What are Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors?
One of the best ways to make your kitchen uniquely personal is through the use of color. That’s why you might be wondering about kitchen cabinet color trends. And how will you choose the right one for your remodeled kitchen?
Your new kitchen should be special! It’s where your family starts their day over breakfast, you impress guests with culinary creations and children have an after school snack and do homework. With all the time we spend in the kitchen, this space deserves to be beautiful.
Certainly, cabinets define the look and feel of your kitchen. However, color can impact other elements as well. The color of appliances, walls, furniture, countertops and accessories — even floors — can completely alter the mood of a room.
Color trends for the kitchen are continuously emerging and evolving. From the use of bold color to the return of naturally finished wood, the following kitchen cabinet colors are what people are choosing for their new kitchens.
Not an Article About Trends
Although we’re reporting about popular colors, this is not really an article about trends.
Trends show us what other people are doing. If you like what you see, you can adopt some of their choices.
However, kitchen cabinets last a long time. Those lifetime warranties are not for nothing. You want to make sure your finish and color selections are something you can live with for years to come. You don’t want something you’ll regret in the next year or so.
Colors for the Kitchen – the “New” Traditionals
Making a decision about the colors to use in the kitchen is never easy. There are seemingly endless options for cabinet finishes, backsplash tiles, countertops and wall colors.
Finding the perfect color can seem overwhelming. Especially when you consider that there are literally hundreds of shades of white alone.
Gray, cream, beige and white kitchens are always safe choices. After all, they are the new “traditional” colors.
But maybe you want to move beyond traditional? It could be time to bring some color into the kitchen. Exactly how many colors you want to bring in and how bold you want to go is up to you.
Color in kitchens is having a moment. So don’t give up. Whether you like the classic neutrals or you’re into more “energetic” colors, the perfect color is out there for you.
What the Experts Are Saying
Kitchen designers and other industry experts who responded to the 2023 National Kitchen and Bath Association annual survey report on the colors their clients are asking for.
Almost half of respondents say that homeowners want green in their new kitchens. Green is followed closely by various shades of blue. After green and blue, 35% of designers say people want white for their kitchen cabinets.
How to Add Color to Your Kitchen
Choose A Colorful Kitchen Island
A popular way to incorporate color is to have a color on the kitchen island that’s different from your perimeter cabinets. The island provides a great way to add extra storage, more prep space and extra seating.
But practicalities aside, an island also gives you the opportunity to be bold in the finish color you choose.
Houzz.com, Pinterest and Instagram are filled with photos of gorgeous kitchens where the cabinets are one color and the island is another. White cabinets and a blue island. Gray cabinets and a green island. White cabinets with a purple island. Painted cabinets with a stained island (or vice versa). The options are wide open.
Add Color with a Bold Backsplash
Get creative with your backsplash selection. If you aren’t ready to commit to a bright colored kitchen, try adding color with the backsplash.
Adding colorful patterned tiles can create a focus in your kitchen. In addition, they add interest and texture to a kitchen.
Color Goes with Country Style
An unexpected kitchen color scheme can work in a country or farmhouse-style kitchen.
If you’re more traditional, use pastel shades. Here pastel colors are shown to excellent advantage in two different yet similar Shaker style kitchens.
Combine Gray with Color Accents
Although it’s not requested as often as it was, gray is a neutral, cool color for cabinets. “Cool” as in cool color, described as calm or soothing. Not “cool” as in hip or happening. Gray can be used as the background for colored accents, like stools, countertops, tiles, backsplashes, window treatments.
If gray is too bland for your taste, you can bring in some color to liven up a neutral scheme. How lively you want to go is totally up to you.
Use Color in a Small Kitchen
You don’t have to play it safe color-wise in a small kitchen. The general thinking is that all white will make the space look bigger. However, you can still work in some color into a small kitchen and personalize your new kitchen.
Pro Tip: To make a small kitchen appear more spacious, don’t install upper or wall cabinets. The floating shelves make a small kitchen feel bigger.
Try Colorful Stools
Introduce colorful furniture, such as bar stools at the island, to liven up a neutral space. Not everyone wants an overall bright colored kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce color.
When the majority of the kitchen color scheme is kept simple, bright blue bar stools won’t overwhelm the room.
What Are the Best Colors for a Kitchen?
The choice for best colors in the kitchen comes down to your personal taste. If you want a kitchen you won’t get tired of, you’ll have to seriously consider the colors you can live with long term.
Traditional, classic colors like gray, white, cream, taupe and “greige” – the new neutrals — are always safe. However, if you want to go bold, order lots of swatches and color samples. You might try painting a wall in one of your potential choices to see if it’s the “real you” and that you’ll love it for a long time.
Another way to test the waters is to order samples from a company called Samplize.com. It offers peel-and-stick 12”x12” samples made with real paint. Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball and PPG provide samples of their paints.
When deciding on the finish color of the cabinetry, remember that kitchens with lots of light can take a darker color than a more enclosed room where white, cream or taupe cabinets will help create the illusion of a bigger space.
Traditionally black was thought of as a “bad” kitchen color. Gone are the days when black in the kitchen was considered gloomy. Used creatively, black creates some sophistication and a touch of drama, especially when paired with metallics, such as stainless steel appliances, polished nickel door and drawer hardware or brass pendant lights.
Black is very flexible. Black cabinets can be chic, modern, sleek and warm, sometimes all at the same time.
Greige is a neutral, a color that’s somewhere in between gray and beige. It’s sophisticated, warm, and adds some – but not too much – color.
Greige is a compromise between cool gray and warm beige. It’s an option for people who are tired of all beige, all gray or bright white kitchen colors.
If you are nervous about getting your kitchen paint color wrong, it is hard to go wrong with neutrals, like cream, tan, greige and beige. Neutrals are usually equated with “boring,” but they do not have to be.
There are many reasons why it makes sense to choose a neutral palette for your kitchen. Design professionals agree that using shades like white, beige, gray or greige as the foundation for your kitchen opens up a range of colorful possibilities.
While many assume “neutral” means beige, there are actually a lot of options that work in nearly any kitchen. Whether you love bright whites or soft grays, a neutral paint color is timeless and provides the perfect backdrop for creative accents.
- Neutral color family includes beiges, grays, taupes, shades of white, black
- Complementary colors. Neutral work with most all colors
- Pairs Well With: All colors
- Mood: Calming
Kylie M. Interiors, an on-line color consultant, has suggestions for neutral colors.
<Top row: Left to right> Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan, Benjamin Moore Ballet White, Sherwin Williams Creamy, Benjamin Moore Navajo White
<Bottom Row: Left to Right> Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige, Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige, Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige. Benjamin Moore Grant Beige.
Paint Manufacturers Offer Neutral Palettes
Color Trends from Benjamin Moore includes warm neutrals.
Other paint manufacturers have entire sections devoted to their neutral colors.
Behr Paints 2021 Neutral Colors
Sherwin Williams Neutral Colors
Additional Kitchen Cabinet Colors to Choose From
Cabinets in a green shade, such as sage, can bring the feelings of nature into your home. Green often represents new beginnings, thus having green in your kitchen is a great way to start each day fresh. It’s also part of the Wellness Kitchen, where nature influences play an important role.
A kitchen designer we know tells his clients to think of celery when choosing a green shade for their kitchen. Shades of green in celery go from the dark green of the leaves to the pale green on the inner heart. There’s a shade for everyone!
Rich, earthy brown is another nature-inspired color. For those who don’t want to do neutrals, brown goes with most anything and is definitely a classic kitchen cabinet color.
White is a separate class of kitchen color and provides a specific look. Designer Christopher Peacock became famous for promoting all-white kitchens.
The white-on-white kitchen can be described this way: white cabinets, white walls, white backsplash, white ceiling, white sink, possibly a white countertop.
White gives your kitchen a bright, clean look. It goes with appliances in any finish, and it can adapt to any decor that you prefer.
The white-on-white kitchen became popular in the ‘90s and its popularity hasn’t diminished much. A white-on-white kitchen will not be a choice you’ll regret any time soon. It’s a classic and a keeper.
Many homeowners and their kitchen designers agree that yellow is a fabulous color in the kitchen. It is friendly, and the photo below shows how nicely it complements the kitchen cabinet wood finish.
Traditionally, blue has not been considered a kitchen color because it’s not conducive to stimulating an appetite. How many foods can you think of that are blue?
However, blue is having a moment. Many cabinet manufacturers report that it’s their most requested cabinet finish color.
Designers are reporting that blue paired with metallics are very popular right now.
Introducing a shade of blue – especially one with gray tones — into your kitchen can be the perfect way to present a sense of peacefulness. Blue can bring the calm and comfort that we often need after a long day.
Natural wood finishes are making a major comeback in kitchen cabinets. To keep the look current, use natural finished cabinets in a clean-lined contemporary design, such as Scandinavian. Or combine natural wood finishes with painted cabinets.
Did this information help you or make you more confused? Our intention is to help you, obviously. To give you the facts about different kitchen cabinet color trends, and let the decision-making up to you.
Just because some kitchen designers say that cool gray is “out” doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful cool gray kitchen. Kitchen designers have been reporting for years that white is on the way out, and we can see how true that prediction is. (not).
And if you are not a fan of bold, bright colors – don’t use them. Or on the reverse, if you love lots of color, it’s your kitchen, your house and your life so go for it. Just like the homeowners of the kitchen below.
Real Homes / Colors for the Kitchen
KDP exists to offer insight and advice about all things related to kitchen remodeling. Our goal is to connect homeowners with talented, experienced kitchen designers who live and work in their communities. We are a serious resource for anyone preparing to remodel their kitchen so they can make the best possible choices about designers, contractors and products.