Kitchen cabinets are the foundation of your kitchen design. With so many options to choose from, mixing and matching different cabinet door styles is a great way to create a custom look that reflects your personal taste. Here are some tips for successfully combining different cabinet door styles in your kitchen remodel.

The Benefits of Mixing Cabinet Styles

  • Creates visual interest – Combining styles prevents your kitchen from looking flat and monotonous. The contrast between door styles adds appealing dimension.
  • Allows you to customize – Mixing door styles lets you tailor different parts of your kitchen. You can choose a traditional style for upper cabinets and a modern style for lowers.
  • Express your personality – Eclectic kitchens with a blend of door styles feel personal and unique. Mixing styles that you love shows off your decorating sensibilities.
  • Adds architectural detail – Contrasting cabinetry designs add character and make the kitchen feel like it has distinct areas meant for different functions.
  • Provides design flexibility – Mixing styles means you aren’t locked into one look. Not every cabinet needs to match, so you can be creative.

Tips for Mixing Cabinet Styles

Create a sense of cohesion – While contrast in door styles looks interesting, you still want some common thread tying the look together. Use color, repeating hardware finishes, or another dominant design detail to make the mismatched cabinets feel cohesive.

Pair compatible styles – Choose door styles that coordinate well together in terms of formality and visual weight. For example, combine flat panel and raised panel doors rather than flat panel and ornate carved doors for a more cohesive look.

Transition smoothly between styles – When combining very different cabinet door styles, place transitional cabinets between them to bridge the gap. For instance, use shaker style doors between traditional and modern cabinets.

Balance door styles – Don’t go overboard mixing too many different door styles. Aim for no more than 3 complementary designs for a spacious kitchen. Smaller kitchens look best with just 1 or 2 door styles.

Consider finish and color – Pay attention to how the finishes and colors of mixed cabinetry work together. Contrasting painted cabinets with stained wood cabinets can look disjointed.

Mix door styles by kitchen area – Zone different cabinet designs around specific task areas in the kitchen. For example, use glass door cabinets near the dining area and solid doors near the cooktop.

Kitchen Areas to Mix and Match

Upper vs. Lower Cabinets

One of the most popular ways to mix kitchen cabinet styles is choosing one door design for uppers and a different style for lowers. You often see shaker style uppers paired with slab door lowers. The simple shaker cabinets don’t distract from the counter area while the eye-catching lower cabinets anchor the space.

Island vs. Perimeter

Use a showstopping island design that contrasts with more understated perimeter cabinets along the walls. For example, a painted or glass-front island makes a statement against tidy shaker perimeter cabinets.

Sink Area

Highlight the sink area with cabinet doors that have a different finish or color than surrounding cabinets. Textured doors like wire mesh glass work well in the sink area because they hide water spots.

Open Shelving vs. Doors

Incorporate open shelving in places like near the range hood or next to the refrigerator to break up banks of cabinet doors. The open shelves lend a lighter, airier feel.

Glazed vs. Painted vs. Stained

Varying cabinet finishes like glazed, painted, and stained cabinets prevent your kitchen from looking monotonous. Try glazed cabinets up top and stained lower cabinets. Or, do painted island cabinets with glazed perimeter cabinets.

Popular Cabinet Door Style Combinations

Modern Shaker + Traditional Raised Panel

The clean lines of simple shaker uppers look crisp against the classic elegance of lower raised panel cabinets. White shakers keep things light while dark stained raised panel doors add warmth.

Slab Door + Glass Front

Combine sleek slab cabinet doors with paned glass fronts like bifold glass doors. Contemporary slab doors on the perimeter balance out the visual weight of glass front cabinets used on the island.

Flat Panel + Beaded Inset

The streamlined look of flat panel cabinets plays well against the traditional charm of beaded inset cabinetry. Use beaded inset doors on the island or lower cabinets to create focal points.

Metal + Wood Material Mix

Mixing metal and wood cabinet materials creates appealing contrast. Try open shelving with a sleek metal frame combined with warm wood cabinets. Or, place metal-front cabinets in the sink area.

Frosted Glass + Solid Wood

Frosted glass doors paired with solid wood cabinetry meld modern and traditional kitchen style. Install glass door wall cabinets to keep things airy while lower solid wood cabinets anchor the space.

Mixing Cabinet Colors

Approach mixing cabinet colors similarly to mixing door styles. Look for 3 or less compatible colors that coordinate well. Popular color combinations include:

  • White perimeter cabinets + navy blue island
  • Black lower cabinets + light gray uppers
  • Neutral perimeter cabinets + deep green open shelving
  • Red island + natural wood cabinets
  • Yellow base cabinets + white uppers
  • Two-toned cabinets (ex: navy blue bottom + white top)

Mixing Cabinet Finishes

Beyond varying door styles and colors, you can mix and match cabinetry finishes for added contrast and visual texture.

  • Mix stained and painted cabinets
  • Combine glazed cabinets with natural wood or white cabinets
  • Try distressed cabinets with sleek lacquered cabinets

Design Principles for Mixing Cabinet Styles


Mixing complementary cabinet door designs creates appealing contrast that adds dynamism to kitchen design. Vary door style, material, color, finish, hardware, and more.


Repeat colors, materials, shapes, or other elements in mismatched cabinetry to tie the look together. For example, use the same hardware finish throughout.


Align cabinet doors by keeping things like the tops and bottoms of uppers consistent or installing lowers at the same height.


Make sure mismatched cabinet door sizes and styles feel properly proportioned and balanced within the kitchen’s footprint.


When combining different cabinetry styles, ensure they are in scale with the kitchen size. For example, ornate glass door cabinets could feel overwhelming in a small kitchen.

Natural Transitions

Transition smoothly from one cabinet door style to another using in-between cabinets. For instance, place recessed panel doors between shaker and inset cabinets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many cabinet door styles should you mix?

For a cohesive look, limit yourself to two or three complementary cabinet door styles. Be careful not to mix too many competing designs in a small space.

What cabinet styles mix well together?

Some popular combinations include mixing shaker with raised panel, modern with traditional, slab door with glass front, and wood stained with painted finishes.

Should I mix cabinet colors?

Yes, mixing two or three coordinated cabinet colors is a great way to add contrast. Limit colorful cabinets to key areas like the island to avoid looking too busy.

Should I mix cabinet finishes?

It can look very attractive to mix cabinet finishes like painted, stained, glazed, and more. Just be sure the finishes complement each other.

How do I mix styles cohesively?

Repeat colors, materials, hardware, or design elements like glass doors or open shelving to tie everything together. Also, place transitional cabinet styles in between highly contrasting ones.


The key to successfully mixing kitchen cabinet styles is choosing complementary designs and using repeating details to create harmony. Mix and match door styles, colors, materials, and finishes to design a custom, one-of-a-kind kitchen that expresses your personal taste and creativity. Pay attention to important design principles like scale, proportion, balance, and cohesive transitions when combining different cabinetry. Take risks with your cabinetry combinations and have fun designing a dream kitchen that amazes.