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Welcome Autumn With Warm Colors in the Kitchen

Of all the kitchen design movements happening right now, the one we’re probably the most excited about is the return of color. As much as we love a classic white kitchen, we’ve adored the bold blues and greens our clients have chosen earlier this year. And now warmer tones are making a statement in the kitchen, just in time for autumn.

While color experts notice these shifts early, it often takes a couple of years before newer shades show up in the home, just like with fashion. But it’s happening: just look at the gorgeous expanses of natural woods showing up on countertops, islands, and floors, rose gold and copper kitchenware, and the burnished brass metals that have been strong (especially with white kitchens).

With all the different kitchen design inspiration floating around out there, interior designer Adrian Padilla, a color advisor manager with Dunn-Edwards Paints, says it’s important to decide what colors make you happy.

“If you really identify with a certain color, don’t be afraid to let that transform your space,” says Padilla. “We’re in a very eclectic time right now where you can get away with anything in terms of design, but you have to commit.”

We chose rooms from three of our favorite kitchen designers to show how to create a modern space with warm hues of gold, orange, and pink.

Go for the Gold

gold color palette honey glow spicy mustard dunn edwards
Photo credit: @studioshamshiri

We’ve featured this space by the sibling design duo Studio Shamshiri before because it’s so amazing. It effortlessly shows where the kitchen design is going, from the cool walls mixed with a bold golden hue to the natural character wood floors to the open shelving. Create a similar vibe by painting your cabinets with 2017’s Color of the Year Honey Glow (DE5354) or maybe Spicy Mustard (DE5384) – this video shows how to paint cabinets like a pro. The white walls with touches of grey, brushed nickel, and the black stone counter are cooler, while the deep-toned natural wood finishes for chairs, stools and the butcher block island add inviting warmth. It’s an eclectic mix that makes this space so captivating.

Juicy Fruit

orange kitchen palette the jungalow fresh cantaloupe apricot appeal dunn edwards
Photo credit: @thejungalow

From apricot and peach to mango and persimmon, foods offer so many delicious color choices. That’s probably why orange shades are naturals for the kitchen – color studies show they stimulate the appetite.

“Oranges and yellows and reds just say comfort and energy,” says Padilla. “And these are the colors are foods tend to be.”

Whether you go with Fresh Cantaloupe (DE5159) or a pastel such as Apricot Appeal (DE5234), orange hues are bold. You can match their intensity with copper and brass finishes, but for a more balanced and lively space, Padilla suggests adding contrast with blue, green, and silver. Justina Blankney created an enthralling space by splashing bright orange and terracotta tile on the main wall, and then grounding it with warm taupe cabinetry and cool mint  and lots of plants everywhere.

“That’s the nice thing about green and blue – they commonly occur in nature and we’re comfortable seeing them with warmer tones,” says Padilla.

Think Pink

pink kitchen palette sketch london pencil eraser
Photo credit: @sketchlondon

Back in the 1940s and 50s, pink kitchens were all the rage – I remember finding pink paint layered under years of other paint on the kitchen cabinets of a 1930s California bungalow  I was restoring. 

These days, pale and warm shades of blush (aka Millennial Pink) are well on their way to becoming new neutrals. Padilla is a big fan of the shade. The company took inspiration from Sketch London, a tea house that’s entirely done in soft pink, in naming Pencil Eraser (DE6024) one of their color trends for fall.

“Pink is very cheerful and engaging. It’s the perfect color for social interaction” says Padilla. “If you want to make this a color for your kitchen, go monochrome, working with pinks and salmons and…copper, gold, or rose gold.” And make sure your whites are on the warm side as well. 

Or if you want a more understated take on the color, pair it with cool charcoal grey, as in this chic kitchen shared by Sørlands Kjøkken, a kitchen design firm in Norway. We love the way the natural live-edge table just brings the whole room together.

No matter how you style your pink kitchen, with this hue you need to go big. “If you sprinkle it in, it will work, but it won’t achieve the look you had in mind,” says Padilla. “This is one of those situations where you really have to commit.”