How to Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern

Are you looking for a way to take your kitchen cabinets from dull and drab to fabulously modern? Brown cabinets can be tricky since they don’t always lend themselves well to the more contemporary look, but there are several ways to give them a vibrant new facelift. 

How to Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern

From clever color combinations and installation tricks, to utilizing accessories and decorative elements, this blog post will walk you through all the best tips on how to make brown cabinets look modern in no time! You’ll soon have the sleek, stylish kitchen of your dreams.

11 Creative Techniques of Making Brown Cabinets Look Modern

1. Combine Complementary Colors: 

Incorporating complementary hues and shades is an easy way to break up the monotony of brown cabinets. A bright blue wall or island with a yellow countertop can work beautifully alongside the cabinetry’s warmer tans, creams, and chocolate tones. Experiment with different combinations until you find one that you love!

2. Install New Hardware: 

An easy and inexpensive way to instantly upgrade your kitchen cabinets is by swapping out the old, outdated hardware for something more modern. Consider using sleek chrome pulls, handles with a matte finish, or even bolder choices such as colored glass knobs.

3. Add Floating Shelves: 

Installing Floating Shelves Around

Installing floating shelves around your brown cabinets can give them a much-needed pop of contemporary style. Try going for open, airy shelving in light wood or glass to really make the colors stand out and give the space an updated look.

4. Showcase Lighting: 

Utilizing different types of accent lighting is another great way to draw attention to your cabinets. Try installing soft LEDs under the top or bottom cabinetry and over them for a bright, modern look.

5. Change Up Cabinet Doors: 

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, consider changing the doors on your brown cabinets with more modern and updated designs. From frosted glass to textured wood and more, plenty of options can give your cabinets a fresh new look.

6. Use Glass Inserts:

Installing glass panels in the doors of your brown cabinets is an easy way to make them look sleeker and more contemporary. Choose clear or tinted glass for a subtle hint of color, or go for a more modern look with colored stained glass options.

7. Layer in Texture:

Utilize different textures to add subtle layers and visual interest to your kitchen cabinets. Try pairing glossy, high-sheen browns alongside matte finishes or textured woods for a contrast that will stand out.

8. Paint the Walls:

Quick Coat of Paint

A quick coat of paint can go a long way when it comes to bringing out the beauty of your brown cabinets. Choose a color that contrasts nicely with the cabinetry, such as pastel blue or green, for a vibrant and modern aesthetic.

9. Play with Angles:

Installing your cabinets at an angle rather than straight across is a clever way to add a modern touch. Doing so gives the space an interesting focal point that will definitely stand out from the rest.

10. Utilize Accessories:

Adding Decorative Elements Cabinet

Don’t forget about the small details! Adding decorative elements such as wall art, colorful dishes and dish towels, or small plants can make all the difference and bring your cabinets to life.

11. Add a Backsplash: 

Installing a tile or stone backsplash behind your cabinets is an easy way to bring some extra style and pizzazz to the area. Choose something with a bold pattern, such as geometric shapes or intricate designs, for a truly modern look. You can easily make your brown cabinets look modern with just a few simple tweaks and tricks.

Whether you choose to focus on decorative elements or opt for a few bolder changes, these tips will help you get the sleek kitchen of your dreams in no time!

Important Points You Should Know

  1. How to Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern
  2. Combine complementary colors for contrast and visual interest
  3. Install new hardware for an easy, inexpensive upgrade
  4. Add floating shelves for a contemporary look
  5. Showcase lighting with soft LEDs under and over the cabinets
  6. Change up cabinet doors for a fresh new look
  7. Use glass inserts in the doors to create a sleek modern style
  8. Layer in texture with glossy, high-sheen browns and matte finishes/textured woods
  9. Paint the walls with contrasting colors, such as pastel blue or green
  10. Utilize accessories like wall art, colorful dishes, or small plants to bring life to the space
  11. Play with angles by installing cabinets at an angle rather than straight across
  12. Add a tile or stone backsplash with bold patterns for a modern look.
  13. You can easily make your brown cabinets look modern with just a few simple tweaks and tricks.
Showcase Lighting
With Soft LEDs

Try Out Two Tone

If you want to make a statement with your cabinets, try a two-tone look. Painting the top portion of the cabinets a lighter shade and the bottom darker will instantly add depth and interest. This is also a great way to play with complementary colors for contrast and visual interest. 

Go for a more classic look with white and brown or take it up a notch by incorporating shades of blues or greens – the possibilities are endless! With these How to Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern tips, you can transform your kitchen in no time.

16 Color Combinations to Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern

1. White and Brown:

This timeless color combination is a great way to create a modern look with your brown cabinets. Paint the walls white for a bright, airy space that will make the brown cabinets stand out even more.

2. Black and Brown:

Create a sleek, sophisticated look in your kitchen by pairing brown cabinets with black accents such as countertops or backsplash tiles.

3. Gray and Brown:

If you’re looking for an elegant modern style, gray and brown are the perfect pairing. A gray wall will provide contrast against the warm tones of the wood, while still keeping things light and airy feeling.

4. Yellow and Brown:

Bring some sunshine into your kitchen by painting the walls yellow! This cheerful color will brighten up the space and make the brown cabinets pop.

5. Blue and Brown:

A classic combination that never fails to look timelessly modern, blue and brown can be a great way to create an elegant atmosphere in your kitchen. Pair light blues with dark browns for a sophisticated look.

6. Green and Brown:

For a natural, calming vibe in your kitchen, go with green and brown! Choose greens like sage or olive for subtle contrast against the wood’s warmth.

7. Orange and Brown:

Some Fun Vibrancy in the Space

If you want something unique and funky, try orange and brown! The oranges will bring out the golden tones of the wood while still providing some fun vibrancy in the space.

8. Red and Brown:

For a bold and daring look, go with red and brown! This combination will give your kitchen an eye-catching pop of color while still keeping the wood warm.

9. Purple and Brown:

If you’re feeling adventurous, mix it up with purple and brown! This daring combination is sure to create an exciting atmosphere in the space.

10. Navy Blue and Brown:

For a classic yet edgy look, navy blue and brown are the perfect pairing. The deep tones of navy add richness to the wood, creating a modern look that won’t go out of style any time soon.

11. Beige and Brown:

Soften the look of brown cabinets with beige walls to create a cozy yet modern atmosphere in your kitchen.

12. Turquoise and Brown:

Add some energy to your kitchen with this color combination! The turquoise will bring out the golden tones of the wood for a beautiful effect.

13. Aqua and Brown:

For a more subtle look, opt for aqua and brown! This peaceful pairing is sure to add some tranquility to any space.

14. Coral and Brown:

Give your kitchen an unexpected look by combining coral and brown! The soft pinkish hue will lighten up the room while keeping things modern.

15. Lavender and Brown:

Create an ethereal atmosphere in your kitchen with the help of this dreamy color combination. The soft lavender walls will provide a beautiful contrast against the wood.

16. Charcoal and Brown:

For a moodier look, go for charcoal and brown! This dramatic combination is sure to add some drama and depth to any space. No matter what color you choose, these combinations are sure to make your brown cabinets look modern and stylish! 

With so many options available, you have plenty of room to get creative with your own unique looks. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment until you find something that you love!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Can I Make My Brown Cabinets Look Modern Without Painting Them?

A: Installing new hardware is an easy and inexpensive way to modernize your brown cabinetry. Try opting for sleek, contemporary styles that will instantly update the look of your kitchen. You can also add floating shelves and showcase lighting with soft LEDs under and over the cabinets for a more sophisticated touch.

Q: How Do You Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern in a Small Kitchen?

A: When it comes to choosing a color that pairs well with brown cabinets, white is always a safe bet. But if you’re looking for something more vibrant, consider shades of blue or yellow, as they will all complement each other nicely.

Grey is also a great option as it will give the room an updated and modern feel. Finally, metallic tones like silver, gold and brass can be used to add interest and texture to your space.

Q: How Do You Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern in a Small Kitchen?

Painting Walls in Light Colors

A: In a small kitchen, it’s important to keep the design simple and uncluttered. Painting walls in light colors will immediately make the space seem larger while installing brighter lighting fixtures can help open up the area even more.

Adding accessories such as colorful rugs or hanging plants can also help liven up the space without taking away from its coziness. With these How To Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern tips, you’ll be able to transform your kitchen into a modern oasis in no time. So why wait? Get to work and create the kitchen of your dreams!

Should I Use the Professionals?

If you’re looking for tips on How to Make Brown Cabinets Look Modern but aren’t sure where to start, it may be best to consult a professional designer. A designer can help you determine the best color scheme and accessories that will work with your existing cabinets.

They can also provide advice on maximizing the space in your kitchen and making it look more modern without undertaking extensive remodeling work. Finally, they can offer creative ideas that you may not have considered before, such as adding bright pops of color or experimenting with different textures.

So if you’re looking to makeover your kitchen, don’t hesitate to consult a designer for help!


Now you know everything about how to make brown cabinets look modern from this article. You don’t have to rip them out and start from scratch—you just need to keep a few things in mind.

Consider the color temperature of your other décor elements, think through the practicalities of different treatments, decide on an overall feel for your space, and draw inspiration from everywhere.

With some creativity, you can easily find ways to embrace the fact that yes, your kitchen has brown cabinets! Painting them might just be the way forward; simple colors like white or mint green can do wonders for updating their look while still maintaining some warmth. Get creative and have fun with it—your family will thank you later!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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