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Is It Okay to Use Different Color Finishes in the Same Kitchen?

Tips and Tricks Kitchen Design and Style

Having a difficult time choosing between this cabinet finish and that one? Does one half of your partnership prefer stained wood while the other really loves the idea of white painted cabinets or a pop of color? Do you feel like a large kitchen wall will be too monotonous if all the cabinets are the same style or finish? 

If any of the above questions sound familiar, you're a prime cabinet for different finishes - or even different styles - in the same kitchen. Not only is it "okay," it's becoming increasingly common as a way to make sure everyone's styles and tastes are accounted for, to make the kitchen be more visually interesting and to keep things a little more flexible for future designs.


4 Ways To Use Different Finishes In Your Upcoming Kitchen Remodel

We think it's pretty smart to use different styles and finishes in your kitchen, as long as it's done well. Here are some examples of ways you can mix-and-match kitchen finishes while still maintaining a luxurious and cohesive aesthetic. Photos are all from our Kitchen Magic gallery.

  1. Make the island stand out. One of the simplest way to integrate a different color or finish is to make the island a little different, like in this Maples of Winter Island kitchen. This can be a great way to introduce painted cabinetry - especially if you want a more bold or trendy color. Repainting the kitchen island is easier and more affordable than repainting all of your kitchen cabinetry when tastes and styles change.

    You can also consider using a different countertop surface on the island, as long as it complements the perimeter countertops. We have seen how choosing a different cabinet finish or cabinet color can make the countertop on the island look completely different from the perimeter cabinets, due to the different colors the new finish "brings out."

    kitchen island
  2. Separate uppers from lowers. Another simple way to add interest without using separate colors or finishes is to use different cabinet door styles on upper and lower cabinets. For example, mixing a beautiful cathedral-style dooron the uppers and a more simple style on the lowers keeps things interesting, eases a bit of the cleaning/maintenance requirements and can also help to maintain a more transitional or traditional style.

    You can also use a separate paint color or finish on the uppers and lowers. In this case, we recommend paying careful attention to your backsplash design. The colors used there can help to bridge the gap between the different cabinet

  3. Finishes

    cathedral style top

4. Flank your appliances. Another popular way to mix finishes or styles is to flank appliances with something a little different. This is often done in the cabinets on either side of the oven, stovetop and hood. You can use a different cabinet color, a different door style - like doors with glass panels - or you can even go for a totally different finish altogether. If you have stainless steel appliances, you may like our laminate doors that are made to look like stainless steel.
5. Use a different style for corner cabinets. The Black Cherry Canterbury kitchen we designed used a single different door style for an upper-corner cabinet. That one change helps to open the room up a little more and keeps the dark wood finish from being overbearing. You can do the same thing using a lighter finish or a painted cabinet to help break up a large expanse of cabinets in your own kitchen.

  1. black cherry canterbury kitchen


Want to step outside the box a bit and use a mix of finishes or colors in your kitchen? Give Kitchen Magic a call.


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