Please Vote: Beam and Trim Stain (w/sneak peak wip)

dilly_nyMay 6, 2012

We are making progress on our Kitchen, and thanks to GW, it is coming together beautifully (and I love love love it!). Our cabinets were just installed:

This picture shows the cabinet color better, its a medium brown:

Now we have to decide about staining the ceiling beams, window and door trim. Can you please vote what you think would look best:

A) Stain beams, doors and window trim to match cabinets (note that cabinets are glazed and I am not sure if I would glaze beams, trim, etc.). Cabinets are maple with autumn stain and vanilla glaze. The beams and doors are knotty pine; window trim is pine.

B) Stain beams darker, in tone with the floor and stain windows and doors to match the cabinets

C) Other idea? - please explain

Here is a pic from Houzz with beams stained to match the cabinets, but I don't want the window trim to be painted:

mediterranean kitchen design by san francisco architect Claudio Ortiz Design Group, Inc.

Or we could stain the beams darker to be more on tone with the tile floor; however, I do not think I would want the door and window trim to be stained dark.

We also need to stain the fireplace mantle which is in the kitchen room. This is the stone around the fp (the upper portion, multicolored):

We decided to go with Colonial Gold granite countertops (decided soapstone would make the room too dark).

I appreciate all the feedback from GW, you're the best!

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I think a shade or three darker than the cabinets would differentiate the beams well, but tie them in. Maybe between the floor and tile, or even just darker than the tile. I think the woodwork should match the beams.

But what do I know? I don't have any trim at all - yet. [LOL]

BEAUTIFUL kitchen. :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 1:27PM
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I vote for a dark tone. Darker than the floors and the cabinets. Maybe something like this:

Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:10PM
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What do you have in the rest of the house? I like continuity in the house millwork.

The beams and window trim should be connected. Connecting the cabinets to them is optional, since they are somewhat like built-in furniture. They are a whole separate thing from the trim and beams, so I would not necessarily match millwork to the cabinets...Especially since the floor is already that color, so there's a lot of it. As others have said, darker would be nice, give layers and dimension to the room, and bring out the darker tones in the cabinets and floor. But leaving them their natural color would also work, as that also provides a contrast.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:51PM
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We have a post and beam house - I'm in the camp that holds that the beams and millwork need to be the same or somehow closely linked.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Wow Dilly - it is looking great! I can see why you love it.

I vote for darker but not too dark like expresso or anything. I like the photo examples that CEFreeman posted. Are your cabinets glazed? I can't tell but if so, a color that picks up the darkest part of the cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:14PM
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Ask your painter if the beams will stain darker than your cabinets given that they are a different kind of wood--that ended up being the case in our build--same color stain but beams were slightly darker--which we wanted.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:26PM
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I vote for very dark. The color of the ORB. Beautiful either way.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:50PM
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they look nice the way they are. How about a natural stain?
The beams are not mounted especially high,and they are quite chunky...a darkening would be too heavy handed in my opinion. I'm just enjoying looking at the natural wood,actually. I'd put on the wood conditioner and only one shade up from natural.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:17PM
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I agree with herbflavor. I think they look nice the way they are. I think some dark beams (even in the lovely kitchens shown) can be oppressive. Try it that way for a while, a year or two. You can always go darker later on.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:34PM
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Great suggestions, keep on voting!

Annsh - I especially like the second photo you posted because the perimeter cabs are stained. Most pics I looked at had white cabs.

Rhome - I do not have any exposed beams in the rest of the house. This room was designed to have a different, more open feel than the rest of my compartmentalized cape home. I have traditional decor. I like your point about adding layers. The floors are actually several shades darker than the cabinets. Maybe when all my lights are in it will show more contrast.

NewSothernBelle- yes, the cabinets have a vanilla glazing (looks black)

Herb - the center beam is indeed quite chunky. It was a steel beam added to support my original house. I think my architect made a mistake and put a beam meant for the World Trade Center. We either had to lower the ceiling to cove the 18" deep beam or leave it exposed. We like the bit of ceiling height we gained.

Linelle - I like your idea to leave it for a while. I feel like I have decision paralysis and I'm not anxious to undertake this staining project.

I appreciate the feedback, keep it coming!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:51PM
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I meant what color is the window trim, door trim, baseboard, etc. in the rest of the house?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Sorry I misunderstood you Rhome. All the trim and doors in the rest of the house are bright white enamel.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Another vote for going darker. The contrast would look great.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Another vote for leaving the beams natural. They look great the way they are. They window trim could be kept natural too so that it ties together with the beams.
I like the look of the beams but I think darker ones might look to heavy and you might lose that more open feeling you have now.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 12:58AM
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The beams are really nice as they are, but I can see darkening them as well. I would live with it for awhile, once the kitchen is done and walls painted, etc. you'll get a better sense and feel for what's right.

Nice space, it will look wonderful once done! Cheers!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:36AM
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I could leave the beams natural and live with it a while, but I think the doors, window trim, and fireplace mantle need to be finished. Still pondering...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:15PM
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I vote for the darker beams, too. Ann's second picture shows the darker beams with the wood perimeter cabinets...and I think the contrast looks good. Window/door trim, I would probably try to match the cabinet stain. That way, the beams will really pop, especially against that light ceiling. It's looking great! I can see why you love it :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:26PM
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I am going to stick with my continuity idea, which means abandoning my opinion that they beams and window trim should be the same color. I like baseboard and window trims to be matching throughout a house, and do think you could get away with the beams and the mantle being stained, and I still vote the darker.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Thanks Lav and Rhome. It would certainly be easier to paint it all white and call it a day, but we paid extra for stain quality wood doors and trim figuring we could paint it white at any point, but once you paint it, its really hard to strip and stain.

I'm thinking of buying some brown wrapping paper and hanging it on the beams to see how I like the dark color. Too bad our hallmark closed up recently. I doubt CVS will have it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I certainly wouldn't paint the beams or mantle. But I get the 'good wood' thing. I suggested painting my hutch after DH made the doors of Douglas fir, and it didn't go over well. ;-)

Might not be the same as hanging something on the beams to get the feel in person, but you could try taking some colored pencils to a printed photo of your room.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Great idea Rhome!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Does anyone know how to add colors to a photo using iphoto for mac? I'd like to virtually paint the beams dark brown. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:53AM
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I'd go with a darker color than the cabs, picking up a dark tone from the tile. (Which I love, by the way! Great choice.) The natural color looks too blonde to me. I enjoy mixing woods, but only if there's contrast, and right now the colors are very close. It depends on what look you're going for. The lighter color reads more American country or mountain lodge to me, and darker reads more Mediterranean. FYI, in our remodel we've installed a fir beam, and we'll stain it and the trim dark to draw the color in from the Craftsman front rooms. Congrats -- either way it's an inviting, well-planned space!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:38PM
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American country sounds like a nice look.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Staining pine is tricky. Be sure to research before doing it!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Oh no! I was planning to DIY. I wasn't planning on tricky. Sigh...

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Stain doesn't go on evenly as I have discovered on my own. I think there are wood conditioners you can use to combat the problem, but I haven't tried them. I'm sure you will be able to find info about it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:52AM
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