Should a kitchen floor be lighter or darker than cabinets? The lowdown from experts

Should A Kitchen Floor Be Lighter Or Darker Than Cabinets?

The answer to the question should a kitchen floor be lighter or darker than cabinets is that there isn’t a single hard and fast rule. However, that’s not bad news because there are principles you can follow to find the best kitchen floor and the choice will allow you to create the right aesthetic in the room. But why isn’t there one answer to the question? ‘There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing the color of your kitchen flooring,’ explains Inga Morris-Blincoe, general manager of Lifestyle Floors. ‘Whilst cabinets are usually the most dominant feature of a kitchen, room size, natural light and personal design preferences all play a part in creating a balanced feel.’ These are the strategies you can adopt that promise to bring great results.

1. Opt For Darker Cabinets And A Lighter Floor

If you’re looking for a simple approach that will produce a pleasing design, go for a lighter floor and darker cabinets. ‘Typically, darker cabinets are coupled with a lighter floor color to break up the space and to prevent the kitchen from feeling too enclosed,’ says Chris Dance, head designer and director at InHouse Inspired Room Design. ‘With lighter cabinets, there’s often a greater diversity of flooring choices.’

2. Go For A Lighter Floor To Put The Focus On Cabinets

A lighter floor is also recommended when you want the cabinets to be the stars of the show. ‘Often the floor is the largest surface area in the room, so it’s one of the biggest influences on the look and feel of the overall space,’ notes interior designer Shalini Misra, founder of Shalini Misra.

3. Opt For A Darker Floor In A Large Kitchen

Here’s an exception to the kitchen floor lighter than cabinets route. It applies to bigger kitchens. ‘To make a larger kitchen space feel more intimate, darker flooring paired with mid-toned neutral cabinets is a great option to add a feeling of comfort without minimizing the spacious feel of the room,’ says Dawn Filkins, head of creative, Smile Kitchens.

4. Create Drama With Darks

A dark floor could, of course be necessary to create the aesthetic you’re hankering after. ‘If you want to create a really dramatic effect, then opting for a dark floor is perfect as it’ll help to make the room feel really moody,’ says interior designer Shalini Misra. ‘You can even pair dark cabinets with a darker floor in similar tones to make a real statement.’

5. Pick A Neutral Floor For Flexibility

There’s a flooring choice that can look great whether cabinets are lighter or darker. ‘Use a neutral wood floor or stone floor which will generally work well with any style or color of cabinet,’ says Ben Burbidge, managing director, Kitchen Makers.

6. Avoid Exactly The Same Color

While designers do say that a kitchen floor can be lighter or darker than cabinets, depending on the room, there’s one combination they stress you should avoid: using the same color all over for both.

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