Category Archives: Two-toned Cabinets

Tuxedo Cabinets: Today’s Kitchen Design Innovation, Made Possible With Semi Custom Cabinets

Today’s kitchens are breaking all the design rules, and even the standard cabinetry is getting innovative treatments. Take for example the Tuxedo cabinets look. Despite the name, these don’t have to be black-and-white kitchens. Tuxedo refers to the contrast between two different colors of cabinetry. Also known as two-toned kitchens or cabinets, you’ll see this contrast showing up in all kinds of ways in modern kitchens.

Contrasting colors in kitchen cabinetry expand design options
At first, Tuxedo cabinets meant one color on the base kitchen cabinets and another on the wall cabinets. Most kitchens sported a darker color below with a lighter color above because that both made the kitchen look taller and more open, and made the dark base cabinets more furniture-like in appearance. With this look, the base cabinets stand out as the wall cabinets blend into the, well, wall.

tuxedo cabinetsNow those two tones can be appear just about anywhere. Below is a quick round-up of the two-toned kitchen cabinet designs we’ve seen of late:

  • Your contrasting colors might reversed, with the lighter color below, as in this example of a pantry with white kitchen cabinets topped by stained wood shelves.
  • We’re also seeing several new kitchen designs with the wall cabinets all one color but the kitchen island done in a darker color for contrast, as in this kitchen.
  • We’ve seen kitchens with base cabinets and wall cabinets one darker color and then only a few wall cabinets with glass fronts done in white—very classy.
  • Using stained wood cabinets for the base cabinets and white, cream or antique white cabinets above is another popular design approach, and definitely makes the base cabinets look more like furniture.
  • Then there’s the combination of all dark cabinets, upper and lower, along one wall and all light colored cabinets along another.
  • Darker cabinets can also be used to surround and therefore showcase something such as an elaborate range. With lighter colored cabinets around the rest of the room, but darker cabinets framing the feature, one’s eye is immediately drawn in.
  • This look does not have to be a dramatic contrast. Light gray cabinets with white wall cabinets offer a subtler approach and softer design, yet still achieve the intended open effect.

A two-toned approach is a flexible one
When choosing Tuxedo cabinets, or two-toned as they are also known, you’re not restricted to any particular use or combination, as we hope the ideas above prove. Instead, it opens up all kinds of possibilities and ways for you to personalize your design.

And this flexible approach to designing your kitchen is easily achieved with semi custom cabinets, like those hand-crafted by Wellborn Forest. Browse the dozens of door styles and dozens of stains and colors, plus the many types of finishes, and you’ll realize the possibilities are almost endless. If a two-toned kitchen is your vision, you can make it happen with Wellborn Forest.

What Are Tuxedo Cabinets and Are They Right for Your New Kitchen?

Tuxedo cabinets are among the hottest of the hot trends in kitchen design right now, although they’re not all that new technically. In case the term is new to you, we explain tuxedo cabinets below along with a few reasons why you might want to choose this new kitchen design approach…

Tuxedo cabinets explained
Tuxedo cabinets are two tone kitchen cabinets, meaning the floor cabinets are one color or shade and the upper wall cabinets are another. Although the name makes it sound like the cabinets are black and white, tuxedo cabinets can be any combination of light and dark. You could have dark gray cabinets below and light gray cabinets above, for example.

Nor does the darker color have to be on the lower cabinets, although that’s usually the case. The lighter cabinets can be below with the darker ones above.

Are tuxedo cabinets right for your new kitchen?
Tuxedo cabinets are incredibly popular right now for a variety of reasons. Do any of these reasons appeal to you and your vision of your dream kitchen?

  • Tuxedo cabinets have the effect of making the cabinets look more like furniture, as the upper cabinets blend into the wall more if painted the same color while the lower cabinets stand out more if they’re darker.
  • Tuxedo cabinets can make a short kitchen seem taller when the lighter color is above, or shorter when the darker color is above.
  • Tuxedo cabinets can create a focal point, because our eyes are drawn to what stands out, and you choose what that is. It might be cabinets or a kitchen island or an appliance that you choose, but it’s the contrast that helps you create the focus.
  • Tuxedo cabinets break up the monotony of all one color cabinets. And as our homes are open in concept and kitchens are much more of a living space than a utilitarian one, we are much more mindful of design and visual appeal.

Tuxedo cabinets are versatile too
Although you might not think it at first, tuxedo cabinets are extremely versatile. Any number of cabinet door styles will work so you can go more traditional or contemporary, and your color choices and the degree of contrast you choose is also totally up to you. If you’re picturing a starkly modern and sleek black and white kitchen, that’s only if that’s what you want. Tuxedo cabinets are more about creating exactly the look you envision in your dream kitchen than they are about making any kind of design statement. So play with the idea a little and see if it might work for you!

4 Reasons Why Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets Work so Well—and Why They Might Work for You

There is no decorating rule that says all of your semi custom cabinets have to be the same color. In fact, two tone kitchen cabinets are getting really popular, as a quick glance at Pinterest proves. Besides the fact that two tone cabinets can create beautiful kitchens, there are several other reasons why this trend is so hot right now…

  1. Create a focal point

    You can use two tone kitchen cabinets to create a focal point in your kitchen. It might be the island in the middle of the room, or perhaps you have a glorious AGA range you want to feature…either way, using a different color cabinet around the element you want to draw attention to is a smart way to do the trick.

This can also make your kitchen island seem more like a standalone piece of furniture, another hot trend in kitchen design these days, because it gives the kitchen a homier, cozier feel.

  1. Trick the eye
    Two tone kitchen cabinets can also help with optical illusions. If you have a very high kitchen ceiling and you want to visually “lower” it so your kitchen feels cozier, use a darker color on your upper cabinets.

Alternatively, and much more common, you’ll see the darker color on the lower cabinets, usually to “lift” the ceiling up. Kitchens in older homes tend to be smaller and using a lighter color on the semi custom cabinets up above makes the room feel more spacious and airy. (It’s the same reason so many people are opting for open shelving in lieu of upper cabinets…although open shelving creates many challenges, including clutter!)

(As a mother, may I also point out that darker cabinets down below will show less dirt where it’s more likely to occur?)

  1. Modernize a kitchen

    Two tone kitchen cabinets can also modernize a traditional kitchen, by bucking the “old school” all-cabinets-match approach to kitchen decorating. You might be locked into a certain floor plan and feel in your home if it’s an older one, but you do have options for getting your kitchen up-to-date regardless.

They also break up the monotony of a kitchen with all the same color or shade of cabinets. Even an all-white kitchen can be overpowering! Using white above and a darker color below softens the room, breaks up the monotony, and gives the kitchen a fresh, appealing look.

  1. Save a marriage

    Let’s be realistic here: Many kitchen remodels and redesigns are done by two people, whether they are domestic partners or married. If two people are going to argue about anything, it’s going to be about remodeling or redecorating. (Just ask any general contractor or professional kitchen designer.) Choosing two tone kitchen cabinets makes it possible to compromise on the kitchen design! Two tone kitchen cabinets—jazzing up homes and saving marriages both?

Using two tone kitchen cabinets does not require a strong contrast, like white kitchen cabinets above and black below. We’ve seen gorgeous kitchens that used light gray cabinets combined with white. The effect is admittedly more subtle, but that is what some people want. If you’re thinking about a two toned approach to your new kitchen, be creative! The possibilities are almost endless.