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How to Pair Countertop Colors with Dark Cabinets

Countertops Cabinets Kitchen Design and Style

When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, many homeowners choose the color of their cabinets first—cabinet doors and exteriors do take up about 80% of the visible space in your kitchen, so that makes sense. While there are several color schemes that will be sure to enhance the look of a kitchen with dark cabinets, you’re probably wondering what hues will work best with your kitchen. Whether you have grand plans for your residence or you just want to spice it up just a bit, turn to a professional kitchen contractor and designer for guidance on whether to go for a contrasting look or a matching style.




There’s an argument to be made for choosing your countertop first, being that it tends to be one of the most expensive items in a kitchen remodel. However, there’s honestly no right-or-wrong way to go about that.


What countertop color goes well with dark

wood cabinets?


If you’ve chosen the color for your cabinets first, the next selection will likely be a coordinating countertop. There are thousands of countertop color choices, as well as hundreds of possible cabinet style and color combinations. With seemingly endless possibilities, some will find the process of selecting a combination exciting, while others may find it daunting. Not to worry! We are here to help.



Driftwood-stained maple cabinets paired with Brittanicca Warm quartz from the Cambria collections


We’ve already given you helpful advice on what countertop color looks best with white cabinets, as well as how to choose a countertop that compliments gray cabinets or that matches your cherry cabinetry. So, to continue with this series of helpful blogs, we're going to help you with pairing countertop colors with dark cabinet styles.


1. Go for a light-toned & appealing contrast

It is hard to go wrong when you pair your dark cabinets with lighter colored countertops. Whether your personal kitchen style is traditional or contemporary, contrasting your cabinets and countertops will work well with either kitchen design schemes. And, the lighter countertops will do a fabulous job of reflecting more light—helping to brighten up the room. The example below pairs dark Chocolate Pear cabinets with Butterfly Beige timeless granite countertops, balancing the light and dark tones quite nicely.


Dark Kitchen Cabinets with Butterfly Beige Granite Countertop
Chocolate Pear cabinets with countertops in Bellingham Cambria

2. Freshen up the scheme with crisp, bright whites

When looking for the perfect countertop for a modern dark cabinet kitchen, your ideal choice will be a bright white design, typically solid or with minimal movement. Below is another Chocolate Pear cabinet kitchen, this time much more modern with a Prestige Plain door and luxurious Cambria Quartz Weybourne countertops.


Dark Cabinets with Quartz Kitchen Countertop
Chocolate Pear cabinets with Cambria Quartz countertops in Weybourne

This pairing is actually very versatile and is not limited to modern designs. If you choose a white countertop for your traditional wood kitchen, it’s going to look great and have the same balancing quality we described for light and creamy countertops.

Download our FREE chart to compare the benefits of laminate, solid surface,  quartz and granite countertops at a glance.

3. Set a sophisticated tone with shades of cool gray

Gray is a popular choice in kitchens because it’s a classic, cool color that works with a wide variety of palettes. Cabinet shades that are closer to a medium hue pair especially well with gray countertops, like the example below. This photo by Cambria Surfaces features their Park Gate design, which blends shades of gray, brown and black together resulting in a stunning surface alongside the walnut cabinetry.



Suede Grey in Statesman style and countertops in Blanco Frost Granite


To pull off a gray-countertop-and-dark-cabinet pairing, think classic or transitional kitchen styles for a blended look—like the dark-stained Hard Maple cabinets in this kitchen paired with a gray high-quality Corian countertop in Silt.


Dark Cabinets with a Gray Corian Countertop
Chestnut-stained maple cabinets with Corian countertops in Silt

4. Choose gold for the perfect combination

Countertop colors with neutral base shades and golden variants look stunning when paired with darker colored cabinets. Golden shades look especially beautiful with espresso-colored cabinets. Let these colors truly shine by choosing a simple edge style for the countertops and plain styles for the cabinets and hardware. For instance, this kitchen features hard maple cabinets in espresso with a classic Shaker style and a granite countertop in one of our most popular colors, Santa Cecilia.


Dark Cabinets with Granite Countertop
Espresso-stained maple cabinets with granite countertops in Santa Cecelia

Although there are a few exceptions out there, for the most part dark cabinetry tends to pair best with neutral-toned countertops. If you stick with color palettes that are dominant in these color families, chances are you won't be disappointed with how they pair with your dark cabinetry.


Where in Lehigh Valley, PA, & the region

can I book a reliable kitchen contractor?


Want some expert advice to help you match kitchen countertops, cabinets and flooring colors? Kitchen Magic is a recognized family-owned company specializing in all aspects of kitchen design. Schedule a free in-home design consultation and our talented team of countertop installers will bring the showroom to you. That way, you can get the best advice and a same-day quote. We work hard to keep your family safe and comfortable during the renovation process. Give us a call and create a space that’s uniquely yours!

For more countertop and cabinet coordination advice, check out these related articles:

Kitchen Countertop Comparison Chart

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