Should Wall Color Match Kitchen Cabinets?

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If you're thinking about giving your kitchen a new makeover and trying to decide on paint colors, you may be wondering whether the wall color should match your kitchen cabinets. Well, we've done the work for you and have an answer for you.

Wall color does not have to match your kitchen cabinets perfectly. For example, if you have white walls, you don't have to have white cabinets. Of course, if you want them to be the same, they can be. However, other options include cabinets and walls that are contrasting, complementing, or harmonious with each other. As long as the overall design is pleasing to the eye, you can't go wrong. 

Now you know that walls and cabinets don't have to match, but keep reading as we go into detail about some possible design options for you to consider. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about paint colors for your kitchen, including how to pick a wall color and which colors you should avoid.

A close up details of gray and white modern classic kitchen, Should Wall Color Match Kitchen Cabinets?

Matching Your Kitchen Cabinet Colors

There's no rule to say that matching your cabinets with your walls isn't allowed. Matching is permitted and can be used to create a uniform, modern, or minimalistic feel to your kitchen.

Light Colors

Modern kitchen with smart speaker

If you choose to match your cabinets with your wall color, it's a good idea to opt for a light and bright color, especially if you have a smaller kitchen. Choosing a dark color for your walls and cabinets can make the room feel even smaller and enclosed.

Dark Colors

Black modern luxury kitchen

That being said, dark color can still work. Dark colors look great in a bachelor pad and can also create a modern feel. If you do choose to opt for all dark walls and cabinets like in the kitchen above, make sure to select a contrasting floor color and fixtures to break up the color. Otherwise, you might be left with a room that looks like a black hole.

Contrasting Your Kitchen Cabinet Colors

Another option is to choose contrasting colors for your walls and cabinets. Contrasting color combinations often include two colors that are drastically different from each other. When it comes to kitchens, this usually means pairing a light cabinet with a dark wall or vice versa.

Modern Scandinavian kitchen and dining room with matte black traditional cabinet

A classic option is black and white. Black and white are often paired together to create a modern feel.

An indoor kitchenette in an Australia domestic residence

However, you can also create contrast using bold colors like red or yellow. Kitchens don't have to be neutral, and going bold and bright can leave you with a stunning design.

Harmonious Your Kitchen Cabinet Colors

For another option, you could choose harmonious colors. This means that the colors create a balanced feel. Harmonious colors are often colors found in nature together.

Light green wooden kitchen with window

Coral and teal are paired together with red bakeware to create a cozy cottage feel in this kitchen.

Other Ways To Choose Colors

If you're still struggling to choose a color palette for your kitchen, try playing around with a color wheel. Online apps will allow you to choose the color palette you want and offer combinations based on one color you've chosen. Combinations include complementary, monochromatic, analogous, tetradic, and triadic.

How to pick wall color for the kitchen

If you're having difficulty picking a color for your kitchen walls, there are several ways you can decide. You can select a wall color based on other colors in the room. You can also pick a wall color that will help create a specific mood. Another option is to choose the color based on a certain aesthetic or style.  Let's talk about how each one will help you choose the right color.

Other Colors In The Room

Modern kitchen with appliances, dining table and windows in the background on hardwood floor

A sure way to make sure the overall look of the room is cohesive is to pull a color from other colors in the room. You can pull a color from your backsplash, countertops, or even your flooring. Another option is to consider using the same color as your cabinets but adjusting the shade.

Colors That Create A Mood

Colorful modern kitchen with table and chairs

Color psychology is the idea that colors can help influence our moods and feelings.  For example, red can generate feelings of excitement and increase energy levels. Yellow is a popular color for kitchens because it's associated with happiness and conversations. Blue is calming, and if you opt for a darker blue, you might see an uptick in your productivity and efficiency.

Every color can influence the feel of a room. If you didn't know much about color psychology before, you should consider reading into it a little more.  That way, you can be sure the color you choose will help create the mood you want.

Color For A Style

Contemporary domestic kitchen with a large window with blinds on the left and the kitchen island with induction hob on the right

If you've already decided on the interior design style, you'd like to create. You probably have a general idea of the color palettes that can help create those styles. Choose one of those colors to keep the style throughout the entire room. For example, if you've opted for a modern look, you're probably leaning towards colors such as white or black.

Contemporary styles often choose a set of neutral colors but may add a pop of color to add some excitement. Knowing which style you are aiming for can help you pick out the perfect color.

Do you paint kitchen cabinets the same color as trim?

You don't have to paint your kitchen cabinets the same color as the trim. Many people choose not to. That being said, it can be done, and it can be a great way to unify the room's overall look. Matching trim with the cabinets works well if the cabinets extend up like in the image example above.

However, another thing to consider is the trim in the rest of your house. If you have an open floor plan, do you want the trim of the entire room the same color as your cabinets? This might be okay if your cabinets are white, but if they are brighter, you may not want it throughout the rest of the room as it can be overwhelming.

For a more detailed discussion on this topic, check out our other blog post here: Should Kitchen Cabinets Match Your Trim?

What colors should you not use in the kitchen?

Despite the abundance of colors, you can use in the kitchen, there are a few that everyone seems to recommend avoiding. Browns, dark grays, and any color that might create a negative mood should be avoided. Many experts also suggest avoiding bright yellow, oranges, and reds.

In the right shades, these colors can work well—as you saw in some of the photos above—but if they are too bright or bold, they may make you feel hot and stressed.

Kitchen color schemes with wood cabinets

Natural wood cabinets are surprisingly versatile and can work with almost any color scheme. Take a look at some examples we found!

White or Neutral Color Schemes

Kitchen with natural wood cabinets

Paired with white walls and chrome appliances, wood cabinets can create a modern or even minimalistic feel. If you're unsure or not quite brave enough to pair your wood cabinets with a brighter color, almost any neutral color scheme will work well—especially with light wood cabinets.

Purple, Green, and Black Color Schemes

Contemporary upscale home kitchen interior with wood cabinets and floors

This kitchen shows that pretty much any color can pair well with wood cabinets. Purple is pulled from the backsplash to bring the room together, while the dark wood cabinets supplement the other wood features in the room.

Warm Color Schemes

Light cabinets can be paired with darker, warmer colors such as this burnt orange to create an inviting space.

Check out Orange Interior Paint on Amazon.

Earth Tone Color Scheme

Modern kitchen with hardwood floors

Check out this kitchen where the outside is brought in with the use of green walls and houseplants. Green pairs well with wood because of its natural coloring. An earth-tone palette of any kind will likely pair well with natural wood.

We've shared a few examples, but check out one of our other blog posts, Kitchen Color Schemes With Wood Cabinets [30+ Picture Examples], for a whole lot more! You're sure to find some inspiration as we discuss color schemes for different types of wood cabinets.

Final Thoughts

Design, overall, is versatile and can vary depending on one's taste. If you want your kitchen cabinets to match, then they definitely can, but as we've shown, they don't have to. Hopefully, our article has helped influence your decision, and you're leaving us with some fresh ideas.

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