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How To Choose A Kitchen Cabinet Color: Tips From A Designer

June 13, 2024

Cottage style kitchen with green cabinets and white countertops.

A new cabinet color or wood finish is a great way to refresh your home, but with so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We talked with an interior designer about how to choose a kitchen cabinet color. Joye Mayer has been an interior designer for 23 years. She helps PMV clients choose kitchen colors that fit their style and work within their space. If you’re thinking about refinishing your cabinets, these four tips will help you balance practicality and personal taste.

1. Collect A Few Inspirational Photos

Joye says looking online for inspiration can be helpful, especially if you feel lost or overwhelmed. Home decor magazines or “idea” sites like Pinterest or Houzz can help you explore new ideas and gather what you like in one place. You can even explore various design styles and themes. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the coastal-inspired design or the “cottagecore” aesthetic.

Save a few of your favorite images and then ask yourself what you like about each one. Are you drawn to a particular shade of green? Do the cabinets have interesting hardware or trim details? Maybe you like the way a colorful backsplash and neutral cabinet color complement each other. Be as specific as possible since this is what will help you incorporate these elements in your space.

Modern style kitchen with white cabinets, blue island cabinets, and white countertops. neutral warm toned kitchen with taupe cabinets and a butcher block countertop. Cottage style kitchen with green cabinets and white countertops.

2. Narrow Down Your Options By Keeping Things Practical

It’s not time to pick out a color just yet! Now that you have your inspiration, you need to consider the practical elements of your space.

Certain shades or styles might not work in every kitchen. For example, a dark color in a galley kitchen can make the space feel enclosed and cramped. For an open floor plan with taller ceilings, a cool-toned neutral can make the area feel refreshing and breathable.

Natural light can change the tone of paint colors. For example, a north-facing room has cooler light. Grays and blues can feel extra chilly in a north-facing kitchen, while a warm tone can help balance out the light. A south-facing room has warmer light, so a gray or cool color can work nicely.

Kitchens are high-traffic areas. Adding small kids or pets into the mix can increase the wear and tear on your kitchen cabinet finishes. Darker paints or stains in a satin or semi-gloss finish hide dirt and fingerprints better than lighter colors and matte finishes.

3. Coordinate Your Cabinet Color With Other Updates

If you’re refinishing cabinets, chances are you are also making other kitchen updates. It’s helpful to pick out new flooring or counters before choosing a cabinet color. If possible, have a flooring or counter sample with you when you pick out a color. This helps avoid accidentally mismatching cool tones with warm tones.

person picking out swatches of paint, counters, cabinets, and more for their kitchen design.

5. Choose A Color You Like

At the end of the day, your kitchen cabinet color should be something you like. It doesn’t have to fit a certain aesthetic or be on-trend. Trends come and go every few years, after all! What matters is choosing a color that makes you happy and comfortable.   

But, there’s a reason this step is last. Choosing a color you like after considering what’s practical with your layout and other renovations will help you find a color you’ll love for many years to come.

person holding paint swatch packet.


Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets With PMV Custom Finishes

Updating your kitchen cabinet colors can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be with PMV. Whether you are painting or restaining your cabinets, we can make your kitchen dreams come true. We work with Interior Designer Joye Mayer to offer our clients color consultations. A professional designer takes the uncertainty out of choosing a kitchen cabinet color and ensures you end up with a cohesive color palette that complements your space.

You can get started by scheduling a free painting estimate or contacting our office with any questions at 269.276.0907.

Posted in Residential Exteriors