Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors in 2021

Color trends are constantly shifting — and what, exactly, is in style can differ depending on who you ask. Many people look to the concept of the color of the year for insight. Several colors of the year exist, however, and these often seem to have little rhyme or reason.

If you seek insight on color trends from ten different paint companies or high-end designers, you'll receive ten different opinions as to which hue is the hottest of the season. Many companies struggle to select just one option, often settling on a full spectrum of colors that reference not only their own preferences, but also, where their clients and customers show interest at any given time. Geography can add further trend-based variety; the looks that resonate in New York, for example, might not catch on as quickly in Chicago, Miami, or other style Meccas. 

On a national level, the media tends to hype up color of the year designations, and with good reason: an authority announcing the annual hue makes for a great headline. These stories guarantee reader interest, as people love to speculate on the latest looks.

Given all this, any colors of the year we reference at Plain & Fancy should be taken with a grain of salt. We enjoy discussing the hottest hues of the season but also acknowledge that trends alone may not be sufficient as a basis for your cabinet selection process. It's important to consider other factors, including durability, room size, interest in patterns, and, most importantly, your personal preferences.

If you're not fond of a particular color or it simply falls short of reaching your grand vision for your upcoming design project, it's perfectly fine to abandon the latest trends — especially once you realize how much these vary and as such, how difficult it is to remain at the cutting-edge of interior design. Still, with help from the experts at Plain & Fancy, you can make the most of this year's trends while also achieving an enduring look that you'll love not just now, but in years to come.   


Colors of the Year for 2021: Which Hues will Hit It Big this Year?  

We may be skeptical of the concept of the color of the year, but we still believe that these selections can be a great source of inspiration. If you're at a loss for ideas, the latest collections of trending colors may get you on the path to your ideal hue. You'll find plenty of exciting options for 2021 — especially if you're fond of warm or earthy tones.

Not sure where to start? Below, we've highlighted a few of the most noteworthy designations from top color authorities, including today's most trusted paint providers.


Sticking with the preference for grey-oriented neutrals that has dominated the industry in recent years, Sherwin-Williams selected a versatile look for its 2021 color of the year: Urbane Bronze. This simple tone reflects a growing need for serenity within the often complex world of interior design.

At first glance, Urbane Bronze might not seem particularly exciting, but look again and you'll be struck by its calming nature — exactly what you and your loved ones need in 2021.

As the Sherwin-Williams color marketing director explains, comforting and adaptable colors such as Urbane Bronze make it easier to establish the home as a personal haven during times of uncertainty. Still, this look should have no trouble remaining relevant in the future.

To make the most of Urbane Bronze, be sure to layer with complementary tones, including not only beige paints, but also, white oak or ash cabinets. Copper and wrought iron details can instantly add a hint of sophistication to any space decked out with this neutral hue.


Rather than stick with a single color for 2021, Valspar has opted for twelve muted hues, all of which encourage the peace of mind that we so desperately need in the new year. Referred to by the company as "fresh and familiar," these colors aim to make you feel as cozy as possible while still delivering a slight edge of energy. 

While this year's Valspar paints cover the full color spectrum, all have a soft, comforting feeling. Shades of blue, grey, and cream are heavily represented, but there's something for everyone in this modern collection. Key colors include:

  • Unforgettable. This warm, welcoming take on white brightens up spaces while also helping them feel grounded.
  • Gallery Grey. Combining the neutrals and the warm tones that have been popular as of late, this gentle color is easy to integrate in a variety of spaces.
  • Granite Dust. Echoing the best qualities of natural stone, this desirable shade of grey feels both sophisticated and relaxed.
  • Academy Gray. This deep take on gray features a bluish tint that beckons you to relax and enjoy the small, quiet moments we so often take for granted.
  • Garden Flower. Move beyond the stark whites of yesteryear with a natural tint designed to reflect white roses and other garden favorites.
  • Maple Leaf. Bringing a natural, warm feel to the neutral concept, this relaxed hue has a familiar aesthetic that makes it a great choice for establishing a homey atmosphere.
  • Soft Candlelight. If you like the idea of incorporating yellow in your kitchen but feel a bit ambivalent, this soft take on the cheerful hue should help you make the necessary leap of faith with confidence.
  • Lucy Blue. Evoking the wide-open beauty of ocean scenery, this shade of blue can instantly bring the outside in.
  • Blissful Blue. Shades that blur the lines between blue and gray have been picking up steam for a few seasons. Valspar's Blissful Blue has lovely indigo tones.
  • Dusty Lavender. Romantic yet soft, this tone proves that pastels can cut it as both trendy and timeless.
  • Cherry Taupe. Like Dusty Lavender, this color has a romantic look but is soft enough to not feel overwhelming.
  • Arizona Dust. A relaxed take on apricot, this color works well with hardwood, making it a nice option for highlighting the natural grains of your cabinetry.

Farrow & Ball

Like Valspar, Farrow & Ball designates a variety of colors of the year. These shades tend to be earthy, although several rich colors are also included for 2021.

This year's favorites reflect a general preference for warmer tones over the cooler looks that once dominated color of the year selections. Chosen by curator Joa Studholme, these tones cover the gamut, bringing both comfort and adventure to the homes and other spaces in which they're incorporated.

This year's versatile colors from Farrow & Ball are divided into four distinct categories. These include:


Rich and Warm

The most indulgent of Farrow & Ball's colors of the year invite you to pamper yourself a little. You deserve to relax in a rich and welcoming environment.

  • Deep Reddish Brown. Representing a move away from the charcoal look that has recently dominated contemporary homes, this warm shade of brown has a deeply soothing feel.
  • Tanner's Brown. Deliver a blend of comfort and sophistication with this chocolatey tone, which Joa Studholme recommends for shelving.
  • Preference Red. This luxurious shade of red feels deeply indulgent. This makes it great as a pop of color in a sea of neutral, but it's not too brash to use as a dominant tone.


Clean and Timeless Blues

The right shade of blue is always a winner in a relaxed environment, but this collection can also work nicely in formal settings if paired with rich, contrasting woodwork.

  • Pitch Blue. Add a lively take on blue to your favorite indoor space. A hint of purple takes this version of cobalt to the next level.
  • Stiffkey Blue. A reminder that cool undertones remain relevant in 2021, this take on navy perfectly captures the beauty of the Norfolk beach for which it's named.
  • Ultra Marine Blue. As calming as a day on the coast, this nautical color will attract attention with its fresh feel.
  • Scotch Blue. Delightfully inky, this deep blue provides a great replacement for the cool shades of gray that were so popular in the past few years.


Earth Colors

By now, it should be no secret that earthy shades are a big deal in 2021. It's only fitting, then, that this preference is reflected with a dedicated collection of Farrow & Ball colors of the year.

  • Jitney. Blending the best of neutral standards brown and gray, this organic tone has an uplifting feel that will instantly raise spirits on a dreary day.
  • Dead Salmon. Don't be put off by this color's unusual name. It's meant to reflect the "dead" or flat finish of the aged pink from the historic Kedleston Hall.
  • India Yellow. This exotic hue offers a hint of calm that makes it a wonderful alternative when you desire the versatility of white but also crave a little more visual interest than a conventional neutral can provide.


Photo by Delicious Kitchens

Natural Greens

If you constantly crave time in the great outdoors, you'll love the forest feel of these shades of green:

  • Green Smoke. This deep and smoky color was a big deal during the late 1800s but can still achieve a contemporary feel that emphasizes tranquility above all else.
  • Treron. A dark version of the Farrow & Ball favorite known as Pigeon, this deep green hue works well in modern homes that feature several elements constructed from natural materials.
  • Sap Green. As an integral part of the Color By Nature collection, this organic shade of green brings a rich, outdoorsy atmosphere to a variety of interior settings.


Choosing the Best Color of the Year For Your Home

With so many different colors supposedly hitting it big in 2021, keeping up with the so-called trends can be difficult. How can you create a stylish interior when you don't actually know which look is on-trend? Another important consideration: which colors will remain relevant when 2022 arrives, along with its many new colors of the year?

Ultimately, the color of the year concept fails to take into account the individual's unique needs and aesthetic preferences. This problem has been mitigated to an extent with the establishment of color collections, but even these neglect to capture the full range of possibilities available when a specific trend takes over.

Rather than blindly follow the trends referenced by a particular paint manufacturer, consider a more nuanced approach that makes sense based on your design plans. Our team at Plain & Fancy can guide this process. Our designers love to collaborate; they take the time to get to know each client before offering well-informed recommendations. You'll adore the colors, textures, and styles they highlight. Of course, if your heart is set on a specific color from 2021, you can count on our experts for a great match. 


Colors of the Year for 2020: Natural and Fresh Looks For Your Kitchen  

Kitchen design is constantly evolving. Color trends, in particular, tend to surface in kitchens before they hit other areas of the home. At Plain & Fancy, we're well aware of the latest crazes in kitchen design — and while we're always excited to see style updates, we're especially loving the inspiring aesthetics in store for 2020.

Color palettes, in particular, are starting to shift, with several beautiful, yet accessible hues making their way into today's most impressive kitchens. Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Pantone have all released noteworthy colors and collections, several of which we're already seeing in today's most up-to-date kitchens.

With so many options available, choosing the right shade can feel overwhelming. We're here to help. Below, we've outlined a few of the biggest kitchen cabinet color trends set to make their mark in 2020, as well as accessible options for incorporating these lovely hues into your space.


The Zen Appeal of Earthy Blues And Greens

Soft, peaceful colors will dominate kitchens in 2020. Stressed by the craziness of modern life, homeowners are more eager than ever to incorporate an element of zen into their personal space. This can easily be accomplished with the right colors.

Earthy shades of blue and green, in particular, can make any room feel like a safe haven. These muted colors bring the peaceful vibes of a yoga studio into the kitchen. 

While earthy colors have traditionally been reserved for bedrooms, bathrooms, and other peaceful enclaves, they're quickly making a splash in virtually every aspect of the modern kitchen. We're thrilled to see these hues represented and the following are just a few examples of peaceful, down-to-earth hues we expect to take over in 2020:  

Sherwin Williams: Naval

As Sherwin Williams' Color of the Year, Naval reflects a growing emphasis on quiet confidence, especially among those who realize that bold looks can still be grounded. This hue also intends to inspire a "fresh decade of change." It allows homeowners to achieve a crisp, clean look without opting for the all-white aesthetics that dominated kitchens of the past decade. 

Pantone: Chive and Navy Blazer

While Pantone's 2020 color palette includes a wide variety of hues, several are in keeping with the earthy emphasis that we've already observed. This is especially true of Chive, which, according to Pantone, aims to impart a "healthy and restorative harmony." This deep shade of green has a distinctively herbal look, which grants it a meditative feel.

For summer, Pantone is emphasizing Navy Blazer — a self-assured shade of blue reminiscent of the Sherwin Williams Color of the Year. Sophisticated, yet grounded, this versatile color will feel right at home in a variety of 2020 kitchen designs.


Combining White With Pops of Color

There is a lot to love about a simple, white kitchen. Clean and crisp, this go-to color can give even the tiniest room a spacious feel. It's easy to see why white has dominated kitchens for over a decade — and why, as the ultimate classic kitchen color, it's capable of standing the test of time.

We adore white, but there's nothing wrong with adding a little extra color. The right kitchen design allows you to capture the best of both worlds: the crisp look of white and the vibrant beauty of bold colors. Options abound for highlighting trendy colors in kitchen cabinets. Two-tone styles offer a bolder look while still remaining decidedly versatile. In 2020, pops of color will deliver a fresh feel in white kitchens. The following hues, in particular, should prove transformative if used sparingly: 


Turquoise may not be the first color that comes to mind when you picture a stylish kitchen, but that's about to change. Why reserve this stunning look exclusively for your jewelry collection? 


Bright, clean, and cheery, lemon brings much-needed zest to kitchen environments. It's best used sparingly, of course, but the right details can bring an otherwise simple and straightforward space to life.

Lemon pairs wonderfully with white but also looks lovely alongside other neutrals. It's a great option for kitchens that lack natural lighting, as it can make any space seem lighter and more cheerful.


Millennials love avocados, but why limit this obsession to food? Turns out, avocado is just as amazing in kitchen design as it is in guacamole. This unique color provides a softer, lighter take on the earthy shades expected to dominate in 2020.

Used in excess, avocado may feel less like a Millennial trend and more like an excessive throwback to the 70s. A little white, however, will break it up to maintain a crisp and clean appearance.

Whether you dream of an earthy kitchen or prefer bursts of vibrant color, you'll have no trouble envisioning your ideal kitchen as you explore the trendiest colors of 2020. The right cabinets can bring your design to life, ensuring a cohesive space that instantly feels like home.


Colors of the Year for 2019: Discover the Appeal of Neutral Classics   

If you’ve ever chosen design features for a kitchen before, you know the importance that the kitchen cabinet color has on the overall look and feel of your space.

The problem is, walking into a cabinetry showroom can be quite overwhelming at first. Turns out that having literally endless choices in color and stain can be a problem. When you have so many options …how can you ultimately choose?

Therefore, to assist you in narrowing down your options a tad, we’ve browsed the paint chips, perused the stain options, and polled the interior designers so you don’t have to. And we’ve come up with the six most popular kitchen cabinet colors (and finishes) for you to consider.

White Kitchen Cabinets



Think clean and crisp. Think new laundry drying on the line on a summer’s day. Think freshly laundered towels or fields of cotton.

White is the color of new beginnings and purity. And if that’s what your kitchen is in need of right now, this may be the color for you.

For several decades, in fact, white has been the leading cabinet color in kitchen cabinet trends. As the most popular shade for cabinetry then, it’s a good option for many styles of kitchens. It certainly fits well with a simple, straightforward design choice that won’t go out of style. It also allows you endless possibilities where other design choices are concerned. Go wild with countertops, get crazy with wall color, or invest in a daring floor covering — the sky’s the limit.

Grey Kitchen Cabinets


Grey is the ultimate color for homeowners who want something different … but not that different.

Its neutrality allows for a kitchen that is bold and modern, while remaining clean and versatile. Feel free to marry your grey kitchen cabinets with any number of bolder colors in wall, tile, or floor colors. Or alternatively, keep things laid back and completely neutral by pairing grey cabinets with wood or ceramic flooring, neutral granite countertops, and white or beige walls.

As with any kitchen cabinet color, remember that the style of your cabinets will often dictate the precise shade of grey you choose. For example, our Maple Stone grey is light and airy and pairs perfect with our classic Shaker door style. But for a more retro door — for example, our Contempo door style — you might go for a deeper grey like our Maple Graystone.


Perfect for kitchens that have an abundance of natural light, black is also an excellent hue for an ultra-modern look.

Again, you’ll want a larger kitchen for black cabinetry to work really well. Pairing black kitchen cabinets with white countertops, white flooring, and white walls offers a super sophisticated look that’s going to last and stay fashionable. As is the case when you use black anywhere in the house, you’ll obtain a sleek and urban look that becomes even more to-die-for if you can get it close to brick.

Deep black cabinets are also perfect for those who cook a lot and may or may not … be a little messy (spills hardly show, thank goodness). Remember also that on most black cabinetry, you’ll want a super smooth finish (it maximizes the sleek effect), so look for cabinet door styles that aren’t too detailed.

Navy Blue

Think French sailors, school uniforms, and … blueberries in August.

While navy blue may not be quite so “neutral” as white, grey, and black, by many measures, it’s still technically considered a neutral. This matters because it means you can still pair navy with bright focal colors, and it likely won’t clash.

Our Triton Blue is especially perfect for this kind of matching. It’s just cool enough to be considered a member of the blue family, but it also casts a shade of grey that keeps any intensity under wraps.

If Triton is just a tad too deep and dark for your liking, however, essentially all of our cool colored blues have been flying off the shelves. For more options, consider our Maple Carbon, which is slightly lighter than Triton Blue but still straddles that beautiful space between blue and grey.

Stains that compliment any cabinet choice     

Walnut Kitchen Cabinets 


By far, the most popular wood species and natural stain color is walnut. You can see it here in our gallery.

Walnut is actually quite close to our hearts at Plain & Fancy. A favorite of our founder, John Achey, this wood species offers a truly unique color and graining. In fact, much of the graining is a huge challenge to source as grading the final cuts means locating the perfect variance between the center heartwood and the sapwood, which makes up 25 to 30% of each tree trunk.

In the end, true lovers of walnut and wood in general will appreciate the wide variety of shades and colors that this species can provide. And with a natural finish, these varied shades are exceptionally well highlighted, creating works of art that also function as durable, long-lasting cabinetry.

Rift Cut White Oak

Our second most popular wood and stain combination is rift cut white oak in the finish Narvik. See it here.

Whereas walnut tends to be a bit deeper in color and saturation, white oak is lighter and fresher-looking in many ways. Furthermore, rift sawn white oak offers a truly unique effect.

Rift sawn wood is cut in a specific way so that the annual rings are generally at around 45 degrees (or roughly between 30 and 60 degrees). This creates some waste when cutting the wood, but it’s ideal for a truly dimensionally stable effect (super durable) and a unique appearance that you simply won’t see anywhere else. 


Find your Perfect Kitchen Cabinets at Plain & Fancy

At Plain & Fancy, we’ve been a family owned and operated business for over 50 years. Our dedication and commitment to excellence in customer care is matched only by our skill and expertise in cabinet design and installation.

Allow us to service your unique cabinetry needs with state-of-the-art, custom designed and hand-cut cabinetry that’s built to last. To peruse our cabinet door styles, custom colors and finishes, and more, we invite you to visit our Design Center in Schaefferstown, or locate a showroom close to you.

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