Designing a kitchen often goes beyond having the latest high-end appliances (although that certainly helps)—and that's where choosing the right kitchen cabinet paint colors comes in. However, selecting a color scheme involves much more than staring at dozens of paint chips at your local hardware store. You'll have to consider the rest of your kitchen's features—from the lighting and the backsplash to the flooring and the hardware—to ensure that your cabinetry colors tie the rest of the elements together.
But who really wants to spend hours examining seemingly identical white swatches, especially when there are more pressing matters? That's why we've tapped a handful of interior design experts to share their favorite cabinet colors, along with the décor styles and hardware selections that combine best with each hue. So, keep reading for the best kitchen cabinet paint colors as well as hardware pairing tips straight from the pros.
Farrow & Ball Plummett
Going gray on kitchen cabinets is the key to making a statement that won't look dated in a few years, says Thea Home interior designer Dorianne Passman. "We love using shades of grays in our kitchens," she says. "The neutrality of gray really keeps a kitchen feeling clean but still gives it a sense of boldness." A hue like Farrow & Ball's Plummett, which she recently used in a Beverly Hills home, tends to be more "forgiving and adapts differently in different times of day" and types of spaces, she says.
Passman also points out that the style of the cabinet doors—rather than the space's interior design—is what dictates the paint color. And, when it comes to the order of selecting kitchen design elements, she says that hardware is last on the list. Once there's a final decision on the paint color and countertops, the hardware is chosen "so that it all corresponds. We like hardware to be unique but not too bold so that it blends in with the whole story of the kitchen, and no one will get sick of it."
Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray
Nashville-based interior designer Lauren Bradshaw suggests using Farrow & Ball's Pavilion Gray if you're seeking a neutral paint color that "feels warm and soft and pairs well with a white stone like Calacatta marble." This color is great for kitchens because it's "pretty timeless, and you can change the feel based on the hardware and lighting," Bradshaw tells us.
The gray cabinet paint color is versatile enough to mix and match classic and modern design elements. Bradshaw recommends pairing black hardware with modern light fixtures for an edgy look or using brass pulls and knobs if you're seeking a classic feel.
Farrow & Ball Studio Green
For Haus Interior's Nina Freudenberger, Farrow & Ball's Studio Green is a top choice. "I think dark colors are very on-trend at the moment because people like that it feels more like custom furniture as opposed to that standard white kitchen," she says. "I also think that adding a color within the dark range is a way to make it special. I am just redoing my kitchen in Los Angeles, and I actually find it so versatile. It goes from a warm black to dark green and really changes throughout the day."
Dunn Edwards Swiss Coffee
"Most clients have resale in mind," says Portland-based interior designer Max Humphrey, which is why he sticks with versatile hues like white, gray, or olive-gray. These kitchen cabinet paint colors translate well into nearly any décor style, while brighter hues are best saved for the walls, "which are way easier to paint over if anyone gets sick of the color." For white kitchens, he prefers Dunn Edwards' Swiss Coffee, an off-white hue that helps soften a space while keeping it bright.
Benjamin Moore Raccoon Fur
"Dark cabinets work well for those who cook a lot and are okay with spills and stains," explains interior stylist Kirsten Grove. "They can hide disasters." Moody colors also "translate beautifully in transitional kitchens" that seamlessly blend modern and classic design elements, creating an opportunity for cabinets to make a statement in the space. For her own kitchen, she used Benjamin Moore's Raccoon Fur. "A deep blue-gray is still a win for me," she says.
Regarding hardware, Grove says that dark and light cabinets both work well with brass accents. "Schoolhouse Electric offers a classic midcentury brass collection that can be paired with modern or traditional cabinets. I also love Rejuvenation's black leather and brass pulls."