SHOULD You Paint Your Island / Lower Cabinets a Different Color?
If you go onto Pinterest or Houzz, you’ll find no shortage of ideas for what color to paint your island or cabinets, and we’ll touch on a few of my faves below, but…
just because you CAN paint your island a different color, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
The Pros to Painting Your Kitchen Island or Lower Cabinets a Different Colour
1. A PAINTED ISLAND CAN CREATE A FOCAL POINT AND A FOUNDATION FOR A ROOM
Painting your island a different color from the main cabinets can be a great way to ground your space and create a striking focal point, especially if you have light-colored tile/vinyl and white cabinets.
2. A PAINTED ISLAND OR LOWER CABINETS CAN BREAK UP A WOOD-ON-WOOD LOOK
While some kitchens can pull off the wood-on-wood look, it can be a bit much if the floor and cabinets are EXACTLY the same OR have different undertones. Breaking things up with a colored island/lower cabinets can add a nice shift while giving the countertop/backsplash an opportunity to be pulled into the palette.
In the above kitchen, there was a HECK of a lot of wood grain going on. Painting the HUGE island a dark, grounding colour (Sherwin Williams Cyberspace) was a great way to slow things down and give the space a solid foundation for the remaining wood to really dance (and you all know how I love to make wood dance)!
3. YOU CAN NOD TOWARD THE CURRENT TREND WITHOUT HAVING TO PAINT ALL OF THE CABINETS
Painting ALL of your kitchen cabinets a trendy paint color can be a risky choice. However, nodding towards the trend by painting ONLY the island is a great happy-medium without a 100% commitment to color on a large-scale.
This is also an important consideration if you want to sell in the next 5-10 years. Chances are, whatever trend you commit to will be gone, or on its way out and could affect your resale value.
4. IT’S MORE AFFORDABLE TO CHANGE IF YOU GET BORED OR TRENDS CHANGE
Painting kitchen cabinets is an expensive project and not every budget can accommodate this kind of investment. Painting the ISLAND is not only more affordable to do NOW, but it’s also affordable to change down the road if you get bored (or on a monthly basis like me).
It’s not just about paint colors either! Painting the MAIN cabinets white (for example) and partnering them up with an island or lower cabinets in a wood stain is a popular idea, as shown in these next photos. Both of these kitchens were created from scratch, so doing the island a different color/stain was easier to incorporate vs doing a remodel using existing products.
The Cons to Painting Your Kitchen Island or Lower Cabinets a Different Colour
1. A PAINTED ISLAND/LOWER CABINETS CAN MAKE A KITCHEN LOOK TOO BUSY
If you have two different countertops, painting your island a different colour from the main cabinets can add to the busy-ness, unless things are very carefully coordinated. It’s a bit easier to do if your island has a butcher-block countertop and wood flooring, as that would eliminate a few products that need to be cross-coordinated, but if you have tile/vinyl flooring and two different countertops, things can look really cluttered really fast.
Even though the above kitchen had some great bones in place, painting the island a different colour wouldn’t have ADDED to the look, it would’ve cluttered it up.
2. IT CAN OVERWHELM A KITCHEN THAT ALREADY HAS ENOUGH GOING ON
Wait, didn’t I just cover this, just in different words? Anyway, it’s a good point to make…again.
Multiple cabinet colors can be too much of a good thing if you already have some interesting features happening in your kitchen. In this photo below, painting the island a different color would have cluttered things up and taken away from what is already a gorgeous space!
3. IF YOU DON’T PICK THE RIGHT PAINT COLOUR, IT WILL BE A HOT MESS
Picking the best paint colour for your kitchen island isn’t just about picking the colour you WANT to paint your island, it’s about picking a colour that ties into your existing finishes – including the floor, countertop, backsplash and main kitchen cabinets.
4. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT BLEND AND BALANCE OF DEPTHS, YOU COULD SET THE ROOM OFF-BALANCE
Not every kitchen was designed to have an island in a different color. Some spaces need the consistency of ONE cabinet color due to the depth of the walls, backsplash, countertop, and main cabinets.
For example, in this next space, while a darker island would’ve looked ‘okay’, the balance down the center of the room, considering the stately stone fireplace and dark sectional, would’ve been pretty strong, whereas the white island added balance.
5. IT’S TRENDY
It’s as simple as that. Right now, painted islands are popular…but so are crop tops and shorts that show off your bum cheeks (hey, I would if I could). Like any trend, it’s only a matter of time before painted islands or lower cabinets aren’t as popular and when it comes time to sell, your choice could devalue your home.
Courtesy of Kylie M. Interiors