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Should Kitchen Cabinets Match Trim?

should kitchen cabinets match trim

House trims can have profound decorative effects that can help define the decorative theme and style of any interior space.

They consist of the molding used to frame windows, walls, doors, and in some cases, kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets possess a blank or seemingly incomplete appearance in the absence of these moldings, more so if the cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling.

A common design problem is deciding if you want your kitchen cabinets to have trims, and more than this, you also have to choose if you want the trim to match the cabinets or not.

In this article, we will examine if kitchen cabinets should match the trim or not.

Before we go further to answer the question, let’s take a look at some of the common kitchen cabinet trims.

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Types of Kitchen Cabinet Trims

Kitchen cabinet trims encompass the different types of moldings that are used to finish kitchen cabinetry.

Here are some of the common trim types that can be used with kitchen cabinets.

Crown molding

This is one of the most prevalent trim types commonly used on interior walls and also kitchen cabinets.

While they are mostly used at the intersection between interior walls and ceilings, crown molding can have a profound decorative effect when used to finish kitchen cabinets.

They can be designed to flush with the ceiling, or they can be constructed at a much lower level.

If you have a high ceiling, it is best to have your cabinet trim at a lower level, to prevent your cabinets being situated out of reach.

Light rail molding

Typically used to finish the bottom part of kitchen cabinets, light rail molding can serve as a barrier to light glare coming from under-cabinet lighting, or a simple decorative feature that improves the overall look of your cabinets.

It is quite simplistic in design and function, but it is just as functional as it is decorative.

With light rail moldings, special care should be taken so that they do not extend downwards to the extent of disturbing countertop activities.

Base molding

Base moldings are decorative trims that are used to finish the foot of base cabinets.

They are typically fixed with the edges of the moldings facing up, and as such, they give your base cabinets a more exciting form, in the architectural sense.

In rare cases, base moldings can also be installed with the edges facing down, when there is a need to achieve a wide decorative effect.

Toe kick molding

Just like the base molding, toe kick moldings are also installed at the base of cabinets to provide room for your feet so that you can stand closer to the countertops.

Apart from providing room for your feet, toe kick moldings also serve the purpose of covering the unfinished toe space on your kitchen cabinets.

Compared to most kitchen trim types, there is much more freedom to choose a different color or material from the cabinet itself.

Scribe molding

Although they can be quite distasteful, it is not uncommon to notice uneven gaps and exposed edges after kitchen cabinet installation.

Scribe molding is a type of finished trim that is flexible enough to conform to slight curvatures and gaps between kitchen cabinets and walls.

It is a particularly essential trim type when remodeling kitchen cabinets.

Corner molding

Just like the name implies, this trim type is used to cover the unfinished edges of kitchen cabinets or open gaps where two materials meet at a right angle.

They are of two kinds – outside corner molding and inside corner molding.

Inside corner moldings are used to cover open gaps on interior corners, while outside corner moldings are used on exterior corners.

Should Kitchen Cabinets Match Trim?

should white kitchen cabinets match trim colors

There are but a few decoration/modeling procedures that have a standardized set of rules.

Generally, Kitchen cabinets should match the trim. This can either be achieved through using complimentary or contrasting colors, depending on the look that is desired. However, there is also the option of matching the cabinets to any molding that is in the kitchen too.

When you look for answers to some of these modeling questions, little do you know that you have the freedom to carry out whatever design plans you have in mind, as long as the effect remains aesthetically pleasing and the structural stability of the elements are not in any way compromised.

Whether or not kitchen cabinets should match trims is a larger function of your personal preference.

Nonetheless, there are certain design principles that can guide you and help you make design options that will offer more in terms of aesthetics.

If you have crown moldings along the wall and ceiling joint in your kitchen, it would be a good idea to have the cabinet trim match the molding, more so if your cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling.

On the other hand, if you don’t have any other molding in your kitchen space, outside your kitchen cabinet trim, you have much more freedom in varying the color of the trim and that of your cabinets.

Nonetheless, the best decorative effects are achieved when there is a uniformity of color or when the colors complement each other.

One important thing you should never forget as regards kitchen interior décor is that for good decorative effect, there is always the need to achieve a balance between all the trim works of any interior space.

There must be a sense of balance and unity between kitchen cabinet trim, the other moldings and millwork, and the cabinets themselves in any kitchen space.

In kitchens where the cabinet trim is the only trim work present, you can achieve a more outstanding variance between the cabinets and trim.

Nonetheless, you should strive to balance between your respective choices.


Kitchen cabinets should always match trims as much as they can.

However, it is not a set standard that they have to match each other.

In kitchens where there are other trim works apart from cabinet trims, you need to ensure that a balance exists between the kitchen cabinets, the cabinet trims, and by way of extension, the other trim works.

Where kitchen cabinets do not match the trim, whether in material or color, the contrast should never be striking, and a sense of unity should exist.

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