It’s official colour is back in kitchens, but maybe you don’t need to stress too much about painting the kitchen. If you think about it in most kitchens cupboard and white-goods cover at least 50% of the wall-space, then there’s backsplashes, trim, and other non-paintable areas so that leaves a smaller area than you might think to be painted.
Unless they are super specialised kitchen cabinets can be fair game for painting. Your biggest hurdle, with older kitchens, is to make sure the cabinets are adequately prepped for paint. Alternatively, to save on work but still add a bit of drama to a small kitchen you could paint just one cabinet door a contrasting colour to the rest; for instance, a tall, high gloss red cupboard will stand out in any white kitchen, bringing it bang up-to-date in the process.
Finally, don't forget the ceiling. Ceilings tend to be 'forgotten territory' whenever painting happens. While strong colours on ceilings can make the room feel oppressive, you can vary the 'basic white' look by going for cream, putty, or other neutral shades.
At Intercounty we have noticed people introducing colour with their appliances like show-stopping Stove in burgundy that becomes the kitchen's focal point. Everything else recedes into the background,'
Even if your kitchen is really small but you want to introduce strong colour you can do it by just painting one wall a bold, intense shade, like a vivid green or red. That not only adds colour to your kitchen without being overbearing, it increases the feeling of space as the wall appears further away.