Benjamin Moore Smokey Taupe is a smooth neutral that looks amazing on cabinets! Here we will look at real life examples and some alternative colors that you may like.
Is Taupe Even a Good Color for Cabinets?
Taupe is a great choice for cabinets if you don’t want white but also don’t want to commit to a bold color like navy or green.
(Although if you do like green, check out Trend-Setting Green Kitchen Cabinet Ideas)
Of course I’m biased because I love taupe, but I think it makes more of a statement than a cream or gray would.
Choosing a Taupe for Cabinets
If you aren’t certain where the line is between taupe, beige, and gray, try to stick to something that reminds you of a mushroom or putty color.
The LRV of Smokey Taupe is 54 which is honestly a bit darker than I expected.
The LRV of a color indicates on a scale of 0 – 100 how much light a color reflects (or doesn’t reflect). True black has an LRV of 0 and pure white has an LRV of 100.
In the paint world, we are working in a range of about 3 – 93 because no paint color is purely black or completely white.
That means Smokey Taupe is on the lighter end of mid-toned neutrals. To put it in perspective, off-whites are in the 70 to 82-ish range.
If you are wanting cabinets that still read fairly light, I would stick to an LRV of 50 or higher.
Smokey Taupe on Real Life Kitchen Cabinets
Now with those little details out of the way, let’s see it at work!
Smokey Taupe does have a few different faces: Taupe (the best), beige, and gray.
These photos are from Riemer Kitchens (@riemerkitchens) who create beautiful custom kitchens in Harrison, NY.
Smokey Taupe Where It Looks Like A True Taupe
This first photo is a great example of how Smokey Taupe normally looks. It’s like a greige with the softest purple undertone.
This is the color that you should expect to see most often.
Here Smokey Taupe looks a little lighter and softer, but still the same taupey tone.
Smokey Taupe Looking Beige on Cabinets
On the other end of the spectrum, here is the most beige that Smokey Taupe will look:
You can certainly see that there is warm light reflecting off of the island here, and that’s why Smokey Taupe looks so beige.
If you look past the island to the pantry you can see that those cabinets don’t look nearly as beige.
Here is another shot where the natural light is giving Smokey Taupe the slightest greenish undertone on top of looking more beige.
Taupe can either have a purple undertone, or a green undertone, but I prefer one with a purple undertone. You can see that Smokey Taupe has the potential to show off either, so it’s a good idea to be okay with both.
Smokey Taupe Looking Gray on Cabinets
Since we know that Smokey Taupe is taupe, you can see it here, but otherwise you might think it was a silvery gray.
(Which granted, is not far off taupe.)
One last super duper neutral shot.
That last photo is the most ambiguous face of Smokey Taupe.
What Color Hardware Should You Use with Smokey Taupe Cabinets?
Our example kitchen has chrome hardware, but if I was in charge I would go with gold or brass. A brighter hardware really complements the smooth creamyness of taupe.
You can see a few examples in the color alternatives below.
What Color Countertops Are Best with Smokey Taupe Cabinets?
In our example kitchen, Riemer Kitchens used white quartz with Smokey Taupe, which is a stylish and safe choice. (And by far the most popular.)
Butcher block countertops are a super affordable option that would also look great with taupe cabinets. Personally, I would go with a natural color, or possibly a walnut.
I have seen similar taupe colors used with black countertops, and that works too. In that case I would keep your walls simple and light.
The only color I would be really careful with, is gray countertops with taupe cabinets. You will want to choose a gray that is either significantly lighter or darker than your taupe of choice, because a gray with an off-gray like taupe can really clash.
Other Taupes You Might Like for Cabinets (Smokey Taupe Alternatives)
If you’ve been hanging out here, you know my motto is “anything worth doing is worth over-doing!” which I realize isn’t true, but here we are with a bunch of extra info anyway.
Here are a few fave taupes and neutrals that also look great on cabinets!
These are not necessarily dupes for Smokey Taupe, but rather colors that have the same feel.
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray for Cabinets
Repose Gray is really a taupe color (IMO), and it looks Uh-MAZING on cabinets. If I had to choose a “gray” for cabinets, it would probably be Repose.
The black here is actually Sherwin Williams Iron Ore masquerading as black.
Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige on Kitchen Cabinets
Accessible Beige isn’t really a taupe, but I love it on cabinets because I feel like it has the same sophisticated aesthetic.
You can see more Accessible Beige on cabinets in my post: The Ultimate Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige Review for 2023 (Plus Dupes!)
Sherwin Williams Taupe of the Morning
I’m not always the sharpest, so when I was making that graphic I totally forgot about a very obvious alternative: Sherwin Williams Taupe of the Morning.
I mean “taupe” is literally in the name! Oops.
Taupe of the Morning is the lightest of all these alternatives, with an LRV up at 65.
You can see more of it here – Taupe of the Morning: Sherwin Williams Coziest Taupe
Darker Benjamin Moore Alternative for Cabinets – Pashmina
Pashmina is a taupey color that is reallly hard to nail down. Here it is on some bathroom cabinets:
You can see that this one is a bit darker. It has an LRV of 44, and you can definitely see the difference between a color that has an LRV below 50 (this one) and a color that still reflects (LRV above 50) – Smokey Taupe.
Behr Smokestack for Your Kitchen Cabinets
I wish I had Smokestack on cabinets to show you, but this seems to be a bit of an underrated gem from Behr. It’s close enough to Smokey Taupe that you could probably consider this one to be a dupe.
Should You Choose Smokey Taupe for Your Kitchen Cabinets?
Can I just say “yes” for you!? I really love this color and I think it looks sexy and expensive on kitchen cabinets.
Where you might want to be careful is if you hate purple undertones. This is never more true than if you want to use a cream wall color. This will emphasize the purple big time.
You might like Ethereal White as an off-white neutral for your walls with Smokey Taupe on the cabinets.
Don’t forget to pin your favorites!
More cabinet inspiration? You got it!