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Should You Use Taupe Cabinets In the Kitchen? (Designer Tips & Colors)

different kitchen designs with taupe cabinets

Kitchen cabinets take up much visual space, which means the color you choose can have an impact on the overall look of your kitchen. Thus, you’ll need to choose a color that’s easy to pair off with your other elements, elements such as the walls, counter, and flooring. [toc]

Aesthetic Appeal of Taupe Cabinets

beautiful kitchen with windows and pendant lighting

What is a taupe color? According to Benjamin Moore’s website, taupe can be described as a color that’s between a tan trench coat and fresh mushrooms. Like its humble inspiration, the color has an unassuming tone but gives off just the right amount of intrigue. 

Versatility in Design

contemporary kitchen with tile fooring and counter

Combined with two agreeable colors, you’ll have a wide range of possible undertones. Accommodating to other tones, cabinets in taupe color love neutrals and other beiges that usually complete a monochromatic palette.

There are also bold and moody tones like black or red that look sophisticated or chic with taupe, depending on your kitchen cabinet profile. Bejeweled or metallic tinges balance off the matte or subdued colors. A visual setting with a bright color, such as yellow or tangerine, gets even more noticeable when paired with a this tone. 

Another advantage of this neutral tone is that you can have a wide spectrum of possible undertones to match the mood or style you need. Cool or warm, taupe-hued kitchen cabinets are easy to mix and match compared to other cabinet colors. 

Warmth and Elegance

galley style kitchen with countertops and cabinets

Due to their versatility, taupe kitchen cabinets have gained a spotlight from many homeowners and designers alike, as they can evoke a cozy feeling and a degree of sophistication. This quality is because these kitchen cabinets have a combination of an earthy brown and gray color that is associated with minimalism and elegance. You can always take cues from your cabinetry shade to complete your color palette. 

Color Palettes and Combinations

luxury kitchen with taupe cabinets island and bar stools

Peach, Green, and Taupe – Fall Nuptials: Reminiscent of eucalyptus leaves in the bride’s bouquet and beaming ladies in the pale, fruity shade, the taupe color usually falling between light to medium tones grounds the two tones. 

This kitchen color palette projects a feminine touch but is more mature and sophisticated. The combination has that chic modern feel with sleek surfaced kitchen cabinets but works well with detailed designs such as shaker style cabinet doors as well as it won’t visually overwhelm. 

Pale terra cotta – #DDAD98 – This is a subdued, almost pastel-like orange. It has a warm, inviting feel but is muted, so it can be paired with many other colors. The hint of brown makes it a nice bridge between bolder oranges and neutral beiges or tans.

Creamy tan – #CFB7A3 – This color has moderately high values across red, green, and blue, resulting in a soft, pale, warm neutral. It’s a soothing wall shade for earthy and warm palettes or use in curtains or upholstery.

Baked clay – #986543 – This rich shade offers a vintage age quality that could be used as an accent wall or in wood stains to achieve a rustic look.

Powder blue – #BACDCC – A great option for a more relaxed tone with its cool neutral base and spa-like feel.

Muted olive green – #5D6D61 – It has a rich organic feel that pairs nicely with warm neutrals like browns and tans.

Taupe, Soft Blues, and White – Urban Spring: For the contemporary apartment in the city, a combination of washed-out blues, white, and taupe is the perfect kitchen color palette. Moreover, it’s easy to find RTA cabinets in taupe shades that look sleek and modern. You can apply the taupe color on your upper cabinets and juxtapose it with soft blues on your base cabinetry. 

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Coral, Taupe, and Gray – From the Precious Corals: Inspired by the red corals of the sea, the gorgeous tone is a likable color, and with a generous amount, it is captivating. The famous painter Claude Monet used the combination of pink and orange in his landscape paintings.

The color is eye-catching, which is perfect for creating a focal point. With taupe kitchen cabinetry, you have a more subdued tone as a backdrop, allowing the bright color to pop up. 

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Duck Egg Blue, Blue Green, and Two Shades of Taupe – Beach Vibe: Reminiscent of the green colors from the ocean floor and blue skies along sandy beaches, this color combination has that cool but upbeat quality.

The color palette basically has two main colors: blue, green, and taupe, and the varying degrees of richness and interest are given to the interior. Your cabinetry can be combined with your white or duck egg blue countertop. Accessorize with wood textures in black or weathered whitewashed planks to complete the look. 

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Mauve, Taupe, and Lavander – Purple Sunse: This is another seaside color palette, but this time has that earthy and relaxing characteristic that’s perfect for bedroom interiors. Whether in medium or darker shade, taupe’s color balances off the reddish tones. You can have a reddish undertone to complement your mauve and lavender colors. 

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Material and Finish Options

modern kitchen design with sleek cabinets and ceiling lights

Your taupe kitchen cabinet finish depends on the material you choose. However, generally, two types of finishes are gloss or matte. There are in-between types, such as semi-gloss. 

Solid Wood: Taupe kitchen cabinets in solid wood are typically built-in cabinets that adorn large layouts, complete with an island. Traditional luxury cabinets have that rich cherry color, but as homes have transformed into their modern look, neutral tones have become the staple for crafted cabinets. With taupe’s versatility and wide range of shades and undertones, the color is highly likely to become the next popular color for cabinets. 

Two popular cabinet hardware material options for traditional taupe-colored designs include oil-rubbed bronze and antique brass. Antique brass has that warm golden color, while oil-rubbed bronze has that darker metallic shade with a reddish tone. Solid wood cabinets can last longer compared to your other materials and are a good investment, especially for a high-traffic area such as the kitchen.  

Plywood: Cheaper than solid wood, plywood is one of the more durable lumber materials compared to solid wood, which is made from quality source material. Plywood is essentially sheets of wood pressed together to form an excellent strength-to-weight ratio quality. 

MDF: Another popular choice for kitchen cabinets is MDF, as most assembled cabinets are made of affordable material, and there’s a wide range of colors to choose from. If you plan to choose the taupe paint color for your cabinetry, opting for the MDF material is a great choice for holding against heat or humidity when properly sealed.

MDF and particleboard are made of ground wood pressed with glue into sheets. The ground wood is larger in particleboard than in MDF, making it somewhere stronger. – Home Improvement 1-2-3, Home Depot (Firm)  

HDF: Likely the closest material second to solid wood in terms of hardness and durability, HDF or High-Density Fiberboard is a great option for a more hardwearing cabinet. It won’t warp or crack easily, and there are many colors and designs already available on the market.

It is also an ideal material when you choose to paint your cabinets. HDF kitchen cabinets are likely more affordable than solid wood but more expensive than MDF and plywood.  

spacious kitchen with cabinetry and appliances

Particle Board: Also used as a cabinet core, particle board is the cheapest of the materials. If you’re looking for a material that’s easy to work on, particle board is a great choice, as it is lightweight and is easily cut by basic tools. Though not as durable as the rest of the materials, particle board does hold screws better than MDF or HDF. 

Melamine: If you’re visualizing your future kitchen cabinets being scratched by your kids or pets, then, you might want to choose melamine material. The laminated material is a durable material that wraps around an engineered wood board.

This surface is heat-sealed, also called fused melamine resin. Because it mimics natural textures, it’s not impossible to find a taupe-colored kitchen cabinet with wood graining. Compared to laminate, melamine cabinetry won’t fade under UV exposure and have a wide range of design choices. 

Thermofoil: You’ve probably seen these cabinet covers in many contemporary kitchen showrooms. It can have a matte, sleek, or virtually any type of finish. The extra layer protects the material and prevents it from warping or any type of damage.

However, unlike melamine, thermofoil cabinets can deteriorate faster when exposed to the elements. So, you’ll probably see discoloration or cracks after a prolonged period of time.

Design Tips for Working with Taupe Kitchen Cabinets

modern taupe kitchen with island countertop and quartz backsplash

Select a countertop color that’s lighter than taupe to ensure contrast: Assigning a lighter color for your countertops, such as white or beige, allows your eyes to distinguish the different kitchen areas. In addition, gives it balances off the visual weights of the areas. 

Be mindful of your backsplash colors: Aside from the countertop, the backsplash or the wall adjacent to your countertop and cabinets should coordinate with your taupe color. Although it’s not hard to pair up the neutral color, it’s also an opportunity to add patterned tiles to add dimension to your space. 

Assign a dominant color to prevent a bland look: Achieving a monochromatic interior can also be tricky, especially if you have an expansive space. Choose a dominant color to prevent a pale-looking interior if you have a large kitchen layout.

You can have taupe as the main color, select lighter tones as a secondary color, or add a bold or bright tone as an accent. Opting for a two-tone color is also great, as it keeps a simple color scheme without overwhelming the visual space. 

Utilize the natural light: Be mindful of our lighting, both from natural and artificial sources. Since light has the potential to set the mood, make sure to check the color temperature or shade of your taupe color to determine if it meets your design preference once you put on these light sources. 

Don’t forget your hardware: Usually, as an afterthought during a remodeling or renovation project, it is best to choose hardware during the planning process so it can have a cohesive effect with your taupe cabinets.

However, it’s not hard to find a matching hardware material for the neutral tone. Other types of hardware include oil-rubbed bronze, antique bronze, matte black chrome, and brushed nickel.

See more related content in our article about what colors go with taupe on this page.

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