Trends come and go over the years, and Christina Hall has seen her fair share of them in her decade-plus as an HGTV designer. Some of her past design styles would be completely out of the question for the remodels she does today. Amongst the trends nixed from Hall’s repertoire include dark wood kitchen cabinets. Nowadays, the “Christina on the Coast” star leans toward lighter-colored cabinets, which serve to enliven kitchen spaces.
When Hall’s first series, “Flip or Flop,” premiered on HGTV in 2013, she featured these heavier colors in almost all of her remodels. But that trend, as most trends do, eventually fell by the wayside. She now typically selects lighter-colored cabinetry in the kitchen to give a more open and airy look in contrast to the more closed-off appearance resulting from those deeper cabinet shades. Lighter-colored cabinets can also set a mood that’s more appropriate for a kitchen and can be easier to match with other elements in your kitchen, like flooring and décor.
Dark cabinets add sophistication but can make rooms feel smaller
The dark wood kitchen cabinet trend created an air of modern sophistication, edginess, and luxury. But trying to create this stylish look can be easily overshadowed by all the negatives of these deeper tones. Dark-colored wood soaks up the light in your kitchen. This absence of light can make your room feel stuffy and oppressive. It can also make your kitchen feel a lot smaller than it is, especially in kitchens with dim lighting or minimal or small windows.
Light wood kitchen cabinets, on the other hand, reflect light, making your kitchen seem brighter. They work great in smaller kitchens, giving the illusion of a more expansive space. Dark wood kitchen cabinets can also come off as harsh, uptight, or formal, creating a less inviting feel. A wood that’s pale in color is a better choice if you’re looking to create a more relaxed and welcoming vibe in your kitchen.
Selecting wood flooring alongside dark wood kitchen cabinets can be tricky
Dark wood kitchen cabinets can be tricky to match with wood floors. While you can match two different stains together, it can throw off the vibe of the room if you don’t do it right. “In order for all the wood to work, all the stains need to complement each other,” Christina Hall told Realtor.com. “Otherwise, it’s going to feel random.”
Light wood floors are usually recommended with dark cabinets so your kitchen feels larger, but you can mess that up if the undertones clash. Wood can have warm undertones, such as pink, red, orange, and yellow, or cool undertones, like green, purple, or blue. When adding different types of wood and stains, you should, as a general rule, stick with either all warm or all cool undertones.
And finally, most of us want kitchens that appear clean, which is an attribute associated with lighter colors. Dark colors can, instead, give off a sense of gloom. While dark wood cabinets hide stains and grime better than lighter cabinets, this can be a disadvantage when cleaning, making you blind to what needs some elbow grease.