The classic '80s kitchen was all kinds of beige — and, at the time, for good reason. Beige is a flexible neutral, easy on the eyes, and complementary to the typical honey oak and warm-colored tile treatments of that era.

The problem wasn't so much the beige — it was the beige on beige on beige. Luckily, we've learned a few things in the last 30 years. And one of those things is that greige is where it's at.

Greige is a little bit gray, a little bit beige — and a whole lotta flexible. Cooler than taupe, but warmer than a straight gray, it's right there in the magical middle, where it can help bring subtle contrast to an all-white kitchen or a gentle counterpoint to stronger cabinet color.

Below are eight ways to go greige gracefully, in the kitchen.

Greige colored kitchen cabinets
credit: deVOL

The greige Shaker cabinets seen here warm up this modern-country kitchen, and help the white AGA stove really pop. (Never mind that DeVol calls the color "mushroom" here — there's a lot of debate <ahref="https:"" the-4-best-warm-gray-paint-colours-sherwin-williams="" "=""> </ahref="https:>on the differences between warm grays, mushroom, and greige).

Although greige feels fresh and very of-the-moment, it's not just for a clean-lined modern or transitional kitchens — as you can see here, in this 1920s-era Italian Baroque home in Atlanta.

A deeper greige makes this sleek, Finnish kitchen feel eminently livable, instead of stark or cold.

Greige adds a certain warm masculinity to ultra-modern cabinets that are all about clean lines. Here, greige wood grain cabinet fronts coordinate and add texture.

The general wisdom is that marble calls for cool neutrals, but the right shade of greige can be a just-right counterpoint.

Greige isn't always a light neutral — not if you go with Chelsea Gray, by Benjamin Moore. It's a popular darker greige for kitchen cabinets that adds warmth while steering clear of appearing too brown.

Interior designer Samantha Gluck painted her own kitchen cabinets in Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl. Paired with light, natural wood shelves and marble, her kitchen has a warm, welcoming feeling.

Laura Lambert

Laura Lambert

Laura Lambert is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle, design, and women's health.