So conflicted...must make a decision by Wednesday

chantelnJune 3, 2013

Hello GW members, I have been using this forum as a resource to plan my kitchen for the last year and now we are in the thick of it and I need some advice, so I made an account and here is my debut post...

My home has huge open beam pine ceilings that have mellowed to a warm tone, but the area my kitchen is in is directly under the loft. The original soffit and dark cabinets with uppers over my island made it feel small and distinctly out of place in relation to the rest of our house. Needless to say, we have pulled out the soffit and uppers and immediately the room felt larger.

I'd been pulling together images of kitchens I love using Houzz for a couple of years and most (80-85%) of the kitchens have glazed white cabinets and a darker island. The remaining images have darker cabinets all around. When planning our kitchen my DH pointed out that our main bath used to have the same darker cabinets that were in my kitchen. They had been painted a cream color and with the constant dust we have in my area, looked "glazed." Of course, this did not sit well when trying to convince him to do a glazed white kitchen, because they look horrible. We went through the big box stores and the only cabinets we could agree on were a glazed and stained maple. Fast forward to last Friday-We have had our kitchen cabinets custom made by a local cabinet shop out of maple and he just began install them on Friday. Now that they are in, DH is looking around and says "Maybe we should paint the perimeter that white glaze you like so it doesn't end up feeling small and dark in here again." So now I am so conflicted because we paid the extra $$$ for the maple cabinets, including the interiors in the glass front cabinets! My cabinet installer is shaking his head muttering about how much money we could have saved if we had gone paint grade and suggested that we stain everything then go to a white later after we have enjoyed the maple for what it is. If I paint them now, the maple will be ruined and there is no turning back. Of course, my DH (who used to be a painting contractor, so he is doing the finish work) wants us to choose and be done with it for the next 30+ years, not change later.

Items I am weighing:
-Does white lacquer yellow? I know they have been improving the formulas so they claim they are non-yellowing, but is it too soon to know if those formulas actually do not yellow?

-We have decided on a beautiful acacia hardwood floor. I have wood ceilings (the kitchen is below the loft) and a wood floor...does having another wood in the cabinets feel too rustic (which I am trying to steer away from)?

-I haven't chosen my counters yet since the cabinets will determine what we do...either a light granite like delicatus or genesis if the cabinets are stained, or a brown antique if we go with white. (I LOVE the antique brown, so beautiful).

I have to decide by Wednesday so we can move forward with the granite templating and paint/stain. Thoughts? Advice? Thank you in advance!!

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I would keep the stained maple and incorporate light elements in your granite and wall colors. If after several months you feel like you're living in a cave, revisit the question - I'm guessing you won't, but who knows?. Also, double check your lighting plan to be sure you're giving yourselves all the light you want/need in this area.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 2:46AM
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I'm not sure if this will help you, but that is actually my Plan A and Plan B.

I've always wanted maple cabinets (light/medium tone) with a mocha glaze for my perimeter cabinets and then dark brown cherry island and "hutch" in the eat-in area (to match the glazing). But my favorite kitchen in houzz has off-white/glazed perimeter cabinets (with dark brown island) - of course it also has a coffered ceiling and beautiful arched window which make it look great.

So I thought that could be my Plan B 15 years down the road when the stained cabinets start to look bad.

I had white Thermofoil cabinets and I did not want another white kitchen at this point. I see white kitchens on this forum all the time, but for some reason where I live, I don't see it a lot (I can think of 3, mine included) in the last 15 years.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 7:36AM
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Am I reading you right, Chantel, in that you (NOT the posters on Houzz) really wanted, really like white cabinets for your house? That you reluctantly went with stained maple as a compromise with your husband, who seeing it in place has now changed his mind, opening the door to a white kitchen?

If the answer is yes, the big question for everyone here is DOES white lacquer yellow?

As for a lot of wood, no, it doesn't have to look rustic although ceiling open to their structural wood push it that way. The big problem with using a lot of wood right now is that it's out of style, so that that badly warps how people see it. It's the same lovely--elegant if elegantly used--urbane if urbanely used--material it always was.

Question is, do you both want that much of it? IF this were chance to please you both with a lighter kitchen, you should know it and go for it. Forget that you didn't buy paint grade, or that you'd be "ruining" maple you didn't want anyway. It's about composing a picture you'll both enjoy looking at.

BTW, bright yellowable white's hardly the only paint color out there. And Wednesday's deadline can be set back. As if your stone supposedly rolling along I-40 actually spent a couple days sitting in a motel parking lot. Delays happens. THAT should be done ASAP, though.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Houzz tells the truth - open a new ideabook and put 50 kitchens you think are gorgeous and would work in your home. Maybe incorporate +high +ceilings +beam in your search. You "LOVE" the antique brown granite, that was the most enthusiastic and confident statement in your post. I wonder if getting something you LOVE and making the rest work with it will lead to more happiness than making a lot of choices you "like"?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Rosie- yes, I really do love the glazed white cabinets in my houzz ideabook and I had compromised with my husband by getting the maple cabinets. I really thought glazed white was entirely out of the question as far as he was concerned until his recent comment. But everything I was planning went with the stained look, so I am having a heck of a time changing gears and moving back to the white glaze. I also know I will have to deal with all of the silent "I told you so's" when every problem he predicted arises with the white lacquer. He really does want me to be happy with the kitchen, I think that is why he has had a change of heart...

seosmp-I think we are probably looking at the same kitchen on Houzz, see below? LOVE LOVE LOVE that kitchen! I go back to it on a daily basis from multiple angles. This is part of my conflict, I want to re-create that kitchen as far as possible in my space...I even ordered corbels from Art for Everyday (but I ordered the wrong ones and they won't exchange) and my talented cabinet guy made a plain mantel the same basic shape (but it smacks my husband in the head when he is at the range, so there's no way I am putting it on now...we are cutting out an arch instead).

Contemporary Kitchen by Falls Church Kitchen & Bath Designers Cameo Kitchens, Inc.

I do not love the golden beach granite they used when I see it in person though. And I haven't had any lighter granites tickle me like the brown antique. Would that kitchen look good with brown antique granite? I must say the photos on Houzz I have found with brown antique do not do it justice. It is like silver iridescent milk chocolate and dark chocolate and the light catches it every which way...just gorgeous. Here's a pretty good image of the brown antique on glazed white cabinets:

Traditional Kitchen by Upper Marlboro Kitchen & Bath Designers Granite Grannies

kksmama-I laid awake all night going over every possible combination of every counter material and cabinet I have considered thus far and I kept coming back to the brown antique granite. It's true, I do love it, I sigh every time I look at it. Since I am not in love with any stain at this point, it does seem like at least the granite is the one sure fire pick I would not regret.

suzannesl- If I say anything in 8-10 months about making a change, DH would absolutely divorce me (maybe not divorce, but certainly might move into the garage for awhile to avoid me! LOL) That's why I am so stressed, I want to get it right the first time. I'm sure that is a common sentiment during remodels...

-Deep breath-
I feel resolved. I am going to go put a deposit on the brown antique granite that I know I love and I will have to figure out the stain/paint thing from there. One decision steps....

This post was edited by ChantelN on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 13:12

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 12:59PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If your husband is a painting contractor, then he should have no issues painting those cabinets cream. That would be perfect with the Antique Brown granite. Not lacquer. Paint, latex based. Then he can do a catalyzed water based varnish on top if you want a bit more durability.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Can you post a pic of the maple you chose for cabinets?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Yes - that is my favorite kitchen on houzz! How funny!!! I also look at it constantly and from different angles, and I wish they had more pictures! I actually am trying to get my cabinetmaker to make the drawers with the same profile, but am struggling!! I would love the reproduce it, but my kitchen isn't that wide and I need to take cabinets to the ceiling due to PVC/HVAC running up there.... so I have no chance of doing so.... so I'm just picking out some key elements as a basis..... and if I'm questioning whether it's ok to do something, I look at the pictures, and if they do it there, I can do it! There was only one other kitchen that caught my eye like this one, and it was actually a grey/greenish kitchen - but it looks so good!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 4:36PM
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That kitchen is one of my favorites, too! I'm excited about the seating at the island and sure that is exactly what I want for mine. And I noticed today something in the comments about glazed maple cabinets...maybe that is a good answer for you? Would you like a whitewashed kind of look on the maple cabinets, rather than paint?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 6:24PM
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"The big problem with using a lot of wood right now is that it's out of style, so that that badly warps how people see it."

To me, this is a generalization and perhaps a regional perception. I live in an area dominated by OTK white kitchens, and I think its a trend that's had its day. Having lived with painted cabinetry for 15 years, I was not about to get them in my new kitchen, no way no how. Mine chipped, looked dirty (and they were blue), streaked when cleaned. Horrible. Granted, these were not factory painted, but still, paint is paint. I can't tell you how many times I had paint chips in my pots and pans. Always had to rinse before using.

I too love your inspiration photo and it was part of my inspiration as well. I went with maple stained and glazed cabinets and I love them. I was very nervous about the stain and the actual tone the cabinets would once installed, but I am very pleased.

Only you can decide what you will like best; its a very personal decision. Sometimes when I see a gorgeous linen blouse that I love, I just walk away laughing as I think "Who's going to iron that?" Maybe that's the case in you're dusty area. Or maybe you'll love the white kitchen so much you'll enjoy a little extra TLC cleaning.

I'll show you my ABB / WIP kitchen. My advice to you is do what you love and whats acceptable with spouse. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Holly- Kay

My stained and glazed maple cabs are going in now. They started Friday and how I wish I had just gone with stained cabinets as they were very heavy handed with the glaze and rather than making the trim pop it is just too much. I know eventually I will get used to it but it stinks to pay a lot for cabs that I don't love. I am calling the kd tomorrow because if they displayed my cabinets in a showroom they would sell absolutely zero cabinets. The maple looks lovely but the glaze....uggggh.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Holly- Kay

Dilly, it looks they did a great job on your glazing. Do you have any lines at all that looks like they missed wiping the glaze off?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:14PM
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dilly_ny- Your glazed maple is lovely, I really like how nicely your countertops pick up on the golden tones. Thank you for posting your pic.

Hollysprings-I will look into the catalyzed water based varnish...I don't know that my DH ever used that kind of product. Do you/anyone else have experience with this method and could recommend a specific brand?

seosmp-you have fantastic taste, I must say :)

kksmama- I actually did notice that it said glazed maple cabinets when I ordered the corbels and it helps me feel better about someone else painting their beautiful maple wood.

So, with the decision made on the granite (yes, I ordered it today, huzzah! They said 3 weeks till template, then 3 weeks to fabrication...waaaay slower than anyone else, but their granite yard had the slab we liked!) Now I am steering slightly away from what my favorite Houzz kitchen looks like...yikes! new territory! My big decision remains: glazed white perimeter with stained island (like in the Houzz photo, but not that dark of an island since my counters are dark) OR take the safe(r?) route and stain them all now and then paint them down the road like seosmp is doing?

Here are some photos as the kitchen stands today:

The flooring we picked out is Acacia hardwood. It has a lot of variation which we love.

Our slab of Brown Antique Granite. When I went today to purchase it, it was overcast and the slab looked black...much different than the sunshiny chocolatey silver tones in this photo....

Here is the view looking down the "galley" from the adjacent sitting room.

The buffet pic is the most accurate display of how the raw maple looks right now. I had briefly considered just clear coating it, but everyone here on GW says the maple yellows badly (like school desk yellow) and I do not want a yellow kitchen, nope nope.

This is the Pantry/Refrigerator wall...that ghostly grin is where my lit glass uppers and microwave will be going. It already looks too yellow in the photo.

I should probably also mention my appliances and sink are stainless steel and my faucet and potfiller are venetian bronze.

Just for a point of reference, here is a pic of the kitchen when we tore out the soffit and the uppers above the island:

This post was edited by ChantelN on Mon, Jun 3, 13 at 22:15

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 10:11PM
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This is my first post, and I have just begun the kitchen re-do.

OP, I love your floors and the brown countertops. I like the maple cabinets, and would keep them. They look bare now; were you planning to add a light brown glaze? I think it would be too much contrast with white cabinets.

I am planning to order maple cabinets with chestnut glaze, as a white kitchen would never fit.

If dilly_ny comes back to this thread, could you please mention what color your granite is?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 1:19PM
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