Trying to decide on a kitchen cabinet color? 

If you have traditional style cabinets, you have many color choices. We all love options, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by too many.  This post will help you find the perfect color to complement your traditional cabinets and your home’s overall appeal. 

But first, let’s take a closer look at what defines traditional style.

What is Traditional Style?

There’s no official definition of traditional design, but think back to the Victorian era and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it looks like.

Victorian style originated between 1830 and 1910, roughly during the reign of Queen Victoria. People began to embrace designs that were elegant and beautiful, moving beyond sheer practicality. Fine craftsmanship, detailed woodwork, and elegant trim became staples of interior design and architecture. Think of a classic San Francisco townhouse. 

Even though a variety of design trends have come into and fallen out of fashion throughout the years, Victorian and traditional styles continue to remain popular in historic areas around the United States. Traditional kitchens avoid overly modern elements like shiny surfaces and stark colors. Instead you’ll find Victorian touches, including high quality woods, crisp corners and rich colors.

Traditional kitchen cabinets embrace those ideals and features. But true traditional style is more broad and flexible. You can incorporate rustic, farmhouse, and country cottage elements into your cabinetry while still maintaining a traditional aesthetic.

When to Choose Traditional Cabinets

Colonial and Victorian style houses call out for traditional cabinets. Their classic style adds charm to grand old mansions and quaint antique cottages alike. 

Still, “traditional” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “old-fashioned.” With the right design decisions, traditional cabinets are versatile enough for almost any home, except ultra-contemporary and modern designs. Let us know if you could use some advice tailoring traditional cabinets to your home.

That’s where color plays a big role. Let’s look at some of the best color ideas for traditional styles.

Dark Wood 

Perfect for traditional kitchens, dark wood is strong, elegant, and understated. Embrace rich colors like espresso or dark walnut. Dark wood adds a touch of drama and formality. Just remember that the goal with traditional kitchens is a warm, homey atmosphere, so stick to warm tones and steer clear of jet black. 


There’s a difference between maple wood and maple color. Maple wood comes from maple trees, so you could technically have maple cabinets in many colors. “Maple” is also a term designers use to describe color that is warm, natural and calls to mind sunny autumn days.

Maple colored wood finishes are usually warmer and lighter than the dark wood options above. They’ll give you a brighter, cozier kitchen and look good in rustic homes.

Hardwoods not your thing? Coming up are a few color ideas for painted cabinets. 

White or Cream

Most people don’t think of light delicate colors in traditional kitchens, but they can work really well. Carved wood and simple lines help preserve the traditional style.

If you choose stark white cabinets, rather than off-white or cream, keep everything else in the room soft to add balance. Otherwise the room might start to look contemporary, not traditional.


Just because you choose a classic style doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with color.

Green cabinets have been a favorite for decades, and we don’t expect them to go out of favor any time soon. Just make sure you pick a shade that complements your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Soft green, grey green, and green with black undertones are great traditional colors. If you’re leaning toward a country cottage style, try farmhouse green.

Gentle Berry Colors

Here’s a great example of a conservative cherry wood color. 

Want to try something a little more daring? Paint your cabinets a red or pink berry color, like cherry wine from Benjamin Moore. Just stay away from bright reds and bubble gum pinks if it’s traditional you’re going for. 

Still not sure which color to choose? Don’t limit yourself to these ideas. With the right guidance, you can make traditional cabinets work in almost any color. 

Our designers are experts in traditional kitchen cabinet design and love picking colors. Give us a call at (434) 509-0863 or schedule an appointment to get started.