Grey as a neutral colour is a great way to bring colour into the kitchen in a subtle way, working with many styles and materials. It will pair with almost anything, contrasts beautifully with a darker shade, and makes a great canvas for other colours. Although regarded as a relaxed neutral, it can also add touches of excitement and drama to your kitchen. We often think of grey as exclusively a cool colour. But one of the surprising effects of grey is how it can actually warm up a space, especially greys that have a hint of brown.
Choosing the right grey shade is tricky, as it really depends on the effect you are after for your kitchen. As noted, warmer greys (with hints of brown) tend to be more traditional, while cooler greys are more contemporary. There are so many different greys to choose from with so many different undertones. Rather than just choose one shade, designers recommend selecting a suite of three or four greys. And working from that palette so that everything remains harmonious.
With a grey kitchen, you will be on-trend and your kitchen will be looking gorgeous for years to come – so let’s take a look at what your kitchen could look like!
1. Simply chic grey kitchen cabinets
The reason grey cabinetry has been coming into vogue is that grey is such a fantastic all-purpose colour. It instantly conveys utility and chic. For example, dove grey countertops go beautifully with the powder grey kitchen walls and dove grey cabinets. A mix of grey tones looks simple yet stunning.
2. Beyond the pale
All-white painted cabinets are a beautiful and timeless classic. But kitchen designers have noted a subtle shift towards greys in recent times. For example, cloud-grey cabinetry is set off with black hardware and pulls and chic black pendant lights.
Keen on painted cabinets? Find a tradie for your cabinet painting needs.
3. The soothing neutral
Neutrals are the best base colour palette to build on, and grey is a neutral that is admired for its ability to give space depth. A great alternative to the all-white kitchen when you want something a little less basic. A kitchen in French greys and marble is anything but boring.
4. Paint it warm
Paint your walls or cabinets in a warm tone and then reinforce your grey aesthetic with complementary accents in other materials, like marble. Marble is a classic material for the grey kitchen. Its grey veining in a backsplash or countertop brings in touches of the colour used for the walls and cabinets.
5. Light warm wood tones
Wood accents, whether in the walls, cabinetry or flooring keep things bright and fresh. Popular light and bright woods are beech, ash and pine. For a Scandi look, try light grey wood cabinetry.
6. Minimalistic and Nordic grey kitchen
Grey is the perfect neutral for the Scandi kitchen. It creates a uniform lightness that isn’t as stark as white and allows other colours to add zest in accessories.
7. A neutral with depth
Grey is perfect for creating depth inside cabinets. A pale grey cabinet in a Scandi style grey kitchen can be painted in a pearly graphite on the inside, which works perfectly with natural shadows. See how the pearly graphite grey paint works perfectly with the natural shadows?
8. Layered greys
Designers suggest playing with a palette of three or four greys. Using a range of greys in a layered look is very popular in Scandi-style design. A darker grey is used as a grounding element, while lighter tones are added for interest and warmth.
9. Go seamless
Going for the simplicity and practicality that is the hallmark of Scandi style? A seamless pale grey wall of cabinets is the perfect way to achieve those bare walls and sparse spaces that add up to “less is more”.
Something like this is a custom job and one best left to the professional kitchen cabinet makers.
10. Dark grey marble
Another way to bring in gorgeous grey is to feature marble in dark grey tones. A timber kitchen table can then add warmth to the greyscale space.
11. Grey and white kitchen
Dark grey paint absorbs light. So if you’re going for very dark cabinetry, make sure you add plenty of fresh white in the palette and some gorgeous statement lighting. This is really important when there is a lack of natural light.
12. Add pastel
A grey kitchen can be lovely and bright even when it features expanses of grey cabinets. Something like terrazzo flooring or the little pops of pastel in the décor work well. And plenty of greenery adds life!
13. Totally tonal
You could paint your walls and cabinets a peaceful mid-grey and mix with black accents. But painting isn’t limited to walls and kitchen cabinets. Some people like to extend beyond just cupboards to paint fridges, rangehoods or kitchen islands in their chosen grey.
14. Mix it with vintage
Do you feel your grey and silver kitchen lacks personality or warmth? Try adding a statement vintage piece in vivid colour to act as a focal point and contrast beautifully with all the neutrals. When your vintage piece is going to be a stunning heritage stove, for example, then make sure you find someone to take care of the stove installation.
15. Add warmth with a rug
Rugs and textiles are often used to soften a hard, dense-looking space, or to warm up a dull palette. A classic grey kitchen can really be livened up with a rug that brings in some of the tones in the cabinetry.
16. Flawless floors
If your kitchen has plenty of grey, even down to the concrete floors, make sure it doesn’t overwhelm by adding pops of graphic black and white.
If you’re a fan of a white kitchen, you might want to take a look at these wonderful white kitchen ideas. They will have you desperate to renovate your kitchen!
17. Touch of grey
If you are firm on white cabinets, you can bring in the grey aesthetic in other subtle ways, such as by painting the inside of your butler’s pantry.
18. Mix grey with colour
Adding pops of other colours makes grey shine. You could try other neutrals (such as black, white or taupe) or bold shades of greens, teal or blue, or metallics as accents. Mixing metal finishes is an avant-garde look that may appeal to you. For example, having stainless steel appliances featuring antiqued brass hardware.
19. Mix it with metals
Want to go for very monochromatic space? Consider incorporating a range of finishes for added texture and reflection. For instance, flat grey stone and cabinetry can be juxtaposed with shiny bright chrome.
20. Perfect match
Grey and warm wood are two neutrals that just go together perfectly. Add grey dining chairs to a wooden table for perfect balance.
21. Try an elegant blue-tone grey
A colour that manages to be both traditional and modern, this almost-navy, dark matte storm colour can really make a statement on your kitchen cabinets.
22. Mix it with a statement hood
Hoods have become something to feature, rather than necessarily hide or blend in. I think it’s fair to say that the statement rangehood has officially arrived. And it offers another way to add drama or colour pops to a grey-palette kitchen.
23. Grey kitchen counters
A seamless mid-grey kitchen often features grey quartz counters. These are becoming a popular style choice alongside concrete or marble for the grey kitchen.
24. Mix grey with wood
Grey pairs with everything, but especially warm timbers. It allows you to lean towards an industrial style design or even farmhouse kitchen design.
25. Add a mirror
Mirrors in kitchens are a newish trend. But they’re becoming popular thanks to the fact that mirrors are so good at brightening and enlarging any room, including the kitchen.
26. Tone on tone grey kitchen
When using several shades of grey, you can create a gorgeous tone on tone look that has depth and visual interest. For example, space grey cabinets work harmoniously with a marble counter and splashback and a mid-grey hood. Look for ways to renew the tones in different textures. For example, reclaimed wood, patterns in monochrome, or elements of sparkle such as in natural stone quartz.
27. Grey and white kitchen
Combine a palette of crisp white and greys in charcoals and pewter.
28. Grey gloss kitchen
Contrast your favourite matte grey shade with a high gloss finish for a striking contemporary kitchen remodel. High gloss cabinets reflect more light and help the space appear bigger. So they’re perfect for a smaller kitchen.
29. High gloss with grey
Or try high gloss white cabinets against a dark charcoal wall in a matte finish. You’ll find it’s quite a refreshing look.
30. Go Japandi
It’s not just the Scandinavians who love their clean lines and sustainably sourced materials. There’s a distinctly Japanese vibe to contemporary kitchens that feature oak and grey stone. Go full Japandi by adding leather drawer liners to your kitchen drawers.
31. Bold as brass
Metal cabinet hardware and fixtures together with a grey kitchen spell glam and luxe. You have the modernity of the dark charcoal cabinetry, white walls and white open shelves. And in contrast, the traditional effect of brass fittings.
32. Grey kitchen tiles
Tiles are a great way to add texture in your kitchen or to use as a focal point. And if you need some more kitchen splashback ideas there are endless options you can go with.
33. Grey and white kitchen with tiling
A basic white kitchen can be updated with powder grey cabinets and gold fittings and fixtures. And everything can be drawn together by pretty splashback tiling that pick up the colour scheme.
34. Intricate patterns
Abstract ceramic kitchen backsplashes are currently very popular and dark grey tones contrast superbly with both light and dark cabinetry. Try a gorgeous grey Spanish tile splashback for wonderful texture and a vintage vibe. You could also go for herringbone or other geo patterns. Or consider going for the unfinished-edge tile look. The organic, raw edges contrast so well with neatly structured grey cabinetry.
Grey can sometimes seem austere or cold. But it actually works really well both in contemporary and traditional kitchens. The trick is to pair it with warm materials like wood and stone or contrast it with bold accent colours. Or capture both grey and white in your kitchen cabinets, giving a modern aesthetic to a more traditional design.
Adding grey walls, cabinets, counters, shelving or flooring? Achieve grey kitchen perfection by pairing light, medium and dark tones of this soft, calm, elegant colour. Ranging from pale pebble shades to mushroom to cool slate greys, there is a shade of this gorgeous neutral for everybody.
Ready to get started on your grey kitchen project? Or perhaps you’d like to browse through some more kitchen ideas first… Otherwise, for prices when it comes to a kitchen renovation, make sure you check out our handy guides: