What Color Cabinets for Kitchen Remodel?

There’s a lot to think about when planning a kitchen remodel. From layout and appliances to counter materials and backsplash…the list goes on. However, one of the most fundamental choices you’ll make is what color cabinets to install for a kitchen remodel. We know, because it’s our business, figuratively and literally. Clients from Lafayette, Orinda, Walnut Creek and Alamo consult with Distinctive Cabinetry regularly to view kitchen cabinet samples and color options.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to stop in our Walnut Creek showroom completely overwhelmed by the myriad of cabinet styles, colors and finishes. In fact, we pride ourselves on being patient with every client and educating them on the style, form, function and cost. This is just one reason our kitchen designers continually receive HOUZZ awards for “BEST OF SERVICE”.

Additionally, as one of the premiere cabinet suppliers in the East Bay, we work with only the highest quality cabinet manufacturers. Below are just seven of the most popular kitchen cabinet options:


1. White Kitchen Cabinets

White kitchen cabinets give a sense of airy spaciousness, and are great for smaller kitchens, especially in the East Bay Area. Other cabinet colors in small spaces could easily feel claustrophobic. White is also a neutral and forgiving shade which blends in well with almost any other kind of decor or accessory selection.

But white isn’t without its downsides. It quickly shows up any splashes, smears, or dust, and if it starts to lose its sheen it can quickly look grubby and old. Also, an expanse of white in a larger kitchen can look cold and uninviting, so white cabinets will need some careful accessorizing to provide extra interest.  The white kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Starmark Cabinetry.



2. Cream Kitchen Cabinets

Cream provides a slightly warmer version of white, brightening a smaller space but hiding fingerprints and minor stains a little more effectively. However, there’s a fine line between clean-looking cream and a darker, yellowing finish that looks old and shabby. If you do a lot of frying in your kitchen, for example, then cream can quickly lose its attractive finish. The cream kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Waypoint Living Spaces.



3. Black Kitchen Cabinets

At the other end of the lightness spectrum, black cabinets give a dramatic and contemporary effect, barely showing dust or light stains. However, even in medium-sized kitchens, too many black surfaces can make a kitchen feel oppressive and gloomy. Most of our clients pair black cabinets with lighter color.

If you prefer easy clean up, you may want to veer away from black cabinets. Because of the deep color, they are some of the hardest to clean. Soapy streaks or traces of left-behind grease will show up very clearly after cleaning, potentially looking worse than before. The black kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Starmark Cabinetry.



4. Gray Kitchen Cabinets

Gray is an unusual color choice with several benefits. It’s neither too clinical nor too gloomy, and it’s reasonably easy to keep looking fresh and clean. It makes a good match for stainless steel appliances and accessories, and it shows off any more brightly colored kitchen items to great effect.

However, gray is perhaps best used as a backdrop combined with another more cheerful cabinet color or white countertops, to prevent the overall effect from becoming too drab. The gray kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Eclipse Cabinetry.



5. Natural Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Natural wood is a classic kitchen material that’s great for a vintage or rustic style. There’s a wide variety of wood types and finishes available, and wooden cabinets are relatively easy to sand and restain if you want to change the color in a few years’ time.

The two main drawbacks are that high-quality wood can be costly, and it’s not always the sturdiest of materials. Scuffs, scrapes, and chips can build up over time, although minor damage can actually add to a rustic, distressed look. The natural wood kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Plato Woodwork.



6.  Wood-Effect Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Wood-effect laminate looks almost as good as real wood, and is more resistant to minor damage. It’s also easy to clean with just a cloth and a splash of laminate cleaner fluid. However, the best laminates can cost nearly as much as genuine wood, while the less-expensive options don’t always look very convincing. The wood-effect laminate kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Ultracraft Cabinetry.



7.  Stronger or Primary Colored Kitchen Cabinets

Lastly, primary colors will give your kitchen a dramatic and welcoming look, particularly if you use reds, teals, oranges, and yellows. However, the effect is easily overdone. Strong colors are often most effective as eye-catching splashes placed amid more neutral shades such as cream or gray. 

As a final point, remember that an unusual kitchen design makes your home harder to sell. Think twice about using strong, individual colors if you plan on a moving in the next few years. The teal colored kitchen cabinets seen in the photo below are from Shiloh Cabinetry.




The color of your kitchen cabinets has a huge effect on the look and feel of the room, so it’s important to choose wisely during a remodel. After all, you’ll be using your kitchen every day for years to come, so you need to select a color you’ll continue to love long after the novelty has worn off. Visit our Walnut Creek Showroom to view a wide variety of bath and kitchen cabinet styles including: European, Mission, Modern, Shaker, Transitional and Traditional.


If you’re struggling to find the right Kitchen Cabinets for your remodel, click the button below we would be happy to help.

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