Painted cabinetry is a versatile design feature that complements and supports many strong trends this year. We have found painted cabinetry sells particularly well when incorporated into certain styles and lifestyles. Here are some areas in which we have found great success incorporating painted cabinetry into designs. 

Millennials in the Marketplace

Condos and apartments are (literally) on the rise in urban areas and, as more Millennials enter the housing market, many are purchasing smaller, less expensive homes.
A simple way to lighten up these cozy spaces and give the appearance of a larger room is with color. Our designers have seen a boom in painted cabinetry, specifically our Cotton and Shale paint colors. These neutrals visually expand the room and provide an airy canvas for splashes of color and personal details that might be overshadowed by using exclusively wood textures or dark stains.   
We are finding that Millennials are particularly drawn to Shale, our new, cool neutral. As they look for ways to make their space stand out, Shale is a safe, yet stylish bet. Shale works well with most any color, giving it a great deal of flexibility when it comes to design and décor. 


Our designers are seeing a heavy shift toward modern designs. This means clean, horizontal lines with an emphasis on symmetry throughout the room. Modern kitchen designs feature door and drawer styles in simple shapes and forms with less ornamentation. We are seeing this trend as a stylish alternative to raised-panel door and drawer styles that speak to older, more traditional designs.
A recent trend extending from the modern design movement is two-toned kitchens. Here, painted cabinetry breaks up blocks of color, adding visual interest or a lighter look overall. One of the most popular combinations today is white or neutral painted wall cabinetry paired with mid-tone brown stains on base cabinets or island accents. We’ve seen the cool neutral Shale mixed with wood tones as a strong emerging trend. This palette can be brought together beautifully with a textured wood floor. This combination in particular sets a dramatic mood for a modern-style kitchen.

Rustic Modern

A trend we are particularly excited about is rustic-meets-modern. Rustic woods that feature natural characteristics have been popular in niche markets for a while now. Naturally textured woods work beautifully with clean painted base finishes that contrast with imperfections. This weathered look paired with blocks of color is working its way out of the specialty market and deeper into mainstream casual.
Many an antique store has been picked over for the perfect reclaimed-wood table top or chair. Incorporating these perfect, imperfect rustic finds into a clean, modern setting creates a nice balance within the space. 
When designing in this style, natural pieces should be contrasted with basic painted elements. We suggest pairing warm rustic cabinetry with a simple white backsplash, or natural wood-grain flooring with clean painted cabinetry. Combining rustic elements with modern painted design creates impactful spaces that meld urban with down-to-earth, and should remain of interest for years to come.
Looking for more design inspiration? Visit to see all our painted cabinetry options in finished rooms and collect ideas for your next project. Or, contact us at here if you have thoughts, suggestions, or are ready to get started. 
Lori Salem is a Manager of Design Services at Merillat Cabinetry. She works with customers and designers to develop unique and stylish cabinetry that fits beautifully in any design and uses emerging trends to inform her decisions.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.