HomeDesignGet the Look: Two-toned Kitchen Cabinets

Get the Look: Two-toned Kitchen Cabinets

Cupboards are a central design element of the kitchen and play a large role in setting the overall aesthetic of your space.

A trend growing in popularity in recent years is to ditch the traditional uniform approach when it comes to kitchen cabinetry, and instead opt for two different tones across your lower and upper cupboards. 

Stylish and unexpected, two-tone cabinetry can be a particularly effective design choice for smaller spaces and is a unique choice that adds dynamics to your kitchen.

Here’s how to achieve the two-toned look for your kitchen cabinets.


Create a contrast

One of the best ways to create the illusion of space in a small kitchen is to incorporate contrasting colours in upper and lower cabinetry. Using a light palette on top lessens the harsh division between wall and cabinet, and keeps the weight in the bottom half of the space where the darker tone is used.

Aside from making your kitchen feel bigger, opting for a light shade such as white in contrast with any other colour – wood, pastel tones and even deep navy blue – will create brightness in an otherwise dim kitchen, and prevent the space from feeling too clinical. This sterile feeling can be amplified in all-white kitchens where the lighting skews cool, whereas the secondary colour in a two-tone kitchen helps to offset this. 



Using contrasting tones creates a wow factor for any kitchen.


Incorporate texture

While wooden kitchens have been a dominant trend for kitchen design in recent years, it’s a strong look that can date quickly if not done well. When you pair wood with a more traditional finish, you still get the impact while ensuring your kitchen will look great for years to come. 

Light timber-toned kitchen cabinets pair well with just about any surface. If opting for natural stone, light cuts of marble or terrazzo create a harmonious contrast with the character of the wood. 

You can also experiment with contrasting finishes on your cabinetry for a more subtle take on this trend. Working better with darker colours, a matte option below the bench and a glossy finish for your overheads can add just enough interest to your kitchen without standing out too much.

Create an impact by combining white with a modern timber finish.


Experiment with colour

If you don’t want to relegate colour to the splashback, consider using cabinetry to lend a pop of personality to your kitchen. This can be on the muted end of the spectrum, with a colour like sage green, or bolder depending on how many colours you want in your kitchen.



In small kitchens, a complete fit-out of pastel joinery does have the potential to overwhelm the space. If you love the idea of colours like soft pink or cornflower blue, choose one zone in the kitchen in which to focus the colour. This way you get to inject some colour and personality, but it can be balanced out by more neutral colour choices elsewhere. 

Coloured cabinetry can also be used to flip the traditional design idea of using the darker colour on the bottom, by using your below-bench cupboards as the accent. Black overhead cupboards can look quite striking when paired with jewel tones for lower cabinets, while colours like red can feel dated in this combination.


Wondering how to pull off two-toned cabinets in your kitchen? Our team of experts at Apollo Joinery Group can help you to choose the style, colour and finish of kitchen cabinets that are right for your home and your budget. Visit one of our showrooms located across Sydney and the Central Coast or contact us for a consultation. 
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