7 Design Ideas for Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

Feb 14th 2023

Not everything has to match. Although we often strive for harmony in our interior design strategy, contrast can also be a powerful tool for capturing the eye and providing a unique appearance to any space. The willingness to embrace contrast has made two-tone kitchen cabinets one of the most popular kitchen design trends right now.

When looking to incorporate a two-toned kitchen cabinet design in your home, you have many options to explore, so it always helps to start with some inspiration.

Excellent Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

There is no correct way to incorporate two-tone kitchen cabinets, and there are so many combinations you could create. With so many different concepts, your final decision depends completely on your personal preference and style. Still, if you are unsure how to incorporate that trendy two-tone cabinet look in your home, then these ideas provide some excellent ways to pull it off.

1. Utilize the Island

If you want a two-toned look but don’t want to commit to mismatching your entire cabinet setup, the kitchen island can be a valuable tool. Painting the kitchen cabinets of your island a different color from the rest is a slightly more subtle approach that still leaves an impression.

It’s also a safer move if you are on the fence about switching your kitchen cabinet colors, as the island is already separate from the other cabinets, so a different color seems fitting. Using the island for a pop of color in a kitchen of white or light grey cabinets is always a welcome move.

kitchen cabinets of your island a different color

Source: Raquel Langworthy Photography

2. Set a Dark Foundation

The most popular way to embrace mismatched cabinets for your kitchen is to use one color for the cabinets below the counter and use another color for the cabinets above it. A great way to execute this strategy is to use the darker color on the lower cabinets and brighter colors up top. Using lighter colors on the top cabinets helps the room appear brighter and more open.

Incorporating a top and bottom combination of white and dark grey two-tone kitchen cabinets is one popular example. However, you can use almost any color and incorporate a lighter shade on top with a darker shade on the bottom.

white and dark grey two-tone kitchen cabinets

Source: Lee Manning Photography

3. Start with White

Pretty much everything goes with the color white, so if you want two-tone cabinets, using white is an excellent place to start. Plus, it takes care of half the decision-making. The other benefit is that using white really helps your other color choice pop, especially if you use a vibrant color.

Two-tone blue and white kitchen cabinets are one of the most popular mismatched cabinet options right now, as using white lets the blue stand out. However, you have many options for your second color depending on the color theme of your home. Even natural wood works with white, which happens to make a great option for farmhouse two-tone kitchen cabinets.

Two-tone blue and white kitchen cabinets

Source: Heidi Caillier Design

4. Choose Complimentary Colors

If you ever took an art class in your school years, you may remember the color wheel that highlights which colors complement which. This wheel is a powerful tool and can help you decide what color combinations to use for your interior design. Using complementary colors for your two-toned cabinets helps to separate the cabinet colors without them appearing out of place.

Complementary pairs include blue and orange, yellow and violet, or pink and green, among several others. You can explore different shades of each color to find a combination that works well.

complementary colors for your two-toned cabinets

Source: Tessa Neudstadt

5. Embrace Contrast

Complimentary colors are a great option, but if you really want to lean into using two-tone cabinets, then contrasting colors can make the concept stand out. One of the best examples of contrasting two-tone cabinets is using white cabinets up top and black cabinets down below.

However, you can also use this strategy with combinations like blue and yellow or brown and green. The goal when using contrasting colors is to choose colors that can still work together but draw your eye to the contrast. A great way to embrace this method is to start by looking at trending colors and choosing a contrasting option from there.

two-tone cabinets with white cabinets up top and black cabinets down below

Source: Studio McGee

6. Go Natural

Another great way to contrast is by using natural wood with your painted cabinets. You might be surprised at all the ways you can use natural wood with colorful cabinets. For example, one working combination is using wood for the top cabinets and including painted cabinets down below, or vice versa. Blue and natural wood combinations often work well, but you can even embrace white or gray cabinets to contrast the natural appearance.

You can use natural wood in a variety of ways, like only leaving your island all-natural, using natural wood for just one section of the cabinets, or incorporating wood for one-half of your whole kitchen.

natural wood with your painted cabinets

Source: Meagan Larsen Photography

7. Change Up the Doors

For a unique two-toned look, you can leave all of your cabinets the same color, but then use a different color for the cabinet doors. The most interesting example of this is painting your cabinet boxes blue and then using textured, natural wood cabinet doors. However, this option provides a lot of room for experimenting.

Using black cabinet doors with white cabinet boxes or choosing complimentary neutral colors are excellent ways to provide a unique, contemporary look for your kitchen.

same color cabinet doors but different color cabinet

Source: Colleen Scott

Set the Foundation for your Two-Tone Cabinets

Two-tone cabinets are one of the hottest interior design trends right now, as they help provide a unique, fresh look for your kitchen. However, a great two-toned look starts with the right cabinet doors. At, we offer an expansive selection of cabinet door styles, wood species, and finishes so you can create the kitchen look that you have always wanted. Explore our complete selection of kitchen cabinet doors for yourself to get started.

Whether you prefer the convenience of painted cabinet doors or want a paint-grade option so you can paint them yourself, we can help. If you have any questions throughout the process, contact us—we are always happy to help before you order.

bring your vision to life with paint-grade cabinet doors

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