It doesn’t matter if you are building a new kitchen from scratch, or refinishing your existing cabinets, two tone kitchens are still on fire in 2022!
Let’s take a look at some classic color schemes, popular trends, and a few off beat options, as we explore two toned cabinets in all kinds of real homes.
I will also share exactly which paint colors you should choose!
Let’s get started!
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Two Toned Kitchens with Wood Cabinets
White and Wood Toned Cabinets
If you want to do white two-toned cabinets in your kitchen, but are finding the second color hard to choose, why not let nature do it?
Wood cabinets come in all different grains and colors, so there is sure to be something that suits you!
White Cabinets with Light or Natural Wood
When I hear white and wood cabinets, I immediately go somewhere Scandinavian. Let’s take a look at some classic combinations with lighter tones of wood.
I’m starting off with my two favorites in this category! Both have all white perimeter cabinets and a light wood island with stunning waterfall countertop.
Ooh la la! (Or should I say “Ja!” ?)
The white cabinets in the first kitchen are Sherwin Williams Alabaster:
Here is my other white and light wood fave:
I love the Portuguese inspired tile! I think this is the only kitchen that I saw which features bamboo.
Keep your eyes peeled for lots more cabinets by @heritagecabs.
Here is a more traditional kitchen with white upper cabinets and light maple lowers.
I love that new cabinets almost always go to the ceiling!
Turns out we no longer need that space to display ceramic roosters. Thanks though!
White Upper Cabinets with Dark Wood Lower Cabinets and/or Islands
Let’s go to the dark side now, and explore the world of white cabinets with dark wood contrasting cabinets.
The lower cabinets in this kitchen are the same color as the white on everything else: Sherwin Williams Greek Villa.
You can see more of Greek Villa, and the house on @zebuhill, in my post: Sherwin Williams Greek Villa Review (and Dupes!)
The bold matched-up grain on these next wood cabinets makes them the showstopper in an otherwise simple kitchen:
I do love a glossy cabinet!
Bespoke Redesign used this same Semihandmade wood style for a retro inspired two tone kitchen:
The avocado green tile is a bold choice, but the vertical stacking keeps it modern.
If you haven’t heard of Semihandmade, they offer a huge variety of cabinet doors that allow you to get a custom look from an Ikea kitchen!
Here is another white kitchen, but this time the dark wood is featured only on the island:
Riemer Kitchens used a contrasting stone and different hardware on the island to create this unique look.
Moving on, if I was to describe to you a kitchen that has white lower cabinets, a combination of white with wood and glass uppers, and a wood island, that would sound pretty darn busy.
So how does it look so good?
The perfectly spaced glass front cabinets add some eye-catching symmetry to this spacious kitchen.
I’m fairly sure that the color on the white cabinets here is from the factory..
Medium Wood Toned and White Cabinets
For something traditional and timeless, you might be considering a mid-toned wood to pair with white cabinets.
This birch island is stained to mirror the floor, and the custom hood vent features a nice accent of the same wood.
Simple black hardware and white countertops complete the look. This is one of the only kitchens where they opted for an extension of the countertop instead of a tile backsplash.
Also by Cripps and Sons, this kitchen features a similar mid-toned wood, but this time it’s on all of the lower cabinets, with white for the uppers.
They opted to use the same black hardware on both.
I don’t know if you spotted the trend, but there were a few kitchens with gold hardware amongst these white and wood variations.
Here is one more!
The pendant lights really make you notice the hardware and faucet.
The cabinets here are Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, and the the wall color is Simply White.
Cream and Wood Toned Cabinets
I kept this classically chic kitchen to its own category because the upper cabinets are decidedly cream and not white.
Kristin (@Kristinmacchia_homeinprogress) refinished her dark espresso oak cabinets into this cream and walnut dream. Real wood for the win!
Get the Look
After stripping the original finish (she used Jasco but I couldn’t find a link for it, so you could try Smart Strip), Kristin rough sanded with a palm sander and finished with 180 sanding sponge.
She applied Varathane Wood Stain in the color “Flagstone” but that doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon. I would try this water-based non toxic stain in the color “Whole Wheat.” That seems to be the best reviewed and closest color.
For all the details, Kristin has saved Instagram highlights that you can follow step by step.
Pretty incredible transformation!
For the upper cabinets, try Sherwin Williams Alabaster.
White and Stained Wood Cabinets
So yes, technically all of these wood cabinets have probably been stained, but I wanted to show a couple that were stained in a less traditional color.
This first kitchen features a driftwood gray color. Again Bespoke Redesign used Semihandmade doors, this time in the color “Cove.”
They matched the wood on the hood vent to the same tone.
These next cabinets might just be my favorite wood color ever!
Marissa from @in_vest_homes, managed to create the taupe color on these lower cabinets with stain!
Marissa used a Sherwin Williams exterior stain, in the color Mountain Ash (SW 3540).
The cabinets here are custom made in birch, so you may want to spot test on your own wood to get the right shade.
If Mountain Ash isn’t going to work with your wood, try a whitewash stain and add a couple drops of one with a purple tone.
Black and Wood Toned Cabinets
As an alternative to a classic black and white color scheme, let’s take a look at a black and white wood two-tone kitchen.
Jessica (@thehouse_on2060) mixed black cabinets with light natural wood.
You can see much more of Jessica’s home in my post: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black (Is it the Best Black? Plus Dupes!)
Her whole house is Sherwin Williams Extra White and Tricorn Black, but when it came to the kitchen she chose natural wood instead of more white, which I think was a smart choice!
The gold hardware, faucet, and light fixtures work well with the light wood to create a third color in her palette.
Here is a closer shot of the finished product:
Another wood trimmed range hood! I smell a trend.
Initially, these were the only wood and black two-tone cabinets that I found when I was gathering inspo for this post.
If you are considering doing two tone black and white cabinets, this is a more unique take on a traditional look!
Here is the one other kitchen that I found which did two toned black and wood cabinets:
The cabinets here are carefully matched to the floors. This is also one of the only kitchens in this article that has dark countertops.
To get this look, try Sherwin Williams Caviar.
If you are drawn to the charcoal tone that the cabinets have in the light, you will like Sherwin Williams Iron Ore.
Blue and Wood Toned Cabinets
This next look is pretty specific, but if you like a western inspired vibe with a masculine feel, you may like it.
Now that’s a huge kitchen!
Get the look with Sherwin Williams Salty Dog:
It’s a color somewhere between electric blue and navy.
Green and Wood Toned Cabinets
These next two-toned cabinets, are not two tones that I would have ever put together!
The team at Residence Design chose a sage green color for most of this galley kitchen, and manufactured the look of an island, by doing the peninsula in the warm wood tone.
Now the color here is Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog, but you would never guess because it looks super bright in this kitchen.
If you like the color as it appears in these pictures, take a look at Sherwin Williams Clary Sage.
This next kitchen was designed by Rachelle from Wall to Wall Design.
Rachelle used natural wood-toned shelving in place of upper cabinets, and duplicated the same color on the island.
The rest of the lower cabinets are Essex Green, which is a super dark green by Benjamin Moore:
I love a dark green cabinet! If you do too, you will enjoy my post: Trend-Setting Green Kitchen Cabinet Ideas (Plus: 22 Paint Colors to Use!)
Two Toned All Wood Cabinets
In a category all by its lonesome, is this kitchen that features two different tones of wood. The perimeter cabinets are in a medium walnut color, and the island is slightly lighter.
The wood floors are a different tone again, as is the wood on the staircase. The result is simple, but not boring.
White countertops, marble backsplash, and gold hardware complete the look.
Black and White Two-Toned Cabinets
I had to pair down these kitchens to just my most favorite, because I could do a five mile long post on just black and white two tone cabinets!
In this kitchen, Meridith (@lexstyleanddesign) not only chose two different cabinet colors, she maxed the contrast by choosing different hardware too!
Get this look with the Benjamin Moore colors Simply White and Onyx:
Meridith used Simply White throughout her home, and you can see plenty more of it in my post: Simply White – A Benjamin Moore Classic (Plus Alternatives!)
This next “kitchen” is actually the butler’s pantry in Jessica’s house.
(Remember Jessica from the black-and-light-wood kitchen?)
I just wanted to show it, because I think many of us have pokey little kitchens like this, and it looks very chic and crisp.
Just like her walls, the upper cabinets are Sherwin Williams Extra White and the lowers are Tricorn Black:
Here is a funky kitchen that I would brand as “farmhouse industrial” :
Sure there’s shiplap, wooden shelves, and an apron sink, but Bailey’s (@clarkansaslove) addition of the quirky garage door and the brick wall take it somewhere new.
Here is a picture of the outside when the opening had temporary glass while waiting for the garage window:
Here’s what Bailey says about her quirky kitchen:
“Our marble countertops extend outside to create bar seating on the back porch. I love having gatherings and opening this bad boy up- it really extends our entertaining space!”
Bailey’s two tone kitchen colors are Sherwin Williams perennial favorites Pure White and Tricorn Black:
White and Black Stained Cabinets
These next kitchens take a twist on black and white two-tone cabinets by using a black stain instead of a paint.
The white here is quite creamy, but the contrast is bumped up by also using black countertops on the island.
Get the look with Sherwin Williams Shoji White:
This kitchen is also by John Askew Custom Homes and is very similar! This time the overall color scheme is a bit lighter.
The double islands are stained black with sleek white countertops.
I haven’t used a black stain myself, but I have heard good things about Minwax Wood Effects Charred Black.
For a similar creamy white to the wall cabinets, try Sherwin Williams Whitetail:
The walls here look very similar to Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan.
Cream and Black Two Tone Cabinets
There are all shades of white, but these cabinets are definitely cream, so I thought I would show them as another option.
Alisa (@theholley_home) used two shades of Valspar paint for her two tone cabinets: Cracked Pepper and Thistle Seed.
Unfortunately, neither color comes with the puppy.
Refinishing Your Cabinets?
The easiest way to choose a paint color would be to order peel and stick samples! I’m not just saying that.
In other parts of your house, a painted poster board leaned against the wall might suffice, but nothing beats physically putting the color on your cabinets.
The fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to test your paint colors, is by ordering a peel-and-stick sample!
Samplize will ship you a large “sticker” made of actual paint. You can reposition it to check out the color in every area of your home.
The best part? It often ends up being cheaper than buying the test pots and sampling the old fashioned way. (Plus you can order all the colors you want!)
Canadian? Hello Paint does the same thing, without the expensive international shipping.
Green and White Cabinets
Green kitchen cabinets are the next blue kitchen cabinets, and I have them in spades!
White and Light Green Cabinets
Vanessa (@rustic.charm.in.the.valley) chose Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, a soft green for her island, and complimented the rest of her white kitchen with black hardware and wood details.
Get this look with Sherwin Williams Sea Salt:
The next kitchen we have is another one by Riemer Kitchens, so these are actually stock colors:
The lower cabinets are in their color Sea Glass.
The brass hardware provides a nice contrast from the soft green.
Refinishing you cabinets? You can achieve a similar look with Sherwin Williams Contented:
This next kitchen by Heritage Cabinets has a similar color scheme, but this time the green is a little smokier:
Get the look with Benjamin Moore Misted Green:
White and Sage Green Cabinets
Sage colors are uber popular, but I will hold back and just show a couple of white and sage two toned kitchens!
I love the use of gold hardware in this first kitchen by Alicia Hewitt Interiors:
I’m actually pretty sure that the upper cabinets are stock, but they look just like Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace to me, so I’m swatching that anyways!
The lower cabinets are Benjamin Moore Saybrook Sage:
Oak Story Design has some really great kitchens, but this is one of my favorites! You might have already seen it in my Carolina Gull post.
The artisan tile is really doing it for me!
It looks more gray here, but Carolina Gull is definitely a gray green. For the upper cabinets, Oak Story chose Sherwin Williams Shoji White:
White and Mid-Toned Green
Sherwin Williams Rosemary is not really a sage green and not a forest or hunter green, so I guess we will class it on it’s own as a “mid-green.”
No matter what you call it, Rosemary is a great color for a two tone cabinet moment!
Nicole (@basicbluehouse) has since swapped out that standard door for this wood and glass number:
At first glance you might think this next picture is the same kitchen, but this one by Jen Dulac (@jendulacdesign) just has a similar layout!
(And almost the same stools!)
Jen used Sherwin Williams White Flour on the perimeter cabinets, and Rosemary on the island.
White and Dark Green
These cabinets were hard to class, because they could just as easily be in the black and white cabinet section!
Sherwin Williams Greenblack is a super dark green that can be used like a black, and that’s exactly what Jake and Candi (@bridlewoodacres) did!
For the upper cabinets, they chose the same white that they used for the rest of the house: Sherwin Williams Pure White.
I think this is one of the prettiest waterfall islands that I’ve seen. That stone is gorgeous!
Get the look:
Gray and Green
This next two-toned kitchen is a really interesting color scheme. The outside cabinets are in a soft gray, and the island is a gentle green.
I went looking for some paint colors that will give you the same effect.
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is a super light gray on the verge of an off-white, and Sherwin Williams Sea Salt is a pretty close match to the color on the island:
Blue and White Cabinet Combinations
Despite how popular green cabinets are getting, blue – specifically navy – cabinets are still a popular choice in two tone kitchens.
Let’s take a look at some sexy, smouldery, blue and white kitchens!
Navy and White Two Tone Cabinets
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy has long been one of the most popular navy blues on the market. Here GR Fine Finishes (@grcabinetpainting) paired it with Sherwin Williams Extra White.
Try out this combination! :
This next navy and white kitchen features yet another waterfall countertop, but this time in the peninsula.
I am loving this crisp color scheme and the glossy panelled ceiling!
Get the look with Benjamin Moore Simply White and Hale Navy:
How about navy and white with a funky 70’s backsplash?
The floral reminds me of my grandma’s plates, in the best way possible!
Love the colors? Try Sherwin Williams Snowbound with SW Salty Dog:
Sherwin Williams Cyberspace is the color on this next set of lower cabinets and island, but it’s a bit of a tricky one to categorize!
Cyberspace is somewhere between navy, charcoal, and black.
The upper cabinets here are Sherwin Williams Creamy:
Check out my post: Cyberspace (The Moodiest Charcoal Blue!) SW 7076
The navy blue lower cabinets in this next kitchen, are just one of many classic elements in this bright kitchen.
The color here is Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue:
Finally, an unexpected choice in a navy blue stain:
This is a fun choice if you are using real wood and are hesitant to paint and lose the grain entirely.
I have not personally used a color stain like this, but SamaN Water-Based Wood Stain is top rated, and comes in a variety of colors, including navy. They also have a brighter “Azure” color.
White and Powder Blue
If Marie Antoinette had a southern inspired kitchen, I imagine it would look something like this:
Inspired by the country opulence theme?
Try Sherwin Williams North Star, a subtle blue gray:
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love the clean simplicity of this white and blue kitchen by Tracy (@tracyelaineirwin) :
The white on the ceiling, floor, upper cabinets, and subway tile, are all slightly different shades and textures to keep things interesting.
I even love the basic chrome cup pulls!
This blue is Benjamin Moore Colorado Gray, which is actually on the same color strip as Aegean Teal, which we will see in just a minute. The white is Simply White once again!
Finally I’m cheating a little bit with this two-toned blue and white kitchen, but I feel like the mega oversized hood counts as a good amount of white space:
You know I love a Portuguese inspired tile!
For this look, try Behr Ultra Pure White with Benjamin Moore Silver Gray:
Teal and White Cabinets
Finally the color I promised from the Colorado Gray color strip: Aegean Teal.
Of course Archetype Designs went with Chantilly Lace for the upper cabinets.
(Aka the best white everrrr!)
I am in love with this kitchen! Aegean Teal is bright enough to make a statement, but calm enough to be liveable:
Aegean Teal was actually Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year for 2021.
For more of this delicious hue, check out my post: Benjamin Moore Aegean Teal Review and Dupes
Now for a darker and more mysterious teal shade, Sherwin Williams Cascades:
Cascades is a bit more green than Aegean Teal:
You can see more of this color in my post: Best Dark Green Paint Colors from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and More!
Finally in the teal and white category is this gorgeous kitchen by Oak Story Design:
Another top-notch tile choice!
The wall cabinets are all Benjamin Moore White Dove, and the island is Benjamin Moore Gibraltar Cliffs:
Grayish colors are fun because they never look the same on the swatch, but this is indeed the color!
White and Aqua Cabinets
An antique finish is not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are still plenty of people who like it.
Here is a kitchen with white upper and lower cabinets and an antique turquoise island.
Get the look with Country Chic Chalk Paint in the color Tropical Cocktail.
The nice thing about a colorful island, is that you can be as bold as you want to be, and it’s not nearly as much work to change later!
White and Beige, Taupe, or Pewter Cabinets
This is probably my favorite category because I looove ambiguous neutrals. Something about a classic natural colors just look expensive to me. I feel pretty much the same when it comes to my wardrobe.
Let’s take a look!
The mushroom color on this island looks great with the grays and browns in the stone countertop, which the owners imported from Brazil!
A popular choice for two toned kitchens, is to choose a different countertop for the island, and we can see that done particularly well here.
Dupe the look of this two toned kitchen (perhaps sans Brazilian stone) with Sherwin Williams Snowbound and Polished Concrete:
Taupe is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of colors, but I happen to be a taupe lover!
Luckily this homeowner was as well:
It’s a bit hard to tell here, but these taupe cabinets are glossy.
You might not be able to dupe the look of a foil cabinet with your remodel, but you can play twinsies with the color by using Benjamin Moore Sandlot Gray:
Now for a little something on the greener side of taupe, or what some might call pewter:
Get this look with a classic neutral white like Behr Diamonds Therapy, and the age old favorite: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.
Can you still make an impact with two tone cabinets if you choose lower contrast colors?
This cream and putty color scheme provides just the right amount of contrast while still keeping things light and bright.
These cabinets can be duped by using Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois and London Fog:
White and Gray Two Tone Cabinets
Gray can come in so many different forms, so I made it a separate category apart from the other neutrals we just looked at.
From silver to charcoal, here are some two tone kitchen cabinets featuring white and gray.
White and Light Gray (Silvery) Cabinets
For the lightest silvery gray option, check out this kitchen which features a subtle accent island:
This kitchen was designed by Marissa again, from @in_vest_homes. She used Sherwin Williams Alabaster for the walls and the rest of the cabinetry. Get the look of this kitchen by using Sherwin Williams Ice Cube as your second tone:
For something a bit bolder than Ice Cube, check out this soothing gray:
I believe these cabinets are a custom color, but they remind me very much of my personal favorite gray paint color: Benjamin Moore Shoreline. I have used Shoreline in my own home a few times over!
For the white in this pairing, try Benjamin Moore Snowfall White:
White and Dove Gray Cabinets
For a middle-of-the-road gray tone with a soothing softness, check out this kitchen by Riemer Kitchens:
Now that’s an island!
The perfect dove gray is pretty hard to find. In the end I narrowed it down to Sherwin Williams Analytical Gray:
Or for something a little lighter and cooler, Valspar Filtered Shade:
White and Blue Gray Two Toned Cabinets
Blue gray paint colors are also tricky! They tend to be chameleons, and can be hard to nail down.
To mimic the blue gray lower cabinets in this kitchen, try Behr Nor’Wester:
White and Warm Gray Two Toned Cabinets
Speaking of chameleons, Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray is one of these shapeshifters all day every day.
In that first photo you can really see the warm tones.
Here is one more of the same kitchen in the @rockcreekfarmhouse before it was finished:
The walls in here are Sherwin Williams Snowbound.
Just to give you another idea of how Dorian Gray can look, here is an all-Dorian kitchen:
It looks darker and cooler here!
Dorian Gray can look pretty dark in a kitchen with less natural light, so it’s the perfect candidate to use with white upper cabinets.
White and Charcoal Kitchen Cabinets
Okay so the “white” here is actually Sherwin Williams Creamy, but I won’t tell if you don’t!
The designers at The Finishing Room (@thefinishingroommke) chose Sherwin Williams Iron Ore for the island, which is probably the most popular charcoal color on the market!
Gray and Black Cabinet Color Scheme
I’m cheating somewhat with this next kitchen, because Bespoke Redesign actually used Iron Ore on the island here.
It really looks black however, so it is our inspo for a two-tone gray and black kitchen regardless!
Here’s the real color scheme:
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray has got to be up there with the nicest grays for cabinets! It’s very soft and not too cool.
The thing to know about Iron Ore, is that while it can look black in low light, it really isn’t.
(I talk a lot more about this in my post: Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn)
Unless your kitchen is in a basement, or you want it to look charcoal sometimes, try a true black like Tricorn Black instead:
Green and Gray Two Tone Cabinets
You might be asking “I’m sorry, green and gray?” after that last photo.
The island actually is a charcoal color: Sherwin Williams Iron Ore (yet again!). The filter is just doing the most!
Here’s another shot of the same kitchen with a different filter:
That’s actually not a bad shot of Iron Ore, but the green cabinets are Sherwin Williams Clary Sage, and they are less minty in real life.
Madison’s house is super fun! You can see a bit more in my Black Interior Doors post. (And of course, on his Instagram!)
Don’t Forget Your Supplies!
This little brush might look funny, but it’s my absolute ride or die!
Rollers like these hold the most paint and make the job faster. Get a metal roller cage for easy on and off.
DryDex is the fastest (and funnest!) way to make chips and dents disappear. (Make sure you get a small spackling tool that actually fits in the container, and a sanding sponge.)
This tool will save your back and limit time on a ladder.
Two Tone Cabinet Moody Musings
I hope there was a color scheme here for you! I tried to come up with a pretty exhaustive list.
Personally my favorite is probably white with another neutral. (Although I do love a dark green.)
I would always choose Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace for white cabinets, and my ideal lower color would be Repose Gray, or a taupe shade like Sandlot Gray.
Don’t forget! I have even more cabinets for you to peruse in this post: Trend-Setting Green Kitchen Cabinet Ideas (Plus: 22 Paint Colors to Use!)
For choosing the perfect white paint color, check out these posts: