4 Kitchen Cabinet Color Trends That Are Making a Splash Right Now

Go beyond bright white with these favorite cabinet colors.

If it's time for a kitchen refresh, nothing can overhaul a space quite like a cabinet makeover. But don't rely on a warmer shade of white to achieve a new look. According to Kathryn Lott, owner and lead creative of Kathryn Lott Design, there's a whole technicolor world coming into focus in the kitchen, and it's time to jump on the trend. "People are tired of playing it safe," says Lott. "We are seeing a lot more in overall color and stains for kitchen cabinets." With so many shades to choose from, deciding where to start and how to narrow down your choices to a hue that works for you and your space can prove challenging.

Tips for Choosing Cabinet Colors

"The kitchen is almost always the focal point of every home regardless of location, orientation, and layout," says Bianca Betancourt, design team lead at FORM, a brand specializing in direct-to-consumer kitchen cabinetry. "This means that the color choices are very important to creating a timeless design." So where does one even begin?

Betancourt says it's often easier for her clients to pinpoint what they don't like versus what they do. Even after the initial likes and dislikes have been uncovered, there are still so many details that affect a kitchen cabinet color choice. "The additional elements such as pulls, countertop, backsplash, etc., are what make the kitchen unique and personalized in style," Betancourt says. "It's essential to understand the surrounding architectural elements and finishes in order to create a cohesive design."

Selecting the right kitchen cabinet colors might not be the only factor in creating the kitchen of your dreams, but it can certainly set the groundwork for a space that dazzles. Here, Betancourt and Lott share their favorite kitchen cabinet color trends to help inspire your space.

runner rug in kitchen
Anthony Masterson

Taupe and Wood Tones

No list of trending kitchen cabinet colors would be complete without a mention of white, but there's a new neutral on the scene that's both earthy and intriguing. "White cabinets will always be a classic choice. However, I am beginning to replace white colors with taupe colors and occasionally mixing with wood tones," says Betancourt. "These color choices create a warm and inviting space with plenty of dimension."

Lott also points to the great outdoors as an inspiration for how we live indoors. "We as a society will gravitate to the natural elements, keeping it simple and natural." She suggests using both wood stains and raw wood in the kitchen to create a strong and alluring focal point.

And if you're still looking for that perfect white, Lott suggests Sherwin-Williams Westhighland White. "It's a warm (not yellow!) white that has a strong, traditional impact in the kitchen."

modern scandinavian cabin kitchen shiplap black white leather stools
Caroline Allison

Black Cabinets

Black cabinets continue to grow in popularity and Betancourt predicts its continued traction in the coming years. "Black cabinets are still very popular and I believe the popularity will continue to rise as more millennials begin to purchase and/or renovate their homes," she says.

If choosing a black paint color sounds completely overwhelming, you're not alone. Instead of going the midnight route, Lott advises softening things up. "Sherwin-Williams' Iron Ore is a black that is not a deep dark black, but one that has more of a gray/blue undertone," she says.

black island windows hardware kitchen
Kim Cornelison

Dual-Tone Cabinets

Why settle for one color when you can showcase two? "We are seeing a lot of black and white; white on the perimeter cabinets and black on the island," says Lott. And while she can get behind a coordinating island, there's another two-tone trend out there that she warns against. "One of the biggest ideas that I see right now is people selecting different colors for their base cabinets and their uppers, so they work together but don't match," she says. "Don't do it. It makes the space choppy and busy."

blue kitchen marble counters and walls
Dylan Chandler

Dark Blue Cabinets

"Blue is still a hot color," says Lott, but think deep, dark blues instead of pastels. She suggests Sherwin-Williams Naval for "a strong navy base color with major impact." Rich, vibrant tones like navy and black are ideal backdrops to make hardware and other kitchen elements pop. For that reason, pay attention to the undertone of your blue cabinet paint color and compare it to the finishes and fixtures in your kitchen before giving your final stamp of approval. You'll be glad you invested the time to create a kitchen you'll love living in for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the best kind of paint for cabinets?

    Oil-based, latex, and alkyd paint are the best options for painting cabinets. Each has pros and cons, but they have in common that they're easy to clean and stand up to wear and tear better than standard wall paint. 

  • What's the best way to paint cabinets yourself?

    Make sure your cabinets are in good-enough shape to be painted before beginning. Prep the cabinets thoroughly and remove the doors and hardware. Use the correct type of paint and brushes, and take your time. Wait for each coat to dry completely before adding the next coat.

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