Published on August 8, 2020

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photography by jessica antola

All-white kitchens are officially a trend of the past. Bold enough to fulfill your cravings for color but easy enough to live in your home forever, blue kitchens are staking their claim. But are you really surprised? Blue paint colors have been trending in a big way for the past year. And while we’ve seen the hue take shape in dramatic navy dining rooms and beachy baby blue bedrooms, the color lends itself particularly well to the heart of the home.

From matte sapphire to midnight blue, we’ve spied just about every shade work wonders for kitchen cabinets. So how do you know which swatch is right for you? We asked the owners and designers behind our favorite blue kitchens to find out. Read on for 12 essential blue paint colors for every style.

The Sky Blue

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Photography by Dustin Halleck; Design by Elizabeth Stamos

Try: Solitude by Benjamin Moore 

Designer Elizabeth Stamos saved close to $30,000 on her kitchen remodel by keeping her existing cherrywood Shaker-style cabinets and simply painting the fronts in this sophisticated shade. She added trim to the top of the cupboards for a bespoke look. 

The Grounding Blue

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Courtesy of Studio McGee

Try: Blue Note by Benjamin Moore 

The saturated navy blue island in this Studio McGee–designed space acts as a centering force in the almost-completely-white room. The subway tile and crisp white uppers have so much more character now, thanks to the statement moment. 

The English Blue

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Photography by Tiffany Grant-Riley

Try: Hicks Blue by Little Greene 

Classic and modern all at once, this dreamy matte shade that Tiffany Grant-Riley chose for her Edwardian house in Kent, England, was a fitting choice for the historic space (the home is more than a century old). After dousing the cupboards in the color, she painted the wall next to them so it reads like one unit. 

The Retro Blue

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Design by 2LG Studio. photography by Megan Taylor

Try: Lambeth Walk by Mylands

Calling all white kitchen devotees: Consider this seamless London kitchen by Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio the ultimate case for embracing subtle color. Given the pale blue hue’s vintage vibes, the pair took a contemporary approach to the cabinetry by opting for cutouts over hardware. “We had cherrywood put in the backs of the cutout finger pull handles on the drawers and handles to reference the original cherrywood doors throughout the apartment,” says Whitehead. “The warmth of the cherrywood works beautifully with the cool blue.”

The Barely There Blue

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photo by Wynn Meyers

Try: Kentucky Haze by Benjamin Moore

Inspired by the pale gray hues of the U.S. coastline and the earth tones of the Southwestern desert, this soft neutral blue effortlessly marries the colors of the American landscape. It seems only fitting that the natural shade found a place in Kim West’s Austin home. In true camouflage form, the inset appliances blend right into the picturesque background.  

The Oceanic Blue

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Try: Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball

In this coastal Maine home, designed by Heidi Lachapelle Interiors, a maritime blue rounds out the waterfront views beyond. While the subtly aged and not-too-nautical choice was largely inspired by a large oil painting that sits in the same space, this color stands on its own.

The Fan-Favorite Blue

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Try: Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball

It’s easy to see why Hague Blue has become the most popular swatch for the kitchen and beyond: This color is incredibly versatile. In a serene San Francisco home by Saffron and Poe, the striking shade takes on a Mediterranean point of view against a graphic tiled backsplash.  

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In Susan and Ben Work’s kitchen, however, Hague Blue’s timeless touches of marble and brass bring out the hue’s modern green undertones.

The Professional Blue

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Try: Gentleman’s Gray by Benjamin Moore

Formal, tailored, and totally classic, Gentleman’s Gray is the blue swatch equivalent of a wise British man in a top hat. That said, the hue’s sophisticated ways lend itself particularly well to edgy and contemporary designs. Just take this unexpected kitchen by Black Lacquer Design. Juxtaposed with a rich slab of black marble, the matte color feels decidedly fresh.  

The Feels-Like-Vacation Blue

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

Try: In the Tropics by Benjamin Moore

Reminiscent of turquoise waters in the Caribbean, one can almost feel the warm ocean breeze in Edith Young’s New York City kitchen. Given its sultry tones, Young used the swatch cleverly, honing in on a smaller space so that its luxurious color could have major visual impact.

The Background Blue

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photography by STEPHEN BUSKEN

Try: Heron Blue by Portola

Tending toward traditional, this balanced hue can go coastal cool or inland sophisticate, depending on the materials, fixtures, and other design details you incorporate into the space. In the case of this beachside retreat in Marina del Rey, Stefani Stein invoked the classic laid-back aesthetic of a California rancher by matching the color with a quartzite countertop, a farmhouse sink, and oak floors.

The Relaxed Bohemian Blue

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photography by ANSON SMART

Try: Boro by PaperMint

Australian designer Sibella Court’s free spirit shines in her Sydney kitchen, where a “subtle but stormy palette” reigns supreme. The moody, sea-inspired indigo shade she chose for the island and cabinets picks up on the relaxed yet eclectic vibe and serves as an anchor for the humble materials used throughout her home, like zinc, brass, rope, leather, and cane.

The Green Blue

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photography by Madeline Tolle

Try: Olympus Green by Benjamin Moore

When Homepolish designer Barbie Palomino and her husband, Jason, were renovating their 100-year-old Los Angeles home, she wanted green and he wanted blue. Cue the perfect compromise. A Carrara quartz countertop sets the scene for a fresh and clean space, while the bluish green cabinet color gives the room the playful feel it was looking for.

See more stories like this: 
The Only 9 White Paints Worth Considering
The No-Fail Gray Paints Interior Designers Swear By
10 Paint Mistakes That Make You Look Like a Rookie