We Asked Designers: What’s the Next Big Kitchen Cabinet Color?
They’re torn between these three options.
Updated Dec 5, 2022 12:20 PM
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What does 2023 have in store? In Design Psychic, our community of editors, experts, and tastemakers predicts the trends coming soon to a house near you.
The color of our kitchens say a lot about our mindset. When we were huddled indoors at the onset of the pandemic, suddenly everyone started painting their cabinets sage green—a nod to nature and all things zen. Now it’s clear we’re ready to disrupt the status quo. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen homeowners and designers experiment with shades as bold as plum and as playful as tangerine. But in an effort to find out which ideas will last well into 2023, we polled interior designers and asked them: What is the next big kitchen cabinet color? Here are the three they predict we’ll be seeing everywhere.
So long, white oak. When it comes to natural wood cabinets, industry veterans are looking to go dark. Washington D.C.–based designer Zoe Feldman and Portland, Oregon–based pro Jessica Hansen of Tandem Design vote for walnut. “Whitewashes are on the way out,” says Hansen. Also on the rise? Alder, hickory, and ash, according to Kele Dobrinski, cofounder of Colossus Mfg. Thinking outside the box comes with a bonus perk: “Using a different wood species can be half the cost of its white oak counterpart,” he points out.
Feldman even predicts people who don’t want the real deal will lean toward “chocolate brown and saddle” paint colors. Alexa Lameiras and Katelyn Pascavis, the cofounders of Two Muse Studios, agree: They’re currently obsessed with using colored washes on wood cupboards. “The stain still gives that nice pop of color that you get from paint, without sacrificing the softness from the natural movement of the grain,” says Pascavis.
Subtle Pinks and Sophisticated Beiges
Neutrals will continue to reign supreme, but we aren’t referring to traditional white and gray. California-based designer and stager Kirstin Blazek of A 1000 X Better is currently working on a project where the kitchen cabinets will be swathed in a light beige “but with a hit of pink.” Noz Nozawa, founder of San Francisco–based firm Noz Design, has been enamored with glossy camels and tans lately, particularly “how beautifully they pair with bright produce and light countertops,” she shares.
New Jersey–based pro Beth Diana Smith predicts an even bigger embrace of purple undertones and mauves. “I imagine this being paired with brass and black hardware,” she says, adding a warning: “I beg of you, leave chromes and silvers out of the equation.”
“I think oxblood will be a big kitchen cabinet color in the coming year,” New York City–based designer Young Huh declares. Liz Hoekzema of KLH Custom Homes is all for a dose of a nuanced cream or mushroom, but she’s also digging the dark red because it can “easily be perked back up with tile, wallpaper, and lighting.” (Peep the mustard yellow ceiling in Céline Hallas’s Copenhagen kitchen, pictured above right.)
Still, who said you had to choose just one of these up-and-coming hues. “I see more color-blocking between uppers and lowers, islands and wall cabinets, or even drawers and doors in the same cabinet,” says architect Anand Sheth. Bring on the next wave.