90-matching-different-materials-and-finishesKitchen design trends tend to mirror those in the clothing fashion world, and right now, “matchy matchy” is a thing of the past. A new style that is trending right now is mixing materials and finishes; but still creating a clean classic look.  You can start with something as easy as your cabinet knobs, or “go big” with countertops and cabinets.


This is a tricky area when it comes to updating your kitchen, because cabinets are often one of the most expensive element in your kitchen to replace.  Many designers say it is best to stay safe with classic wood finishes and trim, despite the ever-changing style trends.  But if your cabinets are all cherry wood and you add an island, who is to say the island can’t be oak?  Or if your perimeter cabinets are a cream color, try adding a dark glaze on the island for a nice contrast.  If your kitchen introduces materials such as wood and laminate cabinets, you could tie them together by using the same hardware.


The choices for kitchen countertops are endless:  solid-surface, stone, wood, stainless steel, ceramic, laminate, etc.  Typically in an older kitchen you will see the same material on every surface.  It is more common in today’s kitchens to see different materials, and that is perfectly acceptible.

Just like with cabinets, you can choose different materials and tie them in with a common thread, such as color.  For instance, if you have black laminate countertops on the perimeter, you may try opting for a marble island top of white with black veins running through it.


If you want to try your hand at mixing different materials in the kitchen, but are on a strict budget, then changing out the hardware or lighting fixtures can be a great starting point. This will add a subtle change and is easier on the wallet than replacing cabinets and countertops.  Just because your appliances are stainless steel, doesn’t mean you have to follow suit with stainless pull knobs, hardware and light fixtures.  If you have warm colors or a country style, how about bronze cabinet pulls with copper light fixtures?  And if your look is sleek and modern, you can try brushed nickel pulls (so they do not show fingerprints like the stainless steel can) and black fixtures.  Don’t forget that your kitchen sink faucet comes in an array of color options too.

There are no strict rules when it comes to design. If you choose materials based on the durability and budget that your lifestyle requires, the style options can be endless.   Have you heard the adage about the trees in the forest?  They are all intermixed- Oak, Pine and Evergreen, but yet every one of them still beautiful and living in harmony.  So let your design style flow- be creative and have fun.