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mismatched cabinets

Who says all your kitchen cabinets need to be exactly the same for your space to look great? It’s not a hard and fast rule, and you can even create a space that looks stunning by using mismatched cabinets. All you have to do is make sure you’re designing with mismatched cabinets in mind – leaning into the fact that you have different cabinet styles instead of trying to hide it. With the right additions, combinations, and accents, you can create an inviting and even trendy-looking space using almost any two (or three or four) different kinds of cabinets. Follow these tips for designing with mismatched cabinets to ensure your space looks great:

Use color strategically

You can use color in one of two ways. First, you can paint or stain all your cabinets to be the same. This option creates the illusion of having one cabinet style and make a kitchen look seamless even when there are mismatched cabinets. However, using the same color can also call attention to the differences between the details in cabinet styles, especially if the two styles are significantly different.

The second option it to call attention to the mismatched cabinets by painting each style a different color. Two-tone cabinetry is considered very stylish right now, and many homeowners actually seek out this style. Using a dark color on lower cabinets and a lighter color on the uppers makes a space feel bigger. Complementary color combinations are another great option, which include pairing blue with orange, red with green, or yellow with purple. Highlighting different cabinet styles with different colors turns mismatched cabinets into a bold design feature rather than a problem.

Get creative with hardware

Cabinet door hardware takes up a little bit of space but has a big impact on the overall look of your cabinets. Similar to above, you can use hardware to create similarities or contrasts between the different cabinet styles. The same style carried across all the doors and drawer fronts can make the overall kitchen design feel cohesive even if the cabinets clash. You could also do the opposite and use a unique style, shape, size, or color of hardware for each kind of cabinet. Some people want to accentuate the mismatched feel, in which case they use different hardware on each door/drawer or on every other one. Considering how many thousands of hardware options there are, you have endless ways to mix and match them with whatever cabinets you’re working with.

Draw the eye elsewhere

Sometimes the best strategy for designing with mismatched cabinets is to draw the eye away from the cabinets and towards something else. If the space allows, consider adding a china cabinet or hutch that could serve as the focal point of the room. A bold-looking backsplash or a dynamic light fixture can also take a lot of attention away from the cabinets. Even changing the wall color from something light and neutral to something bright and colorful can make the mismatched cabinets feel less obvious. Other ideas to consider include new curtains or window treatments, a new kitchen table, or even just a prominent centerpiece on that table. Remember, just because the cabinets take up a lot of space doesn’t mean they have to dominate the design.

Create cohesion

There are lots of ways to make mismatched cabinets look similar and therefore cohesive without making them look identical. One great example is installing beadboard (an easy-to-install covering with a clean, simple design) over the exposed sides of the cabinet. That way, even though the cabinets have a different style they share specific design features, creating a kitchen space that is full of dynamic complements and contrasts. Additional ways to create cohesion when designing with mismatched cabinets include giving all the cabinets the same distressed finish, using décor strategically, or lighting the space carefully. Your goal should always be to create a space that is stylish and coordinated overall – the cabinets are just one element within.

Add visual flair

Lots of people love the look of mismatched cabinets because they fit into a kind of funky, eclectic aesthetic that is a lot of fun to design with. When your cabinets don’t match, you can get away with a lot of other things that don’t match, including the floor, wall color, backsplash, or decorative elements. If this look appeals to you, accentuate it by filling the space with lots of visual flair. Open shelving or glass-fronted cabinets are great for this because they let you use your fine china and cool crockery as a design element. Other touches like a bowl full of fresh fruit, a vase of flowers, or brightly-colored images on the refrigerator can all add flair to the overall aesthetic of the space.

Design the kitchen of your dreams with The Door Stop

Designing with mismatched cabinets sounds like an exciting opportunity to some people and an annoying obstacle to others. If you fall into the second camp, we have good news – matching your cabinets is easier and more affordable than you expect! With custom-built cabinet doors, you can make one style of doors and drawer fronts match the others, or get a fresh style for all the cabinets. It’s up to you, and the possibilities are endless. Take some time to explore our inventory and learn about our easy ordering process. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to provide the answers.