9 Essential Tips for Choosing the Coziest Farmhouse Kitchen Colors

Even when the colors are cool, farmhouse kitchens are warm and inviting. Get the look with these top tips for nailing the perfect farmhouse kitchen color palette.

If you love cozy cooking spaces filled with rustic elements, you're not alone. According to a 2019 trend report from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), farmhouse is one of the four most requested kitchen styles, and experts anticipate it to continue growing in popularity over the next few years. Although farmhouse kitchen paint colors often lean neutral, these color schemes aren't all about whites and wood tones. Even bolder hues such as navy blue, terra-cotta, or green can be considered farmhouse kitchen colors in the right context. The key to creating a bright, welcoming space is a neutral base that lets you add personality with subtle hues and natural textures. Follow these tips to choose the best farmhouse kitchen colors and add an inviting vibe to the heart of your home.

Kitchen with bar seating and white cabinets
James Nathan Schroder

1. Start with Neutral Colors

Whites, grays, and beiges are the foundation of farmhouse kitchen colors. Picking the right neutral paint color is an important first step to achieving the perfect farmhouse style. This neutral will act as the base color in your space, covering either the cabinetry, walls, or both. Although cool whites and grays have dominated recently, many homeowners and designers are now shifting toward an earthier palette, says Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets. "Stark whites are softening into khaki creams, woodsy tones that are light to medium, and nature-based colors," she says.

Suggested gray cabinet paint color: Silver Cloud 2129-70, Benjamin Moore

Kitchen with wooden floors and white tile
James Nathan Schroder

2. Check the Color Temperature

If you're planning a farmhouse kitchen makeover, first consider if you have any existing elements like countertops or flooring to work with. Be sure to consult those surfaces before picking a neutral paint color. Your new paint color should complement the tones of your kitchen's surfaces, so look for hues of the same temperature. For example, a cool beige will harmonize with a deep gray countertop, while a cream paint will draw warmth from wood flooring. Color temperature is equally important if you're starting from scratch because the base neutral will influence the additional colors you bring into the space.

To figure out if your neutrals are warm or cool, consult the darkest shade on the paint sample strip. Typically, warmer hues embrace reds, yellows, oranges, while cooler shades tend toward blues, greens, and purples. Alternatively, compare the neutral with other colors, such as blue and red swatches: What undertones do you detect in the neutral? Does it shift more towards one color when placed next to each other?

Suggested white paint color: White Veil OR-W14, Behr

Kitchen with light blue cabinets and white counters
Marie Flanigan Interiors LLC

3. Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Traditionally, painted cabinets are one of the most style-defining elements of farmhouse kitchens, regardless of color. They can be painted with a rustic edge (think: worn corners and chalk-like paint applications) or a crisp finish. Because cabinetry often takes up so much visual space, it's common to use that surface area as the foundation of your kitchen. However, farmhouse kitchen cabinet colors are not limited to neutrals. It's common to find soft, muted tones or even bolder colors used for accent cabinetry, such as a colorful island or China hutch, or applied to lower cabinets, especially when the upper walls make use of floating shelves and generous white space.

Farmhouse kitchens are typically bright spaces, so regardless of the color, light shades generally work best. When you think you've found the perfect hue, try a step or two lighter on the paint swatch strip. You'll also find paler shades are usually easier to coordinate with other colors.

Suggested cabinet paint color: Sky High SW 6504, Sherwin-Williams

black and white kitchen open wooden shelf
Brie Williams

4. Maximize Light

One of the hallmarks of farmhouse style is a light, airy atmosphere. If you don't have nearby windows and doors offering a lot of natural light, save darker and more saturated colors for accents, and instead use bright hues for the dominant surfaces. Glossy finishes on your backsplash will also reflect light. In small or crowded kitchen layouts, simple glass pendants or other light fixtures that don't take up a lot of visual space will help the room feel bigger and brighter, too.

Suggested cabinet paint color: Blue Danube 2062-30, Benjamin Moore

Kitchen with wooden floors and gray cabinets
Panichgul Studios, Inc

5. Work in White

Even if you prefer more colorful kitchen designs, white is still an essential characteristic of farmhouse style. In fact, the NKBA reported that 72% of farmhouse kitchen designs in 2019 featured a white color palette. If white walls and cabinets aren't compatible with your lifestyle (they tend to show streaks and splatters more easily), you can easily incorporate the neutral color in other ways. The iconic farmhouse apron-front sink is one way to mix in white, or you could choose white materials for backsplash tile, countertops, and appliances.

Suggested gray cabinet paint color: Old Silk PPG0993-6, PPG Paints

country kitchen with natural light and flowers
John Bessler Photography

6. Add Accent Colors

Additional colors in farmhouse designs are typically part of an analogous palette: a selection of colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel, such as teals, greens, and blues, or oranges and yellows. Following neutrals, the most common farmhouse kitchen colors are blues and browns, according to a 2019 NKBA trend report, but we're also seeing designs that feature terra-cotta, gold, and green.

Farmhouse kitchen wall colors can utilize these shades, especially in small spaces or as an accent wall, where the surface area isn't overwhelming. Another option is to add unexpected color inside cabinets or on the kitchen ceiling. If you want more flexibility to change your accent color, use the hue in decor, dishware, and accents placed on open shelving.

Suggested cabinet paint color: Greek Villa SW7551, Sherwin-Williams

Kitchen with white cabinets and wooden counters
Stacy Goldberg

7. Incorporate Texture

Texture, no matter how subtle, is a fundamental element of farmhouse kitchen design. Typically painted white, shiplap is the quintessential wallcovering used for authentic farmhouse texture. If shiplap is out of your budget or not practical for your space (it's hard to find room in a small kitchen for a full wall of shiplap), simple subway tile is a great way to add texture to the backsplash.

Wood and wood-look materials, also common in farmhouse kitchens, can be incorporated in the form of flooring, architectural accents like ceiling beams, and even countertops in more rustic-leaning styles. In addition to adding texture, wooden elements also warm up a farmhouse kitchen color palette.

Suggested paint color: Delicate White PPG1001-1, PPG Paints

kitchen with green cabinets and wooden beams
James Nathan Schroder

8. Choose Farmhouse Finishes

Farmhouse kitchens should look and feel comfortable to cook and entertain in. This relaxed style typically relies on matte and brushed finishes rather than the high-gloss and chrome surfaces common in more contemporary kitchen styles. For peak farmhouse comfort, choose paints in satin or semi-gloss finishes, keeping in mind that semi-gloss tends to stand up better in busy spaces like the kitchen. Popular hardware, faucet, and fixture finishes include stainless steel and oil-rubbed bronze, but brushed nickel or gold finishes can also pair nicely with farmhouse kitchen colors.

Suggested cabinet paint color: Eucalyptus Leaf 2144-20, Benjamin Moore

Kitchen with dark blue and wood island with bar seating
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

9. Go Dark

Light colors reign supreme in traditional farmhouse-inspired spaces, but modern farmhouse kitchen colors include darker, more saturated hues. Consider a dark color for unexpected accent pieces, such as a bold black light fixture, or take a cue from designers and try something a little more unexpected. "An interesting evolution in modern farmhouse style is that the common colors for shiplap are typically white or gray, but it also has a new dramatic appeal in darker tones," says Pierce. "These darker hues are most versatile when they have slight undertones of gray, black, or even green."

Suggested blue paint color: Dignity Blue SW6804, Sherwin-Williams

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