20 Ways to Color Your Kitchen Cabinets

Find ways to spice up your kitchen with sassy hues, trendy techniques and fresh color combos.

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April 09, 2015
By: Ellie Sanders and Lisa Frederick

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Andrea Schumacher

Photo By: Dan Piassick

Photo By: Jeff Herr

Photo By: Alyssa Kirsten

Photo By: Caitlin Murray

Photo By: Michael Hunter

Photo By: Chad Mellon

Photo By: Troy Thies Photography

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jim Tschetter

Photo By: Kris Tamburello

Photo By: Caitlin Murray

Photo By: Julie Soefer Photography

Photo By: Tessa Neustadt

Photo By: Mary Costa Photography

Photo By: Thompson Photographic; Interior Design by Claire Ownby, Ownby Design

Photo By: Haris Kenjar

Photo By: Studio Jaki Photography

Pops of Colors

Who says you can only use one color when painting your cabinets? This retro-inspired kitchen features solid wood cabinets with select doors painted in a variety of shades. To ensure the space doesn't look too wacky, white countertops and a tame backsplash act as a calming presence in the color-filled kitchen.

Classic With a Twist

When you think of a cottage-style kitchen, you probably picture all-white cabinets in an all-white space. This kitchen turns tradition on its ear with an island in a vibrant shade of emerald, which pulls out the subtle greens in the wallpaper and complements the blues beautifully. It's no less appropriate to the style and represents an entirely fresh interpretation.

Sizzling Neon

You probably remember them best from the 1980s, but bright neon hues are making a comeback. The trick with these brilliant tones is to use enough to make an impact, yet not so much that they overwhelm the space. Cover a small segment of the cabinetry — perhaps a wine cubby, the frame of an open shelf or even a bank of cabinets like this one — and strike an ideal balance.

Not Quite Neon

Do you love the idea of incorporating neon colors into your kitchen design, but aren't ready to commit to covering your cabinets in them? Opt for a blueish-gray shade that's a statement all on its own while playing perfectly with a bold, neon-filled backsplash and of course, a bright neon stove.

A Touch of Darkness

Sometimes adding just a few notes of a dark shade can ground any kitchen color scheme and add gravitas to the room. Here, a deep green, base cabinet anchors the space and complements the antique rug in the bright white kitchen.

Add Some Texture

A variety of natural hues and rich textures create a visual one-two punch that's hard to resist. Here, the raw wood cabinetry stands out against the brick accent wall and cement countertops. Bright white walls accentuate the texture-filled space, creating a bold, well-designed kitchen.

Unexpected Combos

These days, we have more freedom than ever to break design rules, and that includes conventional notions about colors that do and don't work together. A slice of shocking pink shakes up the classic black-and-white palette in this kitchen. It's the last color many people might think to add, yet its energy spins the more muted tones in a different, wholly appealing direction.

Understated Glamour

Black cabinetry is hot in a big way. It infuses a kitchen with a hard-to-duplicate sense of mystery and glamour. But for some, all that darkness can feel heavy and oppressive. Buoy it with a shot of brilliant color, such as the gold fixtures and surrounding white space that are seen in this kitchen.

Natural Wood Goodness

Torn between the beauty of wood grain and the power of paint? While we love the look of painted cabinets, there's just something extra appealing about natural wood. The light quality of these floor-to-ceiling cabinets make the kitchen have an almost spa-like atmosphere. The marble, waterfall countertop acts as the perfect accent to this high-impact, low-fuss room.

Lightly Hued

A soothing shade of light blue covers the cabinet surfaces, invoking the feel of a charming French chateau. If you love the look of an all-white kitchen, but want to step it up a notch, immerse yourself in the world of color by starting with something simple, like designers did in this space.

New Take on Neutrals

There's a reason neutral hues are perennial favorites: Not only do they work with all design styles, they're outrageously versatile. But think beyond the typical white and ivory shades used for kitchen cabinets. Stronger neutrals such as this steely gray possess the multifaceted qualities of their color cousins, while offering a more commanding presence. Adding additional finishes, fixtures and textures, like the faux fur stools and pendant lighting seen in this space, is another way to bring any neutral space to life.

Subtle Two-Tone

When combining different hues in a kitchen, you don't always have to go for high drama. In this kitchen, the few upper cabinets are shrouded in white, camouflaged against the white wall, while the dark gray base cabinets balance the matching range hood. The lighter color on top helps to open up the space and prevent the upper cabinets from feeling too weighty — the overall look is cohesive and gentle.

Contemporary Blue

Contemporary-style cabinets deserve a contemporary color scheme. A bright, flat blue color coats the cabinets in this kitchen. The uninterrupted lines and dark wood accents evoke retro charm. Blue can be used in any space to both energize and to calm — giving you the best of both worlds.

Hunter Green Sheen

Looking to try something daring without the risk of a grave design faux pas? This contemporary kitchen features sleek, forest green cabinets. Matching upper and lower cabinets create a cohesive look that's pulled together with the geometric backsplash. Gold accents, like the cone shaped pendant lights, add the perfect finishing touch to the creative cooking space.

Farmhouse Feel

Natural, rustic wood cabinets line the wall, welcoming a bit of the outdoors into the space. The farmhouse feel extends through the rest of the kitchen with the wood paneling that covers the walls. Although the space is filled with dark-hued wood, the large window, stainless steel tabletops and the open shelving ensure the atmosphere remains bright and welcoming — like a quintessential country farmhouse.

Beautifully Monochromatic

Never underestimate the power of an all-white kitchen. In this kitchen, transom windows blend in seamlessly, almost disappearing completely, thanks to a monochromatic color palette that unifies every element in this space. Even though it's white, the cabinet-filled island defines the kitchen from the rest of the open living area.

Uniquely Two-Toned

Thinking two-toned, but want it to be unique? This kitchen features a bright, robin's egg blue on the base cabinets, and a creamy white on the uppers. Using a color like this, although it's not a neutral, gives you the ability to fashion a look of your own without the fear of creating an overly-intense atmosphere.

Caramel-Colored Kitchen

In this kitchen, a matte black backsplash acts as a backdrop to the caramel-colored oak cabinets. Finished with a matte seal, the cabinets look luxe and sophisticated. Onyx countertops and matching accent walls are the key to tying this space together. The use of natural wood creates a place where any design style could take center stage.

Daring + Dark Blue

Dark blue-gray cabinets ground this open kitchen; the white counters, backsplash and upper cabinets give a sense of lofty height. This classic light-dark combination, although incredibly on-trend now, is certain to stand the test of design time.

Creamy Take on Neutrals

With the kitchen opening to the main living area, this space needed some visual parameters. An ever-so-calming shade of gray was used for the cabinets, making them barely distinguishable from the walls they're encased in. The best color for fixtures and hardware? Gold. They pop against this gray.

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