8 Light Blue Kitchen Ideas That Show How Modern Designers Are Using Trending Pale Tones

Sky blue tones give the heart of the home an airy and tranquil feel — here are some ideas for light blue cabinetry to soothe the soul

large kitchen with pale blue and dark wooden cabinetry
(Image credit: Julie Leffell Photography / KA Design Group)

Soft blue is a beautiful alternative to white in any space, and thanks to its light and airy connotations, it's a brilliant option for kitchen cabinets. Upper cabinetry, in particular, can feel a little enclosing in smaller kitchens, or when compared to open shelving, but pale blue cupboards keep things spacious and visually clutter-free.

From barely-there sky blue to regency-inspired Wedgwood, blue kitchens are more inviting and soulful than crisp whites and other neutral kitchen cabinet colors. We also think blue is one of those cabinet colors that will never go out of style, because it makes a statement without overpowering, complementing white, wood, and black tones you might already have in your space.

A lighter blue that's less saturated in tone will provide a pleasing backdrop to the most important room of the home. Here, we have gathered a handful of examples to inspire, whether you are simply at the dreaming stage or ready to take on a kitchen remodel.

1. Choose industrial steel blue

blue kitchen cabinetry with white worktop

(Image credit: Bakes & Kropp)

Light blue can be a great option in a more industrial and modern kitchen – it all depends on the tone you choose. For instance, a gray-blue, such as the steel blue tone above, toughens up the overall appearance of a kitchen.

If you are looking for ways to make gray kitchen cabinets feel more modern, you could consider repainting or replacing just the upper cabinets, in a steel blue shade. This gives a hint of color while maintaining a very liveable and classic aesthetic. Bob Bakes, co-founder and head of design at Bakes & Kropp fine cabinetry and kitchen designers, says that the quartz countertop and backsplash in the kitchen above help to keep the design balanced, incorporating color without overwhelming the eye.

For a masculine and minimalist scheme, seek out gray-blue, modern kitchen cabinets with gloss finishes and handleless designs.

2. Mix tones and materials

light blue kitchen cabinetry in gloss finish

(Image credit: Julie Leffell Photography / KA Design Group)

'Light blue is a good color for kitchen cabinets if you want a look that’s different and unexpected to tie into the other interiors of the home,' says interior designer Kenneth Alpert from KA Design Group. Forget colors that go with light blue, and look to a natural pairing with wood — because blue works well with wood, you could add some pale blue cabinetry into your existing kitchen, rather than replacing everything. 

Contrast pale blue gloss cabinets with cabinetry in dark wood tones for a luxury impression. The addition of marble with blue veining in the example by KA Design Group above creates a friction with different textures and patterns – the wood grain and veining give a sense of depth and the reflective surfaces catch the light.

'Light blue can create an elevated beach vibe in a summer home or a classic sophisticated look in a city dwelling,' adds Kenneth Alpert.

3. Embrace a coastal aesthetic

Baby blue kitchen trend

(Image credit: Rande Leaman)

'From a design perspective, light blue is versatile enough to work across most design styles, such as coastal, farmhouse, minimal, and modern, and to complement your fixtures in the surrounding spaces, from plumbing and lighting to hardware,' says Priya Vj, founder of kitchen cabinet company Hapny Home

Create a nod to the seaside by combining modern Shaker-style cabinets in duck egg or coastal blue tones with silver or hammered brass hardware and white worktops. Add decorative elements made of natural materials, such as the linen Roman blind pictured above for a seaside cottage style. Glass-fronted cabinets will keep things open and airy while allowing you to display china and ceramics, giving a characterful and lived-in feel.

4. Pair with gold hardware

light blue kitchen cabinetry in gloss finish

(Image credit: Julie Leffell Photography / KA Design Group)

When paired with gold hardware, pale blue cabinets give a subtly high-end feel to a kitchen, much like the 'quiet luxury' trend. Add a gold-framed vintage oil painting of fruit or a landscape for a traditional and old-world vibe.

'Pale blue works well with black, gold, or silver hardware tones,' says Priya Vj. 'Light blue is an elevated neutral in that it isn't too vibrant to fully dominate the room but adds a soft touch of sophistication and visual interest if used in an otherwise monochromatic space.'

5. Choose a modern cabinet style

A modern light blue slab door kitchen

(Image credit: Jenny Siegwart. Design: Studio Henree)

Pale, cornflower blues have been more widely used in traditional-style kitchens — and often carry a country, cottage-core aesthetic when teamed with something like a classic Shaker kitchen ideas.

However, this kitchen designed by Studio Henree is a contemporary take on the color. A sleeker, slim-line Shaker feels more modern, and is paired with modern black hardware.

'Purposely selecting a light blue color instilled the space with a newfound sense of freshness and tranquility, while gracefully contrasting against the warmer tones of the material palette,' says Emily Taber-Moore of Studio Henree.

6. Make a bar area stand out

blue and wood toned kitchen

(Image credit: Bakes & Kropp)

You may choose to accentuate a home bar area or kitchen island by swapping out the cabinetry with something more colorful. Replacing or repainting kitchen cabinets in one area creates 'zones' and a sense of visual intrigue. 

Bob Bakes, co-founder and head of design at Bakes & Kropp fine cabinetry and kitchen designers says he has seen an increased demand for blue kitchens from his clients. His top tip for incorporating colors like blue is to maintain an elegant balance of finishes. For example, you could go for a mix of cool blue cabinets and natural wooden ones, and then have quartz counters and backsplash.

7. Combine with open shelving and warm neutrals

kitchen with blue cabinets and white open shelving

(Image credit: deVOL)

Interior designer Kathy Kuo agrees that light blue cabinets are a great way to make a small kitchen feel more airy. Pair lower cabinets in blue with open shelving and white walls to create a space that feels bright and open.

'Light blue is a nice color choice for making a distinctive visual statement without overwhelming the space,' comments Kathy. She suggests combining pale blue with warm white or beige to bring some visual warmth and subtle contrast to your kitchen. 'In general, it's a good idea to go neutral with wall color if you're going with a pop of color on the cabinetry,' Kathy adds.

8. Soothe with classic blue and white

blue and white kitchen with island and grey bar stools

(Image credit: Abby Hetherington Interiors)

According to interior designer Abby Hetherington, light blue cabinets create a distinctly calming effect. They might be a little bolder than classic neutrals, such as creams, whites, and wood tones, but the soft, naturally-occurring hue can be a pleasant step away from the norm.

'While not a traditional choice, blues are often considered a "neutral" color and can work with a variety of palettes and schemes within a home,' Abby says. 'A pale blue or a French blue will lend a sophisticated air to a kitchen scheme, especially when paired with other monochromatic tones, creating a layered look.'

Abby says blue and white is a classic combination: 'Think of Delft ceramics or Royal Copenhagen. It won't ever go out of style!' Combine pale blue cabinets with white kitchen countertops and Zellige tiles for a space that feels timeless.

What color walls go with blue kitchen cabinets?

'You don't want your wall color to clash or compete, so sticking with a light neutral like white, beige, light gray, or even a pale pink is the best way to let your cabinets shine,' says Priya Vj, founder of kitchen cabinet company Hapny Home.

Millie is a homes writer and journalist renting in North London. She contributes regularly to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Real Homes. As well as covering shopping trends online, she loves vintage furniture, candles, Interior Design Masters and a Facebook Marketplace bargain. She has previously written for Fabulous, Stylist and Marie Claire.