The Psychology of Why Gray Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services

Something about grey works just perfectly for kitchens. The color teeters between a relaxing neutrality and an exciting warmth, managing to provide the best of both worlds. Of course, depending on what shade of grey you choose, your kitchen could be closer to one end or the other.

It is the perfect color to choose for your kitchen remodeling project, whether you want to contrast brighter hues on your floor or fabrics, create textured variations in your kitchen space, or create an exciting yet relaxing space. One area where it has become common is in kitchen cabinets. More and more homeowners are opting out of the popular all-white or wood-brown cabinet styles to try out grey painted kitchen cabinets.

One common reason why homeowners avoid grey is the color’s association with dullness, modesty, and boredom. However, any other color scheme can also be given these attributes. It all depends on how you mix and match. In our round up of grey cabinets below, you can see how different colors and textures are used to create an amazing style with grey cabinets being a big part of it. If you are not so sure of your mix-and-match skills, a talk with an interior designer might provide some guidance.

The Psychology of Color Gray

At first glance, gray seems like an odd color to choose for the kitchen, an area that is often associated with bright and overly warm colors. Why is it then, that more and more homeowners are opting for gray-themed kitchens? The answer is in the psychology of the color.

A kitchen where everything is gray in color is bound to be dull and quite depressing. Can you imagine a gray floor, gray walls, gray ceiling, gray everything? But in this case, we are talking about using one aspect of the kitchen, the cabinets, to create the perfect décor for your cooking space.  A kitchen adorned with gray cabinets, and the right matching colors, is far from dull or depressing. The psychological experience is far more positive.

  • There is a feeling of expectation. Gray cabinets build anticipation for other aspects of the kitchen. You cannot wait to see the countertop, the floor, the backsplash and so on. In a way, gray allows other elements of the kitchen décor to stand out. Instead of boring, gray actually makes the kitchen more exciting.
  • An atmosphere of style and luxury. Step into a gray-themed kitchen and you will think you are in some high-end condo. Gray has an unmistakable feeling of classic style and unmitigated luxury.
  • Relaxing yet exciting. There is a certain hard-to-explain way in which gray causes a deep sense of relaxation yet sparking excitement through its contrast with other nearby colors and textures.

The gray color is a projection of attributes such as cool, wise, knowledgeable, quiet, peaceful, and clean. Gray cabinets will transform your kitchen into a place of tranquility, warmth and relaxation. What more would you want for one of the most important spaces in your home?

Choosing What Shade of Grey Cabinets You Want

Companies like Benjamin Moore stock more than a dozen variants of grey, each with its own character and effects. For example, Fieldstone by Benjamin Moore is closer to white while avoiding its sterility. On the other hand, Dragons Breath by Benjamin Moore gets threateningly close to tan, providing a good complement for brown wood flooring.

Make sure that you test out different shades in different lighting situations. Most paint suppliers provide samples that you can test with. One shade can appear ashy in one type of lighting and bluish in another.

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Mix and Match Different Cabinet Colors and Surfaces

One popular option is grey and white kitchen cabinets, which creates a gentle contrast. You can go for grey cabinets and a white countertop or grey lower cabinets and all-white upper wall cabinets.  You can take a look at these kitchen remodeling ideas from our previous projects.

You can also choose grey painted cabinets to match a grey floor, making sure to choose contrasting shades of grey for both surfaces. For instance, a light grey wood tile floor could work well with dark grey cabinets.

Grey does not have to be boring, dull, or safe. It can be fun, exciting, and even unique. To prove it to you, here are some amazing grey cabinets that work perfectly for the space they are in.

BEACH STYLE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Heydt Designs

Great slate gray island in this beach style eat-in kitchen.

GRAY & BROWN

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Home & Stone

Traditional rich feel to this kitchen. Like the contrast of the dark brown island.

SHAKER GRAY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Murphy & Co. Design

Nice clean look to this wet bar.

CLASSIC GALLEY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Capital Area Remodeling, LLC

Soft gray color looks nice with the white backsplash. Love the lights.

WOOD ISLAND

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Cason Graye Homes

The deep rich wood counter is a nice departure from the typical granite and quartz countertops you see quite often.

ATTAINABLE GRAY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Dura Supreme Cabinetry

Pretty kitchen that seems attainable to almost any budget. Love the farmhouse sink!

DRAWER SPACE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Nordby Design Studio, Architecture & Interiors LLC
Beautiful gray shaker cabinets–lots of drawers!

WINE STORAGE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Shenandoah Cabinetry

This gray cabinet is a wonderful idea for the organized wine lover. OR to get that wine lover organized.

ELEGANT

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Revision LLC

This kitchen is so elegant. Love the contrast of the large white island with the gray cabinets.

ARABESQUE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Avenue B Development

I think it’s interesting that they carried the Arabesque tiles all the way to the ceiling.

STORAGE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Inspired Dwelling

Great storage space in this warm gray kitchen.

BASEMENT BAR

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Contemporary basement bar. Love the hanging pendants.

GRAY STAIN

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
East End Country Kitchens

Gray stain look cabinets in this contemporary kitchen. Pre-finished veneer called Shinnoki (Dusk Frakke). The lighted cabinets are great if you can keep them neat.

SHAKER

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Tom Howley Kitchens

This kitchen island is shown in a soft gray. Very bright and light. The Mazzano tumbled marble floors work well with this design.

COASTAL COOL

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
William Quarles/Kitchen Design by Jill Frey

These cabinets in this coastal kitchen are a lovely light gray.

ISLAND GETAWAY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Awesome island, love the crisscross detail on the end and the extra thick Carrara countertop. Looks like two shades of gray used in this kitchen.

GRAY ISLAND

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Paragon Kitchens

The dark gray island is a nice pairing with the white wall cabinets and countertops. Wonderful extended island.

CORNERED

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Hyde Evans Design

A very traditional and timeless look in a unique area of the home.

GRAY PENDANTS

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Kitchens & Bath Décor

The lights match the cabinets!

BLACKOUT

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Niche Interiors

I like the look of this dark black countertop in this transitional kitchen. Cool rectangular pendant lights.

CALM & COLLECTED

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
John Kraemer & Sons

Gorgeous detailed kitchen. Look at the backsplash over the stove! Love the lights and the chairs that add a pop of color.

CONTEMPORARY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Cucina Bella Ltd – Rebecca Gagne CKD

Very contemporary kitchen. Cabinets are European laminate high gloss lacquer.

Other Popular Rooms for Gray Cabinetry

Gray cabinets also look great in bathrooms, laundry rooms/mudrooms and as built-ins.

CHARCOAL GRAY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Michael Abrams Limited

Dark charcoal cabinets displayed in this sophisticated Chicago bathroom.

TRADITIONAL BATH

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
JD Smith Custom Homes

Extremely traditional and elegant.

MIRROR MIRROR

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Amanda Teal Design

Unique mirrors, faucets and fixtures in this gray bathroom.

MASCULINE MASTER

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Emerick Architects

A very masculine feeling to this dark gray master bathroom.

PRETTY MASTER

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Shelter Interiors LLC

Pretty master bathroom. The gray base colors are so soft and comforting. You could pair almost any color (accessories) in this room to create the atmosphere you want.

BEACH HOUSE BATH

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Rachel Reider Interiors

Love the drawers and overall style of the cabinet and how the window is incorporated into the design.

SLEEK MASTER

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Positive Space Staging and Design Inc.

Sleek contemporary gray master bathroom.

BRASS & GRAY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Romanelli & Hughes Custom Home Builders

I guess brass is coming back? Personally not a fan of the brass, but I love the door style and position of the hardware.

MEGA STORAGE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
ASID San Diego Chapter

Awe-inspiring storage. If you can’t find room in this master bath, then it is time to de-clutter! I love how the mirrors hang in front of the windows. This brings in so much natural light.

COASTAL POWDER

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Splice Design

Pretty gray furniture-like cabinet in this coastal powder room.

HIS AND HERS

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Cambridge Construction LLC

Absolutely love the vanity in this his and hers bathroom. The lights are so pretty and all the other design elments balance out so well.

CLASSIC HALL BATH

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
dRemodeling

This is just a classic clean hall bath with storm gray cabinets. I like the simple storage tower in the center of the sinks.

BUILT-IN

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Katherine Wills Interiors

Very clean look to this contemporary built-in.

HOME OFFICE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
ASID San Diego Chapter

This gray built-in looks fantastic in this home office.

CONTEMPORARY STORAGE

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Wettling Architects

Contemporay bedroom closet and entertainment storage.

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Emerick Architects

A very masculine feeling to this dark gray master bathroom.

ELEGANT LAUNDRY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Bradshaw Designs LLC

Very elegant laundry room that you almost wouldn’t mind spending a lot of time in.

FRONT PORCH

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Greenable

Great use of space in this enclosed front porch mudroom.

GRAY LAUNDRY

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Cranberry Hill Kitchens

Love the farmhouse sink and white backsplash in this gray laundry room.

MUDROOM

The Psychology of Why Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Smart and attractive way to keep your mudroom organized.

Grey can be a surprisingly fun color, as is evident in our article. With some creativity and the right match-ups, grey cabinets could work great for your kitchen. Whether you are planning a remodel or building a new house, consider some grey additions to your kitchen. If you need help with advice or ideas, we are always here to help.

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About the Author:

" We are very passionate about educating homeowners. From design ideas to hiring a contractor, we hope this blog helps you in the process of remodeling your home. " ~ Bryan Sebring

13 Comments

  1. Oralia Lozoya July 6, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    if you have light gray kitchen cabinets what color do paint your walls?

    • Bryan Sebring July 10, 2017 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Dark grey would be a nice contrast, in addition to bright whites. Hope that helps!

  2. Ghana September 6, 2017 at 6:40 am - Reply

    Grey….yuck.

    I know most people love it – but not I.

    It’s like someone was too scared to commit to a color or stain…

    It’s industrial…it’s the color of concrete….yuck….

  3. Ferrar October 7, 2017 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Hi, this would really help as I just relocated to Philadelphia from Houston and planning remodeling for my new home.

  4. Ashley Lapato November 29, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Needless to say, we’re a huge fan of Sebring all the way down here in DC. We’re seeing more and more transitional kitchen remodels, which is why we’re starting to update the showroom. The funny thing – they said grey kitchens were a trend… that was 10 years ago. Judging by the last home show we attended, I doubt think it’s a trend anymore. Grey is here to stay. Keep up the great content and amazing remodels, team Sebring!

  5. Yves N Aubry January 12, 2018 at 8:10 am - Reply

    My new kitchen cabinets are a soft grey from Lowe’s, Shenandoah! I love the “Full Overlay,” for the cabinetry door finish. I went also with “Duraform,” which is middle of the road in cost.
    My style is classic, traditional with oil brushed bronze faucets, crystal chandeliers, barn door into the master bedroom. Whitewash Knotty Alder bedroom doors. Wood look laminate flooring for all except for kitchen & foyer which will be a “Vinyl,” because of the high wet location. What style backsplash should I go with. Was thinking “glass & stone, intermixed,” from Floor & Decor?? Thanks for you help…

    • Bryan Sebring January 22, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Hi Yves,
      We strive to educate and provide assistance to clients, however we don’t have great recommendation at this time for the project details provided.
      Have a great day!
      Bryan Sebring

  6. Lucille February 24, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply

    This website gave me great insight on why or why not gray cabinets. Of course whatever color you choose for any room is a personal choice, but this gave me a better vision of grays.

    I have at present very white cabinets and Black Galaxy counter tops. Since we are doing a kitchen makeover, I wanted a change. Light gray is what I was leaning toward and it’s now my final decision. The light gray cabinets pictured in the Coastal Cool Island Getaway is the color of gray we will choose. It’s a very large kitchen with a sunny morning room but I want to keep it light with the black Counter tops. Thanks for this website.

  7. Loni February 26, 2018 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I have dark grey slate floors and I want to paint or stain my cabinets. Bottom a med grey and tops white. Any suggestion?

    • Bryan Sebring March 19, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Hi Loni,

      Sounds like you have a great plan, good luck on your project!

      Bryan Sebring

  8. Erin Harris July 18, 2018 at 7:50 am - Reply

    I’ve got Benjamin Moore Grasslands on my walls, a beautiful counter top called black fusion and grey/white flooring. Im trying hard for a modern farmhouse/country style.
    I’m thinking about painting our cabinets grey. They are a beautiful oak and I feel it’s a shame to paint them but I haven’t been happy with any of the stains we have tried so far. What shade of grey would you recommend for them? (We are fans of Benjamin Moore). Thank you.

    • Bryan Sebring August 17, 2018 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Hi Erin,

      Unfortunately with the information provided, I do not think we would be able to give a great recommendation, however you are on the right track, as many people are painting cabinetry gray, I hope it turns out well!

      Bryan

  9. Carmen Allison August 5, 2018 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Very pretty, inspiring ideas!

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