We Asked Millennial Designers to Share the 3 Kitchen Paint Colors Our Generation Will (Probably!) Always Love

published Mar 15, 2024
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

The last time I shopped for a home was a decade ago when dark wood cabinets and granite countertops were all the rage. Now that I’m back on the home-buying market, I’m noticing a few distinct kitchen color schemes trending in homes with new or recently made-over kitchens — and it got me thinking. 

The first are bright white kitchens with sleek subway tiles. The second trend warms up more, with a neutral palette and combinations like white oak cabinetry and glossy, beige zellige tiles. The third, which is just right for this elder millennial, has pops of darker accent colors, like sage green cabinets or a dark navy kitchen island, juxtaposed with something like quartz countertops. Seriously, I’m seeing these three schemes over and over.

Millennial Designers’ Favorite Kitchen Colors

Our generation has popularized some colors so much they become eponymous — like “millennial pink,” and now the more controversial “millennial gray.” The millennial influence over the interior design color wheel likely has to do with the fact that we have been the largest group of homebuyers since 2014, usurped just recently by the Baby Boomers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

As moodier colors in kitchens trend, a departure from the cool whites of the 2010s, Behr announced its 2024 color of the year to be a soft black called “Cracked Pepper.” The color is especially loved by millennials, with 61% of those surveyed saying that black tones can give homes a fresh look.

So, what other colors are “in” right now for kitchens — especially concerning my generation of homebuyers? I asked three millennial designers, and here’s what they had to say. 

Credit: Viv Yapp

1. Slate Gray-Blue

A few designers I spoke to mentioned their love for blues in the kitchen. “I love slate blue — both for kitchen cabinets, and in general as a versatile color option that works well throughout the home,” says Kathy Kuo, founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home. “When paired with warm neutrals, metallic hardware, or deeper blues, slate is a shade that can really add depth and sophistication to a space.” 

Slate blue provides the calming effects of a light blue along with the distinguished look of timeless gray and beige. “I find that it works especially well in a coastal kitchen or a modern organic one,” she says. 

Credit: Carina Romano

2. Eucalyptus Green

From emerald to more neutral, green kitchens were pinpointed by interior designers across the country as one of the biggest kitchen trends for 2024. Courtney Cole, interior designer with Yabby, shared that her favorite color schemes are inspired by nature. Eucalyptus green is high on her list at the moment, along with earthy shades reminiscent of mushrooms and timber. 

“These hues bring warmth and a connection to the outdoors, which creates a welcoming and serene kitchen,” she says. The vibe with these Earth-toned color schemes tends to be uplifting and grounded all at once, she says. 

Credit: Erin Derby

3. Warm White 

Love a fresh coat of white paint, but don’t want your kitchen to feel too sterile? Turn your attention to a warmer shade like “Old White” from Farrow & Ball, suggests interior designer Becca Casey of Becca Interiors and founder of Ayr Barns.

“‘Old White’ has a warmth to it that complements white walls beautifully,” Casey says. It pairs well with a variety of hardware finishes, too, she points out. “It pulls both cooler and warmer undertones, and it works well in a modern or traditional setting,” she says.