ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carla Jordan is a professional journalist and nationally published home design and lifestyle writer. Her work has appeared in well-regarded magazines, newspapers and websites like: ElleDecor.com, House Beautiful SIPs, Coastal Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Woman's Day, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Modern Luxury and Sho.com (Showtime Network).
Decorating with opposites is a chic way to create interest in any room, especially kitchens. Mix light with dark, cool with warm, smooth with rough. That’s how to make opposites attract in the design world. For example…
In this kitchen, designers at Ulrich, Inc. go big on contrast. Sleek glass subway tile and stainless accents are contemporary cool. But there’s lots of warmth, too, with Brookhaven Sausalito cabinets in a range of colors and finishes: Nordic White, Navy and Sierra stain on Cherry.
For a traditional look with industrial undertones, Steve Langley of Connecticut Kitchen Design, Inc., chose Wood-Mode Square Edge Regency Recessed cabinets in Nordic White and Vintage Slate islands.
“Wood-Mode’s quality really fit the bill,” says Langley. “The darker cabinets anchor the surrounding white cabinets and such contrast afforded the space the unfitted look we were going for. By painting the walls and ceiling the same color, we added volume to the room and allowed the dark window trim to pop.”
Langley topped the cabinets with white Carrara marble and antique zinc metal with rivets. “The zinc element and rivets brought in the industrial feel,” he notes. Side-by-side, this stark contrast in materials, textures, and finishes creates a yin-and-yang feel that’s ideal for this design point-of-view and very of-the-moment stylistically.
A sophisticated mix of light, dark and bold hues on variations of Brookhaven Vista Plus frameless cabinets in a trio of finishes elevates this penthouse kitchen to a stylish high. Base cabinets and book shelves feature a Vista Plus grain-matched veneer in Cherry Champagne. Open shelves and the adjacent built-in pantry are Oil-Rubbed Walnut laminate. An appliance wall with cabinets and a contemporary refrigerator panel in vibrant Plum create a colorful focal point that draws the eye toward it and to the adjacent seating area that has a dramatic view of the city.
Although small, this corner kitchen shows the big impact that contrasting colors and materials can make. Brookhaven Pulsar Recessed cabinets in quarter sawn white oak in a Shale finish with Pewter Glaze create a calm, subdued foundation. A Brookhaven Nova MDF hood and cooktop base, both in Vintage Garrison Red, heat things up, adding visual warmth and a measured pop of color.
Two Wood-Mode strengths—clever customization and adept attention to detail—enable this trend to work its way inside cabinets, too.
This Vintage Garrison Red drawer is practically perfect. It has a metal interior with magnetic dividers which make resizing a cinch. The mixture of warm and cool colors, materials and textures is an added bonus.
The countertop and drawer box interior (with metal rod inserts) of this wet bar are made of dark walnut, providing warm color contrast to its crisp, cool Nordic White exterior
Aptly named, this “drawer within a drawer” provides a uniform visual on the exterior while offering storage galore with its stepped interior. It’s also a clever mix of materials, texture and colors with a Linear Recessed Maple exterior in Aqua Shade and stainless steel interior.
Ready to show your kitchen some love? Master the mix, then watch opposites attract.