The average adult spends 60 minutes per day in their kitchen prepping, cooking, or eating meals. That may be less time than previous generations ever did, but it’s still 365 hours (or more) a year we spend in our kitchens just making food! Not to mention, everyone knows when we have parties and family gatherings, everyone somehow ends up hanging out in the kitchen, no matter how small it may be.

  • This is why people want to make that kitchen feel as homey and stylized as the rest of the house.
  • The kitchen deserves to have a little panache, even if it’s just used to heat up your leftovers or used for making extravagant meals.
One way people are designing their kitchen to stand out is by playing around with two-tone cabinets. Your cabinets do more than just house plates, glassware, or snacks—they can also be the focal point of the entire room.

By utilizing two-toned colors in your kitchen, you can give the illusion that it’s bigger than it is or just create a beautiful color scheme that makes the kitchen feel fancier than when you bought it.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets to Inspire You

You may think you’re not cool enough for two-toned cabinets, but trust us when we say that’s not true. These trendy cabinets are completely attainable for any homeowner.

From re-painting or refacing old wood cabinets to installing dual materials, here are some of the most eye-catching ways to feature two-toned cabinets in your home’s kitchen.

1. Combine Natural Wood With Contrasting Colors

Chances are, the cabinets that came with your house are natural or composite wood. When it comes time to redo the kitchen, you may be thinking about how you can revamp the space with those wooden cabinets. You don’t immediately have to think about removing them or replacing them—instead, think about combining those wood cabinets with an accent color. This gives the kitchen just enough to look brand new without putting in so much work to restore all of the existing cabinets.

modern kitchen cabinets natural wood

2. White on Top, Dark on the Bottom

White cabinets are one way to give the illusion that your kitchen has much higher ceilings. This effect makes the room feel more open and bright and can elongate your cabinets, which is highly beneficial, especially in a small kitchen like a galley kitchen. Changing the lower cabinets’ color to a darker color really grounds that lower area and accentuates that tall illusion even more.

kitchen cabinets modern two toned cabinets

3. Just the Opposite: Go Dark on Top, White on the Bottom

Now, you can flip flop white and dark colors for a less common two-toned scheme to bring a unique take on the classic trend. Flip-flopping the dark to be on top, and white on bottom, still plays around with the size of the kitchen, but in a new way. In general, dual-tone cabinets help separate the top and bottom cabinets in a way that seemingly expands your kitchen.

beautiful large kitchen with dark grey cabinets

4. Try Similar Colors for a Subtle Dual-Tone

If you are looking to get some two-tone kitchen cabinets, the two colors do not need to be drastically different. Those afraid to commit to such a color scheme can get the same effect with two colors not far off from each other. It creates just enough separation that the kitchen feels even more open and dynamic than it did before. Don’t be afraid to play around with different colors that aren’t the norm.

similar two toned kitchen color options

5. Play Around With Shades: Light Blue Cabinets

In addition to the subtle color choices, you can also go a little outside of the box with the colors you choose. This can be risky if you choose a color so drastic it takes away from any cohesion of the space, but this powder blue color, for example, suits the space perfectly. Blue and white are trendy, but this lighter shade gives it a new spin.

Choose a color you like and go 3 to 5 shades lighter, and get some samples. You might be surprised that even a subtly different shade can still bring a wow factor and make your kitchen feel like a brand new space. Plus, lighter colors can add more light into a smaller kitchen without drowning it out with darker colors.

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6. Go Wild With Unorthodox Color Schemes

On the other end of the spectrum, pun intended, some people do enjoy a drastic shift. If your home’s aesthetic and your personal style call for some wild and bold colors—fully embrace it! However, a good rule of thumb is to continue choosing colors that contrast nicely together and won’t clash when they’re brought together.

Playing around with unorthodox color schemes might take a little more time and a lot more color swatches. But in the end, you can get a final result like our example below. Try combining complementary colors or super bold colors against light whites or beiges.

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7. Paint Just the Center Island

If your kitchen is more circulated around a large center island, why not make that the contrasting focal point? If you don’t want to mess with your kitchen cabinets but still love the idea of a two-tone color scheme, paint your kitchen island a dark tone.

For example, a black island would look beautiful with lighter-colored cabinets. This will help draw the eye to your favorite part of your kitchen and make it feel as if your entire kitchen got larger around it. This can be a fun, low-commitment way to incorporate this design style.

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8. Can’t Commit? Introduce Splashes of Color and Contrast

The two-tone design does not have to mean you paint all of your cabinets different colors. It could also mean using varied elements that break up your monotonous white kitchen with a unique look. Likewise, your contemporary kitchen might not suit the common use of two-tone kitchen cabinets but rather incorporate different materials or colored shelving or countertops to break up the bottom and top cabinets. For example, we love this accent wall in the example below—beautiful!

contrasting color on kitchen wall with cabinet

9. Accent Wall of Cabinets

If your kitchen’s layout has different cabinets on different walls, you have an excellent opportunity for an accent wall. Rather than doing the dual cabinets from top to bottom, paint one wall of cabinets the same color, acting as an accent wall to the rest of the space. This can work great for a little cabinet nook, butler’s pantry, or built-in banquet. This gives your kitchen a contemporary vibe without having to drastically change the entire kitchen.

accent wall of coral blue green kitchen cabinets and marble backsplash

10. Go Classic With Black and White

Black cabinets have been trending for a while, and black and white cabinets are a two-tone kitchen color combo that is sure to draw attention. We love to see black lower cabinets with white uppers (or another white-ish color). This contrast opens up the option to play with different materials, patterns, or finishes to make it even more interesting. Nothing sounds as simple as black and white, but it’s actually a pretty bold choice that we love to see.

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No, you don’t immediately have to run out and buy all new cabinets. Instead, you can refurbish the ones you already have and use paint or swap out existing doors and hardware to get the design you’re looking for.

If you are struggling with where to begin, try this fun color wheel tool to develop a color scheme that appeals to you, check out local showrooms like our Puustelli Kitchen Gallery, or hit up Pinterest for creative inspo.

Whichever way you go, know that calling Puustelli can help make your dreams a reality. We love to help homeowners bring their vision to life and leave them with a kitchen they absolutely love.

Reach out to us today to get started!

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