What's the next big kitchen cabinet color? Designers predict that this earthy take on neutrals will be huge in 2024

Neutral kitchen cabinets are officially back for 2024

neutral kitchen cabinet ideas
(Image credit: British Standard, Michael P H Clifford, deVOL)

At the beginning of the new year, we can begin to predict which design trends are most likely to lead in the coming months. From furniture trends to color trends, design experts offer their projections based on what's beginning to emerge and is looking likely to continue. Here, we're focusing on kitchen trends, specifically kitchen cabinet color trends that will dominate in 2024.

We asked interior designers and color experts to weigh in with their predictions. While inevitably, various on-trend shades will be embraced for kitchen cabinets this year, there is one color trend that stands out more than most: decorating with neutrals. With a particular focus on earthy neutrals, designers are loving this natural and organic look for kitchen cabinets in 2024. Keep reading to learn more about this laid-back color trend and how to channel the look. 

Why are earthy neutrals on trend for 2024?

beamed neutral kitchen with wooden cabinets, island, wicker barstools and white pendant lights

(Image credit: MICHAEL P H CLIFFORD)

In 2023, we saw the rise of playful trends such as dopamine decor and maximalist decor take center stage. These trends are all about embracing personality-led decor that typically experiments with bold colors. But at the start of 2024, we're seeing favor once again for pared-back schemes. While typical minimalist interiors run the risk of looking stark and lifeless, pared-back kitchen cabinets in 2024 are all about warm minimalism; earth-toned shades that promote a calming and nature-inspired look. 

'In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in interior design towards embracing earthy tones and nuanced variations of traditional colors,' says interior designer Jennifer Davis. 'This trend has transcended into kitchen aesthetics, where homeowners and designers are exploring more earth-inspired renditions of classic hues, offering a fresh perspective on timeless choices.'

Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Davis

Jennifer fell in love with design at a young age and has been working in the industry for over 25 years. She has developed an eye for detail and a talent for creating timeless designs. Jennifer offers a balance of creativity and forward-thinking with a structured, organized, and detailed mentality. Jennifer is driven by her deep passion for design while curating an exceptional client journey, ensuring pure delight from the very beginning to the end.

These organic neutrals typically reflect sandy beige tones, but can also include darker brown tones, a standout color trend for 2024. Interior designer Olivia Wahler, co-founder of Hearth Homes Interiors explains: 'We are anticipating lots of decorating with brown in kitchens in 2024, specifically light beige and warm mushroomy hues. Darker wood stains are making a real comeback as well, which we love.' These shades are recognized for creating a warm feel that helps create a cozy kitchen, yet their earthy tones ensure they feel design-led and timeless. 

But it's not just beige and brown tones we'll see embraced for kitchen cabinets this year. For another interpretation of this trend, Farrow & Ball Color Curator Joa Studholme suggests opting for clay tones: 'Without doubt, we are all embracing warmer colors in the kitchen so will turn to the stronger clay tones for cabinets.' Clay tones, such as Farrow & Balls' Jitney are perfect for creating a calming space, and they also tend to feel more contemporary than beige.

Image of Joa Studholme
Joa Studholme

As Farrow & Ball's Color Curator and author of titles including Recipes for Decorating and How to Decorate, it’s no surprise that Joa Studholme knows Farrow & Ball's palette and finishes inside and out. Joa has been with the brand or over 25 years – in that time, she’s developed color ranges and consulted on design projects all over the world, as well as helping countless color consultancy customers to transform their homes.

rustic beige kitchen designed by British Standard

(Image credit: British Standard)

While earthy neutrals stand out as a key kitchen cabinet color trend for this year, designers also point out that these colors will always be a classic choice, giving their appeal longevity. Decorating a kitchen can be costly, and choosing highly trend-driven colorful shades isn't as likely to stand the test of time. By contrast, opting for pared-back neutrals will always look timeless. Ellen Holt, lead designer at MDI Luxury Design weighs in:

'With so many different trends coming and going, it makes it difficult to choose what color to paint our kitchens. I say keep it simple and neutral in 2024. You want something creamy and dreamy to remind you of home. My go-to is Benjamin Moore’s Grandma’s China, or if you want something with more grayish undertones, Benjamin Moore’s Nimbus.'

How to channel earthy neutrals on kitchen cabinets

Brown deVOL kitchen with white walls

(Image credit: deVOL)

Choosing the right earthy neutral paint idea for your kitchen cabinets all depends on your preferences. The consensus from designers is that all types of earthy neutrals, such as beige, brown, and clay tones work well in achieving an on-trend and pared-back scheme – just be sure to avoid stark white and harsh black.

Designers also suggest that these popular neutrals generally pair well with a wide range of design styles, from farmhouse kitchens to modern kitchens, making them easy to integrate into your existing kitchen decor. 

'While black has long been a staple in kitchen design, its harshness can sometimes dominate a space, creating a cold or overly modern atmosphere,' observes Jennifer. 'Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams however, brings a warmer and earthier essence, offering a softer alternative that retains sophistication while infusing a sense of warmth into the kitchen. Its deep, muted tones allow for versatility in complementing various design elements, from kitchen countertops to hardware.'

'Similarly, the shift from stark whites to greige paints shades like Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter represents a departure towards a more lived-in and welcoming atmosphere. These muted and earth-inspired tones create a serene ambiance that seamlessly integrates with various design elements, allowing for a versatile canvas that pairs elegantly with natural materials such as wood or stone. The beauty of greige hues lies in their adaptability across different design styles, effortlessly blending modern chic with timeless comfort,' says Jennifer. 

Once you've decided on your favorite earth-toned neutral for your kitchen cabinets, choose to incorporate metal accents to ensure a contemporary finish, otherwise known as the organic modern trend. Interior designer Soledad Alzaga explains: 'This year we are going to see more natural colors mixed with metals. Natural woods, beige, brown, and ochre mixed with brass and silver metals. The balance between a grounded organic feel and a touch of contemporary luxury offers a refined yet approachable aesthetic for home kitchens.'

Soledad Alzaga
Soledad Alzaga

San Francisco-based Interior designer Soledad Alzaga has worked on designs projects in San Francisco, Sonoma, Atherton, New York, Martha's Vineyard, Los Angeles, Mexico and Argentina.

It's clear that earthy neutrals are going to be big in 2024. Not only do these colors look stylish, but they're also practical and generally seen as a good investment since they're more or less always in style. 

If you're feeling inspired to refresh your kitchen at the start of the new year – whether that's with neutral kitchen cabinets or not – we've rounded up ways to update a kitchen without buying anything new, providing you with some cost-effective ideas. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.