The most popular kitchen cabinet color by far is white. It’s not even close.
Based on 597,108 kitchens designed since 2009, a whopping 47.36% have a white finish.
All Kitchen cabinet colors by percent:
- White: 47.36%
- Medium Wood: 15.12%
- Dark Wood: 12.10%
- Light Wood: 6.72%
- Gray: 6.59%
- Beige: 3.18%
- Black: 1.83%
- Distressed: 1.64%
- Brown: 1.47%
- Blue: 1.40%
- Green: .99%
- Yellow: .61%
- Red: .52%
- Stainless Steel: .34%
- Orange: .07%
- Turquoise: .04%
- Purple: .02%
The 80/20 Rule Definitely Applies
When looking at the above cabinet finish stats, you can see that the 80/20 rule applies, which is interesting. The 80/20 rule isn’t known for applying to such tangible stats as design colors.
17.6% of cabinet color options (i.e. the top 3 being white, medium wood and dark wood) make up 74.6% of all cabinet colors based on our extensive data set.
Okay, that’s not exactly 80/20, but it’s close enough at 17.6 / 74.6.
White is More than White
One thing to keep in mind about the above data and stats is that “white” finish falls in quite a range of white. The 47.36% figure includes many shades of white, including cream. Nevertheless, white and all its shades clearly dominate the cabinet finish popularity contest.
Interestingly, when white kitchens started becoming more popular, I didn’t care for them. My mom renovated a kitchen and turned it into a white kitchen with all white cabinets. At first I wasn’t all that enamoured with it. However, over time, I’ve grown to really like white kitchens.
1. Psychological Benefit
My theory as to why white kitchens are popular has to do with the fact that kitchens are a highly functional and potentially dirty space. White balances the mess and chaos. White is a clean and calming color. It helps the mind deal with the mess and chaos of kitchen activity.
2. White Kitchens Work in Almost any Interior Design Style
Moreover, a white kitchen works in almost any style of home. If much of the home is wood, beige or gray, a white kitchen still works.
3. Cabinets Are Just Part of the Kitchen Color Scheme
Remember, this analysis deals only with the cabinets. Many kitchens with white cabinets aren’t all white. There may be wood floors, mint green walls with a crisp green backsplash. This would hardly be a white kitchen, but does have white cabinets.
That said, many kitchens are almost all white too.
Other Interesting Observations
I’m sure you’re not surprised white is the most popular. I’m sure you’re also not surprised medium wood and dark wood round out numbers 2 and 3, respectively.
However, what is surprising is that there are actually a lot of kitchens, despite making up a small percentage, that are some bright colors. For example, .52% of the kitchens in our data set of 597,108 kitchens are red. That amounts to 3,110 kitchens, which when you think about it, is a lot of red cabinet kitchens. Sure, there’s always a few unusual designs out there, but over 3,100 is surprising.
The fact that there any orange, turquoise or purple cabinets is also surprising.
Does this mean you should get white cabinets?
On the one hand, the fact it’s so popular means it’s a safe pick, especially when you consider resale. It never hurts to choose design features that are in demand.
That said, you don’t necessarily want to design your home for some far-off prospective buyer. You want to design your home for you so you might as well choose color schemes you like. If white is your favorite, go for it. If not, choose another color.