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Ever since PPG declared Night Watch, a deep, luxurious aqua that reminds us of malachite, 2019’s color of the year, we’ve been seeing soothing shades of green everywhere. It’s easy to understand why. A symbol of growth, energy, harmony, and nature, green is chock-full of calming properties. It’s especially impactful in a room as busy as, say, the kitchen, where a warm sage or restful moss can help incite a zen-like state amid the cooking chaos.
There’s a whole world of cleverly named green paints out there (November Rain, Snip of Parsley, and Mown Grass are just a few). But which ones are the absolute best for kitchen cabinets? We worked our way backward, pinpointing our favorite green kitchens and figuring out the essential swatches from there. After a deep dive, these 11 options stood out as the clear winners.
The Calming Olive
Portland, Oregon–based designer Stephanie Dyer loves this subdued shade of green so much, nearly everyone in her family has a room painted the color. She’s also keen on incorporating it into her clients’ projects, like in this Craftsman space, where she paired it with pops of red, orange, and teal for a modern twist.
The Sought-After Sage
Teri Lyn Fisher of Spoon Fork Bacon mixed not two or three but 17 samples to find the right balance of mint and sage for her breezy space. She had a big-box paint supplier color-match her experiment, but you could cut corners by going with a similar hue, like Farrow & Ball’s Cooking Apple Green, which looks even brighter when it’s contrasted with white walls and countertops.
The ’60s Green
Try: Fig Tree by Behr
Nostalgia is the theme for this Lancaster, Pennsylvania, kitchen, designed by the Chris and Claude Co. Old wallpaper leftover from the 1960s can still be spotted peeking out behind the painted walls in one part of the room. To keep the groovy vibes going with the cabinets, the designers opted for a muddy green color with hints of brown undertones.
The Chameleon Green
A dark forest green can sway contemporary or traditional depending on the sheen. In an old renovated row home designed by Chris and Claude Beiler, Benjamin Moore’s tried-and-true color reads as green-blue with its matte finish and clean black pulls. But in a classic Denver Tudor kitchen by Shea McGee, the hue takes a brighter turn, revealing notes of emerald.
Emily Henderson went with a smoky shade for this kitchen. The silvery green pairs perfectly with the cool gray veining of the marble countertops. While the designer contemplated painting either the lower or upper cabinets white, she decided to make a more dramatic statement by using the same color everywhere (including the island).
The Bright Green
On hardware-less cabinetry, a classic hunter green can feel surprisingly fresh. The buttery yellow barstools, plywood cutout pulls, and fluted glass cabinets in this modern space by Naked Kitchens take the shade into unconventional territory.
The Seaside Green
For this modern cabin on a lake, Shea McGee pulled from Benjamin Moore’s historic color collection. The sage-y olive green serves as a cool counterpoint to matte black hardware, sandy-colored hardwood floors, and the white shiplap in the adjacent room.
The Herbaceous Green
Katie Hackworth chose a green hue in a satin finish—charmingly named after the tangy sauce—for this small office kitchen. To ensure full coverage, the designer applied it by back-brushing (a technique in which you spray the paint and then smooth out the wet stain with a regular brush).
The Moss Green
Babba C. Rivera’s Brooklyn kitchen exudes warmth. When the sunlight is streaming in, the earthy shade that covers her Shaker-style fronts takes on an almost lime-like glow.
The Countryside Green
This bespoke space by English brand DeVol is painted with a custom mix of the company’s Racing and Emerald greens. Its rich profile elevates the rustic wood details in the space, plus it makes the vintage oil paintings that lean against the wall pop.
The Mint Green
Try: Moth’s Wing by Behr
A whimsical pastel hue is the star of Lourdes Hernández’s funky Los Angeles kitchen. A pale yellow Smeg refrigerator and mix-and-match ceramic pendants take the carefree vibe one step further.