Should Kitchen Cabinets Match Your Trim?

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The kitchen is an area of your home you always want looking its best. Whether it’s time you’re spending in there cooking or hosting friends and family to a delicious meal, it’s always great to have a beautiful kitchen. So when it comes time to get your cabinets and trim looking their best, you might have several questions. Should your cabinets match your trim or contrast? What about the baseboards? It’s a lot to process, but thankfully we here at KitchenSeer have the answers for you down below.

As with so many interior design instances, many questions and factors go into successfully achieving your desired look. Generally speaking, interior designers and homeowners prefer the clean look of matching cabinets and trim. This gives the kitchen a uniform and solid visual appearance. But there are also instances where contrast and matching color schemes can add a lot to your kitchen decor. 

If it seems frustrating that there is no singular answer, worry not. We’re here to discuss the trends in types of trim, color palettes, contrast versus solid colors, and more in the following article. So keep on reading.

Modern gray, brown neutral kitchen features front cabinets with granite countertops and tile backsplash, window in contemporary home, Should Kitchen Cabinets Match Your Trim?

The various types of kitchen trims

One of the first things you should know before deciding how to break down your color schemes is the trim types available to you. The trim style you employ will play a heavy role in what colors will look best with them.

Crown Molding

Crown molding is an incredibly prevalent trim type commonly used on interior walls and kitchen cabinets. Most often used at the intersection between interior walls and ceilings. They’re also highly effective when used as a decorative finish on kitchen cabinets.

The top crown moulding dentil detail on some creme-color painted solid wood kitchen cabinets. These wall mounted cabinets do not go all the way to the ceiling above them

Light Rail Molding

Most home decorators use light rail molding to finish the bottom part of kitchen cabinets. It also effectively serves as a barrier to light glare from under-cabinet lighting or as simple decorative improvements to your overall look.

Base Molding

Base moldings are decorative trims that finish the foot of base cabinets. They are generally fixed with the edges of the moldings faced up. This gives your cabinets a more dynamic architectural form. You can install versions with downward-facing edges for an even more unique appearance, but this is much rarer.

Toe Kick Molding

Toe kick molding is also installed at the base of the cabinet, allowing you to stand much closer to your cabinets. They also cover up unfinished spaces between cabinets and floors. There is a lot more room with color and material for toe kick molding than on average.

Modern kitchen interior with furniture.Stylish kitchen interior with yellow wall.

Scribe Molding & Corner Molding

The two types of molding, scribe and corner moldings, tastefully cover the small gaps and edges left behind after cabinet installation. Scribe molding is flexible enough to conform to slight gaps and curvatures between walls and cabinets. It’s a highly essential trim type while doing remodeling in your kitchen.

Corner modeling, meanwhile,  similarly covers gaps at right angles where corners meet. There are two kinds of corner molding – inside and outside corner molding. These cover interior and exterior corners, respectively.

Read now on KitchenSeer: ’25 Awesome Corner Kitchen Cabinet Ideas’

Should kitchen cabinets match the color of the trim?

Now that we’ve got the basics of our trim types and shapes down, we can tackle the big question. Should the color of your cabinet trim match the color of your cabinets?

Well, unfortunately, as lovely as it would be, there is no set and easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. The matter of trim color and color in general in your kitchen space depends on many variables and situational factors at play.

The size of your kitchen can play a role in whether going with contrasting cabinet/trim combos or complementary color palettes work well. There’s also the essential factor of your floor color. Outside of your cabinets and perhaps countertops, your floor is one of the strongest colors in your kitchen. Working with the shade of wood you have in your floors is essential.

There are some general suggestions believed to hold true, however. Crown moldings along the wall and ceiling joints should match your cabinet trim, so they look uniform up to the ceiling. If you have no other molding, you have some more freedom in your color choices. Generally, however, the rules of complementary or contrasting are believed to be the best way to choose colors.

Baseboards are also important to consider. Generally, you’d match the color of the baseboards and crown moldings in your home. But this isn’t set in stone. Different colors coordinating with other floorings and furniture aren’t unheard of.

Remember that if you want a splash of color in your kitchen, options like appliances, knobs on your drawers, and chairs and furniture give you options. These are also much easier to change out and experiment with than complete paint jobs.

On cabinet color

There’s a lot of information out there regarding cabinet color and the atmosphere of a kitchen space. Some of the more frequently asked questions are here down below.

Are white or dark cabinets more popular?

Grey and white contemporary classic kitchen interior with dining table designed in modern style, front view

Numerous factors go into what makes a good color cabinet for your kitchen. Dark cabinets can make a smaller kitchen feel even more cramped and intimate. They also make kitchens that struggle with lighting appear even darker.

White and lighter cabinets give off a bright and clean appearance that many kitchen owners are looking for in their space. This makes them a popular choice for cabinetry.

Should cabinets be lighter or darker than walls?

The general consensus is that a lighter cabinet will help brighten up a darker wall and make it appear more open and spacious. Even light walls can benefit from a bright and appealing cabinet giving the eye something to rest on without appearing too intense. Brightening up your kitchen space is always a good idea when decorating.

Are white kitchen cabinets high maintenance?

White cozy modern classic kitchen interior with wooden furniture and appliances, front view

While an all-white kitchen offers a stark and stunning appearance, you’ll have to commit a lot to the aesthetic. Dark and black cabinets hide smudges and stains with ease, but everything shows up on white.

You will have to clean up spills immediately, and even fingerprints and everyday human markups will show clearly. Dusting at least once a week will be a requirement to keep your white cabinets looking pristine.

It’s also recommended you use an exhaust hood when cleaning to keep airborne particles off your cabinets and countertops. Doing so makes the required dusting and polishing easier in the long run. So to answer the question, beautiful white kitchen cabinets do require elbow grease to maintain.

Is it OK to have cream cabinets and white trim?

Cream and white as a color combination has been the talk of many discussions recently, and some people have gotten into the feeling clean stark white and a more aged feeling cream trim give you in tandem. They both work well with black or darker accenting, which allows for a lot of further contrast in handles and hardware.

Adding in additional cream woodwork and furniture adds more of that rustic and aged feeling to your kitchen, but you can do a lot of experimenting with this color combination.

One suggestion to avoid is using white and cream when nothing else in your kitchen is white or cream. If you have cream cabinets with no other white or cream, think about using some bisque or black appliances in your kitchen, depending on the undertones you’re working with elsewhere.

Read now on KitchenSeer: ’17 Rustic Kitchen Cabinets You Should See’

Should all cabinets in a house match?

Generally speaking, the cabinets in your kitchen and the bathrooms do not need to match. There are some considerations to keep in mind when deciding, however.

The proximity between your bathroom and kitchen is something to consider when deciding on color schemes. Some bathrooms are essentially powder rooms right off the kitchen, and therefore their color palettes may impact the kitchen more than usual.

Complementing your cabinets in these two rooms might be a better idea than straight-up matching. Doing so will allow you more wiggle room in your decorating and keep your house from being too locked into specific color schemes. Your bathroom can be an effective way to tie everything you’ve brought in with your kitchen together with your overall house decor.

In Closing

Fashion trends and what is in and out of style constantly change with incredible speed. As the owner of the house and the person living there, your happiness with your choices is paramount.

We hope this guide helped you make some informed choices and reach the perfect level of personal taste when it comes to your kitchen cabinets and trims. Enjoying your home for years to come is the most stylish way to live.

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