How to Create a Colorful Cottage Kitchen

Are you looking to add some lively color to your cozy cottage kitchen? Decorating a small space with vibrant hues may seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. A colorful cottage kitchen not only looks chic but also uplifts your mood. With thoughtful planning and clever tricks, you can create a vibrant yet cohesive look. This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to create a colorful cottage kitchen that reflects your unique style.

Choose a Color Scheme

When deciding on colors for your cottage kitchen, it’s important to select a cohesive palette that creates visual harmony. Some popular options for colorful cottage kitchens include:

Vintage Color Schemes

Vintage color schemes like mint green, sunny yellow, robin’s egg blue, and peach instantly evoke charming cottage style. Pair one dominant hue with crisp whites for a timeless look. Add vintage accents like floral wallpaper and distressed wood elements to complement the colors.

Contrasting Color Schemes

Make a bold statement by pairing contrasting hues like navy blue with fiery orange or lime green with rich purple. This eye-catching approach adds drama and whimsical flair. Tie the contrasting colors together with neutral whites or wood tones.

Monochromatic Color Schemes

Choose one vibrant color like teal or tomato red and use it abundantly throughout the kitchen. Add texture and dimension by incorporating the color in various shades and tones. Ground the monochromatic scheme with plenty of white.

Complementary Color Schemes

Complementary colors like blue and orange or green and red create exciting visual effects when combined. Use one color for your wall cabinetry and the other for the kitchen island to make the colors really pop.

Select Your Color Palette

Once you’ve decided on a color scheme, it’s time to select the specific shades. Look at color cards from paint companies or collect inspiration images. Here are some tips for choosing your palette:

  • Stick to 3-5 core colors for a cohesive look.
  • Incorporate light, medium, and dark values of your chosen hues.
  • Look for colors with warm, sunny undertones for a cottage vibe.
  • Consider the natural light in your kitchen space when selecting colors.

Build your palette around “neutral” staples like white, wood tones, and matte black. These neutrals will anchor your scheme and provide balance.

Paint the Walls

The walls provide the foundation for your kitchen color scheme. Follow these tips for adding painted color:

  • For small kitchens, opt for lighter or brighter hues which make the space feel open and airy.
  • Painting all four walls the same color creates a cohesive backdrop.
  • Paint upper and lower cabinets in different hues to add visual interest.
  • Use accent walls sparingly in a small kitchen–one brightly painted wall can go a long way!
  • Eggshell or satin paint finishes are ideal for kitchen walls–easily washable and less prone to showing scuffs.

Pro Tip: Be sure to properly prep and prime the walls before painting for best long-lasting results!

Add a Vibrant Backsplash

The kitchen backsplash provides the perfect opportunity to add a pop of color. Whether you choose handmade tiles or inexpensive stick-on tiles, a colorful backsplash ties your whole palette together. Consider these backsplash ideas:

  • Use tiles in coordinated colors to create an eye-catching pattern.
  • Choose tiles featuring vintage floral or fruit designs.
  • Opt for a solid backsplash color that contrasts beautifully with your cabinetry.
  • Incorporate several shades of your chosen accent color for a gradient effect.
  • Add whimsical detail with a stenciled or hand-painted backsplash design.

Pro Tip: Use waterproof grout designed for kitchens for backsplashes that hold up over time.

Experiment with Colorful Cabinetry

Painting the existing kitchen cabinets opens up many affordable possibilities for vibrant colors. Some ideas to try:

  • Paint upper and lower cabinets in two different colors.
  • Stain the cabinets a darker tone and use white or colored paint for the island.
  • Paint the insides of glass cabinet doors a bright contrasting color.
  • Consider pale hues like cloud blue, mint, or primrose yellow for a cottage look.
  • Use deep gem tones like emerald green or sapphire blue for drama.

Pro Tip: For best results, properly prepare and prime cabinets before painting and use cabinet enamel paint.

Incorporate Bright Appliances

Colorful retro-style appliances are definitely on trend and provide that burst of cottage character. Some fun appliance options include:

  • A retro SMEG refrigerator in glossy mint green, cherry red, or turquoise.
  • A bright colored professional-style range in colors like cobalt blue, orange, or light green.
  • A stand mixer, toaster, or kettle from brands like KitchenAid in lively shades.
  • Vintage-style appliances from Big Chill come in custom colors to match your scheme.

If your budget doesn’t allow replacing appliances, simply add a coat of appliance paint in your desired hue!

Display Vibrant Dishware

Your kitchen’s dishes, glassware, and serving pieces provide another opportunity to interject color. Options include:

  • Mix and match colorful vintage plates, cups, and serving platters for eclectic charm.
  • Choose solid colored dinnerware in hues matching your color scheme.
  • Opt for handmade pottery in sunny glazes like turquoise, sunshine yellow, or sky blue.
  • Look for vintage melamine tableware in retro pastel colors.

Install open shelving to display your vibrant dish collections.

Incorporate Florals and Botanical Prints

Nothing evokes cottage charm quite like floral prints! Use floral motifs to add color and personality:

  • Choose floral wallpaper or contact paper to line kitchen cabinet interiors.
  • Look for vintage floral linen tea towels and oven mitts.
  • Arrange a vase of fresh cut flowers on the kitchen table or windowsill.
  • Frame colorful botanical prints to hang on the walls.
  • Display a collection of colorful vintage flower pots on open shelves.

Floral accents add softness and vibrancy to your cottage color scheme.

Add Punches of Color With Accessories

Don’t overlook the power of accessories! Well-chosen accents in pops of color help tie everything together. Some fun ideas:

  • Display fruit in a bright ceramic bowl on the kitchen table.
  • Hang a colorful handmade or enamelware pot rack.
  • Incorporate hand towels, trivets, and potholders in coordinating colors.
  • Add a striped or patterned area rug with colors from your palette.
  • Choose colorful kitchen utensils and canisters for the countertops.
  • Use washi tape to line kitchen shelves and drawers.

The right accessories make all the difference in a colorful cottage kitchen!

Incorporate Imaginative Painted Details

If you want to get creative, consider adding some handpainted details for extra whimsy. Some options include:

  • Stencil patterns or motifs on walls, cabinetry, or open shelving.
  • Accent the inside of open cabinets with handpainted stripes or florals.
  • Paint a chalkboard wall for notes, art, and seasonal decor.
  • Paint the base of kitchen walls with a contrasting color.
  • Paint a fun colorful border along the top of walls or cabinets.

Let your inner artist run free with handpainted accents!

Achieve the Overall Look

As you bring all the elements together, keep these tips in mind:

  • Repeating colors throughout the kitchen creates cohesion.
  • Layer in textures like wood, baskets, and greenery for visual interest.
  • Balance bright colors with plenty of white and natural wood tones.
  • Add vintage and antique finds for cottage charm.
  • Incorporate lighting fixtures and plumbing fixtures in complementary metal finishes.
  • Edit out clutter that distracts from the color scheme.

With thoughtful planning and bold color choices, you’ll achieve a vibrant, cheerful cottage kitchen that fuels creative cooking and entertaining for years to come! The process doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. With creativity and know-how, you can transform your cozy kitchen into a colorful cottage gem.

Frequently Asked Questions About Creating a Colorful Cottage Kitchen

Still have questions about decorating your kitchen with vibrant color? Here are some helpful answers to common colorful cottage kitchen questions:

What are the best paint colors for a cottage kitchen?

For a true cottage feel, stick to light and sunny paint colors like pale yellow, robin’s egg blue, sage green, and soft peach. White is also a cottage kitchen staple. Add brightness with glossy or semi-gloss finishes.

How do I add color to a rental kitchen I can’t paint?

Use colorful contact paper or stick-on tiles to transform countertops, cabinetry, and the backsplash. Bring in colorful dishes, linens, and accessories. Add a vibrant area rug. Use removable wallpaper or fabric to line cabinets.

What type of flooring works well in colorful cottage kitchens?

Vintage-style patterned vinyl or linoleum, colorful tile, and natural wood floors all complement cottage color schemes. An area rug adds color and texture.

What color cabinets should I choose?

Painting cabinets in light, bright hues like robin’s egg blue, sunflower yellow, or even black for contrast works beautifully. You could also stain cabinets a natural wood tone and use white or colorful painted islands.

How do I add color without overwhelming a small kitchen?

Stick to one or two dominant colors for a small kitchen color scheme. Use color on walls, cabinetry, and the backsplash, then balance it with white countertops and neutral wood tones for appliances and floors.

What are inexpensive ways to add pops of color?

Colorful dishes, fresh flowers, fruit bowls, accent rugs, hand towels, wall art, and accessories like a utensil holder all add affordable pops of color.

How can I incorporate colors and patterns without looking overly busy?

Stick to one vibrant print at a time, like a colorful floral backsplash against solid color cabinetry or a patterned rug with neutral walls. Repetition of colors throughout the kitchen creates a cohesive look.


Creating a colorful cottage kitchen is an exciting project that encourages creativity and self-expression. By following this guide to choosing a cohesive color scheme, selecting vibrant paint colors, adding eye-catching tile backsplashes, incorporating colorful cabinetry, dishware, and accessories, and including artistic painted details, you can easily transform your cozy kitchen into a cheerful, functional space that uplifts your everyday cooking and entertaining. A colorful cottage kitchen reflects the vibrant creativity of those who cook there while maintaining an inviting warmth and charm. With courage, imagination, and a bit of paint, you can redo your kitchen with colorful confidence.