How white are your white cabinets?

Mom23EsApril 26, 2012

I keep being advised against bright white cabinets. People say it's cold looking, shows too much dirt, or too much contrast. I really don't want cream. I've seen bunches of pictures with antiqued cream cabinets. I definitely do not want that creamy yellowish color in my kitchen. (fine for others but it's not what I'm trying to accomplish.). I want white. I want to see my cabinets and think "white". There are a bazillion shades of white and it's overwhelming to figure out what people are using on their cabinets. Our cabinets will be medallion brand so we're choosing between white icing and divinity. On their own, they both look white to me. Side by side, the divinity is definitely a warmer shade of white.

Anyway , just trying to ask if most people actually use a pure bright white in their white kitchens or if people tend to use a softer warmer white? (and I'm wondering if my often overly "helpful" family is right. Lol!!!)

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Debbi Branka

My cAbinets are very bright white.y paint is navy blue. I love them so much!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 8:52PM
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I used white. There is nothing creamy or warm about them. I have carrara perimeter counters with a lot of grey, plus ss appliances. Creamy would have looked off. I love s very "me" and exactly what I wanted. I did add some warmth with a walnut top for my island and wood floors...otherwise it might have ended up looking like an operating room!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 8:56PM
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I am having the same dilemma, although I am choosing between the divinity and the white chocolate. I know it looks a little bit cream, but I'm not sure which way I am going yet with everything else. I think the white icing is the truest bright white, if that's the look you are going for. Have you made decisions on countertops or flooring to go with your cabinets?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:23PM
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I can't figure out which white either. White..warm, creamy..oh the choices are for me overwhelming

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Glad I'm not the only one unable to figure this out!!!

Lac1- we found a couple slabs of Vermont white granite (aka super white) that we want to use. Our floors with be site finished oak with whatever stain we want. The lighting in the stone warehouse was terrible, but our first impression was that we actually liked the divinity better with the granite. We'll definitely be heading back to see our stone before ordering cabinets though. With tile too. (Plain white subway tile.) I keep thinking I want bright white, but our builder's kitchen has the divinity and it looks beautiful.

Nini- I hope you don't mind my copying, but I sent my builder some pics of your kitchen last night and asked him to use it for inspiration! I am in love with your whole house. I hope my house turns out as beautiful as yours. It's totally the look I'm going for. :-)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:42PM
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I used a custom white that's close to BM's Cloud White (color matching Cloud White vs my custom white gave me the same formula; go figure). I's a slightly creamy white, probably creamier than I was originally going for, but it nonetheless "reads" as more white than cream. And after my mother had her factory white cabinets installed, I appreciated my color all the more! Hers are lovely, but they can seem really stark and cold, especially at certain times of day. My kitchen feels much warmer. I also used Alkatex paint, an oil-latex hybrid, which yellows slightly (but less than a true oil paint), so that's something to keep in mind as well. A "white" oil won't be as stark white as a "white" latex.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:51PM
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If you can wait until the sheathing goes on the house and the windows have been cutout to let in the natural light, you can take your white cabinet samples into the space that will be your kitchen and see how those different whites look. If you're just looking at them in the showroom or even in broad daylight, know that the color will look different in your home as your lighting/shadows aren't the same. Additionally, you may want to take the different whites with you when you pick out granite--you may find a slab of granite you really love and need to base the white cabinet color decision on that.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Mine are BM Cloud White. It's a luscious white, a bit creamy, very soft. Even though my kitchen is small, at first I was overwhelmed by the mass of light cabinets. I'm grateful they're not too stark a white. They still read white, just soft and warm.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:04PM
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Mine are white but they don't look cold at all. I guess it's because of the other finishes in the room? I don't know. All I know is that I love what I'm seeing so far! I'm SO glad I didn't go with the off white shade which had much more yellow in it than I was comfortable with. I didn't want anything cream. I'm much more of a crisp, clean white girl. I'm glad I went with my gut.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:39PM
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So get what you want: white.
If that's their opinion of your kitchen when its finished? So what.
I'm sure with all the work you're doing, your kitchen will be warm and welcoming, no matter what color you paint the cabinets.

What is very nice. So is cream.
Mine are green.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:06AM
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Like Nini, I was wary of choosing a white that didn't go with my Carrara, which is very gray. Creamy and warmer than my BM Simply White wouldn't have looked right. If you want white, do it. It's YOUR kitchen!!

As for the lighting at the slab warehouse, I highly recommend asking them to pull the slabs you're interested in into or next to natural light. It's the only way to truly see the slab colors and undertones, especially when trying to find the right cab color. All but one yard here did this happily for me. One gave me a little grief, because it was lunch time, but ended up complying. It's worth it to make the right choice!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:07AM
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I had the hardest time finding a white that I liked. Most that I saw were either stark white or an antique white and I didn't want either. Mine are a light, creamy color called Marshmallow. After looking at a lot of different brands, I knew the color was right as soon as I saw it.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:16AM
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We went with BM's White Dove.... We wanted a white that wasn't stark white, because the bright white didn't look that good with the Kashmir White granite we are getting. The White Dove still "reads" white, but is just a touch softer. We get the granite next week, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we made the right choice! Good luck with your decison-making!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:07AM
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I'm headed towards BM China White. In our first two houses I used it exclusively for all trim, and loved it.

If you like crisp white, then you should get it. If you just want a "white kitchen" the options are endless. I think it's important to remember that a creamy or beige white is gonna look white, period, when it's on a wall and surrounded by other cabinets. One cabinet shop pointed this out to me, and they couldn't be more right.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:30AM
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Mine are a lovely ivory color--easy on the eyes, beautiful with the soapstone countertops, and just perfect for a semi-vintage looking kitchen in a 100 year old house. "White" white would have been far too glaring for me.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 4:38AM
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I have White Dove and in my kitchen with lots of natural light, it does ready very white. So I think what breezy and lac both said about the direction you are going in is spot on.
White Dove is not creamy and has grey as the under tone. So, if you want a very brown counter, you might not want this white.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:24AM
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My Medallion divinity white cabinets arrive today! I can post some pics to share once they are in. We chose divinity over ice white as it was a bit softer. Also bear in mind that lighting has great affect on cabinet hues. If you plan on lots of lighting, then a stark white might be too glaring, and also considering other surfaces you will be introducing to the kitchen (appliances, paint color, wood trim and of course natural light from windows/doors. That was our primary reason for going with divinity, which is not as creamy once installed.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Ours are SW Dover White-- probably much creamer than you were looking for-- I was worried it would be too creamy but we love it and even something that dark reads white in the room.

Suggest you paint large pieces of posterboard and mock it up for a bit so you can get a feel for glare vs. other factors.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:02AM
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Ours are on order - we haven't started demo yet. But I also wanted white - not blinding white - but not cream or grayish white. We are doing Anastacia soapstone - and Brookhaven cabinets so we went with Nordic White. We have a sample door and have looked at it in all kinds of light and we still love the color of it. Of course our kitchen isn't huge and we have some glass doors on some cabinets - but still . . . If you want white - go for white!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 8:24AM
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This is a very helpful topic Mom23.

My current cabinets painted BM White Dove have not yellowed after ten plus years.I believe they were oil based primed (pre-Satin Impervo days).

Below is a designer discussing selection of whites which I bookmarked. Perhaps it may help in some manner.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article: Choosing the Right White

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Ours are pure white - BM Decorators White CC-20 - with the barest hint of grey. The island is BM Stone. Cool, crisp and hopefully beautiful if the kitchen and butler's pantry ever get finished.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Debbi Branka

My original response was on my phone - sorry for the typos! Mom23, what color will your walls be? I'm sharing some pix with you. My cabinets are Aristokraft thermofoil. I'm not so thrilled with the brand, but the thermofoil is perfectly smooth (no little dimples) and so nice to clean. And they are very stark white. My backsplash is shiny white, but we added diamonds of our blue pearl granite to it to tie it all together and give it some character. My island was just installed (navy blue painted wood cabs) and will have white marble top (not here until May 14). Our floor is oak, unstained with a matte finish. Maybe this will help with your decision.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 9:29AM
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White thermofoil always look more bright white than wood. I would recommend bringing samples to your house to see how it changes inside your home. My white icing cabs just arrived this morning, but they're still in the boxes. If I need to warm it up, I'll do it with lighting. But the sample looked great in the adjacent dining room, so that's what I went with (we're knocking down the wall between the dining room and kitchen and using the d/r paint color). Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:08AM
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"I hate white cabinets!" in 3...2...1... :p

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Thanks for all the discussion. I will definitely take all these pointers to heart. I'm delaying making a final decision as long as possible. Framing starts on Tuesday (hopefully) so I have no idea if I can delay long enough to get in the house. Our builder has the divinity color on his cabinets and his house is just a few houses up from ours- same south sun kitchen windows. He keeps offering to show us his cabinets; we just need to coordinate a time to meet up. We're planning on tan wall paint. I still have dreams of painting beadboard and putting in the back of my glass door cabinets, but DH and I are conflicted if we want a pale green or pale blue color. The kitchen will have lots of natural light.

Ahhh!!! This white is so hard to coordinate, especially when we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle in front of us at once. White tile, white cabinets, white granite (vermont white/super white), and white trim.... not to mention the white farmhouse sink. Will the white farmhouse sink contrast the cabinets too much? I also want polished chrome faucets and hardware, so I guess I should find a sample of that too.

Nanjeanne - You said it perfectly. We are also hoping for "white - not blinding white - but not cream or grayish white".

deb- Your kitchen looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing your pics! :)

linelle- You sound like my mother in your last post!! The woman who has her original dark walnut plasticky cabinets from the early 70s in her kitchen and loves them. LOL.

Thank you all so much for responding and dealing with my craziness. DH is so done with discussing cabinetry. At least all of you understand my slightly obsessive attention to detail. We're putting into this kitchen, and I want it to be perfect.

Almost forgot- Abouttogetdusty and nanjeanne- I would LOVE to see pics of your cabinets as you get them installed. PLEASE?!?!? :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Yup, I too wanted "white - not blinding white - but not cream or grayish white". The creamy whites in the store looked yellow in my house, so that's why I went with the white icing. I'll post pictures - in about a month when they're in ;-) Crossing fingers I'm happy with the result. White is tricky indeed!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:36PM
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Our cabinets won't be installed until end of May or so but will post pictures when that happens!

Now our next white dilemma will be the little bit of molding. Our floor is going to be a mid-shade of walnut and the Anastacia soapstone has a green undertone in the gray/black when oiled. I think it looks like a stormy sea. Cabs go to the ceiling and one wall is almost all pantry so we don't have a ton of open wall space (we're doing subway tile white . . . another white to figure out) and we're thinking of a grayish/green for the walls. So only a bit of floor molding and some around the windows will show. We haven't even begun thinking about that yet!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 2:39PM
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i ordered shiloh polar white and I am hoping they are very white as our kitchen is not getting as much natural light as I hoped. Kind of thinking we should have done arctic which is white/white. We will see soon enough.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Mom23Es, I hear ya. If one is happy with what one has, hating is unnecessary.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:06PM
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ratrem - how did you end up liking your polar white cabinets? i am trying to decide between polar and arctic white right now! would love to get your feedback and pictures! thanks!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Nanjeanne did you post your final reveal? Can you please share the link?

Can more people please post what white they used. Especially those who chose a white-ish gounter top

I want white cabs and didn't think I wanted bright white because the door samples look so glaring alone. However when I took a toned down white cab with me to the slab yard all the white granites quartzites and marbles were much whiter than the cabinet! Now I know I'll need to choose my countertop before my cabinet color.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:02PM
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^Island, have you seen White Gioia marble (Italy). I recall it as having more cream undertones, quiet, easy on the eyes.

Here is a link that might be useful: White Gioia, at Avanti Marble and Granite, MD:

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:39PM
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We are not done yet (as in we have to move out for two weeks so they can completely refinish all of our HW floors- long frustrating story), so I'm definitely not ready to do a finished kitchen post. Here is how it is right now, mostly finished. I LOVE the white white color of our white icing cabinets. I'm so glad we opted for the brighter white.

I took these pics with my iPhone and with only natural light.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Beautiful job! That kitchen is wonderful and I love your white cabinets.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Gorgeous! Perfect color with your other choices.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:58PM
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Beautiful kitchen. What is your counter? It's gorgeous!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:10AM
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Lynnefree- thanks! My countertops are princess white granite aka super white. They were sold as granite, but they wear more like heavy duty marble. It etches a lot, but it doesn't etch as easily as my neighbors marble. It doesn't have scratches like my neighbor's marble either. I do love it and think it's beautiful. :-)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:50AM
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Stunning, Mom23Es! The white icing cabinets look divine, and I love how the kitchen is all pulled together. The icing is the lighting - works really well with all of your finishes. Enjoy (as soon as you can move back in!)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:00PM
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We used BM White Dove (OC17). Not too stark. Warm but not creamy. Not quite done...still need some trim on the range hood. But so close...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:12PM
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Thanks Sparkling Water. I haven't seen White Gioia, but I'll check it out. However marble is out of the question because the etching and staining would drive me mad!! I love the whiter stones, just need to take a few white cab samples with me when I hit the slab yards again.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:14PM
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BM Simply White. Reads very white but is actually a bit creamy. Loved them!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Mom23: Love your kitchen! I read through the whole thread because I can understand the weight of this decision. I just ordered Divinity Medallion cabinets. Hoping mine are ok because I love your White Icing cabs!!!!
Will you please share where you purchased your light fixtures above your island? I am trying to find something similar.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Thanks Laura517! The lights above the island are the Gentry Lantern by Quoizel. Nini also has them in her kitchen- i got a lot of inspiration from her kitchen/house. The lights are quite large. I was a bit shocked the first time I saw them hanging, but once we moved them up a bit closer to the ceiling they looked right. I was sooo close to returning them. The light over the table is from Pottery Barn. I love the sparkles!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Mom23Es- Your kitchen looks beautiful!!! I'm sure you are thrilled : )

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 7:30AM
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We have white icing cabinets, although they are all still sitting in the living room and haven't budged for months! BIG long story for another time. I am so happy to see that they look great in pictures.

I think the white chocolate is too brown but the divinity has more of a creamy feeling to it. Still has a cast of yellow for the under tones. The white icing IMO has cleanest look to it. Don't forget accessories warm up a kitchen too. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Mom23Es- Thank you! I will check them out. I too loved Nini's kitchen and found inspiration from her kitchen and house :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:13PM
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First House beautiful kitchen. What is your countertop and backsplash?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Island: The counter and backsplash are white princess quartzite.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Thanks firsthouse. It's beautiful. Is that the same as Super White? Did you do a final reveal and if so an you include the link so I can see more pictures of your kitchen? Thanks

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:28PM
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We have shiny white cabinets and blue pearl. We love the combination.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:01PM
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firsthouse, what is your floor? I love the color.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:49AM
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This was my reveal of my old (sniff sniff) kitchen.

I am two weeks away from demo on my new kitchen...and a year away from a wonderful new place :)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:21AM
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Our cabinets are SW Alabaster.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 12:32PM
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Everyone here is talking about nini804's kitchen and the beautiful pics, but where are they posted? I am new to Gardenweb... I feel like I'm missing something?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Here's the link to nini804 kitchen

Here is a link that might be useful: nini804 kitchen

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Firsthouse, I know you used precision cabinets. We are about to use them as well. You said you used one of their stock colors? I know they change the names, but the whites they have now are Swiss Coffee and Super White. The Swiss coffee looks similar to the BM super white. Do you think that's what you used?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 3:05AM
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This is Ikea's adel off-white. It reads white, but it's just a tiny bit creamy. Matches Valspar's "Betsy's Linen."

From House on Chick Road

This post was edited by raenjapan on Fri, May 24, 13 at 13:31

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 1:30PM
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It was definitely Swiss Coffee. Good luck boododgers!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 11:45PM
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Mom23Es- Love your kitchen! We are going for the same look as yours and nini804. How tall are your ceilings? We have 10' and I am struggling on what to do with the cabinets. We don't want to spend the extra money to stack and I hate soffits.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:37AM
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Ninabarrowdesigns- We have 10' ceilings. We've been in our house for about 7 months, and I still can't believe how high up those top shelves in the upper cabinets are! Just a single not-stacked 42" cabinet works out just fine for us. We have a wetbar around the corner from our kitchen, and it has a soffit over the 42" cabinets. I like how it looks for the small area, but I'm very glad we didn't do any soffits in the kitchen. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:10AM
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I love all the white kitchen pictures. I thought all the white shades looked great with the choices you chose in the rest of the kitchen. This is helping me make my decision. Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 1:41AM
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I am trying to pick between Shiloh's arctic white and the polar white for our galley kitchen (early 1940s home). I'd love to hear anyone's input! Especially if you have chosen one of these colors yourself.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:52AM
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