The 7 Best Kitchen Cabinetry Colours That Will Remain Timeless

It’s not a secret that kitchen renovations can be a huge investment.  Our cabinetry partner in Chatham, Ontario says the average cost of cabinetry ranges from $15,000-$50,000 depending on the size of the kitchen and the bells and whistles you put in.  That’s not including the countertops, backsplash, flooring, appliances, lighting, fixtures, hardware, and styling elements!

It stands to reason that when doing a kitchen renovation you want to do it once and do it right.

Kitchen trends are created by manufacturers to keep you spending.  Following trends means likely shelling out the big bucks again in 10 years when your kitchen feels dated and tired… no thanks!

With all of the choices in cabinetry colours, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  So I’m breaking down the 7 best cabinetry colours I turn to most to help you narrow in on one of the most important and impactful decorating decisions in your home.

Interior designer transforms dark wood cabinetry to lighten up the kitchen

Photo: Art & Spaces

1. Natural Wood Cabinetry

Although stain colours and grain patterns come and go, you wouldn’t believe the number of times someone has said to me “I have solid wood cabinets” with pride.  Solid wood cabinetry is rigid and holds up well to families.  Wood can blend well with any home style — from traditional to modern — depending on the grain pattern and the stain you choose.

That said, everyone remembers the cathedral oak cabinets from the 90’s.  Many of you still have them in your home.  A weird orange stain and heavy oak grain pattern has made many people paint their cabinets white or grey (only to be horrified a couple years later when the paint is cracking over the dry oak door fronts).

We also all remember the super dark ebony cabinets from the early 2000’s.  I think this HAS to be where the popularity of undercabinet lighting came from because man, those kitchens were SO dark you could barely see what you’re doing!

Oh, and how about the cherry trend?  That stubborn red colour pulls through everything!

Wood naturally soaks up light more than paint as it has a lower LRV (light reflecive value).  That said, with other considerations like a proper lighting plan you can certainly go as dark as you please.

If you want a timeless look, I recommend sticking to woods with less grain pattern like a maple or a medium-grained wood like walnut or mahogany.

Although oak is very popular right now, it definitely comes and goes in strong waves and can be challenging to change the colour of due to it’s porous heavy grain pattern and how it dries out in our volatile Windsor Ontario climate.

It can be timely and expensive to change the stain of your cabinetry, so you’ll want to ensure a timeless finish if deciding on wood also.

Blonde and mid-tone browns are classic choices that never go out of style.

Bleached or super dark stains tend to wave with trends and can make a kitchen appear very dated when not in style.

Avoid stains with a heavy undertone like red, orange, or grey as these will also wane with kitchen trends.

Photo: The Shaker Kitchen Co. via Scout and Nimble

2. Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

Navy blue is certainly a strong trend right now.  About 90% of my kitchen design clients show me inspiration photos with some form of blue in them!

That said, navy blue is a classic and timeless colour that blends well with any decor style so it’s a safe choice when wanting to add some colour into your space.

I love Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore.  It’s not too bright so it reads more neutral and has a slightly grey undertone to it that helps knock down the strength that blue can have on cabinetry.

Photo via Studio McGee

3. Olive Grove by Sherwin Williams

Green is another colour that is super hot right now.  The trend is towards an emerald or dark greyed-out green, however green trends really come and go through the years so it’s usually a colour that I would use with caution UNLESS green is your all-time favourite colour.  You can never go wrong painting anything in your home with your favourite colour.  If it’s been your favourite since you were a kid, then you’re not going to grow tired of it!

That said, if you want a timeless green choice, swing towards a sage or olive rather than shades that tend to flow with the times like mint, emerald, and kelly.

I love olive grove by Sherwin Williams as it has a historic feeling that goes well in a traditional home, a cottage, or a modern flat-front kitchen door.

Photo @myyorkshirevictorianhouse via Farrow & Ball

4.  Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball

Neutrals like grey, cream, and beige are always fighting for the spotlight and are a risky choice when you want a timeless look because neutral trends change faster than any other!

In my book “10 Common Decorating Mistakes That Fill Homeowners With Regret” I walk through the timeline of neutral trends and go even deeper into how often they change.

Most people think that neutrals are timeless.  That’s true of SOME neutrals (white, off white, and taupe), however most neutrals (brown, black, grey, greige, and beige) absolutely will appear dated within just 5-10 years since these trends change SO rapidly.

So, if you want a neutral kitchen but don’t necessarily want to do white, I recommend a taupe since it’s like greige’s reliable best friend who always sticks around.  Warm enough to look great during a beige and brown era yet cool enough to still kick it during a grey and black kick.

I love Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball because I think it’s just the perfect taupe with not too much pink or purple in the undertone.

5. White Dove by Benjamin Moore

Off-white is a great choice when you don’t want to see your reflection in our bright white cabinets, but also don’t want them to appear too creamy or yellow.

When working with white, you’ll want to be very careful about the other surfaces you’re adding to the kitchen.

White works on a scale from bright blue-white to pure white to off white to ivory.

You can pair off white with ivory OR with pure white and it’ll look amazing.

However, if you’re planning to use any bright blue-whites like a carrera marble, you’ll probably want to reconsider off white and opt for a pure white instead.

White Dove is a great off-white that looks fantastic in most homes.  Off whites have a slightly greyed out effect to them making them a softer choice. 

6. Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore

If you want a crisp and clean white with no blue or grey undertones, then Chantilly Lace is the only colour in the Benjamin Moore line that fits the bill!  High Reflective White by Sherwin Williams is another solid choice for a pure white.

Pure whites parner well with off whites and with bright blue-white. However, they will make ivory and cream look dirty so be sure to take that into consideration when choosing your kitchen cabinetry colour.

Photo by Jeff Mindell for Domino Magazine

7. Your Favourite Colour is Always a Timeless Choice for Your Cabinetry

The colour that you’ve loved since you were a kid is always a timeless choice for your kitchen.

The only caveat to this is if you’re selling it… however if your kitchen is of great quality and well done, even the craziest cabinetry colour won’t deter buyers no matter what your Real Estate Agent says!

Take it from me.  I’ve had coloured cabinetry in every house I’ve owned before this one.  I’ve had teal, green, blue, and even yellow!  And my homes have always sold within 7 days of going on the market (even during recessions) because the kitchens were tasteful and well thought through.

It’s likely that if you’re planning new cabinets instead of just touching up the ones you have that you’re planning on staying in your home for quite some time.  So why not make sure it’s perfectly suited to you?

There really isn’t any colour that won’t work on cabinets.  Yellow, red, green, lilac, pink, whatever suits your fancy!

If this scares you, go with a less saturated version of your favourite colour for your cabinets.  Or add a fun island and do the rest in a white so it feels like less commitment.

What else is important to consider?

I’ve seen a lot more bland kitchens then timeless beauties out there.  It’s so easy to fall into the trap of putting in the same kitchen as everyone else which only devalues your investment in the long run!

Given how extensive a kitchen renovation is, you may want to consider hiring a designer rather than relying solely on the kitchen cabinetry shop and their in-house design teams.

Hear me out.  An independent designer will benefit you in the following ways:

  • We look at the entire picture, not just the things the cabinetry company is selling you.  We don’t make money on the cabinets and our only goal is to help you create the most unique and stunning kitchen within your budget.
  • A designer will save you thousands on your kitchen renovation.  We know when to splurge and when to save and because we design the entire kitchen up front before bringing in a contractor for quotes, we will be able to procure more accurate costing to help keep your project on budget.
  • We act as your advocate during the process by providing tools and drawings to contractors so that they don’t make assumptions that wind up costing you thousands to fix.

Working with us for your kitchen renovation might not be as expensive as you think!  From just $850 we can design your kitchen, gather quotes, do your budget, and source everything you need to get the kitchen of your dreams.  We easily save you more than our fee with our knowledge of materials and cost saving measures.

To explore whether or not we’re a fit, book your free discovery phone call.  On this call we will talk more about your project scope, your style and vision, and we will walk you through our kitchen renovation process.

If at the end of the call we both feel it’s a fit, we will go over our kitchen renovation flat-fee packages and book your initial style + ideas session!

Click here to get started by booking your free discovery phone call.

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