October 6, 2022

11 ways to brighten kitchens with blue

7 min read
11 ways to brighten kitchens with blue
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  • When it comes to blue kitchen ideas, navy has been riding high in the style stakes for a while. Yet it’s not the only shade of blue that can create an impact in your kitchen. There’s a spectrum of alternative blues to choose, if navy is too dark for you to embrace.

    From the palest sky-blue, duck-egg or pretty periwinkle, through to teal, aqua-marine and the punchier electric hues, there are plenty of shades to consider to dip your toe into this invigorating  kitchen colour scheme.

    ‘We all know that kitchens can sometimes be stressful places. That’s what makes blue such a good spectrum of colour to use for any room where food is prepared. It’s tranquil, calming and most importantly always stylish,’ says Susie Spence, Trend Expert and Head of Interiors at B&Q.

    Blue kitchen ideas

    There’s no denying that blue units look beautiful and make a bold statement, but it’s not always necessary to change everything. Of course, if it’s time for a new kitchen that’s exciting. Yet there are other ways to introduce shades of blue that don’t entail huge expense. ‘Painting your kitchen cabinets is an easy and cost-effective way of upgrading your kitchen without much effort,’ says Susie Spence, Trend Expert and Head of Interiors at B&Q.

    It’s easy enough to find out how to paint kitchen cabinets or tile a splashback too, if you want to be canny with your cash or prefer to update than replace.

    1. Make a splash with patterned tiles

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Wreford

    If you’ve already scrolled through white kitchen ideas and settled on neutral cabinetry, give it a lift with pretty patterned tiles and accessories. A combination blue splashback is a perfect partner to white worktops or lime-washed cabinetry. With traditional fittings, this colour combo can result in a feeling of heartwarming nostalgia.

    ‘Patterned tiles are back in a big way and it’s easy to see why. They provide an easy way to add interest and colour to a kitchen without being overpowering,’ says Colin Lincoln-Evans, Buyer, Tile Mountain. ‘Whether you create a simple splashback behind a sink or tile above your kitchen cabinetry remember that a little pattern can go a long way.’

    ‘Smaller kitchens can easily be overpowered by intricate patterns. So choose carefully and look for one that will create a focal point without dominating the space.’

    2. Go bold with electric blue cabinetry

    blue kitchen with patterned tile splashback

    Image credit: Ca’ Pietra

    If you want something unique, choose a company that can colour match your favourite shades, such as Better Kitchens. Or create them yourself by painting existing units. Once you’ve found the best paint for kitchen cabinets, you can let your imagination run riot with the colour. A bold shade, like electric blue, will instantly inject personality into your space, particularly when coordinate with vibrant tiles.

    Just be sure it’s a colour you can live with, it’s not called electric blue for nothing. It gives your senses a jolt, so it’s best suited to kitchens that aren’t open plan.

    3. Make a feature with a blue island

    blue kitchen ideas

    Colour doesn’t have to take over all of your kitchen cabinetry. Break up a big space or a long run of white units with an island in a striking shade of blue. Where an all-navy kitchen idea might feel too much, picking out just an island in the more dominant shade allows you to embrace colour without overwhelming the space.

    Keep the scheme cohesive with worktops in the same material across all of the base cabinets and choose a finish that complements both colours, like this sleek marble example. Introducing bar stools with seats in the same metal finish as the door handles and fixtures will tie the scheme together.

    4. Pair soft contrasting shades

    blue kitchen ideas

    Image credit: Olive & Barr; Blue shaker kitchen

    Periwinkle is another blue tone that’s set to become popular. Announced recently by Pantone (with the moniker ‘Very Peri’) as its Colour for 2022, expect to see it popping up everywhere in interiors. Inspired by the pretty Periwinkle plant, this violet-blue hue is said by the colour experts to exude ‘a carefree confidence’. That makes it a great colour for a kitchen in our eyes but break up the space with a minty hue, as counterfoil for periwinkle’s sugary undertones.

    ‘Blue kitchens have been enjoying a surge in popularity for several years and for good reason,’ says Al Bruce, founder, Olive & Barr. ‘It feels bold and creative, giving your space an added depth, balance and dramatic edge.’

    5. Create impact with teal and stone tones

    Teal blue kitchen with ladder and titles cooker hood

    Image credit: Future PLC

    This teal kitchen is a show stopper, with its bold, floor-to-ceiling painted cabinetry.  To balance the strong blue-green shade, the colour is broken up with large areas of pale stone grey tones through the marble worktops, the tiled splashback and cooker hood. The different tones in the tiles and the work surface bring in a natural feel that adds subtle movement, which you wouldn’t see with a block of flat colour.

    6. Complement exposed timber with marine blue

    large blue kitchen with exposed brick walls and beams

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Polly Eltes

    There’s a reason why colours seen in nature like marine blue work so well with natural materials, such as oak. It’s because our eyes are attuned to seeing them together, so it makes a winning combo in a country kitchen too. The mottled shades of blue-ish grey and honey in the flagstone floor unite the cool blue and warm oak tones. At the same time, a trio of shiny copper pendants add a touch of glamour.

    7. Choose a calming tone for a busy kitchen

    blue kitchen

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    A gentle tone of blue-green that’s warm in winter and fresh in summer is ideal for a kitchen where you want to spend all your time. Pale blue is also a timeless shade that’s easy to live with and can help bring calm to the chaos of family mealtimes.

    Team the cabinets with simple white worktops and smart brass door handles to enhance the colour.

    8. Consider the amount of light

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Prefer the darker tones of blue, such as aquamarine?  Before you commit, think about how much natural light your kitchen has and consider whether it can take the colour.

    ‘From calming light shades of sky blue to bold navy, there’s something in this palette to suit everyone’s style, whether you’re a fan of modern or traditional kitchens,’ says Richard Ferguson, Kitchens Buying Manager, Homebase. ‘Lighter blues can make the room feel brighter and bigger. But if you’re a fan of darker shades, make sure you’ve got plenty of lighting, both natural and artificial, to prevent the space feeling too cramped.’

    9. Contrast sky blue with pale timber

    Cream and blue kitchen with wooden kitchen island

    Image credit: Future PLC

    ‘There is no right shade of blue for kitchen cabinets, it all depends on the mood you are trying to achieve,’ says Susie Spence, Trend Expert and Head of Interiors at B&Q. ‘Dulux experts have predicted that Bright Skies™ is going to be Colour of the Year for 2022. The pale blue hue gives off an airy and fresh tone that opens up and breathes new life into any space.’

    10. Give grey a lift with vernisse vertical tiles

    blue kitchen ideas

    Vernisse Blue Gloss Ceramic Wall Tile, B&Q

    Grey kitchen ideas have been popular for a while, yet as glorious as these smoky toned cook zones are, they can look a little drab without an accent shade. Give grey cabinets a lift by teaming them with blue tiles; ideally a shade with a grey-ish undertone. These vernisse blue tiles from B&Q work a treat. By laying them in a vertical pattern, (rather than the traditional horizontal style we’re used to), makes them feel instantly modern.

    11. Opt for on-trend blues

    Blue dining area

    Image credit: Dulux

    One shade of blue that’s set to become popular is the recently announced Dulux Colour of the Year 2022: ‘Bright Skies’. Use this on-trend paint shade to set the tone for the kitchen wall idea.

    ‘What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us?,’ says Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director, Dulux UK. ‘It’s widely known that nature makes us feel better and taking steps to bring the outside in enhances our sense of wellbeing.’

    What shade of blue is good for kitchen cabinets?

    ‘Navy is a classic shade for kitchen cabinets, it’s bold and sophisticated,’ says Richard Ferguson, Kitchen Buying Manager, Homebase. ‘However, pastel blue is becoming more popular. It’s a great choice for someone who’s looking to add a splash of colour to brighten up their home.’

    Susie Spence, Trend Expert and Head of Interiors at B&Q adds, ‘Cerulean will transform your kitchen into a coastal paradise, whereas cobalt will create a more modern, energising look. If you are looking for a sophisticated and contemporary feel, darker blues should be your go to.’

    What colour walls go with a blue kitchen?

    It depends on the shade of blue, so look at the undertones. They might be grey, green or yellow, so use that as a pointer. If in doubt, you can’t go wrong with white walls.

    ‘Two-tone decorating in the kitchen is a trend that’s continuing. Teaming bold colours for the cabinets with subdued walls in a complementary or contrasting colour and this works really well with blue kitchens,’ says Richard Ferguson, Kitchens Buying Manager, Homebase.

    How do you decorate a blue kitchen?

    ‘Make sure to look for paint that is washable and scrubbable,’ says Susie Spence, Trend Expert and Head of Interiors at B&Q. ‘If you’re looking to make an impact with blue, position it alongside neutral countertops to really make the colour pop.’

    ‘Tones of grey and white with darker blues are perfect for creating those cosy moments. Lighter shades of blue, such as sky blue, can work perfectly with greys, whites, or blacks, and create a more vibrant feel.’

    Blue kitchen ideas – 11 ways to brighten with shades of blue