For centuries homeowners have stuck with the design of having all the cabinets in the kitchen be the same color. While there is nothing wrong with this monochromatic look, there is a way to spice up your kitchen design and that is with a two-toned color design. This design trick is a great way to impart color into your kitchen, while visually enlarging the space and highlighting your kitchen’s strengths. The contrasting element makes for a striking visual that’s truly eye-catching.
Two Tone Kitchen Cabinet Designs
The two most common routes designers take when aiming for the two-toned kitchen look is contrasting upper and lower cabinets or contrasting the cabinets and the island. Contrasting the upper and lower cabinets is a great way to break up a boring kitchen, and, if done properly, it can even make the kitchen appear larger. Contrasting the island and cabinets is the more traditional of the two routes, but it too can have a massive visual impact on the space. A third level of contrast can be achieved by contrasting the uppers, lowers and the island.
Contrast can come in the form of color, finish and materials, though the latter isn’t as common. A popular color contrast is dark blue lower cabinets paired with white upper cabinets. A common finish contrast is painted cabinets with a stained island or natural wood island. You can also have a contrast in materials, like wooden cabinets paired with a stainless steel island.
How To Create a Two Tone Kitchen
Create a focal point. Every kitchen is different and what works in one kitchen won’t necessarily work in the next. If your kitchen features a row of cabinets around an appliance, such as a refrigerator or range, it may benefit from a contrasting color to highlight the architecture and create a focal point.
Contrast opposing sides. In galley kitchens where cabinets are on each side of the room, contrasting the two sides can prevent the tunnel-vision look, making the space feel larger.
Tips For Choosing Two Colors
When aiming to contrast colors, the rule of thumb is to stick with a darker color on the bottom and a lighter option up top. Not only does this ground the lower cabinets and create a more airy look at the top, but it can also make the ceiling feel taller by drawing the eye upward. Additionally, bottom cabinets tend to attract more dirt and scuff marks, so darker colors can help hide these unwanted markings. Colors should always be complementary, but shades can vary from subtler to stronger contrast.
Contrasting finishes is relatively easy when pairing elements such as white cabinets and a wood island, as these rarely clash. However, not all wood tones play nicely with all colors, and it may take some patience to figure out which will best complement one another. Wood is naturally warm and tends to pair more effortlessly with cool colors.
Benefits of Two-Toned Kitchens
Get your home market-ready. If you’re planning to put your home on the market, painting your cabinets in a two-toned fashion is a great way to catch the eye of buyers and potentially increase the value of your home.
Make your kitchen appear larger. Opting for two-toned kitchen cabinets nearly always makes a space look larger by adding visual dynamics that weren’t present before. Going light with your uppers and dark with your lowers will naturally draw the eye upward, creating an airy feel and increasing the way the space’s height is perceived. In a similar fashion, contrasting cabinets on opposite sides of the room will add visual separation to the space, making the room appear larger and less crowded.
Break away from the boring. As two-toned kitchens are becoming more and more popular, monotone kitchens are seeming more traditional and less appealing. While there is certainly still a place for this look, why not break away from the boring and go for something bold?