Craving Calm? Light Grey Kitchen Cabinets Are the Way to Go

grey kitchen with checkerboard floor
Photo Courtesy of Naked Kitchens

White sometimes feels too stark. Black can be too bold. To quote the philosopher Goldilocks, light grey kitchen cabinets are just right—an ideal middle-ground neutral that, when done correctly, is anything but boring. Part of this comes down to picking the best paint shade, but a lot of it is also in the cupboard design itself: Switch up plain flat fronts to keep the palette from looking too pared back. 

Whether you’re mapping out an upcoming renovation or want to spice up your current storage, these eight rooms have the right idea. There are dressed-up Shakers and contemporary glass options, each proving that greyscale can be exciting in any tint; all you need is a bit of accessorizing. 

The Beaded Cabinets 

Essentially shiplap cupboards, this style works with light grey paint because there’s already a lot going on texture-wise—it’s okay to keep the color on the simple side. Tracy Pumilia paired hers with sleek matte black hardware for a high-contrast moment that matches the clean lines of the doors. If you’re loyal to the idea of an all-white room, take a page from Studio McGee’s book and make the cool tone your statement color. Slick marble counters (try contact paper if you’re in a rental) and subway tiles brighten up the base. 

The Glass Cabinets

An easy way to drive the farmhouse look home? Pit your sheer fronts against vintage-inspired face frame hinges, as seen in this floor-to-ceiling charmer by Sabbe Interior Design. For an unexpected take on two-tone, ditch the color-blocking and go with raw wood. In this room by Naked Kitchens, you can still see the hardwood backing in the glass uppers—here, the paint works as a highlighter. 

The Shaker Cabinets

For Max Humphrey, bringing visual interest to light grey kitchen cabinets comes down to choosing the right undertone: He picked an icy blue and continued it into the nearby open shelving. Elsewhere, Naked Kitchens revamped the classic design by creating a real mixing bag of a space. Shakers, glass doors, and a ribbed island all coexist for a layered look. With aged brass hardware and natural wood peeking out from the corners, the greyscale palette is so much cozier than clean white. 

The Flat Cabinets

There is a way to make this style pop, and it’s all about the accessories. Feeling like something punchy? This Plykea kitchen is full of graphic touches, from the vibrant yellow fronts that break up the neutrals (a hint of the citron even comes through in the round cutout “handles”) to the geometric backsplash. If a subtler scene is more your speed, look to this muted Naked Kitchens creation: It’s still pared back, but minimal wood hardware and the slightest recessed detailing behind the base units instantly elevate it. 

See more kitchen cabinet ideas:
Hands Down: The 12 Best Blue Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets
The 11 Paint Colors Featured in Our Favorite Green Kitchens
4 Fresh Takes on Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets