Help me choose some colors here (granite, backsplash, cabinets)

discoganyaFebruary 24, 2010

We're starting to plan a kitchen remodel... and I'm a complete dork when it comes to design. We would like to take out the old white tiles, put on granite, paint the room, add a backsplash and refinish the cabinets.

Cabinets are not be replaced (due to cost) -- only to be recolored (refinished). Flooring was put in by the previous owner recently, so it stays. Appliances are new, except the fridge, which may or may not be changed depending on the overall remodel cost.

So my questions:

1. What color for granite (golds or blacks)?

2. What color for cabinets (white or dark walnut)?

3. What backsplash?

I'm trying to decide between:

a) White cabinets, black granite and a gray mosaic backsplash, or

b) Dark walnut cabinets, Gold granite and a rust/maroon mosaic backsplash.

Any opinions? Any tips? THANKS!

Here are the before pics:

Kitchen has the old\-style medium Oak cabinets and white tiles. Small eat\-in area with a small 4\-seating table. Table/chairs to be replaced. Central post (pillar) is going to be removed to give a clearer view of the kitchen Medium Oak, white tiles, white wall paint. Stove not to be replaced. Lots & Lots of light. 2 small windows, 1 large window, one french door. Picture taken on a cloudy winter morning. Fridge (old), dishwasher and microwave to stay. Fridge tends to collect colorful stuff! Closeup on the beige/gray flooring (not to be changed).
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I am so jealous of all your windows & light!! I think both combos would look really nice - I know not much help, I just really wanted to comment on your windows lol!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 6:20PM
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My thinking is what a beautiful view outside with so many windows. Also noted is the lack of wood framing around doors and windows which gives a clean contemporary appearance. Your wall color is beautiful and I might choose a paint for the cabinets that is either the same color as the walls or close to it and choose a contrasting color counter. Lovely space!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 6:25PM
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I agree on the amazing windows and natural light coming in. Looking at the beautiful brightness of your space and the natural oak floors that meet up with your tile; I have to vote light cabs. But I personally would not pick black countertops with that. I'd go for a granite with some movement that brings in the colors of nature from outside. There are endless possibilities with that.... even the gold tones you mention.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 8:27PM
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The light in your kitchen is incredible. I'm thinking that it can handle dark cabs without soaking up all the light. I'd go with darker cabinets and a lighter countertop. I don't know the granite colors well, but have seen some creamy ones with gold that would go nicely.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 8:58PM
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I think there would be enough light for dark cabs, but I think they'd be out of context with everything else so light - and they might be too much a wide expanse of darkness and feel too heavy.

Personally, I'd go for white cabinets and a really pretty granite. I am not a fan of the gold colors, to my eye they already look dated. No matter what you get, if you get something with movement there should be at least some part of it that will match the off-white of the floor. That will tie the two together.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 10:23AM
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Mondragon has expressed the way I was feeling...The golds/rust/dark cab idea seems a little dated, heavy, and not suited to the ambiance of the space. However, I could see walnut colored cabinets if you did something a little more contemporary and sleeker like a light gray quartz countertop...about the color of the gray in the flooring. I think that could lighten up the overall scheme enough.

I also agree with Remodelfla that if you go with white cabs, I might expand the search from black granite to something with less contrast and more serene. Could have movement, could be quieter, depending on the mood you like.

You are talking about 2 completely different looks and personalities for the room here, it seems. What do you want to walk into in the morning and have greet you? Try taking the 'Sweeby Test' to help you pinpoint the style and atmosphere you'd like, and let that result govern or narrow some of your decisions.

It is a light and cheerful space that just needs a little facelift...Can't wait to see its transformation. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Sweeby Test

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Thanks y'all. Seems like this is going to be a very tough decision. I do feel the gold/rust/dakr cabs may look dated but the white/black may look simply too plain-jane. I thought I'd put them together and compare:

Any other ideas for better matching granites or cabinets?


    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I like the darker cabinets with the lighter countertops. I think when you said gold most people were imagining a very strong yellow presence flecked with browns and black. The creamy more neutral option in your last post is much less likely to overpower your space. The backsplash is strong, but if you love it, you love it. If you aren't set on it though, I would look into something a little less intense, maybe a mix of glass and stone like this:

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:54PM
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I think that white cabinets, dark counters (maybe a soapstone?), and a grayish backsplash (to tie in with the floor) would be nice.

I love your windows and all of that light.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:16PM
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Thanks. Yes, we are staring to lean towards creams, silvers and whites (granite) over the golds. The yellow content of the golds seems to be overpowering. I liked the backsplash link you posted. Thanks for that.

Re: Soapstone. I really don't know anything about it. It seems to be a softer material and requires more maintenance than granite. Also it may not be a good choice when I have to sell my house, a few years down.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 2:15PM
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It's all about what you like, really. To me, the white cab & dark counters make me think of clean, cool, and light, and the other ones make me think of the smell of stale bacon grease.

It must be something from childhood :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 3:03PM
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I lean to favoring walnut cabinets because it goes better with the landscape outside. With a light beige/taupe granite that has some pattern or movement to it to differentiate it from the floor.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 3:11PM
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I love the light and the windows too! Either color cabinets would look great, and I've seen some really pretty pictures of Typhoon Bordeaux granite that might look great with those floors.

I just wanted to post another couple ideas (hope you don't mind):
For a contemporary space I love the backsplash that cat_mom's did (see the finished kitchens blog.) She hung narrow glass tiles vertically and it looks outstanding IMHO.

It would look really cool if you took whatever you do for your backsplash and use it on that narrow part of the wall that is directly next to and perpendicular to the window over the sink. (See below mockups.)

Also there was a recent thread on shelves in front of windows over kitchen sinks. A high open shelf over your sink would look really cool.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 3:23PM
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I like the darker cabinet /mix also. I think it's warmer- you'll definitely have to warm up those walls too.
Good Luck- Have fun!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 3:26PM
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I thought it might be easier to envision if you do it like this. My GC kept telling me, and he was right, not to look at the granite vertically--you get a different impression when it is horizontal. Hope this helps. My choice is the white, but they will both be great in your sunlit space. You are lucky!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Thanks guys. Any other suggestions for granite colors or backsplashes that you think will look good?

BTW, I've also hired an online e-decorator to help with the color scheme (see -- their $60 color consultation). If they are OK with it, I'll post up what they recommend.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 6:34PM
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I am new to all this. We've just put in our granite, and one thing that you might consider is that polished granite reflects a lot. We have a couple of large windows and at certain times of the day, I see the outside reflection when I look at the granite, much more than I see the colors of the granite. I know I'll get used to it, but right now it seems sort of "confusing" to look at. Just something to think about--perhaps a leather or more matte finish is worth considering?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 10:20PM
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Thanks for all the inputs folks. We have decided on dark walnut / mahogany colored cabinets with a whitish / cream granite. Backsplash yet to be decided.

It's come down to three choices for granite:
Bianco Antico
Delicatus Splendor
Persian Pearl

Any recommendations of one over the other? They are all pretty pricey. Any cheaper alternatives that look similar?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 6:17PM
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I would paint the bottom cabinets black to make the DW blend in and top cabinets white.

Then depending on if the floor color is warm or cold, choose the countertop and backsplash to incorporate the fridge and floor color.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 6:55PM
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I like your choice. I'm biased because I have mahogany cabinets. I think on the granite you have to just make sure that the sample looks good with your floor color. I like the contrast of your cabinets with the lighter floor. Its already a very nice space. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 7:57PM
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Try Santa Cecelia or Bianco Romano

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 8:02PM
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I really love that lighter combo you show. The tile is especially pretty. I agree with those who think the lighter combo will look more appropriate with the lightfilled space.

Love those windows!! (If anyone has been following my posted question about whether to build an addition to make the kitchen bigger - this light space is what I'd try to achieve.)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:21PM
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Here is a quick update on progress so far:

River White Granite
Walker Zanger Mantra Mini-brick glass mosaic in "Cashew"

Cabinets to be stained this week... more updates to follow


    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:21PM
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Seems like some of the images are not showing up (Google CDN cache) ... Please hit Cntrl+F5 and try again. I posted 12 images in my last post.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:38PM
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I really like the end product!! Where did you find the backsplash?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 3:56PM
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Thanks. Backsplash is Walker Zanger Mantra Mini-brick glass mosaic in "Cashew".

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 4:13PM
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I love that white river! Great choice. I chose river gold, but I'm wishing I had that white river

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 6:14PM
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Lovely, Lovely, Lovely !!!
I can't wait until the cabs are stained.
What color is the stain? In the same family
darker, greener, grayer, taup-er?

The granite turned out magnificently and
I love your walker zanger backsplash. Excellent

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 7:07PM
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OK, here are the pics after the cabs were stained. We went with a deep mahogany to coordinate with the tiles, granite and backsplash.
The results have really exceeded our expectations. My contractor says that the shine of the top coat will tone down over the next few weeks.

Note: I have many skills, but photography is not one of them. So please excuse the crappy pics :)

The stain is really a dark brown/mahogany -- not black as seen in some of the pics. Here is a picture with the flash on -- shows some of the brown tones

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Wow!!! Absolutely unbelievable makeover! Looks like a completely new space. Congratulations!!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:16PM
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That looks AWESOME! Wow! Everything blends together so nicely! Congratulations!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:19PM
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Congratulations! The colors are beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:27PM
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Wow! I really love your stunning river white granite! Everything looks beautiful.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:31PM
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I think you have to officially take back the dork comment.

This really looks beautiful, sophisticated, cohesive, and like you did a lot more than you did, and spent a lot more.

And in what, a month?


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:44PM
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so gorgeous, I really was not sure what you were going to be able to pull off when looking at the before pictures, but you really exceeded expectations!

I have to ask...what color/brand stain is on your cabinets? We are going to do the same thing. We also have the same floors as you do.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Looks really, really nice. Total update and you did a wonderful job. You knew what you were after and it turned out beautifully.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Can some one please help me find this backsplash, I looked on the web and could not find it???????

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 8:58PM
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