A few days after ChatGPT came out, my hubs, aka Mr. Techie, and I were talking about the effects that ChatGPT would have on my color consulting business. His argument was that homeowners would no longer need to hire a color consultant because they would use ChatGPT instead.
I, on the other hand, argued that ChatGPT couldn’t replace my creative & artistic input becaue ChatGPT was computer generated. It wouldn’t take into consideration the undertones of their suggested colors comparing their suggestions to the fixed elements of the room like flooring color, furniture and cabinet color & undertones. It wouldn’t consider the direction of the room which it faces since this effects the amount of sunlight a room receives or does not receive. Also a very important consideration in a color consultation, is that ChatGPT would not be able to take into consideration the clients design style and needs of the family for their home. This is essential in a design consult.
ChatGPT vs. Color Consultant: Who Would Win?
So we set the challenge. We asked ChatGPT, what color should we paint kitchen cabinets. We asked a few days after ChatGPT came out. And again, a few weeks ago.
Three days after ChatGPT came out on the market:
Me: What color should I paint my kitchen cabinets?
- Medium gray (which I refers to as battleship gray.)
- Yellow as its a very cheery color for a kitchen.
I breathed a sigh of relief at these two color suggestions because, in my humble opinion, were ridiculous. My business was safe!
ChatGPT 1st Recommendation: Battleship Gray
Mid-toned gray, which has been nicknamed Battleship Gray or Gunmetal Gray by several paint companies, became popular in the early 2000s. It became a very popular color choice for kitchen cabinets pre-pandemic and also it dominated homes interiors & exteriors as well.
In my opinion, this color was overused and apparently alot of others thought so as well, since once the pandemic hit, we quickly moved away from the all gray monochromatic look that had dominated our homes for the past decade. It looked institutional in many cases, it didn’t feel warm and creative, and all our houses looked the same.
Mid-tone gray has not disappeared. It is still very popular, for exteriors and interiors. But you will often see a more softer warmer version of it as an accent walls or as a moody whole room color in a cozy office, bedroom or media room. It no longer dominated our whole house.
ChatGPT 2nd Recommendation: Light Yellow
The other color that ChatGPT suggested was a light yellow as it was warm and cheery. I actually had to agree with Chat on that one that a light or pale yellow IS warm and cheery but I’m not sure you would want that one color for your kitchen cabinets. It would be suitable for a country home or cottage, but not for a typical suburban family home.
Plus I couldn’t help but remember the comment in the back in my mind from one of my Instructors at design school who said never to paint a kitchen yellow as it can lead to martial discord lol. I’m not sure where she heard that from but its now stuck in my memory forever. In all seriousness, though, yellow IS a tricky color to pick for any room in your home. It feels nice & warm at first, but yellow can wear on you.
I usually suggest to clients who like yellow is to pick a cream paint color, cream is a pale yellow, and add yellow in the room through accessories like a piece of furniture, cushions or artwork where you could switch them up if you become tired of them. Personally, I would steer clients away from painting their kitchen cabinets a light yellow because of resale value down the road unless its a farmhouse or a cottage kitchen.
ChatGPT’s answer to the same question in August 2023:
I wanted to see how far ChatGPT had come along in its development since it first came out so I asked the same question, what would be a good color for my kitchen cabinets? I was actually surprised to see how far chat had come along. It gave me 3 options for my answer. Of course I chose the creative option only to be fair to Chat.
This time its recommendations were more accurate and not as far off as the first time when I asked so its getting better. It also quoted 3 big bloggers as their source giving them the credit, or the blame, for their color selection. But interestingly enough, one of the articles it quoted was 2021 kitchen design trends, two years old, which dated their recommendation.
Kitchens are typically the biggest expenditure in your house and its the room that can date your house the most over any other room in your home. So you never want to put a design trend that’s on its way out in a house regardless if you’re designing to stay in your home or renovating to sell.
Photo: Apartment Therapy
Me: What color should I paint my kitchen cabinets?
The two color recommendations for kitchen colors according to ChatGPT was, drumroll please, white kitchens. The first recommendation was a white kitchen with yellow undertones. I think yellow is Chat’s favorite color lol. The second recommendation was a white kitchen with pink undertones. Both reasons Chat gave for choosing these colors white with yellow and pink undertones was that these undertones were warmer than the cooler undertones. This is true, but there is alot more to picking a color than choosing it because it has warm undertones.
Ironically, pink kitchens are starting to trend for 2024 but I certainly would not recommend it for a typical family home. Pink kitchens are definitely a niche market! And not to kick Chat while it’s down, but the prediction for 2024 Kitchen Trends is that white kitchens are going out of style and being replaced by cream or greige kitchens! So Chat, what do you say about that?
ChatGPT vs. Color Consultant: Who won?
There are three main issues that I see for ChatGPT as a Color Consultant:
- Chat is recommending colors on what it thinks is the homeowner would like without any regard to the current undertones in the homeowners room like fixed elements such as cabinets, flooring, backsplash, furniture & accessories. It doesn’t take into consideration the lighting, natural or artificial lighting, which can have a huge impact on how a color looks into a room.
- Chat doesn’t take the client’s wants, family needs & their design style into consideration. Chat decides what it thinks the client wants. For example, a kitchen with warm undertones is not a typical look for a contemporary or modern kitchen. The paint color for this style is typically a color with cool undertones. Client’s need vary depending on their lifestyle, personal preference, the family demands of the home, budget, location of their home, just to name a few.
- Chat is not up to date with the current design trends. Keeping up with design trends is imperative in our profession.
In one house I staged, many years ago, it was the first and only time that a client complained about the furniture that was placed in the room because she didn’t like it. The problem was not the furniture, but that the painter picked a trending cool mid-gray color at the time, and it made the whole space look off against the traditional warm toned oak kitchen cabinets, warm oak flooring and the warm tones in the furniture. The room looked off because the wrong paint color was chosen. It didn’t co-ordinate with the undertones of the room. If he wanted to pick a gray, it should have been a warm gray or greige, or better yet, a cream or warm white would have been the best choice. (Never let your painter pick your paint color!)
I had a in-person color consult with a client this summer who picked Benjamin Moore HC-129 Coventry Gray for her kitchen cabinets (a few shades lighter than Battleship Gray) and wanted to run it by me before she spend thousands of dollars on getting her kitchen repainted. Great decision! We went through her color options taking into consideration her wall color, her gorgeous but expensive floor tile which was staying, and her beautiful black countertops which was also staying. We tried sampling a couple of different colors but decided Coventry Gray was the best choice. However, she was planning on painting all of her cupboards, upper & lower cabinets, BM Coventry Gray.
Taking into consideration the lighting in her space and her dominate long black countertops, we talked through various options of all gray cabinets vs. a combination of uppers in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and the lowers in BM Coventry Gray. She was thrilled with the outcome and was so happy that I suggested breaking up the color for more variety & interest which lighten the look of the room. Chat would not have been able to talk through the options with its client and its recommendation would have made the kitchen look very dark. Clients often need guidance through the process. That’s why they hire a Color Consultant in the first place!
So in my humble opinion, lol, I won the color challenge hands down! Chat, if you’re reading this, I’m open to a rematch if you’re up for it!
Need some color advise?
Choosing the right paint color the first time around can feel overwhelming. Especially choosing a paint color for your kitchen cabinet because there is much more to consider then picking a color you like.
I can help you with that with my online e-design services.
How does it work? Once I have received your payment, I will send you a questionnaire within 24 hours asking you a few questions about your kitchen, and show you how you need to take pictures that I will receive. Once I review your information, I will provide you with your personal consultation with 3 -5 business days with 2 – 3 paint color choices, plus a Samplize board for you to test the color, and DETAILED instructions on how to test your paint. Check out my online kitchen cabinet paint color consult here.
Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Color Consultant. Real Estate Investor.
I grew up looking at blue prints and helping my dad, an Engineer|General Contractor and owner of a Design|Build|Engineering firm pick out paint colors for his buildings.
In 2006, a Realtor asked me to stage a house. Staging was just becoming a thing so I watched every HGTV show I could to get knowledge. My first clients liked their newly staged home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price and stayed in their home. I went back to Design School and the rest is history. Since 2006, I have been helping busy homeowners, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, where they can live and enjoy their home.
In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently looking for my 10th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home a stunning retreat, how to choose the right paint color the first time around AND how to add value to your home! Read my full story including my design credentials here.