Warm Neutrals Reign Supreme in this Cozy Kitchen

Courtesy of Dirty Chai, Blackish, and Flatiron.

Take a tour of this cozy kitchen makeover. Clare’s Dirty Chai paint color brings warmth to a small space. The neutral shade complements a variety of textures.

When Ruthie Jackson first set out to renovate the dated kitchen in her family’s 1935 colonial revival home, she had one goal in mind. “I wanted to create a functional and charming space we could enjoy as a family,” she says.

Since the bulk of her budget was devoted to updating the plumbing and appliances, she relied on simple yet impactful switch ups—such as painting the walls and cabinets in warm hues and replacing the retro shag carpeting with geometric floor tiles—to revamp the kitchen without spending a fortune. “I popped off the trim on the cabinets to give them a fresh look, and installed new fixtures and countertops to modernize the space,” she explains.

The end result is a cozy kitchen teeming with gradient tones and touchable textures that never stray from a neutral palette. Curious how to score a similar look in your own home? Ruthie shares her ideas ahead.

Tour a cozy kitchen makeover with a warm neutral color palette. The kitchen is painted in Clare’s Dirty Chai, a warm neutral perfect for a small intimate space.

Think Outside the White Box

Along with instantly warming up the space, Ruthie says employing a light, cinnamon-y shade of brown, Dirty Chai, instead of classic white paint made it easier to cover up some of the eyesores in the room. “I painted the walls, ceiling and cabinets all the same color to disguise the large bulk heads and other imperfections,” she says. “It worked so well, I was inspired to use a similar palette in the dining room.”

This cozy kitchen got a makeover using Clare’s paint color Dirty Chai. It’s a warm cinnamony neutral that complements a small kitchen.

Soften Things Up with Gradient Hues

To create subtle moments of contrast that wouldn’t disrupt the earth-toned scheme, Ruthie applied gradient shades of neutral paint—including beigey gray Flatiron and bold Blackish—to the trims and moldings. “Previously, the kitchen was high contrast, with dark everything and white trim,” she explains. “I used Flatiron on the trims and doors, and Blackish on the window panes and frames for a softer look with a classic feel.”

Take a tour of this cozy kitchen makeover. Clare’s warm neutral paint, Dirty Chai complements a variety of textures and tones and brings charm to a small space.

The More Metals, the Merrier

Instead of sticking to just one metallic finish, Ruthie took care to incorporate an array of different metals in the space to score an eclectic, layered look. “The fixtures are all warm brass,” she says. “However, I added a mix of stainless steel and copper pieces throughout to create a more collected, homey feel.”

Tour this cozy kitchen makeover. Three colors from Clare, Dirty Chai, Flatiron, and Blackish make this charming space feel cohesive.

Carve Out a Comfy Nook

No cozy kitchen would be complete without a comfy spot to cuddle up with a book, which is why Ruthie turned a cramped kitchen corner into a bonafide breakfast nook. “We used leftover wood from our butcher block countertops to make benches mounted to hair pin legs, and hung bench cushions on the wall to create a soft place to lean on,” she says. “The breakfast nook is the perfect spot to read the paper, have coffee or share a meal for two after the kiddos go to bed.”

A cozy kitchen is tied together using a warm, neutral paint color. The paint is Dirty Chai by Clare and it’s the perfect complement to a charming space.

Maximize Every Square Inch

A kitchen can go from snug to stuffy when overloaded with items, so Ruthie took strategic steps to streamline the space with small-space-friendly storage solutions. “I installed a peg board on an awkward wall that allows me to keep all of my cookware at arm’s reach,” she says. “We also created a two-sided peninsula—with a stainless steel top that holds up to hot pans and the kids’ art projects—so that our family of four can have casual meals together.”

Inside a cozy kitchen painted in Clare’s Dirty Chai. It’s a warm neutral that creates a charming and inviting feel.

Step inside this cozy kitchen makeover. Painted in Dirty Chai by Clare, this kitchen is charming and inviting.


Discover your perfect paint color with Clare Color Genius ™

Take the Quiz