Opinions on cabinets and island colour

erinf83February 25, 2013

OK...So given the dark floors I think a cream glazed cabinet is the way to go here. The cabinets are going to the ceiling with crown molding.

But now my problem, should I do the island in the same or should I do the trendy dark island which will definitely date my house.

I have mixed feelings and here they are.

As you can see in my the photo (taken before we moved in - for the record we have stainless steel appliances), the existing cabinets are a cream and given the open space (the area behind me is open to a sunken livingroom and the is a nook the to left which is pretty much all window and a sliding door) I feel a dark island might break up cabinets because it almost looks like too much white to me.

I don't want to date the kitchen and I know this trend has been around a few years and is probably coming to an end, but I do kind of like the look and since the island is small, I don't think it would take much to replace it when the time comes.

We were planning to have fluted pilasters and corbels on the island and the extra details I think would look great in dark, plus the extra detail would make it stand out making it a focal point. The dark island I think would just add to this.

We are planning on painting the kitchen and nook Sico Maple Jelly as our chairs and dinnette set have orange hints in the wood. The counter top is granite which we are hoping to reuse. I believe is it Tropic Brown, which also has hints of orange. The backsplash I want a neutral white/cream brick style. We are keeping the floor as well. The layout is staying the same (unless someone can come up with a good opinion about that as well!)

This post was edited by erinf83 on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 8:25

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Do you feel you need the storage that a built-in island provides? What about something vintage-y and free-standing? I don't think that look will be dated anytime soon and I think it will make things look much more spacious.

Something like this maybe (this is sort of my go-to photo when it comes to islands):

Traditional Kitchen design by San Francisco Architect Mahoney Architects & Interiors

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Nope, I definitely need to storage!! Plus I want to reuse the granite! But that is about the same colour I am considering!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:07PM
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Honestly, the island is a barrier island and it's odd shape doesn't really add much to the kitchen at all. It's clearances don't even look to be the minimum required. I'd look at reconfiguring things for optimum utility and not worry about the granite. You most likely will NOT be able to reuse it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:11PM
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You're right. That is a lot of white. I have to agree with live wire oak. Now is the time to get it right. With only 2 chairs at the island and what appears to be narrow aisles, I wouldn't put seating at the new island. I would also want to break up all the granite with a different counter than on the perimeter.

But all of that is just me, and if you would be happy with "this kitchen" but in other cabinets, then so be it. But I would ask a granite installer about reusing before going forward.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Thanks for the input. When we first moved in, I thought the island was also weirdly shaped. Now is has become such a useful piece. Any kind of social gathering happens around the island, my kids sit there much more frequently than at the dinette set (I force them there for dinner though). I guess it just grew on us. I hadn't really thought about my initial feelings and about redoing it but I guess it is something to consider.

We have had numerous cabinet makers come in and while they don't guarantee the granite can be saved (it may crack when we try to remove it) they said we can likely reuse it due to the quality of it. The granite on the island isn't even glued down! The only area making it difficult is, of course, the seams which is on either side of the sink. We have a few more people coming to quote us so I guess we can go from there. Any opinions on what kind of island would be better suited? Right now, the aisles are pretty narrow with just enough room to open the dishwasher and fridge but its managable!

I've attached another photo form a different angel. Please note the railing in the foreground will soon be removed and not replaced and the ugly matching dinette table is no longer there, neither are the two chairs at the breakfast bar. The island is also moveable and is more evenly spaced between where the fridge and dishwasher are.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:50PM
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You can definitely reuse the granite - they do it all the time. My granite was only 2 years old when we had to remodel due to a water leak and we reused it. Yes there is a chance it could break in areas that are skinny (like in front of sink) but they can put a brace on it when removing it. That being said, if you do want to do a different shaped island, you would only have the cost of that piece and you can keep the perimeter granite.

I hope having a different island won't date the kitchen. I just did it but I'm usually on the tail end of trends, or miss it altogether lol! Do what you like.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Hi -I don't know how helpful this is, but 6 1/2 years ago we redid our kitchen with a stained island and painted cabinets. I do feel like my kitchen is now dated, however it isn't the stained island making it feel that way. To me, it is the glaze on the cabinets and the french country elements we put in. Now as we are starting down the road of updating it, we are planning to keep the stained island with painted perimeter. Maybe it is just me, but I think glazing would date the area before the island would. No matter what though - it is you that has to love it - so at the end of the day if you are happy don't worry about the elements that could date the area.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:27PM
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I think the current island and it's shape dates the house much more than a stained island would. An island doesn't cost that much to replace, and I think it would make a huge difference in the room's appearance. Wi-sailorgirl, I love the photo you posted -- such a classic kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Sorry, but my first thought was that island is too big for the space and the weird shape that doesn't follow any angles in the kitchen looks like it was added later. It is a barrier, especially if there is just enough clearance to open the appliances. I know because I had the same and hated it!

Dark espresso cabs have been popular for about a decade as have very dark wood floors, but if you like that and plan to stay there for awhile so what, get what you like! However if the island is as dark as the floors with a dark countertop, and it's also too large for the space couldn't it just end up looking extra heavy with no contrast?? How about an island painted in a non wood tone color?
JMO but I agree with the poster who said that glazed cabs will date your kitchen. Alo agree with you that creamy white or off white would be a good choice with your brown countertops.

Yes it looks extra white in there now, but there are no accessories or appliances, we're seeing tile to the floor that normally wouldn't be visible, the cabs are flat with absolutely no detail or hardware, there is a white hood, white or light walls,so of course it looks too white now, but wouldn't with new cabs and a backsplash. Unless the new island looks like furniture I wouldn't make it a different color..

As far as needing storage. If you bring the cabs to the ceiling you'll gain storage there and maybe you could reconfigure for a peninsula instead of an island. If you shrink the island you can probably get the granite top made smaller.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Sailor forgot to ask, where did you find that great photo? If it was Houzz I need to change my search parameters becuase I keep seeing the same kitchens and that isn't one of them. Cute island and love those countertops!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:06PM
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Yep ... that's from Houzz. Their search kind of stinks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Island kitchen

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Thanks Sailor! Houzz search is MUCH better than GW though. For some reason I can't get email notices of replies to threads on this site and I can't keep track of everything I want to follow. :>(

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 9:59PM
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I agree with a lot of the opinions above:
- Dark espresso has lasted longer than I expected but will be out soon
- The island shape is very 90s, and is ALREADY dated
- Hard to say whether furniture-style cabinets will stay hip

I think open floorplans are going out soon except in the most modern houses, so I wouldn't spend a whole lot on opening the kitchen up, especially since you're doing traditional cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 3:52AM
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I also think the island is too big for the space. What about creating a peninsula? That would give you the counter space and area for your kids to see with you.

Having stained and painted cabinetry is here to stay (I think). It gives great contrast and breaks up the monotony of an all one color kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:53AM
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I want to say...I think the island is just fine and that your layout works very well. The corner sink is not that far from the fridge and I don't think the island is a barrier. It works well with the more contemporary layout of the space.

As for the cabinets, cream will look beautiful on the perimeter and the dark island will be a lovely focal point. Reuse the granite and the back splash also sounds like a very nice choice.

I would be looking more closely at how you want to use the cabinet spaces. I'm sure you'll get a recommendation to use more drawers in the base cabinets and possibly adding the microwave to the area next to the fridge (nice little landing area) or in the island.

While I can see you need as much storage space as possible (maybe pull out shelves for the pantry?) it might be nice to add a few glass doors to the upper cabinets just to lighten things up a bit.

I think the picture posted with the dark work table/marble top is just beautiful, but your island size, style and shape will look wonderful with your corner sink and more contemporary layout...at least I think it looks contemporary. Very nice :)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:55PM
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davidahn your post depresses me!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 3:54PM
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You've all given me a lot to think about! Im attaching another photo of how it currently looks. I don't feel the island is a barrier and although it does have an usually shape, it works well for the kitchen, so ill likely keep it. I do keep forgetting about the extra cabinet space once they go to the ceiling so with that in mind we are now thinking of adding a microwave shelf in place of the upper cabinet between the stove and wall, mostly because the area where it is now is going to be shrunk down to accommodate a wider pantry. I had thought of glass but decided against it for numerous reasons. Never thought of the glaze being the thing to date my house! Ill make some final decisions at the end if the week and thank you all for your inputs!!

I didn't mention it, but the lowers are either side of the stove will be drawers and the pantry will also have either sliding drawers within or will be made up of drawers (the latter was just suggested to me today but am unsure how I feel about it)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Oops, forgot to attach the photo!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Sorry, wasn't trying to be negative, just came out brusque while trying to keep it brief. OP mentioned expiring trends, so I expressed my opinions. I thought espresso would already be out, but it's still around, and I thought the real estate bubble would burst 3 years before it did. So obviously, my predictions could very well be wrong!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:14AM
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Oh I didn't take it as too negative! I think you are probably right, after all no trend lasts forever. You will see why it depresses me when I post my "reveal". :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:22AM
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it makes you wonder if that island was originally a peninsula at the end of the cabinet run and modified somehow. It seems to be crying out to go back there, I think I would look into that, it doesn't look as though you would lose any storage by doing that. If you do paint the island darker and decide later that it is dated, could you paint it back to something else? A color or whatever is in vogue at a later date?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:27AM
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@amandasplit, oh. :( In that case I hope I'm even more premature than I was with the real estate bubble! And don't worry about the trends, enjoy the beauty of the fruits your labor!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:55AM
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What changes are you making to the fridge wall? Will you be adding a deeper pantry cabinet to enclose your full-depth fridge or changing to a counter-depth fridge? A deeper pantry looks like it will crowd the chairs.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:35AM
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Not making it deeper, just wider...taking the width from cabinets on the other side of the fridge. They are currently 24 and are being replaced by 18's. the other 6" are going to the pantry for width :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:22PM
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As a peninsula. Obviously just a rough idea. I don't think it would be as long. I tried this design out. It definitely opens up the kitchen...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:26PM
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A view from the sink.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:28PM
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One other picture. Excuse my horrible edit job but I don't have photoshop on this computer so Paint had to help me out. What are the opinions on this smaller, less ackward shaped island? I'd get rid of the seating as there is a table 5 feet to the left and I can still reuse the granite with this design. I can (and probably would) make this a little narrower as well. Plus with this design, I gain even more storage as I am using some space from the seating.

I don't think I like the peninsula, but I can definitely love this smaller island.

FTR: I have a straight walkway from the sink to the fridge...I know it looks like the island is in the way, but its not. Since I am gaining extra sapce on the island. What would your thoughts be in installing the microwave shelf there? I've seen this is a few newer homes but am uncertain.


This post was edited by erinf83 on Thu, Feb 28, 13 at 14:41

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:37PM
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An overhead measured diagram would help greatly. I think there might be more room around the island that appears, simply because of the photo angle. But, the diagram will help greatly with suggestions as to how to make it the most functional.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:04PM
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I think that's a HUGE improvement and makes the kitchen look much bigger.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:16PM
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This is an overview of the kitchen with the island in its rectangular form.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:18PM
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This is an overview of the kitchen with the island in its rectangular form.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:27PM
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robo (z6a)

I like the peninsula! You could probably fit 3 or 4 stools on it!

I don't know why but I am super pro peninsula. I think because in small kitchens they can be so much longer compared to islands. I just love long counter runs. I also love the cockpit of a U shaped kitchen (again, in a small space).

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:34PM
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I'm now leaning towards a same colour island now that it will be smaller. Island made a good point in pointing out that hardware, kitchen junk as well as the darkness showing through the glaze will all add contrast. With the island being redone, I think it may be too heavy and dark looking if I went with a dark espresso. Still having a hard time picturing it all...especially since I can't decide on what I want the island to consist of...drawers, cabinets, open shelves....so many choices!!

Thought about the non-wood paint colour but I'm lacking ideas on that and not sure if that's my style.

Hoping to have something decided on by next week! Is there another cabinet option I should consider beside a cream glaze? I thought it looked super nice with the dark floors but I'm open to more suggestions!! Everything everyone is suggesting has been great and very helpful!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:31PM
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