How to make a navy kitchen work

posted in: Design Tips, Latest News | 0

Whether you have a country or a contemporary space, this on-trend style can work really well, but navy is a bold colour choice and one that needs some careful consideration. 

Firstly it is important to assess what materials you are keeping in your current kitchen. Are you just replacing the units and keeping the floor or are you planning a complete overhaul?

If you are keeping anything from your original kitchen, always start with that in mind. The wall and floor colours provide the canvass for the finished product and if you have decided to keep a dark slate floor, for instance, consider how the dark navy units might look against this? Use Pinterest to see if you can find any images where your existing colours or materials have been successfully combined with navy units. If you struggle to find any, this might be a sign that it won’t work and you might need to contemplate an alternative design.

The best results are those where each element has been considered against the next. For instance, how does your flooring contrast to your kitchen units and how does that fit with your worktop choice? What colour do you plan to paint the walls and which finish are you choosing for your handles? 

There are several components to consider when styling your new kitchen; such as its size, the flooring, worktops, wall colour, metal finishes and accessories.


If you have a small kitchen, (far left) any application of a dark colour will visually reduce the size of the space. In this instance, I would suggest installing navy base units but keeping the wall units white to match the walls. This will increase the impression of space, especially at head height. By maintaining pale features throughout the rest of the kitchen, such as flooring, wall colour and worktop choice, you can create the illusion of space, and maintain as much light as possible. 

One essential tip, when applying this design in a smaller space, is to ensure that the kitchen has integrated appliances. This will maintain the continuity of colour around the base units and create a more seamless finish. 

On the flip side if you have a large kitchen, a full installation of navy units is a lot of navy! Installing white wall cabinets or a navy island is a good way to reduce the amount of colour whilst still being able to benefit from this smart style.


One of the best flooring features to co-ordinate with this look is a wooden one. Navy is particularly cold and is also quite a tricky one to co-ordinate with other colours, so sticking to a natural finish floor will not only warm up the space, visually, but also provide a contrasting colour that really works. If you prefer tiles, another flooring option would be to either choose a wood affect tile, or go for something really pale such as limestone or concrete. If the budget is tight there are good value reproductions of both of these materials on the high street. 


There are several worktops that will create a successful finish including stone and wood, but the most important consideration here is how does your chosen material contrast your flooring? Of course there are occasions where pale flooring will work very successfully with pale worktops (see above paragraph on ‘size’) but this can create quite a cold space. Likewise there are occasions where wooden worktops work well with wooden flooring, however, a very easy trick to success is to make sure that whatever you choose for your flooring, you contrast with your worktop, as the above images demonstrate. For example, wooden worktops with pale tiled flooring, or pale stone worktop with wooden flooring. By doing this you are ensuring a balance in your materials and colours. 

Wall colour

There are very few wall colours that work successfully with a navy kitchen and those that do tend to be variations of white, or in larger, more contemporary kitchens, variations of very pale grey. The Farrow and Ball colours that I have teamed with navy are ‘All White’, ‘Wimborne White’, ‘Strong White’, ‘Ammonite’ or ‘Skimming Stone’, depending on the room size, light and window direction. The first two colours are bright and warm whites and look really fresh against navy and wood, the last three are variations of grey, the palest being ‘Strong White’ and the warmest being ‘Skimming Stone’. ‘Strong White’ can be used successfully as a white, in larger more contemporary spaces, where as ‘Skimming Stone’ might be best suited to an adjoining room where additional warmth is required, rather than being painted directly in the kitchen. However, in all cases, don’t forget the golden rule to apply two or three coats of testers to each wall in the room before deciding, and check how the colour looks at various stages of the day and evening. For ideas on white wall tiles, see previous post.

Metal Finishes

The finishes of appliances, taps, handles and light fittings all need to be considered against the materials chosen for the rest of the kitchen. For instance, if wooden flooring and wooden worktops have been installed, chrome fittings might provide a suitable contrast to sharpen the overall appearance. However, if white worktops and white flooring have been installed, brass might be the best accent to use to add warmth to the space.


The contrasting and complimentary colours below work very well with navy in varying degrees. For instance, use mustard for a more earthy finish, citrus for fresher detail or team with animal prints for a more global feel. Rose also works equally well with this scheme.









Navy in other ways

To stay ahead of the trend you might also like to consider navy in other ways. These images are great examples of how else to use navy in a kitchen, through the use of colour blocking with paint, or in wall tiles. Whatever you decide, I would love to see examples of your navy kitchens and any other ideas that you have found successful. Comment below or subscribe in the top right hand side link!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.