Kitchen Cabinet Colour Schemes & Finishes

One of the most important considerations of kitchen cabinets is appearance. The colour is the most rewarding aspect of a home improvement project, as it helps set the mood and atmosphere. Whether your kitchen is traditional, contemporary, country, etc. there are many colour schemes to choose from.

It can be a bit of a challenge to choose a finish that actually reflects your personality AND looks great in the kitchen. You might even feel overwhelmed with such a myriad of choices.

Here are a few tips and ideas on kitchen cabinet colours:

  • There’s no rule that says you have to stick with a single, solid colour. You can go with two-toned designs that are gaining in popularity. You can create a nice, cozy feel in the kitchen by selecting a darker tone for the top cabinets. On the other hand, you can make the space appear larger by “grounding” the bottom cabinets with a darker colour.
  • In addition to colours, you can contrast the finishes. An example of this would be a contemporary cabinet scheme in a dark brown shade contrasting with stainless steel cabinets either in their standard steel shade or in shades of deep blue or red.
  • The wood you choose for the design of the cabinet plays a role in colour, to some extent, although less costly woods can be stained to look like other finishes. If your budget allows for it, you might want to use natural mahogany, cherry, pine, or walnut for distinctive grain and colour. If you have a country kitchen, natural oak is a good, distinctive choice. Maple or ash would be a cheaper alternative if you are on a tight budget, as either can be stained to duplicate higher quality, darker woods.
  • If you’re after a bold, modern look, black cabinets are always a popular choice. Black and white are excellent choices for contrast; you can mix in some stainless steel varieties as well. For a clean and functional look, have white as the dominant colour. It won’t hurt to add some red for energy and drama.
  • For a country style kitchen, you can use any combination of the following: natural wood, pickled or bleached finishes, glass cabinet doors or open shelves, and mismatched colours.  White is the most popular colour for country kitchens. Make sure that the cabinets match other colours in the kitchen – especially the table and chairs.
  • For smaller kitchens, it’s best to keep the colour palette limited. As mentioned above, make the bottom cabinet darker if you are trying to achieve the two-tone look. One nice look for small kitchens is upper white cabinets with a pale blue wall.
  • Shades of violet have been all the rage in the last couple of years. Purple cabinets look great in eclectic kitchens. They make the kitchen appear visually rich and stunning.

The easiest way to get an idea of what kind of colours will look good in your kitchen is to use samples and look through design images. Save the designs and samples that you really like and talk to an interior designer to learn about your options.

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