Color Trends for Kitchen Cabinets

Are you excited to see new trends in kitchen décor? We are, and we love what’s happening. Kitchen cabinets have undergone some subtle shifts in the last couple of decades, moving from natural wood to crisp white—and then there were shades of gray for a while. Don’t worry if you have any of those in your home because they’re not gone from today’s color palette; it’s just that the palette expanded – dramatically.

Colored kitchen cabinets are a huge trend that’s not new, but it’s rarely been spotted outside of retro-kitchens for several decades. In the 1930s and 40s, boldly colored cabinets ruled the kitchen; reds and blacks and even some dark greens were common. Then, the mid-century modern hues descended, and the colors shifted to softer, more pastel tones like pink, mint, and yellow. And then, we transitioned into more natural and muted tones. It was a shift away from happy and joyful kitchens toward a more sophisticated vibe.

Kitchen Cabinet Color Trends

Finally, colors are back, and they are a pleasant mix of mid-century modern cheer and whimsy with a more refined attitude. Let’s look at the hottest colors for 2021 and beyond.

  • Muted yellow. Not a sunny bright yellow or even a pastel version, today’s cabinet yellow is very subtle and muted. As far as color trends go, this is the next step from gray to greige to beige and now a yellowy beige. It’s been a slow warming of a neutral into a more pronounced color. We think this shift is going to continue and yellows will become more saturated in the future, but we do like this current hue.
  • Blue-Green. You’ll see both blue and green pop up below as trendy cabinet colors, but this mix of blue and green feels like a tropical compromise. There’s definitely a vacation getaway vibe, and after 2020, it’s not surprising. In fact, it’s quite welcome!
  • Blue. Not to delay blue discussion any longer, it’s easily a favorite color in general for many, and this is evident in cabinet color choices. The safe bet is a light blue or a grey that has a hint of blue in it. The bold decision is dark royal to navy blue cabinets, and that’s rapidly catching on.
  • Green. The year started out strong for green. It felt like the unexpected wow color for kitchens, from olive green to a deep emerald. We expected to see a lot of neutrals and then shades of green, but the addition of yellow and more blues into the scene meant there wasn’t the green explosion we were predicting. Don’t get us wrong; it’s still super popular but not the only bold color option.
  • Dark wood and noticeable grain. If you’re still a fan of the natural look of wood, you might appreciate where this trend is headed. Homeowners are opting for dark, rich tones, or they’re picking wood that has a very noticeable grain, which calls attention to the drama and beauty of nature. It’s a bold move and can be incredibly transformative.

Don’t Pick Just One

There’s a little trick to ensuring colored cabinets work without them feeling too overwhelming. The tip: don’t pick one color for all your cabinetry. It’s simply a colored cabinet hack and isn’t necessary; you don’t have to go this route. But if you’ve been living with a neutral kitchen for a long time, this can help you ease into a new color. 

You’ll notice quite a few homes are showcasing a contrasting island that’s either sporting a bold color or holding onto a nice neutral tone and letting the surrounding cabinets show their colors. Likewise, mix-and-match colors for bottom cabinets and top cabinets are a big trend right now. 

Both of the above options let you play with color in a way that eases it into your space and gives you the best of both worlds.

How to Care for Colored Cabinets 

Most colored cabinets (unless they’re DIY) are not painted; they’re either a laminate or PureStyle. This gives added durability, which is fantastic for wet areas, like your kitchen or your bathroom. It also means a little more care than traditional wood cabinets. We want you to have the best results, so we’ve come up with some cabinet care tips that will keep them in top shape.

While your colored cabinets are durable, you don’t want to scratch, fade, or mar the surfaces. Avoid using these products when cleaning your cabinets.

  • Harsh detergents, strong soaps, or multi-purpose and abrasive cleaning products:
    • Tub and sink cleaners
    • Scouring powders and pads
    • Steel wool or self-polishing waxes
  • Multi-use sponges or dishcloths, as they could contain particles that can scratch your cabinets, as well as food, oil residue, or remnants of harsh cleaning solutions.
  • Paper towels or similar products, especially for high-gloss cabinetry, which is prone to scratching.
  • Solvents or petroleum-based products such as mineral spirits, nail-polish removers, or paint thinners.
  • Ammonia, bleach, or any cleaning products that contain either.
  • Silicone-based cleaning, waxing, or polishing products.

So how do you clean your colored cabinets? Wiping up spills, dribbles, smudges, or handprints as soon as possible will save you a lot of extra cleaning. When you need a touch-up, resort to good old-fashioned warm water, dish soap, and a soft white rag (old, cotton t-shirts are a wonderful option). Don’t rub hard or scrub; just keep gently wiping at stains. 

Are you ready to dive in and bring some color to your kitchen? If you need any help selecting colors or just want to see what’s available, stop by our Lorton showroom or peruse our website. Our A&S staff is always here to help make your kitchen dreams a reality.

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