Should Your Kitchen Cabinets Match Your Wall Colour? – Options Explored
Should your kitchen cabinets match your wall colour? As a kitchen designer over the last 10+ years, this question pops up from time to time.
And when it comes to kitchen design (or interior design) choosing the right colour scheme for your kitchen can be more than just a matter of style. It’s about understanding the interplay of colours, textures, and light, and how these elements can transform a room.
In this post, I’ll look at the pros and cons of matching your kitchen cabinets with your wall colour as well as answer some popular questions about the topic and provide practical tips to help you make the best decision for your home.
Let’s get into it!
Should Your Kitchen Cabinets Match Your Wall Colour?
Yes, no, maybe. 🤔
The truth is, they can, but they don’t necessarily have to. There’s no hard and fast rule in the world of interior design that dictates your kitchen cabinets and wall colour must be in perfect harmony. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and it should reflect your personal style, preferences, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve.
Matching your kitchen cabinets to your wall colour can create a cohesive, streamlined look that’s particularly effective in smaller spaces. This approach can make your kitchen appear larger, as the eye isn’t interrupted by contrasting colours.
It’s also a popular choice for minimalist or contemporary designs, where simplicity and uniformity are key. As well as helping to create a dark and moody kitchen look if that’s what you’re going for.
On the other hand, choosing contrasting colours for your cabinets and walls can add depth and interest to your kitchen. This can be a great way to highlight beautiful cabinetry or to create a focal point in the room. It’s a common choice in traditional or eclectic designs, where a mix of colours and textures adds to the charm and character of the space.
However, it’s important to note that not all colour combinations will work well together. If you’re considering matching your cabinets and walls, it’s crucial to choose colours that complement each other and the overall design of your kitchen. Similarly, if you’re opting for contrast, make sure the colours don’t clash or overpower each other.
In the end, the decision should be based on what makes you feel comfortable and happy in your kitchen. After all, it’s the heart of your home, and it should reflect your personality and taste. Whether you choose to match your kitchen cabinets with your wall colour or to create a striking contrast, remember that the most important thing is that you love the result.
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Pros and Cons of Matching Your Kitchen Cabinets to Your Wall Colour
The decision to match your kitchen cabinets to your wall colour can be quite a strong design choice, with both potential benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few pros and cons I’ve come up with to help you make an informed decision.
- Consistency in Design and Colour Scheme. Matching your kitchen cabinets to your wall colour can create a consistent and harmonious colour scheme. This consistency can be pleasing to the eye and create a sense of balance and unity in your kitchen.
- Creates a Cohesive Look. A kitchen where the cabinets and walls are the same colour can look sleek and cohesive. This can be particularly effective in open-plan spaces, where the kitchen forms part of a larger living area.
- Can Help to Make the Kitchen Feel Larger. In smaller kitchens, matching the cabinets to the wall colour can create an illusion of space. By eliminating contrast, the eye is not drawn to the boundaries of the room, making it feel larger and more open.
- Great if You Want to Achieve a Dark and Moody Look. If you’re aiming for a dark, moody, or dramatic look, matching your cabinets to your wall colour can be an effective strategy. Deep hues can create a sense of depth and luxury, particularly when used in a monochromatic scheme.
- Good for Creating a Clean and Minimalist Look. For those who prefer a minimalist aesthetic, matching cabinets and walls can create a clean, uncluttered look. The simplicity of a single colour scheme can highlight the lines and forms within the kitchen, creating a sense of calm and order.
- Lack of Contrast Can Make the Kitchen Feel Dull. While a matching colour scheme can create a sense of harmony, it can also risk making the kitchen feel a bit dull or monotonous. Without contrasting elements to break up the space, the design may lack visual interest.
- Difficult to Find Exact Matches for Paint and Cabinet Colours. Achieving a perfect match between your cabinets and wall colour can be challenging. When you go for an exact match, even slight variations in shade or tone can be noticeable, and this can disrupt the uniformity of the design.
- Trend-Based Design Choices Can Become Dated Quickly. While matching your cabinets to your wall colour might be trendy now, design trends change quickly. What’s in vogue today may feel dated in a few years. If you’re considering a matching colour scheme make sure you love the look and not just because it’s currently fashionable.
How to Match Your Kitchen Cabinets And Wall Colour
If you’ve decided to match your kitchen cabinets to your wall colour, there are a few steps you can take to ensure a seamless match.
Use the Same Paint as Your Cabinets (If Available)
If your cabinets are painted and you have access to the exact paint used, this is the simplest way to ensure a perfect match. Simply use the same paint for your walls.
However, keep in mind that the finish of the paint can affect how the colour appears. For instance, a semi-gloss finish on your cabinets might look different than a matte finish on your walls, even if the paint colour is the same.
Colour Match a Cabinet Door
If you don’t have the original paint, as many kitchen companies don’t provide the same paint as well, you can take a cabinet door or a sample of the cabinet material to a paint store.
Most stores have technology that can create a custom paint colour to match your sample. This is a great option if you’re trying to match a unique or custom cabinet colour.
Always Test with Samples & Check in Your Home Environment
Once you have your paint, it’s crucial to test it before painting your entire kitchen. Paint a small section of your wall and let it dry completely, as paint can change colour as it dries. Then, compare it to your cabinets to ensure it’s a good match.
Lighting can significantly affect how a colour appears, and different types of light bulbs can cast different hues onto your walls and cabinets. Be sure to check the paint sample in your kitchen at different times of the day and under different lighting conditions.
What looks like a perfect match under the fluorescent lights of a paint store might look very different in the natural light of your kitchen.
Can I still have a cohesive kitchen design without matching my cabinets to my wall colour?
Absolutely! A cohesive kitchen design is not solely dependent on matching your cabinets to your wall colour. In fact, contrast can often add depth and interest to a space, making it more visually appealing.
Here are a few ideas on how you can create a harmonious kitchen design without matching your cabinets and walls:
Stick to a Colour Palette. Choose a colour palette for your kitchen and stick to it. This doesn’t mean that everything has to be the same colour, but rather that all the colours in your kitchen should work well together. For example, you might choose a palette of warm, earthy tones or cool, coastal hues.
Balance Light and Dark. If you have dark cabinets, consider using a lighter colour for your walls to create balance. Conversely, if your cabinets are light, a darker wall colour can add depth and interest to your kitchen.
Use a Neutral Colour. Neutral colours like white, grey, or beige can work well with almost any cabinet colour. They provide a backdrop that allows your cabinets to stand out, while still creating a cohesive look.
Consider the Overall Design. Remember to consider the overall design of your kitchen. The style of your cabinets, the type of flooring, the finish of your appliances, and even the amount of natural light your kitchen receives can all influence the best wall colour for your space.
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Will matching my cabinets and walls make my kitchen look too plain?
It can do but it doesn’t have to.
The concern that matching your cabinets and walls might make your kitchen look too plain is a valid one and one I get asked sometimes.
However, the outcome largely depends on how you execute the design. While a monochromatic kitchen can risk looking bland if not done thoughtfully, it can also result in a sophisticated, streamlined aesthetic when done right.
If you’re worried it’s going to look too bland, here are a few tips to ensure your matching kitchen doesn’t end up looking too plain:
Play with Textures. Even if the colour is the same, different textures can create visual interest and depth. For example, a glossy finish on your cabinets against matte walls can create a subtle contrast. Similarly, a tiled backsplash in the same colour as your cabinets and walls can add texture and interest to the space.
Use Different Shades. Using different shades of the same colour can also prevent your kitchen from looking too plain. For instance, you could choose a darker shade for your lower cabinets and a lighter shade for the upper cabinets and walls.
Add Accents. Adding accent colours can break up the monotony of a single-colour scheme. This could be in the form of appliances, a statement piece of artwork, or kitchen accessories such as your handles, sink and taps.
Incorporate Patterns. Patterns, like a chevron or herringbone backsplash, can add visual interest to a monochromatic kitchen. Even subtle patterns, like a faintly marbled countertop, can make a big difference.
Use Lighting. Lighting can dramatically change the look and feel of a space. Under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights, or even a statement chandelier can add layers and depth to your kitchen.
Should I consider the colour of my countertops and flooring when deciding on cabinet and wall colours?
Definitely, yes! When deciding on the colours for your kitchen cabinets and walls, it’s absolutely essential to consider the colour of your countertops and flooring.
These elements occupy a significant portion of your kitchen’s visual space and can greatly influence the overall aesthetic of the room.
Creating a balanced look is key to a well-designed kitchen. If your countertops and flooring are dark, you might want to balance out the space by choosing lighter colours for your cabinets and walls, and vice versa. This balance is crucial in ensuring that no single element overwhelms the others, but rather that they all contribute to a harmonious whole.
Your countertops and flooring can also provide a colour palette from which to draw for your cabinets and walls. For instance, if your countertop has veins of a particular colour running through it, you could choose a similar shade for your cabinets or walls. This can create a subtle connection between the different elements of your kitchen, tying the room together in a visually pleasing way.
For a truly cohesive look, it’s important that all the elements of your kitchen work well together. This doesn’t mean that everything has to match perfectly, quite the contrary, but the colours should complement each other. Too much of a stark contrast between your cabinets and your countertops or flooring can disrupt the visual flow of the space, making it feel disjointed.
Finally, the colours of your cabinets and walls can serve to highlight your countertops. If you have a beautiful marble countertop, for example, you might choose a more subtle colour for your cabinets and walls. This can allow the countertop to stand out and become a focal point in the room.
There you have it! My take on whether you should match your kitchen cabinets to your wall colour.
The question of whether your kitchen cabinets should match your wall colour is not a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s a decision that depends on a variety of factors, including your personal style, the size and layout of your kitchen, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve.
Whether you choose to match your cabinets and walls or opt for a contrasting look, remember that the most important thing is that you love the result.
[Cover Image – deVOL]
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.