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Green was the defining color of 2020, hands down. This year we saw whole bathrooms swathed in emerald tiles, cozy armchairs covered in verdant palm leaf prints, and windows lined with olive trim. But the place where this hue really took off was the kitchen. When it came to cabinets, designers experimented with a full spectrum of swatches, from Farrow & Ball’s yellow-tinged Cooking Apple Green to Behr’s mossy Fig Tree. There was one particular shade, though, that our editors noticed kept popping up: sage

An equal blend of citron and slate, this gray-green is as calming as the aromatic plant from which it gets its name—just don’t mistake it for boring. Unlike a safe eggshell or taupe, the cool color delivers a definitive punch, especially when used all over. So how do you do the trending hue justice? Here are a few handy tips for pulling off sage green cabinets.


Bring in Other Natural Elements

Sage beckons images of a lush meadow in springtime, so it only makes sense to pair it with a natural material like wood. In this space, Pluck Design mixed and matched chestnut doors with painted ones. To tie the two ideas together, the studio opted for finger holes in place of pulls and filled in the spots with the opposite hue (wood for the sage fronts and vice versa).

Go Big on Texture

A gray-green looks contemporary in a matte finish, but sometimes that can mean compromising on texture. Balance out the flatness of the paint with something that reflects light, like shimmery zellige tiles. You really get the full effect of the glossy handmade squares when you take them up to the ceiling and onto the range hood.

Paint the Walls Pink

British designer Matilda Goad chose an unexpected backdrop for her kitchen cupboards, which are painted in Sage Green from Little Greene. The walls are covered in a blush limewash paint (no, it’s not real plaster) from a company called Bauwerk. A mix of vintage brass handles, some from an old ship, keep the magpie vibe going. 

Keep Your Cool With Matte Black

For a modern spin, take after Syd and Shea McGee. The designer couple uses the hue liberally, pairing it with black hardware, globe lighting, and neutral marble countertops. The scene is soothing and, of course, envy inducing. 


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