Asked on Dec 02, 2014

What paint colors to pair with natural hickory

My husband and I are purchasing a cabin with some natural hickory cabinets. They are quite lovely, but I cannot come up with good color ideas (for the walls) and was curious if anyone had any ideas. This photo comes from the listing. Thanks!
  49 answers
  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Dec 03, 2014
    Will the Cabin be your primary home, or a vacation home? That can make a difference in how you choose your colors. As a vacation home, you might want to choose brighter colors than you might if you are going to live there. It can make it more exciting going to the cabin then. The hickory cabinets are quite light and I would definitely consider them a neutral. When it comes to color, if you use warm colors people will be ready to eat and go, whereas, if you use cooler colors, people will feel more relaxed and ready to sit and talk. The only color I would not use, would be a color too close to the color of the cabinets, it would be difficult trying to match. My usual advise is look at your favorite clothes colors, they make you feel good, so why not use them on the walls. Of course you wouldn't want black in the kitchen! Good luck in your choice
  • Nancy J. Godwin Nancy J. Godwin on Dec 03, 2014
    We have hickory cabinets in our main residence and I chose a light robin egg color for my walls. My thinking was earth color for floors, cabinets reminded me of trees and the walls the sky. We have been happy with the results for almost 4 years now.
  • Darla Darla on Dec 03, 2014
    I think an earthy, muted medium-light green would set them off nicely! White walls just suck the color out of everything.
  • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Dec 03, 2014
    Any rich earth tones will look lovely so choose your favorite: deep forest green, warm russet brown, yummy merlot red -- all will make your cabinets sing and your light cabinets will keep the darker wall colors from feeling too heavy.
    • Vickey Tobin Vickey Tobin on Dec 03, 2014
      I also have natural hickory cabinets. My walls are a deep mauve reddish color. I love the dark walls with light cabinets
  • Recreate Recreate on Dec 03, 2014
    I agree with the lady above, rich warm tones, but not forest green, it screams old out dated. My opinion. But a warm brown, not beige, it will leave your walls dark, but your cabinets are light so you will have a balance and you can have lighter color accessories too. I do like red but not for a kitchen, if you choose too choose a shade that is darker than red, I think someone else above mentioned Merlot. Hope it helps!!
  • Katherine W Katherine W on Dec 03, 2014
    The hickory is such a warm color, that cool colors would look wonderful with it. And then both would pop, even if it were a pastel cool color like a robins egg blue or a cool green.
  • Shala Cripps Shala Cripps on Dec 03, 2014
    I think a red earth tone or a little darker brown would be best but honestly just looking at the pic that kitchen is screaming for a red earth tone!
  • Sherrit Sherrit on Dec 03, 2014
    I think that a darker teal and a darker reds tones with the browns. I saw it in a room in a magazine the other day and it was beautiful!!!!!!!!!
  • Holy cow! What great responses! This was my first post on this site and didn't know what to expect. The home will be secondary (weekends) I personally LOVE dark colors. I guess my concern is that it is a VERY tiny space. All combined less than 700 sq ft. I am going to be up there this weekend and will be taking some paint decks I have. Once we move in and get settled I will post some photos! Thank you for all the wonderful advice!
    • MaryStLouis MaryStLouis on Dec 24, 2014
      @RCooper @ If you like dark colors then go it. It's only paint and can be changed. With such a small space you could buy a woven rug with a fun pattern and hang it from the wall, as the previous owners did (but better). Call me crazy but I love this combination:
  • Sue Myers Case Sue Myers Case on Dec 03, 2014
    paint is not that expensive for the space, paint it whatever you think you might like. If it doesn't suit you, paint it again.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 04, 2014
    I'm agreeing with the reddish tone suggestions.
  • Lisa Lisa on Dec 04, 2014
    i'm watching this post for ideas as well. I have beautiful wood trim around my windows and wood doors however the walls are white and i am uncertain what colors would go with the wood.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Dec 04, 2014
    My neighbor has a sage green in her kitchen and it looks great!
  • Janet Janet on Dec 04, 2014
    Look at Carnelian by Sherwin Williams - great color with pine!
  • Recreate Recreate on Dec 04, 2014
    RCOOPER, you have concerns about the space being too small for a dark color, but consider that it looks to be a bright kitchen with 2 windows and open concept. Accent with light accessories, like your blinds, or curtains, table lines ect. GO FOR IT!!
  • Terri Terri on Dec 04, 2014
    look to nature to make your decision - what looks good with wood outside? and do not combine cool shades with warm shades, they will fight each other...the most important thing to do is to choose the color in all lights...what looks great on a north wall probably won't look good on the west throws blue undertones the other throws orange...and this all depends on the latitude where you make sure to tape up samples on each wall and look at them in every light - early morning, mid day and evening with artificial light. my choice for paint is always Benjamin Moore...they have the best pigments and shades...try looking at their historic colors which were used with lots of natural wood colors.
  • Cathy Rayburn-Trobaugh Cathy Rayburn-Trobaugh on Dec 04, 2014
    We have a cabin with knotty pine cabinets, and it took me a few times to figure out what works. Since ours is a log home, we have very little painted wall space, so we chose a medium gray. It may look too dark with that much space, but it really sets off the light wood cabinets. We have found in other rooms, rich warm colors look good on accent walls.
  • Mary Wheeler Mary Wheeler on Dec 04, 2014
    I would look at my other accent pieces for the room before choosing colors. Do you have old pottery or collections that will be featured in the cabin? I love the colors in the rug on the wall, try the classic turquoise with the deep coral as an accent wall. Love your cabin and wish you happy decorating!!
  • Wglindner Wglindner on Dec 05, 2014
    If its cabin look out side for your color's bring the colors inside .
  • Annie Medic Annie Medic on Dec 15, 2014
    @RCooper @ so, lots of people are saying dark colors and red. I see that hanging and I think that that's what is where the suggestions might be springing from. I would make a design board. Pick colors as accents that match to the hanging, the counters and speak to your sense of style, get sample sizes (one pint sizes) from the local hardware store in the colors you like. Then paint a patch or two, not too big and see if you like it. Choose some hardware to accent, countertop accesories and curtains. All pre-designed on your dream board, all worked out before hand. Good luck!
  • Lola Lola on Dec 16, 2014
    I hate red for walls in a kitchen, I had the same cabinets and went with gold walls, maybe a paper bag brown would look good.
  • Terikirkwood Terikirkwood on Dec 17, 2014
    I would not just focus on the color of the cabinets. They are warm neutral...what you should consider is other things in the room that you may or may not be changing. Are the white appliances staying? How about the countertops? The flooring? I am not suggesting that you change these things although it is obvious everything the way it currently is in the picture does not work. If you neutral the walls to a warm shade of tan then the color scheme all of your dishes, pottery, accents, rugs, wall hangings and window coverings will make the room cohesive. Don't forget a few unexpected accents to draw the eye around the room! Oh yeah, and there are plenty of things to do to white appliances to make them not white! :-)
  • Hello! Such wonderful responses everyone! We close next Tuesday and I have honestly been feeling very strongly drawn to a dark blue green color. I guess we will see once we have some furniture up there. We aren't wanting to change too much as we like keeping it inexpensive. I do hate the white appliances! @30 results are available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate.Teri KI would love to know how to change the white appliances! Please spill the beans on how to do this!
  • CK CK on Dec 17, 2014
    It so happens I'm working with a client who's building a new home with hickory cabinets too in the kitchen. We chose a soft green as well as other 'nature-inspired' colors such as reddish browns. She's also loves turquoise of all kinds so that's our accent color. These cabinets look especially great with earthy colors. Depending on the amount of light in your room, you can go darker or lighter down the paint strip to suit your taste. P.S. A saturated blue (think blue jeans) will look great too. I like working with this wood SO much more than oak that's stained honey/medium oak. We have waaaay too much of that in our area ;-)
    • See 1 previous
    • CK CK on Dec 17, 2014
      @RCooper @ Hope you post your 'after' photos :-) Oh just a thought---- I would remove or paint the wood trim at the ceiling the same color as you choose for your walls. It sorta cuts off the room vertically speaking in its wood tone. That's just my opinion. Many will disagree. Hahahha! (Paint wood!?!?! Yikes! hahaha!) I just personally like the cleaner look where there's nothing to delineate walls from ceiling. It's a trick I use for making the room look taller/bigger/brighter. Also....just a suggestion. Do you feel you need that single wall unit to the right of the window over the sink? It sorta looks 'lost' there all by itself. If it's not really needed, you might consider removing it. It will greatly open up the room. Or you could take off the door and achieve a similar look....easier too :-) And I know this is the listing photo....but.....I'm not a fan of valances. They look like miniskirts on really tall people. (hee hee!) There are so many other window treatments that look nicer. Or sometimes just leaving the window undressed is even prettier. Boy there is a lot of potential in this nice kitchen :-) Wish I was there. :-)
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Dec 18, 2014
    My cabinets are dark but I still think a dark color would look good with the hickory. My kitchen color looks a deep turquoise blue during the day and looks a little greener in the evening. I get so many compliments on my kitchen color!
  • Wow! I do love dark and I have to say, to me dark can be beautiful, dramatic and rich. But I don't think many agree with me! Thanks for sharing.
    • Mary Wheeler Mary Wheeler on Dec 19, 2014
      @RCooper @ I love the dark in this room too! It looks rich with all of the white trim and sunlight. You can get a sense of what it would look like with your hickory cabinets, the chairs in the photo are that same shade.
  • Marlene Marlene on Dec 19, 2014
    Maroon {curtains/rugs } with Cream Wall
    • @Marlene I just found a pillow that I have had lying around my house for a while that we are going to put up there that has maroon in it so maroon will definately be going into that space.
  • Ashley Freeman Ashley Freeman on Dec 19, 2014
    These cabinets are not hickory they are knotty pine
  • Rebecca B Rebecca B on Dec 19, 2014
    I have natural hickory wood cabinets in my kitchen. We went to Home Depot and bought Behr brand paint called Butter Cookie. It is a creamy butter color that is warm and looks really good with the hickory wood. It brightens up the room without overpowering with color. We also painted our previously dark and boring living room with Butter Cookie.
  • MaryStLouis MaryStLouis on Dec 20, 2014
    We have natural hickory flooring. Because of its yellow/brown/cream notes we went with a soft green on the walls with off-white trim work. It's crisp, fresh, and not dark at all, something I just hate in any space. Your cabinets look more like knotty pine but the tones would still work together.
    • @MaryStLouis Thanks Mary! We used to live in St Louis! I miss it there. Thanks for the recommendation. Someone else ementioned knotty pine and I do stand corrected. :-D
  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold on Dec 21, 2014
    I was thinking green also when I saw how nice it looks on your curtains, and your towel on the end of the one cabinet. It's very complementary. You could use some red as an accent color, but I would go with the green. One more thought, you might want to paint the ceiling white and paint the wood trim green.
  • Jamoschini Jamoschini on Dec 21, 2014
    I would go with a light brown on the walls that matches the flooring color. Maybe a darker version of the same color that the window in the dining area is for an accent wall. I don't know if you plan on keeping your white appliances, but stainless steal would be a better blend with hickory cabinets. And granite counter top with brown and gold accent colors to make it interesting.
    • @Jamoschini thanks so much for your input! I do love the look of stainless but we have no plans to change anything at the moment. As a weekend place, we want to stay inexpensive as possible but I would say that stainless is a definate goal in the future. That or black.
  • Sally V Sally V on Dec 24, 2014
    I like burnt orange color. It really warms up a kitchen.
    • @Sally V Hi Sally! Thanks for the recommendation, I had honestly never thought of a burnt orange. It would add some spice to the place for sure!
  • Well we just closed last night. We will be moving a lot of stuff in over the Christmas holiday. I will update with some photos and see where we go from there! Thank you all SO much for all of your kind recommendations and comments!
  • Carol Scott Porter Carol Scott Porter on Dec 24, 2014
    Hickory has graining but not knots. they are definitely knotty pine
  • Carol Scott Porter Carol Scott Porter on Dec 24, 2014
    I agree with sally on the burnt orange
  • Wglindner Wglindner on Dec 25, 2014
    If a cabin and you want it to stay a cabin. I would do the walls in a warm coffee like it had alot on cream. I wold used cream color curtain with some teal. Use some mouse pillows there. A lot to do
  • Thanks Connie! I will be posting some photos soon (maybe tonight) with what we have done. We haven't accomplished much but I have decided a couple of ways forward and will be posting those on here to get some opinions. I am also not a valance person. We have removed all of them with the exception of what goes over the kitchen window. I kind of like that one there but it may end up being gone. Time will tell. Post soon!
    • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on Jan 07, 2015
      I'm not a fan of window valances either but I love how my in-laws reinterpreted the traditional fabric valance by attaching a wood-framed, valance-sized ornamental stained glass art piece to their window frame, as you would hang a curtain rod. It gives the visual warmth and allusion of a fabric valance but brings in lovely color, light and personality in an unexpected and non-dust-harboring way. Absolutely beautiful!
  • Some updates from our first week up there. The curtains will be moved up but I really needed to put something up.
  • Kylie M Interiors Kylie M Interiors on Dec 21, 2015
    You have to remember that even though it is a wood stain, it has a good 'colour' to it, which means that its primarily a yellow toned wood. If you want to contrast with it, you would choose cool tones, if you want to blend them you would choose a warmer toned paint colour. If you want some specific colour ideas, I wrote a good blog post on matching paint colours to wood stains... You might find it helpful! :) Kylie M
  • Snapoutofit Snapoutofit on Dec 21, 2015
    .....anything! :-)
  • P Proeschel P Proeschel on Dec 28, 2015
    How about a Clay Pot color or a little brighter? Bold colors but nice and if you don't like it repaint it!
  • I have been working on the kitchen for a while and should hopefully be able to update with new photos soon!
  • Rick Rick on Mar 06, 2018

    use pine color. It's a deep blue/green.

  • Beverly Beverly on Sep 24, 2018

    I am looking for a green paint that would go with my natural hickory cabinets and that it would give it a country look. Got any I ideas?

  • Laurie Laurie on Jan 10, 2019

    I see this is an old question, but since I’m planning to paint and put up backsplash, I thought I’d share. Saw this pic online and I love how the pure white subway tile and white walls and counter make the hickory look its best!

  • Betty Fridell Betty Fridell on Jul 29, 2019

    i just put in Hickory Cabinets(Diamond Now) from Lowes. I painted the walls the color Waterscape by Benjamine Moore. I love it, just a suggestion.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 09, 2021

    Duck egg Blue, Lettuce green, Turquoise Blue, Burnt Orange etc.