By Rohini Wahi
We're all familiar with kitchen envy and we love nothing more than perusing beautiful kitchen cabinet color ideas. But while greys and whites were once the kitchen colors everyone was drawn to, there has been a decided shift in recent years to bolder, braver shades.
DeVol's striking deep green and white marble Peckham Rye kitchen was one of the most bookmarked interiors of the last decade alongside Jersey Ice Cream Co's pink plaster kitchen for food writer Skye McAlpine, which had all of us raving about the power of millennial pink. Proving kitchens are a space we yearn to reflect the joy of spending time in by drenching them in color - bright or delicate.
Tempted to update your kitchen cabinets? Take a scroll through our most inspiring kitchen cabinet ideas from, delicate pink wall-to-wall cabinets that create warm cocoons in expansive spaces to bright glossy door fronts that add magic to small cooking areas...
1. Go for green gloss to make small kitchen feel bigger
The jewel in Belgian designer duo Muller Van Severan's home is a homely kitchen area boasting kitchen cabinets in glossy green enamel. The high-shine cabinets help to reflect light, making it one of those perfect small kitchen ideas to help a room feel larger than it is. And, along with the green, it adds a sense of playfulness to the scheme.
Note how despite the very bold color clash of the green cabinetry and red chequerboard floor, the room doesn't feel overwhelming. The duskier red and the inclusion of plenty of white throughout the rest of the room tones down that contrast, so it still feels very fresh and bold but not too stark. And see how all the colors are going on in the lower part of the room? Add green wall cabinets and this would be just too much, but the marble splashback and simple minty green shelving balance out all the business below perfectly.
2. Use delicate pinks to warm a large kitchen
In larger, or open plan kitchens, color is a way to make those potentially quite cavernous spaces feel softer and more welcoming. Pastels and muted shades are perfect for doing just that. Experiment with these barely-there shades, like pale pinks and sage greens, that just add a little more warmth than say a neutral grey or cream.
'In what is a large and lofty space, a combination of rosy colors and natural materials bring an important warmth and coziness to the room.' explains Adrian Bergman, Design Manager at British Standard by Plain English. 'The soft pink married with the brass hardware, marble worktop and oak flooring sit harmoniously together creating a cocooning sanctuary.'
3. Think about color blocking for function
Going bold with your kitchen cabinet color ideas, can not only be a style choice but a practical one too. Color is a distraction and can be ideal for when you need to disguise some awkward (but unavoidable) part of your kitchen design – uneven walls or flooring, quirks in your layout, or, in this gorgeous green kitchen's case, irregular cabinetry.
'The idea of the block of dark green was that as well as being aesthetically bold, the method helps to conceal irregular door openings which were needed to accommodate storage for various domestic appliances in this kitchen.' explains Christian Ducker, Director of Gundry & Ducker Architecture. 'The doors are also hand-painted so the choice of a dark color was made as they stand up to better to wear than lighter hues.'
4. Team smart greys with tongue and groove
Despite the trend for being bolder with color, who isn't still enamored by grey kitchens? We love this grey kitchen created using contemporary tongue and groove cabinet fronts by Stockholm-based brand Superfront. The company use Ikea's Bestå, Pax, Metod, and Faktum cabinet frames as the base and offer a composed selection of patterns and colors, handles, and legs.
The relatively simple architectural cabinets contrast the more traditional setting and that very elegant mid-grey works with both the modern design of the cabinetry and the classic style of the room.
When it comes to choosing a grey for your kitchen cabinets, just be sure to consider the orientation of your room. The wrong grey in the wrong light can leave a space look cold and stark so as a general rule go for warmer undertones to counteract the cool light of a north-facing kitchen. And consider the size of your space too, generally paler, more light-reflecting greys work better in a small kitchen, however, don't rule out those deeper dramatic shades and these can often work to create cool cooning small kitchens too.
5. Use pastel hues to add mid-century charm
Simple, sleek, mid-century style kitchen cabinetry as used here, really lends itself to those muted, slightly retro hues like olive green, pale pinks, and rusty oranges – a combo we are seeing more and more of and very keen to test out. The pink on the walls do risk being slightly too... sugary if not paired with the right colors, but the green of the cabinets instantly balances out the saccharine tones. The orange island adds a pop of something bolder amongst those lighter shades, grounding the look and making it feel more contemporary.
'The cabinetry in this kitchen is Ritzy, a coral pink, and Brockwell Moss, an olive green. The colors are bold, but being complementary they also follow classic rules of color theory, which is why the combination works.' explains Leila Touwen, co-founder of Pluck.
'The quartzite worktop has a dramatic veining, which adds texture to the scheme, but tonally it works in harmony with the cabinetry as it has green and peachy pink highlights. It’s important to consider the distribution of color in a room, blocking gives each shade room to breathe, which will stop colors competing with each other and feeling too hectic.'
6. Go somber and strong on historical elements
When it comes to more traditional kitchens, often the go-to colors are more demure, more classic, to suit the shapes and styles of the cabinetry. But we love it when we see that clash of classic kitchen and bold hue, like this stunning deep red deVOL kitchen. And going bolder really makes every design element of the kitchen stand out, nothing just blurs into the walls or goes unnoticed.
'A small insignificant plate rack is not worth bothering with, but on a big scale, a plate rack can really add something special to a kitchen, a traditional and historical piece that is not only beautiful to look at but enormously useful.' explains Helen Parker, Creative Director at deVOL.
'Paint it the same color as your kitchen cupboards and it will become an integral part of the room and so much more interesting and useful than a shelf! Because these pieces are often seen in 'under the stair' kitchens of grand stately homes, we feel a somber yet strong bold color is a good choice.'
7. Team a seaside hue with retro cabinets
Blue kitchen cabinetry is so versatile, it's hardly surprising it's such a popular kitchen color. Go deep and moody with an almost black blue for a more dramatic look or keep things fresh with a light and breezy grey-toned mid-blue as you can see in this space.
'The dusky blue palette is simple and the finish matte - the perfect opportunity to remain contemporary and also respect the origin of the original fit-out - a 1970s townhouse.' explains designer Lisa Breeze. 'The pattern on the joinery was inspired by the original timber wall lining from one of the bedrooms. The blue-grey kitchen cabinetry is a perfect modern complement to the super-white quartzite bench-tops and there is a touch of natural timber with the retro-inspired handles.’
Again, much like grey, this cool hue can make a room feel on the chilly side. So be sure to order plenty of swatches so you can see how different shades work in your space and light.
Which color is best for kitchen cabinets?
Grey is still the most popular color for kitchen cabinets - the color is contemporary and smart and allows a neutral backdrop giving the opportunity to add color and personality through other elements.
What color cabinets never go out of style?
Grey, white, and navy blue have the most longevity. The colors provide good canvases to whatever evolving trends that will come and go in your home through the years. If you wanted to be adventurous but still play it safe go for a black kitchen which is edgy and dramatic but still neutral.
Rohini Wahi is the News & Shopping Editor for Livingetc and Homes & Gardens magazines. With a decade-long career in the interiors and design industry working as a journalist for premium lifestyle publications then delving deeper into the business as a trend forecaster, Rohini has amassed a wealth of global design knowledge that informs her work. She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home.
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