Mixing dark and light wood tones works well in almost any home, so whether or not dark cabinets will work with your light wood floors depends on the rest of your decor more than the wood itself. Consider the finish and wood type to avoid creating a look that is too busy with multiple colors and textures.
The best way to mix dark and light woods is to use the same or similar wood but with a different stain. For example, match blond oak floors with walnut-stained oak cabinets. Floors with a finer grain might work well with cherry or maple cabinets with a dark brown or red stain. If your woods aren't similar, don't worry too much. Just make sure they have a similar sheen to their finishes and your kitchen will tie together well.
The dark and light woods aren't the only features in your kitchen, so consider the colors surrounding them as you complete your room design. Choose countertops similar in color to your floors to bring the light wood color up to intermix with the dark wood cabinets. For walls and backsplashes, choose colors that mix well with both woods. Warm neutrals, such as ivory, cream or bisque work well with nearly any wood tone, or choose a sage green or warm gray to balance the warmth with a slightly cooler tone.
Shiny new cabinets look great in any kitchen, but if your floor doesn't match their condition, your overall design will not work. If you are replacing older cabinets but keeping the same hardwood floor, fix and refinish the floor when you install the new cabinets. The matching condition will help tie the room together with a cohesive feel.
Choose accents that bring each wood tone into the other's area. For example, bring your dark cabinet wood down to the floor by adding baseboard trim that matches the cabinets rather than the floor. If you prefer softer accents, choose floor mats that match your cabinet color and scatter them throughout the area. Bring the floor color upward with light-colored wood trim around windows in the room. You can also use glass facing instead of wood on a few central cabinets to lighten the overall feel of the room.
- Photo Credit kitchen image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com
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