Rather than creating a boring wall of uniformity when installing new kitchen cabinets, why not take the opportunity to inject interesting contrasts of materials and colours into the decor? Here are some tips on how to mix and match cupboard doors for the best effect.
Material Mixes: Glass Versus Solid
An easy way to diversity kitchen cabinetry is to differentiate between upper and lower cupboards with solid doors versus glass-panelled ones. Reserving the glass versions for higher cabinets will prevent a top-heavy effect, which can be a problem with dark colours in particular. For instance, chocolate or navy cabinetry high on a wall can create a looming presence in the room.
An added benefit of glass cupboards is that they'll reflect light around the room for a brighter, more spacious feel. Plus they come in a range of styles so that in a classic white kitchen you could install mullion glass cabinet doors or in a modern space, you could fit frameless glass doors.
Diverse materials are not the only way to build exciting contrast into your kitchen design—colours provide further opportunities. You could spread grey across the upper cabinets and navy on the lower doors. Virtually any colour palette can take this approach, offering excellent design versatility. You could dramatically contrast black against white or vivid red against green in a fun decor.
Maintaining Order And Balance
When building in your contrast, aim to avoid a haphazard and disorganised effect. You can achieve this by creating a predictable pattern. Top versus bottom distinctions are not the only way to express order. You could spread one colour, such as cream, across all the wall cabinets while covering the kitchen island doors with another shade such as black. The order here is pitting the central island against the surrounding doors.
Another approach is to feature selected wall cupboards only for special attention. For instance, only two or four central upper cabinets—on either side of a range hood—might feature decorative glazing. Choosing central cupboards provides a sense of symmetry and order. You wouldn't, for example, arbitrarily install contrasting doors at one end, which could end up giving the impression that the previous ones had broken and they were merely random replacements. You might have seen such an effect on a car with an odd-colour temporary door replacing a damaged one.
Ask a cabinet maker or joinery professional for further ideas on how to incorporate visual contrast and interest into your cabinet design.