Jessica Alba's outdated kitchen cabinet color is set to make a comeback in 2024 – experts say it is the 'most versatile neutral'

Gray kitchen cabinets can transform a home's design, adding character, individuality, and timeless elegance

Jessica Alba
(Image credit: Getty Images / Dia Dipasupil / Staff)

Gray has a bad reputation for being foreboding, unglamorous, and downright dull. But done right, gray is one of the most versatile neutrals you can use in your home.

Of all the neutrals, gray is one that instantly brings gravitas. Gray is a color that has its own weather system of light levels and hues. From the gentle gray morning rain of a bright wide sky to the breathtaking drama of dark storm clouds, the scope for creating beautiful interiors is endless. It is a shade with myriad subtle color notes that draw inspiration from beach pebbles and clay, as well. 

Decorating with gray harmonizes well with almost every other hue, making it a most adaptable neutral and giving good reason for its popularity, says Helen Shaw, UK director at Benjamin Moore. 'It is the reason why gray kitchen ideas are, even though it has had a recent dip in popularity, still at the forefront of our kitchen cabinet color choices.'

It is this unsuspecting shade that American actress and businesswoman, Jessica Alba, has chosen for the kitchen cabinets in her family kitchen. This sultry shade goes with every color and can be used to add depth and sophistication to any room.

Despite our love for gray fading in recent years, we expect 2024 to see something on a comeback for this unsung neutral.  

A new kitchen is a big investment while updating an existing one can involve a lot of upheaval, so whichever style or color you opt for it must have staying power. Gray has the benefit of being neutral, which means that it will look timeless on its own, contrast well with other colors, and complement many different materials and surfaces. 

‘Gray is calming and softens a room,' says Suzanne Francis, kitchen designer at Tom Howley. 'In psychology, it represents peace and balance which is so important within a home. It’s practical, simple and reliable.'

‘When it comes to kitchen color trends – soft, muted gray tones can create a warm atmosphere for dinner parties without the worry of passing color trends,’ adds Tom Howley, design director.

Mood is one consideration, but it is also helpful to consider how gray might affect the size of a room. ‘The paler the tone, the more it will reflect the available light. The darker the tone, the more light it will absorb,’ says Justyna. ‘At the extremes, white will make a room look more spacious, and black brings the walls visually inwards. This rule applies to all colors. So a pale gray is ideal if you wanted to make a small kitchen look bigger; a deep charcoal would make it appear smaller. Having said that, a dark color used in a small kitchen can be really effective.’

Shop the gray kitchen edit

Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.