Should Cabinets Match Throughout the House?

bathroom, sinks, mirrors

Matching kitchen, bathroom, and laundry cabinetry seems to be a decorating trend in many of today’s newer houses. If you’ve browsed through an open house at a moderately-priced new development recently, you may have noticed this. It’s not very imaginative but chances are that it was cost-effective for the builder. Buying all the cabinets in one place saves money on time and shipping and makes the job easier for the contractors.

But is this “matching cabinet” trend one that others should subscribe to as well? Though it’s truly a matter of personal taste, experts in design agree that the “matchy-matchy” thing can get quite boring and really does stifle the creativity of the homeowner and/or his designer.

And while you may not want cabinets in wildly different textures, colors, or styles, it is possible to choose kitchen cabinetry, for example, that complements the colors, styles, or textures on the cabinets in other rooms in the house. Doing this really does provide the home with a more high-end, custom look, though the cabinetry doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, and you can do a lot to tie these rooms together without making them a carbon copy of one another.

You certainly don’t need to paint all of your walls in shades of green, or purchase all the same countertops, or make sure your wood kitchen cabinets match your dining room table. However, you can choose color palettes that complement one another or cabinets that blend well together if you wish. This can be especially important when you can see the cabinets in one room from another room, i.e. the kitchen and the mudroom may be adjoining, so choosing similar colors or styles might be a good idea.

But, if you prefer to skip the matching cabinets altogether, that’s fine, too! It’s all about personal style!

Using different cabinet colors or materials in your kitchen

While it’s certainly not necessary for your cabinets to match throughout your house, what about in just one room? What about in your kitchen? Shouldn’t they all be the same?

“No”, say today’s designers. There’s no reason that your kitchen cabinets need to be exactly the same throughout the room, though it’s unlikely you’d hang French country cabinets on one wall and sleek white contemporary ones on another. But it IS okay, top kitchen designers have proclaimed, to vary the colors of your kitchen cabinets. And it might even be okay to use different materials, too.

  • The kitchen island – The easiest way to add a little contrast to your kitchen is to do something different from the island if you have one. You can merely make it a different color – perhaps gray if you have white cabinets, but you can also go with something totally out there, like a full marble island in a color/pattern that compliments your cabinets. That’ll certainly be a show-stopper! But if you’re not that brave, you can also just put a different countertop on it, such as butcher block instead of whatever you’ve chosen for the remainder of the countertops.
  • The hutch – If you have space and the budget to go in this direction, consider a custom-made hutch (free-standing cabinet) built by the same person making your cabinets but in a different color. It’ll really stand out while also blending in. However, if you’re already doing something different from the island, you might just do one or the other rather than making both different.
  • Different paint, same doors – Another very popular option in today’s kitchens is to keep all your cabinet doors the same but to consider different paint colors for your cabinets. For example, one trend is to paint the base cabinets in a color different from what’s on the wall cabinets. You might go light on top and dark on the bottom (most common) or vice versa. You might keep everything the same color except for the island and perhaps the center cabinets over the stove.
  • Same wood, different doors – Another option is to use the same kind of wood throughout the kitchen (or the entire house) but to vary cabinet door styles. So, if you want to keep this to just the kitchen, you can choose to put raised panel doors on the base cabinets and flat paneled doors on the top…or the other way around. If you want to do this throughout the house, you can use raised panel doors in the kitchen and flat everywhere else, or vice versa. Remember, your kitchen is the room you’ll most often show off to company so put your best foot forward there and choose your favorite cabinets for that space.
  • Variations of different woods – In some homes where custom cabinets have been made for each room, you’ll find different types of the same wood in different rooms. For example, knotty cherry wood is very popular in certain décor styles. You could choose knotty cherry for your kitchen cabinets and “regular” cherry wood for your adjoining laundry room or mudroom and/or for your bathrooms. Ask your cabinet dealer or cabinet maker if they can recommend variations on a wood that you favor. There may be lots of options depending on what you choose.
  • One style with different woods and cabinet doors – If you are truly imaginative and a bit brave too, you can totally throw away the matchy-matchy stuff and do lots of variations on the same style. For example, suppose you’ve decided on the rustic look. Well, all of the cabinets in your home can fall into that category but may be made of different wood species and include a variety of cabinet doors and/or even hardware. You can do this within the kitchen only or do the kitchen in matching cabinets but change them up for adjoining rooms or bathrooms. So, you’ve still got continuity but it’s certainly not boring.

Making elements work together

It’s important to note that it’s not only the cabinets that make the various rooms in housework together as far as décor is concerned. There are other tricks that you can use that can make the look cohesive as well.

Floors can be a great way to tie rooms together, even when the cabinets are totally different from one another. You might take the same floor you have in the kitchen and continue it into any adjoining rooms and may even decide to put it in the bathrooms if you like it enough and think it matches everything else that’s in there.

There’s also the option of using the same cabinets throughout the house but purchasing them in a different color or wood species for each room. If you find that you love a particular style door, get it in white for your kitchen and perhaps alder or oak or even gray or blue for your bathrooms. Many manufacturers make the same cabinet out of a variety of materials and in different colors, so that option is very viable.

Of course, sticking to the same color scheme for walls and other finishes also provides a very connected look throughout the house. Whereas your kitchen walls might be a cream color, for example, you could stay in the same family of colors and make your bathroom walls a light coffee color or even peach. These matching tones are especially effective when you have two rooms beside one another and your eyes can see one room from the other.

It’s up to you!

So, what it really comes down to is that you should make the choices that most please you, but if you’re concerned about aesthetics and making decisions that clash, enlist the help of a design professional. They can take your ideas, infuse them with their creativity, and come up with a plan that includes cabinets and other elements that complement each other without being boring and same-old, same-old.

Need help with your cabinet choices for your kitchen remodeling Rancho Cucamonga? Contact the experts at Mr. Cabinet Care for advice and tips on how to mesh different styles together.