Remodeling a kitchen means deciding on the palette of materials and colors for the room, including the best cabinet and countertop combinations. At center stage in the design, this pairing matters.
The kitchen ideas you’ve collected likely include cabinets you’ve fallen for along with preferred materials or colors for countertops. But as well as satisfying aesthetic preferences and delivering practically on an individual basis, the two need to complement one another.
To inspire you, we asked designers to share the cabinet and countertop combinations they recommend, and these are the fabulous partnerships they suggest.
The best cabinet and countertop combinations
The cabinet ideas and the countertop ideas for a new kitchen are both crucial to the design but what’s equally vital is thinking of the two as a combination. Get it right and the two will have real star power, bringing out the best in one another.
The pairings to try? Take a look at these favorites from kitchen pros.
1. Create drama with a deep color and a white marble
‘I love the Italian Calacatta Monet marble, with its base of ivory tones filled with burgundy-lilac and green veins,’ she says. ‘The cabinet colors are endless. Personally, I would lean into the dramatic and paint the cabinets a dark green or purple, or for a fresh look, a rift-sawn white oak would be stunning.’
2. Go industrial with all over stainless steel
Stainless steel plus concrete is a classic cabinet and countertop combination. ‘Modern spaces are updated with stainless steel cabinets and concrete countertops giving them an industrial decor edge,’ advises interior designer Artem Kropovinsky.
Like the idea but wondering about keeping stainless steel cabinets clean? Dish soap and warm water will keep them looking good, but be sure to buff them with a soft cloth afterward to ensure there’s no film left on the surface. Mild dish soap and warm water will also work for the concrete. Use a soft cloth to clean, then a microfiber cloth to finish.
Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky boasts extensive global design
experience spanning a decade. With a commitment to sustainability and
authenticity, Artem, alongside his dedicated team, undertakes projects
both in the US and internationally, earning recognition through
prestigious design awards. Artem is the founder of Arsight, an esteemed global design firm known for its expertise in residential and commercial interior design.
3. Add striking contrast with your combinations
Go for opposites to make a statement and avoid a bland effect, advises Thomas Borcherding, lead designer and owner of Homestar Design Remodel. ‘In a world dominated by house-flipper grey and white subway tile, homeowners are looking for interest more than ever,’ he says.
‘This is why I commonly encourage my clients to invert the color scheme between the cabinets and countertop. If you have white kitchen cabinetry, opt for a dark countertop color. Further, flip the colors for the kitchen island. If the perimeter cabinetry is white with a black countertop, make the kitchen island black with a white countertop. Doing so adds life to the overall design of the kitchen.’
4. Pick up on a color for a cohesive lok
‘For a high-color saturation or statement kitchen, I suggest opting for deep blue high lacquer cabinets in a traditional style, paired with color quartz countertops,’ she says. ‘The bold and vibrant blue cabinets add a touch of drama and personality to the space, making a strong visual statement.'
'The quartz countertops, with stormy-blue waves against the cool white backdrop and translucent gray colorways with soft ripples and pronounced spires of saturated cobalt, paired with delicate debossed Inverness veins, add subtle texture and create a luxurious and sophisticated contrast. This combination is perfect for homeowners who want to make a bold design statement in their kitchen and adds a sense of opulence to the overall aesthetic.’
5. Lift a dark wood with a light countertop
For a cozy and welcoming ambiance, wood plus marble is a winning combination for fans of marble kitchen ideas. ‘Traditional kitchens have dark cherry cabinets and marble countertops that are classy and lavish,’ says Artem Kropovinsky.
‘A light-colored marble ensures a room with darker cabinets still feels bright and spacious,’ says head of interiors at Homes & Gardens Hebe Hatton. ‘And if you want a low maintenance alternative, opt for quartz which can offer the same beautiful appearance but is easier to look after.’
How do you pair countertops with cabinets?
Think of ambiance as a starting point for pairing countertops with cabinets. ‘When selecting cabinet and countertop combinations, it’s crucial to consider the overall style, desired atmosphere, and functionality of the space,’ says Summer Kath, EVP, Design, Cambria. ‘For instance, a warm combination is versatile and well-suited for creating a cozy atmosphere in any kitchen, while a high color saturation combination is ideal for those looking to make a bold design statement. Additionally, considering factors such as room size, lighting, and budget constraints can further help in tailoring the choices to specific circumstances.’
A kitchen is a substantial investment so make sure your style and color choices stand the test of time. Choose the most durable kitchen cabinets and the most durable countertop materials for the room. And cut down on the chores, too, with low-maintenance kitchen countertops.
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Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.
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