Kitchens are the heart of the home, where families gather to cook, eat, and spend quality time together. With endless design options for cabinets, countertops, floors, and paint colors, creating your dream kitchen can be an exciting yet daunting process. The cabinetry sets the tone for the whole space, so choosing the right cabinet colors is crucial.

Whether you’re doing a full renovation or just swapping out cabinet fronts, mixing and matching cabinet colors creatively is an excellent way to add personality and dimension to your kitchen. Thoughtful color pairings and combinations tailored to your unique style can completely transform the look and feel of the room. From classic white kitchens to bold, daring hues, the possibilities are truly endless.

Here are 7 clever tips and tricks for mixing and matching cabinet colors to design a showstopping kitchen that will wow your guests:

1. Go Two-Tone for Definition

One of the most popular approaches to mixing cabinet colors is choosing one tone for the upper cabinets and a different color for the lowers. This two-tone technique creates clear definition between the cabinet sections, making the kitchen feel more styled and intentional.

Some gorgeous two-tone combinations include:

  • White uppers + navy blue lowers
  • Black uppers + wood grain lowers
  • Gray uppers + pastel lower cabinets
  • Wood cabinets on top + bright white lowers

Painting the upper and lower cabinets in contrasting hues adds striking visual interest while still keeping the overall palette cohesive. Anchor the kitchen with a neutral tile backsplash that ties the two cabinet colors together beautifully.

2. Emphasize an Architectural Focal Point

Strategically using color on one set of cabinets can call attention to specific architectural details or features in the kitchen. For example, making an elegant built-in breakfast nook or chic glass-front cabinets in a bold accent color refocuses the eye to those elements, creating an intentional focal point.

Some eye-catching ways to creatively employ color include:

  • Vibrant orange open shelving on one wall
  • Sherbet green on an extra-large island with seating
  • Metallic gold on glass-front cabinets displaying delicate china

Let one area command attention by painting those cabinets in a dramatic, saturated shade that contrasts with more subdued cabinet colors surrounding them.

3. Frame With Color for Definition

Framing cabinets in a different color than the rest of the cabinetry adds delineation and definition. For instance, painting just the outer vertical frame of floor cabinets in black while the center cabinets remain white visually separates each unit for a more custom, built-in look.

Some framing techniques to try:

  • Bright white cabinets with sky blue outer frames
  • Walnut cabinets framed with ebony staining
  • Shaker-style cabinets with brick red outer vertical frames

Thin framing strips in colors like crimson, turquoise, charcoal, and more infuse kitchens with hints of color while still keeping the main cabinet area light and airy. Sleek metal framing offers another option for a more modern, industrial vibe.

4. Mix Materials in Color Blocks

Incorporating multiple cabinet materials provides another opportunity to creatively block out color. For example, combine stained wood base cabinets with crisp white uppers or mix the textures of sleek lacquered cabinets with wood-toned units.

Some material combinations that color block beautifully include:

  • Blue-gray washed oak base cabinets + high-gloss white uppers
  • Matte black cabinets + hammered brass uppers
  • Walnut cabinetry on the bottom + matte white uppers

Creatively pairing stained, painted, and natural wood cabinets as color blocks ties everything together while still providing definition between the cabinet sections. Don’t be afraid to mix styles too for extra dimension, like combining shaker cabinets down below with modern, handle-free uppers.

5. Contrast Inner Shelves

Take your kitchen cabinets from monotonous to striking by painting or staining the inner shelves a different shade than the exterior cabinet frames. For example, charcoal cabinets outfitted with bright white shelves make everything stored on them really pop.

Some complementary color combinations for inner shelves:

  • Sage green cabinets with peach shelves
  • Navy blue cabinets with soft mint green shelves
  • Rich walnut staining on the frames with light oak shelves

Spending the extra effort staining or painting the interior shelves and drawer boxes amplifies the colors of items stored within. Plus, it creates a fun surprise inside when cabinet doors open.

6. Alternate Door Styles and Colors

Incorporating cabinets with different door styles in varying tones intersperses pops of contrast for a completely customized look. For instance, combine solid shaker-style doors painted a moody navy blue with lively orange glass-front upper cabinets to infuse personality.

Some ways to mix up cabinet door styles and colors:

  • Matte black raised panel doors on bottom with frosted glass uppers
  • Mid-century modern orange doors blended with classic white shaker cabinets
  • Alternate between rich espresso cabinets with ebony staining and natural wood lowers

Coordinating eclectic door styles with complementary finishes prevents the kitchen from falling flat. Visually divide a large bank of cabinets by changing up colors and textures as you move across.

7. Color Inside Drawers and Cabinets

Finally, don’t forget to elevate the interiors of cabinets and drawers with color for a fun surprise! Use vibrant drawer and cabinet interiors to neatly organize cooking utensils, pots and pans, or table linens.

Bright interior color ideas include:

  • Lining cabinets backs in cheery chartreuse
  • Turquoise drawer interiors to corrall messy craft supplies
  • Vibrant fuchsia shelves to store kids’ snacks and cups

Liven up the interior cabinets by lining them with removable wallpaper or contact paper featuring energetic patterns and prints. Paint the insides of frequently used drawers and cabinets in your statement color so they add a pop of color every time you open them.

Design Considerations When Mixing Cabinet Colors

Selecting two or more cabinet colors for your kitchen requires careful thought and coordination. Keep these design considerations in mind:

Complementary Color Scheme

The cabinet colors you choose should coordinate well together on the color wheel for visual harmony. Analogous shades like blue and green or contrasting hues like yellow and violet have natural vibrancy when paired.

Finish Types

Mix glossy and matte cabinet finishes thoughtfully. For example, temper reflective high-gloss cabinets with flat or eggshell paint finishes to prevent too much glare.


Cabinet colors look different in natural versus artificial lighting. Check swatches at various times of day and with lights on at night. Install lighting that enhances both hues.

Countertop Tones

Your countertop material should complement both cabinet colors. Quartz, granite, or solid surface materials with blended earth tones or small flecks typically coordinate well with two cabinet hues.

Flooring Choice

Select flooring like wood, tile, or high-quality vinyl that effectively balances and bridges your two cabinet color choices. Avoid competing textures and colors.

7 Timeless Two-Tone Cabinet Combinations

Two-tone kitchen cabinets never go out of style. Here are 7 go-with-anything pairings that will stand the test of time with any decor.

1. Navy Blue and White

Crisp white uppers grounded by rich navy blue lower cabinets elicits a nautical, timeless vibe. The versatile combination pairs well with stainless steel, granite, or butcher block countertops.

2. Charcoal Gray and Wood

Moody charcoal painted upper cabinets contrasted with stained wood lowers blends modern and natural elements for a broody yet welcoming aesthetic.

3. Black and Brass

Few colors complement each other as beautifully as smooth black paired with glimmering brass. The luxe combo feels distinctly glamorous and on-trend.

4. All White Kitchen

An all-white kitchen with cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes in varying white tones and textures embodies elegance. Soften the bright space with warm wood flooring.

5. Walnut and Marble

Rich walnut brown cabinets make a stunning counterpoint to pristine white marble countertops. The organic pairing provides a lovely rustic yet refined look.

6. Matte Black and Copper

Statement-making matte black cabinets give way to the soft warmth of copper fixtures and metallic backsplashes for perfect contrast.

7. Navy Blue and Brass

Jewel-toned navy blue cabinets get dressed up with shining brass hardware and light fixtures for a bold, dramatic combo that turns heads. The rich palette is ideal for traditional and modern spaces alike.

Creative Examples of Mixed Cabinetry

Need more inspiration for mixing kitchen cabinet colors? Here are 5 creative examples of colorful, unique cabinetry combinations from chic designers:

1. Midnight Blue Lowers and White Uppers

This moody kitchen features bold navy blue base cabinets combined with bright white uppers for an eye-catching two-tone look. Gold hardware ties the pairing together in glamorous style.

2. Black Perimeter Cabinets and Natural Wood Island

The dark, cozy perimeter of this kitchen contrasts beautifully with the massive natural wood island. Stainless steel appliances and hardware bridge the color blocks seamlessly.

3. Wood Lowers with Colorful Open Shelves

The sleek wood base cabinets allow the vibrant cyan open shelves and turquoise tile backsplash to take center stage in this fun, casual kitchen.

4. Alternating Matte Black and Walnut Cabinets

This unique kitchen cabinets alternates between matte black cabinets and rich walnut units for distinct definition across the space. The mixing creates modern dynamism.

5. Whimsical Mismatched Cabinets

Why choose one kitchen cabinet color when you can choose three…or five? This quirky kitchen features an array of cabinet colors and door styles for a completely customized, playful look.

Kitchen Confidential: 7 Ways to Mix and Match Cabinet Colors

Designing a kitchen with mixed cabinet colors can feel like uncharted territory. However, with careful planning and creative combinations, it can lead to a stunning, one-of-a-kind space unlike any other. Use these 7 expert tips for selecting and pairing cabinet colors to craft a beautiful, bespoke kitchen that reflects your own unique style and brings you joy. Be bold, daring, and unafraid to experiment with color to make your dream kitchen a reality.

When mixing cabinet colors, focus on choosing complementary hues tailored to your tastes. Frame cabinets in different colors or mix up materials, door styles, and finishes for extra dimension. And don’t forget to elevate the interiors of cabinets and drawers by painting or staining them in vibrant contrasting tones as well. With strategic two-tone pairings and creative details, your colorful mixed cabinetry will infuse your kitchen with artistic flair and plenty of personality for years to come.