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Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

One of the hottest trends in kitchen design are two tone kitchen cabinets. The term two tone or multi colored kitchen cabinets refers to any kitchen that combines two different color cabinetry. And yes they are very in style at the moment.

Whether it be white or cream colored cabinets with a deep blue, forest green, rich brown, black or real wood island. This kitchen design trend is absolutely fantastic. Using different color cabinets opens up all sorts of exciting opportunities like bringing colors into the kitchen that wouldn’t ordinarily be used or being able to vary the style of your cabinetry. I’ve never seen anyone choose forest green or deep royal blue as their main kitchen cabinet color. But when it’s your island color and paired with white or cream shaker cabinets the look is fabulous. Traditionally, kitchens have always been designed with matching cabinetry. The cabinets on top are the same color as the ones on the bottom with a matching island. And all the hardware is matching too. However, the trend of using different color cabinets has thrown out that idea completely.

What’s especially refreshing for me is that with multiple colors comes the option of using different styles as well. Ever thought of using shaker style white cabinetry with a flat faced stained wood island. Traditionally it wouldn’t work but with this modern kitchen design trend it looks absolutely fabulous.

The Benefits Of Different Color Kitchen Cabinets

In the past, kitchen cabinets have typically matched and were the same style. The cabinets were sort of bland and didn’t really stand out. There were no bold colors or variations on the main design theme. If you wanted something unique or interesting in your kitchen it came from the paint, backsplash or even some colorful wallpaper. However, kitchen designers have realized that using two cabinet colors is a great way to make an impression by including bolder colors and variety into the design.

What makes two tone kitchen cabinets such a fabulous choice?

Good Looks

Two tone cabinets can add that extra punch you’ve been looking for in the kitchen while still sticking with the pale neutral color schemes everyone’s been going with lately. If you like lots of white and marble in your kitchen then where does the contrast and color come in. Sure you can add some plants or artwork to the room but you can do that with any design. Using a different colored island lets you bring in a much bolder, more vibrant color.

The design has some extra interest and creativity. It’s not something most people are used to seeing which is why different color kitchen cabinets makes such an impression.

Using a two tone cabinet design in your kitchen is a great way to elevate the space. Plus, it gives you the chance to vary the style too. Several clients use a shaker style top and bottom with a flat faced island. It looks great because the cabinets are multi colored otherwise I don’t think it would work as well.

Increase Resale Value

Two tone kitchen cabinets are a hot trend right now so using the style in your kitchen will attract a lot of attention. The look is more modern and it’s what’s in style at the moment. Buyers typically go see a lot of homes before they pick one so you want yours to stand out. This is a good way of doing that.

Make A Small Kitchen Feel Larger

Installing different color cabinets is a great way to make a small kitchen feel a little larger. They give the illusion of more space and added height similar to the effect of using large tiles in a small bathroom. Smart kitchen design isn’t always about square footage. A small kitchen can feel claustrophobic because or poor design or it can feel just the opposite. If you install white cabinets on top with dark cabinets below the eye is immediately drawn up. This gives the appearance that your kitchen has higher ceilings than it actually does.

Light colors on top with a dark bottom cabinet or island also makes your kitchen feel brighter since the windows in a kitchen are typically high. Bright rooms feel more open and inviting. The last thing you want is a dark and cramped feeling small kitchen.

Save Money

We’ve had a lot of clients save money over the years because they used two color kitchen cabinets. Being forced to buy all the same cabinets can lock you into an expensive order. But if you can buy your island separate and it can be a different style or color you can get a good deal. I see islands on sale all the time. The problem is that they generally don’t match the other cabinets. In the past this was a deal breaker but not any more.

If you’ve got white cabinets and want to replace your island but don;t want to eat the cost of replacing everything then just buy a new island. It doesn’t have to match the rest so you can shop around for a great deal.

The same is true of top and base cabinets. If you just want to replace one or the other and not everything then there are styles that can work. It’s a lot cheap to replace half your cabinets then all of them.

Tips for Choosing The Right Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re thinking about using different color kitchen cabinets then there are a few things you should keep in mind: 

1. Choose A Focal Point

The first thing you need to do when choosing your colors is to decide on your focal point. For example a lot of people are using white cabinets with a blue or green island. The island is the focal point. With white cabinets, a white backsplash and marble counters any color you use will really stand out. The island is a natural choice.

Another option is to choose some cabinets that are separate from the rest. If all your cabinets are connected this isn’t a great look. But if you have a kitchen that’s broken up it’s a nice look.

2. Choose Colors

Fining two colors that work well together along with everything else in the room isn’t easy. It’s hard enough to pick one cabinet color and now you’ll have to pick two. I recommend looking at other kitchens that are already done. Inspiration pictures are a great way to deign a home. We call it a look book. Below we’ll have a bunch of photos. Hopefully a few of them will inspire you to create something beautiful with your kitchen.

A bold splash of color can look fantastic in a kitchen. Especially with all the white and gray being used these days. But that’s not the only option. many people are using natural wood without any color at all as their second color. Any changes in color , texture or style can make a huge impact and creates lot’s of contrast.

Keep in mind that the lighter color you choose will generally be seen as the accent color. The louder colors always seem to draw all of the attention.

3. Use Darker Base Cabinets

One great option for using two tone kitchen cabinets is to use a dark base cabinet with a light colored top.

When your bottom cabinets are darker it helps add some definition, detail and contrast in the kitchen. Those things used to come from the backsplash and countertop. When people were using more colors and patterns in the kitchen it was much easier to define things. But these days everything tends to be white, gray or marble so the kitchen can look flat. When everything is so similar in value it makes it harder to create contrast. Don’t get me wrong, you can still do it but it’s harder to pull off.

When you use two different color cabinets that separation is very clear and you’ve got immediate contrast. Each part of the design, base, top, counter and backsplash can all stand out a little easier when everything in the room doesn’t match.

Pro Tip: Avoid putting the darker color cabinets on top unless your trying to create some sort of focal point or special feature. Having a lot of dark colors at eye level above lighter colors creates a strange effect. Designers have tried it and the results have never been that good.

4. Details Are Important

If you decide to go with multi color kitchen cabinets, it’s important to have an element that brings the two colors together.

In some designs this means using colors that are in some way related. Like a light wood paired with a dark wood. Or light and dark gray. Some relationship between the two is important. But what about when the top and base match but your using a completely different color island. That’s where hardware comes in.

Pro Tip: We always recommend that two tone kitchen cabinet designs include matching hardware throughout. It’s a great way to unify the kitchen. The problem is that you’ll have to find a hardware that matches both colors. It’s hard enough finding hardware to match with one color let alone two. But the results will be worth the extra effort.

We do sometimes use different hardware on small cabinetry. If you’ve got something away fro the main cabinets doing it’s own thing then you can play with the hardware a little. I like to play with an antique hutch now and then or something built in with a coffee or wine station and I’ll vary the hardware and cabinet color. It adds even more more design work but has always been worth it.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinet Gallery

Here’s a gallery filled with some of my favorite two tone kitchen cabinet designs of a variety of styles. Hopefully one or two will inspire you to create something beautiful in your own kitchen.

Beautiful kitchen with two tone white and gray cabinets. Marble quartz countertops with matching solid slab backsplash.

Beautiful kitchen with two tone white and gray cabinets. Marble quartz countertops with matching solid slab backsplash.

White & Gray Two Color Kitchen Cabinets

One of the most popular multi color kitchen cabinet combinations is white and gray. White cabinets are super popular right now and so is marble or quartz designed to look like marble. Using gray as a second cabinet color is a natural choice.

White shaker style cabinets with a medium gray island. Gray glass tile backsplash with marble quartz countertop.

White shaker style cabinets with a medium gray island. Gray glass tile backsplash with marble quartz countertop.

Here's another view of this beautiful kitchen. The two tone cabinet design adds contrast and keeps the kitchen from looking too pale.

Here’s another view of this beautiful kitchen. The two tone cabinet design adds contrast and keeps the kitchen from looking too pale.

White and gray multi color kitchen cabinets with white quartz counters, white subway tile backsplash and pale wood floors.

White and gray multi color kitchen cabinets with white quartz counters, white subway tile backsplash and pale wood floors.

T2o tone kitchen cabinet design with two islands. White shaker cabinets with a light gray island.

T2o tone kitchen cabinet design with two islands. White shaker cabinets with a light gray island.

This all white kitchen benefits a lot by including a second color island. If the island were white the room would look very flat.

This all white kitchen benefits a lot by including a second color island. If the island were white the room would look very flat. Dark gray is a nice choice.

White kitchen cabinets paired with a medium gray island. Matching pale gold hardware.

White kitchen cabinets paired with a medium gray island. Matching pale gold hardware.

This medium gray island is a nice choice along side the white shaker style cabinetry. two tone kitchen cabinets.

This medium gray island is a nice choice along side the white shaker style cabinetry. Some contrast and dark tones are nice in a kitchen this white.

Fabulous white and gray kitchen with two tone cabinet design. White and pale gray with matching gray faux wood floors, marble quartz countertops and a beautiful backsplash.

Fabulous white and gray kitchen with two tone cabinet design. White and pale gray with matching gray faux wood floors, marble quartz countertops and a beautiful backsplash.

Country style white and gray kitchen with white cabinetry and dark gray island. Marble countertops with matching backsplash. medium brown wood floors.

Country style white and gray kitchen with white cabinetry and dark gray island. Marble countertops with matching backsplash. These medium brown wood floors are a nice choice with the rooms color scheme. Brown and dark gray look really good together.

medium gray shaker style cabinets with a white island. Dark brown hardwood floors.

Here’s a spin on the white and gray two tone kitchen cabinet design. Medium gray cabinets with a white island on top of rich brown hardwood floors. Personally I like the white cabinets with gray island batter but this looks great too.

Country style kitchen featuring olive green cabinets paired with a stained dark brown island, warm stone backsplash, medium hardwood floors and granite counters.

Country style kitchen featuring olive green cabinets paired with a stained dark brown island, warm stone backsplash, medium hardwood floors and granite counters.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets Using Green

One of the best things about using two different colored cabinets in your kitchen is that it brings colors into the design that you wouldn’t ordinarily see. Green being one of them. We don’t see much green all by itself. But when you pair it with white or wood it’s a fantastic choice.

Two tone kitchen cabinets featuring green uppers and lowers with a white island.Black hardware, marble counters and a white subway tile backsplash.

Two tone kitchen cabinets featuring green uppers and lowers with a white island.Black hardware, marble counters and a white subway tile backsplash. The two tone cabinets, subway tile and black frame windows gives this kitchen a modern feel.

Two tone kitchen cabinets featuring white shaker style uppers and lowers with a royal blue island.

Two tone kitchen cabinets featuring white shaker style uppers and lowers with a royal blue island.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets Using Blue

I’ve always like using blue somewhere in my kitchen but it’s really hard to work in these days. Everything been so white and gray for so long I have to try really hard to squeeze in blue. Some art or maybe a pot here and there is just about all I can think of. Some range manufacturers make blue knobs but clients always want black, silver or Wolf’s iconic red. However now that people are using two kitchen cabinet colors it’s much easier to use blue.

Another thing I love about blue is how great it looks with gold. The old fashioned yellow gold of the 80’s is definitely out. But newer shades of warm golds that are using more brown is a fantastic hardware color that I try to use a lot.

Bright blue island with white shaker style cabinets. Two kitchen cabinet colors brought together by matching marble countertops and gold hardware.

Bright blue island with white shaker style cabinets. Two kitchen cabinet colors brought together by matching marble countertops and gold hardware.

 

Gray blue island with white shaker style cabinetry. Muted gray faux wood floors.

Gray blue island with white shaker style cabinetry. Muted gray faux wood floors.

Two tone kitchen cabinets featuring white shaker style uppers and lowers with a dark blue island.

Two tone kitchen cabinets featuring white shaker style uppers and lowers with a dark blue island.

Multi color kitchen cabinets featuring a combination of white cabinets with a deep blue island. Pale hardwood floors, gold hardware and stainless steel appliances.

Multi color kitchen cabinets featuring a combination of white cabinets with a deep blue island. Pale hardwood floors, gold hardware and stainless steel appliances.

Beautiful transitional style kitchen featuring two tone cabinets. White with a black island.

Beautiful transitional style kitchen featuring two tone cabinets. White with a black island.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets Using Black

Black is a stark color with a lot of emotion but it’s very hard to use in the kitchen. I’ve seen black cabinets used in a modern home once or twice but for me it was much too dark However when you have a two color cabinet design a black island goes beautifully with white cabinets. While I wouldn’t use them as the uppers and lowers, the island is a fantastic place to include black.

Black is also a great color for the current white and great theme. It obviously adds tons of contrast to whatever color you pair it with and doesn’t darken the room. In this kitchen it goes really well with the black frame windows and fireplace.

white kitchen cabinets with a black island. Matching black kitchen table.

White kitchen with white cabinets and a black island. Matching black table and chairs. What I really like about this kitchen is how the countertops are flipped. The white cabinets use a black granite while the black island uses a white marble. The effect is really cool.

Two toned kitchen cabinet design featuring white cabinets and a black island. Marble quartz countertops with matching solid slab backsplash.

Two toned kitchen cabinet design featuring white cabinets and a black island. Marble quartz countertops with matching solid slab backsplash.

Multi colored kitchen cabinets with white uppers and lowers and a dark brown island.

Multi colored kitchen cabinets with white uppers and lowers and a dark brown island.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets Using Brown

I’ve always loved brown. It’s got such a rich quality. The shade and tone have to be right though. I stay away from anything that has even a hint of red in it or gold. I like to use deep browns that are natural without a lot of undertones. When you pair brown with white or warm v=cream cabinets and marble the results can be fantastic.

Cream colored kitchen cabinets with a rich brown island and matching stools. Marble countertops.

Cream colored kitchen cabinets with a rich brown island and matching stools. Marble countertops.

Multi colored kitchen cabinets. White shaker with a dark brown island.

Multi colored kitchen cabinets. White shaker with a dark brown island.

Beautiful luxury kitchen featuring cream colored cabinets, marble counter and backsplash with a deep brown island.

Beautiful luxury kitchen featuring cream colored cabinets, marble counter and backsplash with a deep brown island.

Dark brown island with white cabinets.

Dark brown island with white cabinets.

Two tone kitchen cabinet colors. Warm cream paired with a natural dark brown island. Granite countertops. Country style kitchen.

Two tone kitchen cabinet colors. Warm cream paired with a natural dark brown island. Granite countertops. This country style kitchen looks beautiful with the multi colored cabinet design.

Modern flat faced cabinetry with a two color design. White with light golden brown.

Modern flat faced f=cabinetry with a two color design. White with light golden brown.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets Using A Wood Finish

Natural shapes of wood is a really nice finish for a two tone kitchen cabinet design. The lighter stains let that beautiful grain come through.

White cabinets with a light wood shiplap style island.

White cabinets with a light wood shiplap style island.

Ultra modern kitchen with a two color cabinet design. Light wood with black.

Ultra modern kitchen with a two color cabinet design. Light wood with black.

Contemporary kitchen with multi color cabinets. Medium golden brown with white.

Contemporary kitchen with multi color cabinets. Medium golden brown with white.

Modern kitchen with two cabinet colors. Medium brown wood with white.

Modern kitchen with two cabinet colors. Medium brown wood with white.

Conclusion: Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets

One of the hottest trends in kitchen design are two tone kitchen cabinets. The term two tone or multi colored kitchen cabinets refers to any kitchen that combines two different color cabinetry.

Whether it be white or cream colored cabinets with a deep blue, forest green, rich brown, black or real wood island. This kitchen design trend is absolutely fantastic. Using different color cabinets opens up all sorts of exciting opportunities like bringing colors into the kitchen that wouldn’t ordinarily be used or being able to vary the style of your cabinetry. I’ve never seen anyone choose forest green or deep royal blue as their main kitchen cabinet color. But when it’s your island color and paired with white or cream shaker cabinets the look is fabulous. Traditionally, kitchens have always been designed with matching cabinetry. The cabinets on top are the same color as the ones on the bottom with a matching island. And all the hardware is matching too. However, the trend of using different color cabinets has thrown out that idea completely.

What’s especially refreshing for me is that with multiple colors comes the option of using different styles as well. Ever thought of using shaker style white cabinetry with a flat faced stained wood island. Traditionally it wouldn’t work but with this modern kitchen design trend it looks absolutely fabulous.

I hope the information and pictures above give you inspiration for when you design your next kitchen. If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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