A new kitchen is a pretty big home improvement expense, so it goes without saying that when planning a makeover, you want to go with a design scheme that's timeless. Enter gray and white kitchen ideas — an elegant choice that has surged in popularity over the last few years.
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Whether your style is contemporary or bohemian, farmhouse, or minimal, a gray and white color combo is versatile and can be adapted to fit all. Plus, it works on the walls, countertops, floors, and cabinets so there's plenty of room for experimentation. While the duo may, at times, come off as cold, you can instantly warm it up by opting for hues with saturated undertones — think an off-white coupled with a greige finish. If you want to take it a step further, introduce tones like pink (it pairs beautifully with gray!) into the mix or install brass hardware and fixtures for a lustrous splash of color.
Intrigued? Scroll on for 30 gray and white kitchen color ideas that are sure to stand the test of time.
1. Embrace smokey countertops.
We love all-white kitchens just as much as the next person, but the classic look gets even better when paired with dreamy shades of gray. This contemporary cook space by Bicker Design is the perfect example of how to work a gray and white color scheme. Pair white cabinets and a tile backsplash with light-gray countertops and wooden accessories for an organic touch.
2. Tile it up.
There's no need to stick to just paint when it comes to creating a gray and white kitchen. Think about how you can incorporate pattern and texture, too. This inspired cook space incorporates white countertops and gray subway tile on the walls. The cool scheme is complemented by warm, wood cabinets, resulting in a perfectly balanced finish.
3. Use more than one surface.
Can't decide on just one surface? Take a cue from this light and airy, gray and white kitchen by Maly Krasota, which features silvery cabinetry and a matching range hood. The dark grout of the subway tile backsplash and the veining of the marble countertops tie the look together, adding eye-catching depth and texture.
4. Make it all about the walls.
While you might think it's obvious to pair white walls with gray cabinetry, the reverse can create a contemporary Scandinavian vibe. This quaint setup belonging to Signe Birkving Bertelsen of Notem Studio features white cabinets, wood countertops, and black fixtures for a chic and modern cook space with rustic flair.
5. Invite vintage charm.
Infuse vintage charm into your gray and white kitchen with a few thoughtful accessories. Choose old-school artwork (like an oil painting), antique lighting, or even hardware, that will enhance rather than take away from the overall design. The addition of a Persian rug in this makeover by Chris Loves Julia helps to tie the look together and accentuate the cool color scheme.
6. Focus on the cabinets.
White and gray kitchens seem visually larger than they really are, which is a major bonus for small space dwellers. To make your own digs feel roomier, opt for a lighter hue on the upper cabinets and a slightly darker shade on the bottom like this culinary space by Elizabeth Lawson Design — it doesn't have to be a dramatic contrast to create an impact.
7. Don't forget the lighting.
While the dark gray kitchen cabinets might be the focal point in this contemporary cook space crafted by Elizabeth Roberts, it's the cool gray pendants that tie it all together. The industrial style lighting visually interrupts the contrasting backdrop without taking anything away from the overall design.
8. Paint the island.
9. Introduce a touch of pink.
A simple way to break up the neutral white and gray palette is to infuse a warm detail in between. The color pink is extremely versatile and acts as a natural complement to a spectrum of gray hues — white goes without saying. The blush-toned backsplash in this modern kitchen belonging to Anna Edwards is a prime example of how well it works.
10. Showcase the classics.
There is something so special about a traditional kitchen design — especially one that's rendered in gray and white — as proven by this elegant cook space from Stephanie Gamble Interiors. Flaunting classics such as white shaker cabinetry complete with crown molding, an apron sink with gooseneck faucet, and a gray subway tile backsplash ... well, need we say more?
11. Mix and match materials.
If you really want your kitchen design to make an impact, mix and match materials. We love the way Arent & Pyke combined decadent gray cabinets, luxe marble, and warm, herringbone wood flooring in this modern setup. The arched doorways leading outdoors are a nice touch, too.
12. Try out a dark shade.
Not all shades of gray are created equal and if you're going for a moody finish, a darker version is definitely the way to go — as proven by this country kitchen remodel from CliqStudios. Charcoal gray immediately comes to mind, with deep tones that lean more black. Cap it off with lighter ceilings to keep the scheme dynamic and bright.
13. Decorate with accents.
A simple gray and white cook space can feel snoozy at times so break it up with decorative accent pieces. Think potted plants, a brass utensil rod, ceramic wares, and maybe even an industrial pendant light à la this small kitchen design by deVOL.
14. Amp up the wow factor with marble everywhere.
Take the gray and white color scheme to the next level with marble, marble, and, you guessed it, more marble. This dreamy culinary headquarters by Hecker Guthrie makes good use of the natural stone at the backsplash, island, and even the range hood. The black accents sprinkled throughout add just enough contrast.
15. Integrate your refrigerator.
16. Keep it subtle.
If you're having trouble saying goodbye to an all-white kitchen, we've got you covered. Consider adding a barely-there shade of gray, like the one showcased on these Plykea cabinet fronts. The subtle change will transform your culinary space, while still preserving that bright and airy vibe you love.
17. Opt for a shade with a greenish tint.
If a light gray and white kitchen feels a little too sleek for your taste, experiment with a shade that has a green undertone, like this rustic setup from Amber Interiors. Complete the look with dark wood elements and bronze accents.
18. Throw in some blue.
Gray kitchen cabinets can often feel one-dimensional if the shade isn't quite right. Look to the surrounding features in your space and allow that to inform your color choice. Here, note the subtle blue-gray undertones of the bottom cabinets, which complement the tile backsplash behind the stove.
19. Try an industrial farmhouse look.
It's probably pretty clear by now that gray and white color schemes work well with any and all design styles, and industrial farmhouse is no exception, as proven by this lofty kitchen from Chango & Co. The gray cabinets invite cool and contemporary flair while black accents keep the overall setup feeling a tad bit edgy.
20. Skip out on the marble.
In lieu of the traditional kitchen countertop go-to, consider an alternative material with a little more shine. Stainless steel countertops are easy to maintain and cost significantly less than natural stones. Plus, they invite that cool gray element to an all-white kitchen.
If you're a lover of Scandinavian interiors (and who isn't?!) we have a culinary treat for you — this gray and white kitchen idea from Nordiska Kök. With minimal decor, flat-panel cabinets coated in a light shade of gray, and charcoal limestone counters, it's the design equivalent of a breath of fresh air.
22. Go for two-tone cabinets.
Invite a sense of visual interest and openness to a small kitchen with the help of two-tone cabinets. Here, dark gray bottom cabinets are paired with off-white upper cabinets, breathing new life into the light-filled design.
23. Curve it up.
Curved moments are all the rage right now and in a small space, they can bring on a major dose of style. Add an element of interest to your gray and white scheme by incorporating a dynamic architectural feature like this arched niche.
24. Work with the basics.
Stainless steel accents — be it appliances or countertop accents — can help usher in a gray and white palette with an understated finish. For example, in this kitchen design by Mainstreet Stockholm the appliances and range hood blend right into the silvery cabinetry.
25. Color block the walls.
The two-tone look doesn't just apply to cabinets. Consider color blocking the walls, too. In this modern kitchen, the gray upper portion of the wall tricks the eye, visually adding height to the tiny space.
26. Make it modern with black hardware.
If you're going for a slightly understated design, but still want it to feel modern, opt for a shade of gray that can seamlessly transition into a neighboring shade of off-white. Complete the look with sleek black hardware like this serene kitchen by Nune.
27. Add depth with a marble backsplash.
28. Welcome a textured finish on the walls.
Instead of using standard paint on the walls, go with something that will add a bit of texture. We love the gray plaster finish used in this Berlin kitchen — it adds an industrial quality and loads of depth that make a world of a difference.
29. Flush it out with lustrous brass.
Swap out the existing cabinet hardware and faucet for alternatives with a bit more luster like this cozy design from Heidi Caillier. As beautifully demonstrated here, brushed or antique brass fixtures will instantly pop against a soothing gray backdrop.
30. Warm it up with wood accents.
Break up a sea of gray cabinetry by incorporating a healthy dose of wood throughout your kitchen. The team over at Salt Design Company clearly got the memo, and the result is flawless.