Colors That Can Be Used With Hickory Cabinets

Hickory wood is tough and strong, making hickory cabinets extremely durable and investment-worthy. However, despite the advantages of hickory cabinets, the wood can pose a challenge when you are decorating. Hickory has a striking grain and coloring, ranging from very pale to medium-deep reddish brown. Hickory panels with knots are called rustic hickory. No matter which type of hickory cabinets you select, you can choose from a wide range of colors and decorating schemes to highlight the beauty of your hickory cabinets.

Compatible Color Choices

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors, which include the classic tans, grays, charcoal and black, as well as the contemporary selection of complex neutrals, are good choices with hickory.

When a choosing a neutral for a wall or background color, provide some tonal contrast between the cabinets and the background.

  • For example, with pale hickory cabinets, select a deep shade of taupe or gray.
  • If your hickory is medium to dark, look for a light neutral shade such as a soft tan with a touch of green mixed into the hue.

Versatile White

Although it is a neutral color, white stands out because it's compatible with any shade of hickory, from pale to dark.

  • To keep the contrast from being too harsh, choose a soft shade of warm white, such as ivory or eggshell.
  • Or, if your hickory cabinets seem too red, cool them down with a softly grayed white.

Cool Blues and Greens

As complementary colors to the red tones of hickory, blues, blue-greens and greens offer an exciting counterpoint to your hickory cabinets.

  • Rich teal or blue-green, for example, gives a retro vibe to rustic hickory cabinets.
  • If you have light hickory cabinets, consider setting them off with a background of soft robin's egg blue.

Warm Colors

Red, yellow and orange, the warm colors of the spectrum, should be used carefully with hickory cabinets, as the warm shades echo the red tones in hickory wood.

  • A yellow wall or background, for example, would likely appear too warm against the hickory.
  • But accents of orange, red or yellow, such as kitchen canisters or bathroom towels, could provide just the right jolt of color for hickory cabinets in a neutral setting.

Jan Burch

Jan Burch

Jan Burch has written about home, garden, wellness and other topics since 1992. Her articles have appeared in ByLine, Living Natural and New Mexico Woman. Based in Albuquerque, Burch is a Feng Shui consultant and Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner. A life-long crafting enthusiast, she holds a master's degree from the University of California.