Photo courtesy Adele Merchant

Designer tip: Adele Merchant on complementary cabinets

adele merchant acadian house
Adele Merchant

Many kitchens in the Baton Rouge area have been left with only their upper cabinets and tile floors after the devastation of the flood. For homeowners looking for a fresh start, Adele Merchant of Acadian House Kitchen & Bath Design has some advice to share.

“While matching your custom cabinets seems like a design challenge, we see it as an opportunity to bring contrast to the space and add another element of design,” Merchant says. “Whether you are planning a facelift to your kitchen or are faced with working with what’s left, you can create a cohesive style without being matchy-matchy.”

One option is to pair painted finishes with a natural finish for a transitional look.

“Cabinetry finish techniques change over time, so your uppers may be difficult to match exactly,” she says. “Instead, choose painted lower cabinets in a versatile shade similar to Sherwin William’s ‘Alabaster,’ or make a statement with dramatic color like ‘Peppercorn.'”

Or try choosing a complementary door style.

“For shaker-style or glass-front cabinets, look for simple door styles with minimal detail,” Merchant says. “For more intricate arched-style upper cabinets, you may consider replacing the doors to match the lowers. You can still create contrast by painting the upper cabinets a different shade than below.”

And then, she says, tie it all together with new hardware.

“Ornate brass pulls can date original cabinets, but a quick change to something fresh like champagne or a classic polished nickel can bring it all together.”

For more information on Merchant and Acadian House, visit