Pros & Cons of Matt Kitchen Cabinets and Worktops

Matt kitchen cabinets and worktops have become a huge trend in both contemporary and traditional homes. However, although they may be popular, they may not be the right type of finish for your home kitchen.

It’s common to see new trends popping up from time to time and taking the market by storm. Then you’d think that they’re the perfect way to go, only to find out that you’re not as happy with what you chose.

This is normal since it’s hard to resist trends especially when they are splashed around in picture-perfect galleries all over.

Are chic matt worktops and cabinets ideal for your kitchen?

While a matt finish comes with its advantages, it also comes with a few disadvantages. When making a life-changing decision, it’s wise to familiarise yourself with the pros and of course the cons so you’ll be prepared with any potential drawbacks. Additionally, you will have a chance at picking another option that could possibly work better than the first option.

So below, we’ve round up the pros and cons of matt kitchen cabinets and worktops.

The Pros

First, the good news.

Although the matt finish has been around for a while, they started making waves just about five years or so ago. Interior decorators consider them “modern” and chic, individual and fresh.

Matt is perfect for contemporary living and comes in a wide variety of colours that can easily be designed according to your space.

One huge advantage matt has over a high gloss kitchen finish is that the surface of the cabinets will not as easily show any imperfections, smudges, stains or fingerprints. This is all thanks to the absence of light being reflected on the surface. A matt finish absorbs light instead of reflecting it on the surface.

Hence, this leads to another advantage—you will not clean the surface as often compared with high gloss.

Additionally, matt easily blends well with your already existing high gloss kitchen cabinets to add a little bit more texture and character to the space. Matt worktops and cabinets are great for larger kitchen and open floor designs because they add a more expansive feel.

matt kitchen in black

The Cons

And there’s the other side of the spectrum. Matt finish has some pretty straightforward cons.

Firstly, cleaning might not be as easy as cleaning a glossy surface. Although imperfections might not easily show, but when they do, it will be more difficult to get rid of them.

It’s not uncommon to leave streaks when cleaning matt surfaces. Additionally, these surfaces tend to absorb the stain, making cleaning more difficult.

In terms of making your kitchen space larger, matt may not be for you. If your kitchen doesn’t have ample natural lighting or if there are only a handful of windows where natural light can pass through, you might want to reconsider picking matt as a finish.

Space could feel cramped since light will not be reflected off the surface but instead absorbed.

Making the Decision

Planning for your kitchen’s design is more than just mere appearances. You have to consider function and practicality as well.

Yes, matt cabinets and worktops are trendy options. However, they’re not for every household.

You have to be realistic, honest and make sense of your lifestyle and kitchen use.

So to help you with your decision-making, here are 6 questions you need to ask yourself if you do however set your mind on a matt finish.

white matt kitchen with wall units and matching lacquered dining table with seating area

6 Questions to Consider When Designing a Matt Kitchen

Traditional or Modern?

On of matt’s strongest elements is that it can be used in almost any kitchen style, whether traditional or modern or even somewhere in between.

Contrasting or Uniform Cabinets and Worktops?

Another thing to consider is if you want to opt for a uniform look for your kitchen. This means a uniform matt effect across all cabinetry and worktops. Or if you want to mix matt with some bit of gloss or semi-gloss.

Whichever option you choose, it works well. Gloss helps add a little bit of shine to the space and helps it make appear larger, thanks to the reflected light on the surface.

Likewise, you can make a real style statement by adding glossy doors or drawers in an otherwise matt space.

One way you can incorporate gloss is by placing it on upper kitchen cabinet doors. That way, the light will be reflected on the upper level while keeping greasy hands off your glossy surface. The matt finish will be positioned on the lower kitchen cabinets doors. A complete blend of style and practicality.

What Is Your Colour Pallet?

Remember that light drawers and cupboard help make the space feel larger and more open. This is ideal for small kitchen spaces.

Greys, navy blues and other darker shades are ideal for larger kitchen spaces since they help make the room feel very sophisticated and classic.

Meanwhile, to create a focal point to the space, opt for colours on particular units, like kitchen islands where you can make your own statement.

Glossy or Matt Floors?

One of the most neglected design areas of the kitchen is flooring. Many find it to rarely make any statement. Nothing can be further from the truth.

A well-designed kitchen flooring could help enhance the overall design of your space and help draw in all elements of design. That being said, it’s important to factor in whether you’ll go for a matt or glossy kitchen flooring.

Tiles are often used for gloss flooring, which looks striking against matt cabinets and worktops. On the other hand, matt tiling and wood are more subtle and often easy to maintain in the long run.

How Will You Decorate the Walls?

Matt paint sits well with any design and is a popular choice for almost any household kitchen. To break up the kitchen’s design, add a gloss effect on the walls.

Glossy tiles help make the room appear brighter and lighter and helps draw attention to a specific area if that’s what you are going for.

What about the Appliances?

Modern-day appliances are also available in both glossy and matt finishes, from fridges, ovens, to cookers. However, the effect will depend on how much you want the appliances to blend or stand out in the overall design.

The Bottom Line

Matt kitchens are stunningly beautiful, dramatic and full of character. It’s a trend that’s enjoying its increasing popularity. Not only is it applicable on almost all kitchen sizes, but also it can blend with other finishes to create a striking space that you’ll definitely love spending time in.

5 Creative Design Tips for Small Home Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart and hearth of the home, regardless of the size. So if you’re planning on a kitchen makeover but worried because of the available limited space, then think again.

There are tons of innovative ideas you can implement in your home kitchen that will make it feel and look bigger than what it actually is. For example, a lighter-coloured high gloss kitchen cabinet finish will definitely open up your space and make it look more modern.

Below are stunning features and helpful tips that can transform your small kitchen into a welcoming space that your family deserves.

Lighten up your kitchen

Like in the example above, use light colours to make the space feel larger. Dark colours make the room feel even smaller. Carefully consider your colour options for the cabinets and walls.

If you are unable to change the colour of the cabinets or walls and they happen to have a dark tone, consider updating instead your lighting. Install LED strips under the cabinets or shelves. These energy-efficient models will be adding an extra impact to your kitchen without leaving a big footprint.

Incorporate into your new décor scheme a lighter paint colour for the walls. If possible, opt for a high gloss kitchen finish for a contemporary updated look and feel to the space.

high gloss kitchen open shelving

Ceiling-high cabinets for extra storage

De-clutter your counter by making use of stacked cabinets and open shelves. When there is limited space, the only way is to go up.

By adding extra shelving above the sink or the stovetop, you give yourself extra storage for storing dishes and other kitchen-related stuff. You can also use the extra shelves to display your precious china or other treasured items.

Just remember to not go overboard with it. The lesser items around, the bigger your kitchen will look.

A compact kitchen island

Many homeowners consider a kitchen island as a crucial component for entertaining guests, food prep and many more. But if you’re concerned that there isn’t enough space for an island, consider a compact one that can also double as a dining table.

Also, make use of rolling cart shelves for flexibility. This not only provides extra storage but also food prep space. This can also be moved out of the way when not needed.

high gloss kitchen compact kitchen island

Add mirrors

One of the hottest trends these days are mirrored cabinets and backsplashes. The mirrors create an illusion that the walls and cabinets continue into another dimension. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It opens up the kitchen and brings light.

Tall seating

If your kitchen space restricts you from having a full dining set, opt for stools lined along the side of the worktop or consider a high-top table. This creates a cosy breakfast or dining nook without having to sacrifice space.

Keep in mind that it isn’t about the space, but the way you utilise the existing space that you have. Creative solutions such as making use of high gloss kitchen finish to brighten up and modernise the space and open shelving do make an impact on how your kitchen looks and feels.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors: Choosing the Right Finish

The most affordable and easiest way to transform the look of your kitchen is by replacing the cabinet doors with either a matt or high gloss kitchen finish. Since cabinets occupy a huge amount of kitchen space, they’re easily noticeable.

So by replacing them with new kitchen cabinets, you can instantly transform the overall look and feel of the kitchen. But the challenge remains—figuring out which finish and kitchen door type are appropriate for your kitchen.

This article will help you choose which finish is right for your cabinets.

High gloss kitchen finish

A popular contemporary design for kitchen doors, this finish is ideal for kitchen cabinets with a flat surface. Others refer to this particular finish as ultrahigh gloss and can vary depending on the manufacturer or designer.

If light colours are used, the light easily reflects back to the kitchen, making the space appear brighter and larger than it actually is. Also, a glossy surface for the kitchen cabinet doors makes space look tidy and clean.

Reasons why you should opt for a high gloss finish:

  1. If you have a small space for your kitchen, you can make it appear larger
  2. Darker colours not appear too dark and would not make the space appear cramped
  3. High gloss finish is easy to clean compared

Matt kitchen finish

This particular finish type is often associated with a traditional or a classic kitchen and most often used for wooden kitchen cabinet doors. If you plan on kitchen doors with moulded design, then a matt finish is the ideal choice.

Additionally, a matt finish is also perfect for contemporary kitchen cabinet doors. If your kitchen space is very bright, then a matt finish is the perfect choice since it absorbs light, providing just the right amount of lighting.

Advantages of using a matt finish for your kitchen cabinets:

  1. Marks, scratches, smudges and fingerprints will not be easily visible on the surface
  2. Consistent colours throughout
  3. Like the glossy finish, it is easy to clean

Other factors to consider   

Other factors that need to be considered include the colour and door design.

You colour choice greatly affects the overall appearance of the room. Wood grain or richer colours make your kitchen appear warm and inviting, while lighter colours make it look brighter and larger.

Door handles are also another factor that needs to be considered. Handle-less kitchen cabinet doors are the latest in the market these days. Although these door types appear to flow effortlessly and provide a streamlined and clean finish, a number of homeowners find them too clinical-looking.

Whether you choose a matt or a high gloss kitchen cabinet finish, keep in mind the above factors. If you are still undecided, you can always choose to mix both finishes for your kitchen.