16 Easy Ways to Add Color to Your White Kitchen Without Painting All Your Cabinets
Bored of your white kitchen? Instead of replacing the cabinets, consider integrating colorful touches for warmth and personality.
White kitchens are classic, albeit a little boring at times. Though white cabinets might not offer the excitement of bolder hues, they provide the perfect backdrop for layering in colorful touches. Instead of replacing them with a trendy shade you’ll tire of in years to come, consider keeping the timeless and neutral cabinet color and integrating smaller projects that will add life to the space. Pops of color on surfaces and accessories can provide warmth and personality to an otherwise stark kitchen.
1. Add an accent wall.
Add a colorful accent wall to create visual interest in an all-white space. Choose a unique patterned wallpaper or a bold shade of paint for a standout design. Grab a tape measure and painter’s tape to create an oversized striped pattern for a fun twist. Consider bringing in a shade from a nearby room for a cohesive look.
2. Bring color to the island.
Instead of tackling an expensive cabinet makeover, add a smaller dose of color to the kitchen island. Since it’s often central to the space, painting or recladding the sides of the island will undoubtedly make a bold design statement. Popular no-fail colors include various shades of blues and greens. Wood tones are perfect for adding warmth and texture.
3. Try a tile backsplash.
A tile backsplash is a stylish way to liven up a bland space. From mosaics to sea glass, there are endless options for shapes, colors, and patterns depending on one’s personal style. Choose pale shades for a hint of color that will keep the space looking classy and bright. The handier set might even want to DIY the project.
4. Include pops of greenery.
Adding plants in the kitchen will bring in natural color, and can help improve air quality and ambiance. To achieve the look, incorporate a planter along an empty wall, herbs on a windowsill, or a countertop or table houseplant. For unique wall décor, try sconce planters for a vertical garden. For those lacking a green thumb, faux versions can do the trick.
5. Choose colorful accessories.
Simple to add and swap out for a refresh, accessories are the perfect way to incorporate pops of color to a space. Choose one color, like bright red, and add accents around the room—think tea kettles, hand towels, pottery, and small appliances. For those craving a more natural look, consider a display of earth-toned pottery on a shelf or windowsill.
6. Incorporate textiles.
Unique textiles can add style and warmth to a stark space. Picture upholstered seating, fabric curtains, pillows, and accent rugs. A dreamy breakfast nook with a comfy bench cushion and throw pillows makes for a standout design element. But smaller accents like colorful dish towels, placemats, and tablecloths can also have a big impact.
7. Paint cabinet interiors.
Who says that cabinet interiors have to be plain? When glass cabinets allow for a view of the inside, consider a quick DIY project. Paint the wall and even the shelves a bold color. Those who are craving a pattern can install peel-and-stick wallpaper on the back cabinet wall for a unique design element.
8. Choose bold light fixtures.
Replace basic light fixtures with more colorful alternatives for an easy way to add personality without taking up counter space. Pendant lights hanging over an island add visual interest (and task lighting) in a noticeable space. Try dark greens, matte black, or gold fixtures for a more refined look.
9. Put dishware on display.
When displayed on open shelves or in glass-doored cabinets, colorful dinnerware will stand out in a white kitchen. Stick to one color or combine complementary tones for a playful look. Use the dishes as a starting point and carry the colors to other accessories throughout the space.
10. Hang colorful artwork.
Don’t be shy when it comes to hanging artwork in the kitchen. Choose bold and colorful prints hung solo or in groupings. Place pictures above cabinets, on open shelving, or secured to free wall space. For households with children, frame kids’ colorful artwork for a playful accent.
11. Try peel-and-stick tiles.
DIY peel-and-stick tiles are perfect for those craving a change that won’t require much elbow grease. Mounting adhesive tiles is an easy weekend project that can create a design behind the stove or sink for a pop of color. Or go bold by using colorful sticky tiles on the ceiling.
12. Bring in colorful barstools
Brightly-colored barstools can add life to a dull space. Plenty of vibrant options are available, from metal stools in a powder-coated finish to patterned upholstery. Match other kitchen accessories to the stools for a more balanced look.
13. Paint the pantry door.
Beyond its job of hiding away groceries and other kitchen wares, a colorful pantry door can make for a standout design element. This one-day DIY project is simple and has a high impact. Choose a bold color for a statement or a softer hue for a more subtle look.
14. Consider colorful appliances.
Nothing is more fun than retro-red or mint appliances. Go big with a colorful new fridge or stove, or keep it simple and affordable with a toaster oven or coffee pot. Not in the market for appliances? Adhesive vinyl wraps will give large appliances a new look. Painting is also an option, but be sure to select heat-resistant paints explicitly made for appliance use.
15. Add patterned rugs.
Shoppers might not think of using a rug in the kitchen, but it can be just the ticket for adding color to a space. Opt for a patterned runner in narrow spaces, a larger area rug under a table, or a small rug in front of the sink. Since the kitchen is a high-traffic area, be sure to choose a rug that is easy to clean and slip-resistant.
16. Incorporate standout shelf décor.
An open shelf is the perfect backdrop for colorful collections—think pottery, art, and dishware. From whimsical salt and pepper shakers to handmade crafts, there are no limits when it comes to open shelving color additions. Save a spot for cookbooks, too; they add color while keeping recipes close by.