How to change the personality of your kitchen with a fresh coat of paint

To accompany the launch of her new paint collection for Plain English, interior designer Rita Konig reveals the secrets of choosing colour for kitchens.

Colour is key to creating the personality of a room.

Compare an all-white kitchen with the same space painted in bold, dramatic tones: they will each have a completely different character. I’m excited by combinations of colour and my paint collection was planned to work in groups of three: an under-the-counter colour, a wall colour and an upper-cabinet colour.

Rita Konig, left, with the company’s creative director Katie Fontana.

Rita Konig, left, with the company’s creative director Katie Fontana.

This could be a strong star colour, a softer shade and one that will add some punch. For example, Silver Polish, a soft neutral, is a good wall colour, particularly when paired with cupboards in warm, orange Medlar Jelly and an island in deep moody Burnt Toast or stools in inky-blue Bib and Braces.

Another way to use colour is to paint all the cupboards in one shade and then use a foil colour on the interior. In this way, you see a flash of interest as you open a cupboard door. Colour drenching – painting every surface of a small room in one bold colour – can be very successful. Colours behave differently in eggshell, gloss and emulsion paints, so a mix of finishes can add interest, too.

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If you feel the colour scheme is getting too complicated, reel it back until you feel more comfortable.

More people feel nervous of colour than confident, so my advice is to start calmly and add more shades, when and if you wish. Painting an island in a different hue to the wall cabinets is a good place to start. You could add bar stools in a punchy colour as the next step.

Avoid ‘porridge-y’ schemes with too many sludgy neutrals. Add an accent colour – it doesn’t have to be dark or bold, but it does need to be crisp, such as Cotton Pinny (a fresh, light blue), to lift a room and bring it to life.

Plain English Brushes

Credit: Plain English

Bearing in mind that a kitchen will be used throughout the day, I’d avoid a room full of punchy colour, which may feel too strong at breakfast time. Otherwise, I encourage you to play with combinations.

Why not? Colour can be so joyful.

Plain English kitchens start from £25,000. For more information, visit