Paint Colors That'll Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive Without The Cost

Most designers agree that when you're low on funds, repainting is a kitchen reno hack that won't break the bank but packs a punch. However, not all paint colors are created equal. If you're hoping to create a truly luxe look for your home, there are certain color palettes that work much better than others. You probably wouldn't paint the walls highlighter orange, for example. Loud, bright, attention-getting colors have their place and definitely work with various styles and design aesthetics, but usually not when expensive luxury is the end goal. Traditionally, warm neutrals and rich earth tones exude comfortable elegance, while combinations of black, white, and gray scream sophistication. So if you're looking to bring that sense to your kitchen, look to those colors first.

Among the best places to paint in your kitchen are your walls and your cabinets. It may seem like this leaves you with limited options, but there are several different scenarios you can choose. You can paint just one, just the other, or a combination of both. Regardless of whether you choose to paint the walls, the cabinets can be painted a few different ways. You can paint them all the same, you can single the island out and paint it differently, or you can paint all your lower cabinets a different color from your upper cabinets. Each of these designs will have a striking visual impact, so play around with an online planning tool before making your final decision.

Sumptuous earth tones

Earth tones don't just mean boring neutrals and browns. Colors like cream, ivory and warm greiges do fit the brief, and done right, they can create the appearance of simplicity and comfort in a richly elegant way. These work best paired with natural elements like wood in warm shades of white oak, walnut, or maple — anything with a golden or reddish undertone. You can keep this palette muted or make it pop with an accent in a more saturated earthy shade, like terracotta.

Other earth tones echo the forests and the seas that make up our world, with greens and blues of almost every hue. The most rich of these, however, are the dark, full tones of emerald and navy. These colors pull focus and make an excellent centerpiece for your kitchen. If emerald and navy are too mainstream, go with forest or midnight. If you want to incorporate them into your muted neutrals palette, try olive, spruce, or denim. Reflect on your choices, and don't be afraid to sift through as many samples as you want to get the right combination. Warm neutral colors, thoughtfully deployed, are a sure-fire way to make your kitchen look expensive.

The opulence of grayscale

For years, high-end kitchens have been floor-to-ceiling white. It's a classic look that exemplifies the pristine condition of every surface as they gleam in the bright light reflected all around and make an already sizable room seem even larger. If you're looking to project an image of wealth, you can't do much better than white. Indeed, various shades of white are often found on lists of all-time favorite light neutral paints. Some daring designers have gone the opposite way, however, producing all-black kitchens that come at decadence from a more intimate angle. Black kitchens are a risk, undoubtedly, because the darkness makes the space feel more cramped, but if a room is big enough in truth to pull it off, that implied closeness and the unexpectedness of such bold choices make the room feel extravagant.

Of course, contrasting and complementing colors can add depth to the room, so you might want to play the black and white off each other (white walls with black cabinets, for instance), or you might want to add touches of the very versatile gray into your palette to create dimension. Snowflake cabinets against dove-gray walls and matching island will bring a light and airy sense of summers on Martha's Vineyard. Pewter walls with black cabinets give off the modern, urban aesthetic of a high-rise Manhattan apartment. Meanwhile, cool greige walls and graphite cabinets might evoke a contemporary take on a traditional style.