The Best Dark Kitchen Cabinet Colors for a Moody Space

Experts share their favorite on-trend paint colors for a bold kitchen look.

kitchen cabinets painted black by Behr

Courtesy of Behr

White cabinets are always a safe choice, but dark moody kitchen cabinets are having a moment. While it may seem counterintuitive, opting for a darker paint color can give a kitchen more depth and interest. Plus, rich dark colors can create a warm and inviting space that's ideal for cozy gatherings.

If you're worried about the space being too dark, especially in a small kitchen, use natural light and warm accents to soften the room and give it a bigger feel. "The amount of light plays a big role on how the space looks and feels," says Hannah Yeo, Benjamin Moore's manager of color marketing and development. "If you have windows in the room, take advantage of this to maximize the natural light."

Yeo says adding warm hues and decorative accents can also keep your kitchen from feeling too dark or cramped. "If your kitchen faces north or gets little to no light, think about how you can distribute color to create a cohesive look," she explains. "Placing a mirror facing the light source also helps to reflect more light in the room."

Navy and black are always classic color options, but they're far from the only paint colors for dark kitchen cabinets. We talked to the paint color experts to get the dish on their best colors for dark kitchen cabinets. These suggestions will envelope your cooking and gathering space in polished warmth.

01 of 09

Rich Brown

Carnelian by Sherwin Williams on kitchen cabinets

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Expect to see browns and reds as "defining color families" of 2023, says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "It’s been so exciting to see people increasingly using their kitchens as a canvas for creative expression, from experimenting with different definitions of ‘neutral’ colors to being more playful with both color and pattern to bring different types of energy into a space," she explains.

Wadden adds that in kitchens and cabinetry, we can expect to see crimsons—like Sherwin Williams' Carnelian and Toile Red—become go-to shades. Saturated purples, rusts, and warm earthy reds will also be trending kitchen cabinet colors in the coming seasons.

Paint color: Carnelian by Sherwin-Williams

02 of 09

Classic Navy

hale navy by Benjamin Moore

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Dark blue kitchen cabinets are a classic, so you don't have to worry about your kitchen cabinets going out of style. Navy gives a trendy but timeless feel that leans modern and luxe. "Hale Navy is one of my absolute favorites," Yeo says. "It's a sophisticated deep, rich blue color that is simply stunning."

"This versatile hue works well with many different hues," Yeo explains. "Pair it with a crisp white countertop for a classic look. For a softer contrast, creamy off-whites such as Pale Oak, adds a touch of warmth. Brass, gray and wood tones also complement Hale Navy cabinets."

Paint color: Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

03 of 09

Deep Pewter Green

Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams on cabinets

Sherwin Williams

There's something undeniably homey yet elegant about gray-green cabinets. Wadden suggests Pewter Green, "a deep, bold sage green color with gray undertones that adds flair without overwhelming the entire kitchen."

Wadden explains that homeowners have gravitated toward 'tuxedo cabinets' (dark cabinets on bottom paired with lighter uppers) in previous years and she expects to see this that look continue. She suggests using blues and gem-toned hues "for a non-traditional pop of color." She loves deep greens in kitchens because it lends a timeless look to a modern trend. "It’s a great look for all sorts of design styles, from cottage to contemporary," she adds.

Paint color: Pewter Green by Sherwin-Williams

04 of 09

Neutral Black

kitchen cabinets painted black by Behr

Courtesy of Behr

Classic black cabinets lend richness to a kitchen and help ground the space. A true black can act as a neutral backdrop, so any accent color you choose will be complementary. "Black, of course, offers ultimate sophistication and vast depth," says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr Paint Company. She adds that if you're looking for a not-so-dark shade for kitchen cabinets, an almost-black like "Cracked Pepper is a strong and inviting alternative to black."

Paint color: Cracked Pepper by Behr

05 of 09

Dark Blue-Black

Railings by Farrow & Ball on kitchen cabinet

Chris Snook / Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

Railings by Farrow & Ball is a popular color choice for rooms, accent walls, cabinets and more because it reads both blue and black depending on the light. It commands attention while still being soft and approachable.

"We’re seeing dark colors such as Railings being used on kitchen cabinetry as a way to calm an otherwise busy space in the home," says Erin Deane, color consultant for Farrow & Ball. "The darkness establishes a grounding effect and pairs well with a beautiful light neutral on the walls. These weighted schemes create a lot of depth without feeling busy. "

Paint color: Railings by Farrow & Ball

06 of 09

Deep Blues

Naval by Sherwin Williams

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Dark hues like navy and deep royal blue are timeless options, but pair well with the light and airy feel that's popular right now. Navy kitchen cabinets are a classic choice for imbuing the space with color while still sticking with a classic, collegiate vibe.

"We're seeing deeper, more saturated colors like Naval becoming more and more popular in the kitchen because they help ground the space while also creating an attention-grabbing focal point, particularly when used on kitchen cabinets," Wadden says.

Paint color: Naval by Sherwin-Williams

07 of 09

Earthy Greens

Vine Leaf by Behr on kitchen cabinets

Courtesy of Behr

Green kitchen cabinets of all shades are a popular choice as they add energy and impact to a space while keeping it grounded and earthy. Behr's Vine Leaf "is a bold and dignified green that makes a dramatic statement," Woelfel says. It's dark enough to create a strong focal point, but bright enough that it won't cramp a small space.

If blue is more your color, Woelfel suggests Midnight Blue, "a deep navy that offers classic elegance” that can have the same effect.

Paint color: Vine Leaf by Behr

08 of 09

Moody Charcoal

Hopper Head paint color on window and door

Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

Charcoal tones are an ideal middle ground between the harsh black seen in modern kitchens and the light gray tones of farmhouse style. Charcoal adds depth and warmth to the kitchen and provides a neutral space that can welcome any color scheme. "Deep colors such as Hopper Head present a modern and sophisticated backdrop for any kind of decor," Deane says. "Add a splash of Red Earth on an island and you have yourself an inviting room for family and friends to gather."

Paint color: Hopper Head by Farrow & Ball

09 of 09

Almost Black

Almost Black island by Benjamin Moore

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

"Balance is key when considering dark colors in a small space." Yeo explains. She suggests Almost Black, which, as the name suggests, is a near-black that leans slightly warm. It will give the space drama without looking too cold or industrial.

Yeo adds that you can amp up the contrast by pairing dark cabinetry with lighter colors such as Chantilly Lace (shown on the walls here) or Cloud Cover. "If there isn’t too much wall space, consider keeping the dark color on the bottom cabinets and lighter color on the top. Having lighter colors at eye level helps to make the space look airier."

Paint color: Almost Black by Benjamin Moore

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