Kitchen colours to ‘stay clear’ of ‘especially for cabinet doors’

Mark Millar shares his tips for minimalist kitchens

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Giving your kitchen a fresh new look with stunning colours and beautiful decor elevates the entire vibe of the house. People these days spend a considerable amount of time in the kitchen to do different tasks, and it deserves to look its best. However, many can fall victim to choosing the wrong colour, to help avoid this Ruth Lavender, kitchen design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens has exclusively shared five paint colours to avoid in the kitchen.

She explained that deciding on kitchen colours is “not an easy task”. Often referred to as the heart of the home, the kitchen is a multi-functional space where we spend a lot of our time, so homeowners will want to surround themselves with shades that make them feel comfortable and happy.

Ruth said: “It’s important to also consider the longevity of the colours you pick, as they’re likely to be in your home years to come.

“Colour preference is subjective, with likes and dislikes changing from person to person. This means that no colour is necessarily out of the question, it’s just about finding a hue that aligns with your style, design and personal preference. There are, however, some colours that I would recommend avoiding to ensure the longevity of a scheme.”

Bright blue

Blue, in a variety of different shades, can be a popular choice in the kitchen as it’s a calming, tranquil colour – in the right tone, it can also create the perfect colour pop. 

However, the designer warned that bright blues such as turquoise, can often be “overpowering and have an adverse effect”. She said: “We can often tire of these bright hues and they can date a kitchen. 

“If you want to incorporate bright blue into your space, consider opting for colour pops in your accessories and soft furnishing instead so if you decide it’s no longer for you, you don’t have to worry about repainting your walls or replacing your kitchen cabinets.

“Alternatively, I’d advise opting for a more muted shade. Driftwood blue is a great example – a hue for all seasons, it embodies the colour of sea water while carefully integrating grey and green undertones to evoke feelings of calm and comfort. As the kitchen is often the busiest room of the house, a gentle tone like this can provide a tranquil setting, more so than a bolder hue.”

Ruth also noted that midnight blue is another great option as it is versatile and can look totally different depending on how it is styled. She said: “Veined work surfaces work really well with the misty hue, with the pale lines set throughout a dark granite helping to create an opulent and dramatic look, whereas the softer shade of a lighter coloured worktop can brighten the look.”

Buttercup yellow

As an uplifting and cheery colour, yellow might seem ideal for the kitchen, but this is not always the case, especially for those who tend to change their mind regularly. 

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The kitchen designer advised: “If you’re prone to changing your mind, I’d recommend staying clear of bold colours such as yellow, especially for your cabinet doors. Although it may seem like a fun and exciting change, you may find yourself questioning the choice further down the line.”

Playing around with colour in the kitchen can add impact, but there are other ways to do this if you’re indecisive. Ruth explained: “If you’re drawn to a bright hue, you could introduce a feature wall, as this can easily be painted over should you become bored. 

“A better alternative is to add splashes of colour though your accessories by choosing crockery, soft furnishings and accent details in your desired hue. This way, if you do decide you want to go back to basics, then doing so won’t involve a total re-work of your kitchen scheme.”


Brown hues have grown in popularity in recent years and can look beautiful when incorporated tastefully. The expert said: “I welcome walnut worktops in kitchen design as they create a timeless look, but it can look dated when used in cabinetry. 

“Incorporating too much brown can cause the space to feel dark and claustrophobic. The trick to adding brown is to avoid sticking to one shade. Layering variations of neutral tones keeps the space inviting and warm, without overwhelming it.”

For those who like the look of brown cabinetry, Ruth recommended choosing a lighter shade such as clay, grey oak or sandstone oak to keep the kitchen feeling modern and bright. Homeowners could then add darker hues through furniture and worktops if they wish.


Those who are daring in their design may regard red as a fun colour for the kitchen. When incorporated and styled well, red can be a fabulous way of bringing richness to the space, but it takes a certain degree of bravery to incorporate such a bold colour into your home, says the kitchen designer.

She said: “I would be hesitant to recommend red to those embarking on a kitchen renovation – it’s an intense colour that can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when amplified by daylight and LEDs which are often present in the kitchen.

“Some tones of red, such as scarlet and ruby can be distracting and overpowering. Instead, I’d advise opting for muted earth tones to create a calmer feeling to the space. Popular colours include muted terracotta and warm tone neutrals.”

Lime green

Lime green definitely makes a statement in any room. It’s bold and bright, bringing an injection of tart, tangy colour. As it is the brightest of all the greens, Ruth noted that lime can work well when used in accents such as splashbacks and accessories.

The designer warned: “It’s important to bear in mind that lime can be one of those colours that yoyos in and out of style. If you’re looking to create a space that will stand the test of time, lime may not be the best option for you.

“If you’d like to add green into your kitchen, you could opt for forest green or olive green, two tones that work beautifully on walls and cabinetry, as well as in accent details such as crockery and soft furnishing. As they’re more muted tones of green, they’re likely to stand the test of time and be colours you’ll love throughout the years.”

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