How to Add Warmth to Your Neutral Kitchen Design

If you're designing a new kitchen for your home, you now have the chance to bring in some bold colour and style, with a fun splashback and rich, elegant flooring and benchtops. While these choices can be good for some homeowners, others may still want a more neutral kitchen, or even one that is just bright white, so that the space seems larger and cleaner.

While neutral colours and even stark white can be a good choice especially for a smaller kitchen, you also don't want the space to seem cold and impersonal. To avoid this, note a few tips for adding warmth to your new kitchen space, while still keeping the neutral colours and design you prefer.

Built-in china cabinet

In your new kitchen, consider having a built-in china cabinet along one wall, using the wall studs as shelving. However, rather than painting this cabinet the same white or neutral colours as the rest of the kitchen, opt for a solid hardwood for the cabinet doors, and then stain that wood a rich, dark colour. Being built into the wall keeps the cabinet from being too obtrusive, while the richer colour of the wood will help to bring in the warmth you'll need in the kitchen.


White cabinets and drawer fronts can make a kitchen seem larger and brighter, but they might also start to seem too sterile. To dress them up and bring in needed warmth, consider the hardware you choose, including cabinet handles and hinges and drawer pulls. Opt for oversized oil-rubbed bronze for a bit of warm colour, or plastic painted hardware for a modern kitchen, in a bold colour.  If you'll be including stainless steel appliances in your new kitchen, try large stainless steel hardware on the cabinets to coordinate, and to break up all that white.

Appliance display

Keeping your small kitchen appliances tucked away and out of sight can make a kitchen look bigger and more organized, but displaying those appliances can also make the space seem cosier and homier. Have your kitchen designed so that these appliances can be shown off; this might include a built-in coffee bar for your espresso machine, or even a long, open shelf that holds your coffeepot, blender, crock pot, and the like. This will give the kitchen area some depth and dimension, break up white or another neutral colour on the walls and benchtops, and create a more welcoming space that is ready for cooking and entertaining!

For more help on kitchen designs, contact a local design professional.