How To Complement A Gray Kitchen

Gray has such a calming effect and it’s gentle on the eyes but yet how you can match with it so many different colors and pieces shows that it’s also a versatile color. Gray can also be the main color, the star of the show, but it’s also able to perform splendidly in the background, aiding other colors to shine.

Suffice it to say, we just love gray; gray kitchen cabinets, dark gray kitchen countertops, simple gray concrete floors, the list is pretty long.

Here are a few ways to work a gray kitchen:

1. Complementary colors

Since gray can appear dull especially with gloomy weather, complementing it with other colors will ensure that even on dull days, you’ll still enjoy being in the kitchen, getting inspired to cook and perform other kitchen chores.

looking straight into a galley kitchen with gray kitchen cabinets and white tile

  • Gray and white kitchen

You can paint the cabinets and shelving gray and complement this with white walls and a white floor. White and gray really play nicely together. 

A mostly gray kitchen with white countertops and a white backsplash will give your eyes a break from the gray and allow you to appreciate it.

A white ceiling against dark grey walls will help make the room feel brighter and bigger as opposed to having dark walls and a dark ceiling.

If you don’t want to paint your kitchen gray, you can install an all-white dining set on a gray carpet. You could also get a bold gray dining set in a white kitchen.

Another way to play with these two colors is through the kitchen curtains. White curtains against a gray background really enhance the kitchen.

  • Black or Dark Brown Cabinetry

Yes, black or dark brown kitchen cabinets. Dark colors and black work better with light gray as opposed to dark gray where the two colors end up blending which makes for a boring kitchen. 

Black can feel like a very strong color and very few people would want to use it in the kitchen which is why you need to use it sparingly.

a large open kitchen with dark brown cabinets and gray backsplash and stone countertops

  • Pink 

A soothing color that blends in perfectly with gray is a pastel pink. Unless you’re a diehard fan of pink, it should be used in moderation to achieve a nice look otherwise too much pink can be off-putting. An example would be to furnish the kitchen with pink stools at the countertop where you can have your breakfast.

  • Gold/ Brass

Oh my goodness. That’s what this pairing of gold or brass with gray should be called. When you pair these two colors, it makes a room look very posh. The trick with this pairing is to use either of those colored metals on surfaces like your faucets, kitchen cabinet door handles, drawer handles and the light fixtures. These metals do better against a combined white and gray décor rather than a gray only décor. 

Having cutlery and crockery in these colors is very striking and might motivate you to cook fancy meals. You can eat your noodles in someone else’s kitchen.

2. Plants

Plants are another way of bringing in more color and they contribute to the already calming effect of the gray color. Plants also lift the overall mood of the kitchen and bring the outdoors in. 

the inside of a small gray kitchen with plants on the countertops and floor for decoration

Herbs should seem like the first obvious plant that you should have in the kitchen but funny enough, they’re usually not. 

  • Thai Basil

How cool is it that as you’re shallow frying your chicken you can quickly pinch your Thai Basil and add it to the pot? Thai Basil is both aesthetically appealing and it is used to make aromatic oils. 

  • Aloe Vera

It’s pretty, has healing properties and best of all, since it’s a succulent, it’s very easy to maintain. It can be watered once every three weeks and it should get at least 6 hours of sun daily so place it near the window.

  • Heartleaf Philodendron

This plant doesn’t require a lot of sunlight. The beauty of having this one is it can cover a lot of space. You can hang it on the shelves or pots if you want it to grow out of the way and give it a trim every now and then to stop it from growing all over the kitchen. 

For this plant or any other similar kind of plant, if you do want them to occupy a large area but in a controlled manner, you can put an organized wire mesh on one of your larger, gray walls and let it grow and occupy the whole space. Its bold, dark green looks beautiful against a gray backdrop.

small gray and black kitchen with plants on counters for decoration

3. Wood

Wood on its own is such a beautiful way to furnish your home. It creates an earthy, warm feeling in the house. Now when you combine it with gray walls or gray cabinets then your kitchen looks spectacular. 

Light colored wooden countertops such as Red Oak, combined with bold, dark gray cabinets fitted beneath the countertops looks amazing. It’s just the right balance without the wood stealing the show. 

Installing wooden cabinets, wooden shelves and a wooden door that haven’t been painted over also do well in a grey kitchen. A light colored wooden floor can also give the illusion that a small kitchen with a gray interior is larger than it actually is. Dark colors tend to make rooms seem smaller and a light colored flooring would counter that. 

If you’re worried about having wood in the kitchen then you can get ceramic wood looking tiles for both the floor and countertops. They are not affected by moisture and they are scratch proof. 

4. Lighting

If you’re fortunate enough to have a kitchen with lots of windows and natural light then you can use darker shades of gray in your kitchen. If your kitchen barely lets in much light then you may want to have light gray kitchen cabinets instead of dark gray kitchen cabinets and paint the walls the same.

a closeup of a kitchen backsplash hexagon gray and white ceramic tiles

Having a small kitchen or a kitchen that doesn’t let in a lot of light shouldn’t restrict you from implementing your gray kitchen ideas. You could install recessed lights which can also come across as a decorative addition. They can be installed in parallel lines along the ceiling or in strategic areas to compensate for the lack of light such as underneath cabinets or below shelves which will illuminate the countertops as you use them.

If you’ve settled on lampshades then pick light colors so that they don’t darken the light streaming through them.


5. Glass Door

This is another smart way to bring more light into the room and if you have a green compound then you can see the pretty outdoors while you’re in the kitchen. 

The frame of the door can be wood or metal and there are many designs to choose from. Just remember that as you pick something sturdy so that they glass won’t shatter in case the door is banged shut by the wind, you don’t want most of the glass to be covered otherwise it defeats the purpose of having a glass door in a gray kitchen.

Legal Disclaimer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, also participates in other affiliate and advertising programs, such as AdSense, ShareASale, Awin, CJ, Impact, and eBay, among others, and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.