A Serene, Two-Tone Blue and White Kitchen

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This mood board evokes a serene, cool look as only blue, white and gray can. It inspires thoughts of two-tone cabinets, embracing one of today’s biggest kitchen trends.

Two-tone kitchens, with lower cabinets in a color and upper cabinets usually in white, are an internet darling right now, and with good reason. Not only do you get more color into your kitchen, but you also get lower cabinets that show less wear than all-white cabinetry.

Take a closer look at the rich, medium blue on the recessed cabinet door. The surface has a muted sheen. Semi-gloss finishes like this one pick up light and keep darker colors like today’s popular blue and charcoal hues from looking too dull. These glossier surfaces also tend to resist spills. How about this for lower cabinets?

The small, white door is Shaker style, with classic Shaker simplicity—just a raised “rail” framing a plain center panel. This particular piece is “wide rail” Shaker, meaning the frame around the edges is wider than in traditional Shaker construction. Wide rail Shaker looks as good on a drawer front as it does on a cabinet door. Picture this style as your upper cabinets, or maybe on a freestanding pantry cupboard.

These brushed bronze handles add a touch of metallic warmth to the cabinets, without being too shiny-new. Using a bar-shaped handle on one cabinet style and a round pull on the other creates contrast. You don’t have to have all your hardware match.

Tough, Trendy Countertops

Countertops might be the hardest-working part of your kitchen. We’ve all done it: You plop down pots, pans, groceries, purses, mail, even kids, all on your counters. You spill everything from tomato sauce to wine on them.

You need them to be long-lasting even under constant use. Oh, and they should look good too. The countertop, sampled for our mood board, looks like marble, but it’s actually quartz, one of the most popular countertop materials.

Quartz countertops are 90 percent or more quartz stone, ground and mixed with resins to bind and strengthen it. This material resists stains and scratches, and it’s nonporous, so spills don’t sink in. Quartz is low maintenance, too. While granite countertops require repeated sealing to keep their looks and prevent damage, quartz doesn’t require specialist treatment.

Visually, countertops can create a beautiful transition between your lower and upper cabinets. This mixed white and pale gray countertop pairs well with both the blue and white pictured here. Cool gray is deep blue’s cousin, always good for adding subtle lightness to keep blue from getting too serious.

Feeling inspired? Visit Kitchen Tune-Up online to see how styles like these might work in your own kitchen. You can try our design tool here.

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