Three Tone Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas

kitchen cabinet design ideas

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Picking out a cabinet color is an important step in your kitchen remodel because it dictates so much of the overall color scheme and overall atmosphere of this space. While previous interior design trends favored monochrome kitchen cabinets, there is something to be said about a three-tone design. 

Kitchens can often feel overly sterile or clinical if they’re designed in neutral tones, especially white. Adding complementary colors can make it feel warmer, fresher, and more modern. It can also add some much needed visual interest to a space that has less leeway for intricate or unique design. The kitchen is a utilitarian space first, and an aesthetic one, second. That’s why it’s important to find other ways to express your aesthetic sensibilities. 

If a three tone kitchen cabinet design feels too complicated, or not streamlined enough, then a two tone design can serve the same purpose, but achieving a more subdued look. The secret to a look that is cohesive and not clashing is picking the right colors to pair together. 

How To Choose Colors For Your Three Tone Kitchen Cabinets

If you know a little about color theory, you know that there are certain colors that are naturally complementary. They work together seamlessly and harmoniously, and they take the guesswork out of the process. Of course, you can choose your own color ideas for a kitchen remodel, if you please, and end up with a completely unique design. If, however, you are looking to achieve a more traditionally aesthetically pleasing design, there are a few ways to choose complementary colors. 

Choose neutrals with a pop of color

3 tone kitchen cabinet design

The easiest way to play with color is to opt for two neutrals and one stronger color. That way, even if you opt for a three tone kitchen, your space is still grounded and it’s not just a riot of color. For example, let’s say your upper cabinets are a warm light wood, your counters are a darker wood color, and your island is a rich blue. 

That allows your island to stand out as the show piece in your kitchen, while still creating an overall harmonious effect. The island will not appear out of place, but it will merely be highlighted and complemented by the other colors. 

Choose colors that are part of the same color palette/family

color palette ideas for cabinets

One way you can never go wrong is if you opt for colors from the same palette or color family. That way, no matter what shades you choose, they will all go together and create a seamless look, even if the different elements are “mismatched”.

For example, if you opt for dark green counters, your upper cabinets can be a lighter shade of sage green, and it will still look beautiful and will match, despite being different. Neither color is the “star”, they both complement each other beautifully and are equally balanced to the eye. Especially with a white marble or warm toned butcher block countertop. 

It’s the same with neutrals. It’s better to opt for different shades of gray, than to choose a stark black and white. The effect is completely different, but the grays are much easier to pair together and style. 

Choose colors that are either warm or cool

warm color kitchen cabinet design

The specific colors you choose are less important than their temperature. What that means is that you should strive to ensure that whatever shades you choose, they are all within the same temperature spectrum. While traditionally we’re taught that some colors are warm (red, yellow), and some are cool (blue, green), the truth is any color can be warm or cool, depending on its composition. So you can actually play with any color, as long as you pick the right shade. 

Let’s say you want a pink and red kitchen, but you’re trying to stay away from the Barbie look. Instead of opting for very blue-based shades like cotton candy pink and pillarbox red, opt for warmer shades of light pink and burgundy. That not only ensures that the color palette is cohesive, but it also lends it a sophistication that it would otherwise lack. 

If you’re looking at kitchen remodel color schemes in blues and you want to opt for a navy, then your other shades should be an ocean blue, and a sky blue, because they’re all cool toned. Adding an indigo blue, for example, would clash with the other shades, because it’s a warm blue, however silly that may sound. 

Final thoughts

Picking your color scheme for your kitchen cabinets can be one of the more exciting parts of your remodel, or it can be stressful, if you’re not sure about your design goals. If you’re not confident in your color choices, hiring an expert team like Honey-Doers can take the guesswork out of your project.