Installing two-toned cabinets means combining two different colors of cabinetry, whether that be blocks of differently colored cabinets or treating individual cabinets with different tones. Using two-toned cabinets is not merely an indication of a split-mind about the design of your space. The trend is elevating kitchens across the country. Using the technique adds visual interest and can focus attention on particular areas of the room.
Painting the Town
Where you place each color depends on the effect you want to create in your kitchen. Common schemes include painting a kitchen island a different color than the rest of the cabinets, or painting the bottom and hanging cabinets in different hues. The way to choose is to decide how you want your cabinets to draw attention.
A Specific Focus
If you want to have a point of focus in your kitchen, that place is probably where you want to put the bolder of your two colors. A kitchen island is usually a safe choice because it is already in the center or the room. However, you might choose to frame an appliance, your fridge or your range, or to highlight a bank of cabinets along one wall.
Let in the Light
If your goal is to make your kitchen feel more open and spacious, your best bet is to paint your upper and lower cabinets in different colors. Avoid putting darker colors on upper cabinets unless you’ve chosen to feature them. Having dark cabinets at eye level or above can make a kitchen close in and feel cramped. On the other hand, bright cabinets above and darker below pull the eyes upward, creating the illusion of more space.
Color Me Mine
The color scheme you choose is entirely up to you. There are no set rules for using two-toned cabinets, but the effect produced is better when the colors used are complementary. As we’ll talk about below, you can also use a variety of materials (wood, metal, stone). To keep the kitchen from feeling hodgepodge, use the same hardware on all your cabinets.
Two-Toned Cabinet Schemes
Consider these ideas if you’re looking for blocks of color in your kitchen.
- White on wood. This two-toned cabinet design scheme pairs both color and texture. It is a subtle combination that yields a natural charm. Depending on the atmosphere you want to create in your kitchen, choose between warm- and cool-toned woods.
- Ivory and ebony. These two opposites make a clear impact on a room. They also leave a lot of flexibility to exchange out accent colors in the kitchen.
- Black and gold. Gold hardware is dramatic against black cabinetry, and cabinets in a bronze-toned paint or wood can be even more so.
- Pastels and pure white. White cabinets combined with others in soft shades, like a pale ashy blue or a blush, will lend an airy atmosphere to a kitchen.
- Snow and steel. If you have a lot of stainless steel appliances and hardware, you might use that to your advantage and have a bank of cabinets in steel as well. This will create cohesion in your space while simultaneously contrasting the rest of your white cabinets.
- Green and gold. You can pair green cabinets and gold hardware with white cabinets or even with cabinets in a complementary wood. Subtler greens like seafoam or sage make a kitchen feel calm, and deeper hues like moss or emerald make a bold statement.
- Jewel tones and icy white. Jewel-toned cabinets in an otherwise white kitchen certainly pop. Look into a royal blue, deep teal, or vibrant violet.
- Wood and steel. Combine wood and stainless steel for an unexpected combination. Depending on how it is done, this pairing can have an almost professional look.
- Monochromatic. Layering similar shades generally gives an air of subdued sophistication. Use darker shades of the same color, or even a darker stain.
These examples are for design plans in which individual cabinets sport multiple colors.
- Bold borders. For dramatic cabinets, try painting the frames in a dark color like navy or black while the doors remain white. This does not work as well for frameless cabinets.
- Quirky drawers. You may choose to select drawers of a different color or material than the rest of the cabinet frames. Drawers of stainless steel in white frames defy expectations.
- Inside and out. Having glass fronting on your cabinets will allow you to create even more interest if you give the interior of your upper cabinets a splash of color different from the cabinet frame. You can still do this without glass cabinet doors for a surprise of interest when cabinets are opened.
There is no need to be of two minds about your kitchen cabinets. Out of the Woods can help you decide which two-toned cabinet design scheme is best for you.