White countertops are always going to be popular, period. But there’s a new neutral hue on the block, and for people who don’t love monochrome white design schemes, it’s a truly sophisticated option. “Gray is one of the best colors to use as a neutral palette,” Erika Egede-Nissen, Director of Brand Marketing at Caesarstone US, recently told Pro Builder. “Because we’re seeing a lean toward color integration in the home, gray allows you to mix in pops of color without overwhelming the space.” Not only that, but it’s ideal for adding in other materials like wood, concrete, and steel. While it’s endlessly versatile, getting gray right takes careful consideration, so if you decide to go for it, keep these tips in mind when designing your space. These 15 Caesarstone kitchens offer a ton of inspiration to help you plan your perfect space.
Create an Optical Illusion
Anyone with a crazy-busy schedule can relate to not having enough time to keep their kitchen pristine. Luckily, a gray island in the middle of the room with a differently-toned surface like this one, will give the space a clear focal point. As long as you keep this area relatively neat, the rest of the room will feel clean and organized—no matter how tidy it actually is.
Go Light & Bright
Gray doesn’t have to be dark to make an impact, especially in a space where you want to capitalize on natural lighting. Choose a tone that is just slightly darker than your white (or pale-colored) cabinetry for an illuminating effect. Matching the shade to the backsplash will also ensure a well-integrated and sophisticated feel for the whole room.
Use a Pop of Color
Though gray works really well in an all-neutral kitchen, it’s also an amazing complement to color, as evidenced by this room with a fabulously bright backsplash. For those who love clean lines and a modern feel but also want to incorporate some vibrant hues, gray can actually be a better choice than white, since it strikes a softer contrast.
Mix Up Your Neutrals
If you’re working with mainly neutral colors, add depth and interest by varying the tones you use. In this kitchen, the combination of a gray countertop, white cabinetry and wood flooring make for a well-balanced color scheme that’s subdued without being boring. Add furniture, like the wood and metal stools shown here, and lighting fixtures using a similar method, and you can’t go wrong.
Supersize Your Island
In an open-plan design, a really big island makes a clear statement about where the cooking area stops and the living area begins. While it’s amazing to have undivided square-footage, many people find it helpful to have a sense of separation between where they prep and eat their food and where they work, relax, and spend time with their loved ones.
Split Up Your Surfaces
Not all the counters in your kitchen need to be the same color. Here, a darker wood surface plays off of a light gray one, and the white cabinetry ties it all together. Plus, using the same wood for shelving is a genius way to make the room feel cohesive without being too matchy-matchy.
Add Temporary Touches of Color
For those who want to incorporate color without committing, go gray, black, and white for the permanent elements of your space, and then use design accents like dishes, flowers, and books to spruce things up. Then, when you’re ready for a change, it’s easy to make a swap.
Play Up Shine
Stainless steel is a valuable design tool in any gray kitchen, since it adds dimension that flat, non-metallic surfaces just can’t. Use lighting fixtures, seating, and kitchen hardware to your advantage when you’re planning a mostly monochromatic room.
Match One Furniture Piece
A finishing touch that ensures your kitchen feels well thought-out is matching one furniture piece to your countertop. A word of caution: Don’t take this tip too far. Stick to one key piece, like the chairs in this kitchen, to avoid going overboard with the color coordination.
Vary the Wall Designs
If you want to use neutrals in a way that’s still filled with personality, don’t be afraid to mix up what’s on your walls. Here, two different types of tile add texture to a gray, white, and brown color palette.
Bring in brown
Though gray is more often utilized in modern kitchens, it works really well in a traditional design scheme, too. Incorporating brown tones adds a warm feel to the whole room, while the emphasis on gray and white design elements elsewhere keeps things feeling crisp.
Use wood strategically
In a predominantly gray and white design, a wood flooring adds an instant homey vibe—even if it still falls within the overall scheme. This is one of the easiest ways keep your kitchen feeling personal. Add some upholstered chairs like this kitchen, and you are ready to entertain.
Focus on lighting
A dramatic lighting fixture is one of the easiest ways to elevate the overall feel of your kitchen and make a statement. Gray palettes tend to work well with modern, sculptural pieces, like the cubic pendant seen here. If you are feeling bold, mix and match the gray countertops with a lighter shade for the island.
Paint it pastel
White and pastel together can feel a little stark and Miami Beach-themed, but when you add light gray countertops into the mix, the result is much more subdued. Using a pale color on the walls is a great way to add a hint of your design personality to an otherwise simple cooking space.
Keep it simple
There’s no reason to go over the top if you love a minimalist and modern vibe. A gray and white kitchen like this one will surely keep you feeling zen on the most hectic of days. If you’re feeling like things are too plain, go for a soft but standout hue on a smaller design element, like the backsplash.