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Do Kitchen Cabinets Need to be Symmetrical?

Do Kitchen Cabinets Need to be Symmetrical

No, not at all. If you are someone who needs for their kitchen cabinets to be completely symmetrical, it’s possible, of course, but you may be surprised at how well you can create symmetry in your kitchen while allowing the cabinets to be arranged in such a way they’re more practical than uniform.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that your kitchen cabinets should be arranged in any old haphazard way!

Plenty of thought and careful planning goes into designing a kitchen, but rarely will you find perfect symmetry once it’s finished, and there are good reasons for that. 

Why We Like Symmetry 

How many times have we been driven crazy by a picture on a wall that’s a little crooked, or a light fitting on a ceiling that sits out of proportion with the rest?

We all subconsciously crave symmetry in our lives because we’re naturally symmetrical beings.

Two arms… two legs… two ears. It makes sense to crave that mirror-image balance. 

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So, should your kitchen reflect the same need for order? Of course, an orderly, well-designed kitchen should be pleasing to the eye.

But, that doesn’t mean all the cabinets should be symmetrical. 

And here’s why. 

Function over Form 

There’s nothing to say you can’t have a symmetrical kitchen but it’s not always practical given the shape of your room.

You might find your kitchen window or door is more likely to be placed towards one side of the wall or the other, and not dead center.

Plenty of kitchens aren’t made with perfect right-angles and their rooms aren’t square.

The appliances in kitchens don’t lend themselves to a symmetrical kitchen, either.

The dishwasher may not be the same width as the oven, and the refrigerator may be tall and slim, or sit under the kitchen counter. 

For this reason, designers will often assure their customers that function is more important in a kitchen than form.

The dishwasher is often near the sink because it makes sense for rinsing cleaning purposes.

The refrigerator won’t fit well in some places, if it means you won’t be able to open the door properly. 

When Nothing but Symmetry Will Do

If you believe the only way to achieve inner peace is with a fully symmetrical kitchen, a good designer will be able to fit you the kind of kitchen that will help you sleep better at night.

However, there are some clever, effective ways to achieve symmetry in your kitchen without compromising on the individual feel of the room. 


Rather than opting for a single light in the center of your ceiling, go for one on each side.

Not only will this provide symmetry, but it’ll provide more light.

Dining Furniture

Place a dining table with a chair or two on each side and have them match up.

This too will give a pleasing, symmetrical look without making the kitchen look too uniform, or sterile. 


Symmetry doesn’t just apply to the fixed appliances in the room but can be displayed in the spice rack on the counter, the artwork on the wall, or the pans hanging from the rack.

Matching vases on the window ledge, wine racks either side of an island… there are always ways to create symmetry!

Orderly, but Not Uptight

The kitchen isn’t just a place to cook. It should be a warm, inviting space for the whole family.

Symmetrical kitchens, often found in hotel rooms, offices, and event rooms give off an efficient, professional vibe that doesn’t belong in a bustling family home. 

Some symmetry in the cabinets can look great.

For example, framing the stove with symmetrical cabinets either side can mean the stove stands out as a feature.

Often, by having one or two symmetrical areas of cabinet will make much more of a statement than simply having the whole kitchen equally uniform in all aspects.

Don’t forget that the eye can be ‘tricked’ into a symmetrical layout with clever use of color, too.

Again, a good designer will be able to demonstrate how the placing of different splashes of color in your kitchen can either bring the whole space together, or highlight individual areas that you want to stand out.

As is the case in many facets of life, not just the kitchen, less is more.

Subtle symmetry, when balanced with the pleasing, relaxed appearance of a not-so-stiffly-symmetrical cabinet arrangement, creates a perfect blend of the orderly and the individual.