Need honest opinion here!

chloe.chloeMay 6, 2013, these last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for my husband and I in terms of our kitchen selections for our new construction. We had initially gone with white shaker cabinets with black pearl granite. Once we got pricing back from the builder, we felt we had to scale back and in so doing, decided to drop the level 3 granite ( black pearl) and go with the included granite, which is uba tuba. I had posted on here yesterday and got some good feedback from people sensing that I really was not 100% sure about the uba tuba. They reminded me not to settle! Well, when my husband and I were at the design studio on Saturday, we saw an engineered stone ( Cambria Darlington) which we both loved that would look beautiful on the espresso cabinets that come with the we wouldn't have to upgrade cabinets like we did with the white shaker! When we calculated it out, it would be over $2,000 Cheaper to go with the builder's espresso cabs and upgrade to engineered stone than it would be to go with the upgraded white shaker cabinets and level 1 granite ( uba tuba). Our situation is such that we will most likely be reselling the home in 6-7 years since we are a military family. This is not our forever home but we do need it to sell when the time comes. I need some honest feedback before we meet our design consultant for the last time on Friday. Do you prefer the dark espresso cabs with the Darlington engineered stone OR do you prefer the white shaker cabinets with the uba tuba??? Thank you all so much for letting me post and to vent out!

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Here is option 2:

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:59PM
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This has a lot to do with where you live. White shaker is very popular here on GW, but I'm not so sure that's true in general. I think doing the dark cabs with the light quartz could be a bigger selling point - safer. I'm in the vicinity of Camp Pendleton in CA, and if I had to guess, I'd think the dark cabs and quartz would be a bigger draw around here. The emerging enthusiasm for quartz may be a winner over a granite that's been done a bunch when the time comes for you to sell.

Personally, I could be happy with either combo. OTOH, I'm not buying or selling.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:07AM
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Thanks, Suzanne! Yeah, we are here in the PNW so I think the darker cabs and lighter stone would probably be a safer option. I'm from New England originally and I know white shaker would be a hit there for sure! It seems the modern look is more preferable out here for sure! Thanks for your feedback!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:13AM
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Fori is not pleased

When I can't decide, I err on the side of whatever is cheaper. =)

Both combos are pretty darn nice, but since resale is a concern, I'd go with the 1st combo.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:14AM
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I think it depends a lot on the style of the rest of your house. You're looking at two very nice, but very different choices in terms of style. The darker cabs & lighter stone is a contemporary look that would fit well in a modern style house, while the shaker style and black counter is a classic look that would fit well in a traditional style house (which is still a very popular style here in the PNW).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:59AM
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6 years is a long time to live in a space that you don't really like, no matter how inexpensive it is. If it were only 1-2 years, I would tell you to get the builder's choices and don't upgrade a single thing. It's bound to still be popular in a couple of years.

If it were 6-10 years, I'd tell you to get what you love, regardless of the price, because at 10 years, the kitchen will be used and out of date no matter what you do anyway. So you might as well live with what you love.

I'll go out on a limb and suggest choice C. What other colors does the builder offer in his non upgraded cabinetry? Espresso woods are on their way out trendwise, so something in a more natural wood tone would be something I would explore. Then do a standard whatever the builder offers laminate top and upgrade after closing for MUCH cheaper than the builder is probably charging you.

If the cabinets are a nice smooth wood like a maple or birch you can DIY paint them after closing to the white that you love and then upgrade them with the granite to be able to have the kitchen that you truly want for much less that the builder is offering.

Put your money into upgrading the function of the cabinets. Do mostly drawers. A trash pull outs. Storage helpers. Whatever strikes your fancy on that front.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:16AM
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Go with your heart. Breezy lives in the PNW and her white kitchen cabs are amazing.
If it is nice, it will sell regardless of the color.
I have darker cabinets but would not want something as dark as the Espresso - I live in the MW and those gray days can be a killer.

I agree - go for function of the cabinets. Drawers are awesome!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:21AM
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As usual, I love what LWO said. I was also thinking that the espresso cab trend is on its way out, and my guess is that it would look really dated in 7 yrs. Totally agree about putting $$ into function as well.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Look at the functionality of the builders grade vs the other choice of cabinets. I'm sure they are much better than what I just got rid of, but here's my thoughts.

My original (70's) bulider grade cabinets had non-moveable shelves. So I had to live with the height of the shelves. This was VERY limiting. I couldn't place normal bottle of oil or even a regular size worchestershire (sp?) bottle in any of my cabinets because they were all too short. So it was very limiting and annoying. Hopefully all cabinets come these days with moveable shelves.

I personally think the wood cabinets will look better over the long run (yes, they hide rather than accent the dirt, which can be a good thing). So as a military spouse myself, this can be a bonus when you need to get it ready to sell.

Ultimately you need to be happy with your choice or you will spend the next 6-7 years saying "I wish I had...". So look at options and pricing and find what will make you happy.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Agree LWO.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Thank you all for your advice! My problem is that after looking at all the builder grade options (4 color choices), the only one that appeals to me is the espresso. The other choices in my opinion look very dated! We tried looking into not doing granite upgrade but they do not offer a "kickback", so we couldn't put the upgrade money somewhere else in the house. On top of that, my husband is adamant about not having to do any projects after moving in. Such a tough choice!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:56AM
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I would pick what you like! Trends come and go, and I would not want to base my decision on what trends may or may not be in or out. You will have to live in that kitchen everyday for the next 6-7 years. Do what makes you happy!

Then again, what do I know? I picked darker cabinets and Cambria Bradshaw.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:19PM
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I prefer option 2, white cabinets and black granite.

I am also in the PNW and I think white cabinets really brighten up a kitchen on our gray days. I agree with the others that espresso cabs are on their way out.

One thing to think about: do you have kids? A white painted kitchen might show wear and tear a little more after 7 years than stained wood. But, I think a lot of that depends on your lifestyle and also the initial quality of the painted surface.

My sister and her husband are a military family and they also struggle with buying what they love in a house vs what's best for resale. 6-7 years is a long time to stay in one place in the military, and it's a long time to live with something you don't love. I say, go with what makes your heart sing. You won't miss the $2000:)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Heidi: love your cab/stone selections! It's been a tough decision and I honestly go back & forth between both selections....there are some days ( like yesterday) that I am all for the espresso with the engineered stone and others ( like today) I am all for the white shaker!! The end is in sight since we have to sign off on our selections on Friday. I think that is a good thing since the more time I have to ponder, the more indecisive I become!! Thanks again for all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Thank you rosylady! We do not have children ( yet), so I don't think the wear and tear will be as much of an issue! The whole reason we picked white initially was to brighten up the space with our frequent overcast days.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:47PM
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okay, see you have just mentioned light. If you like both, which fits the overall mood and flow of the place or a need for light finishes, say, if there is no window.

The other thing is, before choosing builder grade cabinets, make sure they are still a good sound quality that will wear well. You will find a lot of information here on that. It will affect resale. No one wants to replace kitchen cabinets. Sometimes people just do a quick check for dovetailed drawers to assess if the cabinets are any good, failing grade if they are not.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, May 7, 13 at 13:23

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Molly Phillips

I just replaced my uba tuba (with lighter-than-yours hickory cabinets) and put in white shaker cabinets in the new design. I will tell you that, from my perspective, the counters were more of the problem in terms of sucking up the light than the cabinets were. I have a lighter counter now (quartz) and I that's what I love most in my kitchen. As for the cabinets, white shaker is definitely harder to keep clean. If I were going for resale only, I'd pick wood over painted and a lighter counter.

That being said, listen to LWO about trends....he's (she's?) in the business and knows. And LWO is DEFINITELY right that function (drawers) over beauty is what will keep you sane these next 6-10 years, I promise.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:00PM
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I would rather have expresso cabinets than white, but that's just me. Most people on here like whites. I think the white with the black granite looks cold.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:04PM
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I'll chime in just for kicks, as I have Darlington with both expresso and white cabs. Here it is with dark, good luck with your choice either way. I'm in the camp that 100% prefers Cambria over granite.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Co-co- that looks beautiful and the flooring we picked out is similar to yours...maybe a shade lighter! Thanks for sharing your Cambria!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:47PM
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While I love white kitchens, I would go with the dark cabinets and the Cambria because:
a. I think it's a bit more contemporary and probably will be less dated in 6 years (where I live, granite is on its way out and only still used for rentals and lower budget houses).
b. I think it will hold up better. What's the material on the dark cabinets? Wood? If yes, easier to touch up than white.
c. Not sure I'd go with the glass mosaic backsplash, though.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Thanks, my album is public, so you can click on that picture if you want more views of the Darlington in different lights.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 4:53PM
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Sherrie Moore

i would personally go with the white cabinets for resale in 6 to 7 years. And I know it is used a lot, but I think uba tuba is a great stone choice. I also like white cabinets if adding lightness to the space is a concern! Good luck with your choice, either way I am sure it will be beautiful!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Check out this kitchen in black/espresso. Stunning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Espresso kitchen

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Agree LWO.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:57PM
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I love the Cambria Darlington! The sparkle in it is gorgeous! I think it would go great with either white or dark cabinets. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:08PM
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Thats hysterical that granite in your area is only for rentals and lower end homes! It has so much to do with where you live.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:54PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone! Looks like we are leaning towards the Cambria Darlington and espresso cabs. We make final decision on Friday though.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:10PM
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In this case, I like the espresso cabinet with the quartz counter top. Everything looks good when they are new and I think the dark cabinets with low maintenance quartz will look better in 6-7 years. I like the white cabinets, but I would pair it with something softer looking like grays or browns, I don't like the green tinge in Uba Tuba.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:59PM
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What's "in" in my area now is quartz with very little movement in the "stone" as well as soapstone and marble. Ratio of quartz to granite is about 70 to 30. Also, SS appliances are making way for cabinet panels on the DW and fridge. Cabinets are becoming more streamlined, i.e. contemporary lines although shaker is still going strong, but then with marble.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:15AM
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