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Do's & Don'ts of Using Two-Toned Cabinets in Kitchen Design July 4, 2019

Rochester, Monroe
Do's & Don'ts of Using Two-Toned Cabinets in Kitchen Design, Rochester, New York

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so you want your new or remodeled space to look fabulous. The trending two-tone cabinet design, for example, is visually exciting, but there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when incorporating this style into your cooking and eating space.


Choose contrasting finishes or elements.

Two-tone cabinets pack a punch because of the contrast of colors or elements. Colors that are slightly too similar may look like you accidentally picked mismatched cabinets. For example, consider coral, a vibrant tone that’s perfect for cabinets paired with light wood shelves and accents. 

Pick a focal point.

If you aren’t ready to commit all your cabinets to a specific color, consider choosing a focal area, such as an island or stove. White paint on the bulk of your fixtures will offset a deeply hued island or cabinets surrounding the cooking area.

Use dark colors on bottom cabinets.

One way to play with the two-tone look is to use a dark color—think deep green, navy, or plum—on the bottom cabinets, while leaving the top units in white or neutral. Or, mix the darker color on the bottom with glass or laminate on the top. 


Combine hardware styles.

cabinetKitchen hardware, from handles to the paper towel holder, should be consistent in finish and style. Mixing brushed nickel with brass, or vintage with modern won’t give a cohesive look. Make sure hardware matches the overall style, such as cottage or modern, of woodwork and appliances.

Get too trendy.

Lime green and neon pink pop as accents, but a bank of lime green cabinets may feel like a bit much in five years. Also, consider how design colors work with the climate and environment you live in. A hot trend for Miami may not pack the same punch in Des Moines.

Mix wood finishes.

Nothing jars the eye more than a mix of wood finishes. Dark wood cabinetry won’t play well with a reddish island, and a blend of oak and pine in fixtures and cabinets just creates a visual jumble. Keep consistent with the types of wood you use and the color of the stain. If you want dark wood cabinets, use a light or neutral paint to maximize the two-tone look.


Two-tone kitchens are on trend and visually appealing when you follow the tips above. Arrow Kitchens & Bath in Webster, NY, offers new kitchen and bath installations or creative remodels, and they can do plumbing and electric, too. They have 50 years of design-build experience with everything from cabinets to countertops. Call (585) 670-9910 for an estimate or visit their gallery of finished work online.

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