There was once a time when designing your kitchen started with choosing a wood stain for your cabinets — but not anymore. These days, more and more folks are choosing to customize the heart of their home with paint. Two-toned kitchen cabinets are officially all the rage, so we spoke to Erika Woelfel, BEHR Paint's resident color and design expert, to find out if this trend is here to stay.
According to Woelfel, it all started with the rising popularity of open floor plans (thanks, Joanna Gaines), which have turned kitchens into the main gathering place in our homes. "As a result, kitchens today are much larger than they used to be and homeowners put greater thought into the room's design," she explained. "Although crisp, all-white spaces are still extremely popular, we've seen many homeowners bringing color back into their kitchens."
If you're just starting a kitchen remodel, you've likely already encountered opinions about the way the space should look. One of the reasons we love the two-tone trend so much is because it doesn't follow the so-called rules of design. "There are a lot of traditional thoughts about design, but I don't think anyone should see them as rules — people should do what feels right for their space and their personality," Woelfel said.
To try out this look at home, Woelfel suggests pairing lighter upper cabinets with darker lower cabinets, which seems to be the most popular look. "A lighter upper cabinet helps make the kitchen feel more spacious, especially if it has glass doors that feel more like open shelving," she said.
For a bolder look, try mi different textures. "We love white with a moody blue or dark charcoal, sandy taupe and sage green, light maple wood or birch wood with rich black," Woelfel said.
Or if you're not ready to change up your kitchen cabinets, try adding an island in a contrasting hue. It will become a focal point for the whole room.
"If you already have painted cabinets or wood that you love, half the work is done — you'll just need to find the right complementary color and get to work," Woelfel said. "Although you typically see the darker hue on the bottom, feel free to mix it up and do what feels right for your space and its existing materials. "
Find a step-by-step tutorial on how to paint your cabinets at BEHR.