5 Reasons Why Gray Kitchens Aren’t Going Anywhere

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Sustainable Kitchens)

We’ve written before about kitchens with green cabinets, and blue cabinets, and black cabinets, and those are all lovely, but this post is dedicated to a particular favorite of mine: gray cabinets. Whether you’re looking for a pearl gray or a seal gray or a dark almost-charcoal gray, this color has a timeless allure, and suits practically any space. Here are five reasons why this style is here to stay.

(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

#1: Gray cabinets don’t show dirt like white cabinets.

White cabinets are nice to look at, and they’ve dominated the design landscape for a long time. But as someone who has white cabinets in their own kitchen, I know that they have a big drawback: Every smudge or stain or droplet of liquid stands out against the white. Gray cabinets are a bit more forgiving.

(Image credit: Studio McGee)
(Image credit: M House Development)

#2: Gray cabinets won’t make a space look heavy or dark.

If you want to hide dirt, or make a big style statement, you could opt for black, which is becoming an increasingly popular choice for kitchen cabinets. One downside of black, though, is that it can make a room feel heavy and dark, particularly in a space that has both upper and lower cabinets, as most kitchens do. If you love the look of black but are worried that your space doesn’t get enough light to pull it off, gray is a nice compromise.

(Image credit: Summit Signature Homes)
(Image credit: Sustainable Kitchens)

#3: Gray is pretty versatile.

Although some may think of it as a boring or neutral color, gray actually contains multitudes. A bluish gray is suitable for a space with cooler tones, and on the other hand, there is what’s called French gray, which has warmer tones and can read almost olive. French gray pairs nicely with warmer colors; for more of a statement, you can also find grays that tend slightly towards other colors, like green or purple.

(Image credit: Sustainable Kitchens)
(Image credit: Eye Swoon)

#4: Gray cabinets look good with a variety of countertops.

You often seem them paired with marble or solid surface countertops, which is no surprise, since those are two very popular choice for countertop materials, but gray cabinets also pair beautifully with butcher block or even laminate, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution.

#5: Gray cabinets will stand the test of time.

You see gray cabinets in a lot of Scandinavian kitchens, and Scandinavians are certainly known for being on the cutting edge of design. But gray cabinets have actually been around for quite some time, and their popularity shows no signs of slowing. I think one reason for this is their versatility: They’re not too trendy for a traditional kitchen, but still unique enough to hold their own in a contemporary space. So if you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen and want a color that’s stylish that will stand the test of time—gray might be just the ticket.