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Light or Dark Kitchen Cabinets: Which Should You Choose?

Are you trying to find the perfect color for the cabinets in your kitchen space? Here is a comprehensive guide on choosing between light and dark cabinets.

Mar 03, 2023
Keith Ingle
Light or Dark Kitchen Cabinets: Which Should You Choose?

When designing your kitchen, one of the most important elements to focus on is cabinetry—as the color of your cabinets makes all the difference. You can choose from various color options, ranging from light to dark. Light cabinets bring a brighter feel to any room, while dark cabinets give off a more modern vibe. Here is a comprehensive guide on light or dark kitchen cabinets: which should you choose?

Things To Consider

Consider your kitchen’s overall style and color scheme when deciding between light and dark cabinets. Each shade will fit differently within the space, so you want to pick one that suits your home. For example, light-colored cabinets are more suitable if you have an all-white kitchen with white countertops. On the other hand, darker colors may work better if you want to create contrast in your cooking area. It’s also worth noting that certain types of lighting can also bring out different tones in your cabinets, so consider this, too, when selecting a lighter or darker option.

Your countertop material is another factor to consider when deciding on cabinet colors, as some materials are easier to match than others. For instance, granite counters tend to look better with light cabinetry, whereas marble works well with both shades depending on the hardware you pair them with. And, of course, size plays an important role, too. Small kitchens often benefit from lighter options, while larger areas can pull off both light and dark shades successfully, depending on the surrounding furniture pieces.

Popular Cabinetry Colors

As previously mentioned, you have a variety of color options to choose from regarding kitchen cabinetry, ranging from light to dark hues. Several fantastic solutions are available, whether you choose a paint or stain color. If you prefer the natural look of wood, a stain is the way to go. But paint is the ideal option if you prefer a bolder, more colorful approach. Continue reading to learn more about the most popular colors for kitchen cabinets.


White cabinets are a timeless choice for your kitchen, and you can use them in many ways. White cabinets create a bright and airy atmosphere, perfect for any cooking space. The crisp hue is also versatile, as you can easily pair them with other colors or shades to create an interesting contrast. Additionally, white cabinets are great if you want to open the room visually, as they reflect more light than darker shades.


Grey cabinets bring out the airiness of lighter hues while providing a subtle hint of sophistication. This color pairs well with warm and cool tones, making it easy to customize your kitchen design, no matter your taste. Grey cabinetry is also known for its calming properties, so if you want to create a peaceful environment in your home, this option could be perfect for you.


Blue cabinets provide an eye-catching look that is ideal for modern kitchens. When choosing this palette, there’s something for everyone, from navy blue to powder blue. This shade gives off vibrancy and adds depth, making it great for larger spaces needing visual interest without overwhelming the area.


Black cabinets offer boldness and elegance, making them popular among homeowners who want their cooking areas to have a sleek finish without compromising style. Darker hues, like black, absorb more light, creating an intimate yet sophisticated atmosphere within any room—perfect if you’re aiming towards luxurious interior design goals.

Wood Stains

Wood-stained cabinets combine natural wood’s classic charm with more contemporary styles, giving way to endless possibilities when designing a kitchen space. There will always be something perfectly suited for your home’s kitchen cabinetry, whether you prefer lighter woods, such as oak, or darker options, like cherry or walnut.

Light Cabinets

You should consider several factors when selecting the right type of light-color cabinet for your kitchen, such as material and style preferences. For instance, light wood-stained cabinets offer all the classic charm of natural wood while providing a contemporary look, making them suitable for traditional and modern kitchens. Other popular options include white-painted cabinets, which look great with colorful accents such as backsplashes or countertops. White works particularly well in smaller spaces due to its reflective properties, creating an illusion of greater space within any room.


The benefits of light cabinets are plentiful. They create a bright and airy atmosphere, perfect for any kitchen style. The crisp hue is also versatile, as you can easily pair it with other colors or shades to create an interesting contrast. Lighter cabinetry colors also reflect more light than darker shades, which helps open up the room and make it appear larger.


On the downside, light-colored cabinetry can show stains more easily, causing them to require regular cleaning to maintain its original beauty. Light colors may not be the best fit if you’re looking for a low-maintenance solution, as they need extra care.

Dark Cabinets

Dark cabinets can create a dramatic effect in any kitchen, especially when paired with light-colored countertops or walls. The deep colors add sophistication and elegance to the space while providing contrast, allowing other design elements to shine. Dark cabinetry is also great for those who want an understated look without being too bold. By selecting deeper shades, you get the best of both worlds, as they are still eye-catching but not overly flashy. Options like black-painted cabinets offer a sleek finish that is perfect if you’re looking for modern luxury. Dark wood-stained cabinets provide a timeless elegance that looks lovely in traditional kitchen spaces.


One of the main benefits of dark cabinetry is its versatility, making them suitable for traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. Colors like black are perfect for modern, minimalistic spaces. You can also dress up darker shades with bronze hardware to create a personalized touch that will enhance your cooking area’s design.


However, there are some cons associated with dark cabinetry. For example, dark-colored cabinets can make your space feel smaller, so they may not be ideal for cramped kitchens. They also tend to show dust more easily than lighter cabinetry.

Now that you know how to choose between light and dark cabinetry, you can make the ideal selection for your kitchen. Check out iCabinetry’s showstopping selection of semi-custom kitchen cabinets that come in various color options to elevate your space.

Light or Dark Kitchen Cabinets: Which Should You Choose?

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