Are taupe kitchen cabinets the new go-to neutral? Experts weigh in on the appeal of this warming hue
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Are taupe kitchen cabinets the new go-to neutral? Experts weigh in on the appeal of this warming hue

Taupe kitchen cabinets are proving a firm favorite when it comes to neutral kitchen design. Adding warmth and interest to a scheme, it begs the question: is taupe replacing white and gray hues as the go-to neutral color choice?

When designing a kitchen scheme, there are plenty of kitchen cabinet colors to choose from, even when you’re simply opting for a neutral space. But as trends embrace creating spaces that feel warm, welcoming, and full of personality, certain color palettes are taking over once-championed shades for kitchen cabinet ideas.

So, as taupe kitchen cabinets begin to cement themselves as a staple color choice for kitchen ideas, we turn to designers and kitchen experts to find out if this warming hue is a winning choice, and how to make it work in a kitchen scheme.

Is taupe a good color for kitchen cabinets?

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This year’s renewed appreciation for decorating with beige has seen warm neutrals dominating over the cool-toned hues that proved popular in previous kitchen trends. And this desire for warmer tones has perhaps brought taupe into consideration for kitchen cabinets, too.

‘Taupe is a wonderful elegant color. It’s a mix of gray and brown tones and, depending on the mix, can be warmer with more brown or cooler. It creates a great neutral that can be used either on its own or in combination with a whole array of colors,’ says Jayne Everett, creative director at Naked Kitchens.

The appeal of taupe kitchen cabinets is their versatility and timelessness. Pairing with several colors and working well in contemporary and more traditional kitchens, it’s a shade that’s set to endure. ‘Taupe is a timeless shade that fits right in and makes choosing complimentary finishes an easy task,’ adds Laura Styles, resident style advisor at Yester Home.

‘It’s typically a middle ground color between very light or dark shades, which creates an inviting feel to your space and is surprisingly hardy and kind to fingerprints and smudges in high traffic areas,’ she explains.

Is taupe the new go-to neutral for kitchen cabinets?

(Image credit: Alexandra Kaehler, photography Aimée Mazzenga)

As taupe kitchen cabinets are considered a great choice for both visual and practical reasons, we can assume we will be seeing *a lot* more kitchens with this warming hue. But will they overtake kitchen color ideas such as white and gray as the go-to neutral?

‘Taupe is a far softer color than purely white or gray. The addition of brown to the gray hue to create a taupe really warms the color to make it a much more inviting and rich, earthy color over a pure white or gray which can tend to be a bit stark,’ explains Jayne.

Over time, kitchens have become less utilitarian spaces, with homeowners finding a new appreciation for making their schemes more homey and representative of their interior design style, and taupe adds the warmth and coziness people want to create in their kitchens.

‘The warmer undertones of taupe as opposed to the cooler feel of white or gray help to instantly create a more cozy feel. Homeowners are looking to create kitchen spaces that feel more lived in and not so stark as they were years ago, and a warmer undertone helps to achieve that,’ adds Emily Pickett, design consultant at Kitchens by Holloways.

For a neutral kitchen that feels warm, cozy, and exudes more personality, taupe kitchen cabinets seem to be the favored choice over the more expected colors like white, gray, and even cream.

5 ways to design a kitchen with taupe cabinets

If the warmth of taupe kitchen cabinets has piqued your interest, you might be wondering how to style them with other colors and finishes. These ideas offer plenty of inspiring options to create a scheme that speaks to your style.

1. Go for aged brass hardware for a traditional scheme

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Cabinet and hardware pairings can really dictate the overall aesthetic of you kitchen scheme. For a more timeless feel, pair taupe kitchen cabinets with antiqued gold or aged brass hardware.

‘We recommend opting for a high contrast aesthetic, pairing taupe with dark aged brass hardware. Brass is an alloy consisting of zinc and copper, which is highly resilient and also has antimicrobial properties, making it the perfect material for keeping germs at bay,’ suggests Laura.

To finish off a more traditional, classic kitchen design, consider the countertop material that works seamlessly with taupe cabinets. ‘Opt for a wooden countertop in a warm toned hue for a cosy, country kitchen feel,’ she advises.

2. Mix blue and taupe kitchen cabinets for a more colorful space

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

Taupe kitchen cabinets can be used in more colorful schemes – two-tone kitchens are a popular choice, especially in larger kitchens, to create extra visual interest. One color that works particularly well with taupe is blue.

‘Warmer brown-based taupe cabinets combine wonderfully with soft light blues, like in this kitchen where are First Flight soft blue is combined with our timeless taupe, Baked Cley,’ says Jayne.

When opting for a more colorful palette, Jayne suggests introducing a more natural, understated countertop. ‘We love combining taupe with a natural timber finish such as oak. The combination of the two is very different, but both earth tones work wonderfully to create an elegant and relaxing space.’

3. Embrace a Scandi scheme with light wood accents

(Image credit: Second Nature )

Scandinavian kitchens offer a truly enduring and stylish scheme, embracing natural materials and a more minimalist aesthetic. Taupe kitchen cabinets tie in beautifully with the Scandi design style, offering a light hue with a subtle depth of tone.

In this design, taupe kitchen cabinets have been paired with white walls and a textured countertop. The overall effect feels light and airy while remaining warm and inviting.

Nods to Scandinavian interior design have been introduced via the wood paneling on the walls and the natural tone wishbone chairs around the island.

4. Create contrast with the island

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A simple yet effective way to create contrast is to introduce a kitchen island in a different color. If you’ve opted for taupe kitchen cabinets, why not try a darker hue for the island, like in this scheme?

‘Taupe kitchen cabinets create a great backdrop to pair with a statement, contrasting color island,’ says Emily. ‘You can also quite as easily keep the scheme more pared-back and pair taupe with beautiful marble for a more elegant and sophisticated look,’ she adds.

The warmth of the taupe paired with the dark green of the island creates a dramatic yet classic kitchen scheme. Adding the statement marble countertop to pick out the white tones of the backsplash ties the different elements of the design together beautifully.

5. Add interest with statement marble countertops

(Image credit: Second Nature )

Part of the appeal of taupe kitchen cabinets is their ability to pair seamlessly with almost any feature. While they work beautifully in a minimalist, pared-back scheme, they also work wonders when paired with a more statement countertop material.

When it comes to kitchen countertops that never go out of style, marble is at the top of the list. A timeless stone that can be sourced in varying colors and veining, you can create a striking design element that compliments the taupe cabinets.

Black and white marble has been chosen for a statement look in this kitchen. Not only does it pair well with the simpler taupe kitchen cabinets, but it helps the taupe hue feel warmer and more saturated than it would against a less cool-toned stone.

Taupe kitchen cabinets are fast becoming a go-to for a warm, neutral scheme. Whether you pair them with a bright color, neutral tones, or a statement marble, this inviting shade works beautifully in a multitude of spaces.