Kitchen Island Paint Colors

I blame Erika’s Instagram feed.

Especially these two pictures:


(ErikaMPowell on Instagram)


That’s Martha Stewart’s “Gabardine” on the trim and cabinetry in her bathroom, and Sherwin-William’s “Rosemary” on the cabinets in her kitchen. (And those are her adorable (and clearly very talented) kiddos!)

Seeing those insta-pics triggered a spontaneous run to Home Depot for paint samples yesterday. I just had to see what her colors would look like on our (currently mustard-colored) kitchen island!  (Even though we’re not exactly ready to make over the rest of the island yet because, technically, it would be smarter to replace the countertop first). #ButHey #AtLeastIDidn’tPrematurelyStartTearingApartAWallAgain ;-)

Gabardine by Martha Stewart at Home Depot | Rosemary by Sherwin Williams

And of course, I had to try out a few other samples too:

Gabardine | Grays Harbor | Dutch Tile Blue | Classic French Gray | Gallery Green | Needlepoint Navy | Rosemary

Visitors you’ve been warned, the back side of our kitchen island is reeeeally colorful right now- LOL! :-D

I laid some of my favorite countertop/backsplash tile samples on the counter above each paint sample- just to get a feel for how each color would look in the future:

Grays Harbor | Rosemary

I kind of keep flip-flopping from minute to minute, but as of this minute, and out of these colors, I *think* I’m leaning Rosemary, and Kevin’s *thinks* he’s leaning Gray’s Harbor.


Rosemary by Sherwin Williams

Gray’s Harbor:

Grays Harbor by Sherwin Williams

Do you have a favorite?

I’m sort of leaning Gray’s Harbor right now. ;-)

Keep in mind, we’d like to paint the cabinets on the other side of the kitchen Simply White. Here’s a link to post that shows how our kitchen is set up, if you’d like to take a gander: Our Kitchen.

I’m thinking once we choose a color, I’ll just go ahead and paint that one color on top of all of those other colors and we’ll just live with a two-toned island for a while.

Hey! It’s better than an 8-toned island, right?

Like I said, I blame Erika’s Instagram feed. ;-)

PS- Just in case anybody’s curious: the countertop sample is Frosty Carrina by Caesarstone, and the backsplash tile is available at Home Depot.

…and for more pics between posts, join me over on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram!

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  1. Melissa says

    Rosemary! Gray Harbor seems expected…sort of a safer choice too. If anyone can pull off greenish kitchen cabinets its you two!

  2. Pam says

    I am thinking the gray as well… It just looks “cleaner” next to the tile and I love the way the knob looks with it.

  3. jen says

    I think Rosemary is the more unexpected pick. So if you want to do something like that, I’d go with Rosemary. I personally like Gray’s Harbor better but more so because I love gray and I tend to play it safe when painting. But! You are only painting the island so that’s less of an investment.

    Not to muddy the waters for you but have you ever used SW’s Silvermist. I have it in my kitchen and I LOVE it. It’s a perfect blue-green-gray.

  4. Megan says

    I like Rosemary, but my opinion keeps switching. I’m sure whatever you decide to do will be gorgeous, though!

  5. Donna Doble-Brown says

    Layla, THANKS for making me laugh with you posts! You guys are too adorable! I LOVE the gray! Actually truth me told they are both lovely colors and I’m sure you’d make them both look FANTASTIC!
    And let’s say a whoohoooo to good news around the corner for sweet P . . . . . :). Stay well . . .c

  6. Nancy says

    I like the Gray Harbor…the Rosemary is nice, but in the picture, it seems to have more of a green hue. Anyway, happy deciding!

  7. says

    You always manage to surprise me with your color sense! I would never have thought about going that dark again with cabinetry, considering I lived through the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s….well you know…..and I have managed to get all my dark painted stuff repainted with lighter, brighter colors. Then….here you go….my color and all things lovely hero….trying out darker, richer colors. I love them again! My vote is for the other color that’s not rosemary. I’m really, truly over green.

    But you might talk me into it again. I heart you.

    Mz V

  8. Sandy A says

    Rosemary! Both, well really all the colors are beautiful–but I am with you on the Rosemary. Gray’s Harbor is so expected, and I love the idea of choosing something more my own. The Rosemary is a tone that will coordinate with many other colors–go for it!! Can’t wait to see what you do…

  9. Kim says

    Oh how fun! Gotta say I wish your kitchen redo was further up the list because I’m looking for inspiration and you guys do such a great job! I like them all, honestly. You won’t go wrong either way! Good luck and have fun with it!

  10. Alice says

    I vote for Gray’s Harbor. And I love the backsplash! I’ve got the same sample of backsplash laying in our kitchen . It is just beautiful in person. I always love your decorating taste.

  11. Christy Keyton says

    I LOVE the Rosemary! Of course, it is my favorite herb, so anything that hints of it (color, smell, etc) I just love. I have six bushes in my front yard urns alone!

  12. Linda says

    Both are beautiful, but I LOVE the Rosemary and I’m trying to figure out where I can paint that color in my home!

  13. Ellie says

    I definitely liked Rosemary until the last two pictures, and it might have been the lighting, but then I preferred Gray’s Harbor. Sorry, I guess I’m no help at all…..but I know that whatever you choose it will be spectacular!

  14. Angie B. says

    You can’t go wrong with either color, but I’m in love with the Rosemary. I think the greenish hue brings a little more life into the room than the grey harbor. But I have not doubt that whatever you pick, you will make it look fabulous!

  15. says

    I am loving Gray’s Harbor but at the same time Rosemary is so unique! If you are looking to stand out and be different I would pick Rosemary 100%!

  16. Carole says

    Rosemary has more vitality and is richer. While Gray’s Harbor is also a statement, it’s almost too neutral, a bit boring. The black hardware gives a perky punch to the Rosemary. Think I’ll paint a feature wall with the Rosemary. A tone close to Rosemary is my accent color. It’s amazing how many colors complement it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Rae says

      I agree. I liked Rosemary until I saw the last pic. It looks very 90’s/forest green in that shot. So my vote is for Grays Harbor

  17. Jude-Mom says

    I think you painted OUR cabinets something close to Rosemary, and we still love them!

    love ya’!

  18. Angie W says

    Definitely, hands down Rosemary!!!! I need to mark this down for when I want to redo my cabinets.

  19. Penny says

    I prefer the Gray’s Harbor. I have simply white in our home and love it.

    Best of luck with your choice Layla &(Kevin)

    I’m sure it will be wonderful either way.


  20. Michelle Wright says

    Wow! what a decision. Both would look awesome but I think I like the rosemary a bit more.

  21. Lindy says

    If you have doubts, maybe you haven’t found the right color yet. Unfortunately, there are only about two million plus other choices. But you will make the right decision- so far you have.

  22. Raylan says

    Love the Gray’s Harbor, especially if you’re keeping the rug in there. (Is that the PB Kate rug?)

  23. says

    OK That baby peeking out of the doorway is the Cutest!!!
    Both colors are great! I guess you have to decide if you want green or blue in your kitchen, Good Luck! Can’t wait to see what you choose.

  24. says

    I really love the Rosemary, but I’m thinking the Gray’s Harbor will blend with the Gray Owl on your walls better…hard to tell in pictures instead of person, but I know you have a good eye for color and detail and whatever you choose will end up being perfect. And, it’s just paint, right? :) Can’t wait to see the final results.

  25. Lynelle says

    It seems you tend toward cooler tones, but the warmer Rosemary may help keep things from looking too ‘cool’. But then again, the Gray Harbor would compliment your hex tile nicely… I like them both :)

  26. Elizabeth says

    I like the Grey’s Harbor with your tile and counter choice. I think the Rosemary is quite pretty but may feel dated after awhile whereas the grey sort of reads as a neutral to me.

  27. MimiG says

    The Rosemary is beautiful. I think you would walk into many kitchens and see a color close to Gray’s Harbor, but Rosemary is more unique. And, I must confess, as one that works in a gray building, I have NOT jumped on the gray bandwagon. Even though many shadings, too institutional for me. With all the beautiful scenery outside your home, the Rosemary will look stunning from the outside looking in. More of an earth shade. And, I really like the tile and backsplash with it.

  28. hello haha narf says

    totally in love with that rosemary! bet it would rock in your kitchen.
    i love your “fly by the seat of your pants” attitude when it comes to the house.

  29. says

    Hi Layla, I’m with you – I love the Rosemary!

    We recently painted our bathroom cabinets with SW Pewter Green – the swatch looks a little more gray, but in person it’s pretty close to Rosemary – and I’m obsessed! I know you’re supposed to be narrowing down your paint choices, not adding to them, but you ‘ought to pick up a swatch for Pewter Green. A little gray, a little green – so you and Kevin can both get what you want!

  30. Karen says

    I like Rosemary, but I like all the rooms you do so whatever you choose will be beautiful. I follow Erika on Instagram too. She’s amazing!!

  31. says

    I like the Rosemary more just because I think the Gray’s harbor is a little too dark. Both are lovely so either choice will be great though. One great thing about paint – it can always be changed. BTW…That Erica Powell has a pretty fab kitchen and some gorgeous transoms.

  32. says

    Ooh, how fun! You can’t go wrong here. The rosemary will be a little lighter and brighter. The gray harbor is a bit more neutral. What accent colors are you thinking of for the space? Maybe see which ones look best.

  33. Christi Conard says

    I like the Rosemary, but I say whoever spends the most time in the kitchen gets the last word!

  34. says

    Oooh, I like the gray harbor best. I have a not-so-secret love affair with all kitchens that are gray and white. Unfortunately, mine is contractor grade brown with brown speckle granite:( It makes me sad every time I look at it. Thanks for keeping me inspired. Gray Harbor all the way:)

  35. Sarita says

    As my son,Colby, says( he manages a paint store in Medford Oregon), it’s only mud! Paint it and you can always re paint if you need to! To me both colors are nice. Considered a different hue? Lighter hue of blue? Light hue of green? Can’t wait to see what you pick..

  36. Joan says

    I would pick a sage green. A little less green than Rosemary and picks up the grey in the Gray’s Harbor

  37. nancy says

    Gray’s Harbour only because I’ve had green for 15 years and I’m tired of it. Which has absolutely nothing to do with you or your home!

  38. says

    I’m gonna have to say Rosemary! Gray Harbor is great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like you’d always ask “WHAT IF we had gone for the Rosemary.” ;)

  39. Lee Ann says

    Rosemary! “There’s rosemary for remembrance; pray, you love, remember …” (or some semblance of that … long time since my Shakespeare classes!)

  40. Susan West says

    I think the Rosemary is perfect!!! Maybe you could use one in the kitchen and find a place for the other one somewhere else! :)

  41. Laure Gill says

    I like Rosemary, its looks more like the vision from your “one room , three ways” . Love it!

  42. Sherrie says

    I was leaning to Rosemary… Even before you said you were. But after seeing it with the door pulls I like Gray Harbor better. Hopefully, you decide soon so we can see some more “After” shots. No pressure. ;)

  43. [email protected] says

    I just painted our lower cabinets BM Statton Blue and it’s the most gorgeous color ever!

  44. Leslie says

    Go with the Rosemary, it reminds me of the outdoors. Besides, everyone has a gray/blue tone to their home. You need to be different.

  45. says

    I have that same “problem” every time I look at Erika’s pics, haha! I absolutely love her work and every time I see something new I get a new idea– it’s so fun!

    Tough choice between the two, but I’m leaning toward Gray’s Harbor, too.

    Can’t wait to see what you choose!!

  46. Emily says

    I like both colors, but I’m just stoked to see another sweet Sloane out there. My 16 month old daughter is a Sloane :) Once I saw the name paint colors became fuzzy to me – ha!

  47. Kathy says

    I selected Grays Harbor even before I saw your choice. I love the color AND live in Washington State where we have a County with just that time :)

  48. susan says

    Greys Harbour! it can be a neutral grey when you want, or you can bring out that blue too….accent with yellow flowers and accessories…so fresh in spring and summer.

  49. shawna johnson says

    Im thinking gray’s harbor compliments your wall color better in adjoining room. curious if the rosemary looks good with gray owl? In your picture, the wall color looks a bit off with the rosemary painted cabinet. Does it in person? Wondering where I can use rosemary in my house!

  50. Maria from Oz says

    The Rosemary has a subtle warmth in the green tone about it. Gray’s Harbor has a coolness, with the blue tone. So really depends on what else you are putting in the kitchen and what ‘feel’ you are after. Me, I like warm tones. I feel the Gray’s Harbor will be too dark once you get it all on there. Depends on the light too, afternoon light can look so much different on paint than morning light. Flip a coin, I say! ;)

    • Layla says

      You must have missed the end of my post, Caroline- I was Team Kevin at that point, too- LOL! :-D I’m thinking about mixing the two greens tomorrow now though. Who knows, right? :-D

  51. says

    I LOVE Gray’s Harbor. Navy blue is the perfect blend of being a neutral and at the same time not. If that even makes sense. It’s like denim. It’ls definitely a color, but you can wear it with anything. I feel like you would have so many more decorating options when opting for blue over green.

  52. says

    If my computer screen is giving me honest to goodness colors, I like the Rosemary. I like the green undertones. It feels warmer to me. But, the Gray’s Harbor looks better with the hardware and counter color you selected.

  53. Jeni says

    I loved the rosemary until I saw the Gray’s Harbor…..I think I might tire of the rosemary but I could live with the Gray’s Harbor and easily change other colors around it.

  54. Laurie says

    The adorable baby peeking around the corner made my day!! : ) Both colors have charm, but I love gray’s harbor the best … it seems a bit crisper and cheerier for a kitchen. Love the countertop and backsplash!! Whatever you choose will be beautiful… you have impeccable taste : )

  55. Jenny Ballard says

    I love the Rosemary. On my monitor the Harbour Grey looks very blue.
    I am wondering why you want to change the bench tops. They seem to have a nice streak of grey and white in them, again on my monitor LOL With white on the back cupboards, and the grey on the kitchen island, your existing benches would look amazing. But then I can be a little too practical. I look for how to work with what I have instead of changing something that still fine. (sorry I’m being bold, assuming here that they are fine)

  56. says

    I’m leaning paint-them-all-different-colors!! I think it looks fun with the whole lot! :) What a neat little surprise that would be to walk behind the white island and be greeted by all those fun colors.

    • says

      Oh, woops! You meant the cabinets on the back wall of the kitchen would be painted white, not the other side of the island. Still… one of those colors on the whole island and then all different colors on the drawer fronts would be fun. :)

      • says

        OK, so looking back again… I’m not necessarily leaning toward Grey’s Harbor, but I’m leaning away from Rosemary. It’s a nice color, but it makes me think 90’s hunter green. Put some pine wood knobs on there, and you’re back in time. :) OK, I’m done hogging the comment section. Ha!

  57. jerri c. TN says

    Rosemary is the key spice to chicken noodle soup (which makes everyone feel better) …. so I’m thinking, it is the perfect ingredient for a beautiful kitchen island. I wonder what you would get if you mixed the two colors?

  58. Stacy says

    Rosemary caught my eye right away and I like it best of all the samples. Funny, because I’m not usually a green type person. But it’s a great color.

  59. Maryjane from Manitoba says

    Good morning Team Palmer!

    Lynelle took the words right out of my mouth (or mind), in that, you tend to pick cooler colours often so it’s nice to see an earth tone in the running (Rosemary).

    I agree with those who say everyone’s doing grey tones, go for something different. (rosemary)

    However I’m ready to dash out to a paint store thanks to Jen :) to locate Silvermist to see what that looks like.

    Honestly I was stunned to see you go with such a dark colour -either Rosemary or Gray’s Harbour- but I will also be waiting (somewhat im)patiently to see what you do go with.

    I was also admiring your kitchen rug and think both colours work with it.

    I think I’m in the Rosemary camp.

    On a slightly unrelated topic, did your interior-decorator-friend renovating the really old house ever get finished by her deadline? (Ashley I think her name is) I’d LOVE to see how it all turned out. All the additions and upgrades looked amazing. I’m totally curious to see the colours and such.

    Happy paint-picking!
    from Manitoba, Canada

  60. says

    I love the backsplash you picked out and also like the gray’s harbor. I can’t wait to see it all put together. I love painted cabinets, wish I could paint mine. Well not actually paint mine I just wish they were painted, ha ha.

  61. Marianne in Mo. says

    I love the Rosemary, it warms up the counter and tile choices. The Gray Harbor makes me think of colonial blue from the 70’s. Having said that, they both are nice with the rest of your home colors.

  62. Pamela says

    Why wait to paint. You might not change out the countertop for a while. Who knows once you paint the kitchen the way you want it you might even like your counter. You could also paint out your tile backsplash in simply white as well to give you that cleaner look you are craving without having to change it right away. The other change you could make inexpensively would be to remove the counter on the bar part and replace with butcher block

    • Layla says

      Well, considering our current countertop is a mixed array of mustard, rust, black, and metallic gold, I doubt we’ll like it after we paint the island- LOL! :-D We did get some exciting news about partnering up with a countertop company though, so maybe it won’t be too much longer before we can get to swappin’! :-D

  63. Stacy says

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I have to recommend you try just one more color: Benjamin Moore “Mountain Laurel”. We painted our kitchen cabinets this color and they are gorgeous. It is similar to the “Rosemary”. Check it out before you decide…:)

  64. Jennifer says

    I agree with you, I think the Gray’s Harbor is the way to go, and I think it will go with a lot more then some the other colors. But I would pick Rosemary second

  65. Kateri says

    Of the two, definitely Gray Harbor but I painted my son’s nursery Garbardine and I love, love it. Looks so different in my house than in your pictures. Looks closest to the last picture next to gray harbor… Everytime I feed my son, Lincoln, in his room I fall in love with the color all over again. I always think about painting our bathroom the same color. Is that weird to have a nursery and bathroom the same bold color!? Anything you pick will look great!

  66. says

    Lovely! Tough choice. Call me crazy, but I’d mix equal amounts (sample size, maybe 1/4 cup of each) of Gray’s Harbor & Rosemary and paint a sample board. Just for kicks ; )

  67. Lisa says

    Layla, I think both of those colors are beautiful, but I really like the Rosemary, and I think it just looks like you. (But really, you can’t go wrong with either one.)

    – Also wanted to send you some encouragement during your “waiting” process. We adopted our son from Japan. He was born 7 years ago and we knew about him from the day he was born. We expected to wait 3 months from the time we knew he was ours, but the US changed some procedures for immigrant Visa’s during that time, so we had to file a whole bunch of paperwork all over again, and basically start from square one. It wound up being a 6 month wait, which was so hard…I did plenty of flea-ing myself! Hang in there! Soon that sweet boy will be in your arms and this part will all be a memory. I love hearing about your process, and I often feel called to adopt again. I would do it in a heart beat!!!

    I found out I had cancer when our son was just 2 and a half, so I went through surgery and chemo, and am coming up on my 5 year mark in May. (Thanks to God!) We would have at least one more by now if not for that unplanned life event, but we are a very content family of three! Honestly, the BEST thing we ever did was travel half way around the world to bring our boy home! He is the light of our lives!!!

    I KNOW that you and Kevin will feel exactly the same, and I’m so excited for you to be parents to your little one! God knows what he is doing, and he makes perfect matches for these amazing kids and their parents!

    -My son has been asking lately why we chose him, and I always say, “We didn’t chose you, God chose for us to be your parents, and for you to be our boy, and we are the luckiest Mommy and Daddy in the world, because we have the BEST boy!” He usually ends this conversation with “I love you for my mom! You are the best mommy in the world! And I love that my Dad is my Dad too!”… With that, I am putty in his hands! ;-)

    I will have been praying for you all along the way, and will continue to do so! Good news is coming soon! Sorry about the long rambling comment, but I’m so excited for you!


  68. Sharon says

    I love the rosemary! Haven’t seen that color. Need to check it out for a sideboard project I’m planning. Thanks for sharing. :)

  69. Mary says

    I like them both too but each one has it’s own feel. The Gray’s Harbor has a cool “beachy” feel, while the Rosemary has a warm “country” feel. Both go with the rug too! I happen to like the Rosemary :)

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