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Choosing the Right Cabinets and Countertops
Matching cabinets and countertops is one of the trickiest steps in a kitchen upgrade. With so many styles, materials and price points available, choosing the perfect combination can be overwhelming. Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect cabinet-countertop combo — no matter your kitchen’s design.
Less is More: The Modern Look
Get The Modern Look With:
Cabinet design: Shaker (frameless)
Cabinet wood: Maple, cherry, oak or pine
Countertop material: Solid surface, slate, granite, butcher block (wood) stainless steel, concrete or laminate

The modern kitchen is based on simplicity. Shaker cabinets offer sleek lines and multiple color options, making them the perfect complement to any contemporary kitchen design. Shaker cabinets come in a variety of wood types — including maple, cherry, oak and pine — all of which complement most stains and decor. Stainless steel, butcher block, concrete, solid surface, slate and granite are among the most popular countertop materials for modern kitchens.
Keep it Classy: The Traditional Look
Get The Traditional Look With:
Cabinet design: Traditional (framed)
Cabinet wood: Oak, cherry, mahogany or walnut
Countertop material: Granite, marble, butcher block, tile, quartz or engineered stone

Traditional kitchen design relies on craftsmanship and attention to detail. Framed cabinets featuring ornate trim are most at home in traditional kitchens. Choose heavy, durable woods like oak, cherry, mahogany and walnut for your kitchen cabinets. Then, pair your traditional cabinets with countertops fashioned from granite, marble, butcher block, tile, quartz or engineered stone.
The Best of Both Styles: The Transitional Look
Get The Transitional Look With:
Cabinet design: Traditional or Shaker
Cabinet wood: Oak, cherry, mahogany, pine, walnut or maple
Countertop material: Butcher block, stainless, granite, marble, quartz, engineered stone, laminate, solid surface or slate

If you can’t decide between contemporary and traditional styles, a transitional design is your solution. Transitional design borrows style points from both modern and traditional designs. Shaker or framed cabinets are appropriate for transitional kitchens, as are most countertop materials. Before jumping into a transitional design, make sure you have established a general theme to work around (i.e., farmhouse, English country, midcentury modern, etc.).
Mix and Match: Contrasting Cabinets and Countertops
Get the Contrasting Look With:
Cabinet color: White or light gray.
Countertop color: Mocha-colored butcher block, dark granite or deep slate.

Cabinet color: Black, dark tobacco or ebony.
Countertop color: Marble, stainless steel, light laminate, or white solid surface.

A contrasting look in your kitchen means your cabinets and countertops are opposite — or complimentary — colors. A contrasting aesthetic is popular among modern and contemporary kitchens. Here are a few examples of picture-perfect matchups:
Streamlined: Matching Cabinets and Countertops
Get the Matching Look With:
Cabinet color: White or light gray.
Countertop color: Marble, light granite or white quartz. 

Cabinet color: Black, dark tobacco or ebony.
Countertop color: Slate, dark granite or honed (black) marble.

In a matching aesthetic, cabinets and countertops are the same, or very similar, in color. Matching color schemes work with any aesthetic, although they’re most common in traditional kitchen designs. If you’re interested in a matching look, here are some envy-inducing ideas to get you started:
Getting the Look That Works for You
The best kitchen design will suit your taste, lifestyle and budget. Matching cabinets and countertops may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Enlisting the help of a kitchen designer and a reputable contractor is the easiest way to ensure that your new kitchen is a joy for years to come.

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