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Which Cabinet Color Should I Choose?

Q&A: Which cabinet color should I choose?

Q: We are building a new house, and the model home construction comes with grey tile floors in the kitchen, master bath, and two guest baths. We have 3 color options for custom cabinetry: light, medium, and dark wood. With my untrained eye, I really have no idea what is best. Even though the three choices are at different price points, can you provide suggestions for what cabinetry colors are best even if money were no object? Thanks!

A: Consider first that it is essential that your new home have a cohesive look. However, that does not translate to "identical finishes in all rooms.” The important thing is that all rooms speak the same language and borrow from a common palette. That palette can have many colors of wood in it, and you are still getting a cohesive look if you have similar types of finishes or the same style cabinetry in different colors.

Second, unless it's a very small home or there is a really strong theme (such as an all-white beach house), I recommend that your Baths look different from the Kitchen, and that at least the Master Bath distinguishes itself from the other two Baths. It adds value to a home to show the Master Bath as something "special.” Also, to distinguish the Baths from the Kitchen, you have an opportunity to create a different tone in each space. For instance, the Kitchen can stimulate energy, appetite, and creativity, while the Bath can create a calm retreat.

The upshot is that any of the wood colors can work for individual cabinetry. The more important points are:

  • to distinguish the Master Bath from the Guest Baths—either with cabinetry or another finish such as paint or wallpaper;

  • to match the desired energy of the room with the finishes (stimulating Kitchen and restful Baths, for instance); and

  • to take a holistic look at all the finishes across the whole project to ensure they have a common master palette.

Congratulations on the new build. Let us know if you need expert advice for other questions!


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