Top Ideas For Incorporating Gray In Your Kitchen Cabinets

Gray has officially taken over the world of interior design — and it's not about to fade into the background. This uniquely versatile color holds a lot of appeal, as evidenced by its regular incorporation in today's hottest looks. Enthusiasts appreciate its contemporary appeal, as well as the ease with which it pairs with both bold colors and other neutrals.

If you're ready to upgrade your kitchen cabinets, gray is absolutely worth considering. Whether you opt for gray-painted cabinets or choose to incorporate the color in other design elements, it can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. This is your opportunity to take on a chic aesthetic without worrying about your new look going beyond your comfort zone or eventually falling out of style.

Gray's inherent versatility makes it ideal for today's kitchens, but the seemingly endless array of choices can feel paralyzing at times. With so many shades and applications, how can you possibly decide on just one option? We're here to help. Below, we've highlighted a few of the opportunities worth considering as you determine how to make the most of this amazing neutral.


Accent with Blue

If you like the idea of gray but are typically reluctant to adopt neutral-heavy designs, consider opting for a shade that infuses a subtle touch of your favorite color: blue. The right amount of blue can add immediate visual interest without compromising the otherwise understated look of gray.

Take care when employing this approach; shades that incorporate blue sometimes end up looking little like gray. If you strike the right balance, however, you'll discover a kitchen aesthetic that is both modern and timeless.


Take a Dare With Dark Gray

Dark colors are currently in the midst of a well-deserved comeback. These hues have been less prominent in recent years due to the prevalence of white, which is beloved for its clean look and ability to brighten spaces. That doesn't mean that dark colors should be avoided, however. With a strategic approach, dark tones can come across as sophisticated or even edgy.

While many homeowners currently enjoy experimenting with navy blue and even black, there's a lot to love about gray, which plays as just daring enough without feeling intimidating. It's the perfect option for experimenting with the concept of a dark kitchen.

The ultimate look of your kitchen will depend on how you incorporate dark gray — and the extent to which you pursue contrast. If this color dominates, you can achieve a slightly moody but decidedly appealing look that verges on French provincial. In other cases, however, the darkest shades of gray deliver a decidedly contemporary kitchen design.

Find ways to build contrast into your kitchen so that your dark gray theme doesn't feel overwhelming. With a little effort and ingenuity, you can achieve a unique look that elevates your entire kitchen.


Try a Standalone Piece

Gray might not initially seem like your go-to color for establishing contrast, but that's exactly the effect it achieves when incorporated into kitchens dominated by bright colors. In such environments, a solid block of gray can instantly transform into a focal point. This concept is best achieved through the use of a gray island or accent wall, which can keep color-heavy kitchens from feeling garish.

If your kitchen already primarily features a specific color but could use an update, consider incorporating a standalone gray piece, which allows you to experiment with a new concept before you make a major commitment. This is your opportunity to get daring without worrying about the long-term implications of your kitchen's design.

If you're interested in determining how gray might look if it takes on a dominant role in your kitchen, consider redesigning your pantry. This is an excellent option for walk-in pantries, where you can incorporate gray shelving or cabinets without greatly impacting the design in the remainder of your kitchen.


Mix Neutrals

The genius of neutrals is that they pair well not only with bright colors, but also, with one another. If you adore neutrals but struggle to settle on just one for your kitchen, feel free to incorporate multiple shades into your design. Gray works nicely, for example, alongside certain shades of white, beige, and brown.

Avoid choosing colors that look similar. These could verge a little too much on monochromatic without actually achieving the clean, streamlined look of all-white. Your goal with neutral-heavy design should not be to replace contrast completely, but rather, highlight a new way to build it into your design.

All-neutral kitchens need not appear dull or uninspired. This is your opportunity to bring other design elements to the forefront, such as strong materials or textures that could feel excessive alongside bold colors. Instead of achieving contrast through color alone, incorporate it in opposing textures. Matte cabinets, for example, look wonderful against glossy tile backsplash.


Experiment With Backsplash

We've officially moved on from the era of exclusively white backsplash. This trend's long reign is understandable: it delivered a clean, expansive look capable of making even the smallest kitchen appear downright spacious. That being said, this effect can be achieved with alternate colors, including, of course, several noteworthy shades of gray.

A gray backsplash works nicely in a variety of kitchens but is especially ideal for contrasting kitchen cabinets and other dominant features. This versatile color is ideal for backsplashes, in part, because it provides such a wide range of options. Whether you favor the darker and edgier shades referenced above or lighter hues for a clean aesthetic, you'll have no trouble finding a gray color that works wonderfully alongside surrounding features.

The versatility of gray also extends to a variety of backsplash patterns and other design elements. Feel free to take on a classic look with subway tile or incorporate bolder designs such as chevron.


Pair With Warm Colors and Materials

Those who resist the allure of gray may cite the color's cold, often austere feel, which can instantly make an otherwise lovely kitchen feel less inviting. It doesn't have to be this way. If you hope to establish a warm, welcoming environment, you'll benefit from the modest infusion of warm colors that bring out the best in your favorite shades of gray. Aim for contrast by highlighting key features in noteworthy accent colors such as yellow, orange, or red.

If you desire a warmer look in your kitchen but aren't ready to abandon your dream of achieving a neutral-dominant space, look to other features to brighten things up. The natural look of wood can simultaneously add warmth and sophistication without detracting from the effect of gray. Wood cabinets, for example, look lovely against a gray backsplash. Likewise, hardwood floors pair nicely with matte cabinets featuring gray paint. When in doubt, opt for varieties of wood featuring warm undertones. Top options include hickory, cherry, and mahogany.

No matter your design preferences, you can achieve your vision of the perfect kitchen with the help of gray features such as cabinets or backsplash. Don't waste this opportunity to take on a fresh look that captures the best of modern design.

At Plain & Fancy, we have an eye for trendy, yet timeless kitchens. Family-owned and operated for several decades, we can help you find and incorporate a look that you love. Don't hesitate to stop by our Schaefferstown design center to see our favorite aesthetics come to life. Otherwise, you're also welcome to check out a showroom close to home. 

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