When it comes to kitchen design, colour can transform in a big way – adding both warmth and character. You can choose to go subtle or bold, but if you decide to make an impact with colour, nothing will create drama as instantly as these red kitchen ideas.
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As the heart of any home it’s important to make our kitchens feel like a space we take comfort in, as we spend so much time here. To create this environment we look for rich warming tones, such as of red, to enrich the senses and create atmosphere.
Red traditionally represents heat, passion, love and even danger. It’s also indelibly associated with food, from strawberries and plump tomatoes, to rich pasta sauce and fiery chillis, making it a natural choice in a kitchen.
Red kitchen ideas
1. Decorate walls with warming reds
Painting walls is far less of a commitment to colour than painting the cabinets, but it still achieves the desired look. Farrow & Ball’s colour curator Joa Studholme reveals how red is the unexpected pigment set to be the next big trend in our kitchens.
‘In 2021 we have moved away from dark charcoals and blues and towards the warmer tones of nature, like Deep Reddish Brown and Tanner’s Brown, which are strong and subdued but achingly fashionable’ Joa explains.
‘Incredibly chic by day and cosy by night, they bring a grounded but luxurious atmosphere that is thought-provoking as well as soothing, particularly when paired with other hues found in the natural world.’ This is demonstrated perfectly by this inviting kitchen.
2. Mix on-trend colour combinations
Can’t decide on whether you want an of-the-moment red kitchen or an on-trend grey kitchen? Why not mix and match, to embrace the qualities of both. A darker crimson red is the perfect shade to side alongside a lead grey colour, complimenting each other without overpowering the look.
This open-plan kitchen space allows the dominant colours to create a clearly defined kitchen along along one wall. The floating shelves on the far side, in a brighter shade of red, help to incorporate the colour further.
3. Add statement accent pieces
Red doesn’t have to feature on walls or cabinetry to make instant impact in a kitchen. Here a freestanding dresser is more than enough to inject a splash of bold accent colour into the space, alongside thoughtfully selected accessories and fabrics to establish a red theme for the decor.
4. Go for gloriously glossy red cabinets
For those looking for a real colour fix, go for high-gloss cabinetry in cherry red alongside built-in appliances offer a streamlined feel. The sheen on the contemporary finish helps to reflect the light, adding depth to the colour during different times of the day.
Pristine white worktops and splashbacks keep the colour scheme feeling fresh and contemporary.
5. Complement monochrome for a modern look
This ultra-modern kitchen certainly has the wow-factor! If you love this primary shade in all its glorious beauty then you’ll love the colourful red cabinetry, curved island unit and sleek built-in appliances in this modern set up.
6. Ground the look with a terracotta red floor
Terracotta red is a popular choice for many a country kitchen. This example demonstrates that terracotta red is not just for farmhouse tiled floors either. These days vinyl solutions offer a wealth of alternative floorings to suit tastes and requirements.
The earthy red shade of this floor provides a grounded canvas on which to build a country-inspired kitchen scheme with French grey cabinetry. A selection of well-chosen country-style accessories incorporating the same shade would help to tie to the look together.
7. Make a bold statement with a red island
A striking pillar-box red kitchen island is the dramatic centrepiece to this traditional country kitchen. Balance out the strong colour with dark granite worktops. Echo the colour throughout the rest of the kitchen, with coordinating blinds and curtains.
8. Add a simple splashback to reflect colour choice
Sometimes less is more. A slither of crimson red goes a long way to inject a touch of personality to this otherwise ‘safe’ kitchen space. The two-tone kitchen is broken up with a hit of intense red with the addition of a practical splashback.
This effect would work well in any otherwise seemingly plain kitchen, because the use of a minimal accent colour isn’t at risk of overpowering the look.
9. Invest in uplifting red worktops
Commit to colour. Go for bright and bold with a red worktop if you wish to make a colourful statement – just be sure you won’t get bored of the shade before you make the investment. Keep everything else paired back and neutral in tone, to allow the work surface to shine. On a practical note, red will be easier to keep clean than lighter alternatives.
10. Add pops of red with accessories
If you love red but are not feeling brave enough to use it on fixable kitchen fittings, go for accent pieces. Small pops of red can lend personality to a neutral colour scheme, stopping a largely plain area from looking clinical and washed out.
A chilli red fridge and leather barstools help to perk up this all-white scheme. The matching red shades of the barstools and fridge link the prep and seating areas, and create a cohesive scheme with almost no effort.
What shade of red is best for my kitchen?
Like all dominant colours there’s a whole spectrum of different depths and tones of red. It’s not all about attention-grabbing pillar box reds. Finding the right shade is vitally important, to consider how red will work with the rest of your scheme. Consider whether cooler (more blue) or warmer (more orange) tones will work in your space and with the amount of light you have.
Don’t despair if your kitchen naturally receives little daylight, where a largely red decor could risk seeming heavy – the colour can still be incorporated in clever ways, such as a dramatic backdrop colour on shelving, to highlight your crockery.
Otherwise colour can be used on walls to create warmth, as a bold cabinetry colour, or as an accent colour in a paler scheme to highlight features.
Whether you’re bold enough to choose a strongly red-toned decor, or you want to know how to work just a little of this appetising hue into your space, here are our pick of the best inspiring examples of how to use red in a kitchen scheme.
What colour goes with red in a kitchen?
Depending on style, modern or traditional, there’s a colour combination to suit all. Red is often a popular choice in country kitchens, where the shade is paired with sage greens and creams. In a country kitchen red pairs perfectly with the traditional warmer wooden worktops, such as honeyed pine and walnut. Here the shade is used to enhance the cosy ambience of the shade.
Consider all aspects: Kitchen worktops – everything you need to know to choose the right material
While in a more contemporary style kitchen red is best suited to starker colours, that offset the shade to make it more striking. Such as brilliant white on walls and on cabinets to create a real style statement. Red is considered the perfect accent for a monochrome scheme, where the colour red plays a role to create balance between the two extremes of black and white.
Which of our red kitchen ideas inspires you most?