Super-organizable storage, and perhaps extra utilities like a sink and faucet put pantry ideas at the top of the kitchen wish list, so it’s imperative that you don’t ruin your plans with a paint color that lets you down—and that’s where interior designer advice comes in.
Here, interior designers share the colors they’d never paint in a pantry—and for inspiration—the colors they do.
Pantry paint colors to avoid—according to experts
The pantry can be open to the kitchen, or a separate space, but either way, it is one part of the whole and needs to be considered in this way as well as individually. Color has an effect on the atmosphere as well, and the pantry should be decorated to suit the tasks that take place there. These are the paint colors to avoid, as well as the ones you might want to use in your home.
Red is a strong color that designers don’t usually recommend for the kitchen, the same goes for the pantry although here too the size of the room is what makes it a paint color you shouldn’t use. “Bold and bright colors can look very intense in a space as small as the pantry,” says interior designer Artem Krobovinsky.
That’s not to say you can’t go for bold pops of pigment, but go with caution, Artem advises. “If you’re drawn to a vibrant color, try using it in moderation,” he recommends.
Green is another color to avoid in the pantry as it may green light food that would not be welcome in this demanding part of the kitchen.
Angela Hamwey of Mackenzie & Co. explains: “When considering a pantry, this is often an extension of the kitchen and must function properly to allow for meal preparation and hosting or entertaining.”
Also on the list of pantry paint colors you should never use according to experts is blue—at least in its darker incarnations. “As a general rule, we tend to avoid dark or saturated colors in major living spaces because they are distracting and usually don’t have a positive effect on the overall mood and ambience of a space,” explains Angela Hamoui.
Dark blue can make a space look cramped. “Dark shades can visually shrink the pantry, making it look confined and crowded,” says Artem Krobovinsky. If you prefer a darker color, consider limiting its use to an accent wall or small section.
Another color recommended by designers that may not do any pantry favor with the ones we have already mentioned is yellow. “Paint colors like red, green, blue, or yellow can make an area feel disorganized or untidy,” says Angela Hamoui. Plus, the pantry shouldn’t make a statement and detract from the rest of the home.
And if you’re thinking a muted yellow might do the trick, the advice is that this takes a lot of work. Dull colors can make a store look uninspiring and dull. If you want to use a muted color, consider pairing it with colorful accessories like baskets, jars, and posters, says Artem Krobovinsky.
While it may seem like it’s the perfect space-expanding shade for a small room like the pantry, you might want to steer clear of bright white. It’s a color that can feel clinical and stark — not the most desirable vibe in a kitchen area.
But that doesn’t mean that white is completely out of the way. Try whites, which give you a warm color. The result if you go this route? “A classic pantry color that’s always in vogue, white can make a pantry feel light and spacious,” says Artem Krobovinsky.
questions and answers
How do I make my pantry look better?
Coherence with the kitchen will make the pantry look better. says Angela Hamwey of Mackenzie & Co. We recommend keeping the paint color consistent with the kitchen in order to create a smooth flow.
“We suggest soft, neutral paint colors that complement the architecture of the home and create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere.”
What are the best colors for the pantry?
Colors that tend to work well in stores include soft white, which won’t go out of style and makes the space appear larger. Or try a lighter version of gray. “Another pantry-friendly option, light gray provides a similar lightness to white but with added character,” says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky.
Artem also recommends the qualities of beige. “The warm and welcoming beige tone works well in the pantry,” he explains. “It’s a great base if you’re aiming to add pops of color with accessories.”
Keep in mind that you can have fun with color in the pantry, according to Ami McKay, president and director of Pure Design: Interior Design, Build & Shoppe. “If you have multiple shelves, do something interesting on the ceiling, a bold color, or maybe a floral wallpaper,” she says.