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Two-Tone (and More!) Kitchens

The trend in kitchen design is undeniably the white kitchen—many homeowners love the fresh look and versatility of a kitchen with white cabinets. Countertop and tile options open up when pairing materials with a white kitchen. But many homeowners have told us they fear an all-white space will feel too cold.

A great way to warm up a white, painted cabinet layout is with a mix of cabinet finishes. Here are some ways to add visual interest as well as warm up your space with a two-tone kitchen.

Contrasting Island

An island is a perfect area to add contrast because it is already separated architecturally. A wood finish warms up the space and sets off this element of the kitchen, creating a natural focal point. Often, we use a contrasting countertop—even butcher block—as well as a furniture base on the island to make it feel more like a piece of furniture. These simple architectural details enhance the space and encourage people to gather at this “heart” of the kitchen.

contrasting kitchen island

Another option is simply switching paint finishes. Try a fresh, white cabinet at the island and a warmer tone at the perimeter of the kitchen.

Lighten Upper Cabinets

Choosing to change finishes on your upper cabinets is another way to add contrast and interest to a kitchen. Using a darker finish on the base cabinets grounds the space, while a lighter finish on the upper cabinets feels airy and open. Group tall items like the refrigerator, wall ovens, and double pantry cabinets together and finish with the darker cabinet color. These tall items will anchor the kitchen.

light colored upper cabinets

Mix It Up

Another way to incorporate two-toned kitchen cabinets into your home is by mixing materials. Pair a painted cabinet finish with a warm wood cabinet or sleek stainless steel cabinet front for amazing contrast and visual interest. In a recent project we actually did THREE different cabinet finishes!


Looking to warm up your kitchen? Contact us today.

By Jen Hinesman

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