How to Pick a Granite Color to Coordinate With Kitchen Cabinets

The right granite countertop can bring out the warmth in dark wood cabinets or contrast with or complement lighter cabinets.

Choosing new granite countertops to complement your kitchen cabinets can be a confusing task that may leave you wondering why you decided to replace those old countertops to begin with. The reward for your efforts will be a beautiful kitchen, with countertops that coordinate perfectly, bringing out the warmth in natural birch wood or setting up a dramatic contrast with antiqued beige cabinets. You don't have to be an expert designer to find the right granite to fit your kitchen cabinets.


When you are shopping for granite countertops, unscrew a small kitchen cabinet door and take it with you so you can see how it looks with the cabinet. If you can't take a door, take a picture of your cabinets with your cellphone or digital camera; just make sure the room is well lit when you do so.

Subtle Contrasting and Complementary Colors

Granite that contrasts with or complements your kitchen cabinets balances out the room and pulls it together. For instance, natural birch-wood cabinets are light to medium in color, so a warm gray-toned granite offers subtle contrasting. A granite such as African tapestry offers an understated contrast, while its lighter, cream-colored veining brings out the warmth of birch cabinets. Another option is to use a granite that provides a complementary color to the wood color. For medium-colored birch wood, a lighter green or blue granite color is complementary, such as Caribbean green granite. These elements also coordinate with slate gray flooring.

Create a Little Drama

An antique cream or beige kitchen offers a timeless, classic look. Lighter cabinets can be balanced out with a more dramatic, darker granite countertop such as a darker brown or mocha-colored granite with gold fleck or veining, such as Baltic brown. Or you can go for a more striking look with a speckled black granite, such as Angola black.

Tone Matters

You also need to consider the other elements in the room, such as matching your countertops with your floors. Your antiqued cabinets may be offset by a darker floor, or you may have a mix of light and dark wood cabinets. In that case, you may want to consider a lighter, more neutral-colored granite countertop, but use a hue that picks up on the tones in your cabinets. Cream or beige cabinets have a golden element, so a lighter colored granite such as Colonial gold helps pull the room together.


Make sure to request a sample of any granite you are considering purchasing. You may have to pay a nominal fee, but it will be worth it to ensure you'll love the final look. When you bring the samples home, you can hold them against your cabinets, or lay them on your countertop to see how the colors look together.

About the Author

Rachel Zohn has a semi-obsession with tile, countertops, fixtures and furnishings -- and for that you can blame her work as a design moderator for Zillow Digs, the home inspiration section of Zillow.com. She is also a writer, specializing in blogging about home decor and home furnishing. Zohn has a bachelor's degree in journalism from San Francisco State, and is a former newspaper reporter.