What colors work best with stainless steel kitchen appliances? Interior designers weigh in

From deep blues to crisp whites, share the hues that pair best with sleek and durable stainless steel appliances

Three kitchens with stainless steel appliances
(Image credit: Cate Black Photography / Audrey Scheck Design; Davonport; Future)

If you're designing a kitchen from scratch, you'll have your choice between black, white, or stainless steel appliances (or maybe you'll go for a more unique shade). But if you're simply giving your kitchen an update, your appliances will likely have to stay – and the color scheme of the space will have to follow suit. 

Stainless steel appliances are classic, giving kitchen designs a sleek yet durable look. But when it comes to the walls, cabinetry or smaller accent items, what colors pair best with these timeless appliances? We spoke with interior designers, who shared their favorite shades to pair with stainless steel kitchen appliances. And from warm neutrals to striking jewel tones, there's truly something for everyone. Here's what the experts had to say.

What colors pair best with stainless steel appliances?

Stainless steel appliances might feel limiting to a kitchen color scheme, but there are plenty of perfect hues to choose from. These are the shades that designers say work best when you're working with stainless steel.

1. Whites and off-whites

A kitchen with white cabinets and stainless steel appliances

(Image credit: Karissa Widder Photography / Audrey Scheck Design)

White kitchens have been around for ages, giving a clean and classic look that's hard to beat. But lately, designers say that warmer whites and hues with more depth are on the rise. Audrey Scheck, interior designer and founder of Audrey Scheck Design, says 'creamy white' shades are some of her favorites for kitchens featuring stainless steel.

'While you can never go wrong with a white kitchen, we love to lean into creamier whites with warmer, brown undertones to offset the coolness of stainless steel. To pair creamy white with stainless steel, try painting your cabinets a warm white or using a backsplash tile that’s more ivory than stark white,' says Audrey.

Jessica Cinnamon, interior designer and founder of Jessica Cinnamon Design, agrees that 'whites and off-whites will forever be classic.' But she adds that clients and designers alike are craving cozier kitchen designs at the moment.

'We are seeing more and more clients now wanting to get away from the classic white kitchen look, and are introducing warmer wood tones and color,' says Jessica.

A headshot of designer Jessica Cinnamon
Jessica Cinnamon

Jessica Cinnamon is an interior designer and the founder of Jessica Cinnamon Design, a residential and commercial firm based in Canada.

2. Greige or taupe

A kitchen with gray cabinets and wood fixtures

(Image credit: Future)

Gray kitchen cabinets seem to be fading in popularity, but warmer versions of the mainstay shade are trending – and pair beautifully with stainless steel. Brandon Lange of BZ Interiors shares that taupe and 'greige' tones lend a welcoming look.

'Stainless steel appliances pair well with warm neutrals like taupe or "greige" to achieve a warm, calming look that balances the coolness of the metal,' he says.

Audrey agrees, adding that greige kitchen cabinets 'conceal the starkness of stainless steel in your kitchen.' She says these warmer neutrals tie a kitchen design together with ease, allowing you to experiment with brighter colors in other areas of the kitchen.

'Greige is an easy neutral that will pair nicely with any accents you’re incorporating throughout the space, so you’ll have the flexibility to make more bold decisions elsewhere,' says Audrey.

Audrey Scheck
Audrey Scheck

With more than a half-dozen years of experience in remodels and renovations, Audrey Scheck leads Audrey Scheck Design, a full-service interior design firm based in Austin, Texas.

3. Earthy greens

A kitchen with light green cabinets and stainless steel appliances

(Image credit: Cate Black Photography / Audrey Scheck Design)

Earthy tones are all the rage at the moment, and the kitchen is no exception. These warm, nature-bound hues bring warmth and sophistication to stainless steel kitchens, and designers are especially intrigued by earthy green kitchens.

'Leaning into earth tones like muddy green will provide a nice, calm transition between color and the metallic finish of stainless steel. To further blend this style, layer in warmth with wooden accents. Look for pendant lights with wooden detailing or use wooden risers and boards to style your kitchen countertops,' says Audrey.

Designer Emma Beryl says colors with warm undertones 'mix nicely' with cold stainless steel, and 'level out the space.' She suggests shades of burgundy, taupe or light green, adding that 'a green kitchen is always fabulous.'

Emma Beryl
Emma Beryl

Emma Beryl is the founder of her eponymous design firm based in New York. After training at the New York School of Interior Design, Emma worked on an array of international projects before settling in the city. She was recently named as a top new designer to watch by Lonny Mag.

4. Stained wood

Dark grey kitchen with mid tone wood doors

(Image credit: Morrison Interiors)

Paint isn't the only option to bring a bit more life to a kitchen space, and Becky Shea – interior designer and founder of Becky Shea Design – suggests staining kitchen cabinets that sit alongside stainless steel appliances.

'Stainless steel appliances add a touch of modern sophistication to any kitchen space. When it comes to pairing them with cabinetry, I always lean towards warm stained woods or dark painted options to create a striking contrast,' she says.

Becky Shea
Becky Shea

Becky Shea is a full-service interior designer and lifestyle entrepreneur in New York City. She co-founded her studio, Becky Shea Design, where she currently works as the creative director. Her work is rooted in her love for natural materials that celebrate sustainability and craftsmanship from the local artisan community.

5. Black accents

kitchen countertop trends, black and white kitchen with large black kitchen island with sink and seating, marble backsplash and cooker hood, white custom cabinetry

(Image credit: Ali Budd Interiors/Alex Lukey)

Decorating with black is difficult, as the hue brings intensity and contrast instantaneously. But the deep shade in small doses pairs beautifully with stainless steel appliances, designers say. Becky suggests Black Beauty from Benjamin Moore, a warmer black shade that complements stainless steel with ease.

'This bold choice not only enhances the sleekness of stainless steel appliances but also adds a luxurious and contemporary feel to the overall aesthetic,' she says.

Brandon also suggests black accent hues, but says bringing crisp whites into the mix creates a cohesive, 'streamlined' look. The combination of black, white, and steel is long-lasting and chic.

6. Dark blues

A kitchen with dark blue cabinets and a stainless steel fridge

(Image credit: Davonport)

'Deliciously dark and inviting, dark blues set an atmospheric tone for any kitchen, whether you opt for a modern or traditional kitchen style,' says Richard Davonport, managing director at UK-based bespoke kitchen brand Davonport.

Richard says deep blue tones make a kitchen with stainless steel appliances more contemporary, even if they're paired with traditional cabinetry – truly achieving the best of both worlds. Blue kitchens prove eye-catching and interesting.

'The silver tones of stainless steel complement the cooler undertones of blue to create a crisp color palette that makes a kitchen feel sophisticated,' he adds.

A man sitting on a bench with his legs crossed
Richard Davonport

Richard Davonport is a luxury cabinetmaker and designer, and the Managing Director of Davonport, a bespoke kitchen brand based in the UK.

7. Jewel tones

Dark grey kitchen with rust-coral upper cabinets

(Image credit: Neptune)

Devin Kimmel, architect and managing principal of Kimmel Studio Architects, says stainless steel appliances are 'a versatile neutral' in kitchen design schemes, 'complementing various millwork finishes.'

'For transitional decor and traditional styles, we recommend cooler hues like crisp whites, soothing blue tones, luxurious green shades and lighter wood stains. These colors create a harmonious balance with stainless steel, enhancing the overall aesthetic,' he says.

If you're in the market for bolder colors, though, Dani Crawford – lead interior designer and senior associate of Kimmel Studio Architects – adds that 'unexpected pops of color' work wonderfully in modern and contemporary kitchens.

'Jewel tones and vibrant shades like orange can inject personality and vibrancy into the space,' she says. 'By incorporating unconventional colors occasionally, you can create a visually striking and contemporary look while still harmonizing with stainless steel appliances.'

A headshot of designer Dani Crawford
Dani Crawford

Dani Crawford, ASID, is a Senior Associate and the Lead Interior Designer of Kimmel Studio Architects, an architecture firm based in Annapolis, Maryland.

Pairing color schemes with stainless steel appliances is quite simple when you're aware of the wide range of options available to you. Create a kitchen that reflects your personality by choosing a shade that speaks to you, while also making stainless steel shine brighter.

Abby Wilson
News Writer

I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.