Red kitchens are dramatic and daring. But they’re also beautiful and elegant. Red has the power to add excitement to any space. While most homeowners typically play it safe with neutrals, a red kitchen could be the right choice for you.
This color is challenging to work with, because any mistakes or poor design choices will be hard to miss. Without proper planning and thought, the color can be overwhelming.
But when done right, with the right shade, finish, and design choices, it can enrich and elevate your kitchen.
Red lends itself beautifully to different kitchen styles—traditional, modern, contemporary, or transitional—as you’ll see below.
14 ways to spice up your kitchen with red
1. Bold red cabinetry and drawers faces
Bold cabinetry is one of our ‘Kitchen Design Trends to Look For in 2023’, and red certainly fits the bill! In a modern kitchen, red cabinetry is a great way to bring in some color and personality. Red cabinets are usually used in kitchens with lighter colored walls, floors, and countertops.
2. Cabinetry interiors painted red
If red cabinetry faces are too bold, you can paint the insides red for an unexpected pop of color!
Looking for gorgeous custom kitchen cabinetry for your home? Check out B+K’s cabinetry lines.
3. Show-stopping red kitchen island
A red kitchen island can liven up a neutral kitchen and make a statement. If you have an open kitchen and living space, and often invite friends and family to eat at the kitchen island, red can make the island and the entire space more welcoming.
4. Subtle red base cabinetry
Red wall cabinetry can deliver a solid “wow” factor, but if that feels too bold, you can try red base cabinetry. It’s more subtle, but will still add depth and richness to your kitchen cabinetry. To create balance, pair it with wall cabinetry in a neutral shade or with open shelving as pictured above.
5. A retro red refrigerator
A retro red refrigerator can be a fun addition to your kitchen. It makes for an interesting feature, especially in a white or neutral kitchen. If you decide to go with this option, consider matching smaller kitchen appliances to it as well.
6. A feature wall in red
Use a red accent wall to break up any monotony in the room and create an interesting focal point. It will allow you to maintain a clean, neutral aesthetic but still enjoy the vibrancy of this energizing color. You can choose one wall, or even just part of one.
7. Select red pieces in a black and white kitchen
Black and white kitchens are beautiful as is, but a little red can add interest to this color scheme. Red can draw attention to and highlight beautiful pieces of furniture, windows, and other design features. In a black and white kitchen, this color is particularly striking and impactful.
8. Simple red countertops
Countertops with a marble or wood aesthetic are very popular, but if you want something different, consider a bold color like red. This would work well in a contemporary kitchen, such as an all-white or dark kitchen.
Tip: If you love a natural wood aesthetic, redwood or stained wood countertops can also create contrast while adding richness and depth to a neutral kitchen.
9. Red tiles for an eye-catching backsplash
A red backsplash in a neutral kitchen is eye-catching. It can add a little warmth and help create a welcoming environment for friends and family. When planning your backsplash, think about how bold shades of red would look against white cabinets and countertops or with contrasting black appliances. And you don’t have to stick to a single shade; you can mix a few with subtle variations or select several different shades for an eclectic look that expresses your personal style!
10. Elegant red hob and chimney
Image source: Barn red oven and hood with creamy white cabinetry as seen in the Dura Supreme inspiration gallery
The first thing to consider when designing a kitchen is the color scheme. A neutral base like white or gray makes it easier for you to add color without having to worry about clashing. Once your color scheme is in place, feel free to get creative. You can do this with key appliances such as your hob and chimney, as pictured above.
Sleek red appliances—like this hob and chimney or the retro fridge we mentioned earlier—can add an elegant touch of red to your kitchen without being overwhelming. And the best part is, you can switch up the colors when you upgrade your appliances next and choose a different color if you want to move away from red. Aside from your hob and chimney, you could also consider a red dishwasher, microwave, and other small appliances; they look especially striking in a neutral kitchen.
11. Red drawer pulls, knobs, and hardware
If you have white or light-colored cabinets, red hardware can draw attention to them and make them look even better than they already do. You can use red drawer pulls, knobs, and hardware to add small but noticeable pops of red that will brighten your kitchen in an understated way.
12. Two-toned cabinetry, with red as the accent color
When it comes to two-toned kitchens, choosing the right accent color is essential. It will determine how much contrast you create, i.e., you can choose two similar shades or create contrast with a dramatically different accent color.
While red can work as either the main color or the accent color, it is particularly powerful as an accent color.
Red also works with any kitchen style you like—such as traditional or contemporary, farmhouse chic or modern minimalist. So, for the best outcome, consider your kitchen style when you choose a shade and finish of red for your accent color.
13. Red ceilings for unexpected color
It’s unconventional, but that’s what makes it striking and memorable! Painting the ceiling a deep shade of red will make your space feel luxurious. It also creates the illusion that your ceiling is higher than it is, making your kitchen look larger than it is. Consider your ceiling color when you’re trying to make your kitchen look spacious and elegant.
14. Red open shelving to draw the eye upward, visually stretching the space
Just as red ceilings can make your space look larger, red open shelving draws the eye upward, visually stretching the space. This makes it perfect for small kitchens where every inch counts! If you want to showcase your favorite dishes and accessories, red open shelving is a great option.
Before you incorporate red into your kitchen…
There are many ways to infuse red into your kitchen. When done tastefully, it can keep your kitchen design looking fresh for years.
a) The right shade for your chosen kitchen style: For a classic look, you could opt for deep red hues like burgundy or maroon. If you’re looking for something more modern, try a lighter shade like tomato red. For an eclectic space, consider an orange-red shade like burnt sienna or terracotta. A good designer will help you settle on the right shade for your kitchen, factoring in your desired style and aesthetic.
b) The right finish and materials for your chosen kitchen style: To select the finish and materials for your kitchen, including for the red accents and features, a good kitchen designer will consider the style you have chosen. The shade, finish, and materials you select for adding red to your kitchen must fit in with the overall style you choose. Here are some examples of distinguishing features that help define a style and impact design choices:
- Traditional: Ornate details such as crown molding and decorative trim around doors and windows
- Farmhouse: Rustic elements such as white cabinets and wood floors, with a warm feeling thanks to its use of natural materials such as wood and stone countertops
- Industrial: Stainless steel appliances, concrete countertops, and other highly functional materials
- Modern kitchens: Contemporary designs with sleek lines, typically with white or neutral-colored walls
Red is an exciting and vibrant color that can be a great choice for your kitchen if you want to add some excitement and drama to your space. It may not be the most practical color for every type of kitchen design, but it’s certainly worth exploring if you’re looking for something that will stand out amidst all the neutral-colored kitchens out there!
You can also use these tips to incorporate other bold, vibrant shades you love into your kitchen design, to create a space you and your loved ones will enjoy spending time in.