Trend Alert: Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets
Timeless and the perfect compromise between all-white and color-saturated kitchens, two-tone kitchens allow homeowners to dabble in color without going all in. Here’s how to make this eye-catching style work in your home.
1. Balance is Key
The color balance in your space is especially important when choosing a two-tone cabinet combination. For help, look to a few design tricks such as avoiding two completely different colors (green and blue) and instead varying the tonality of a single color (light green and dark green). Use the darker hue on the lower cabinets and the lighter one on the upper cabinets.
If you do have your mind set on two distinct colors, think carefully about their lightness and brightness. Bold colors (like vibrant orange) require more visual energy and should be balanced with a more sedate, neutral hue.
2. Use Second Color as an Accent
For those uncertain about two-tone cabinets, a good way to dip your toe in the water is to try out some highlights rather than a true color balance. In other words, choose a small area like a short length of cabinetry and use it to try out the secondary color. Or paint the crown molding in a slightly dark tone to add a little extra something to a kitchen with high ceilings.
3. Consider a Contrasting Material
If choosing a second color is a bit overwhelming, consider picking a secondary material instead. Find one that complements the undertones of your primary color. For instance, white painted cabinets and blonde wood is a natural pairing that offers contrast but doesn’t go overboard on color. Another successful pairing is cool navy blue cabinets with a warmer, darker stained wood.
4. Make White Your Neutral
A design trick commonly used to ensure visual balance is the 60-30-10 rule. Simply choose a three-color palette — 60 percent is the dominant color, 30 percent is the secondary color, and 10 percent is the accent color. When applying this rule to kitchen cabinets, white makes an excellent choice in a mostly two-tone cabinet design scheme. Consider painting a few upper cabinets white for visual balance or to allow resting places for the eye.
5. Go By the Color Wheel
Choosing colors for your home is not an easy task — that’s why there are tons of resources devoted to it, including actual professionals. If you really want a two-tone kitchen cabinet layout but just don’t know how to choose the colors, try starting with a simple color wheel. Generally speaking, adjacent colors on the color wheel work well together, as do complementary colors (those across from one another). In addition, you could try pairing neutrals with similar undertones for a no-fail duo, such as a warm white and taupe gray.