By Ailis Brennan published
Grey and white kitchen ideas are a versatile interior design choice – cool and contemporary, but just as happy sitting in a farmhouse as they are a condo.
Choosing a palette for your kitchen ideas is a big decision, but pairing white and grey is one of the soundest selections you can make, whatever your kitchen style.
A neutral palette that is right on trend, its tonality means it works well on its own with minimal interruptions, or as an excellent base for additional color choices.
Grey and white kitchen ideas
From fabulous slabs of veined marble to beautiful tonal schemes, we found some inspiring grey and white kitchen ideas, and asked the experts to share their tips for a neutral cooking space.
1. Pair grey and white with light woods
White kitchen ideas paired with grey can run close to looking cold, but pairing them with textured wood is a great way to warm them up. Paler woods work well as a middle ground between the two tones, as demonstrated in this kitchen by Roundhouse.
‘If you want to steer away from whites and creams, a great compromise is a smoky grey scheme, using a smoked oak wood paired with a matte grey paint,’ says Tom Howley, Design Director of the eponymous kitchen design company. ‘Pair these tones with very light colored countertops, and your kitchen will look spacious and airy.’
2. Explore the full tonal range
Don’t feel the need to be confined to one grey in your kitchen scheme – run the gamut quite literally by embracing a whole tonal range of them. In this barn conversion kitchen by designer Richard Felix Ashman, the design’s grey core expands into black and white kitchen ideas too, with the scheme encompassing white walls, a black hood and industrial metal beams, off-white zellige tiles for the splashback and a dark grey marble countertop on the island.
3. Make the most of marbling
‘The union of materials that have different or opposite characteristics can result in exciting and timeless design schemes,’ says Richard Atkins, Design Director at DesignSpace London. ‘For example, a white kitchen teamed with stainless steel worktop and a tall marble backsplash with beautiful veins introduces drama and interest to a space.’
Marble has reinvented itself as a contemporary favorite among white kitchen backsplash ideas, with varieties sporting grey veins among the most popular. In this home designed by Windsor Smith, the grey in the marble backsplash and worktop is mirrored in the cabinet colors, while the high-shine brass hardware adds a touch of glamor.
4. For small kitchens, use white on the perimeter
White is a favored tool in interior design for making spaces feel lighter, brighter and – most importantly – bigger. Grey can be used among small white kitchen ideas, but to maximize the sense of space in the room, keep your exterior kitchen cabinet ideas and walls white in the majority.
In this kitchen by Tom Howley, grey has been used for the island to add visual interest and contrast, while the white units around the perimeter help the room feel more spacious and airy.
5. Stone tiles suit kitchens of all styles
Grey stone flooring – or a porcelain doppelganger – is an excellent option for both farmhouse style spaces, and modern white kitchen ideas that need a bit of earthing.
‘If a contemporary feel is required, we recommend going with a large format grey stone effect porcelain tile – minimal grout joints combined with low tonal variation from tile to tile, provide a sleek modern look. If a more classic or traditional style is desired, we often find going with a light colored tumbled limestone with a grey undertone works well, the hint of grey ties the floor in with the kitchen and the tumbled edge suggests an aged floor laid for many years.’
6. Warm up with brass accents
Wood isn’t the only way to warm up a white and grey scheme. For a more glamorous approach, choose warm metallics like brass for your hardware and beyond. In this kitchen by designer Corine Maggio, dark grey shaker cabinets and a pristine white island are paired with a brushed brass faucet, pendant kitchen lighting ideas, and a statement brass hood, which has bronze tones in its patina too.
7. Play with delicate, pale greys
‘Kitchens in bright finishes can be fun but not to everyone’s taste,’ says Atkins. ‘Homeowners who are climbing the property ladder should opt for white or light neutral palettes as they are timeless. A white backdrop allows for other elements in the design scheme to become the focal point.’
If all-white is not quite your style, mixing in shades of pale grey makes for an alternative light neutral palette, and an on-trend one at that. Choose greys with warm undertones for a cozier feel, a scheme that works well in country kitchen ideas like the one in this example.
8. Add a pop of color
Using grey and white as a base doesn’t mean you can’t add in more exciting kitchen color ideas too – in fact, this neutral scheme makes for a great base to really show off deliberate color use. In this kitchen by Alice Lane Interior Design, the white island and grey, gold-trimmed cabinets are joined by a set of Prussian blue bar stools, which create an eye-catching color pop.
9. Make your grey accents metallic
Grey accents in a white kitchen can come from all sorts of sources, from painted cabinets to slate floors. Another way you can integrate this cool shade into your kitchen scheme is through the use of metallics. Take them beyond the usual confines of hardware and appliances, and look to the likes of this kitchen in the home of interior designer Alison Henry, who added metallic detailing to her kitchen cabinet ideas
‘I wanted a kitchen that would look and feel like a glamorous space for entertaining guests – the brushed nickel looks so pretty when lit up at night and lifts the matt white finish on the stainless steel cabinets by day,’ says Henry.
10. Go to the dark side
Black kitchen ideas are becoming increasingly popular, but if you aren’t ready to go quite that far over to the dark side, try darker shades of grey instead. A sense of formality is given to this kitchen by Martin Moore through the use of dark, French Grey for the cabinets and the island, combined with a white Carrara Misterio quartz worktop. For an even more dramatic look, consider using accents of gunmetal and charcoal in a tonal scheme.
What colors go with grey and white in a kitchen?
Grey and white is a great base onto which to build a multitude of different color accents. Keep your grey pale, and you can interject with bold pops of color across your kitchen tile ideas and furniture. Alternatively, build upon the neutral aspect of the pairing with natural materials like wood and colored marble to create a scheme that blends rusticity and earthiness with slick contemporaneity.
How do you make a grey and white kitchen feel warm?
If you’re worried about your scheme feeling too cold, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, remember that there are many shades of grey and white, so choose options with a warm undertone. Then, ensure your kitchen is lit well with warm-colored lighting that will give you a cozy glow after dark. Finally, think about what other colors you’re bringing into the scheme – woods with warm undertones bring welcome texture, while golden-hued metallics add a little luxury.
I started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. I then spent three years at the Evening Standard on the GO London team, covering restaurants and bars, and getting to eat and drink a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful things around the city. I left the paper in 2020 and went freelance, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures. A little less than a year later, I started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing me to fully indulge my love of good interior design.
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