The Unofficial “RULES” of Mixing it up in the Kitchen So many thoughts come to mind when you consider redoing your kitchen. Appliances, counters, tiles, faucets, cabinet style and of course color are all common decisions. These decisions can be extremely overwhelming. Years ago cabinets were aligned in a straight row and made of the same material. As kitchen design evolved, people began to vary the heights and widths of their cabinets to create a custom look. This mix-and- match approach also applies to the type of wood selected and the cabinet finish. It is becoming common to see two or three different wood species in one kitchen. I have compiled a few basic rules to think about when you are planning to “mix it up”.
Blocks of Color When trying to mix and match, think about which areas to highlight by using blocks of color. This is the most traditional way to mix wood in the kitchen. Use one wood on your main cabinets and then try a different wood on your island or on an area of built-in shelves. This will give you a very clean traditional look. Don’t go “Matchy Matchy” The idea of mixing woods is to create a visual pop in the kitchen. If the look is too symmetrical it will fall flat. Try to avoid picking a hard wood floor that is the same stain as the cabinets. If you are going with white cabinets then try a dark floor. If you are doing a butcher block top try not to match it with the floor or the cabinets.
Keep it Toned Mixing woods can create a great visual interest. Mixing tones will NOT. When choosing your colors always pair warm with warm and cool with cool. Mixing the two will not add to the visual interest it will make the room look “muddy” and flat. So stay in tone but vary your contrast.
Au Natural If you are looking to create a more modern mixed look try keeping parts of the kitchen natural. This creates a high contrast clean look. If your upper cabinets are left neutral then try white on the lower cabinets and then a different wood for the floor. These of course are only a few of the “rules” that I recommend you keep in mind when planning your kitchen. Always try to decide on your style first. Are you going for sleek and modern or cozy and traditional. Research the style and colors of the cabinets that are recommended for the look you are trying to achieve. Choose your paint colors and coordinate your tones across the board. Try to create some texture by using interesting tiles and accent pieces. A kitchen is a large investment so above all take your time in the planning process so you are sure to achieve the “mixed up” look that you will love for years to come.