The Time I Went Gray-zy: Picking the Kitchen Cabinet Color


Some of you know we’re in the middle of having a home built. Exciting!

Because we’ve moved so much, this is our 3rd new construction, but it’s our first custom build. For the other homes, we had to pick out a handful of things like paint colors and  tile, but for this one, we’ve had to choose everything. It’s a fun process, but also I’ve reached the point of decision fatigue.

I suspect we reach this point when  decisions take on more importance than they deserve. Could it be that when our minds are trying to process an excessively accumulated amount of information they place undue significance on each decision and every one seems to be too consequential to make?

While I’m normally a quick and decisive decision maker, I went a little gray-zy the last couple weeks trying to select the kitchen cabinet color. I couldn’t choose a color to save my life. It consumed hours of comparing, staring, and browsing.

When I first met with the kitchen designer, I knew i wanted to try something other than white. White kitchens are gorgeous and timeless, and white is clearly all the rage, but I’ve never been drawn to white like I am to other neutrals. Colors like dark yellows, browns and greys signal warmth to me. As with most of us, my decorating style reflects other parts of my life-a love of all things nature, fall, and creating a sense of hominess. Cozy. Rustic. Industrial. Inviting. Transitional. Modern traditional. Some conglomeration of these words describe my style preferences.

I originally chose a smokey taupe for the cabinets and made all the other decisions based on that color: appliances, hardware, countertops, backsplash, grout color, and lighting. When we later decided to upgrade to custom cabinets, I then had to the option to choose my paint color.

Of course, that smokey taupe I chose no longer seemed to be “it.” I was catching too many purple undertones, and had always wished it had more gray in it anyway, so the hunt for the perfect warm gray cabinet color was on.

And that’s when I became a woman obsessed.

Houzz, Pinterest, Google searches, paint swatches, friend consults, social media polls. It took up a stupid amount of my brain power and thinking time. Yes, stupid is the right word choice.

Some inspiration pictures and colors I liked from Houzz…

SW Gauntlet Gray

A little too dark for me, but I like the warmth of gray and brown together.

Crayton Rd.

Light to Mid-Tone Gray, Color Unknown

This look is a little more on the cool side, and I wanted something warmer.

Colonial Farmhouse

Valspar Montpelier Ashlar Gray

This is such an elegant, classic look. Gorgeous. I could’ve gone with this, but thought it wouldn’t look great with the dark hickory island I had already picked out.

Full Home Remodel: Fifty Shades of Gray

SW Functional Gray

I kept going back to Functional Gray. It’s a beautiful warm greige, but has some green undertones and something about it was just missing the depth I wanted in a kitchen cabinet. I think it’d be a lovely paint choice on the walls in a dining or living room though. I love this color!

Toronto Main Floor Home Renovation

Benjamin Moore River Reflections

Isn’t this kitchen gorgeous? I thought this one was IT until I got the paint sample made up at Lowes. It had *such* a green undertone, I couldn’t get past it. I didn’t want an army theme in the kitchen! It could’ve been the sample though— I understand that samples are only close to the actual color, not an absolute representation, especially when not using the company’s paint.

Elegant Townhome in Pasadena

A day before I had to have the color to the kitchen designer, a new color rose to the top of the pile (and yes, that is a picture of my actual pile of paint strips).


And the winner is…..Benjamin Moore WINTER GATES! Yikes. I’m still scared. I hope I like it when everything else is in. It’s not the “safe” choice, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed we’ll be happy with it.

Image result for winter gates benjamin moore

Top Left: Benjamin Moore Winter Gates

Here’s a picture from Dear Lillie‘s kitchen makeover. She’s got the same apron sink, white subway tile, and similar hardware as I’ve chosen. The lighting isn’t great in the picture, but it’s a pretty good example of the color.

Related image

Here’s a pile of some of the selections so far: carpet, countertops, island color, Winter Gates chip (bottom right), wall color I’m thinking about (bottom left). Can’t wait to see it all together!

As you pick your gray paint color(s), I hope you don’t go as gray-zy as I did. 🙂