When you make the decision to go with white cabinets, you’re probably thinking at that point that everything else will fall into place. But the answers to the questions that follow aren’t always so obvious, like: What color should I paint the walls? White—go figure—is a popular choice, but there are (what seems like) a million shades out there to choose from. Of course, you can go in a more colorful direction—think: navy, citron, cherry—but only a handful of saturated tones lend themselves to a sophisticated space.
Because finding the right pairing for your cupboards can feel a bit like rocket science, we looked back to some of our favorite kitchens to figure out the exact shades that work. (Psst: Pink and green are surprising matches.) Here are a handful of options that go best with white kitchen cabinets—and when you’re reading to have a pro put roller to wall, we recommend heading over to HomeAdvisor.
The Right Whites
Simply White, Benjamin Moore
Featuring just a touch of yellow undertones, this popular pick plays nicely with wood and woven accents—think: rattan pendant lamps, butcher block counters, and pine open shelving. Designer Holly Waterfield’s Brooklyn kitchen is a prime example of exuding warmth without veering too creamy.
Super White, Benjamin Moore
Considered to be the brand’s whitest white, this one achieves a crisp look thanks to the fact that there are no visible undertones. In this space designed by the Brooklyn Home Company, the walls, cabinets, and vent hood are all covered in the cool hue.
Figueroa, Portola Paints
If you are set on painting your cabinets and walls the same white, have some fun with the finishes. In Amber Lewis’s kitchen, the cupboards are satin enamel, but the walls have a contrasting Roman clay treatment that has a rustic, textured look to it.
Alabaster, Benjamin Moore
The right finish not only can create character where there previously was none, it can also spotlight existing textures. The creamy white brick wall and ceiling in this kitchen, designed by Marie Flanigan, are swathed in a semigloss finish, accentuating the grooves in the material.
Fog Mist, Benjamin Moore
Off-whites like this look right at home in traditional farmhouses, such as the one designed by Katie Martinez that’s got shiplap paneling, a plate rack, and beam work for days.
The Solid Colors
First Light, Benjamin Moore
A refreshing alternative to white or beige, this barely there pink adds personality without being too obvious about it. Do like Gina Gutierrez and let the sunset hue inspire your lighting and textiles.
Love & Happiness, Benjamin Moore
Turn the pink dial up one notch and you’ll end up with this blush hue. It works wonders in a tiny galley or U-shaped space that’s lacking natural light (it gives the nook that much-needed brightness).
Soft Green, Benjamin Moore
Transport your white kitchen to the tropics with this aqua shade Malene Barnett used in her Brooklyn brownstone. Make it really pop with a backsplash tile in the same color family.
Castle Gray, Farrow & Ball
Go full-on cottagecore with a classic green-gray that creates a ton of depth in a space with low ceilings. Name a better duo; we’ll wait.
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