The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, so why not create some wow factor with your countertops and cabinets? Check out these classic and unexpected design ideas that might inspire you to revamp your home.
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When it comes to selecting kitchen cabinet and countertop materials, there is plenty of opportunity to add major intrigue. “Creating that wow factor in a kitchen is all about the materials you use and the finishes in which you choose to use those materials,” says Katie Paulsen, an interior designer with Maestri Studio in Dallas. “Are you using matte or glossy for your paint sheens and your metal finishes? Are you utilizing honed or polished textures with your countertops and tiles? It’s all about a good balance and creating a feeling that makes sense to the client.” Read on to explore 14 stunning kitchens boasting innovative cabinet and countertop selections that will inspire you—there’s truly a color combination for everyone.
1. Mix cream and white
“We wanted an industrial yet refined look and feel for this loft, so these materials lent themselves to this look and feel,” says Atlanta-based designer Michael Habachy. “The high contrast and textured materials add drama and warmth to a contemporary space.” The pure white Neolith Estatuario E01 island countertop, a Carrara marble interpretation, plays off the Alpi washed rift oak veneer cabinets in a necessary balance to the black backsplash and charcoal floor planks.
2. A splash of pink and Calacatta
When revamping designer Kate Arends’s kitchen space, renovation company Skipp paired Farrow & Ball Skulking Room Pink (No. 295) with a Calacatta Viola marble from Artistic Tile, which has red wine undertones in the slab background. “While painting the cabinets pink may seem like a bold choice, Sulking Room Pink actually perfectly complements the pink and purple veining in the countertops,” explains Ian Jaffrey, Skipp’s CEO. “The resulting design has the warmth you’d find at a premier hospitality space but with the intimacy of a home kitchen,” he adds.
3. Grouping green and gray
Kristina Crestin, a designer based in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, paired cabinets covered in Benjamin Moore Dakota Shadow (448) with smoke soapstone. Because the kitchen island was formed from pine tree slabs that Crestin’s clients had saved, she wanted to add a bit of contrast when it came to the countertops. “The lighter island material allowed us to add a juxtaposing darker countertop and darker cabinets to balance the bottom half of the kitchen, while keeping the upper half airy with white paint and floating shelves,” Crestin says. “The countertop was also a strategic choice because the stone will gain a naturally aged look as it’s used, fitting the organic farmhouse aesthetic.”
4. Black and white contrast
Charcoal colored paint, Sherwin Williams Domino (SW6989), is paired with granite and Calcutta marble in this kitchen designed by Dallas-based Maestri Studio. “The combination of black and white in a space is a perfect way to create visual interest,” Paulsen notes. “The two colors together create bold and beautiful patterns that can be done in any style and added to any setting.” Leaning in on the black palette gives the kitchen a more sophisticated vibe, especially when set against brass accents.
5. White and black flip
Maestri Studio makes white cabinets paired with dark countertops look stunning too. In this kitchen, Sherwin Williams Snowbound (SW7004) pops against black granite. When color-blocked, white carries the eye around the space, and the black countertop perimeter and matte lighting fixtures accentuate the height or width of a space, Paulsen explains. Plus, a white-and-black kitchen palette is a timeless combo: “[The colors] can be used as a starting point to build up to what you want your space to become, or used interchangeably with any color that already exists in your home,” Paulsen adds.
6. Gucci green, red, and quartz
Victoria Sass—the principal and design director of Prospect Refuge Studio in Minneapolis—was inspired by Gucci’s Spring 2020 runway show when designing this kitchen. “I completely abandoned timelessness for this project and decided to make every bold choice possible,” she says. “Red and green are complementary colors, so they naturally work well together, and the glass backsplash echoes the shiny texture of the glossy cabinets.” Sass painted the upper cabinets and the island top in Sherwin Williams Flower Pot (SW6334), and she coated the lower ones in Benjamin Moore Dunmore Green (CW-540) while opting for an original quartz countertop that premiered in the early aughts and is almost terrazzo-like with its chunky pieces of glass embedded in resin. “Today, the new quartz designs are all trying so hard to look like real stone, but I enjoyed the sincerity and nostalgia of this matter-of-fact material.”
7. Blue-on-blue swirl quartz
A custom Bakes & Kropp color called St. Claire Blue, manufactured by The Paint Laboratory, is paired with the cheerful Cambria Portrush quartz which appropriately features swirls of blue. “In any kitchen project, we recommend creating natural connections that aren’t contrived,” says Bob Bakes, cofounder and head of design at Bakes & Kropp, a New York–based cabinetry manufacturer. “The blue tint in the quartz relates to the blue of the cabinetry and helps the elements converse with each other,” he adds. Bakes firmly believes in the power of “blended balance” within a space, noting, “I like to say that every element in a kitchen should have a friend to talk to.”
8. High-gloss aqua blue and matte stone
Sarah Jefferys, founder and principal of Sarah Jefferys Architecture + Interiors, paired glossy blue Alno kitchen cabinets with a slightly speckled Dupont Zodiaq Snow White counters for a fresh take on a culinary sanctuary. “The matte white cabinets and countertops seamlessly work together for a sleek minimal kitchen, while the upper cabinets pop with a splash of glossy color,” the New York–based designer explains.
9. Pine meets marble
For eye-catching juxtaposition pair yellow pine cabinets with matte whitening stain and Bianco Gioia marble. “I love the contrast of warm light wood and cool, elegant marble,” Jefferys says of the subdued yet playful combo. “The colors and varied grains in both materials complement each other beautifully.”
10. Beige on greige
Tones of beige don’t have to be boring. Cabinets from Italian maker Molteni&C and Dada coated in a matte lacquer beige finish are installed alongside terrazzo-like Ceppo di Gré stone. “The stone has a beautiful texture that creates a contrast with the sleek contemporary look of the cabinets,” says Noam Dvir, cofounder of New York City architecture and interiors firm BoND.
11. Tone-on-tone adds depth
Cabinets in Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red (No. 42) complement the Rojo Alicante marble from Spain that graces the countertop in this space by Brooklyn-based design studio Workstead. Why go for a tone-on-tone look? It adds depth without overcomplicating the rest of the design. Workstead cofounder Stefanie Brechbuehler chose to work with cabinet paint and countertops in the same color and sheen to elevate the coloring in a historic house clad in monochromatic walls, trim, windows, and moldings. The final design came together to modernize the space.
12. Douglas fir woodgrain pops against matte quartz
For a kitchen that boasts large windows with phenomenal outdoor views, play up the natural palette and textures, as seen in this kitchen by Paolo Ferrari Studio in Toronto. “For us, this kitchen was all about celebrating the island and the views to the exterior,” says Paolo Ferrari. The brushed and whitewashed Douglas fir cabinets and Cambria matte quartz in Winterbourne (which almost looks like limestone) create a perimeter meant to blend in with the interior architecture. The island—a salvaged rock taken from the property—is the point of contrast.
13. Sku blue brightens dark countertops
Designer Christopher Peacock of Christopher Peacock Cabinetry in Norwalk, Connecticut, chose Hambledon Blue—a shade from his own paint collection—for the cabinets in this kitchen, pairing it with absolute black granite. “It’s my take on a periwinkle blue with a slightly grayer undertone and a lovely soft sheen, not too shiny,” Peacock says of the color. The end result? “A simple combination of blue and black, but striking and practical,” the designer says.
14. Walnut wood warms up gray stone
Combining the rich walnut wood and cozy gray paint (Abbey Walls from the Christopher Peacock Collection) accentuates the multi-gray waves of the Cambria materials on the countertops. “I like a minimal but eclectic look,” Peacock says.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest