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Throwing Shade On The Gray Kitchen Design—In A Good Way

Apr 30, 2019 | by Linda Fennessy

Gray has been the “it” color in kitchen cabinet designs for quite a few years now. But that doesn’t mean you can just pick any color with ‘gray’ in its name. Choosing the right color combinations and palette takes planning and thought. You’ll want to consider the overall style and look you're envisioning for your new kitchen before committing to ‘your gray’.

Gray kitchen cabinet design

The Varied Styles of Gray Kitchen Cabinetry

A distinctive neutral gray is a black and white mix, but we aren’t really seeing a true neutral gray as a common choice these days. What we do see are infinite shades of grays that run the gamut of warm to cool and everything in between.

Warm grays have yellow or brown undertones while cool grays have hushed hues of blue. Distressed gray includes grain or veining of different gray hues that create a rustic appearance. The latest color trend of greige is a very warm gray that can look almost beige—hence the name 'gray+beige'.

Here, we assess three diverse shades of gray kitchens which resulted in three different kitchen design styles.

Gray kitchen cabinet design

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Opting for opulent dark gray kitchen cabinets

When remodeling a kitchen with dark gray cabinets, you’ll most likely be looking to warm the space up for some balance. That said, consider light charcoals for the wall color or appliances which will instill a stately, traditional vibe.

Dark grays have been used in kitchens for years and we see why—it pairs well with raised panels, flat panels and especially shaker-style doors. To that end, a darker gray will provide a timeless kitchen design, so you won’t have to go through another update for many years.

Displayed below are Suede Gray cabinets which incorporate subtle hints of brown. We think this shade exudes a cultured, even regal effect. It's the ideal choice for when departing from your wood grain kitchen, yet still wanting to maintain warmth in the design.

Dark gray kitchen cabinetry

Content with contemporary cool gray kitchen cabinets

If you desire a lighter cabinet color, but aren’t looking for a sterile white kitchen, light gray is your new best friend. Think steel colored—a slight offshoot from white. It's just enough to liven up the space without overpowering it. Light gray provides you with a contemporary design and pairs well with a flat panel door style.

Contemporary or modern styling leans toward the cool side of the color palette, imparting a chic, modern motif. Keep the lines and details to a minimum with this color. Let the clean and crisp gray make its own strong statement in the space.

When introducing metal finishes such as knobs or appliances, consider stainless steel or nickel to maintain uniformity for a sleek look. Accent with dark countertops or shelving for contrast and texture to top off the design.

light gray kitchen cabinets

Deciding on distressed gray cabinets

Barnwood or distressed gray will intentionally create a farmhouse theme, so if you decide on this option, own it! Roughing it up with a gray wood grain shows courage and yes, a little bit of the hippie side in all of us. Feel free to punctuate the design with thoughtful details. Think barn-styled lantern fixtures or wrought iron knobs for a fun, whimsical décor.


Watch your tone—your gray tone that is

If you haven't gotten it by now, shade matters when choosing gray for your kitchen cabinet color. If you’re the traditional type, darken it up with a smoky gray. Go light for a contemporary, chic style or a distressed barn wood to unleash your chic side. Unlike some other cabinet colors, grays will offer the perfect balance of warmth and neutrality, working well for any size kitchen and style. Whatever you choose, make it work for your space to create a timeless look of your own. Happy remodeling!

Dark gray kitchen cabients and countertop

Looking for more ideas, read our Fashion Meets Interior Design or schedule a free in-home consultation online.

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