Please help choosing between outdated builder colors

kathryn77May 22, 2013

We are building a new house with a semi-custom builder, so we can pick colors, but that's about it :)

I am really struggling with the colors for the cabinets, as both seem totally outdated to me? The choices I've narrowed it down to are either Aristokraft Rouge or Aristokraft Saddle (they offer a really light oak color and black as the other 2 options). Any help choosing between these two choices? Upgrading to white, or to a different color will add on about 3K, which is pretty much out of our price range.

If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it. And any tips on how to choose a granite that would make it seem more up to date would be great!

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teachertile

We have the aristokraft rouge. I really like it. I has darken a bit over the last 5 years. Everyone tells me that they love our cabinets. We have Portofino Giallo granite. It looks great to me :) I can post a pic if you want.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:37PM
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kathryn77

I would LOVE to see a picture. I have only seen the Aristokraft stock pictures, and the brand is new to the builder so they only have the tiny sample panels, nothing that is actually up for us to look at

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:43PM
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raenjapan

Do you know what the floors will be?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:45PM
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kathryn77

The floors will be hardwood, and we don't know the floor color yet, the cabinets are what you pick first, and I've been stuck on that step : )

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:46PM
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sbp725

We have cabinets similar to the rouge color, with a shaker style door. Like you, we were presented with limited options by our builder within our allowances. We upgraded on our granite countertops to Absolute Black. The reddish cabs and the black counters have a nice contrast and look pretty contemporary. Our floors are oak.

This post was edited by sbp725 on Wed, May 22, 13 at 14:01

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 1:58PM
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palimpsest

I actually like the Saddle. What are the countertop choices?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:09PM
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acheavacci

I am also building a semi custom home and the builders designer showed us every choice and helped us create a style that complimented our budget and personality.

I would ask to see choices of flooring and counters. How can you be able to make an informed decision without knowing all the inormation? Don't be afraid to ask questions and tell them what you are trying to accomplish. This is not a small purchase and you are entitled to have all options presented to you. Take notes, pictures, and view cabentry in different light. Can you find a Kitchen show room that has a dispay available?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:12PM
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teachertile

They look a little darker in person and less orange. I'll try to find a different pic, but this one shows the granite and backsplash.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:14PM
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teachertile

This is right before we installed the new granite. You can see our walnut floors here.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:18PM
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herbflavor

I think definitely the saddle. When you get to a hardwood floor you can stay within the range of any basic oak flooring with any of the common stains you see and it will work well. then for the counters you can put your imprint with light or dark or patterned or simple. this would be a fine starting point IMO.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Kathy Rivera

I prefer the saddle - I think you might have an easier time matching other finishes to that color.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 2:55PM
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kiko

I agree with above that you should also consider what your counter and floor choices are while choosing cabinets. It could have a great effect on which will work best.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:07PM
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pricklypearcactus

Is the flooring extending beyond the kitchen? If so, I'd be adamant at being able to choose flooring colors at the same time. That said, just looking at the two, I like the Rouge best. I don't dislike either. The Saddle looks pretty nice too.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:11PM
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kathryn77

Thanks so much for all the feedback. teachertile, I love your kitchen! How do you find the cabinets have held up?

These are the granite

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:12PM
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kathryn77

And these are the hardwood choices. I can pick them all at once, I just can't figure it all out in my head.

The hardwood goes pretty well everywhere on the ground floor except the guest room.

I have kids and pets, and don't like to clean, so I'm definitely leaning towards the lighter hardwoods.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:23PM
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palimpsest

I think the saddle would probably work well with the Wheat or Honey and the New Venetian Gold. But I would want to seem them together in person.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:35PM
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teachertile

My Portofino granite is a mix between New Venetian Gold, Santa Cecilia & Giallo Ornamenal. I would go with one of those with the Rouge. Our cabinets have held but GREAT!!! The get tons of use as well.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:41PM
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kathryn77

teachertile, which style are your cabinets? The level we are at it will be either the Saybrook birch or the Landen maple.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:55PM
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raenjapan

OK, with those options, I'd do the Rouge, Uba Tuba, and either natural or wheat floors.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:00PM
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teachertile

They are maple. Landen rings a bell, but I can't be for sure. These were an upgrade with our builder. We have the same cabinets in 2 of our bathrooms as well. I'm very happy with them.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:00PM
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may_flowers

I would start with the Santa Cecilia or Giallo Ornamental and view the slabs! We just put in a dark cherry stained vanity with Giallo Ornamental. Our Giallo is the lighter-colored one. What I like about it is it has very little gold, which I think is dated because of the Tuscany decorating craze of the 90s. You can play up the gray/blue flecks in either the SC or GO. We painted our walls BM Silver Mist, a gray with blue undertones.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Holly- Kay

I like them both but prefer the saddle. I really love the copper mist flooring as it is darker and would give you contrast if you go with saddle, but since you want to go light I would choose the wheat shade. I think the New Venetian Gold for granite.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:11PM
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snookums2

I prefer the Saddle and would choose a stone with gold. I like the Giallo but don't remember it overall in person. The edge chosen makes a big difference, imo. Wheat or Honey appears to blend nicely, picking up some of the golden tones.

Colors are probably very off!

P.S. I don't think wood cabinets are outdated. It takes more than that to give that feeling. I seem to be seeing a lot of them, so maybe they are coming back in favor in the design circles again, where people like to see new things and ideas.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, May 22, 13 at 16:33

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:28PM
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kathryn77

Thanks so much for all of the opinions! We go tomorrow for our 2nd meeting with the builder's designer. We went a week ago and I was so overwhelmed with the lack of help and the volume of choices that I left without making a decision. They didn't really give us any guidance at all. Hopefully tomorrow will go better!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:32PM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

There are a LOT more colors than just those two. Here are some more of the standard no upcharge colors. There are also a couple of glazes available for a bit extra.

Autumn

Umber

Fawn

Cafe (my favorite, with one of the gold granites and a medium colored floor)

Here is a link that might be useful: Eastland color possibilities

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 4:44PM
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kathryn77

Hollysprings Thank you for posting those. With the Saybrook in Birch I only have the natural and autumn, according to the designer. If I go with the Maple option which is a flat-panel then I can add the café or the umber but I wasn't sure about the flat-panel. I do really like the café though so it maybe worth doing a flat panel, especially After seeing the pictures that were posted

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 5:27PM
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debrak_2008

I don't know if this helps but this is Aristokraft maple in rouge.

The granite is steel gray but close to black pearl.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 5:48PM
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kam76

teachertile and debrak are you both pleased with Aristocraft's quality? How long have you had them? They are the cabinet my builder uses too unless I want to go with a significant up charge. They seem nice to me when I visited the show room.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:06PM
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ivaniphone

I think the Saddle (definitely) + wheat or natural wood floors would give you a more modern feel.

Any of those granites would 'flow' with that combo except for Caledonia. I'd prefer the dark granite shades to contrast.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:21PM
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debrak_2008

I think the quality is fine and the vanity has been there about a year and a half. While we considered Aristokraft for the kitchen, ended up with Shenandoah as it offered more for less.

I have friends who have aristokraft kitchens. One is about 15 years old and she said other than adjusting a door hinge the cabinets are fine. Another friend has only had her kitchen a few years but loves the cabinets.

We looked for value in cabinets. Getting reasonable quality for reasonable (pretty low) price.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 6:52PM
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teachertile

We've had ours for over five years. With heavy use, they look practically new. The dark rouge is easy to touch up with a stain marker. I've only had to do that a few times. you would never know. I would buy them again!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The Saybrook comes in the Cafe as well. It should be a standard no upcharge finish. Only the glazes and paints are upcharges.

Saybrook Cafe


    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:05PM
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kathryn77

Hollysprings I love that combo!! I will definitely ask tomorrow

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:24PM
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teachertile

That combo is nice! I really like the cafe. Is the VG granite? Always a good choice and great with resale! If cafe is an extra charge I think the rogue would go with that combo also. The sable with the lighter floor would look more dated to me than the rogue.

This post was edited by teachertile on Wed, May 22, 13 at 22:13

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:35PM
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kathryn77

The cafe turns out to be standard in Landen maple, and unavailable to builders in Saybrook , you can only do it if you buy it retail evidently. But I think it is the way to go

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I'm working with live_wire_oak right now doing an Aristokraft kitchen for a friend as a favor, and she gave me a copy of the standard spec book. There is no "special" cabinets available only to builders. There are 3 construction levels, (standard, plywood ends, all plywood) but anyone anywhere can buy any of those. If it's on the website, and this is, then it's fully available. It's a no upcharge finish, available to anyone who wants to purchase it. Something sounds rotten there.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:51PM
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jterrilynn

I like the brown sugar floor, santa ceilla granite, white uppers with umber lowers in a two tone cabinetry design.

Or natural floor, santa ceilla granite and Sarsaparilla lowers and white uppers in a two tone cabinetry design

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:03PM
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miss_kenda

Of the options you posted I like the
Brown sugar floor
saddle cabinets
and one of the gold granites.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:35PM
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breezygirl

I like Hollysprings choices. They look nice together. Please try to get what makes you happy rather than just settling for something!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:03AM
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kathryn77

Ooooh Hollysprings, that is is so annoying to hear! They have already tried to get me to accept a cabinet 2 levels below what my contract says, thankfully it is initialed and says specifically the upgraded cabinet.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:44AM
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may_flowers

I chose a similar dark cabinet color but a less gold granite. You should google photos of kitchens with reddish brown cabinets and gold granite. It reads so overly warm to me. Trends have moved away from the warm colors. I think it is also an "older demographic" look that I have tried to avoid in my home to appeal to younger buyers. I just turned 58, so I'm one of those old farts who has seen too much gold in my time! My LR has golds and other warm colors, so I've enjoyed using the cool colors elsewhere in my house.

The dark cabinets look really nice with lighter granites that read white or gray. We used Giallo Ornamental with Kraftmaid Kaffe cherry for a vanity. We picked the lighter-colored granite first because I wanted to avoid a brown and gold look. Then it was a no-brainer to decide on the dark stain. You can see from my and Holly's photos how it makes the dark spots pop in the granite. GO is similar to NVG, but it has more of the cooler gray-blues and large quartz crystals, where NVG has well...gold!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:23AM
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rosie

Yes, I don't like or respect these people as described, although I do at least understand businesspeople's refusal to guide customers to important emotional choices--lots of opportunity for blame later on there, especially with people who don't really know what they want, like you.

You're not in shape to make these decisions quite yet, but can be. With the available choices limited, my decisions would have been made within a half hour, 10 minutes for choosing my favorites while trying them out in sunlight, artificial light and shadow, 20 for playing with any other possibilities anyway just to make sure--because I know what I like and don't.

You should put them off for a day or two if necessary (how they feel about it is no more your concern than your eventual satisfaction with your choices is theirs') while you educate yourself about what you really like, or just become reacquainted with your own preferences.

Sit down with kitchen web sites and magazines, as many as you can get (splurge at the magazine rack), and print and tear out pictures of everything you like. Grab all the cabinet brochures you can find. Don't try to match the choices your builder offers--at this point, choose EVERYTHING you like. Bulgarian castle, California beach house. Be sure to include pictures of other rooms with fabrics and colors you like.

Look your piles over and sort them out into types (most of us are drawn to more than one look). You'll see patterns of what you like--figure out what it is you like in them--cabinets darker than floors? Floors darker than cabinets? Strong contrast, medium contrast, or harmony with little contrast? Tendency to neutral browns, or golden or reddish?

Choose those pictures that are possible for you in this house and discard the rest--without regret. The choices you have this time around are very nice.

By now you're learning what you need to know to make these decisions--or maybe have just erased the confusion too many choices at once have caused.

You still have to tackle the backsplash decision, which ideally should be made before everything's finalilzed. What do your pictures say you like? Drama, via movement or contrast, or both? Serenity? Big tile? Little tile? Horizontal? Vertical? Diagonal? Urban-suburban sophisticate? Family cottage? Etc.

Now that you have regained control and know you won't be making some awful mistake, enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:13AM
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robo (z6a)

I vote cafe in the landen if you like the color the best. I like that door style, too.

If you are set on saybrooke and cafe is not an option for whatever reason, I think the big question is - do you like reds? Reddish woods and red undertones? Or do you like yellows? Because it looks like rouge is reddish and saddle is yellowish, at least on my screen. And once you commit to one or the other it's going to drive your choices from there.

If you pick the rouge, which is really nice, you're fairly committed to cherry-like, reddish woods for the floors throughout the main. If you pick saddle, which also looks nice, you're committed to honey tone floors throughout. If you pick the cafe, you can go somewhere in the middle.

Personally I like yellows which is fortunate since most of the wood in my house was stained bright orange by PO, but think reds can look super nice as well. We had lovely warm cherry floors in our last house, beautiful red undertone but read quite neutral and looked good with all our furniture. Now it's yellow maple and honey oak everywhere!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Thu, May 23, 13 at 10:53

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:47AM
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susanlynn2012

Kathryn77, What did you end up choosing?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 12:13PM
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