Beautiful smiling young woman with fair long hair wearing glasses and a cozy knitted sweater using laptop in her bright kitchen

The Ultimate Countertop and Cabinet Color Pairing Guide

Countertops and cabinets are often the focal points of any kitchen and are undoubtedly the most-used components. Because you’ll spend a lot of time seeing and interacting with them throughout the day, you’ll want to ensure they look great so you’ll be as happy as can be in your kitchen.

When designing your kitchen, choosing the colors for cabinets and countertops first can help guide your choices for the rest of your kitchen decor. Matching your kitchen countertops and cabinets can initially seem intimidating, but taking the proper steps can be fun and easy. Read on for the ultimate countertop and cabinet color pairing guide.


Need help pairing your cabinets with your countertop? We can help! Contact us online or call 480-641-9611. One of our cabinet experts will come to your home for a same-day, no-obligation quote to reface your kitchen cabinets.


Step 1: Choose a Color Scheme

Man wearing white and flannel shirt is holding a fanned out color wheel.

It’s recommended to decide on a general color scheme before you even start looking at samples. 

Because there are so many countertop and cabinet options available, it is smart to decide on a general color scheme before you even start looking at samples.
A color scheme will help narrow down choices so you don’t waste time looking at items that will have no place in your kitchen. Your color scheme will point you in the right direction, so you know where to start.

In general, a color scheme should include three or four colors. This should consist of two main hues and an accent color or two. If your main colors are neutral, like gray and white, you can create more visual interest with two accents. However, if you choose a bolder tone as your focus, a single accent color is probably more than enough. Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule, so trust your intuition when choosing colors to go together.

In creating your color scheme, also consider whether you want the hues to complement or contrast with each other. Complementary colors often come from the same color family or side of the color wheel and will give your kitchen a sleek, cohesive look. With this style, you can have more fun with the accent pieces to make them grab your attention. Contrasting colors, on the other hand, stand out against one another, creating more visual interest with a more significant impact, enabling you to keep the rest of the decor simple.

Step 2: Start With Countertops

Once you have a general color palette, you can start browsing through countertops. Marble, granite, quartz, and other popular countertop materials can come in various shades, and many include patterns as well, whether natural or by design. If the counter material you choose includes multiple colors, one of those colors should definitely be an accent hue for the rest of your kitchen to tie everything together.

If your kitchen includes a center island, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that it has to match your other counters exactly. The island provides an excellent opportunity to add some contrast to your kitchen, so it doesn’t all look the same. Of course, you don’t want the contrast so jarring that it feels like a completely different kitchen, but it should stand out as a focal point. You can also use the island to transition from the kitchen to the rest of your space. This is a particularly suitable approach if your home has an open-concept floor plan in the kitchen and main living area.

Step 3: Match Cabinets with Your Countertops and Backsplash

Next up is the backsplash (the wall space between the counters and cabinets). Tile or other materials add an element of style to this area versus traditional paint. Also, a backsplash is easier to clean than a plain wall, so you won’t need to worry if things get a bit messy in the kitchen. You can match your backsplash to your counters or use one of your accent colors to break up the space.

Finally, you’ll move on to the cabinets. You’ll have countless options in terms of the cabinets’ style and even more choices of color, so it helps to have the rest of your kitchen design already locked in to help streamline your options. Like with the backsplash, you can match your cabinets closely to the counters or go for a contrast.

Step 4: Consider Functionality & Practicality

When browsing kitchen counters and cabinets, it can be easy to fall in love with the look of a design without really thinking through its functionality and practicality. For example, you might love the idea of a predominantly white kitchen, but if you have small children, this could be a losing battle. You could spend more time cleaning your kitchen to keep it looking crisp and white than you spend enjoying it.

Similarly, some countertop materials look fantastic but scratch or scuff easily. Some are more heat-resistant than others, so you’ll need to consider how you like to cook and how you use your counters. Don’t forget to factor in cleaning needs as well. Natural stone counters often require specialized cleaners to prevent damaging the surface rather than using an all-purpose cleaner.

Cabinets come with practicality and functionality considerations as well. For starters, think about the depth of the cabinets. Will you have a hard time reaching items all the way at the back? Look at the spacing of the shelves as well. Can they accommodate the dishes or small appliances you plan to store? While many cabinets include moveable shelving, this isn’t always the case, so be sure to find out what you are getting to avoid surprises later on.


Book a Consultation for Your Kitchen Cabinet Remodel Today

At Cabinet Coatings of America, we are proud to offer cabinet remodeling, refacing, and refinishing services and have done so since 1996. Our expert designers are always on hand to answer your questions and provide advice to help you design the kitchen of your dreams. Get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and price quote to get the process started.

Related Articles

co-owner
Chuck Derouen

For 20 plus years chuck has been helping homeowners make decisions on how to bring new life into their kitchens. Most homeowners know what they want but don’t know how to communicate it. When chuck does the in-home consultation he draws from the client and uses his expertise to help them bring their imagination to life (achieve the look they imagine.) Chuck dubs himself a “professional mind maker upper.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *