Mixing materials in kitchen design can create stunning, unique spaces that have lots of visual interest. This week we’re looking at two kitchens that showcase creative ways to blend different textures, colors, and materials. Integrating a variety of surfaces and finishes can result in a kitchen that really stands out.

The Importance of Mixed Materials in Kitchens

Using a mix of materials in a kitchen design brings several benefits:

  • It creates visual contrast and interest. Different textures, colors, and sheens keep the eyes moving around the space. This makes the kitchen feel vibrant and inviting.
  • It adds depth and dimension. Layering materials on vertical and horizontal surfaces makes the kitchen feel fuller and more spacious.
  • It allows you to highlight certain features. Mixing materials draws attention to particular aspects like a statement backsplash or island.
  • It reflects personal style. The blend of materials shows off the homeowner’s unique tastes and design aesthetic.
  • It develops a custom look. Thoughtful material mixing means no two kitchens will ever look exactly the same.

Factors to Consider When Mixing Materials

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when combining materials in a kitchen design:


The materials should coordinate and create a cohesive feeling. Using materials that clash can look disjointed. Stick to a color palette that flows nicely.


Aim for balanced contrast between the textures, sheens, and colors. Too much similarity looks monotonous while too much contrast appears chaotic.

Focal Points

Use material mixing to highlight important areas like the backsplash, island, or countertops. This creates natural visual focal points.


Consider how each material functions in the kitchen. Certain areas need durable, low-maintenance finishes. Mix in some drama without sacrificing function.


The lighting affects how different materials look. Dramatic light accentuates contrast while ambient lighting blends materials nicely. Plan lighting alongside material selection.

Modern Kitchen Mixing Concrete, Wood, and White Cabinets

This bold, contemporary kitchen mixes concrete, wood, and glossy white cabinets to striking effect. The blend of industrial and natural materials creates lively contrast.

Concrete Countertops

The polished concrete island countertop is the star of the show. The pale gray concrete has subtle movement and texture from the pouring process. This gives the kitchen a sleek, urban vibe.

Wood Flooring

Rich walnut flooring adds organic warmth and balances the cool concrete. The linear plank flooring emphasizes the kitchen’s clean lines. The wood’s natural grain provides visual interest.

White Lacquer Cabinets

Glossy white lacquer cabinets keep the aesthetic light and bright. Their reflective sheen contrasts nicely with the matte concrete island. The streamlined cabinetry complements the modern forms.

Textural Backsplash

A mosaic tile backsplash composed of glossy white, gray, and copper tiles packs in loads of texture. This dynamic focal point enlivens the wall behind the range. The colors pick up on the kitchen’s varied materials.

Thoughtful Lighting Plan

LED undercabinet lighting illuminates the counters while accent sconces shine dramatically on the backsplash. Overhead recessed can lights blend the materials softly. The lighting highlights each finish thoughtfully.

Tips for Recreating This Look

To recreate this striking blended kitchen, combine geometric cabinetry with dynamic countertops like concrete, quartzite or soapstone. Add organic elements like wood or bamboo flooring. Include a mosaic tile backsplash with glossy and matte tiles. Plan the lighting to spotlight key materials and finishes.

Farmhouse Kitchen Mixing Wood, Brick, and Tile

This warm, inviting farmhouse kitchen mixes reclaimed wood, exposed brick, and Moroccan cement tile backsplash to rustic effect. The material medley results in approachable charm.

Reclaimed Wood Accents

Reclaimed pine boards on the range hood and kitchen island add aged character. The wood’s distressed finish and visible knots bring organic appeal. The reclaimed wood’s smooth patina contrasts the surrounding textures.

Exposed Brick Wall

Letting the original interior brick masonry shine through grounds the space with historic charm. The matte terra cotta brick wall adds earthy texture and connects to the home’s past.

Moroccan Tile Backsplash

A vibrant Moroccan cement tile backsplash adorns the cooking zone. The handmade tiles feature traditional patterns and colors like sea green, navy and yellow. This dynamic focal point adds global flair.

Natural Stone Countertops

Honed soapstone counters have a soft gray color that allows the other materials to shine. The naturally heat-resistant stone complements the working kitchen. Its low-contrast veining adds subtle movement.

Black Metal Hardware

Matte black hardware, fixtures and accents unify the varied textures. Black window frames, cabinet handles and the butcher block island legs let the other finishes take the lead.

Tips for Recreating This Look

To recreate this rustic blended kitchen, expose original brick, wood beams or flooring. Include dynamic patterned tiles. Add reclaimed wood accents. Select muted countertops like soapstone or limestone. Use matte black metal accents throughout for cohesion. Embrace materials that show age and patina.

Key Takeaways on Mixing Materials in Kitchens

  • Contrasting and complementary textures create visual interest. Avoid too much similarity or clashing contrasts.
  • Layer materials thoughtfully on all surfaces – floors, walls, horizontal and vertical planes.
  • Highlight focal points like the backsplash by surrounding with compatible materials.
  • Ensure the material mix works functionally as well as aesthetically. Include durable, low-maintenance options.
  • Lighting affects how the varied finishes interact. Use illumination to spotlight or blend as needed.
  • Draw inspiration from the existing architecture and design influences. Rustic, modern and eclectic kitchens suit blended materials.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mixing Kitchen Materials

What are some good countertop materials to mix with wood cabinets?

Popular countertops to pair with wood cabinets include white marble, butcher block, soapstone, quartzite, and concrete. These natural materials complement the organic wood cabinets well.

Should I mix metal hardware finishes or stick to one?

For a cohesive look, stick to one core metal finish like brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze. You can mix in small pops of a secondary metal finish like black or brass for accents.

How many different tile materials should I use for the backsplash?

Limit backsplash tile materials to 3 for a coordinated look. For example, combine glossy subway, marble hexagon, and peeled stick tile. Bold patterns suit fewer tile types.

What flooring options work well with a blended kitchen aesthetic?

Natural stone, wide plank wood flooring, concrete and ceramic tile complement mixed kitchen materials. Avoid clashing with busy patterns or competing textures.

Should wall paint be a bold accent or neutral in a mixed material kitchen?

Paint walls in a neutral, low-contrast color like light gray, warm white or beige. This allows the bolder kitchen finishes to take the spotlight without competing.


Combining a thoughtful mix of countertops, cabinetry, flooring, backsplashes and hardware results in a kitchen with lots of personality. Contrasting and complementary textures add visual liveliness. Take inspiration from your favorite design eras and genres. Material mixing provides endless possibilities for creating a customized, one-of-a-kind kitchen that reflects your personal taste and lifestyle. Carefully balance materials that are both beautiful and highly functional. With an imaginative use of mixed finishes, your kitchen can be both striking and inviting.