Should Kitchen and Bath Cabinets Match?
August 19, 2019
Should my kitchen and bathroom cabinets match? This is a question I often hear from clients remodeling or purchasing a home. The answer will depend on who you ask. Realtor's will tell you one thing, builders another and your friends will always have an opinion about kitchen and bathroom cabinets. As a kitchen and bath designer, here’s my thoughts.
Kitchen and Bath Cabinets for YOUR Home
My first question for a kitchen and bath renovation is “how long are you planning on staying in your home”? This answer is very telling when considering kitchen and bath cabinets. If you are planning to stay only a few years and move or upgrade to a larger home, resale value will be important.
Continuity throughout the home is valued in both kitchen and bath cabinets AND counter tops to appeal to a broad range of prospective buyers. It is best to go with a rather simple door style and neutral color or stain or paint, white being hugely desirable in today's market. Keep in mind, neutral does not always mean beige anymore.
If you plan to stay in your home for ten years or longer, matching kitchen and bath cabinets are not an issue. I would not shy away from personalizing your home and selecting styles and finishes that appeal to your personal design style, keeping mind that thoughtful continuity is still a good thing for “flow” throughout your home, especially in an open floor plan.
If this is your forever home by all means, go wild (if that's your style.) The sky's the limit when it comes to your choice in kitchen and bath cabinetry and if it matches or not. Still keep in mind that your design should flow from space to space in a sensible and pleasing aesthetic! While kitchen and bath cabinets do not need to match, they should complement each other and provide some type of continuity. This is achieved by selecting complimenting door styles and/or finishes.
Some great places to go wild? Your guest bath or powder room. It is the bathroom that most people will see, so this is the place to make a statement with your cabinetry. The en-suite is another area that should reflect your style and design sense. It will be the bath space that you, as the homeowner, will use the most and should be a sanctuary for you to relax and unwind.
Some Tips When It’s NOT Your Forever Home
Here are some common scenarios I see and people ask about.
“My builder says all the cabinets need to be the same”
This happens sometimes with entry level builders and is driven by cost. It is more cost efficient to supply the same matching kitchen and bath cabinet throughout the house. If this is the case chances are good this is not your forever home. Often times there is an upgrade option. When its not in the budget to upgrade, no worries! You can personalize things by upgrading your hardware later. When you decide it's time to move, simply save and put your standard hardware back on taking the stuff you love along with you!
“If I can upgrade where is the best place to invest?”
When your builder offers the option and your budget allows, without question the kitchen and master bath are the places to spend your upgrade dollars. These are the two main areas that attract buyers when you are ready to sell. Buyers do not consider secondary baths, laundry areas or guest baths as a huge undertaking to renovate when considering a purchase.
Even if you are not selling any time soon the kitchen is the brain center and gathering place for most family activities. Your cabinets will get heavy use and an upgrade in the kitchen will keep it looking fresh much longer provided you select a timeless color and style.
Currently there is a high level of expectation in master baths. This is the owners suite and should provide a little luxury and relaxation. Spending a bit more in this area will never disappoint!
So, what needs to match?
Match is a strong word. Kitchen and bath cabinets do not need to “match,” but they should complement each other. For instance, if you are wanting a white shaker kitchen you will want any areas visible from the kitchen to carry the same clean, simple feeling the shaker provides.
Kitchens especially are being presented with more than one finish color and even different (but complementary) door styles in the same space. These styles, colors and finishes should be repeated throughout the home on some level to give continuity as you move through the space.
In other words, if you choose a traditional style door in the kitchen areas you probably would not want to use a modern style slab door in the guest bath. This is not to say you could not marry modern and traditional (BTW, a concept I love) somewhere else in the home. But the traditional element needs to carry through too.
Something to consider also is the style of the home. Is the floor plan and exterior more traditional or modern? Cottage style or Mediterranean? All things to consider when selecting door style and finishes for the interior space.
Still Need help?
When going through this process it's never a bad idea to ask for professional help. Even if you are doing it yourself, a trained eye can quickly find what's working and what may not be. Kitchens and baths are a big investment and you want to get it right, no regrets. Most interior designers and kitchen and bath designers offer a design consult or working appointment and will be happy to confirm you are on the right track. It is well worth the usually small investment to be perfectly happy with your selections for however long you may be in your home!
If you are in the Jacksonville Florida area I usually always have time to work in a consult within a week or two. Sign up for my email list below, (I promise not to bombard you with offers) and get great design tips and ideas in your inbox! You will also get my free guide to selecting the perfect cabinetry!