7 Paint Colors We're Loving for Kitchen Cabinets in 2021
'Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter.
As one of (if not the) most important room in the home, the kitchen can be an overwhelming space to decorate. With multiple purposes—from cooking and hosting to even eating within—kitchens must be simultaneously soothing, stylish, clean, and comforting, which leads many homeowners, by default, to the ubiquitous all-white kitchen. But next year, some designers are predicting a sea change, with more homeowners opting to spice things up with everything from bold, dramatic shades to new takes on neutrals. And where's the easiest place to bring a game-changing dose of color to the kitchen? The cabinets. Here are seven on-the-rise shades we're currently obsessed with for kitchen cabinets.
Try: Sherwin-Williams's Urbane Bronze (SW 7048)
While this sophisticated gray was recently crowned the Color of the Year by trend forecasters at Sherwin-Williams, it's gaining particular attention as a go-to hue for kitchens. As more homeowners lean toward moodier hues, this rich gray is a solid entry point: It's a warm, down-to-earth neutral that pairs well with a variety of colors, textures, and styles, but brings a little more drama and interest to the table than your average greige.
Try: Pewter Green by Sherwin-Williams
Back in 2018, earthy hues started making their meteoric rise in the design world, with Pinterest saves, specifically, skyrocketing for sage. Soon after, this subdued gray-green solidified itself as a go-to neutral for homeowners. And trend experts—including the forecasters at Farrow & Ball, who deemed natural evergreen shades like Green Smoke (No. 47) as top paint picks for 2021—seem to believe that earthy greens are here to stay. In this kitchen, the sage cabinets help to ground the lofty space while surrounding walls painted a soft gray-blue (Sherwin-Williams's Oyster Bay) keep the darker shade from feeling too dramatic.
Try: Tricorn Black (SW 6258) by Sherwin-Williams (shown above)
It might seem a bold choice, but black-and-white is becoming as mainstream a color combo in the kitchen as, well, white and white. The secret is in the high contrast, says Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines, which adds a ‘wow' factor to even the most basic of kitchens. To pull off the look, make sure to maintain an equal balance between the two hues, with black cladding the lower cabinetry and island (for example) and bright whites reserved for the kitchen's upper half. Adding warm woods to the mix tones down the color duo's modern vibe.
Try: Parma Gray by Farrow & Ball
If you're among those who find it hard to part with the familiarity and timelessness of an all-white kitchen, meet the match that might just pull you out of your comfort zone. Pale blues are perfect gateways to pigment for the color averse, not only because they deliver the same clean and crisp vibe of their neutral counterparts, but also because of their psychological benefits—the color blue makes people feel cool, calm, and collected, the perfect vibe for hardworking kitchens.
Try: 36 Hours in Marrakesh by Backdrop
Comfort is key when it comes to 2021 color trends. In 2020, our homes became our sanctuaries, so forecasters are calling calming, down-to-earth neutrals the next wave of go-to shades for homeowners. This year, no less than two paint brands have declared variations of earthy pinks their ultimate colors of the year for 2020—a warm terracotta shade dubbed Arizona Dust (2003-8A) by Valspar and a harmonious hue called Canyon Dusk (S210-4) by Behr. Thanks to its lightness and versatility, an earthy pink is an easy replacement for anywhere you'd naturally gravitate toward beige or white, including in the kitchen. The difference is it brings in a dose of color that can take a space from basic to beautiful in an instant.
Try: Tinsmith by Sherwin-Williams
When most homeowners go for monochromatic in the kitchen, they'll opt for a timeless bright white. But trend experts have long surmised that soft grays will soon overtake the ever-popular paint shade as the de facto neutral—and in 2021, they could be right. According to home remodeling site Houzz, light, versatile grays are on the rise in kitchens, perhaps in response to the growing popularity of moodier hues. In our 2019 Idea House in Crane Island, Florida, we opted for a soothing shade with hints of blue to evoke the feel of the ocean at dusk.
Try: Water Garden by Magnolia Home
If you've been paying attention to color trends within the past year, it wouldn't take long realize that jewel tones are having a serious moment. From ruby and emerald to sapphire and citrine, these rich, saturated shades can make a dramatic statement as an accent wall or bring just the right amount of colorful flair when used in smaller doses. One perpetual crowd pleaser? Peacock, a deeper version of turquoise that's stylish yet soothing (it's reminiscent of the sea, after all). Pair it with bright white in a two-toned kitchen, a la this Fixer Upper classic, to transform your cooking space into an instant gem.