If you’re looking for an alternative to white kitchen units, you really can’t go wrong with grey
Looking for grey kitchen ideas? Grey kitchen units can transform a kitchen design, adding character, individuality and a timeless elegance. In the past, there may have been more of an all-or-nothing approach to colour in the kitchen – remember lime green and orange in the 1970s? Today’s palette is more restrained, with grey kitchens proving a major hit. Tone is important too, even within the grey family warmer greys create a different feel from blue-based shades of slate, for example.
When choosing an accent colour or a mixed palette for your grey kitchen, it’s wise to follow trend and trusted colour theory. ‘Either select complementary colours, which are next to each other on a colour wheel, or contrasting shades from opposite sides of the wheel.’
‘Contrasting colours are energising, while complementary colours are calming.’ Soft, pale greys tend to work well in smaller kitchens, but larger spaces may need some sections of bolder colour to prevent the scheme looking bland and wishy-washy. We like mixing pale greys with deep navy, or even a shot of fuchsia pink.
For subtle contrast, two different shades of the same calm colour tend to work better on cabinetry than three or four, which can look like a mistake. An island painted in a deeper or contrasting colour to that of the wall cabinets will make it a focal point in your grey kitchen. Base cabinets in darker shades than wall cupboards help the design and prevent it looking top heavy. For stronger contrast, think light and dark, or two bold greys of the same ‘weight’ and balance. Too much heavy colour can make a room feel smaller, so you may want to balance things with a neutral floor and walls.
Elements of natural timber will add warmth to cooler grey kitchens, and equally a grey-white natural stone floor can cool down a fiery palette. As in nature, earthy browns, greys and sand colours blend harmoniously. Cool greys look good with stainless steel, and brightly coloured accents, such as small appliances, splashbacks and barstools, will help lift the mood.
Read on to discover our favourite grey kitchen ideas…
1. Bring warmth with wood flooring and work surfaces
Grey has a reputation for being a cool and clinical colour – but by mixing in some wood, you can create a positively warm and cosy look. The trick is to find the right shade, and mix in the right tone of timber. Here, almost purple-grey units have been teamed with a chunky pale oak worktop and knotted floorboards to harmonious effect. If you wanted something that worked with a darker, charcoal grey, you could try a deeper walnut.
2. Use layers of grey
Using various layers of grey shades to pick out individual elements of the room creates a cohesive feel in this kitchen. The walls and island are painted a dark, slate grey, the cabinetry is a softer shade, and darker flecks in the marble of the worksurface and splashback prove an effortless transition between light and dark. Keeping the rest of the scheme light keeps the room feeling airy despite the abundance of dark grey.