Hello friends! Lately, I’ve been pouring over kitchen inspiration for the summer home we are building. I’m excited the details are finally coming together. I decided on doing two toned kitchen cabinets once again. (You can see my post on our current home’s recent kitchen renovation here.)
If you are wondering what in the heck ‘two toned kitchen cabinets’ are, it’s when upper and lower kitchen cabinets are painted different colours. Typically, the bottom cabinets are painted a deeper colour than the tops. Given that my design inspiration for our summer home is mostly coastal/nautical, the cabinets are going to be a deep navy on the bottom, white white on the top ones.
Two toned kitchen cabinets are having a major moment in kitchen design these days. But, lately, I’ve read some debate in design circles about two toned kitchen cabinets. I guess they are seen as a little trendy. But, personally, I’m a HUGE fan. I’m about to do a second two toned kitchen even though I love a head to toe white kitchen for it’s brightness and airiness. After living with a full white kitchen for almost a decade. I couldn’t have had the bottom cabinets painted a dark colour fast enough.
Why, you might ask? Well, for starters, we have three young kids. And, in case, you’re doing the mental math, that’s six messy hands. If you multiply that by 3 meals a day – and then add in a few messy snacks for good measure – that equates to about 24 grimy hands plastered all over our white cabinets daily. Some days, it was literally as if two strawberry jam-covered octopuses had a party in the kitchen.
I couldn’t deal with the constant mess on the lower cabinets. And, the garbage pull out? Oh sweet love of God. I won’t scare you away with a description. So, after less than a decade, I decided that our entire white kitchen needed to be re-painted. To be fair, it wasn’t all the kids’ fault. Because my white painted cabinets were solid wood underneath (and not themafoil), the white finish had yellowed faintly over time.
I originally planned to have the upper and lower cabinets re-painted white again, with just the island painted grey. But then the kitchen designer suggested painting the lower cabinets grey too. Boom! Why had I never thought of that? My prayers to the clean cabinet gods were answered! OK, OK, I know grey cabinets only hide the dirt. Don’t judge me, but I can totally live with that.
The other reason that two toned kitchen cabinets rock has nothing to do with utility, but purely aesthetics. There’s something grounding about deep toned cabinetry on the bottom of a kitchen.
I think the principle of balance in art and design helps to explain why this is the case. It’s human nature to seek balance. And, in design, balance is all about the distribution of the visual weight of a space. A deep tone on the bottom cabinets of a kitchen provides visual weight because dark objects always feel heavier than light ones. This is why a kitchen with dark toned bottom cabinets can feel more grounded, or even more harmonious, than kitchens that are all one colour.
So, what are your feelings on two toned kitchen cabinets? Would you do it?!?
Until next time,