Love Your Dark Kitchen Cabinets with Winter Neutrals

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Having a kitchen full of dark cabinets is definitely NOT the trend these days.  So, how can you embrace your wood-toned kitchen cabinets without doing a major makeover?  In today’s post,  “Love Your Dark Cabinets Part 2”, we will see how to love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutralslove your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals tiny kitchen with open shelving


If you have been a part of the My Wee Abode family for any time, you know that my tiny kitchen includes some dark wood-toned cabinets.

If you are new to our MWA fam, WELCOME… and let me show you what I mean!love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals tiny kitchen with open shelving

My tiny kitchen has wood-toned cabinets that have a bit of a red undertone (photos always make them look even more orange!).  The shaker-style is WONDERFUL, and they are in AMAZING condition, however the color…

It can often be viewed as an enemy… by me, anyhow.

The cabinet color also extends over the refrigerator as well as where my coffee station is set up in a little cubby on the side of the fridge.

In this series, I hoping to share tips and tricks on how to embrace kitchen cupboards that might not be our faves.  In this ‘installment’, we’re learning how to love our dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals.

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Love Your Dark Cabinets Part 2

Until I can muster up the guts courage to ask my landlord if I can paint my shaker cabinets a white or pale gray, learning how to embrace my dark kitchen cupboards has become my crusade… and sharing in this little crusade together makes it even more fun, don’t you think?

One of the ways I updated my kitchen to give it a brighter and more ‘airy’ feel was to update my counters in one afternoon… and it only cost me $50!

Another way to embrace a dark kitchen is to use color and decor that compliment the foundational colors of a kitchen, not fight against it.

Let’s see how we can improve the look of our dark kitchen cabinets for the winter season by using neutral tones and textures in your colors and decor.

Declutter and Love Your Dark Kitchen Cabinets

After Christmas, do you like to go with a more minimalistic approach in your decor for the winter?  I know I do.

The first step on how to love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals is to take all your Christmas decor down.  I’m thinkin’ most of us have done this already.

Heck, you could even take down ALL your decor!

This winter, I decided to only go with a few elements of winter and keep the color scheme in the whites/grays/tans for my decor (oh, and a bit of greenery, as well)!love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals tiny kitchen with open shelving

Keeping the counters clear, except for a few items, brings a sense of calm to a tiny kitchen.

Love Your Dark Kitchen Cabinets by Using a Limited Color Palette

When adding back decor, use a limited color palette.  Using whites/grays/tans and even a touch of black keeps the ‘peace’ in your kitchen, and also doesn’t ‘fight’ with dark cabinets.open shelving with neutral color decor and dishes

(Yes, I know my shelves are bending… this is a future fix-it project on my list.  Should have gone with thicker wood to begin with! #diylessons)

Before you go out shopping for neutral decor items, it’s always fun to shop your own home.  Try to find items that you can switch-out and re-use.

Galvanized tealight houses and a little pine tree that were used on my faux Christmas mantel are being used here as neutral winter decor.open shelf with metal house ironstone bowl and cutting board

Using neutral tones actually enhances the overall look of the kitchen.

And a white portable kitchen cart helps, too!love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals tiny kitchen with open shelving

More from my Christmas decor that can be used for winter.  Think greenery, galvanized houses, white berries, wood beads, pine cones, milk glass, ironstone, and anything that doesn’t ‘scream’ Christmas.open shelf with metal house ironstone bowl and cutting board

Love Your Dark Kitchen Cabinets with Winter Neutrals AND Texture

Along with a limited color palette, always be sure to add natural elements for texture.  Good faux greenery and florals are a fave of mine!

A couple of dark green wreaths hung over my ironstone soup tureens was easy to do.  It added some much-needed texture to the top shelf above the sink. open shelving with neutral color decor and dishes

These are no longer listed on the Target site, but here are some pretty boxwood wreaths that would work!love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals ironstone tureen with wreath and yellow candle

And, adding a touch of muted yellow with votive candles adds a small pop of color.love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals ironstone tureen with wreath and yellow candle

These are obviously new candles.  But remember, burning candles during the winter is a wonderful way to add some ‘cozy’ to your home.  (Would you be interested in a post on how to burn and care for candles? Let me know in the comments).

A black wire lantern holds some small birch logs and more juniper clippings (again, faux… the clippings, not the logs ;-)).  Filling this lantern has been an affordable and fun decor item!love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals wire lantern with greenery and birch logs

A vintage flower-frog with some berries and greenery add more texture to the corner of this dark wooden shelf.flower frog with white berries on a shelf

Now, since you have your kitchen all cozy for the winter, why not add some cozy bedroom decor to your sleeping oasis?

Now It’s Your Turn

Now, using neutral tones in a dark kitchen is not a unique idea!  How many of you have used a limited color palette in your kitchen? What decor items did you add to compliment your foundational colors? Do you need to love your dark kitchen cabinets with winter neutrals?

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  1. I am always fascinated by your tiny kitchen at My Wee Abode. You maximize every inch of that kitchen and make it look pretty at the same time.

    My kitchen is all wood cabinets that go to the ceiling with black countertops. It’s not what is “on trend” right now, but I still love my cherry cabinets. I don’t think it will be too long before the trend will change and wood cabinets will become popular again.

    Your shelves look great styled for winter. I wouldn’t have noticed the wood bowing if you hadn’t pointed it out.

    1. Yes, I’m sure the dark cabinets will be what everyone wants again… soon! 😉 Thanks for the sweet encouragement. I have actually had people make remarks about the bowing, so thought I would get it out of the way! LOL!

      1. Just discovered your site, love it! I recently remodeled my kitchen and did dark cabinets. While I think white are pretty I am drawn to the dark cabinets and I think its good to go with what you love instead of trends!

        1. Do glad you found My Wee Abode, Tonya! Welcome! I agree… you definitely need to go with what you love! I think there will always be a place for wood cabinets and white cabinets. 🙂 Not sure about the two-toned uppers and lowers. Definitely a trend!

  2. I love how you accessorize your wee kitchen space and make the most out of it with your shelves. Great idea to lighten up the space with neutral decor.

  3. I love how you decorated your kitchen and I don’t think it matters that the cabinets are stained because there’s so much white space elsewhere. I have the same issues in my house, not my kitchen (that’s white) but in my bathrooms and a lot of my furniture is brown. I think all the time, “should I paint that?”. But once a piece of furniture is painted, you can’t go back, and when the trends swing back (and they always do) your stuck with a painted piece of furniture. So what I’ve done is only paint a piece that is in bad condition in the first place. I am currently debating whether I should paint my dining room table as that is in bad shape but my husband is resisting that.

    1. Yes, to paint or not to paint… you get the point. 😉 I think there are techniques to remove the paint… even sanding. But, it is a bit of work! 😉 I have an antique Hoosier that will be painted very soon! Thanks for sharing, Amy! Hugs and hearts!

  4. Julie, you do such a good job of lightening up your kitchen! I personally like the contrast the dark cabinets offer. You have embraced it well! And your ironstone 😍😍😍!!

  5. This is such a great post, Julie! I love your collection of creamware and ironstone and how you perfectly styled your shelves too. We had maple cabinets for 7 years before we decided to paint them white but I’m sure if mine would have been as pretty as these I would have kept them that way 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  6. Your pops of white dishware look great and I like the turquoise pyrex accent pieces. Pinned. I just went all Java colored cabinets when we gutted our kitchen. I’m embracing all of it’s dark glory LOL.

  7. I think you are making the most of what you have to work with. The style of your cabinets really do look nice. Currently my dark and very worn kitchen cabinets (mostly the doors) are 40 years old and I am so ready for a makeover. Since we can’t afford the $20,000 dollar quote for resurfacing the cabinets this year, I am considering a paint update just to make it a nicer looking space. Or not. Thanks for sharing a different point of view for encouragement and consideration. #HomeMattersParty

    1. Thanks, Donna… I’m hoping to do a little cabinet makeover in the bathroom, too! I figure if the landlord doesn’t like it, I can replace the vanity for a little $. I’ll let you know how it works out! 😉

  8. I used to have dark kitchen cabinets and get this…..here in Germany when you move, you take your kitchen with you! The idea is that you spend so much money on a kitchen that you don’t want to leave it with the house – and it might not be to the new owner’s taste anyway (they may just rip it out!). Anyway, when we moved, our old kitchen didn’t fit the new space and by then, the range had been discontinued so we couldn’t get any more of it. We ended up buying new after all. I love the colour of your cabinets. The dark wood is a lovely contrast to your beautiful white crockery! x

    1. Yes, Jayne… I have another friend in Germany that moved there a couple years ago, and it was so fun seeing her put together her kitchen. I learned then that it needed to be ‘portable’, too! It really does make sense! Thanks for the kinds words… I really do want to paint them white, though! LOL!

  9. Hi, Julie! Your kitchen and neutral winter decor look lovely! I was inspired by your design eye. I would love to invite you to link up your project at Whimsy Home Wednesdays to inspire others and have a chance to be featured.

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