Countertops and cabinets are significant elements to anchoring the kitchen theme. They play off each other’s qualities and are the yin to each other’s yang. Sometimes, they can even be on the same side to highlight a whole other feature in the kitchen.
Colours and patterns
Mix-and-matching colours and patterns is usually the stand-out way to make your design choices. Your job will be a lot easier though if you know exactly what you want to be the focal point in your kitchen. If it’s either the countertop or the cabinets, then you just have to ensure the other one is of a contrasting colour and/or pattern. Let’s say you have Calacatta marble countertops as your kitchen centrepiece. You’d want to counterbalance the bright busyness of that marble piece with dark solid-coloured cabinets. Or if you want all the focus to be on your Crema Bordeaux granite countertops, choose light pattern-less cabinets as the contrast. But what if you have your heart set on dark cabinets with well-defined grain patterns? Then go with Frosty Carrina quartz countertops to bring out the rich wood of the cabinets. For all the attention to go to lighter-coloured cabinets, try Jet Black quartz countertops. On the other hand, you may actually want to draw people’s eyes to the backsplash or flooring of your kitchen. In that case, both your countertops and cabinets can be the same colour that best sets off the distinctive backsplash or flooring you have in mind.
Another way to select your countertops and cabinets is to pair them with the theme you want to convey. For instance, classic kitchen themes usually call for stained hardwood cabinets along with granite, marble or quartzite countertops. These countertops also go well with unstained softwood cabinets in rustic themes. Contemporary themes are achieved through quartz or porcelain countertops plus solid-coloured laminate cabinets. After choosing based on theme, you can then further drill down your choices according to colour or pattern combinations, of course.
This is a more practical approach where you’re designing a kitchen that matches the everyday needs of your household. If you have young children in the house, opt for base cabinets with lots of pull-out drawers large enough to store dishes within kids’ easy reach. Get cabinets with pantry cupboards that go to the floor so that the lower shelves can be stocked with kid-friendly snacks. If you have elderly parents or in-laws living with you, select cabinet designs where everything is reachable around their shoulder height so they don’t have to strain themselves. And in either scenario with kids or elders, countertops made with easy-maintenance materials are the best choices. In this regard, quartz or porcelain countertops are ideal solutions. Also, make sure to finish the countertops with eased or rounded edges to minimise the risk of injuries.
As you work towards the final picture of what your kitchen will look like, don’t be shy to ask both your cabinetmaker and countertop fabricator if you can take home samples for comparison. It’s the only way you can be sure that the materials complement each other as well as fit seamlessly together in your dream kitchen theme.