Expert Advice

Which Color is Sexy, Daring, and “a Craze” Right Now? An Expert Fills Us In

A sea of design possibilities.

By Stacey Lindsay
light blue kitchen cabinets

This is my dream kitchen: It’s airy and bright. Light pours through a giant window behind a farmhouse sink. A center island—peppered with bowls of produce—offers tons of space for sitting, chopping, and drinking wine. There’s a glossy white backsplash and a creamy marble countertop. And anchoring it all are the most gorgeous dusty blue kitchen cabinets reminiscent of a stormy sky.

Blue is my interior design spirit color—and it seems, according to color consultant Amy Wax, it is for many others these days. “There’s such a craze about blue,” Wax tells me.

dark blue kitchen cabinets
The Classic English Kitchen by deVOL; image courtesy of deVOL

This makes sense, given how blue is a decidedly classic color, yet also one that pushes boundaries. It’s not a neutral, per se, but it complements most décor and design. It can be moody and mystic, ethereal and calming, bold and exciting.

Blue in the Kitchen

Blue for the kitchen is big right now. Wax is seeing the color, both on the darker and lighter ends of the spectrum. gracing cabinets and walls. “Blue in the kitchen enables you to do something with confidence,” she says, explaining how going for blue kitchen cabinets isn’t a giant risk. “Blue doesn’t commit you to redecorate around it—because it is such a classic color.”

So I dug a little deeper into the blue spectrum with Wax. Here she breaks down what’s trending in the blue world. Plus, she offers her insight into incorporating the colors, from inky navy to dusty cornflower, in the kitchen. Like with any hue or room, Wax says to go for the colors that pull at your heart. “The kitchen is so personal. It’s a space where you are creative, spend time with family, have a glass of wine at the end of the day,” she says. “So it needs to feel right for you.”

english kitchen with blue cabinets
The Classic English Kitchen by deVOL; image courtesy of deVOL

Like any color on the spectrum, blue contains multitudes. And within those multitudes are different energies. This cool color ranges from deep navy to medium sapphire to light sky. Wax is seeing a love of two blue “camps” right now: darker navies and lighter dusty blues.

A deep navy is “almost like black with a personality,” she says, adding that there’s an elegance and chicness to this darker color. On the other end, the “dusty, cottage-y” blues, which Wax says are always “feel-good colors,” are trending. Not to be mistaken with baby blues, these lighter hues add a discerning beauty and lightness to a room.

Why Does Blue Work in the Kitchen?

Certainly whites and grays tend to take all the kitchen applause, but blue is a classic and complementary color for the most beloved room in the home. Wax says that the trending darker and lighter blues complement kitchen hardware. Navy is very in-tune with brushed brash, she says. And the lighter dusty blues complement all metal fixtures, from nickel to brushed brass to matte black.

kitchen with white and blue cabinets
Image by John Bessler, courtesy of Courtney Zanelli

The most important tip when using blue—or any color—in the kitchen is to think in layers, says Wax. This approach helps to avoid oversaturating the space. Too much of one color in a kitchen “can literally tire your eyes,” she says. If you have many kitchen cabinets, Wax loves the approach of painting the top portion white and the bottom blue.

turquoise fridge and blue walls
Image of Kim West’s kitchen by Molly Culver

The 6 Best Blue Kitchen Paint Colors

From bold to bright, and dark to light, these are the top paint colors for blue kitchen cabinets and beyond.

Darker Blues

There’s no choice quite as timeless as a deep, dark blue. If you’re looking for longevity when it comes to your kitchen cabinets, this is a safe, but bold pick.

Benjamin Moore Newburyport Blue

A member of the navy family, and one of Wax’s beloved blues at the moment, this color pairs beautifully with etched brass hardware.

Backdrop School Blazer Blue

Look at this beauty: Is it navy? Is it dusty? Is it the color of the midnight sky? It’s safe to say this brilliant blue is a little bit of everything.

Sherwin Williams – Naval

Wax describes this color, which is reminiscent of sapphire, as “a richer darker blue.” It’s ideal for the top portion of kitchen cabinets.

Lighter Blues

Light blue paints run the gamut from classic to contemporary. Their dusty undertones create a soothing atmosphere in a part of the home that’s often prone to stress.

Benjamin Moore Buxton Blue

A cooling, calming hue that conjures images of the ocean. This blue is the perfect uplifter for any kitchen.

Farrow & Ball St. Giles Blue

“Vivid” is the word the iconic English paint company uses to describe this blue. Existing in the middle of dark and light, St. Giles is an invitation to add a bold punch to kitchen cabinets.

Sherwin Williams Dutch Tile Blue

This blue, which Wax says is a “soft cottage-y” hue, is ideal for kitchen cabinets or an accent wall.