The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the home: It's a landing space for everything from homework and Zoom calls to craft projects and, of course, meal preparation. This means that it could benefit from a soothing color palette that helps keep your mind uncluttered (even when your cabinets aren't)—but rich shades, on the other hand, create a sense of warmth and intimacy. Torn between the two? Get ready to take your pick: Both options are trending in 2023.
"The evolving function of kitchens allows us to adopt flexibility and adaptability, even in color choices," affirms Sue Kim, director of color marketing at Valspar. Give your go-to multifaceted space a fresh feel with these increasingly popular paint colors and techniques.
Warm Earth Tones
While the nature-inspired greens and blues that complemented the all-white kitchen trend still offer a sense of renewal and relaxation, browns and reds offer a cozier alternative to brights and neutrals with cooler undertones. "It's been so exciting to see people increasingly using their homes as a canvas for creative expression, from experimenting with different definitions of neutral colors to being more playful with both color and pattern to bring different types of energy into a space," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.
Not sure if you're ready to trade your cool tones for warmer hues? Follow your instincts, notes Annie Sloan, creator of Chalk Paint. "Paint first, and ask questions second," she says.
If you prefer a more vibrant, energetic space, incorporate age-old colors and patterns for a one-of-a-kind aesthetic. Sloan anticipates that future kitchen paint trends will also rely on the past, describing "a nostalgia for a more prosperous time, but a nostalgia that seeks to learn from history and improve it," she says. "I've been loving herringbone patterns, painted wainscoting, and handsome strong Victorian colors in townhouse and country kitchens alike." Think comforting browns, navy blues, and burgundy.
Painted Cabinets, Walls, and Floors
Design experts expect all-white kitchens to ebb in popularity, but a few cans of paint will allow for an eye-catching makeover (without a major renovation). Give your bright-white a quick update with powerful shades that work on every surface. "This is the year of out-there kitchen cabinets with painted floors to match!" says Sloan. "Use bold colors to go big, drenching walls, cabinets, and floors. Done right, this makes bold colors work best. Choose one leading shade, such as Knightsbridge Green, its color opposite—which would be Primer Red—and a neutral to balance, such as Original."
Wood-Inspired Tuxedo Cabinets
"Over the years, we've seen more and more homeowners lean into tuxedo cabinets, with a dark color on the lower cabinets paired with a light color on uppers," says Wadden. "It's a great look for all sorts of design styles, from cottage to contemporary."
In 2023, wooden lower cabinets will dominate—but if your budget doesn't allow for all-new lowers in a natural wood tone, Wadden recommends mimicking the look with colors like Homestead Brown, Smokehouse, and Poised Taupe. "All are browns with a with gray undertone. They look great on cabinets since they add flair without overwhelming the entire kitchen," says Wadden.
The millennial pinks of the past few years are on their way out—expect them to be replaced by more impactful tones in the same color family that will create a more vibrant room. "Pastel pink kitchens saturated Instagram in 2022, but more grown-up color blocks are coming," says Sloan. "I predict people using spicy reds in this dynamic space. The kitchen can be one of the easiest places to play with a bold color choice, and even those nervous of color can't deny the beauty of bright red color pops."
Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams
Aesthetics inspired by the soothing neutrals of the great outdoors will continue to be popular, says Kim. "In 2023, people will continue to look to nature for comfort and respite when it comes to the kitchen," she says. "This connection to nature will continue to be a strong story as the kitchen space becomes a central hub for all family dynamics." With wood and white shades as the backdrop, deep, nature-inspired shades are gaining popularity: "The color combinations are balanced and harmonizing and also focus on an accent color that sets the focal point," Kim adds.
Expect to see lush olive greens, fresh spring tones, and subtle green undertones. "Nature allows us to ground ourselves, and green allows us to tap into the calming tones of nature," says Kim. "A color like Green Trellis brings the calm and liveliness we seek from the outdoors into our home and offers us a new appreciation of natural beauty. A color like Flora, which depicts charm and sophistication, is a deep, blackened olive that embodies choosing quality over quantity to create a new sense of purpose."