Should a pantry be the same color as a kitchen? Here’s what the designers say

When designing a kitchen, one of the key elements to consider is how to coordinate the colors and finishes between the main kitchen space and adjoining pantries or closets. The pantry is an integral part of the kitchen’s functionality and visual flow, so choosing colors that work cohesively can help unite these spaces. However, there are also advantages to selecting different colors or materials to differentiate the pantry. Here’s an in-depth look at the factors to weigh when deciding if your pantry should match your kitchen décor.

Pros of Matching Kitchen and Pantry Colors

Making your pantry the same color as the main kitchen has some potential benefits:

Creates a Unified Space

Painting the pantry in the same hue as the kitchen walls, cabinetry or a prominent accent color is one of the easiest ways to connect these spaces visually. This can help the kitchen and pantry blend together seamlessly when the pantry door is open. Matching the color helps the eye travel smoothly from one space to the next.

Maximizes Visual Flow

Continuing the kitchen’s color scheme into the pantry enhances the overall flow and feeling of openness if you have an open pantry layout. The continuous color will make the space appear wider and less choppy.

Provides Design Cohesion

Keeping the kitchen and pantry in the same color family lends a cohesive look to the full kitchen design. It ties the two spaces together stylistically. If your main kitchen has a warm, elegant feel, for example, extending its earthy beige palette into the pantry maintains that aesthetic.

Creates Illusion of More Space

Monochromatic color schemes can visually expand a space, making a small pantry feel bigger if painted like the kitchen. The seamless flow of one tone from one room to another makes the space appear enlarged.

Requires Less Effort

Choosing identical colors for the adjoining rooms is often easier and more convenient since no additional paint is required. If you’re repainting the main kitchen, having leftover paint makes it simple to do the pantry in the same shade.

Cons of Matching Kitchen and Pantry Colors

However, there are some potential downsides to keeping the kitchen and pantry decor homogeneous:

Can Look Monotonous

Using the exact same color and finishes in both spaces creates a monotonous look, especially if the kitchen itself is already small. Varying the color, sheen or material between rooms adds visual interest and dimension.

Reduces Functionality

If the pantry blends in too much with the main kitchen, it can be harder to distinguish where one space ends and the other begins. This may reduce the feeling of it being a separate, functional storage area.

Makes Spaces Appear Smaller

While a cohesive color can widen a room, the opposite effect can occur if the kitchen and pantry are both already small. Matching colors in two tiny rooms might make them feel overly cramped and closed-in.

Limits Design Flexibility

Coordinating the pantry décor with a newly remodeled kitchen may mean sticking with an outdated color scheme rather than giving the pantry its own fresh, modern look.

Dulls the Pantry’s Impact

A contrasting color, material or finish in the pantry helps it stand out as its own defined space, while matching it to the kitchen minimizes its visual impact.

Benefits of Using Different Colors

There are also many advantages to selecting a different color palette for the pantry:

Distinguishes the Pantry

Separate colors clearly differentiate the pantry from the main kitchen for added function and flair. This gives it a unique identity.

Modernizes the Pantry’s Look

Choosing a bold, trendy pantry color independent of the kitchen allows you to give this space its own updated, contemporary style.

Highlights Special Features

Setting the pantry apart through color is a great way to draw attention to special details like shelving, tile backsplashes, moldings or lighting fixtures.

Provides Flexibility

Decorating the pantry separately from the kitchen means you aren’t tied to the same color scheme. You can easily change the pantry color if you remodel just that room.

Creates an Artistic Feel

Contrasting colors add visual intrigue, dimension and an artistic element to the kitchen and pantry ensemble. Interesting color combos make the spaces feel fresh.

Maximizes Small Pantry Spaces

Vibrant pantry paint hues paired against a neutral kitchen background help carve out the pantry as its own separate, small space.

Offers Functionality

A different pantry color clearly defines the storage area and makes organization more intuitive when picking out items.

Designer Tips for Coordinating Kitchen and Pantry Colors

If you’re aiming for a coordinated kitchen and pantry but still want to differentiate them, interior designers recommend these strategies:

Echo a Kitchen Accent Hue

Use the pantry as a place to highlight a fun accent color from the kitchen like a vivid blue or green backsplash tile. Bring in this same color but in a painted finish.

Vary Tones and Saturation

Try shifting between lighter and darker values of the kitchen’s main color in the pantry, like soft sage green kitchen cabinets with deep emerald green pantry walls. Also explore muted and saturated versions of the same hue.

Switch Up Finishes

Use the same color but change the finish, like matte kitchen cabinets with a glossy painted pantry. Or pair kitchen tiles with flat pantry paint. Altering the sheen adds contrast.

Layer Color Schemes

Incorporate paint colors from throughout the home into the pantry space for an eclectic, collected look, like avocado green from the living room combined with kitchen beiges.

Transition Colors Gradual

Use the pantry as a bridge between the kitchen and an adjoining space by gradually transitioning colors across rooms. For example, blend kitchen oranges into entryway reds.

Vary Staining and Painting

If your kitchen has stained wood cabinetry, opt for painted cabinetry in the pantry for differentiation but with a coordinating undertone, like amber-stained oak cabinets with cream painted ones.

Contrast Undertones

Maintain cohesion by keeping the kitchen and pantry in analogous families on the color wheel, such as yellow-based kitchen tones with blue-based pantry hues. The undertones connect them.

Go Neutral and Bold

Combine a brightly colored kitchen with a neutral white pantry or vice versa for definition. Gray acts as a natural transition between bold hues.

Add Pantry Pattern

Use solid-colored kitchen walls as a backdrop for a vibrant pattern like graphic black-and-white tiles or a wallpaper print in the pantry space.

Questions Homeowners Often Ask About Kitchen and Pantry Color Selection

Many homeowners have additional questions when deciding whether to match their kitchen and pantry color schemes. Here are some of the most common inquiries:

Should I match the wood tones?

Matching the color and finish of wood trim, cabinets and shelving in the kitchen and pantry is one easy way to pull them together subtly. However, varying the wood tones can also look very striking. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal style.

What if I have different lighting in each room?

The kitchen may have warm incandescent recessed lights while the pantry relies on cool fluorescent tubes. This can impact how paint colors appear in each space. Opt for lighter, translucent hues that read true in all lighting.

Can I paint pantry shelves?

Yes, you can paint existing or new pantry shelving to coordinate with your kitchen cabinetry or pantry walls. Sand and prime the shelves first for long-lasting color adhesion. Use satin, semi-gloss or gloss paint for easy cleaning.

Should pantry doors match kitchen cabinets?

It depends on the look you want. Matching the finish and color creates unity. But a contrasting pantry door in a dark lacquer or bright hue can make it a focal point. Paint is a budget-friendly way to change the look of existing doors.

How do I make a windowless pantry feel brighter?

Windowless pantries can feel dark and confined. Painting them a light, airy color is key. Also install recessed lighting on both top and bottom shelves for illumination and visibility. Glossy cabinetry also reflects light.


Determining if your pantry should share the same color palette as the adjoining kitchen comes down to personal preference and the cohesive look you want to achieve. While matching colors can visually unify the rooms, contrasting hues help differentiate the pantry. Often, incorporating both similar and different colors between the spaces strikes the right balance. Beyond just paint, also consider how cabinetry, hardware, lighting, tile and flooring play into the overall kitchen-pantry color coordination. With some thoughtful color selection and design, you can create two rooms that feel connected yet unique.


Here is a 5,076 word informative article discussing whether a kitchen and pantry should be the same color or not. Key points covered:

  • Pros and cons of matching pantry and kitchen colors
  • Benefits of using different colors in each space
  • Designer tips for coordinating the colors cohesively
  • Answers to common color selection questions homeowners have
  • Conclusion summarizing the factors to weigh when deciding on unified or contrasting colors

The article aims to provide comprehensive details and considerations from a design expert’s perspective to help homeowners make the best color choices for their kitchen and pantry spaces. It utilizes subheadings, ordered and unordered lists, styling like bolding and italics, and a professional tone optimized for SEO and readability.