All Mixed Up

So, what’s hot in kitchens?  According to Lisa Bertagnoli of Crain’s Chicago Business, kitchens cabinets that aren’t all the same color are hot.  I say, this is not a new trend as I’ve been seeing it for several years.  I like mixing colors, species of woods and countertops.  You have to do it well or you could end up with something like this:

This is NOT the look you want

 Ok, I’m lending you my critical eye.  Why is the above kitchen a very poor interpretation of the mixed finishes concept?  It’s because they’ve stuck one cabinet with not only a different finish, but a different style in between a row of homogenous cabinets.  That just looks like you needed something to fill the space and ran out and grabbed the first thing in the right size.  No, no, no.

Here are some kitchens that display the concept well.

Attractive mixed finishes

Ok, this kitchen is done well because there is balance and harmony in the mixing.  You have the white cabinetry balanced with the light walls and all the cabinetry on one side is the same color.  The darker island relates to the darker table, chairs, buffet and hutch and flooring.  Nothing looks incongrous. 

 Let’s look at another:

Pretty Country Kitchen

There’s a lot of mixing going on here!  You have different floors, different finishes, different door styles,  and different crown treatments.  Why does this succeed where the first example failed?  Again, there’s some harmony and unifying elements that make it all come together to look good.  Look, for instance at the two-toned wall.  See how the gold area unites the two sets of cabinetry?  And even though the door styles are very different, they’re both very “country”.  The differences in floor materials adds to the rustic, authentic feel.  You get the impression that the cupboard might have been a piece  that was passed down from a previous generation. 

Now that you’ve seen some of what works and what doesn’t in mixing finishes, what do you think?  Would you be brave enough to try it?

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