If you have dark colored cabinets in your kitchen, pairing countertops is not always the easiest thing to do. In general, we try to choose a contrasting color, but if you are set on dark and darker, there are ways to bend the rules and make it work.
For example, if you had a big, open floorplan with a lot of natural light, if the floor was light and the walls were light, then you could do dark cabinets with dark countertops. But, everything else in the room would have to work that much harder to provide balance to the heaviness of it all.
Adding Contrast To Lighten Things Up
A lighter countertop will provide enough contrast to make those dark cabinets pop. Dark on dark, on the other hand, will do a great job of sucking up all the light in the room. Just have a look at some of the photos you’ll find on the web of dark-on-dark kitchens – they look like dungeons! If you don’t have a lot of natural light, if there are no windows and the room is fairly dark anyway, you won’t be able to escape the fact that it will feel like a cave.
But, if your cabinets are dark, and the countertops and the walls are light, the room will have much better balance, and it won’t feel so confined.
Dark-on-dark Is A Bad Idea If You Have Bad Vision
If you have a vision impairment, dark on dark might make the situation even worse. If the colors are too similar to each other, it will make it difficult to see where the cabinets end and the countertops begin.
Even if your eyesight is 20-20, the bottom line is, at least from a design standpoint, when you have that sameness, it will feel like nothing really stands out. Everything just blends together. Even if you have beautiful features that you want people to notice, it’s unlikely that they will be seen at all.
If you add some contrast in the way of a lighter countertop, lighter floors, backsplash, or ceiling, you’ll provide more interest, more dimension. It draws your eye around to different things in the kitchen.
Finding The Balance
Now, we’re not saying that dark cabinets and dark countertops absolutely won’t work. However, in terms of kitchen design, it is a little limiting. We might even try to talk you out of it or show you some of the ways we could make the room look bigger, brighter, and more inviting.
But, if you were absolutely set on using a dark countertop to match dark cabinets, admittedly, there are ways to make it work.
We would just want to make sure that the countertop color was different enough that it would not melt into the cabinets. We would want to find that balance between dark and light, something to delineate one zone from another.
For example, you might choose a lighter, contrasting backsplash, floor, or island. Or, you could do a dark countertop on the perimeter and then a brighter island. You have to find a way to break it up with something or make sure that there is a texture involved in both things, so it doesn’t look like one big blob.
If you don’t have that contrast, it’s going to read as one big thing, and it will make the room look a lot smaller and more confined than it probably is.
Contrasting The Darkness: Ideas That Will Make Your Kitchen Pop
If you have dark cabinets and dark flooring, you will want to choose a lighter, contrasting color for the countertops. If you’ve already got dark countertops, think about choosing light or white for the walls, ceiling, and backsplash.
You could stick with dark on your lower cabinets and go lighter on the top cabinets, or vice versa. White and grey aren’t the only choices, either; you can look at yellows and tans to provide balance as well.
A lighter floor and ceiling look great against dark cabinets. Stainless appliances, chrome faucets and pulls, and metallic hardware on your island chairs will also provide an accent.
Reflective surfaces, like chrome, stainless steel, or tile with a gleaming finish, will also add dimension to your dark kitchen design. Natural wood on the floors can also soften up the look and create some warmth.
Are you thinking about a remodel for your St. Louis kitchen? We’d love to help! Reach out today, and let’s start the conversation.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.