If you’re planning on remodeling your kitchen this year, you’ve no doubt given some thought to what your new countertops and cabinets might look like. In many ways, the pairing of cabinets and countertops can make—or break—a kitchen remodel. You want your cabinets and counters—along with the backsplash, appliances, and sink—to work together as a cohesive whole. In this article, we’ll provide a helpful guide to this essential step in remodeling your kitchen.
Start by talking to a designer
Homeowners who are planning on remodeling their kitchen have nearly unlimited combinations of style and aesthetic options in front of them—which, in its own way, can make it difficult to move forward. Our recommendation is that you start your project by talking to a professional designer or kitchen remodeler. This helps in several ways:
- A designer can narrow down your countertop and cabinet options to what fits with the style of kitchen you want. This makes the decision process that much easier.
- You may have your heart set on a certain pairing of countertops and cabinets, but the materials are out of your price range. A kitchen remodeler can help you find materials that are similar, but cost less per square foot.
- From experience, kitchen designers have a good sense of what goes together and how different components—countertops, cabinets, the sink, appliances, backsplash, and more—come together as a cohesive whole.
Even if you’re not planning on hiring a kitchen remodeler or designer to work specifically on your project, you can get individualized guidance from design experts at the store where you purchase your materials. Most countertop and cabinet retailers have designers on-staff to provide advice and help customers find matches.
Find your ideal kitchen style
Generally, every kitchen remodel involves some degree of adherence to a pre-existing “style.” You’ve probably heard of a few of these popular styles from remodeling shows on TV: “farmhouse,” “contemporary-modern,” “classic.” While not every part of your kitchen has to resemble what you might see on television, these general styles can provide you with a baseline for thinking about your kitchen remodel and what countertops and cabinets might work best in the space.
For example, farmhouse-style kitchens are warm, cozy, and a bit intentionally rustic. These kitchens generally have natural wood color cabinets, granite countertops, and that iconic oversized ceramic sink. In contrast, a contemporary-modern kitchen will generally feature a simpler approach, such as a dark quartz countertop, white cabinets, and stainless steel appliances. These kitchens are sleek and stylish. Both of these kitchen styles can look great, so deciding how to move forward really comes down to your individual home and tastes.
See things in a whole new light
Always get sample material to take home with you. This is important: how a countertop or cabinet color looks under bright lights in a retail setting can be drastically different from how they look together in your kitchen. Once you’ve taken your ideal pairing home, view them together in different types of light. If your kitchen has natural light through windows or a skylight, take pictures throughout the day to see how it impacts the look. At night, flip on your kitchen lights and see what that changes.
Finally, always sleep on your decision and give yourself time to feel out the pairing. A new kitchen is a terrible thing to have buyer’s remorse on later. If you find yourself hating the plan for your kitchen now, it’s better to start over at this stage then after the countertops and cabinets have been installed.
For even more tips, advice, and potential color pairings for your kitchen, check out this infographic