The best kind of kitchen is a pink one. All-white spaces are over—why not try a matte black? Wait, except they’re not, because Nate Berkus says so. The great debate over what color to paint your cabinets is a never-ending one, and everyone has a different opinion. That’s no surprise; given that the kitchen is the most popular room to renovate (and the most expensive), you want to be sure you get it right. To avoid paint-related stress down the road, might we suggest turning to the experts?
We tasked a few of our favorite designers with picking the shades that will be leading the charge in 2020. We can’t promise a seamless reno experience or that you and your S.O. will agree on every little detail…but when it comes to choosing colors, we’ve got you covered.
All the Pastels
Channel Miami Vice and cover your cupboards in soft hues. “It’s well documented that a colorful diet is good for you, and we believe that a colorful kitchen can be equally energizing and enriching,” says Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio. He’s not wrong. We dare you to step into a baby blue or butter yellow room and not feel cheerier.
Pro tip: Mix and match; there’s no such thing as going overboard with these candy hues if it makes you happy. “We’re looking to all the shades of the aurora borealis,” says Whitehead.
If you’re not a fan of the all-white-everything look, go the polar opposite with something über-dramatic. DeVol Kitchens’s creative director Helen Parker has seen darker spaces creeping up in popularity for years, inspired by speakeasies and late-night bars in cities like New York. “Think: grand kitchen cupboards, and especially big islands, painted black, maybe with some distressing and definitely some brass,” she says. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it definitely makes an impact.
Pro tip: Know where to strike a balance—and, ideally, have a flexible security deposit in case things go south (don’t forget primer, people!). “Add a touch of blush pink to the walls, and you instantly get a softer look while still keeping the drama,” suggests Parker.
Don’t panic—it’s not millennial pink. This rec comes courtesy of Kip & Co’s Alex McCabe, who has the most stunning salmon-hued concrete island. (Color doesn’t have to come in solely through cabinets!) “It feels really versatile to me; feminine without being girly, and earthy and complex enough to hide my terrible cooking messes,” says McCabe of her choice.
Pro tip: Not that a rosy centerpiece needs any underscoring, but one of the reasons it looks so cool in McCabe’s home is because she pitted it against crocodile quartz and shimmery brass. “While having multiple textures in a small space can feel risky, when it works, it gives your home a sense of individuality,” she explains. We’re sold.
“I think we’re going to see tons of it this year,” predicts Britt Zunino of StudioDB. “There’s a general trend toward warmth in the kitchen, celebrating cooking as central to the idea of hearth and home, so I’m looking forward to seeing more saturated tones.” There’s no shortage of verdant shades in the 2020 color of the year forecasts, so you’ll have your pick.
Pro tip: Go for sharp contrast, pitting a sage or emerald against something equally rich. Zunino’s favorite combo? Green and burgundy, for a wholly unexpected look.
Nicole Gibbons, the founder of Clare, is all about soft, airy blues for the new year—most specifically a blue-green. “It still feels timeless and classic, while stepping out of the cookie-cutter neutral box,” she says. If you’re someone who needs their kitchen to be a calming space where you can start your day (with a steaming pot of coffee, of course), this is the way to go.
Pro tip: “If you’re afraid of using a vibrant tint on your cabinets, try it on an island to make a statement,” says Gibbons. If your “island” is a bar cart you picked up at IKEA, give it a fresh coat of spray paint and spice up an empty corner.