Color Your KitchenMultiple wood tones and glazes help avoid a monotonous cabinet layout.

  • By Lauren Hunter
  • Source: REMODELING Magazine
  • Publication date: 2007-04-01

The combined look of oak cabinets, oak flooring, and an oak dining table may work well for a country kitchen, but it can also be overwhelming. Thankfully, gone are the days when all the wood tones in a room had to match. More kitchen designs are incorporating multiple finishes for a creative impact.

“There are a number of reasons to take a chance on mixing and matching tones in the kitchen,” says Linda Hughes, manager of marketing development for Yorktowne Cabinetry. “It might be as simple as the fact that some homeowners can't make up their minds, but it can also be a deliberate choice to identify focal points in a design.”

At the recent International Builders' Show, Yorktowne's multihued vignette featured its Asbury cabinetry collection (above), in which a pop of spruce-colored cabinets sets off the cooking area. Crown molding ties the look together.

Colored cabinetry can highlight work areas in the kitchen, such as the cooktop and island (foreground).

At Quality Cabinets, senior interior designer Betsy Writer says she prefers to see different natural wood tones used together. “Medium and lighter wood tones were popular years ago, but I'm seeing more darker tones mixed with charcoal-colored accents in recent designs,” she says. Additionally, she points out that a wood countertop can add another design element.

Whatever your inspiration, Hughes and Writer agree that cabinetry should be the first product decision made during a kitchen design. “Countertops and paint colors generally come after the cabinetry decision, and you have to weigh the presence of each of those elements in the room,” Hughes says. “Know which part of the room you want to become the focal point and let that guide your choices.”