Use blue kitchen cabinets to give hardworking spaces a distinctive lift.

By Ann Wilson
June 09, 2016

Longtime favorites for bedrooms, living spaces, and personal wardrobes, blue hues are also suited for starring roles in kitchens. Sweeps of baby blue to navy blue kitchen cabinets—sporting stained, painted, glazed, lacquered, and antiqued finishes—energize kitchen styles from cozy cottage to sleekly modern.

A versatile color, the blue family offers a wealth of cabinet coloring options. But, when choosing a blue kitchen cabinet finish, it's important to consider what types of surfaces and accent hues will best complement your choice and design preferences.

Here are a few ideas for showcasing kitchen cabinets in varying shades of blue with a thoughtful selection of materials that harmonize and enhance your kitchen's style.

Pale Blue Kitchen Cabinets

Powder, baby, robin's-egg, and grayish blue hues emit soothing rhythms that nicely suit cottage, country, and classic kitchen designs. Congenial companions for pale blues include white beaded board, blue-tinted or white subway tiles, watery glass mosaic tiles, and complementary veined white marble. Midtone oak, bamboo, and pine floors; white-painted furnishings; and oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware and faucets make standout partners. Pair antiqued blue cabinets that have gray undertones with light wood finishes, linen-hue walls, sand-tone marble or granite countertops, and limestone floors. Neutral colors plucked from nature—including buttery cream, grassy green, and pale pink—and organic details boost warmth and interest in kitchens equipped with pale blue kitchen cabinets.

Midtone Blue Cabinets

Whether breezy cornflower, tropical turquoise, or a more staid teal, medium-blue kitchen cabinets make a statement in kitchens large and small. Consider setting off these cabinets with orange-sherbet or pale yellow walls and pairing them with wood floors and furnishings that sport orange or yellow undertones. The warm-cool color pairing will create a dynamic, energizing look.

Introduce retro rhythms by creating tiled backsplashes rendered in Fiesta dishware hues and laying black-and-white checkerboard floors. White countertops, backsplashes, and woodwork keep kitchens equipped with medium-blue cabinets feeling light and airy. Introduce tomato-red, lemon yellow, shimmering copper, and juicy orange accessories and fabrics to brighten the view.

Dark Blue Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets rendered in navy, sapphire, and cobalt blues work in both traditional and modern kitchen designs, as well as in-the-middle transitional aesthetics. These intense blues might be used to accentuate an island or to outfit a kitchen's perimeters in saturated jewel tones. Slightly formal in feel, deep blues beautifully partner with dark wood finishes, white and light-to-medium gray surfaces, and shiny silver metallic elements. Earthen accents—incorporated as concrete countertops, beige-painted walls, stony backsplashes, and woven window shades—ease the formality. Combining cobalt blue laminate cabinets with bright white surfaces and steely gray walls results in fashion-forward kitchen designs. The materials, finishes, and details used with dark blue cabinets will help dictate the color's style persona.

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