It's official; gray has taken over the interior design world. Starting as a trend for modern and farmhouse homes alike, the favorite neutral color has quickly become an obsession for homeowners. And the gray trend isn't limited to furniture and decor. Gray kitchen cabinets continue to rise in popularity. With a variety of different tones, gray can skew both warm and cold, making it easy to pair with a variety of different backsplash designs, countertop materials, and appliance finishes. Use these gray kitchen cabinet tips for incorporating the color in your own home.
The hue you pick for your gray kitchen cupboards depends on personal preference, but it also has a bit to do with the space you are working with. If your kitchen is small or has limited natural light, dark gray cabinets will only make it feel smaller and darker. Deep, saturated hues absorb light, whereas light shades bounce light back into the room, amplifying the brightness in the space.
While gray may seem like a straightforward color, it is actually deeply influenced by reds, yellows, and blues. The influencing hue or undertone can make the color appear cooler or warmer. For example, a gray with a blue undertone will be a steely shade; gray kitchen cabinet colors with a red undertone will be a putty tone, similar to taupe. To understand how these shades work in your space, tape paint chips of several gray shades next to each other on your wall and examine them throughout the day. You'll see the variation in color from one to the next, and you'll eventually find one that appeals most to you. If the gray kitchen units are not customizable and you are selecting from a set palette, ask the cabinet company to let you borrow several finish samples or doors to test in your space.
With gray kitchen cabinet ideas, you have a choice between selecting painted cabinets, which are covered in an opaque gray hue, or stained cabinets, which have a translucent finish that allows some wood grain to show through. Just as with paint colors, there are variations of pale and dark stains. Painted cabinets offer a crisp, even coloration, and are easily wiped down. Stained cabinets have visual texture that highlights the wood underneath. With the proper protective coating, they too can be easily cleaned.
Virtually any countertop color looks good with gray kitchen cabinets. You have endless options because gray works as a neutral hue similar to white, brown, and tan. You can pick a splashy countertop color, such as aqua, or go for a sophisticated monochromatic look using slate or stainless steel. Natural stone, such as granite and marble, is a popular complement to these cabinets because there is often gray veining or flecks in the stone.
Another popular trend in kitchen design—combining two cabinet colors in the same space—works perfectly when one of the cabinet paint colors is gray. Because gray is a neutral shade, it complements all hues and pairs well with almost every color. Gray cabinets also work with any wood tone, so you can choose stained mahogany cabinets for the island, for example, and a cement gray for the wall cabinets. One approach is to stick to similar shades and intensities, such as butter yellow with dove gray, for a cohesive look. Another style is to play with contrast, such as charcoal with ivory, which creates a dynamic space.
Silver is the most common color of hardware used with gray kitchen cabinets, but that shouldn't keep you from branching out. If you have a warm-tone gray, gold drawer pulls are very flattering, especially if they're paired with a gold sink faucet. Cooler gray tones, or gray cabinets with a blue-ish hue, tend to look best with traditional silver hardware. Dark gray cabinets—almost black, even—are stunning dressed up with a black-finish handle. Take a paint swatch with you to the store when picking out your hardware—you may be surprised with what you can pull off.