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What color should your kitchen cabinets be?

Choosing the right color for your kitchen cabinets is an important decision that can dramatically affect the look and feel of your kitchen. The color you choose should coordinate well with your flooring, countertops, backsplash and wall color. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect cabinet color for your kitchen.

Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors

Here are some of the most popular kitchen cabinet colors:

Color Description
White White kitchen cabinets are a timeless and versatile choice that suits both traditional and contemporary kitchens. White reflects light well, making the space feel open and airy.
Gray Gray is a trendy and sophisticated neutral that works with a variety of styles from modern to farmhouse. Soft grays create a soothing, relaxed vibe.
Black Black cabinets make a dramatic, high-contrast statement. Black pairs well with steel, wood or marble countertops.
Navy Deep blue navy cabinets add flair and dimension to a kitchen. Navy goes well with brass hardware and white countertops.
Green Earthy green cabinets bring nature inside and give a kitchen a fresh, lively feel. Sage green is versatile and peaceful.

Factors to Consider

When selecting a kitchen cabinet color, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Style of your kitchen – Traditional kitchens tend to look best with neutral painted cabinets in colors like white, gray and beige. Contemporary kitchens can handle bolder cabinet colors like black, navy or glossy red.
  • Amount of natural light – Lighter color cabinets such as white and light gray will maximize lighter spaces with lots of windows. Darker cabinets are better for rooms with little natural light.
  • Flooring – Your cabinet color should complement your flooring. Warm wood flooring looks great with white or black cabinets. Light floors pair better with darker cabinet colors.
  • Countertops – Consider how the cabinet color looks next to your countertop material. For example, white cabinets give granite countertops visual pop.
  • Wall color – Choose a cabinet color that fits with your wall color so they enhance each other. Neutral beige walls work with most cabinet colors.

Cabinet Color Ideas for Specific Kitchen Looks

Here are some recommended cabinet colors to achieve popular kitchen aesthetics:

Kitchen Look Ideal Cabinet Colors
Contemporary Glossy black, matte gray, bright white
Rustic Farmhouse Light gray, sage green, navy blue
Modern Glossy white, bold colors like red or yellow
Transitional Warm wood tones, off-white, beige
Coastal Crisp white, airy blue-grays
Traditional Antique white, cream, wood tones

Painted vs Stained Cabinets

Another decision is whether to go with painted cabinets or stained wood cabinets. Here’s an overview:

  • Painted cabinets provide endless color options from bright and bold to soft and neutral. Popular painted cabinet styles include shaker, inset panel, and slab.
  • Stained wood cabinets highlight the natural beauty of woods like oak and walnut. Stained cabinets have an elegant, timeless look. Shaker and inset panel styles work well with stain.
  • Painted cabinets are very durable and easy to clean. Stained wood requires more maintenance and upkeep.
  • Painted cabinets tend to suit contemporary, modern and eclectic kitchens. Stained wood fits better in traditional and rustic kitchens.


Choosing the cabinet color that suits your style, lighting and other kitchen elements takes some thoughtful consideration. Popular cabinet color options include white, gray, black, navy and wood tones. Your cabinet color should coordinate with countertops, flooring and walls for a cohesive look. Both painted and stained cabinets have their pros and cons. Take your time testing paint swatches and visualizing the options to find your ideal kitchen cabinet color.