Pairing Countertops and Cabinets is the Secret to an Exquisite Kitchen
You’re ready. You’re finally ready to remodel your kitchen. There’s just one question: where do you start? For many homeowners, transforming their kitchen dreams into reality is harder than it originally seems. Even if you have a general idea of what you want your new kitchen to look like, there are plenty of hurdles to jump and decisions to make before you can nail down the details.
One particularly difficult part of any kitchen remodel is finding cabinets and countertops that complement each other.
Pick the aesthetic that works best for your home
It’s easy to walk into any cabinet or countertop showroom and start feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. Even a modest-sized store can have thousands of potential combinations. If you’re feeling decision fatigue, take a step back and picture what your dream kitchen looks like. Your vision for your kitchen may not have the specifics down yet, but you’re likely picturing something that conforms to one the prevalent styles found in American kitchens.
If you’ve ever watched a home remodeling TV show, you’ve no doubt heard these buzzwords: “farmhouse,” “contemporary,” and “classic.” This jargon refers to the general style and feeling evoked by a kitchen, and its cabinet and countertop choices play a big role in making that style work. Farmhouse kitchens are a nostalgic callback to the kitchens of yesteryear. They feature the warmth of natural wood colors and stone countertops. These kitchens often have “rustic” features, such as wood or copper pan holders, or butcher block countertop islands. And, of course, they have that oversized “farmhouse” style ceramic sink.
Yet, this kitchen style isn’t a great fit for every home. If your home otherwise features modern, contemporary furniture and decor, this kitchen will stick out like a sore thumb. When selecting a kitchen style, bear this in mind: it has to work with the pre-existing style and feel of your home.
There can only be one star in the show
All great design contains a single focal point: a place the eye is naturally drawn toward. In the kitchen, this ultimately means that you need to pick the statement piece: either your countertops or your cabinets, but not both. This is often where homeowners go wrong. Instead of choosing a focal point, they try to get the best-of-both-worlds and pair rich cabinets with luxurious, naturally veined granite. The end result, more times than not, is a mess. The styles clash and the eye doesn’t know where to go.
Instead, think of your cabinets and countertops as a tandem pair. Select which one should be the focal point ahead of time. For example, if you’re leaning toward dark, rich cabinets with wood veins and knots, consider pairing them with a white quartz countertop. Alternately, if you want the deep natural veins of a granite slab, think about how it might look with white or light grey cabinets.
Of course, pairing together cabinets and countertops means seeing them together in one place. Here’s our advice on how to best do that.
Try before you buy
When shopping for countertops and cabinets, always get sample pieces that you can take home with you. This is especially helpful if you’re buying your cabinets and countertops separately—you don’t want the first time you see them together to be when you’re having them installed! Put the same pieces in your kitchen and return to look at them throughout the day in different types of natural light.
Most stores tend to use bright showroom lighting, so you’ll want to make sure your kitchen choices aren’t too dark in your actual kitchen—especially if you’re opting for dark grey cabinets or a black quartz countertop. Also, if you’re planning on changing out your kitchen lighting as part of your remodel, consider the impact that, too, will have on your countertops. This is especially true if you plan on adding under-cabinet lighting or pendant lighting above your kitchen island.
Have a professional help you find the perfect match
If you’re getting stuck, now might be the right time to talk to a design professional and set up a consultation. An experienced home or kitchen remodeling expert has likely helped plan out and redesign dozens of kitchens just like yours. They’ll be able to work with your vision and help take it from a dream to a reality.
For even more tips on pairing together countertops and cabinets, check out this helpful infographic:
Written by Guest Blogger Samantha Johnson