Add color to the kitchen through cabinets and islands

by Laura Bednar

While white remains a classic neutral for kitchen cabinets, other colors are beginning to set the scene for the entire room.

Darlene Justice, designer and marketer for Architectural Justice Design Center in Medina, said she has seen many muted blues and greens as choices for cabinet color this year. And while warmer neutrals such as gray, beige and cream are still in play, some homeowners have decided on black cabinets for an added contrast. Justice said Sherwin Williams’ paint color Iron Ore has become a popular choice.

“Color adds drama to the space,” she said, adding that color trends can come from paint companies, fashion trends and nature.

The use of natural materials and unpainted wood cabinets for that “nature feel” has also increased in popularity during the pandemic, according to Justice said that oak is a good trend for the wood look but she often sees painted maple, “which is a nice choice.”

In addition, Architectural Justice has been installing more metal shelving to replace upper cabinets or create an end-unit. These can be added in conjunction with wood cabinets.

When choosing a color for cabinets, the size of the kitchen isn’t necessarily a factor.

“It depends on the client and their personality,” said Justice.  

Architectural Justice offers a 3D digital rendering to see what the space will look like and allow clients to play with different color schemes.

“People have a hard time conceptualizing things,” Justice said.

The 3D images, she explained, helps homeowners envision the final product and change their mind before painting or installing something more permanent. When planning a kitchen redesign, Justice starts by selecting the largest piece of the kitchen, which tends to be the countertops, for inspiration and draws colors from that element to guide decisions for the cabinets and floors.

The cabinets can be all one color, but sometimes contrast in color is nice, according to Justice. In some remodels, the kitchen cabinets will be neutral and the splash of color comes from the kitchen island. Light green, dark blue and iron ore are some popular colors for islands. Backsplashes or accessories like wallpaper, fabrics and linens are other places to bring in color.

Remodelers can also add their own style through cabinet door choice. Shaker doors have recessed panels and simple edges, while more modern cabinets have a completely flat front. Adding details like gold or matte black hardware on the doors can make the kitchen pop.

Justice said the key is to think about the entire space when choosing cabinets because homeowners will be living with the color scheme for a while. ∞