BHG Guest Blogger

3 Tips for Pairing Cabinetry + Countertops




The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.






Salt and pepper. Vinegar and oil. Bread and butter. Compiling a list of kitchen pairings can make a fun party game, but what’s the most important combo when designing a kitchen? We say it’s cabinetry and countertops. Together, they set the overall style of the space and have the biggest impact.


Whether you’re updating your existing cabinetry with paint or creating a kitchen from scratch, as we did, a few rules of thumb will help you get a polished look.


1. Don’t be afraid to use more than one color of cabinetry. In our Innovation Kitchen project, we used four: light gray in the main part of the kitchen, dark gray in the adjoining multipurpose pantry, white for a few select pieces, and a fresh green for a tall built-in the dining area. This combination of cabinets from Decora helps define zones, creates more interest than a single hue would, and sets the basic palette. Variation in cabinet color makes a kitchen feel more personal, less like it’s straight off the showroom floor.

2. Show restraint with countertops. When you use different cabinet colors, you’ll likely be happiest using the same countertop choice throughout. We love this quartz-surfacing countertop from Cambria, which, with its gray veining, resembles marble but is more durable and easier to care for. It looks great with all of our cabinet colors and gives the entire space continuity. Bringing in a second pattern would have created a busy look.

3. Cabinetry and countertops in similar tones gives the effect of furniture. Generally, it’s best to choose countertops that coordinate with but don’t match cabinetry for greater contrast. However, you can use near-matches for effect. Take this hutch, for example. It’s made from a glass-front cabinet placed on top of two slightly deeper sets of drawers with a slab of the kitchen’s quartz-surfacing countertop placed in between. Together they look like a single unit. Another idea: Match a countertop to a low, wide cabinet to create the look of a freestanding buffet.


Now you’re ready to create your own perfect pairings.


See more of the BHG Innovation Kitchen we created in collaboration with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Fiddlehead Design Group

Maria Charbonneaux

Trend Alert: Cabinetry Color-Blocking

Trend: Cabinetry Color-Blocking!

Refreshing cabinetry with paint is nothing new, but lately I’ve been noticing kitchen cabinetry featuring two, three, or even four different colors and finishes to create a color-block effect. It’s an affordable way to add style to a kitchen, and the possibilities are as endless as the wall of paint chips in your local paint aisle. From subtle to eye-catching, depending on your palette, this trend offers looks everyone can love.

Here’s how to create a color-block effect with the cabinetry in your kitchen.

Paint your upper cabinets a different color than your lower cabinets. If you’re choosing a high-contrast combo, paint the bottom cabinets the darker color and the upper cabinets the lighter one. Placing the dark color near the floor will help visually ground the space, while having the light color up high will make a kitchen feel more open and airy.

If you desire two bright colors that are similar in intensity, select hues that are fairly close together on the color wheel–such as turquoise and lime–to keep the look from becoming too jarring.

If you’d like to introduce a bold, energetic color in your kitchen but you’re afraid it might become overwhelming, leave the upper cabinets in a natural wood tone or a neutral paint color.

What’s your favorite palette for kitchen cabinetry? I love the idea of painting my lower cabinets navy and my upper cabinets white. Check out more colorful kitchen cabinetry ideas and watch a video on how to paint cabinets.