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More people than ever are looking to redo their kitchen color schemes in 2021. But deciding where to start can leave you with analysis paralysis.
So, to help you get started, let’s first answer the most popular question… what kitchen colors are in for 2021?
What Kitchen Colors Are In For 2021?
Let’s take a look at the 2021 kitchen colors that are gaining momentum.
1. Sage Green
I love sage green for this year. Since it’s technically a cool color it feels lush and fresh, but still warm and inviting – especially paired with other complementary tones.
Sage adds a touch of sophistication to any room. And it’s easy on the eyes – you can use it in big, sweeping applications without overwhelming the senses.
It plays very nicely with warm fixtures, so consider sage if you’re hopping onto the 2021 trend of brass and cold hardware and faucets.
Two-tone cabinets are also a great place to incorporate sage. Pair it with another, richer shade of green, or go simple with a gray.
TOP COLOR PICK – Valspar Signature Satin Clay Sage or BEHR MARQUEE Bermuda Grass
2. Hunter Green
While hunter green is verdant and sophisticated, it can also make a big statement – for better or for worse.
If you’re using hunter green in a big space, don’t go too dark or too big; it can be overwhelming. But in accents, it can add a touch of drama and some of the fresh, verdant feel of a houseplant – and who doesn’t love that?
TOP COLOR PICK – Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Gloss Hunter Green
Blue-green tones can go a long way in adding vibrant, energetic vibes to your space. Pair it with a lighter neutral in a similar color family – this is a great use for a mid-tone gray with beige or green undertones.
Blue-green also pops against warm-toned drawer pulls, cabinet pulls, and metallic fixtures. If you’re thinking of redoing your cabinet color, consider a bluish-green for one level and a light, airy neutral for the other, all set against brass or copper hardware.
Even though you’re using a lot of a cool part of the color wheel, blue-green feel cozy without being cloistering. You get the best of both worlds.
If you just want to give your kitchen a quick update, a few blue-green accents can liven up your space.
Consider wall hangings, a vase on your island or a richly-glazed ceramic tucked away on your countertop. The color is so saturated, you don’t need it to take up much space to make an impression.
TOP COLOR PICK – Valspar Dreamy Teal
Gray remains a classic for a reason. It’s more visually interesting than white but is more discreet than a lot of the bold colors on this 2021 kitchen colors list.
Stick with a gray color scheme that still feels up to date. Or, pair gray with the more vibrant, bold colors on this list to make them pop even more.
Gray is a team player; it can hold its own, but also cooperates with a wide variety of other palettes as long as you choose the right hue and tone to bring out the best in both colors.
Suggested Read: “Why Gray Interiors Are Still Going Strong“
For the upcoming year, designers are loving warm grays and greige, in particular. Greige offers richer hues while still staying neutral, giving you the best of both worlds.
Remember, the grayer the greige color appears, the cooler-toned it is. The more beige, the warmer it is.
While it’s clear from the other colors on this list that color doesn’t necessarily have to be on the warm-toned to feel warm; if you want to attain that cozy feeling and aren’t sure how reach for a warm greige and see how it feels in your space.
Also trendy are medium to dark grays like graphite, smoke gray, and coal.
If you go this direction, make sure to use it judiciously – too much dark gray can overwhelm a room, but pops of dark gray, or dark gray countered by a wash of bright color, can create a lovely grounded feeling.
Cabinets painted warm gray will be particularly popular next year. Be sure to match your cabinet’s color to the color family of your handles and hardware; gray make those pop, so you’ll want them to agree.
I love that gray can add sophistication and elegance to just about any area of decor. You don’t need to worry about using it in too large or small a space, trusting it not to overwhelm.
Play with it on your walls, floors, furniture, furnishings, light fixtures, and decorative elements (the latter is often overlooked). You might find an application you love and never would have guessed!
TOP COLOR PICK – Valspar Signature Semi-Gloss Summer Gray
5. Deep Brown & Walnut
If you’re working with a lot of white or other light colors, deep browns and walnut tones can add richness and warmth that will be so sought-after next year. Be sure to add in a few yellow or light green details to brighten things up a bit; brown has a tendency to look drab in large quantities.
6. Deep Blue & Navy
Speaking of wood tones, consider navy to make those deep browns pop. Deep blues are effective for making a statement without being overwhelming. Just like navy goes with any outfit, it compliments just about anything in decor.
I love the look of navy in a kitchen alongside brass fittings. Yet again, this is a great color for a two-tone kitchen; paint your lower cabinets navy and the top cabinets gray, white, or even black for a touch of drama.
7. Brass / Gold Hardware and Faucets
While classic stainless steel never really goes out of style, people right now are gravitating toward the luxurious, glamorous look of brass or copper fixtures – especially sinks.
Consider pairing gold and brass with organic tones. Warm-toned hardware pops against greens and blues, making your whole kitchen look a little more glamorous.
And don’t worry – warm-toned fixtures are timeless, so you don’t need to worry about your kitchen looking outdated this time next year.
How Have the 2021 Kitchen Colors Changed?
1. Out with the Cold, in with the Warm
Increasingly, kitchen colors are trending toward warmer tones, particularly warm neutrals. They’re a great backdrop to set against touches of brighter, bolder colors.
As an alternative to white, designers are turning to warm greys as “the new neutral.” Also making a resurgence is greige, the beige-grey combination. The more beige in a greige, the warmer the tone, which people are loving right now.
Warms creams are also on the list of 2021 kitchen colors.
Also popular are metallics that pair well with warm colors, creating a cohesive, homey-yet-upscale look.
Golds have been trendy for a while now, and we can expect that to continue, increasingly paired with warm earth tones. This is great news because metallics are timeless, so you can be fashion-forward while creating a look in your kitchen that will age well over time.
Brown and gold will never be that out of style, and introducing gold tones into your decor is a small tweak that can do wonders visually.
2. Two-Tone Kitchens
Two-tone kitchens are quickly gaining popularity, especially by painting upper and lower cabinets in 2 different colors. This has been rising in popularity recently and is expected to surge forward through 2021.
Originally, the trend started as simply painting the kitchen island a contrasting color from the cabinets, but now it’s spreading through the entire rest of the kitchen to add depth and dimension to the entire room.
To give this a try, combine a neutral with a striking earth tone. Both colors will bring out the best in each other. Consider gray and green, cool gray and warm gray, or shades of natural wood paired with black.
We’ll get deeper into specific shades further on in this post, but for now, start by thinking of colors that agree with one another without creating too much noise.
Remember, it’s all about creating a feeling of warmth and dimension.
Why Have Kitchen Colors Changed?
Kitchens have always been used as both practical and gathering spaces. But in the past year, as the Coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed everyone’s way of life, the multipurpose role of the kitchen has been turned up a notch.
Now, kitchens are full-on multifunctional hubs of nearly every home. Home cooking is on the rise around the country. People are cooking at home more, but they’re also getting more ambitious in the ways they cook as they search for new activities they can safely do at home.
Kitchens are also being commonly used as home offices, virtual classrooms, and a wide range of other functions. Kitchens have never been such an important part of our homes, thanks to the new stay-at-home culture.
Because of this, we’re starting to decorate and furnish our kitchens more similarly to the rest of our homes. Instead of emphasizing cleanliness and practicality like the past, designers are bringing warmer tones and cozier accents.
Comfortable, plush seating used to be reserved for the living room, but now it’s becoming popular for kitchen island seating. If you’re going to spend 8 hours in that kitchen stool, it had better be comfortable, right?
Another big trend aiming for the homey, warm kitchen is woven pendant lights.
Pendant lights are a classic for a reason – they’re decorative, elegant, and functional. Adding light-colored woven shades made of bamboo or rattan adds a breezy, relaxed feel and a contemporary, natural vibe to your space.
And the natural woven materials go great with the incoming 2021 kitchen color palettes.
Soothing 2021 Kitchen Colors and Palettes
As we said, 2021 is all about comfort, coziness, and making your home feel… well, extra homey. To start, let’s take a look at the next big things in kitchen color.
1. Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year
Sherwin-Williams named Urbane Bronze, a warm, dark gray, their color of the new year. I love it paired with their Modern Gray, a light, warm neutral tone, or Messenger Bag, which is a mid-tone brown-ochre.
Another route is to pair it with pale woods, metallic neutrals, pale stone counters, or organic textured textiles (what did we just say about woven pendant lights?).
2. A Color Family That’s all 2021
In Sherwin-Williams’ Encounter color family designed for 2021, I love pairing Reddened Earth with Alabaster or Rosemary with Natural Tan.
Both combinations would look fantastic in a two-tone kitchen cabinet application, as contrasting walls, or with one as a cabinet color and the other as a wall color.
3. Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Take for 2021
Looking at Benjamin Moore, they’re going a different (but equally on-trend) direction with their color of the year: Aegean Teal.
While technically a cool color, it still gives a cozy feeling that exudes a relaxed, laidback vibe that seems to hug you tight.
I’d recommend pairing it with Atrium White (if you want to keep things neutral) or Chestertown Buff, to lean into the feelings of warmth, freshness, and comfort.
4. Behr’s Reinvented Neutrals for 2021
While Behr hasn’t designated a color for the year, they are releasing a new palette of warm twists on regular neutrals like Modern Mocha and Almond Wisp. Both would look fantastic alongside dark furniture.
Or, to lean into the warmth trend again, try Kalahari Sunset or Sierra.
With everything going on in our lives right now, is it any surprise to see the trendy 2021 kitchen colors going in the same direction as our heart’s desires as we close out 2020? We want comfort, warmth, and coziness in our homes – and the colors we’re seeing introduced into kitchen decor this coming year reflect that.
I hope these tips and ideas are helpful as you look toward updating your kitchen look for the new year!
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CLARE CoghlanSeptember 12, 2021
Your blog was very informative. I am looking to repaint my kitchen
CLARE CoghlanSeptember 12, 2021
Any more tips on colours for my kitchen would b great