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How to Add Color to a White Kitchen


An all-white kitchen is a daring design decision and safe-keeping its pristine beauty is a demanding yet rewarding task. Sometimes though, a white kitchen can come across as sterile and non-imaginative, begging desperately for some color and texture to make it more warm and inviting. Fortunately, this is not a tough task at all to achieve because there are umpteen ways to breathe life into a blank canvas.

There are two ways to go about this project. One method is to add colorful accessories which can be removed later without affecting the base aesthetic of the kitchen in any way.  A set of colorful coffee mugs is a good example – tuck them away into a cabinet or replace them with a white porcelain set, and the kitchen is plain white again. 

The other way is to make major, structural changes that can last until another revamp. Like, an overhaul of your countertop from white quartz to hard maple wood. Or, a semi-permanent change such as swapping a glass pendant light over the island for a colored one. Such changes can significantly upgrade your kitchen’s look.

Which course to take entirely depends on whether you’re looking for temporary or permanent changes or even a combination of both. If you’re seriously committed to having an all-white kitchen and want your tryst with color to be short-lived and experimental, we suggest you go for temporary additions first. If you like it, you can then slowly make major upgrades of a permanent or semi-permanent nature.

Let the destination determine the path, and here are our top suggestions for making a white kitchen pop with colors to take you there:


Easy and Temporary Additions

Add a few colorful elements and they breathe new life into any all-white space gone too clinical. They do not take up much optical real estate, thus, making their colorful interventions a welcome change rather than intrusive misfits. On that note, here are our recommendations:


Start with the Artist’s Palette: Hang Colorful Wall Art


Colorful Wall Art in All-White Kitchen


A lovely picture with captivating, vibrant colors can make a white kitchen wall look so pretty and lively. Take it big on the scale if you want it to become a focal point or keep it medium-sized to keep restraint over the volume of color. Or create a gallery wall of art prints in varied sizes to take that art moment in the kitchen to the next level. 

A mystical oil painting of a verdant landscape enveloped in a vintage gilded wood frame or a thought-inspiring abstract design in a sleek black frame – let your choice spring from your overall kitchen decor language.  If you’re planning to bring in more colorful elements to the kitchen, give a designer touch by tying all the colors together in the art piece’s dominating palette.


Let Function & Art Converge: Install Beautiful Window Treatments


Colorful Roman Shades in White Kitchen


A well-designed window treatment is an art piece in itself, capable of bringing shapes and colors into play while fulfilling its function of light and privacy control too. You can introduce a zesty pattern or color, like a splash of sunny goodness with yellow kitchen curtains, or a burst of florals through your spring kitchen curtains. Or, go for a tone-on-tone treatment with a shade of white for an understated contrast. You can even be subtle with this addition and go for white curtains with trims black and white curtains and kitchen roman shades that can introduce a peppy element to your decor without overwhelming the pristine white space.

Colorful patterns, no matter how fine or bold, have a special place in kitchen window treatments because other elements are mostly solid-colored steel, lacquer, or solid wood, incapable of hosting patterns. Even the simplest of patterns like stripes is more eye-engaging than a plain surface, so try patterned curtains or shades to elevate the look of your kitchen.




Show Off Your Culinary Assets: Add Open Shelves


White Kitchen with Open Shelf


Think of those lovely dappled ceramic jars that you purchased on your last trip to Europe or the heirloom colored glassware that holds a piece of your history. Wouldn’t they like a podium to shine? How wonderful it is for a kitchen to draw its colors from elements that originally and organically belong there!

Even if you’ve got excellent wall-mounted cabinetry work done that hides all your things well, think of breaking the rules with some open shelving. Then add colorful knick-knacks of your choice – a chef figurine, a cheerful ivy draping down from a vibrant planter, some cookbooks with artfully designed hardbacks or your favorite enamel cookware.

If you don’t want to bring in decor for the sake of it, display your favorite serveware, dinnerware, plates, jars, and canisters. Their varied hues and textural quality are decorative in themselves and can lift your kitchen from its sterility without going overboard on color or design.


Reimagine the Tiny Details: Introduce Color in Subtle Ways


Making a White Kitchen Pop with Color


Adding color to the existing accessories is another way to bring visual contrast and interest. A little splash of color here and there can make all the difference in a white kitchen without making it too pronounced. Here are a few suggestions – 

  • COLORFUL HARDWARE: Exchange the nickel pull handles and knobs for colorful ones or warm metal accents like brass or brushed gold. And let the kitchen faucet and wall-mounted task lights follow suit.
  • VIBRANT CABINETS: Do you have a cabinet or hutch with glass doors? Wallpaper the inners with a color that pops out from the rest of the space and also becomes a contrasting backdrop for the precious crockery displayed in them.
  • STATEMENT PLANTS: Have a penchant for statement indoor plants in the kitchen? Consider plants like crotons and orchids that bring a burst of color besides adding a whiff of freshness to your kitchen.
  • ARTISTIC EXHIBITS: Swap your glass flower vases for African clay pots or Moroccan vases that bring bold colors in full saturation to play. Or, display your antique chinoiserie vases that can add a refreshing touch of blue on the clear white backdrop.
  • PLAYFUL TOWELS: And don’t miss the opportunity that your tea towels provide. Yes, the milky white towels that are so hard to maintain can give way for some colored and patterned ones that can hide the stains better and also break the tedium of white.


Cozy Up a Quiet Spot: Redo the Upholstery to Introduce Vibrance 


White Kitchen Breakfast Nook


No material is so customizable in the kitchen as textile and losing that opportunity would be a shame. Look at your bar stools and chairs at the breakfast counter, and the upholstered seat at the bay window. Refreshing these elements with new, colorful upholstery is a fantastic way to bring a punch of color to your white kitchen.

It’s also an apt moment for patterns to come to play since kitchens are generally dominated by solid surfaces. From simple patterns like plaids and stripes to intricate ones like florals and geometrics – choose as per your taste and decor style – while bringing color into the space. 


Run a Contrast to White Walls: Introduce Vibrant Rugs 


Colorful Statement Kitchen Rugs


If you want to change the overall feel of the space without taking away from the whiteness of the eye-level details, consider layering the floors with a peppy-toned rug. 

If you want to rush in some colors with a deeper impact, consider saturated patterns that you find in the Moroccan, Persian, or Ikat pattern rugs. Their detailed color-packed designs will add visual interest and make the space look more cozy and personalized. Don’t forget to support it with a rug pad, especially if you have hardwood floors, to prevent slipping and provide greater comfort underfoot.

You might want to consider white LVT flooring options as they can provide a striking contrast to colorful rugs. Additionally, these floors offer the advantage of being waterproof, which is particularly beneficial in kitchens where spills and accidents are common.


Permanent and Semi-Permanent Additions

While we will forever remain fans of the classic, white kitchen, sometimes, the case may be that you’ve had your time with white and you’re excited to move on from neutral pared-back design styles to more bold and more carefree ones. If you’re ready for a major revamp to make your white kitchen more lively and vibrant, these ideas may help:


Make a Colorful Impact: Install Solid-Colored Pendant Light


White Kitchen with Color Splashes


The white backdrop of the kitchen allows you to use color strategically and the pendant lights over your island are definite points for tonal contrast. They stand out because of their size and position, but with color, they become even more impactful.

Choose saturated bright colors like red or blue for a striking contrast. Or, go for reflective ones with metallic tones so they bounce light and coordinate with other metal fixtures in the kitchen.


Throw Color on the Fifth Wall: Refresh Ceiling/Floor


 Patterned Ceiling


While kitchens hardly have full walls that you can throw a bucket of paint on for a makeover, the entire ceiling and/or floor is at your disposal. You can easily add color to your kitchen by giving these a fresh coat of paint, wallpaper or tiles in a color of your choice. 

If your kitchen has a low ceiling, this technique can also help to make you grasp the vertical space better.

Alternatively, consider laying a pretty wallpaper on an accent wall if you are looking for an excuse to bring some patterns into the kitchen. Make sure, though, that the wallpaper can withstand the harsh situations that kitchens will put it through with its moisture, grease, and mold. Always opt for a smooth-surfaced one so that it can be wiped clean easily.


Change Your Daily Experience in the Kitchen: Color Your Cabinetry


Colorful Cabinets


Changing the color of the cabinet doors will not only change the look of your white kitchen exceedingly but also change the way you experience this space.

If you don’t want a huge leap into color, you can leave the upper cabinets as is and revamp just the base cabinets. But should you make a total changeover, your white kitchen will literally cease to be ‘white’.


Define the First Impression: Switch to an Eye-Catching Backsplash And Countertop


Colorful Backsplash


The first glimpse you get of a kitchen typically involves the countertop and backsplash. Exchange these pure white beauties for colored ones and make your kitchen go from white to vibrant in every Insta-post instantly. Even if you change nothing else about your kitchen, it will look anything other than a ‘white kitchen’ in every single camera frame.

Changing a countertop is not an easy step, nor smooth on the budget. So, if you are not ready for that change, at least make a breather with the backsplash. Bringing contrast in the backsplash helps the wall-mounted cabinetry, stove hood, and countertop to stand out in their spotless white. It’s no secret that white gets its well-deserved adoration only when deep-contrasted by rich hues.

If you’re on a budget, explore the options available with peel-and-stick wall tiles that are very easy to install and maintain. Anyone will be easily deceived into believing that they are new tiles – get the job done and save the dollars for another one.


Concluding The Colorful Venture


White Kitchen Ideas


A white kitchen is an oasis where the heart can experience calmness in the middle of a rush hour of your daily chores. But with sufficient and strategic use of color, that peace can get elevated into joyful positive vibes. We hope that the ideas we presented in this blog, both temporary and permanent, will help you attain your mission of taking your kitchen from white to brilliant.

If you would like to bring that colorful twist to your kitchen with fabric window treatments and kitchen/dining accessories, do check out our collection and our Spiffy Speak blog for more inspiration. Let us join you in topping your well-baked white kitchen with some sparkly bright garnishments. Good luck from Spiffy Spools!



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