Move Over White Cabinets, Color is Making a Comeback in the Kitchen

transitional kitchen island sink with bead board and storageAll-white kitchens have had their moment and more. White cabinets have that classic appeal and fresh look that many people love, particularly in the last decade or so. However, not everyone is a fan of the all-white kitchen. If you fall into the latter camp, get excited, because color is making a comeback in the kitchen.

It’s easy to appreciate the everything goes with white flexibility, but you may crave just a hint of color. “A good compromise is choosing something that’s not white, but still soft, like an ivory or gray,” says Normandy Designer Laura Barber. “Even a pastel blue is a classic neutral but not as stark as white.”

When tempted to go a bit deeper into the color pool, there are some beautiful options that can safely be implemented in the island or backsplash tile. “Some families want to embrace a favorite color, especially when remodeling their forever home,” says Laura. Blue and white kitchen with stained Alder island“If you’ve always favored blues, this is the time to do a navy kitchen. Think of blue as your favorite pair of jeans. Like denim, it’s considered a neutral that pairs well with other elements.”

Greens in all shades are gaining in popularity, and since it’s another color we find in nature, it also reads as a neutral. “Green can be a nice pop of color and still provides flexibility in case you want swap out accessories in the future,” Laura says. Plus, you don’t need to worry about staying on trend. “Grays, greens, and even navy all have a timeless feel to them, meaning you won’t regret your choice years from now.”

midcentury modern kitchen with waterfall edge island and blue backsplash tileIf you’re not necessarily drawn to color but worry that an all-white kitchen might feel too sterile, you can find texture and warmth with today’s version of a stained wood kitchen. “Walnut is a great option if you like the Mid-Century Modern look, but rift cut white oak offers a nice soft palette – without the dated tones of the honey oak kitchens we remember from the 80’s,” notes Laura.

For those who really want to go bold, the always-dramatic look of black cabinetry is making headway. “A black and white kitchen is a striking combination, yet has a timeless appeal,” Laura says. Dark cabinets also pair well with a variety of metals. “Gold hardware, polished nickel, or silver tones offer a sophisticated look when paired with darker colored cabinets.”

Modern kitchen with black cabinets and white countertopsIf you’re somewhere in between an all-white kitchen and implementing color, Laura suggests both. “I’m seeing many kitchens that choose to mix finishes, with upper cabinets in white that keep the brightness up high, and darker tones on the lower cabinets.”

White kitchens will always be in style, so if you love them, don’t deny yourself. However, if you want something different, there are so many other options that are equally as fabulous. Set up a time to chat with Laura about your kitchen remodeling ideas. For inspiration, browse through our photo gallery or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


blue hall cabinet with floating shelves next to the kitchen  gray kitchen with open shelving and stainless steel sink  Blonde rift cut oak modern kitchen

gray painted kitchen with dark stained buffet  traditional kitchen in soft barely blue

soft blue kitchen island with pillars   

Tile Behind Open Shelving for Design Impact and Continuity

Arlington Heights home bar with black and gold waterfall edge countertopWhen you fall in love with a fantastic tile, you just can’t get enough. While flooring is an option for certain tiles, and a backsplash is a given in the kitchen, look just beyond your shelves as a way to sneak in some extra square feet of your beloved tile. It’s sure to create a big design impact.

“Whether you’ve found a tile that’s all about texture, color, or pattern, giving it more space in your design can create an unexpected focal point that helps tie the room together,” says Normandy Designer Abby Osborn. “Open shelving provides the perfect opportunity to include that statement tile behind the shelves and create a gorgeous accent that invites personality to the room’s overall aesthetic.”

This look adds a practical component in areas that are prone to moisture, such as a wet bar. “Tile is easy to wipe clean and holds up better than drywall alone,” notes Abby. “We don’t typically suggest marble or natural stone in areas where cooking takes place since the porous texture is difficult to keep clean. Those tiles are better suited as a playful accent in a nook or at the bar.”

soft white cabinetry with open wooden shelving above beverage center in kitchen Your tile selection doesn’t need to be a bold color, instead it can act as a soft complement to the rich tones of your wood cabinets or shelving. “Adding tile in a neutral palette but with a bit of texture really creates a sophisticated look,” says Abby. “However, if textured tile has caught your eye, you’ll want to be mindful of how the shelves or light fixtures may sit against the tile.” Your designer will be your best resource for choosing the right tile and appropriate shelving brackets to ensure they fit well together.

When you take extra care to select a tile that you love, you’ll want to see it, not hide it. “Be mindful of what you display on those shelves,” Abby offers. “You may choose to exhibit stemware or decorative pieces instead of daily essentials or other items that would block your view of the tile completely.”

Tile that makes your heart leap, and where to put it for maximum impact, is just one part of creating a remodel that feels aligned to you and your home. Reach out to Abby to chat about ideas for your home projects. To further feed your design inspiration check out our gallery of photos or follow us on Instagram or Facebook.


home wet bar with blue cabinets, floating shelves, and blue backsplash tile  blue decorative backsplash tile open shelving and apron front sink rustic wood open shelves on tiled wall in white kitchen blue hall cabinet with floating shelves next to the kitchen

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