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The Cabinet Center / Cabinets  / Pairing Color of your Cabinets and Countertops Guide
Guide to Pairing Your Cabinet Color

Pairing Color of your Cabinets and Countertops Guide

Few things are more important in the world of kitchen design than appropriately pairing the color of your kitchen cabinets with your kitchen’s countertops. You can have the biggest kitchen with the most storage and best appliances, but if the color of your cabinets don’t pair well with your countertops, what’s even the point of having the kitchen you have?

Fine, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, because the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in every home and is where we store, prepare, and often consume food – the fuel of life – it should be inviting, inspirational, and appealing to the eyes. Nothing is less inviting, inspirational, or appealing than when colors, patterns, and textures don’t pair or match. In fact, you’d achieve the opposite. That said, here’s a quick guide to pairing your cabinet color to your kitchen countertops:

Three is the Number

The standard practice in the world of kitchen design pairing is to settle on three colors. Two main colors and one accent color. Your first main color is that of your countertops. Your second main color is for your cabinets, and it’s best to use a simple color palette when pairing.

Your Countertops Have the (First) Say

It would be irresponsible to select a cabinet style and color without first having decided on the type of countertops you want for your kitchen. There’s more to consider when choosing countertops, such as material, pattern, texture, and color, and they’re often more expensive and more difficult to install or remodel than your cabinets. This is the kitchen design version of, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” The countertops came first. Once you’ve picked out your countertops, you can easily pair your cabinet color(s).

Get 24 Hours of Perspective

One thing that may not cross your mind, but is very important, is to get “24 hours” of perspective on how well your cabinet color and countertops pair. You may think or see that your pairing works, but have you evaluated the pairing in different types of lighting, perhaps similar to the lighting in your kitchen? Have you had a chance to evaluate the pairing in the morning, the afternoon, and/or the evening? 

Contrast or Complement?

The two main types of pairing, when it comes to the color of your cabinets and your countertops, are contrast and complementary. These two types of pairing are, obviously, opposite each other. Contrasting the color of your cabinets from your countertops is a choice that’s usually made when someone wants to create visual interests in a kitchen. “Contrast” doesn’t mean black and white, though! Think of how a finished, natural wood cabinet would pair with granite countertops.

Complementary pairing means exactly what it should, that the color of your cabinets and countertops are analogous or at least neutral combinations. For example, tan or beige cabinets paired with quartz countertops are complementary elements found in many modern kitchens.


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