Dark Cabinets in a really truly tiny kitchen

estebanmomJanuary 7, 2008

My current kitchen in my new (to me) NYC coop is 6'x5'7". I cannot function in it to say the least. All my kitchen stuff from my old place are still in boxes and I've been living here since Sept 07. I am going to knock down a wall between the kitchen and a closet but that is all the space I can expand into. My new BIG kitchen will then be a whooping 9'3" x 5'7". I've look online at all the advice about cabinet color being light in small spaces. I've also looked on this site and agree with many of you that some small kitchens look great with dark cabinets despite conventional wisdom. I don't want white cabinets, I don't know why, I just don't. I guess my question is this - Is this kitchen just too small for really dark cabinets? Should I stay with lighter woods? I'm also stuck on door style. I was thinking of a shaker style with wide stiles (I think that's what they're called) but now I don't know. I have too many things I regret and I don't want this to be one of them. Thank you for any suggestions.

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I forgot to add that by opening up the closet wall and door the opening to the kitchen will expand to 66" so the kitchen will be visible from the dining room/foyer area. I also bought large (12x12") light porcelain tile for the floor. I am steering towards a slate countertop if I can afford it. In addition, I have Olean Highland Ridge 6x6 tile in Mountain that I did not use for the bathroom. I plan to use it as a backsplash so the tile is not a waste. The applianaces I plan to get consist of an LG titanium 10 cu ft which is just under 24" wide and counter depth and a Avanti 20" range in black and stainless. The smaller the better in this space. Do you think I should switch to white? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:31AM
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You know, my new kitchen is white, and I can imagine a white kitchen in Long Island, or Connecticut, but NYC just inspires IN ME a more modern aesthetic. I could imagine nice dark almost chocolatey cabs with very simple lines. Perhaps use lighter walls to tie it together. That said, I don't know if I'm crazy about super dark cabs with the really dark backsplash. In that case, I might go slightly lighter with the cabs but still wood and modern in shape. What is your style? Are you a modern person or a traditional person? That could help you decide the style of the doors as well.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:51AM
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What about some lighter wood cabs in a slab front style? With that size space, you might be able to splurge on some really high quality cabs (not sure what your budget is). You should check out the bird's eye maple slab doors/drawers by Woodmode. Gorgeous. If you're on a lower budget, ikea has some great stuff , too.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 2:47AM
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Yes, you can go all dark wood, backsplash, etc. Check out LuceeStar's kitchen from the Finished Kitchens Blog!

Here is a link that might be useful: FKB: luceestar's Kitchen

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 6:42AM
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You can absolutely go dark! Just be sure to have lots of excellent and flexible lighting. Small, sark spaces can be romantic, dramatic, cozy, comforting -- all sorts of great things. They won't be 'light and bright' -- but light and bright is not everyone's idea of the ideal kitchen. And having spent some time in NYC, I just can't see white staying white! Everything there seems to get a daily coat of grime...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:32AM
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I am with you on the dark cabinets. I am planning to use an Espresso stain on traditional cabinets (but in a larger space). I want to top them with marble, and white or cream subway tile backsplash and a hex floor. I know what I want in my mind (have taken inspiration from French bistros I have eaten at in NY) but admit that I haven't come across any pictures of anything similar.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:38AM
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I think a lot of it will depend on your LR/DR and how that will tie in decoratively, the height of your ceilings (if you're like many NY apts, you'll have HIGH ceilings and thus can maximise your storage space by going UP, but that may increase the sense of "black hole" if you use dark cabs, although with glass fronts in dark cabs that could look gorgeous) and also, as somebody else said, your style.

My first instinct when you posted was a more contemporary dark cabs look - glossy black or dark brown, lots of stainless etc. But espresso stained wood would be nice too, especially with glass-front uppers to keep the light bouncing around. And I'd have thought SOMETHING needed to be light; dark slate counters with that might be a bit gloomy in a space that small but, again, it will depend on available light as well - some NY apts have huge windows, others are on the inside and only face the courtyard and thus are DARK.

What's the original kitchen? Is it a scullery-type, or is it a more modern apartment with an efficiency kitchen? Do you have any inspiration pix for the look you want? People here - far more experienced than I am with kitchens! - will likely have some great suggestions if you can post or link ot some photos of what you have in mind.

Also, who did that gorgeous apartment-kitchen transformation in Queens? Posted just before Christmas, if memory serves - it was a long, narrow galley kitchen with a window at one end and some g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s. mosaic tile backsplash. And dark cabinets :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:10AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I am definitely leaning a lot toward dark cabinets. I think luceestar's kitchen is great. How can I see her original posts? Is it possible to go back to posts from '06? I saw a before and after shot on someone else's post but would like to see more.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:41AM
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I guess I would say that the kitchen is more of a scullery type, a separate room altogether. I am on the first floor so my ceilings are only 8 ft and it is a little dark. The building is 54 years old, no mouldings around windows or ceilings, wood floors throughout so I suppose it's modern. Maybe I should rethink the slate. I did see the pics of the Queens apt. and thought it looked great. I think I want dark cabs because I've lived with white cabs all my life and I am as old as the building.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:05PM
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In have dark cabinets in my NYC co-op kitchen. I't s a a tad bigger than yours, and I have a door in one of the long walls.

But it doesn't feel claustrophibic at all. (In some sitautions, dark colors recede, making spaces look larger--but others think that light colors do. i disagree)

It feels cozy, and it feels more like furniture.

However, I have white appliances, white countertops, white woodword, light walls white ceiling, a window in one end for good daylight. The whole room isn't dark.

Another thing, my white appliances make a pretty big impact, which would probably be true in your kitchen as well--I have fewer cabinets than a big kitchen would have. But I don't have fewer appliances.

So the appliances will have a much bigger impact in your kitchen than they will in a larger kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Sweeby and others have said it extremely well already, but I just want to pile my post-Holidays weight on the scale--create the kitchen of your dreams.

People recommend light values because they do tend to make spaces feel larger. So, by the way, can enveloping dark colors that make boundaries disappear. But so what? It's not some sort of natural law that every small space should be decorated to appear larger. It's perfectly okay and can even an asset for a space to be small, even tiny, as long as it's a great place to be.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Just remember lighting. My small kitchen doesn't have much natural light so I added lighting everywhere. Recessed lights, pendant over the peninsula, pendants over the sink, undercounter lighting and sconces by the table.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:40PM
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I can picture dark being very nice in a small space. For the door style I would definately stick with slab in a small space to minimize the fussiness. Personally, I didn't like the sharp squared corners I saw on some slab doors. Millbrook cabinets I saw at Manhattan Kitchen and Bath (East side, in the teens/20's) were a moderate priced cabinet with very nice slab doors with eased edges in a variety of woods/finishes.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Luceestar's wonderful kitchen, my inspiration for dark cabinets in a small space, and WITH dark counter tops, no less:

Need I say more?


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:34PM
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