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 colors comes in. Similar to finding the perfect hue for your bedroom or considering bathroom paint colors when it's time for a refresh, the best shade for your kitchen cabinets depends on the décor and lighting in your space.
Selecting a color scheme involves much more than browsing dozens of paint chips at your local hardware store. You'll have to consider the rest of your kitchen's features—from the backsplash to the flooring and the hardware—to ensure that the cabinetry colors tie the rest of your design elements together. But who really wants to spend hours examining an endless selection of swatches? That's why we've tapped a handful of interior design experts to share their favorite cabinet colors, along with décor styles and hardware selections that combine best with different hues.
Below, read on to discover the best kitchen cabinet paint color recommendations 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," the expert points out.
Passman also notes that the style of the cabinet doors—rather than the room's interior design—is what dictates the paint color. 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 for a corresponding look. "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," she says.
Behr Cracked Pepper
Designer Alvin Wayne recommends using a darker shade. Kitchen paint colors like Behr's Cracked Pepper or Broadway are excellent choices in the softened black family, which pair especially well with white backsplash and modern finishes. Thanks to its deep charcoal undertones, Cracked Pepper can instantly add a pop of contrast to a bright kitchen—and it's clear why this designer favorite earned its place in Behr's 2022 Color Trends Palette.
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." 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 vibe. "You can change the feel based on the hardware and lighting," Bradshaw suggests.
When choosing a gray hue for your kitchen cabinets, consider the undertones: If your kitchen leans toward a modern style, opt for cooler hues for a sleek finish. Traditional designs pair well with warm colors and earthy décor.
When it comes to choosing between neutrals and vibrant colors for your kitchen cabinets, Wayne notes that your personal style plays the most essential role: "It honestly depends on the vibe or aesthetic of your home, or the look you're aiming to achieve," the designer says. If your kitchen's walls are painted in a warm neutral hue, for instance, shades like Behr's Breezeway can bring out a bright, playful character while complementing modern cabinetry.
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 find [Studio Green] so versatile. It goes from a warm black to dark green, and really changes throughout the day."
Dulux Lexicon Quarter
If you're deciding between lighter hues and dark, bold shades for your kitchen cabinetry, Krystal Dahaby of House of Harvee makes a strong case for maintaining that open, airy feel. The designer used Lexicon Quarter by Dulux in her own space. "I prefer to use lighter colors in the kitchen to keep it light, bright, and fresh! However, if I had a space that was filled with lots of beautiful natural light, I would definitely add some darker shades," she notes.
Benjamin Moore Caribbean Blue
"If you are going for a wow moment, paint the kitchen island a bright pop of color and the rest of the cabinets a darker or neutral shade," suggests Wayne. Benjamin Moore's Caribbean Blue makes this kitchen island the focal point of the room, while a softer gray hue on the main cabinetry allows natural light to reflect throughout the space. A muted yellow color on the kitchen door offers a complementary accent to tie in floral décor.
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 colors translate well into nearly any décor style, while brighter hues are best saved for the walls. The designer notes that lighter shades "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.
Naked Colours Misted Fen
For a bright burst of color that blends well with white walls, opt for shades like Misted Fen by Naked Colours. This seafoam-inspired hue is filled with vibrant undertones that can make a statement in any room, but thanks to its muted finish, it still pairs well with modern kitchen designs. We love the combination of white marble countertops, woven barstools, and light blue pendant lights that complete this design.
Dulux Natural White
Natural White by Dulux is another favorite shade for Dahaby, especially for its ability to pair with a variety of design styles and décor. "Always bring the color choices into your space to see how it looks in your light," she says. "If you are confused, go white. It is classic and beautiful, and will never date! You can always add color into your décor."
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." She also notes that moody colors "translate beautifully in transitional kitchens," which is a helpful way to blend modern and classic design elements. This design trick allows your cabinets to make a statement in the space. For her own kitchen, Grove 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."
Sherwin-Williams Pewter Green
In this Portland home, interior designer Emily Henderson was careful not to overdo the white and gray hues (thanks to the Pacific Northwest's weather providing plenty of these colors outdoors). Instead, she opted for Pewter Green by Sherwin-Williams. This classic shade offers an elegant contrast to white marble countertops and a bright tile backsplash. With plenty of natural accents and gold hardware throughout the room, Pewter Green brings a welcoming warmth to the space while adding a bold statement to its finished look.
Magnolia Home Blackboard
For a dramatic, moody impact, go dark with black paint in the kitchen for an element of contrast—options like Magnolia Home's Blackboard create a softer look. Most importantly, Wayne notes, paint colors should be tested in small doses before you choose the right shade to commit to: "I would suggest getting a paint sample and living with it for a few days to see how it looks in the varying light," the designer suggests.
Benjamin Moore Simply White
"White and light cabinets are perfect for someone who wants a classic and timeless look in their kitchen," explains Grove. A color like Simply White by Benjamin Moore blends well with stainless-steel hardware, she says. Pair the shade with a white backsplash and light countertops for a clean, bright look, or opt for darker counters to add a pop of contrast to your space.
Benjamin Moore Balsam
"I love to experiment with paint colors," says Dahaby. "When I am designing a new space, I will get lots of samples and paint swatches in the space to narrow it down." If you're seeking an experiment of your own, opt for a vibrant color that also incorporates earthy tones to find a balance between elegance and character. Benjamin Moore's Balsam, for example, has plenty of classic charm to pair with modern finishes while offering a rich, eclectic statement in this design.
Benjamin Moore Gray
Benjamin Moore's Gray offers a rich charcoal statement that stands out against the simplicity of its name. With a sleek matte finish and muted metallic hardware, the cabinetry color is the star of this kitchen's design. Natural accents like rustic wood shiplap and floors blend with the Benjamin Moore paint for a completed modern-meets-cabin vibe.
To make the cabinetry feel cohesive in your space, match your light fixtures to its color for an intentional, polished look.
Behr Lunar Surface
Choosing between white paint colors can already be tricky, but it's helpful to start with a trusted brand. "I prefer Behr because of the hue and saturation of the paint," says Wayne. Shades like Behr's Lunar Surface are a great option for a clean, modern look on kitchen cabinets. With minimal undertones, grays pair well with monochromatic designs and accent colors alike. The black-and-white décor in this kitchen provides a sleek background for its gold hardware to stand out.
Pratt & Lambert Pebble
If you're looking for a lighter hue that brings out more warmth than gray or white, Grove recommends opting for neutral colors. Taupe cabinets are "so timeless paired with wood and brass accents," the expert says. "Pratt & Lambert's Pebble is a really pretty option." This color works especially well with natural materials like wood, and it can add an inviting feel to kitchens with modern appliances or dark accents.
Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue
For a coastal-inspired look that can create a statement in any variety of kitchen designs, opt for a muted colorful shade like Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue. A great candidate for rustic and modern styles alike, this versatile color offers a laid-back, eclectic vibe. Dress it up with classic light fixtures in traditional kitchens, or pair it with sleek hardware for an elevated design.
Benjamin Moore Jet Black
Black is the unsung hero of many modern designs, but this kitchen is proof that it can also bring new life to traditional styles with antique décor. A coat of Benjamin Moore's Jet Black on the kitchen cabinets is the finishing touch that makes this room's personality shine through: With black-and-white tile floors and bright shiplap walls, the dark cabinetry creates an element of contrast while pairing with simple white hardware.