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Guide to Matching Cabinets & Countertops

After four decades of producing high-quality, custom-built cabinet doors, our team at CabinetDoors.com knows a thing or two about stylish-looking kitchens. Many homeowners, and even home designers, overlook the close relationship between kitchen cabinets and countertops. To put it simply, when the two elements work in harmony, it ties the entire space together and creates a foundation for the rest of the design.

When they don’t work together, though, the space never feels right, no matter how you design it. If you’re planning to install new kitchen cabinets, countertops, or both, it is vital to consult the do’s and don’ts of kitchen cabinets and countertop combinations so you can create a cohesive and appealing space.

The Do’s of Matching Kitchen Cabinets and Counters

Crafting the right kitchen design takes careful attention to detail, especially when pairing your cabinets and countertops. As you explore how to design your kitchen cabinets and counters, keep the following in mind.

1. Pick Complementary Colors

How do you pick colors that naturally complement one another? Just use a color wheel that you can find online. A color wheel arranges the most prominent colors in the visual spectrum into a logical order. Complementary colors sit across from each other on the wheel, so blue is on one side of the circle, and yellow is on the direct opposite side.

Contrasting colors sit next to each other, like green, yellow, and orange. The color wheel isn’t a perfect tool; you will still need to do some color research before making any final selection, but color wheels are very helpful for narrowing down what to consider for your cabinets and countertops.

2. Highlight Design Elements

The term “matching colors” implies that both colors are equal, but designers often use the color of the cabinets to accentuate an element of the countertops or vice versa. For example, let’s say you have white marble countertops with a subtle blue veining throughout. Putting blue kitchen cabinets above and below those countertops helps highlight the blue in the marble and create a contrast between the white.

These elements don’t “match” in the conventional sense, but they do work better together and help you achieve your ultimate goal – creating a kitchen that looks stylish and cohesive everywhere.

3. Sweat the Details

When trying to match kitchen cabinets and countertops, people tend to focus on color and materials. However, details like the cabinet hardware are important as well. In fact, cabinet door knobs or pulls can completely alter the essence of your kitchen. With literally tens of thousands of options to choose from, you might pick something that matches the countertops, or you might do just the opposite. 

In another scenario, maybe you go to great lengths to match your kitchen cabinets and countertops but have them surrounding a new fridge that clashes with the space. It’s easier than you think to match cabinets and countertops. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to throw the design off balance with just one misplaced detail. Still, the more planning and preparation you put in upfront, the better the result.

The Don’ts of Pairing Cabinets and Countertops

Matching design elements in your kitchen, like cabinets and countertops, can seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Many homeowners don’t recognize all of the potential they have when focusing on these two design elements. When looking to find the perfect cabinet and countertop combinations, you should avoid doing the following.

1. Don’t Limit Yourself to Neutral Colors

When you are worried about matching your cabinets and counters, it can be easy to try and play it safe, but you don’t need to use just neutral colors. With the right approach, it’s possible to match bright cabinets with bold countertops, as there are tons of combinations to choose from. However, you must choose carefully, with a keen sense of design. Otherwise, cabinets and countertops meant to match could clash with each other and with everything else in the room.

2. Don’t Focus Only on Design

When thinking about how to match kitchen cabinets and countertops, don’t let design or aesthetics be the only thing that guides you. Kitchens need to be functional as well as alluring, which involves lots of decisions beyond just selecting colors.

With kitchen cabinets, for instance, you also need to think about the durability of the wood you use and the kinds of hinges that make the doors swing open and close. In the end, these details are just as important as how the doors “look.” You’re welcome to obsess over your design as much as you like – just be sure to think about everything else too.

3. Don’t Stay Inside the Box

Sometimes, when looking to match cabinets and countertops, designers keep it simple and stick to just one color. However, upgrading a room with matching kitchen cabinets and countertops doesn’t mean they need to be the exact same color. Rather, it means the two elements complement one another, either by adhering to the same color family or by drawing a stark contrast between the two.

In fact, sometimes mismatched cabinets and other design elements provide an additional element of excitement in your design. That means your kitchen cabinets and countertops could both be different shades of white, or the kitchen cabinets could be white and the countertops black. Dark countertops with light cabinets are a great way to provide some contrast in the space while adding balance.

Design Ideas

You can probably tell by now that you have a ton of potential options in creating aesthetic cabinet and countertop combinations. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some excellent kitchen cabinets and countertops ideas:

  • Dark countertops with light cabinets: Mixing dark countertops with light cabinets helps to add an eye-catching contrast to your kitchen. For a brighter space, you can use white cabinets with black granite countertops, or for a warmer space, you can use lighter earth tones with black countertops.

  • Dark cabinets with light countertops: Another great option is to flip the first idea. Dark-colored cabinets with light countertops give you a bright but bold space. You can either stick to dark-stained wood for the cabinets, paint them black, or experiment with some shades of colors for a more contemporary look. Pair these cabinets with either white or light gray countertops.

  • Brown cabinets with white countertops: Brown cabinets with white countertops provide a simple but appealing look that works in any home. You can either stick to the natural shade of the wood or use a darker stain to pull off this look. This style works with both lighter and darker woods.

  • Quartz countertop with oak cabinets: Oak cabinetry is one of the most aesthetic wood types, with a beautiful natural grain. Using quartz countertops helps boost this aesthetic, as their natural details will complement the grain of the oak. The light color of the quartz also helps to mediate the darker grain of the oak.

Create the Perfect Cabinet and Countertop Combination at Cabinetdoors.com

If you want to refresh your kitchen with aesthetic cabinet and countertop combinations, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars replacing the boxes and doors. Instead, spend a fraction of that on replacing just the doors. At CabinetDoors.com, we provide custom-built replacement cabinet doors that make the whole cabinet look new, without breaking the bank and using all your precious time.

With dozens of styles, wood species, and finishing options, we make it easy and economical to upgrade your space with matching kitchen cabinets and countertops. Take some time to explore our extensive selection of cabinet doors and see all your options, and please contact us if you have questions along the way.

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