Color Scheme Series: 6 Countertop Colors for Kitchens with Dark Cabinets

White Vermont Quartzite Bar Top, Armonk, NY

White cabinetry is a popular color choice in kitchens as of late, where many homeowners may tend to prefer a bright, clean and airy aesthetic. However, pairing countertops to kitchens with dark cabinets can warm up your space and create a bold look. Dark cabinetry can definitely impact your selection of natural stone for your countertops. But, which hues are likely to work best with dark cabinets? 

Here are several color schemes that will be sure to help you achieve your preferred look and ambiance when your kitchen features dark cabinetry.

Countertop Color #1: Crisp Whites

Offsetting kitchens with dark cabinets with crisp, white countertops is a great way to add contrast to your kitchen and bring light into the space, helping to avoid an enclosed feeling that could result from too many dark surfaces.

Kitchens with Dark Cabinets - Design Ideas

If you prefer a stark contrast, you could opt for the drama of this industrial New York kitchen featuring black, flat-panel cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and white countertops that look like Calacatta marble, tied together with a backsplash in gray tile.

Red Wood Cabinets with White Countertops

Of course, you can also opt for somewhat less contrast by pairing white countertops with warmer, dark wood cabinets, as in this contemporary Upper West Side kitchen. White marble is an interesting choice to offset kitchens with dark cabinets and a green glass tile backsplash. It all works together to create a thoroughly modern kitchen space.

Countertop Color #2: Off-White

If you like the idea of white countertops but prefer a warmer aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with off-white shades that soften the overall look with a bit less contrast.

Kitchens with Dark Cabinets - White on Dark Wood

Granite is a great choice, whether you go with creamy, honeyed hues of Colonial Gold or opt for something a little closer to white, like the White Spring granite featured in this vintage kitchen.

Creamy granite countertops are ideal for kitchens that feature the popular two-tone cabinetry trend. They not only work well with dark tones, as in the island and flooring, but they also pop against white cabinets, where a true white countertop surface would fade into white cabinetry, but stand out starkly against darker cabinets. In other words, the off-white stone provides a subtle transition that creates a less jarring visual flow.

Countertop Color #3: Warm Hues

Kitchen Design with Warm Hues

If you want a warm and inviting kitchen space, you’ll love the look of this expansive kitchen in Newtown, CT featuring two-tone cabinetry. The warm, golden-brown hues of the granite pair equally well with the espresso hue of the island cabinets and the antique white finish of surrounding cabinetry.

A medium wood tone for the flooring helps to ease the transition between dark and light, while dark door and drawer pulls tie the lighter cabinetry to darker elements in the room. That said, every shade in the kitchen, from the flooring and cabinets, to the caramel granite, to the backsplash and ochre paint, tends toward the warm end of the color palette, making for a beautifully cohesive space, despite the many colors.

Countertop Color #4: Gray Tones

Gray has become a popular neutral over the last few years, particularly in kitchens.

Gray Tones with Dark Cabinetry

Few spaces exemplify the trend better than this NYC loft, featuring gray cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and gray countertops that could easily be mimicked from quartz suppliers like MSI Iced Gray Quartz or Silestone’s Kensho, for example.

Contemporary Kitchen with Dark Cabinets

If you’re looking for a slightly less monochromatic palette, you can easily differentiate your space like this contemporary kitchen. This kitchen features dark wood cabinets throughout, stainless steel appliances and hardware, and dimensional gray granite speckled with a myriad of white, gray and black tones for the island countertop. Further diversifying the space is a white countertop surround. Overall, there’s a lot of visual interest in this kitchen.

Countertop Color #5: Dark on Dark

Just because you have dark cabinets doesn’t mean you have to eliminate the possibility of dark countertops, as well. However, you do have to tread carefully to avoid creating a space that feels too heavy.  Connecticut Kitchen with Dark Cabinets

This Connecticut kitchen does it right, thanks to an open floor plan and plenty of natural light.

Not every homeowner could get away with pairing black-glazed maple cabinets with dark granite-like Black Galaxy, Jet Mist, or the Nero featured here. But, with cream walls, white trim, and lighter hardwood flooring, the dark tones draw attention without overwhelming the space. If you want to make a bold statement by pairing dark cabinets with dark countertops, just make sure to do it right by lightening up other elements to compensate.

Countertop Color #6: Colored Countertops

A bold kitchen featuring dark cabinetry and brightly colored countertops is a hard sell, but for creative homeowners, this look can add a lot of personality. 

Contemporary Quartz Kitchen with Dark Cabinets

Just look at this striking, contemporary kitchen featuring black cabinets, red Caesarstone quartz countertops, a red tile backsplash, and stainless steel appliances and hardware. If you’re not into traditional interiors, colorful countertops will certainly spice up your kitchen.

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