Blue cabinets........cold feet, help!

alice462June 2, 2008

OK -- anxiety setting some of you know, I have a "historic" colonial home. In designing our new kitchen, I have had my heart set on painted cabinets - a beautiful "colonial" blue. (a very soft, blue/gray really) I have samples of several colors on our current cabinets and am panicking a bit about being surrounded by blue.

I look at the pictures of colonial homes with painted woodwork everywhere and just LOVE them, but am worried that I might tire of this in my own kitchen. From the outset, I did not think I wanted stained, I don't know. This remodel needs to last us for the rest of the time we will be in the house -- 30-40 more years, I hope!

I shared w/DH last night the thought of mixing paint and stain to break things up a bit - not his favorite idea so far. He would have it all be white/white/white.....not for me.

Our kitchen will be 16X22; soapstone counters; island - current plan is to stain/paint/distress this in a dark finish to look like old piece of furniture; island will also have different material for top - not sure what yet. Floors are going to be re-claimed granary oak - dark with nail holes and knots and some variation in color. Will have lots of natural light and have shrunk the number of uppers to accomodate larger windows on two walls. 9' ceilings with cabinetry going to the ceiling. Want a simple raised panel, inset door with slab front drawers.

OK - will try to explain layout - West wall is sink wall - 12' of cabinets w/only 2 uppers there, triple window over sink; apron front sink. North wall - 7' of cabinets will include double wall ovens anchoring east end, baking center next to wall ovens under a window, super susan in corner. East wall is the "interior wall" - 10' of cabinets that will include frig at one end/freezer at the other, prep sink and counter space in between w/upper cabinets here. There are openings into other spaces at each end of this wall. South wall is "pantry wall" - another 7' of cabinets that will include cabinets to ceiling for 4' along that wall then another window over a base cabinet. If you were walking west through our kitchen with this wall on your left, you would walk into our new eating area that will be an 8X11 "extension" surrounded on 3 sides by windows.

I think I am satisfied with the overall design/layout, but am really worried that I might tire of "blue" over time.....I searched FKB for blue cabinets - "0" - that got me even more anxious, can't find any examples of this color scheme -- have I lost my mind to go down this road??

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PS - Appliances - have been going with the idea of panels on all appliances that I could, don't love look of stainless anyway, but again, am second guessing that with the thought that stainless might break things up a bit.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:15AM
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Ricklish just finished a kitchen with a big beautiful blue island, white perimeter cabs, and a historic feel. There's another blue island floating around on this forum. Have you considered swapping the island and perimeter cabs finshes?

You might want to find nomorebluekitchen's before pix as an example of all-blue cabs; her name pretty well sums up her feelings.

I love blue (in my world, there are only two colors, and Blue is better than Not-Blue) but I've always been careful to include warm elements in any blue room so as to avoid a "living in a refrigerator" feeling. Your floor sounds like it'll accomplish that goal.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:28AM
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I'm not a fan of blue at all so I did a google image search and found a few nice examples - there aren't many out there.
I really like the mix of wood with the blue, the first color is my favorite.
Stainless might just blend in perfectly since you describe the color as blue/gray, it looks good in these rooms too.
Is your blue like any of these?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:39AM
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I think the pictures above show how pretty this could be. I love painted cabinets and I think a mix of blue with another color or wood would be great. Maybe blue and white (to please the DH)? I have also seen a great picture of a kitchen done in that Colonial blue with yellowish/white cabinets mixed in. It is a great combination.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Chiming in here...

as bluekit said above, my name says all I need to say about how I feel about blue cabinets 5 years later.

We painted because the cabinets under were ugly, ugly; we chose blue because our kitchen gets intense morning light and white would have been painful in the morning -- way too bright. Plus blue was different and fun. At least at first it was fun! Our blue is an exhausting color for cabinets. After 5 years I cannot wait for these things to be gone; I'm so ready that I've already moved out of half of them and we aren't doing demo until August or Sept!

The blues in the pics above are restful and quiet which is totally different from mine. here you go:

Good luck with your decision!


    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:17AM
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I could be the OP!!! I have also always wanted painted cabinets and am now getting cold feet but DH doesn't want stained wood. I feel your pain. However, I was re-inspired this morning while looking thru some old kitchen books by this very pretty light blue kitchen. Btw, that yellow counter on the island is concrete, kinda cool. From the way you are describing everything you're doing, I think blue/grey cabinets will be quite beautiful in your house.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:18AM
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I LOVE the pix that JoanieB posted. That island is to die for...where are those pix from? Anyway, it seems to me that where you might run into trouble is blue uppers. It sounds like you won't have a lot of uppers anyway. Maybe you could do blue uppers only on the pantry wall and/or the fridge wall (like the wall of cabs with the ovens in JoanieB's pic), and have all the rest white, and the stained island. And use some glass front cabs. That would be my choice. I think it will be beautiful.

Check out David T. Smith and CrownPoint websites--Smith has some very colonial setups with blue (sorta dark, so might show you what to avoid) and I think Crown Point has some in their Early American section. Both use milk paint.

here is the David Smith one:

Here is a link that might be useful: Crown Point Early American

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 10:56AM
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I think that the blue will be lovely. You just need to be sure you don't get too much. I think there are two big differences between joanie b's pretty pictures from nomorebluekitchen's blue overdose. One is the shade of blue, and light blue-grey is classier and more subtle than country blue. The other, as hollylh says, is the uppers. If you have few uppers, or space between your uppers, or glass in your uppers, that will help a lot. Also, a larger island than nomorebluekitchen's (in a wood stain) would help break it up. You could also choose to do some of your wall cabinets in a white or cream shade.

I think you should stick with your blue for your focal wall at least. Where is the cooktop and hood? Can you post a floor plan?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:55AM
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Wow - thank you everyone!

bluekitchenobsessed - I have followed ricklish's kitchen and think it is lovely. Am considering the idea of swapping perimter and island colors -- after living with a kitchen with all white cabinets, white counters and black and white floor was really trying to avoid white/cream in new one unless it is on the walls......I feel like I spend half my life wiping finger prints, smudges, etc.

joanie b - I have seen these pics and they are inspiring and have the look I am trying to accomplish - a quiet gray/blue but not too much of it. The island in #2 is to die for! The color of the island in #1 is fabulous! I wish I had the beautiful collections to go in those wonderful glass fronted cabinets in #3.....

I am worried a bit about going the blue and white route -- the overall look is probably not as warm/earthy as what I am looking for. The island will be fairly large - probably 4X7 and will hold our cooktop w/downdraft. We have not settled on island top yet, but are considering a black honed granite. The island will be much darker than everything else at this point.

nomorebluekitchen.....thank you for posting these pics - no offense, but this is just what I am afraid of. Our current all white kitchen gets intense afternoon sun and we will get more as we are enlarging/adding windows so the idea behind the blue/gray was to absord, rather than reflect the light, but I don't want to feel like I am inside a blue cocoon either! I did not realize how tricky this color choice would be!

cheril27 - thank you for these. This color is beautiful and the tall uppers to the ceiling are what I am lookng for!

hollyh - thank you for your ideas - glass fronts are definitely getting a second look from me - told DH he will have to fork out the $$ for some pretty dishes if we go this route! The uppers are what is throwing me and I just need to play with some additional choices. The David Smith web site is FANTASTIC! Has many of the elements that are in my head, but have not been able to find the right pic to show my DH. I drool over Crwon Point all the time and in fact have decided to call them this week...not sure we can afford it, but at this point I feel like I have nothing to lose. It is all still on paper after all.

astridh - our cooktop will be in the island w/downdraft. Had to choose between cooktop against wall and the view -- we chose to go for the view. I wish I knew how to post a floorplan.....I will research that one and see if I can figure it out. Am not too adept at technology, but will try.

Thank you again everyone for your feedback, you can't imagine how helpful it is! Alice

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 1:40PM
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Joanieb's inspiration pix are pretty dreamy IMO! I think one reason why Anita's former blue kitchen is so overwhelming is that she had an overwhelming mass of cabinets with virtually nothing else on the walls. Glass, appliances, open shelves (I actually hate open shelves but I know many people here like them) all help to break up one massive color. If I can offer one more suggestion, I chose frosted glass for 2 upper cabs specifically because I didn't want to have to stress over buying/displaying pretty china. And finally, because I'm still in the show-off phase, here's the part of my kitchen that is blue :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 1:55PM
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Bluekitchenobsessed....I LOVE that granite!!!

Painted cabinets (of any color) take a huge amount of!! I wanted soft butter yellow on my cabs SO much, but I am a chicken so I am going with stained oak and yellow walls....sort of a sunflower theme. I love some of the examples shown with the grayish-blue. I don't know if I'd like a pale blue too much though. I DO know that I get tired of color themes after a few years so for me, anything permanently colored would be a mistake. At least walls can be repainted easily.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:18PM
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It's not my kitchen, so it doesn't really matter, but I prefer the pics of the blue cabinets with the wood, rather than with the white.

And, if you really think you'll be staying with these for 30-40 years, it's only paint... and paint can be changed...
Actually, I'm wondering if the cabinets in the pics I really like are more stain than paint...

I think it's fabulous that you have a vision that not everyone else has, that's why it's called a vision!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:26PM
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alice.....go to and scroll down to *kitchens we love* and click on *blue kitchens*....there are several beautiful kitchens with blue cabinets....

by the way, i felt much like you, except i wanted green cabinets and went back and forth between green and white....finally, i painted the kitchen cabinets lehigh green by BM and the butler pantry cabinets and walk in pantry cabinets white.....ours is an old house with 12 foot ceilings....the uppers cabinets have one door and are 55" tall with glass fronts.....i am so glad i went with green and if i do tire of it, i will just repaint the cabinets.....

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 2:46PM
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I would definitely panel the dishwasher. With a beautiful apron sink and windows, you won't want to see the dishwasher standing out.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 3:12PM
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Link to Attice Mag

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Kitchens on AtticMag

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 4:46PM
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bluekitchenobsessed -- thank you for ths sneak peek! WOW! That is extraordinary and beautiful granite! While truly authentic colonial, open shelves are not for me. Your idea about frosted glass is a good one to consider, maybe able to keep both me and my very patient, trying to be a good listener husband happy.

reahelen -- I, too, am realizing that I am drawn to the blue and wood, rather than blue and white. There is a lot of yellow in other parts of our home and I have tried to balance that throughout w/reds, deepen it to gold, find a green or khaki, and my favorite blue and creamy, buttery yellow toile drapes in our dining room. Ready for something a bit more "grounded" in the kitchen, hence the gray/blue, soapstone, dark floor, and darker island. We just get so much natural light back there that I think that room can handle it if cabinets are not light color.

I have spent what feels like an extraordinary amount of time on atticmag and any other site that I can find w/blue cabinets......just ask my family :). It is interesting to me how many of these kitchens have white appliances, not what I would choose - either stainless or paneled or lower on the list is black, but not white. There are several on atticmag that I need to print and hang on to for inspiration. Thank you again for the encouragement, it is a process and I just want to be sure that I am making the "best" decision and one that my entire family will appreciate for a long time. Again, I never imagined how hard blue would be to work with!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 5:57PM
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"it's only paint... and paint can be changed"

Technically, this is a true statement. However, as someone who previously painted her kitchen cabinets as a stop gap to a full remodel, I can honestly say that the paint can be changed mentality works MUCH better with walls than it does cabinets. Painting cabinets to give them a true professional finish is very time consuming and hard work. Yes, it can be done, but it is not a single weekend job to do it right.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 6:08PM
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My DH wanted red cabs and I had cold feet. Eventually I came around and I love them. Contractor painted with an oil based BM paint. Soapstone counters, wide pine, face nailed, oiled floors and SS appliances. We are in an 1870 schoolhouse. Good luck, your kit sounds lovely!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Alice462, I'm also planning blue cabinets, and my preferred tint sounds exactly like yours. (DH thinks it sounds ghastly but has wisely decided to butt out of the decision process because he can't/won't cook so the kitchen is my domain!)

Also like you, I've had difficulty finding any pics of blue kitchens in contemporary publications or websites. This doesn't bother me - I guess I won't be following any trends on this one. I work a lot with colour in my day job, so I think I have a workable plan for coordinating features. I'm going with natural maple countertops, a tiled floor in terra cotta, and the backsplash will be a slightly deeper peachy tone. Orange and blue are complementary colours, located across from each other on the colour wheel, and should work well together to produce a warm ambiance. Blue and white would tend to look a bit stark and rather cold. I steered off stained wood cabinets early on in the design process because I didn't want a hodge-podge of various wood species and colours throughout my house. Besides the wooden counters, I have mahogany stained table and chairs, hardwood floors and much wood furniture in adjoining rooms. Blue goes with everything (and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so)!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:26PM
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I'm sorry, but I can't imagine ANY design/color that I would continue to be happy with for 30-40 years!

I say go with the blue and start putting a little money every month into a kitchen savings account. If you DON'T get tired of the kitchen, you can go on a nice cruise in 20 years. If you are tired of it by then, then you can use the savings to get a new kitchen!

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:08PM
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How do the lower 2 of the 3 photos posted by Joanie strike you? I love blue too but tend to OD if I'm not careful, so bringing it in strongly but limited in area covered would be the way I'd go. Maybe the lower perimeter cabinets, or ?

And for earthy, I'd use an old-paint soft muted blue. I once saw and fell in love with an old mantle painted in a soft deepish blue which was backed by a pale creamy-yellow wallpaper with a delicate blue design on it, so I was really surprised when the owner told me the two colors were actually gray and cream; it was playing them off each other that accentuated their recessive characters. Fabulous with their old cherry table, paintings, and blue transferware.

In any case, from what you say, it relly doesn't sound like wood stain is the way to go. If you've never really loved it, how could that be a good choice for your "finish for life?"

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:47PM
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The most stunning cabinets I've ever seen were at our(2007?)Homearama in Louisville, KY. As soon as I saw them I was blown away. They were a beautiful robin's egg blue/grey shade and I believe they won best of show. I tried to find a picture of them on-line and had no luck. I can't remember for sure but they may have been done by a local cabinet shop here in Bardstown, Mike's Woodworking or Chris's Custom Cabinets. Mike's did not have a website but maybe you could contact them(Google) and see if they were the one's who did those. They may have pics. Seriously- jaw dropping! Too much of a commitment for me but I LOVED them. It's hard enough to get my DH to change our couch every 10 years-I'm not joking!!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 9:55PM
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hi alice,

while planning for our renovation I spent hours poring over books and magazines and one in particular I loved is:
Creating a New Old House: Yesterday's Character for Today's Home

While not strictly a kitchen book, there are a several kitchen pictures and many houses with stained woodwork and others with painted woodwork. Perhaps you could find this book at the library or buy a copy from amazon.

Also, re: Crownpoint cabinets. I got my cabinets from them and was very pleased with how the whole process went. I got quotes from 8 different cabinet companies and they ended up being the least expensive (although this was due to a discount they gave me to sign on quickly... it was winter and perhaps they weren't too busy??). I worked with Mark Wirta, he was very nice and easy to work with and came down to my house to measure which gave me some peace of mind.

good luck.

I am posting a link to that book from amazon.

Here is a link that might be useful: New old house book

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 10:18PM
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mamdadpaige - I had to giggle, I have this book - with a post-it on page 107! Although that color is more green than I want, the overall feel of the photo is what I am trying to accomplish. I have also found helpful a book by Frank Shirley - New Rooms for Old Houses as well as ordering back issues of Old House Interiors. Now I really need to go through the pages that I have and pay close attention to what drew me to the photo in the first place - as I go back and review, I find that it can often be a small detail in the picture that caught my eye. I am calling Crown Point! The one photo that both my DH and I like is from their web site:

We both are OK with the color - really like the milk paint look. Glass fronted cabs on sink wall (I really like the little "undershelf" on these); our floor color is pretty close to the dark chairs; island rather than table and not white appliances - but it gets me closer. Also, the black kitchen in this Early American gallery is striking!

hollyh - thank you! The David T. White web site is fabulous! If I got to be the only one voting in this process that is the look I would go for. My DH doesn't find it as appealing. Mixing finishes is going to be a hard one for him to get to. If he had his druthers - it would be white on white on white, so, we are gently working our way toward color and contrast. I do like looking at how they blend the "old" look with new stainless appliances - it is nicely done.

rosie - I do like the lower 2 photos - a softer/grayer blue and I am in there. They both show wood, and blue and stainless and that is helpful.

coosnsews - I wish that I had better "color sense". I really have to work through trial and error and will be on a first name basis with the guys at the paint store before we are done. I literally was asking for a "drop" of blue in my most recent mix. Now have three colors on the cabinets to play with and am sure will have more.

missstaceyh - thank you - I will see if I can track these down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone willing to take the time to respond. Sometimes it just helps to hear from others that I am not crazy!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 7:07AM
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here is one more site to make you drool...i feel like i am always recommending it! very very "mixed" look so it might not be your bag (or your DH's) but good for ideas. and lots of color!

Here is a link that might be useful: moore and bradfield

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:19AM
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I remembered seeing a blue kithen somewhere also. This one just has a blue island which is very pretty.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 2:34PM
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I thought I'd already posted. I did a tall wall of blue cabinets in my kitchen. It's somewhat like the wall with the ovens above, but my stainless if the fridge and the cabs are my pantry and utility, so no glass. The blue is a llittle deeper than the ones above look -- someone called it blueberry, but it is a soft, slightly muted shade. The island in front of it is cherry and the perimeter cabs are white.

I have always loved white kitchens, but we had talked about going cherry when we redid this one. We already had a brown leather sectional in the adjoining family room, and I didn't want a grand hall of brown. I love that I got my cherry without it taking over. Same for the blue. I still have a white kitchen, but it has some color, some warmth from the wood, and it's just very comfortable for me.

I would think that an older home would lend itself to mixing finishes -- fitted or unfitted, even more easily than mine. I'd encourage you to look the idea more. If you're unsure, making the island a contrasting finish or color is the safest bet.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:02PM
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I am in the process of finishing a kitchen in the style you describe. I think it will be a tough sell for your husband.

Take a look. It shows one side of the kitchen.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: David T Smith Kitchen

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 8:32AM
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mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

I too would mix it up a bit. Go with different colors--natural wood, white and blue. Colonial houses/kitchens would have aquired different cabs/furnature for their kitchens at different times. Mixing it up a bit won't be so monotoned that you would get tired of it as fast as if it was all blue.

You could even do blue on the bottom and creamy white on the uppers. It would help to give your eye a break, appease the husband, and I think look very pretty. Hopefully, only having the creamy white on the uppers would also help with the finger prints too.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 8:50AM
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Thank you everyone - it us so helpful to get your feedback and often a "fresh" look at what I am getting myopic about. As we have not even begun reno. I am just going to sit with the finish piece for a while and pray that somehting perculates to the surface as I continue to lurk here.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:20AM
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I hope your percolating is going well, I just thought I'd chime in since we went with the large blue continent (island) in our kitchen.

We really love it! It definitely took some time to get used to the idea during the design phase. I, too, was afraid that I'd get sick of the blue long before I could justify changing the island.

But, one thing I had done in our last kitchen helped me pull the trigger. I wanted blue tile for a backsplash and since I was too chicken to put up real tiles, I faux painted blue tiles. My DH teased me at the time that I wouldn't fool anyone. My reply was that I wasn't trying to fool anyone, I just didn't want to destroy the walls if I decided I hated the blue tiles and wanted to remove them. My faux blue tiles lived in our kitchen for ten years and I still loved them.

Blue just makes me happy. So for the remodel, once I got past the fear of choosing something so 'bold' I never looked back. Plus, I rationalized that the island could be re-painted if it was absolutely necessary.

In fact, a friend who was over for dinner just this weekend said she thought that the blue was sort of low-key, it doesn't scream at you. It fits.

So I guess what I'm saying is.. do what makes you happy!

P.S. I did have the last laugh over those blue faux tiles... 95% of the people who saw them thought they were real!! LOL

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 4:25PM
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ricklish -

Thanks for the encouragement! I had tweeked a Ben Moore color until I finally got it "just right" -- tried it on my existing cabinets and love it! Then took a deep breath and called Crown Point -- had not done so previoulsy b/c I was VERY afraid of cost here, but NO luck anywhere else with style I want so...the sample that they sent me of "Slate" milk paint is ooohh sooo very close to the shade that I have created that I jumped for joy! I am currently waiting for quote on cabinetry, but the conversation that I had with the designer was the best so far.....she quickly understood what I am trying to do. We will see how the dollars stack up, but again thank you....the blue does indeed make me happy!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 6:18PM
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ricklish, I would love to see a picture of your blue island. We are putting a new kitchen in our Spanish-style house. I chose a cobalt blue Viking range and single wall oven. Cabinetry is alder, countertops are quartz in a golden beige, will have hand painted blue/ green/white/golden accent tiles on a white back splash. There will be some open cabinets to show off blue and white talavera pottery. I think I want to stain our island a subdued shade of cobalt, and I would love to see how yours looks! I am also debating what color the island top should be: white, golden, or wood (walnut?). This is the one decision I am having the most trouble making!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Okay, I'm an idiot. I found your blue island on your thread. It's not the blue I have in mind, but it looks terrific in your kitchen. I really like the wood top.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 1:45AM
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Alice462- What did you decide to do? Did you go blue? I accidentally happened upon the pictures of the beautiful blue cabinets I previously wrote about. If you are still interested, go to next go to Photo Gallery It is at the bottom-House #6 Lancaster Built Homes
I don't feel right about posting the pics since they are not my cabinets. Let me know what you think. In person, they were absolutely stunning!
The other homes are pretty nice too!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 4:10PM
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Here is a link to a kitchen to one of my favorite kitchens that uses yellow, and blue cabinets with a red range and awesome colonial blue and white tile.

Here is a link that might be useful: redranges kitchen

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:33AM
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I'm late to this party as we've been away. But I wanted to say that I empathize with your fear of going with a color on your cabinets. They're such a big investment, and a good refinishing job takes time, effort and a disruption of the space.

I went with a blue island in my new kitchen and am so glad I did. I'm generally very conservative, and this was a daring move to make on the focal point of my kitchen. It's also in an open concept space and I was concerned about forever having to match everything up to the blue.

I have white perimeter cabs and soapstone counter & island tops. I fell in love with the blue I chose when I saw it on cabs in a showroom. The color doesn't translate well in the pics I have posted on the FKB, but it is a stain called "Denim" and is a warm, muted-toned blue (it almost reads periwinkle on the pics..) That's what makes it work for me. I think seeing the wood grain through the stain takes away the shout of the color and it blends in better with the surrounding furnishings, but still gives a personalized touch to the kitchen area.

I was a real chicken when it came to pulling the trigger. I have no regrets and love that my kitchen isn't like everyone else's. I wish you luck - your plan sounds beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:56PM
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I was searching the forums for ideas on blue cabinets and couldn't believe it when I read this thread....almost everything Alice described is what I want in my kitchen! I'm very curious if you made your cabinet color choice and if you would be willing to share (any photos?). I'm trying to decide between a semi-transparent stain and paint, and whether to do some distressing of the edges and a glaze over the paint for a more "antique" look (like old furniture that has the paint peeling). We will have a stained wood island and the blue cabinets along the wall, with glass in the uppers to break up the color a bit. I'm very new at this "color thing" because we have a log cabin and EVRRYTHING is wood...this is my first chance to put some color into the walls, so any advice is welcomed! (I also need to choose a color for my BlueStar range..any ideas?)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:11AM
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we did green painted cabinets with distressing and glaze on our perimeter and cherry stained cabinets for our island.

the cabinet company we worked with did not offer custom paint colors and of the two greens they had, one was a bit darker than we wanted and the other was too light. we went with the darker one and attempted to lighten it up a bit by utilizing sand-through to expose the wood underneath, using a lighter glaze, and lighter elements like our tan countertop and the glass cabinet hardware.

i think it worked out well. we're happy with the look. we also have an old home--a 1904 victorian, and we really wanted something that would fit the character of the home.

hope this helps. good luck everyone, with your projects.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:47AM
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terryskit - we have not made final cabinet color choice yet. The cabinetmaker is willing to experiment with brushing on milk paint. Although he indicated that the first try with mixing a blue color with milk paint was "shocking" he will continue to play with it and we will see where it takes us. My goal is a very soft color that is probably more grey than blue, but it is only in my mind -- I have not come across the exact chip yet. Good luck and go fot it -- I think painted/stained cabinets in what you are describing would look fantastic!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Alice, have you looked at Farrow & Ball paints? Their color Light Blue could be what you're looking for. You can order a sample pot and also have the paint shipped if you don't live near a store. It's one of my favorite colors.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:01AM
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Thanks for the beautiful pictures! I looked for you in the FKB, but no luck.. Would you mind posting photos of your island? I love your color palette...the terra cotta floor looks great with your cabinets. Would you mind sharing what glaze you used and what kind of paint? Love your BlueStar, too! Are you happy with the SS finish in your old home? (Something I'm still trying to decide about, trying to stay away from a "cold" blue look, wanting a warmer, cozy feel in the kitchen.)

alice462...Good luck with your search for the right color. I'm right there with you! One paint dealer I spoke with discouraged me from the milk paint, saying it looks very flat and dull on the wood. I'm torn between wanting to see some wood grain come through the paint (hence a stain) vs. the richness of color as in edlakin's photos.

amysrq: I looked at the F&B website. Beautiful colors! Are they much more expensive than standard paints? Do you order online? (There are no dealers near me.)

Thanks for all the advice!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:40AM
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I just posted this link in another thread, and thought terryskit might like to see this blue kitchen by Crown Point. The color is called Mountain Mist.

Here is a link that might be useful: Country Living House of the Year 2005

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:54AM
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I love the idea of the grey/blue and agree with others to look at farrow and ball's colours.

Another option so that you don't feel surrounded by blue, is to do the lowers the blue and the upper cabs a white or cream colour. Or even stain the uppers.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 1:01PM
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hi terryskit,

thanks! i haven't posted pics to the FKB yet. we're still finalizing a couple little finish details and i haven't taken the 'vanity shots' yet.

i don't know the paint color. we bought our cabinets from shiloh and they had only two greens to choose from. we chose the darker one. the glaze is pewter.

thanks for the comment about the floor. we really tried hard to think about how all the elements would work together and knew that with the green cabs and the SS appliances, we'd have to warm things up a bit with the floor. would've gone with wood, but we have old oak in the front of the house and newer oak in the FR adjacent to the kitchen, so wanted to break up the two woods.

as far as SS in an older house, i figure it's somewhat unavoidable. it's not like white or black appliances will look any more vintage, and buying the "retro-style" stuff is ungodly expensive. my eye reads SS as neutral, so we just figured we'd try to push the vintage details elsewhere, like the sink, faucet, cabinet hardware, cabinets, ceiling, etc, etc...

here are a few more pics:


island with green cabs behind:

long shot:

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 2:20PM
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edlakin, I love your tin ceiling, soooo pretty. I wish I could figure out the best way to cover my ugly textured ceiling. My kitchen is open to my family room ... way too much ceiling for tin.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 2:40PM
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thanks! we had some drywall damage on the ceiling as a result of a leaky shower above, and while researching, i figured out that doing a tin ceiling would be cheaper (and much less messy) than ripping out the old drywall and installing new stuff. so we made it one of the main design elements of the room. i also think it helps tie the SS appliances in.

the tin ceiling panels are really not very expensive and are quite easy to install right over existing ceilings.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 2:54PM
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I think painted cabinets are so much fun for an old home! I am currently painting my 80 year old cabs (plus wall of reproduction cabs) in "drab yellow." I agree with others who said paint can be changed, and also that changing paint can be incredibly hard work. While I think this is our "forever home" I don't expect this to be my forever color. In 8ish years I think I might change to a vintage drab green.

If you have the resources to hire painters, then hey, no big deal! We don't, so it will be hard work for me to paint them again. But oh well. I love painted cabinets.

However, if I were getting premium paintd cabs from a company like Crown Point, I think I'd be far less ready to paint them myself--or even let anyone paint them. My cabs are mostly original (and quite beat up), and my reproduction ones are pretty shoddy (done by a mediocre cabinet maker), so I've kind of got nothing to lose. I just can't imagine taking a brush to a Crown Point cabinet! So here is a case where, for me anyway, cheaper is better!

Here is my work in progress (these are the repro cabs, in sunlight, benjamin more satin impervo in barley):

Hey--you old house folks with the painted cabs! No fair not showing pictures! Eandl, I don't think I've seen your red cabs. Please show!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 3:14PM
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edlakin: WOW! You did a great job, from ceiling to floor. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 3:23PM
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francy, I ADORE your yellow cabinets. May I please see more of your kitchen?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 3:45PM
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Terry, the F&B paints do cost more but are very high quality with a beautiful finish. It depends on what you consider "standard", either Ben Moore or Behr, IYKWIM. I have had them shipped to me when I did not live near a dealer. That was several years ago and I imagine the cost of shipping has gone up, along with everything else. Just remember, material costs are always a drop in the bucket relative to labor. Unless you are doing a budget DIY, the paint costs will be a small fraction of the overall costs.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 4:15PM
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I recently had several shipments of F&B paint, 2 gallons at a time, for various projects. It was about $20 to $25 to ship 2 gallons the least expensive way offered. The paint ranged from $68 to $78/ gal.; however, I wasn't doing cabinets and I'm not sure which formulation one uses for that. (OTOH, compared to boat paint, some of which is $150/gal. plus shipping, the F&B doesn't look so bad.) The closest dealer is 90 or so miles away. Fuel, travel time, etc. Great paint, no odor, a pleasure to use. FPE would have been more, but might be a better way to go for cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 5:07PM
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erikanh: Thank you! Alas, there isn't much more to see. I'm in the middle of painting them myself. But here are a few shots of the rest of my little kitchen. It is a looooong way from done!

The main run:

Other cabs:

Across from that:

And that's the whole shebang! Not even room for a fridge (it's in the garage)!

OK--sorry to hijack! To the OP: It has been a while since the original post. Have you made any decisions on paint???


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:30PM
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kitchendetective: What is FPE paint? (I am a complete novice in the world of paint!) Why is it better? As much as I would love to have blue cabinets, there are days when just staining the wood and being done with it seems awfully attractive!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 5:14PM
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Fine Paints of Europe. Pirula and Rococogurl have lots of experience with this paint. rmkitchen has used their products. Many consider it the finest paint for finish and durability. Christopher Peacock's new line of paints is made by this company, too. You could look in the Paint forum here and on for more info, not to mention calling them directly. amysrq probably knows all about them. From personal experience, I can tell you that they are great about email and phone questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: FPE

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 5:36PM
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I say go for it! I love my blue kitchen, it is at our beach house and I wish my cabinets at home were blue! It is really a warm and inviting room.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 11:32PM
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Someone posted her or his kitchen a couple of months ago. The island was a pale blue and there were beautiful marble counter tops. The applied edge was done beautifully so that it just looked like a thick, eased edge slab. The pulls were very simple--probably brushed stainless. Does anyone remember who that was? I'm sorry to be so vague, but I remember thinking that I could live forever with a blue like that.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:43AM
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terry - I am getting closer as the cabinet maker arrives in 20 minutes and my assignment was to have a paint chip ready for him to work to match. I found SW Steely Gray #7664 that I think we will try out. Although I love the Crown Point kitchen posted by erikanh -- the color is too light for what we will be doing. I absolutely love Crown Point cabinets and talked with them about doing our kitchen -- out of our league pricewise, but we found a local cabinet maker who we are very happy with. I agree that the milk paint is a very "solid" look -- I think we will stain under it and distress through some. I like the "dull" look of milk paint as I really did not like any of the "factory finishes" that I saw on a vairety of cabinet companies. May even end up giving up on the milk paint, staining first and making a glaze with the SW color. It is a work in progress and we will just be experimenting as we go along to find the right mix. Will be brushing on paint.

I think I have my overall scheme -- blue/gray cabinets, again mostly base cabinets. Soapstone perimeter counters. 10x4 island w/rangetop we will look for a "white" granite -- considering Kashir White, Andromeda and Bianco Romano. Am going to find the soapstone slab first and then choose a granite that is complementary. Island will be stained in medium to dark with legs, etc. for more furniture look. Flooring will be reclaimed granary oak stained to match adjacent family room -- almost walnut in color. Will have stainless appliances -- but am choosing frig/freezer that will accept cabinet panel should we choose to go that route. Dacor rangetop in stainless. Double ovens in stainless. Dishwasher will have panel. Wall color will be Pratt & Lambert Chalk Grey #2275. Trim BM White Dove.

At least that is the plan this morning.........

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Sounds like it is going to be lovely. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:49AM
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Francy, just for you. I have held up posting any pictures of our work in progress. I hope it works.
One more coat of paint. Backsplash is on primed. There is nothing pink about them, really dark red.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 11:00AM
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Circus Peanut

*sidles in before Francy can say anything*

YOWZA! Now THOSE are cabinets to die for! That's an astoundingly beautiful job, Eandhl. The floor! The soapstone!


    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 5:48PM
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OH holly I love it . The red looks wonderful. And that soapstone has beautiful veining. I look forward to more pics. What are you doing outside ? c

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:38PM
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Carolyn, remember we have a stone BBQ outside? We are going to do an L shaped patio. We are doing the stone wall first. DH is digging the stones on property.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:48PM
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Good lord ! What a HUGE job. You guys are amazing. I can hardly wait to see the completed patio . It will be beautiful. c

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 8:08PM
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eandhl -- WOW, WOW, WOW -- if we were only brave enough to do red --- your kitchen is just WOW! Love it! And cannot wait to see the exterior. Are you married to He-Man -- how in the world to you manage those stones??!! Can't wait to see the patio, your kitchen is fantastic!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:27PM
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The two really big ones in the wall a machine moved. The rest he digs around and tilts into a low profile wheel barrel. We have a stone wall builder doing the puzzle of putting 99% of them together. (he lets us put in a few) But he wants the stone right there to look over.
As for the red it wasn't what I envisioned when we started but it seemed to fit as the project evolved.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:07AM
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Wow! (I posted on the other thread, but I'll add a 'wow' here too!)

Red plus soapstone is just an amazing color combo! And I love the style of those cabs. This is almost inspiring me to get back to painting my own kitchen. Almost! Almost! Maybe next week....

I love red!



    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 12:07PM
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I really wanted as old fashion as I could get. All the doors in the house are similar with bent nails.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:43PM
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