This Unexpected High-Contrast Trend Is Taking Over Kitchen Cabinets

Fair warning: This will make you want to remodel your kitchen.

Kitchen Cabinet Trends, white and wood cabinets in kitchen
Photo: Zaripov Andrei/Getty Images

When it comes to design elements we can't stop obsessing over, kitchen cabinet trends are high on the list. Whether the trend of the moment is all-white kitchens or moody blue cabinets, the ever-changing popular kitchen trends never fail to inspire us. The only downside: All of this kitchen inspiration will make you want to refinish your kitchen cabinets ASAP.

Currently, the style we're seeing all over our Instagram feeds and on the pages of the top interior design magazines is an unexpected combination of wooden cabinets and painted cabinets in the same kitchen. Think, unfinished wood cabinets on the top and sage-painted cabinets below, or a few tall wooden cabinets flanked by vibrant blue fronts. A distinct departure from the all-white kitchen trend, this look is a refreshing mix of modern and timeless style. Check out some inspiring kitchens rocking this style below.

In this stunning kitchen designed by Janie Micek, the co-founder of Studio 818, beautiful blue-green cabinets nestle right next to tall wooden cabinets. The wood is echoed throughout the room—on the open shelving, and the bottom of the kitchen island—to keep the design cohesive. If you decide to try the contrasting effect in your own kitchen, follow Studio 818's lead and use the same hardware on all of the cabinets to help unify the space.

If you still love the look of a fresh white kitchen, but want to mix in the contrasting wooden trend, try combining white and light wood cabinets, as Lauren Nelson Design did in this kitchen featured in Sunset Magazine's 2018 Idea House. Besides creating beautiful contrast, there's a very practical reason for choosing a split finish: "Stained cabinets wear better than painted cabinets which tend to chip over time," Nelson explains in the caption of the Instagram post.

Another way to work the trend: Stick with white cabinets, then use wood on the kitchen island, range hood, and open shelving. Compared to the kitchen above, this design by The Maison Group with Woodstock Cabinets photographed by Sarah Baker, uses darker wood to boost the contrast.

In this kitchen by Russian design firm Quadrum Studio featured on Kitchens of Instagram, wooden fronts help warm up the surrounding charcoal gray graphite cabinets. If you want to paint your cabinets a moody hue, consider mixing in some wooden fronts as well to prevent the design from feeling overwhelming.

The only thing better than a two-tone kitchen? How about a three-tone one. In this gorgeous kitchen by Humphrey Munson, a deep blue-gray on the island anchors the room, while a combination of off-white and wood cabinets provide a balance of lightness and warmth.

Want proof that the two-tone cabinet trend can work in a rustic-inspired, bohemian-influenced style home? Check out this kitchen from Abbie of M Is for Mama. Teal cabinets and a dark wood island and range hood combine forces to create a kitchen that's beautiful and eclectic. That vintage-style runner doesn't hurt, either.

Want to lean all the way into the wooden cabinet trend? Take a cue from the interior design duo Hommeboys and match your cabinets to your flooring. Amp up the style with a waterfall countertop.

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