a small kitchen needs to be minimal and understated, but perhaps you want your own to pack more of a punch. In which case, rather than going for subtle neutral tones, pair darker hues with natural woods and textures for a design that evokes calmness and serenity.

This combination works beautifully in this Original kitchen. As you can see, the dark cabinetry complements the exposed brown brickwork to perfection, which is why we incorporated brown hues elsewhere through the wooden shelves and island countertop, as well as the chairs and woven drawers. The warmth and texture of these natural tones give this kitchen plenty of character, whilst metallic gold handles and lighting fixtures add a touch of luxury and sophistication.

When using dark shades in a small kitchen, it’s important to add balance with lighter tones so that you don’t run the risk of overwhelming the space and making it feel cramped. Our designers will be able to provide useful tips to ensure your kitchen feels bright and spacious. Using white tiles and a combination of white and oak worktops breaks up the darker hues to create a welcoming kitchen full of light.

2. White & Grey With Pops Of Colour

White is one of the most popular colours when it comes to modern minimalism. Clean, simple, and also one of the best colours for small kitchens. Light easily reflects off of white surfaces, creating the illusion of more space. That’s why so many of our customers with small kitchens favour a white colour scheme to make the room appear bigger. However, adding a few subtle pops of colour means the room looks more stylish than sterile.

For this Arbor kitchen design, we chose white cabinetry, shelves and worktops for a fluid continuous look (aided by the integrated oven), helping maximise the light and, therefore, how big the room looks. However, incorporating subtle touches of colour immediately adds energy and makes the kitchen appear more modern. We’ve done so by adding a bespoke tiled splashback in yellow, green and blue. The sleek white furnishings are also given an elegant edge with metallic handles, while additional pops of colour are introduced through the mint green toaster and kettle. Finally, we installed grey wooden flooring rather than the conventional brown in order to complement the kitchen’s cool toned colour palette.

3. White & Neutrals

We’ve already noted that white colour schemes are one of the best for small kitchens, and if you don’t want a range of colours, it is possible to create a predominantly white kitchen that doesn’t look icy and uninviting. This involves the clever use of neutral tones to create some divisions without adding stark contrasts that steal your attention.

This kitchen from our Linear range is predominantly white, from the cabinets and walls to the ceiling and worktops. However, the space is prevented from looking static due to the inclusion of the silver appliances, extractor hood, and metallic pull handles on the cabinets. The stone-coloured concrete flooring also brings some warmth and earthiness to the room which grounds the space and makes it feel more inviting. While features like the open shelving, reflective glass cabinet panels and decorative objects provide unobstructed visual pathways that make the kitchen look more open and personal.

Our Top Colour Scheme Tips For Small Kitchens.

  • Stick to no more than two of three colours if you have a small kitchen to stop it looking too busy and cluttered. You can add pops of colour by limiting it to a few accessories like crockery, kettles and toasters, or in unexpected places like the windowsills.
  • Use different shades of the same colour to minimise extreme contrast between the walls, cabinets and countertops. This cohesion removes boundaries or edges that limit the eye, in turn making the kitchen appear larger.
  • Stick to light, neutral colours for your countertops, rather than dark hues that can overwhelm compact spaces.
  • Break up darker hues with natural textures and lighter tones for the splashbacks, worktops and flooring. 
  • Make sure the colours tie into dining or living areas if you have a small open plan kitchen you want to look bigger.
  • Consider an accent wall painted in a bolder colour. Using a darker shade can enlarge the kitchen by making the wall recede into the background.
  • Keep the ceiling in your small kitchen bright and white so it seems higher and reflects light.

The right colour scheme can make your small kitchen extremely inviting, but factors like materials, layout and storage options also need to be seriously considered if you want to create more space. To discuss your project with one of our top kitchen designers, call 0800 389 6938, or click here to request a complimentary design consultation.