How to Use Two Tones in a Beautiful Kitchen

Hello again, design lovers! First, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU for enduring my long absence here on the SKD blog.

In case you’re wondering where in the world I’ve been, after our spring features in HGTV Magazine and Clientele Luxury Magazine — surprise, surprise — our schedule kicked into high gear! It has been a true rollercoaster ride (the good kind), and we couldn’t be more humbled and grateful for every moment, opportunity, and delightful client that has come our way.

Now, let’s get down to business!

This month, I want to share a design topic I’m pretty passionate about and love incorporating into our clients’ projects. It’s not a new style, but it has such a powerful visual impact that it’s absolutely worth discussing with you...

Two-toned kitchens.


Are you drawn to two-toned kitchens? If you are, you might have noticed many beautiful photos but very little insight into how the two-toned look affects your space. And it definitely does!

I’m going to show you 3 kitchens where the two tones impact the spaces differently. These should give you a good launch point for deciding which look might be best for your own home. So let’s dissect this together, shall we?

How to Use Two Tones to Create Visual Height in the Kitchen

In this kitchen, we painted the lower cabinetry a warm taupey-gray, while the upper cabinets boast a clean, eggshell white. We used the subtle tone difference to create a pleasing visual separation, but here’s the trick…

The gray grounds the design and the lighter white blends into the ceiling space. This placement visually raises the height of the room, making it feel more spacious! And who doesn’t want more space? Even if it’s in our minds. ;)

Also, I just LOVE how the brass hardware plays up the warm undertone of the gray. It feels fresh, organic, and sophisticated all at the same time.

We chose this gorgeous marble countertop to help keep the whole design cohesive. Its warm gray and white veins are the bridge between our two tones, helping them feel unified and pulled together.

How to Use Two Tones to Create Bold & Beautiful Contrast in the Kitchen

The previous kitchen example incorporated a subtle two-tone pairing. This next kitchen gets a little bolder...

Can you guess the two tones? ;)

This deep navy (Mt. Etna from Sherwin Williams) and white pairing are a 180º turn from our gray-white combo, but the stark contrast is what makes it so stunning!

You can see that the same ceiling-raising technique is working here. However, because there’s such a drastic contrast between the navy and white, we needed to present some touches of navy higher in our line of sight — otherwise, the kitchen would feel like two halves instead of a whole. (This is a common mistake people make when two-toning their spaces for the first time.)

We opted for these intriguing statement sconces.

Aren’t they fabulous? Not to mention functional with focused downlight. The overdyed blue rug also helps harmonize the navy and white tones. See how it feels very balanced now? A treat for the eyes.

Okay, one more feature I want to point out… like the last kitchen, we opted for touches of warm browns and brushed brass in this space, too. Without them, the cool tones would have been a little overpowering. Now, the golds and woodsy browns add the perfect dose of warmth and life!

How to Use Two Tones to Create More Space in Your Kitchen

The two-tone kitchen in this 1970s beach bungalow in Avalon has an entirely different vibe going on.

The second tone we chose for this kitchen isn’t a paint color at all… it’s this beautiful, warm wood table that practically steals the show.

When you look at this kitchen, the table immediately grabs your attention. Because it’s the focal point of the room, the area around it visually recedes and the kitchen feels more spacious. (Noticing a trend here?)

To keep the design feeling cohesive, we selected this oversized, wood bead chandelier, a khaki and beige area rug, and dark wood flooring. The collection of wooden spoons on the countertop helps, too.

Just for fun, here are two more two-tone kitchens and islands for you to admire. :)


And there you have it! Three entirely different two-tone strategies, three (or five) uniquely beautiful kitchens. I hope you enjoyed seeing the design strategy behind each of these — and feel extra inspired now!

Thanks again for following along with us, and I’ll be back soon with another post. Promise!

All photographs by Kyle Born Photography

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Client Before and After

I promised you more pictures of a client project just finished in D-town and will deliver in a few weeks but I thought you may be interested in seeing the before and after pictures of the space.
(I LIVE for before and after pics, don't you?)
The house's original floor plan just wasn't conducive to this busy family of four. The owners decided to give the first floor a more open concept feel foregoing the more traditional living room/dining room setup.
Not to mention they are the most amazing clients with fabulous taste so it's going to make the decorating part of this a piece of cake.
So here we go... keep in mind I did not take the best "before" shots and haven't had a chance to take more "after" shots but I hope you get the idea!!

Family Room

Family Room



B's room

B's room

Just a sneak peek but pretty amazing, right??? I just couldn't be more happy for this family... love them!

In other news...

I'm working on another first floor reno with this amazing fabric scheme.


NAVY with a hint of coral, hot pink, raspberry? not sure what I'm going to call this pop of color yet... check it below.


And for all you local yocals... check this out from C Wonder and
Speak up!

See you there!!
Thanks for reading xoxo!!


Client installs and a fab collab!

Look who's collaborating to bring us this fabulousness...

Thibaut and Oomph. Yep. In all its resort collection goodness:)
You can read more about it on Oomph's blog and Quintessence.
More Resort collection from Thibaut - soooo fresh!
Love this lantern from oomph!

So I've been a busy gal lately...

Look at this deliciousness of a dining room client install happening today.

I die.

Meanwhile on the other side of town ...
 a kitchen install is in progress.

This was our inspiration

Will share more deets and and pics later.

Working with a fab new photog named Andrew Lam. Super cool guy and beyond talented.

See my problem is unless my finished designs are photographed perfectly in just the right light I really don't like to publish ... now Andrew is going to help me that hang up!! Check that off the list.
So take a sneak peek at his "test shots" done at my home.

He's gonna kill it.
Will definitely share more of his artsy take on home design at a later date:)
Do you need help freshening up your home? contact me at!
oh ... feel free to pin that dining room paper by hovering over it! I'm going too!!
Thanks for reading! xoxo
linking up with Savvy Southern Style!

What's your chair style?

When you're designing your table and seating arrangement do you keep it all uniform like so?

Tobi Fairley ... you check it out here!


Or are you like "Hey, let's shake it up a bit in here??? 

Caitlin Wilson

Here are my rules of engagement when planning what chairs you should use around a kitchen or a dining room table.
Have a round or square table?
I tend to keep all of the chairs the same...
Rectangular or Oval Table?
Love mixing it up by choosing different host and hostess chair styles.
Although, I love keeping the scale of the chairs the same ....
Honestly? I'm totally torn.
What's your chair style?
Do you like to shake things up or keep it all uni??
Also on my mind?
Big shades.
all above images via pinterest unless otherwise noted
I just need a room large enough for one of these babies:)
And, I'm actually recommending one for a client of mine and doing the research as we speak. I'll share my finds next time!
Keepin' it Realz
Have you tried these yet?
They're life-changing.
I'll be honest I have no idea how much laundry detergent to use in every load. I wing it every single time. 
This is like laundry for dummies. Perfect amount and no mess or drips. Your laundry room will thank you.
 Thanks for reading! xoxo