kitchen with white cabinets

Do’s and Don’ts When Pairing Your Cabinets and Countertops

If you’re spending more time at home with your family, now is a better time than ever to update your kitchen. And styles, colors, and materials that highlight fluidity, coziness, comfort, and warmth are the hallmarks in today’s modern kitchen designs. So read on to find out more about the do’s and don’ts when pairing your kitchen cabinets and countertops.

First, consult the color wheel

When you look at a basic color wheel, you’ll see twelve colors lined up according to their relative warmth or coolness to one another. Warms include reds, oranges,  yellows, while  cool colors include greens, blues, and purples.  Neutrals, however, are not normally represented on a color wheel, and these are some of the most important kitchen colors of the 2020s. The basic neutrals are white, black, brown, tan and metals such as gold, copper, and bronze. They can be warmed up or cooled down depending upon what other colors you use in your kitchen.

color wheel

Use neutral color from natural materials

Natural wood

From light, to red, to dark, natural wood is making a comeback in today’s kitchen. Oak, cherry, maple, chestnut, pine, hickory, mahogany, and many other types of wood bring a natural warmth to your kitchen.  

Stone counters

You can match the materials of countertops with cabinets to create different styles and effects. Marble, granite, and quartz are some of the most common stone countertops


Use hardware and metal finishes such as nickel, brass, steel, iron, and bronze, or a matte black finish to get just the look you want. 

Coordinating neutral colors 

Neutral colors for coordinating cabinets and countertops are the hallmark of a modern kitchen in 2020. Keeping in mind the color wheel, you can come up with a lot of creative neutral combinations, including combinations that tie in nicely with cooler or warmer colors in your kitchen.


Use two or three tones to coordinate your cabinets and counters, even if it means just painting a rim.  Look for popular combinations of sage green, dusky pinks, grays, blues, or tans.  In addition, rusty oranges, beige, cream or ivory go well with any color of natural wood. 


Don’t worry about matching your perimeter cabinets with your island countertop. Using two tones of neutrals from different materials (wood and stone, for instance) presents a nice contrast.   

Popular kitchen color themes for 2020

We’ve found ways to incorporate neutral colors and natural wood and stone to update some of your favorite classic kitchens. Here are just a few popular 2020 color themes where neutrals are used to coordinate cabinets and counters:

The blue kitchen

The classic blue kitchen has trending for awhile. Here are some dos and don’ts to bring it up to date.  

blue cabinets kitchen design


Blues can run the range of warm, neutral, to cold, so use blues that contain some degree of gray. Blue cabinets will go well with natural blonde or brown wood counters. In addition, a speckled white stone countertop or a gray marble countertop can work well together with blue and blue-gray cabinets.  


Don’t go with just one shade of blue throughout the kitchen. Avoid the use of highly saturated blues, except for the occasional pop of color with lots of neutrals nearby.

The lavender kitchen

Lavenders add a fresh look to the room, and can be neutral, warmer, or cooler. Updating your kitchen for the 2020s, you’ll want to stick with more neutral combinations. 

lavender cabinets kitchen design


Experiment with multiple lavenders containing different degrees of gray. Then complement with beige, cream, ivory, tans and grays in paint, wood, and stone, throughout the kitchen.  For an added touch, accent your lavender kitchen with gold-colored hardware, accessories, and appliances. 


To achieve a modern look, don’t use  pure white with a very cool lavender. Also, avoid bold purples, which can give your kitchen a closed-in feeling.

The red kitchen

The red kitchen is still in, but with a twist. Instead of painting kitchen surfaces with highly saturated reds or oranges, take advantage of the red in natural woods.

red kitchen design


Use reddish, reddish-brown or reddish-blonde woods to give your kitchen a natural red, pink or dusky orange hue. Popular red woods include cherry, mahogany, chestnut, and walnut.  Complement these woods with paints or stone in ivories, creams, or gold hardware. 


Avoid a lot of saturated red paint. Instead, save the bold reds for easily removable items such as dishes, accessories, and appliances.

The sage kitchen

Sage coloring with blueish-greenish-grays makes your kitchen inviting, airy, and cozy. You can use different tones of sage , or you can complement with other soft colors that have a touch of gray. 

sage kitchen cabinets


Use sage with bluish-gray tones to mix with dusky roses, blues, and grays, and lavenders. Feel free to use sage with natural wood in of any color. Oak and sage is a popular combination, for instance. Coordinating sage cabinets with gray stone  countertops is also a popular combination.


Don’t use sage  with a lot of highly saturated colors. If you want an occasional pop of color, use removable appliances, dishes, and kitchen accessories that you can switch out.

The black and white kitchen

As we enter a new decade, there are lots of things you can do to update your traditional black-and-white kitchen.

black and white kitchen cabinets and countertops


Use different variations of black, like ash black, charcoal, onyx, or ink. Use neutral whites, creams and beiges as accents. 

Natural beige wood cabinets are a great accent for an otherwise classic black-and-white kitchen. You can complement light wood cabinets with brown-black stone countertops or dark, natural wood counters that appear to have a brown-black color. 


Avoid placing black or darker colors close to the ceiling. Also, don’t limit yourself to using one shade of black and one shade of white. 

Final words on paring cabinets and countertops in 2020

Neutral kitchens are trending in 2020, whether you’re talking about the color of the paint, the stone countertops, or the metal hardware.  Now is the time to play complementary neutral paint colors and natural materials in your kitchen to give it a warm, inviting feel. And although you may want to give your kitchen a pop of color, you don’t want to use a lot of saturated colors that can’t be successfully toned down by the natural colors in the rest of the kitchen.

A&S Home Interiors specializes in bringing you the very latest in home kitchen designs. For more information on how to make your kitchen inviting and welcoming for the entire family, please contact us or visit our Lorton, Virginia showroom.

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