Gray is a versatile neutral that goes well with many other colors, both warm and cool. While it may have a reputation for being boring, gray is really the perfect foundation for all kinds of color schemes. Plus, it comes in a wide range of saturations, from deep charcoal to pale dove gray, and endless shades, ranging from blue-toned slate to purplish pearl gray and trendy greige.
With gray walls as your starting point, you can easily go bold with your kitchen cabinets. As Rozit Arditi from Arditi Design says, "When selecting cabinet colors to go with gray walls, my first suggestion is to decide if you want the cabinets to blend in or stand out in the room. If the goal is to go with a monochrome look in the space, stick with similar colors to the gray, but if you want the cabinets to stand out, go darker and bolder."
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Color theory can also help. Interior designer and cabinetry dealer Chelsey Preuss says that the color wheel is her go-to tool: "Each gray has a different undertone, and you want to use that to your advantage. For example, with a gray wall with a blue undertone, you could choose a darker or lighter gray cabinet with a blue, green, or purple undertone for a subtle monochromatic look. You could also be much bolder if that's your style by choosing a mustard yellow or a wood with a slight red undertone that complements the blue undertone."
For more inspiration, here are 10 cabinet colors that pair beautifully with gray walls.
10 Cabinet Colors for Gray Walls
If you're after a sophisticated neutral kitchen, pairing gray walls with gray cabinets is a sleek, modern choice. Just make sure that if you're not going for a completely monochrome look, there's enough contrast between the cabinets and the wall color — otherwise, they might just end up looking mismatched. In this kitchen by Gina Holz Designs, the light gray marble walls, backsplash, and countertops have green undertones and contrast dramatically with the dark gray cabinets.
White cabinets paired with gray kitchen walls give a fresh, modern appearance. White paint adds brightness, lightness, and openness to a room, so it's a good option if your kitchen is smaller or doesn't get much natural light. The drawback to this combination, however, is that it can look stark. In this kitchen designed by Decorilla, the gray walls have a purple undertone that gives them extra personality. Meanwhile, the beige floor and gold accents add welcome warmth to the space.
If you want a light option with a little more warmth than white, consider cream. This shade of off-white with yellow undertones has a softer, more traditional feel. You can also pair it with bright white, as seen in this kitchen by Mimi & Hill, where the cabinets contrast with the ceiling and countertops. Cream is also not the only shade of off-white: You can find paint colors with subtle undertones of all kinds, from green to purple.
If you want a dramatic look with a natural palette, matte black kitchen cabinets are sure to make a big statement. Depending on the other design elements in the room, this color combo can lend itself to everything from traditional to industrial styles. In this kitchen by Mrs. Paranjape Designs + Interiors, the gray patterned wallpaper ties together the white and black accents in the room.
Blue cabinets and gray walls can make for a luxe and modern kitchen. While cobalt or electric blue creates a playful mood, navy or French blue (as in this kitchen by Hendel Homes) is more sophisticated. For a cohesive look, match blue with a cool-toned gray.
6. Natural Wood
Natural wood cabinets of all shades contrast beautifully with gray walls. As you choose your combination, consider the overall effect you're going for. Pairing a deep wood like walnut with charcoal gray will look dramatic, while light oak and pale gray will appear bright and minimal. If your cabinets do not have a natural woodgrain, you can achieve a similar color scheme by painting them a warm brown shade like terra cotta or tan.
To add a pop of color to your kitchen, you can't get much more cheerful than red. The bright shade evokes warmth and energy; when paired with a pale gray — like in this space by VanderHorn Architects — the contrast can make it can feel even more lively. If primary red is a bit much for you, dusty rose or coral are more muted options, while lush crimson or deep burgundy create a luxe impression.
Yellow and gray of all shades look beautiful together. In this kitchen by Laura Stephens, mustard yellow lower cabinets and natural wood upper cabinets bring warmth to the pale gray tiled walls and cement floor. The open shelving and glass doors allow plenty of space for personal touches, which give the elegant kitchen a comfortable, lived-in feel.
9. Avocado Green
For a vibrant color that still feels instantly relaxing, turn to a soft shade of green, like sage, olive, or avocado. These gentle hues work harmoniously with lighter and medium shades of gray, especially those with yellow or green undertones. This kitchen by RailiCA Design pairs medium gray with a soothing avocado green that brings a bit of the natural world indoors.
Teal is bright and bold, but as a cool color, it pairs easily with gray. In this space by Airy Kitchens, the teal cabinets and kitchen island are balanced with warm caramel chairs and wood flooring. Pops of white and silver provide extra lightness, keeping the deeply saturated color from overwhelming the room.
Cabinet Colors That Go with Gray Walls
Gray walls provide a neutral canvas that can stand up to almost any color combination. As you consider your cabinet choices, think about your personal style and the effect you hope to create in your kitchen. The color wheel can also be a helpful tool to consult.
As a recap, here are the cabinet paint colors that pair well with gray walls:
- Cobalt blue
- Natural wood
- Avocado green