The Kitchen Paint Trend That Breaks The Rules You Thought You Knew

Yellow, overall, gets a bad rap. It's been listed as a color you should never paint a kitchen on more than one occasion. But anyone interested in interior design knows that "rules" are merely a suggestion. So, while many have said yellow is a color you should steer clear of, others are bravely breaking the rule and embracing yellow to create a stylish, warm, and inviting space at the center of their home. Charlotte Violet, who goes by @happyenchantedhome on TikTok, is one of those people. "If my house doesn't have lots of character, it just doesn't feel like home," she writes in the caption. In a home filled with color, she painted her kitchen a soft, buttery yellow, and the results look amazing. 

For many kitchen fixtures, yellowing is something many people want to prevent. Discolored natural stone counters can turn yellow. White walls or tiles can yellow if not cleaned properly. And yellow-toned wood cabinets are often seen as relics from a bygone era. Because of this, yellow is often associated with being dingy and outdated. However, yellow also has connotations of being happy and warm. So, using the right shade of yellow and using it thoughtfully in the kitchen can help conjure positive connotations rather than negative ones. The new trend leans more toward lighter, softer yellows rather than bold, saturated tones, which can be less overwhelming. It also proves you can break the traditional rules to create something unique and beautiful.

Choosing the right shade of yellow paint

For many people, picking the perfect shade of paint can be overwhelming. However, choosing the right yellow doesn't have to be daunting if you consider undertones. Light and soft yellows help give a kitchen an airy look that still has some warmth to it. Generally, there are two ways you can achieve this trend: by looking for yellow with neutral or cool undertones or by looking for a white or beige with yellow undertones.

Cool- and neutral-toned yellows have the vibrancy of the shade but are a little more toned down. Look for yellow paints with slight gray, blue, or green undertones, such as Sherwin-Williams' Icy Lemonade or Pineapple Cream. These shades add sunny brightness to a kitchen without overwhelming the space. But if you want to go softer still, opt for a neutral paint with strong yellow undertones, such as Summer White or Eaglet Beige, also from Sherwin-Williams. These shades still read as yellow to the eye, but are less intense because they're an undertone rather than the primary shade.

Warmed-toned yellows can sometimes present as too vibrant, which can be what dissuades people from using the color. But the boldness of warm-toned yellows doesn't mean they can't work for the yellow kitchen trend. Consider Benjamin Moore's Golden Light or Sherwin-Williams' Honeypot, which have a warmer depth while remaining soft. After all, the trend of yellow kitchens is about breaking the design rules, so no one shade is required.

Using yellow in the kitchen

Painting cabinets is one of the easiest ways to embrace the warmth of yellow in your kitchen and one of the best ways to make a statement. Though yellow painted cabinets seem to be the growing trend, it's not the only way to incorporate the shade into a kitchen. Colorful glass tile backsplashes are trending as a way to add a pop of color to a kitchen. Glass tiles, like this one in the shade Buttercup from Floor & Decor, have a translucent quality to them, which feels more airy as well as helps bounce light around the room.

You can also bring yellow into the kitchen in smaller ways if you want the color to be more of an accent than a statement. Drawer pulls and cabinet handles can offer a quick and easy way to indulge in the trend. Consider a yellow pendant light, like this one from Shades of Light, over the island or an eating area. Infuse yellow unexpectedly with an undermount sink, such as this Houzer one from Build with Ferguson, or larger appliances like a range or refrigerator. Kitchen accessories, countertop appliances, and decor can offer a small pop of color. As for what colors to pair yellow with, white is always a good choice as it helps ground the bright shade. However, yellow paired with sage and soft blue can create a colorful and charming space. The trend of yellow kitchens is all about embracing the colors you love regardless of the design "rules."