Kitchen too dark?

palodc10June 15, 2013

Hi! I'd like to get some opinions/advice on our kitchen. We just had the cabinetry glazed a darker color and did the stone on the outside of the kitchen bar. We also installed scabos travertine floors. Now I am feeling that it is too dark overall. We have a skylight, windows, and under-cabinet lighting, but I'd still like to do something to brighten things up. We have not yet put on the hardware or painted, and maybe that will help. But I'm toying with the idea of replacing the granite backsplash with lighter warm-tone tiles. I'm not sure if that will help or if it will be too busy at that point. I'd like to keep the rest of the granite if possible. Thank you!!

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I think it still looks like an airy kitchen. You have lots of light and open space, light walls, reflective surfaces. Maybe you're just used to seeing a lot of white kitchens! It's a very handsome kitchen!

P.S. I think you'll lose its uniqueness if you take out the granite back splash. That also probably helps to balance the stone around the island base.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 16:00

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Looks good to me

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Holly- Kay

I agree that is a very beautiful kitchen. The kitchen seems to suit perfectly the way it is.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:52PM
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Looks great to me too. I think replacing the backsplash with lighter tiles would make it look out of place.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 2:56PM
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I really like it too. But, I see what you mean about the backsplash.
Rather than replace it, could you add a lighter focal point above the range?
Or, how about a stainless shelf? It will break up all the dark there and you can put some light decorative pieces on display there?
Large decorative platters with a light background placed against the backsplash?
What we are\ experiencing is a large expanse of the dark backlas, almost cavelike. I think if you find ways to break it up, you will feel happier.
Overall though, anyone here would love to have this kitchen:)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Some downward facing sconces across the soffit above the cabinets could add a stylish accent and additional lighting. But, I also don't think your under cabinet lighting is strong enough. You may want to revise it.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:08PM
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That's a good idea to increase the counter lighting. I can imagine while working at the counter your face is looking into "dark", with the counter and back splash in that color stone. Adding something light over the range etc is a good idea. Maybe adding a small lamp to the counter too. Break it up a bit.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:51PM
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The backsplash looks good with the other elements in the room. I agree that you might be happy with additional UCL.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Thank you, everyone! I am still considering a lighter backsplash. Do you think that would work with the existing granite counters? Something without a lot of movement in it, since I already have a lot of elements in here.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:05PM
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I second using more undercounter lighting and SS shelf, e.g:

You don't want to clutter your kitchen, but perhaps some functional elements like magnetic knife holder, etc. (link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen organization

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:09PM
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Your kitchen is beautiful and unique. I wouldn't touch the bs. jmho

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:51PM
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I love your kitchen. I think what is bothering you is likely the contrast between the white walls and the colors and textures of everything else. I would paint it a medium color that allows the lovely materials you have chosen to show up more.

Edit: I wouldn't touch the back splash. I think it is great the way it is.

This post was edited by mic111 on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 18:55

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 6:52PM
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You seem to need validation. So yes, change it, since it's not the look you want. What shape/color of tile do you have in mind? I would not want to compete with the stacked stone of the island, so it could be tricky.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Kathy Rivera

I also think it looks great and not too dark. I wouldn't remove the backsplash. However, if you really think it's an issue, how about just removing it from the two side walls? It doesn't need to be there for protection, and that seems to make it envelop you more. If those walls were light perhaps you'd feel it less dark.

Then also add some light platters or something against the back wall and maybe that will make you feel better?

I also agree with may_flowers that finding a backsplash that works with the stacked stone will be really hard.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:20PM
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I also see what you mean about the darkness. If adding more undercabinet light doesn't do the trick, maybe changing to something similar to the bar or floor stone in a lighter palette? Or stainless steel sheet backsplash?

It really is beautiful, great job with the bar and flooring!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:24PM
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I agree with mic111, paint a medium color and the starkness will go away. And more UCL would probably help too.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Hmmm.Can't see the full effect as the plants block some of the view, but is there a space for artwork with light highlighting it? I can see a watercolor with matting that would relate to the white area on top and connect the counter area to the gorgeous white band above...I think tile would be introducing too many elements and would be the absolute last thing I would try--you could be even more dissatisfied with a potentially less cohesive look-it looks so lovely right now and may just need tweaking/accessorizing.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Thank you again, everyone. These are all great ideas. I am going to try better UCL, paint, hardware and possibly that stainless steel panel/shelf above the range. All great suggestions and I really appreciate all the responses!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:37PM
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I like the floor and the stone work on the bar. I like the idea of removing the backsplash from the side walls but keeping it along the back wall. Having it along the side wall is, for me, too much of a good thing. It becomes too cave like.
The plants - are they just sitting there in passing or are they there permanently? If they're there permanently it's too Jurassic park for me. That kind of dark, humid look and feel. I would use something else for accessories - maybe colourful pottery bowls?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:37AM
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Hate to be in the minority, but I agree with you. While it does look nice the way it is, I think the cabinets and the granite countertops would look better and be more noticeable if there was some contrast with the BS. Maybe OK to leave the granite behind the stove, but I think something lighter under the rest of the cabinets would enhance all of the features. Lovely kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:41AM
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I didn't notice the stone on the side walls. I would remove that if it can be done fairly easily without risk of damage.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with you that the backsplash is so dark as to give it a cave like appearance. But before you rip it out, put some thought into what you might want to replace it with. Put something up on a large area of the backsplash...maybe foam core or paint cardboard in a lighter color....just to see what it would look like if you go light. You may find you don't like it and it could save you a lot of $$ to find out first.

I could see using a lighter tile with a stone and glass border that coordinates with your stone....

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:11AM
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I think your kitchen is gorgeous. Put more lights in and live with it for a while before you start ripping things out. I personally don't like stainless steel backsplashes behind the range - too industrial looking. I also have a dark backsplash and it works really well with proper lighting.

Here is a link that might be useful: my kitchen

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:20AM
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I think the tall ceilings, skylight and light walls make it work.
I'd love to see more of your travertine floors. Do they go into the family room also? I've been trying to decide if I want to go with travertine or wood.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:24AM
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You have a beautiful space. The high ceilings and windows open up the space. I would wait before tearing anything out. I agree with others that painting the walls would be a good option to tie together the warm elements, just make sure it's not too dark.

Good luck and post follow ups of what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I think removing the side pieces of granite and putting some white/cream canisters, bowls, or platters would help lighten it up. Also, once you put hardware on, it will help add reflective surfaces.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:15PM
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I think removing the granite from only the side walls would make a huge difference. Leave the rest of the backsplash as it is, add some UCL and see what you think!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 2:55PM
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I would not add another stone to the mix; your choices are lovely and complement one another well. If it's possible to add a SS backspash over your range like in one of the above pictures displayed and remove the granite from the sides as suggested above, I think that may be just enough to break it up a bit. Add a bit of decor, like decorative plates or glass vases with lemons to the counters and some lighter colored rugs to the floor below your sink/range area. What are you thinking in terms of counterstools? Perhaps ones with SS frames? Add in your other items bringing in more reflective surfaces, perhaps putting a few large mirrors into the adjacent rooms to bounce light around.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Love your kitchen! When I was looking at your kitchen pictures my first thought was how lovely it would look with a very blue gray wall color such as Gray Wisp by BM. It would look beautiful with your gorgeous stone and take away the stark contrast of the white walls and stone/ granite. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 6:03PM
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Beautiful just the way it is!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:21PM
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I think it's very nice the way it is. It's different and all the elements go well together. I think it looks bright and love the windows above. Also like the light color walls. I wouldn't darken them. I didn't really notice the backsplash until you mentioned it. I think it's nice, but I also get your point. It could be dark to be working infront of it, but undercabinet lighting could really change that. Not sure what I'd recommend instead, but definitly stay away from anything busy. Clean and simple.

I'd probably experiment with some white posterboard first. Cover the entire backsplash with it. Maybe paint it the same color of the wall to start with and then step back to where you took the photo and see if it starts to give you the light airy look you want more of. Maybe not, so try playing with it before you make any expensive changes.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:44PM
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