Laura Stefan; Joshua McHugh
The kitchen might be one of the most important rooms of the home—the heart and stomach of it, if you will—but revamping your space for the year ahead can feel intimate. Unlike other rooms that can be spruced up with a new cocktail table or throw blanket, updating your kitchen should be met with some thoughtful consideration. After all, a bold backsplash, though beautiful, may require a time-consuming renovation, while a new appliance or light fixture might wreak havoc on your bottom line.
For an easy, effective, and affordable way to refresh your culinary quarters, try painting your kitchen cabinets a new hue. Whether you opt for a tried-and-true white or something brighter, there’s no denying a fresh coat can change the look and feel of your space. What is up for debate, however, is the best trendy color worth adding to your kitchen. Though the big decision all boils down to personal preference, it’s important to select a shade that plays nicely with the rest of your culinary essentials. And since the kitchen is one of the most trafficked areas, it’s a good idea to choose a color you won’t tire of before the final coat dries. That’s exactly why we tapped a few top designers to share the kitchen cabinet colors that will strike it big in 2023. From goes-with-everything neutrals to bright, bold hues, think of the list below as the color equivalent of a chef’s kiss.
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Trends might come and go, but one thing’s for sure: “In 2023, neutral color palettes in the kitchen are here to stay,” designer Noelle Isbell explains. “A neutral background is versatile and acts as a grounding palette within the space.”
the catch? In the new year, designers will be trading in their paper-bright shades in favor of richer, more nuanced tones. According to Houzz’s 2023 Home Design Trend Predications, greiges and off-whites will take center stage—not to mention they’ll look spectacular with light wood grains, muted tiles, and subdued patterns.
Behr might’ve dubbed Blank Canvas as its go-to white—and the company’s 2023 Color of the Year—but designer Erin Sander prefers a shade with a subtle yellow undertone. Your choice? Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, which “marries the juxtaposition of bright and soft while contrasting wood accents perfectly.”
Meanwhile, Indigomaven Interiors’ Monica Guarnaschelli credits Sherwin-Williams’s Gossamer Veil for its chameleonlike color. “Throughout the day it dances between beige to gray to white, with just enough saturation to be interesting,” she explains. “Yet [it] remains a calming neutral, even in the most chaotic kitchens.”
Though warm neutrals are in play for 2023, strong all-white kitchens are not. To shake up the status quo, many designers are looking to the opposite end of the color spectrum. “Kitchens are becoming increasingly extensions of entertaining spaces,” New York City-based designer Phillip Thomas points out. “They need a glam backdrop!”
For the perfect dose of goes with anything glamour, Thomas reaches for black, a shade that’s equal parts practical and pretty. “[It’s] particularly fabulous in a smaller kitchen, and while most people would shy away from a dark color in a smaller space, I find it tricks the eye into making the space feel larger,” he shares.
The key to this color is finding a shade that’s not too harsh. That’s exactly why designer David Frazier considers Benjamin Moore’s Mopboard Black a mainstay. “It’s neutral and goes well with any style kitchen but creates a depth and richness that is hard to achieve with lighter colors,” he says.
Admittedly, pinks and purples may not be the first palette you’d consider for your kitchen cabinets, but after spending every single day at home, you might be ready to unlock your inner maximalist. Turns out, the industry’s top paint companies agree. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams crowned Raspberry Blush and Redend Point as their 2023 Color of the Year, respectively, while Pantone’s Viva Magenta is poised to drive 2023’s It scheme. “Viva Magenta is the color of joy; it can be used to highlight kitchen cabinets, on an island, or chairs,” explains designer Sara Mosele. “It can be an accent against dark wood or a contrast with metals and glass.”
If berry tones are new to your design vocabulary, fear not: they can yield absolutely gorgeous results. For example, Cochineal Design employed Farrow & Ball’s Preference Red in this compact galley kitchen.
Stay Grounded with Green
Just because social distancing protocol has loosened up since March 2020 doesn’t mean our yearning for all things outdoors is dwindling. “Green has really been making its way into the kitchen,” says Linda Hayslet of LH.Designs. “It’ll continue into 2023 because it’s calming, but also interesting in terms of bringing some nature color into the room.”
In fact, many designers foresee green being so common in the upcoming year’s kitchens that it almost takes on the role of a neutral. Here, designer Hattie Sparks used Sherwin-Williams’s Green Earth for a kitchen that was “classic but fresh all at the same time.” Meanwhile, Gary McBournie favors Teresa’s Garden by Farrow & Ball. “Not quite green yet not quite blue and toned down to a nice subtle shade, [it] extends a warm invitation to the space but retains enough sophistication for a proper cup of tea,” he says.
Known for its serene vibe and endless versatility, blue is a famously failsafe color for any room of the house. But come 2023, inky navy and vibrant cobalt will be traded in for a lighter, refreshing tone. Or, as Chairish calls it in its annual trend report, French Blue. “It’s a sophisticated but often subtle way to make a color statement without shouting,” the brand says.
So how does one bring that colorful je ne sais quoi to their kitchen? Designer Robin Gannon reaches for Selvedge from Farrow & Ball. “We love moody gray-blues that cast brighter and bolder in the day and then change to a stormy gray blue in the evening amid the artificial light,” she explains. “It is a perfect blue that reads as a sophisticated neutral.”
For a “sexy contrast,” Gannon painted the upper cabinets in this Boston home a refreshing white. The result? A color take on a minimalist’s comfort zone.
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