Color Inspiration – Green Kitchen Cabinets

Today’s color inspiration post is specifically inspiration for my mom and me to use for her kitchen. As I shared with you yesterday, my mom and I are going to tackle a relatively budget-friendly makeover on her kitchen soon. But what I didn’t share with you yesterday (because I didn’t talk to her about colors until yesterday afternoon) is that we’ll be painting the walls a light non-white neutral color, and painting the cabinets green.

We’re not aiming for a bold, saturated green like I had on my original kitchen cabinets. My mom isn’t quite as bold with her color choices as I am. 🙂 Instead, we’ll be aiming for a lighter, softer, more neutral and earthy green. Here are some examples of green that might work…

1. Green kitchen cabinets from Oak Design Project

This just might be the perfect shade of green for a person who wants some color, but not color that’s too bold, too eye-catching, and too saturated. This beautiful green is still easy on the eyes, somewhat neutral, and not too dark, while still adding color to the room.

2. Green kitchen island from Natasha Schue

This is a very similar green as the one above, but it’s just a little bit lighter and less saturated. And yet, it’s still very obviously green, and really pretty.

*Side note: I wish more people knew about paintable full-overlay outlet covers. I see white outlets on colorful kitchen islands and peninsulas all the time, and I always want to tell the person about paintable full-overlay outlet covers that will blend right in with the painted island or peninsula. But then I don’t want to be presumptuous. Maybe they love the white! But at least I can let all of YOU know about these amazing things. I have an outlet on the end of my peninsula, but it’s covered with a paintable full-overlay outlet cover that is painted the same teal as my cabinets. It blends right in and calls no attention to itself.

3. Green kitchen cabinets from Nectaar

This one is just a tiny bit darker and more saturated than the first example. I’m not sure just how much color and how dark we can go with in my mom’s kitchen because it’s pretty small, but if I had my preference without my mom’s input (and that’s just me dreaming, but not reality 😀 ), I’d choose something just a touch more saturated like this.

4. Green kitchen cabinets from Olivia Wagner

This is another pretty, earthy, but somewhat saturated green in this kitchen. While I don’t think it’s right for my mom’s kitchen (a bit too much yellow, I believe), it’s still such a pretty color for kitchen cabinets.

5. Green kitchen cabinets from Mak Architecture

I think this green is venturing into territory that’s too dark for my mom’s particular kitchen, but isn’t this gorgeous? It works so well without making the entire room look dark because it’s surrounded by white in a room that has lots of natural light. And that cabinet color looks amazing with the warm wood floor.

6. Green kitchen cabinets from Wild Honey Design

And here’s one more gorgeous kitchen with light green cabinets that add color, and yet could be seen as a neutral. Green is nature’s neutral, after all!

Y’all, I’m so excited about getting started on my mom’s kitchen! And I have to admit, when I brought up the idea of painting the kitchen cabinets a color, and making the walls lighter and more neutral, I expected a hard “no” in response. When my mom didn’t immediately say no, I had a glimmer of hope. And then when she seemed open to the idea, I was so excited!!

Y’all know I’m not really a white cabinet kind of person. My mission in life is to eradicate the world of white kitchen cabinets. Ha! Not really. 😀 But I would definitely love to see more people embrace color on their cabinets — especially those who choose white not because they love it, but just because they think white is the only “proper” choice for painted cabinets and are afraid to embrace color. (I think there are a lot of people who choose white out of fear, but I do know there are also a lot of people who absolutely love white cabinets. I’d love to see the first group break out of their fear and choose color, and leave the white cabinets to people who really, truly love it.)

Anyway, I know we’ll find just the right color, and I think some of these will serve as great inspiration for the direction we want to go in my mom’s kitchen.



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  1. Those are beautiful kitchens! Check out Oyster Bay from SW. It may be a bit too blue, but I looooove that color. So soothing and peaceful!

    Side note about the outlets. I have oak cabinets (that will soon be painted white because I love white cabinets 😉 ), and I had an outlet cover that matched the cabinets. I recently replaced the outlet and the cover with white ones and I like it much better, haha! To me, it looks cleaner! 🙂 I suppose to each her own!

  2. I like all of these except the more yellow green and I can totally see them in your mother’s kitchen (or MY mother’s kitchen! :)). For me, though, I’m dreaming of painting my old oak cabinets a bright white – but that’s because I went with a dark cobalt blue on the walls and want the white to contrast.

  3. I love these color inspiration posts. Please keep them coming. +++

    Purely selfishly I wouldn’t mind for you to hit purple kitchens at some point. Finding pretty purple kitchens that aren’t neon purple is soooo hard!

    1. You read my mind. We are building our kitchen cabinets and my hub loves green. I have been looking for a color similar to number two, he would love the super dark green but there needs to be a compromise. Plus I want the sink cabinet to be stained and stand out, along with our black hardware.

    2. OMG! Paintable outlet covers that actual cover the old ugly (but functional) outlet. Who knew??? Well OF COURSE you knew, Kristi, which I why I follow you. Thanks!!

    3. If I may, you should look at Farrow and Ball’s “brassica.” It is sort of a purple/gray, I have it in my daughter’s room and love it! I think there was a kitchen picture on their site.

  4. I love green cabinets and am thinking of painting mine. My hesitation with your mom’s cabinets is that it looks as if the uppers are hung quite low–15″ from the counter rather than 18″, which is more typical now. That lack of space makes things seem so closed in (not to mention makes fitting things under the uppers like a blender or some coffee makers impossible) and a darker color might make the cabinets feel as if they are hulking over you.

  5. I chose white cabinets for my 1924 bungalow because that was what 1920’s houses had, sanitary white. My walls are green. (Devine’s Georgette) All my walls are craftsman colors from the 1920’s. And while I despise painted trim, I did relent to painting it in the bathroom since the original bathroom was painted white. I did strip the built in cabinets and stain them mahogany. I figured if I didn’t like it I could paint them white. Been almost 10 years and they are still stained.

    Your mom’s kitchen is going to be so nice.

  6. I just wanted you to know that I did a Fat Albert “hey, hey, hey!” out loud when I saw those full overlay outlet covers. I had no idea! Thanks much, Kristi! 😀
    My mom also loves sage, and wanted sage cabinets. I think the second example has a great color. Can’t wait to see the results!

  7. Maybe the way to go is green lower and white or cream uppers. I generally prefer upper and lower cabinets to be the same, but doing them separate colors would keep things brighter and still colorful.

  8. I prefer the shade of green in the first picture. I absolutely LOVE and want info about the black iron holders containing greenery on each side of the hood in the mak_architektura picture. Can you help me locate these?

  9. I recently (umm, actually not so recently) changed from white cabinets with pale yellow walls to Benjamin Moore Wythe blue cabinets, white walls, and herringbone subway tile. It has changed the feel of the kitchen entirely and is how I found this great blog!! 🙂

  10. I think #’s 1, 2 & 6 would look the best in your Mom’s kitchen, but as it is a small space, I was leaning more towards #2. But Kristi, you have a great eye and I think the green shade you choose also depends on how it looks with the new wall color and the lighting. Can’t wait to follow your Mom’s kitchen makeover! How exciting for her.

  11. THANK YOU for that link to the full-overlay outlet covers. I had no idea they existed. Seems like a game changer!!

  12. I’m gonna sit back and wait to see what Mom decides on, because she has a great eye for color, just as you do! I’m looking at your header here on your website and see the green I would choose, in the leaves around the flowers. Can’t wait to seethe winner!

  13. I love number one and number six the best! But that’s just me and I know you guys will figure out the best for mom 😍😍

  14. I love all these greens, especially 1 & 3. And I’m glad your mom is on board with painted cabinets since you can get the cheaper paint grade wood. Mint/jade/medium green is such a timeless color.

    #1 is what I call “1930s green” a kind of mint/jade color that looks so good with ivory or pearl grey. And wood! #4’s style is my fave since it looks timeless/vintage.

    I’ll admit I’d keep the scrolly thing since I love retro. But as your mom and grandma know, painted cabinets were a thing in the past, along with knotty pine/birch/maple. There were full overlay steel cabinets, white most popular since it was “sanitary” (and I like white) but I like wood and color too. Steel cabinets in colors or even painted wood were done in the “retro” times. You can find yellow, pink, turquoise, green, or even blue and red. Or even avocado and gold from the 60s…
    Interesting thing with avocado green. People think it’s dated but #5 looks like a muted avocado to me, so I think there’s a way to make that color more “now” too.

    I find I am drawn to green as s decorating color since like blue, it’s one of nature’s neutrals and it mixes good with other colors and wood.

    Btw the survey results were interesting. I’m at the much younger end of your readership.

    Viva la verde!

  15. Have you seen some of the Chris Loves Julia greens (from their old house)? I just LOVE some deep rich greens… especially for kitchen cabinets. Currently have a project using Salamander from Benjamin Moore. Painting all 4 walls (vertical beadboard on all walls) PLUS the trim and doors in a home office. Can’t wait to see how your mom’s kitchen turns out!

  16. Thanks so much for the paintable outlet cover recommendation. I am in the middle of renovating my daughter’s bedroom and wood planking a portion of the bed wall. I was trying to figure out how I was going to paint the outlet covers to make them blend in but also didn’t know what I was going to do about the actual outlets. I was getting ready to look back on what you did in your pantry because I remembered those were completely painted. So glad I read this post too!

  17. I love the painted cabinets! Just wondering what your take is on two tone cabinets- uppers being white or a lighter color, and lowers being a “darker” color?