Whether you’re test-driving a new recipe on Sunday evening or hastily reheating leftovers after a long workday, one thing is clear: Your kitchen should be a space made to unwind.
And while the level of organization in your drawers and the groceries in your fridge can contribute to that feeling, the colors in your space can also make a difference. Blue kitchen cabinets, for one, are pretty much a shortcut to making an interior feel totally serene.
Sure, you might consider white or cream cupboards to be a tried-and-true design go-to when wanting a bright and spacious kitchen—but you can also go beyond those basics. Cornflower, navy, aqua, and other ocean-inspired hues can all breathe new life into the room (and they’re easy to pair with most backsplashes, countertops, or shelving arrangements you might have in mind).
There’s a reason why blue jeans are the most versatile item in your wardrobe—it’s time to apply that same line of thinking to your home.
The Aqua Island
Photography: Sara Tramp; Design: Velinda Hellen
Sherwin Williams’s Riverway adds a coastal vibe to this bright California kitchen designed by Velinda Hellen Design. The room is also proof that a stand-out color is no reason to skip out on a playful backsplash—here, the designer used sand-hued tiles from Fireclay to add a neutral yet graphic element to the space that wouldn’t compete with the vibrant cabinets.
The Navy Pinstripe
Photography: Kate Grewal; Design: Limonata Creative
This Baltimore, Maryland kitchen designed by Nate Bachmann and Guilietta Pinna of Limonata Creative is basically the interior version of a sleek tailored suit. Semihandmade’s SSS Beaded cabinet fronts in Night Sky look striking paired with a simple white wall and countertop. Handmade, rustic floating shelves—decked out with plants and a covetable pottery collection—balance out the modern look.
The Pristine Powder Blue
Photography: Lauren Miller; Design: April Brown
When you’re working with limited square footage, you might feel inclined to go for light neutral tones to make your space feel bigger, but in this lakeside bungalow kitchen, Semihandmade’s SSS Beaded cabinet fronts in Agave are a breath of fresh air. A butcher block countertop provides the slightest amount of contrast between the light blue cabinets and the simple subway tiled wall, while brass hardware adds an element of warmth to the cool-toned room.
The Matte Impact
Photography: Decora Topp; Design: Ashley Wyer
Dark colors can feel a lot more approachable when you’re incorporating them in one concentrated area—take this kitchen by Ashley Wyer as an example. Semihandmade’s Supermatte Night Sky Shaker fronts make for high-impact lower cabinets, while a simple white countertop and open shelving keep the room feeling open and uncluttered. No backsplash is even necessary to make this kitchen complete.
The Color Combo
Photography: Lehua Noëlle Faulkner; Design: homesmithLA
Just because you opt for a bolder cabinet color doesn’t mean you have to balance it out with white walls. In this Santa Ana, California space by homesmithLA, Dunne Edwards’s Fine Grain—a warm beige—complements both Semihandmade’s SSS Beaded doors in Night Sky and the room’s oak flooring. A few brass semi-circle drawer pulls from Etsy add a custom feel.
The All-Over Blue
Photography: Margaret Wright; Design: Renovate108
Want to add some color to your space, but convinced it will only work in small doses? Allow this room by Renovate108 to change your mind. Floor-to-ceiling Semihandmade DIY Shaker fronts painted in Benjamin Moore’s Narragansett Green give the space a charming, historic feel—without making it seem dated in the slightest. Small details go a long way, like the painted interior of the narrow, pull-out cleaning cabinet.