Padma Lakshmi's kitchen cabinet color scheme will set a surprising new trend for 2024

Dare to be different and pick a shade that will give your kitchen a vibrant lift and create a welcoming space for entertaining

Padma Lakshmi
(Image credit: Getty Images / RB/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor)

Our love affair with dramatic kitchen cabinet color schemes is far from over but this year things are warming up. Move over blacks, deep blues and greens, because rich reds are radiating their way into the heart of the home. 

Color makes us happy, which is why Indian-American author, actress, and television host Padma Lakshmi has used red to bring joy to her kitchen. Pure primary reds are still a bit 1990s; instead, this kitchen cabinet color trend steers us towards muddier tones with tints of nature-led orange and brown. 

Known as one of the most stressful colors in history, in recent years, red has taken a bashing. So why the sudden resurgence? 

'Perhaps it's a yearning for the light and warmth of Southern climes and warm minimalist interior design that's behind the current demand for red, burgundy and terracotta,' suggests Merlin Wright, design director at Plain English.

Red can transform interiors, adding a fun to sophisticated aesthetic. One of the most passionate and life-enhancing colors to use in a decorating scheme, red offers a luxurious bank of positive energy.

‘We have been using red to decorate the walls of our homes from the beginning of human existence,’ explains Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux. ‘We can find red on the walls of the earliest cave dwellers and red pigment was used in Neanderthal burials as a symbol of life. It has the longest visual wavelength of any color, which makes it the most impactful, and it is famous for stimulating the appetite, good conversation, and love, making it an enduring favorite in the kitchen, dining room, and bedroom,’ she continues.

‘As the most stimulating and powerful color, red can add excitement and drama to a space, but it can also be overwhelming in rooms where you want to relax and unwind. Use it in decorating like you would use seasoning in food: if you like your food hot and spicy, use lots of bold red like terracotta and paprika.

A deep or vibrant red can be a miracle worker for kitchen cabinets, both lifting the cool light of north-facing spaces and adding a cheerful glow to sunnier south-facing spots. Red hues are said to provoke conversation, so they work well in kitchens and family areas; a rouge kitchen diner might extend those lazy supper parties while adding visual drama. 

‘A color, like the red used here, feels both cozy and uplifting,' says Natasha Greig, director, of Veere Grenney Associates. 'It has great depth, so when used in small rooms all over the walls, it makes the room feel more generous. For our work as designers, it is a perfect backdrop to almost all colors.’ 

Shop the red kitchen edit

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.