Psst, naked cabinets. Shhh! Lots of pics.

nutherokie_gwJune 18, 2011

Well, over two years after I first asked for layout advice, the kitchen is finally going in our new house. I'm going for a vintage feel. I've been hoarding the antique sink for years. I've got a whole houseful of 1920s light fixtures. I was planning on a gorgeous vintage stove, but chickened out when I learned it only put out about 5000 btus. Now planning on a Lacanche, either black or red.

I haven't seen many Gardenwebbers use site-built cabs. I won't have melamine interiors or factory-baked paint, but this approach has been great for our needs. We got to work out some quirky issues on the fly. And the cabinet maker is great. Not once has he given me the ol' "You can't do it that way" line. Occasionally he's said, "Here's why you might not want to do that," and sometimes he convinces me and other times we found a way to do what I wanted. The crew thoughtfully waits until I'm out of earshot to mock and curse me.

Most of the cabinets are maple and will be painted. I keep flopping between a warm cream and a muddy yellow. If anybody has suggestions I'd dearly love to hear them. There's also a large quartersawn oak "hutch." Again, I'm open to stain color suggestions. The floors are brick pavers, fireplace is sandstone. I've been planning all along on soapstone for the island top, but after some last minute adjustments, it turned out to be 6 x 7 feet. I haven't been able to locate any soapstone that large. So, I may be looking for a plan B. Marble? Am I that brave?

From door near entry:

From back hall entry:

Squarish island designed by Gardenweb:

Antique sink:

"Butler's Pantry"


Food Pantry 4.0

Food pantry 4.0 cont'd

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Oh my.....I love the island, windows, sinks and floor! I think I'd like cream...what are you thinking for the windows? Paint or stain?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:10PM
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Fancy. I don't get hard floors in the kitchen but I really like the way the pavers look. Cabinetry is gorgeous - I assume it will all be brush painted to highlight the fact that it is site finished. I can't picture the kind of yellow your talking about but a really deep creamy white would be nice. The sink is gorgeous too. The marble always seems so fussy to me which isn't the vibe I'm getting from your approach, I think it's the wrong direction for whatever that's worth. I look forward to more updates

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:15PM
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Oh my goodness! I love your floors best of all, and I envy you those windows.

When you say muddy yellow, are you thinking like a mustard? That could be warm & country...or a little overwhelming, depending on how much you love yellow. I wasn't sure about the marble, but after googling yellow cabinets, I'm thinking marble & yellow could have a bit of a french country vibe. Cream could be really pretty, too, though, and potentially more versatile. Is leathered granite an option?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:39PM
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Oh my goodnes, that is absolutely GORGEOUS! What a beautiful kitchen. That vintage sink is to.die.for!

Personally, I think the creamy white would look splendid, warm and soft while letting the beauty of the design stand out. Marble seems a little too palatial for the cozy yet refined vibe I get of your space... what about soapstone? I think that would be a wonderful match for the vintage sinks and brick floor. Yes, soapstone gets my vote.

Whatever you do, please post pictures! And thank you for the sneak peek!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:56PM
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This is looking really neat so far!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:07PM
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I would, pretty please, like a close-up photo of the vintage sink with the rounded cabinet corners that support it. Why? So that I can adequately drool. thank-you.

For the colour - What about the creamy colour but tending more towards creamy yellow rather that creamy white - perhaps verging on buttery but not sunshine bright because, I think, you want to avoid French country. The verging on buttery to me reads vintage. Not the mustardy yellow.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:08PM
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Hi Heathero. Funny, you zeroed right in on another issue I keep debating!. I've been planning to paint the windows, but now I like the looks of the wood. I'm going to have wood beams and wood counters on the perimeter, so maybe that plus the hutch is enough stained wood without the windows.

Caryscott, yeah, the brick isn't for everybody, but I've loved it forever. I agree with you that marble might be too - I don't know - delicate, maybe? I really, really want soapstone. I'm still searching.

Jessicami, the leathered granite may be a possibility. I need to go see some in person. I don't think I'm able to come up with a good description of the yellow-ish color I'm imagining. I don't want to go too country, just warm. I'm attaching some pics of some colors I like.

From Martha Stewart


Long ago Gardenwebber whose name I've lost

Practical Magic movie set, I like the color of the tile

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:13PM
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Any of those would be perfect (I'm partial to the middle two). You know what your after, really looking forward to seeing it come together.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:21PM
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Thank you so much NatalieChantal! Yep. It cries for soapstone, doesn't it? Before I re-designed the island, soapstone was no problem. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have soapstone slabs at least 73 inches wide. I asked about maybe book-matching slabs, but that was discouraged. I'm still scheming though.

Thanks Catmom! I'm really happy with it so far. Hope I don't mess it up with my color choices.

Blfenton, I'll get some better pics of the sink base tomorrow. I had carried around an old picture of a similar base for years (sad, I know) but figured it couldn't be replicated. Then Arlosmom, a poster on this forum, showed her stunning sink and base and even showed it under construction. I showed those pics to the carpenter and he did a great job. And I agree with you about avoiding the French country look. I love that style, but that's not the direction I'm going.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:29PM
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I am in love! I would not go as dark as mustard on the paint. Something creamy with a hint of yellow, maybe. Can't wait to see it finished.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:36PM
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How could I forgot to say I love the fireplace?! I always liked the Practical Magic kitchen, too. Funky & inviting with its classic shaker cabs, rustic table, gorgeous tile & range. I love the picture you posted with the green tile, too...makes me curious about the rest of the house.

Will your island top match the perimeter counters? If you mentioned what those were, I missed it.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:48PM
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Thud. Love It! I'd vote for cream or buttery yellow over muddy, but that's just moi. PS That sink is devine.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:53PM
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Thanks for posting these photos - I love seeing the built-in-place work. Looks like it's going to be a beautiful kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:04PM
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WOW - gorgeous! Thank you for sharing with us. I also vote for a creamy yellow color. What about those darker marbles for the island? I have no idea if they have the same issues as the whiter ones though?? I also like the idea of leathered granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Experiment of etching dark and white marbles

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:21PM
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Whatever color of paint you choose, it's going to be a fabulous kitchen....just oozing with charm.

Have you thought about a warmish gray color? It would look great with your brick and stone. Guess I'd settle on my counter top first and then decide.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:30PM
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I'm a color phobe but with your light and the floor and fpl, I would go a strong mustard. I think creamy colors are too wimpy for this strong space.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Lolonwood and Covingtoncat, it's so helpful to see the room through everyone's fresh eyes. I think y'all are right, lighter is better. And creamy-buttery is a good description.

Jessicaml, I'm sheepish about the fireplace. It's pretty indulgent. But I can't wait to fire it up. Okay. I CAN wait. It was 105 degrees today and I'm definitely hoping to be in before cold weather hits! Oh, and my perimeter counters are dirt cheap Ikea butcher block in oak. We were lucky to get our hands on them. They're amazingly pretty for the price.

Thanks Dee850. Watching them build the cabinets is just too much fun. They actually want me on site every morning so I can check the previous day's work and clear up any issues that arise. I'm going to hate to see the trim carpenters leave. I won't miss waking up at the crack of dawn in order to get out there before work, though.

Slush1422, I haven't really looked much at marble yet. . . or granite. I thought I had the soapstone thing nailed down. Sigh. The recommendations for leathered granite are intriguing. Sounds like it might give me a very similar look.

I appreciate the vote of confidence Wizardnm. I've seen some gorgeous gray kitchens, but hadn't considered it. Sounds like there are lots and lots of sample paint cans in my immediate future.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:46PM
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Two words: Milk Paint. Might be a great fit with the look you want.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:50PM
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I know you aren't going Provence, but the rustic notes from the pavers and stone are making me thing a strong yellow

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo of yellow w stone

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:55PM
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Oooh boy. This is not going to be easy, is it? That restaurant photo has got me spinning again. And Mtnrdredux, I don't believe you're an anything phobe. Your antiqued marble and restoration glass and pewter counters are elegant perfection. I have to say, however, that adding your garden views - complete with winged fairies jousting on the backs of unicorns - to the aforementioned makes it a mite challenging to like you. (I hope the winged fairies bit makes it obvious that I jest, but the way some threads have gone . . .)

Hmmm. Milk paint. My painter's gonna love me almost as much as the cabinet guys.

Here's one more photo I've been saving for a while. Too wimpy?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:11AM
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The cabinets are beautiful and I love the way the sink looks, congrats!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:20AM
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Wowza .. really beautiful. I totally get the vintage vibe. The floor is beautiful -- as is the fireplace. I'm looking forward to seeing more!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:52AM
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I saw the leathered granite and I did love the feel of the texture, and then the employee aid, of course you need a separate board or cloth to roll out your pastry, and I realized I wanted a truly flat surface.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:56AM
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Oouuhh. Naked cabs! Should I look away?

Very beautiful. I see a lighter yellow also. This is probably a stupid question, but why can't you seem soapstone for your island? I think ss would be perfect there.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:06AM
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Ohhhhh - that is gorgeous! I don't think I'd go a strong color either. But here is a stupid question, won't your color be more or less determined by your counter choice? Especially if it has color? My vote is for soapstone as well - then you won't be limited. Just my 2 cents.

Yes, please more pics of that sink. That sink with that view would make me WANT to wash dishes :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:17AM
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Ooooh--it's so exciting seeing your kitchen come together! I remember your layout and that island well. I absolutely adore all the elements you're pulling together. I love brick floors (have them in my sunroom). I love your fireplace. I love your windows and porch. I love it all!

I almost went with a yellow in the range of hues you're considering, but I chickened out. That was only because my kitchen is so open to the rest of the house, and I wasn't sure how well it would "go" with everything else. If I had a more separate kitchen, I would have done it in a heartbeat! I really like your first two yellow pics. I definitely think you should stick with some shade of yellow over a cream. That kitchen deserves something less ordinary than cream.

I also think you should persist in your quest for soapstone. Were you given any reason about why bookmatching was not recommended? I have seen magnificent results with this effect, and any soapstone fabricator worth his salt should be able to make the seam virtually invisible. You might even consider contacting Joshua at Creative Soapstone to see if he could come do it.

I can't wait to see more pictures as your kitchen progresses!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:21AM
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This is gorgeous, what a great experience watching the cabinets built on site, I would have loved that. I did go visit my cabinet maker quite a bit and they tinkered with paints and stains while I was there, and that was fun, but to see the entire project evolve in your space, that is something!

I think quite a few of your pictures (the inspiration ones) could be milk paint and that gives them that soft chalky finish. I think you could go either way on the color --- the yellow that you showed (from Martha) would be pretty, but in my opinion hard to get right, could end up too bright and sunshiney (I just did one of these golden yellows in my basement and it it way too bright, but I'm living with it in the basement). On the other hand, the creamy white it much safer and would be beautiful too. I would encourage you to look beyond the white whites if you go the creamy white route since you have other dark elements --- the floor, the beams and the hutch. I chose a "tan" for my white cabinets, but I have dark floors, beams and counter and the tan looks creamy white, but not tan.

This is one amazing space, I can't wait to see it completed. And the LaCanche, that will really be something....

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:25AM
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Yes, Holligator, everyone can do cream or light yellow. But this is a statement kitchen. At least the island?

Ps ... I got to get me some winged fairies!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:27AM
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Thanks Kmmh. Hope I don't live to regret the sink. The carpenter said he "approached it like a bathtub" and it's not going anywhere without taking the whole wall of cabinets with it. Hence the largish island sink.

ZacsDaddy, I had to fight for that floor. Nobody puts brick inside ... around here at least and, let's just say, not everybody was thrilled with the idea. The lady at the brick store almost wouldn't sell it to me.

Yikes, Colorfast! Really? You can't roll dough on the leathered granite? Well that's not going to work. The fantasy me who lives in my new kitchen is constantly kneading dough and rolling out tart crusts!!! The real me might do these things only every other solar eclipse but she's not making the decisions here.

Breezygirl, I hope I didn't scandalize you. I tried calling for parental discretion, but ran out of title space. Way too many naked photos floating through the interwebs these days, don't you think? I guess my next Kitchen forum question will be whether anyone has put a seam down the middle of their soapstone island. The one fabricator I talked to said it was a bad idea, and none of the suppliers recommended it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:40AM
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Interesting. The floor and the vintage sink are fascinating - I've never seen anything like them before. Really love the space with the high peaked ceiling. Your carpenters sound unbelievably accommodating. Wish I'd had your carpenters.

When you mentioned muddy and yellow or cream, some of the F&B colours popped straight to mind:

Dorset cream
Farrow's cream for a slightly lighter, less saturated version.

Or for a dirty mustard:
Ciara yellow for something brighter and less on the dirty side.

Sorry, I couldn't be bothered to save the images, port 'em to my image website to include them here coz its easy enough to follow the link. F&B has a host of the dusky yellow many of which seem to me to fit your space depending on your yen. But the Farrow and Dorset cream are what had first popped into my head when I saw your room.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Okay, CeltinNE, you all are right. I think I've been kidding myself that marble could be a good second choice here. Tomorrow I'll get hot and heavy on the soapstone trail again. Some of the suppliers are not overly helpful.

Holligator, I was hoping you'd remember! I swear, the island layout turned out exactly like you recommended way back in 2009. Dish drawers and trash across from primary sink. Pots and pans next to prep sink. I think the only thing that's changed is the addition of a microwave drawer. Were those even available back then?

I thought someone on GW bookmatched soapstone on their island, but I can't seem to find it. When I mentioned it to the fabricator he scowled and said it would look bad. Of course, I've ignored plenty of scowls to get to this point. Maybe I should talk to Florida Joshua just to get his opinion on how it would look. It would sure open up the options on slab types.

Mythreesonsnc, I've been stalking your house over on the building forum. Everything is beautiful! So your cabs are a tan? They are so creamy in your pics. And your ceiling and beams are stunning. I'm hoping to get a better feel for color once our beams and stove surround go in.

Mtnrdredux, I'm just sure I noticed winged fairies dancing beneath your weeping cherry tree.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:17AM
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It's breathtaking now... I can't imagine what it will look like when it is finished!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Mindstorm, thanks for the color suggestions. I've got the F&B deck over at the house and will look at Dorset Cream, Straw and Ciara Yellow this afternoon. I really like the Dorset Cream in your link.

As for the carpenters . . . I think I'm a little in love with them right now.

Thanks Yellowdog2. I love your username!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:34AM
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Oh my Heavens- that is just gorgeous! I am in love! I think Marble would be gorgeous! My first thought was cream but the pictures of yellow cabs are so beautiful. I love, love, LOVE the floors! You can design my next kitchen, because I'm pretty sure my entire first floor with kitchen DR, LR, and FR is too small to hold the beautiful one you've created! I think it's great that you found cabinet makers so incredibley skilled in both woodworking and the social graces! :)I'm sure my contractor curses me to this day!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Another muddy yellow is Old Village Paint, Rittenhouse Ivory. On my screen and their color card, it looks tan. It's not. It's more of a toned-down mustard. It comes in water and oil based versions.

Here is a link that might be useful: old village

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:55AM
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Your kitchen as it is now -- gorgeous light, great vistas, towering austere shapes of unfinished cabinetry, killer wonderful floor -- is nigh on to perfect. So if you do get overwhelmed by the decisions yet to be made, you could always preserve the space in its marginally useful but breathtaking sculptural splendor.

If you insist on finishing it, however, you might want to take a look a elizpiz's kitchen. Her cabinets are a chameleon muted yellowish to cream, depending on the light. And they work beautifully in a large, airy space.


Here is a link that might be useful: elzpiz kitchen

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:24AM
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Wow!!! It's so beautiful!
I love the floors and every details fits so well!
That sink!!!!! Cool,cool,cool!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Debbie1031, my current 1920s kitchen would probably fit in this one twice, and yet I'm not sure I'm going to have much more useable storage in the new one. I got a little carried away with windows and range hoods and such.

Chesters House, I had never heard of Old Village Paint. I like their history of the development of commercial house paints. Whew! I'm relieved I don't have to spend $295 a gallon on paint, anyway. That color looks promising.

Okay, Honorbiltkit, are you a shrink in your other life? I think you've nailed my major issue here. I've sort of approached this as a big arts and crafts project and am really enjoying the sculptural aspect of it. I fear it will be a disappointment when I start turning it into a useable kitchen...or marginally useable anyway. I'm crazy about Elizpiz's kitchen. She's yet another from whom I've shamelessly stolen ideas. I have noticed that any hint of greenish yellow seems to be deadly with my stone, so I can't copy her color outright.

Thanks Celineike! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who likes the floor. I'm embarrassed to tell how much work DH an I put into it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:10PM
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I was going to recommend soapstone for the perimeter countertops and butcher block for the island...until I read that you had already bought the butcher block for the perimeter. Hope you find the soapstone you're looking for! :)

Something like this might work, for the yellow. I think your kitchen looks wonderful and the brick floor seems perfect in the space.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:06PM
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This took my breath away. Followed by drooling. Absolutely spectacular!
I can envision creamy light yellow on perimeter cabs with a warmer, deeper yellow on island with soapstone.
BM honeymoon is a lovely color with hints of apricot. Those floors call for something less wimpy than creamy white IMHO

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:20PM
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WOW!!!!.. I'm in love with your kitchen in its current state. Can't wait to see it completed. I haven't posted in a few months but I had to log in to comment on your gorgeous kitchen.

I like the yellows you posted and I also like the one Lavenderlass posted. They are all muted but with a different tone. Though I like the color in the Martha Stewart kitchen (with all of the glass serving pieces on top of the cabinets), it appears to me it may clash with the color of the bricks.

I have dreamed my entire adult life of a tumbled brick herringbone looks stunning in your kitchen.

Just looking through your kitchen windows at the brick columns makes me think I would love the outside of your house too.

Please continue to share.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Oh, yes, I remember! I was lusting after your kitchen from the very beginning. :)

I love the spaciousness and special features like the fireplace, lots of windows, and extra cool sink. From the beginning, I liked the little cafe table you had planned for the corner window, too. I hope you're still doing that.

Here's the island design that was still sitting in my photobucket album...

Also, tsdiver has a bookmatched soapstone island that is stunningly beautiful. Here's a link to an old thread with some pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread with pics of tsdiver's island

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 5:00PM
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Oh my gosh, Holligator! You've still got the island sketch! I'm still planning on the cafe table, and I think with this island design it will work out well. I don't know if you recall, but you all also convinced me to add the back door to the porch, and to separate the fridge from the freezer so that the fridge would be convenient to the sink and stove. It made for some tense moments trying to design that wall of stacked cabs, but the carpenters came through with some really creative ideas there. And having the door has already been great. I can't believe I was set to skip that.

And thank you, thank you for the link to tsdiver. That's the one I was remembering, but couldn't find it. I'll print out those pics as ammo when I go talk to soapstone people. I can't imagine anyone finding that island anything but gorgeous.

Lavender Lass, that's a beautiful picture. It calls to my inner Victorian. I thought about switching to wood for the island, but I like the way the wood looks with the sun coming through the windows, and I love the idea of soapstone across from the stove for both baking purposes and for landing hot pots. Holligator has given me confidence that I can make the soapstone work.

Dretutz and Irishcreamgirl, thank you for the kind words. I think you're both right that its the floors and maybe the fireplace stone that seem to want a deeper color than cream. I keep coming back to the word "muddy" but that's not accurate, I think maybe muted is better. I'm going to check out BM "honeymoon."

And Irishcreamgirl, I've been hoping to work those floor in somewhere forever. I'm also hoping to put the pavers on my front porch to continue the herringbone theme.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Your cabinets are incredible! Just beautiful. You are so lucky to see them made on site, and to see the progress each day, I am envious. Love your kitchen overall.

Another poster mentioned the bookmatched soapstone, and I think it could look incredible if you can't find one piece. Maybe talk to folks at New England Stone (even if they're nowhere near you) to get their thoughts, they are really good, and may even do work in your area.

For paint, look at Farrow and Ball's House White -- it is a beautiful soft white, almost pale butter color.

Please keep posting pics and provide progress updates!!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Thanks for the encouraging words Jmcgowan. The painters just began the first coat on the cabinets Friday and I was over there trying to see the color by flashlight! I had them match Farrow & Ball "Cord" in lacquer. I sure looked dark and very yellow - which is strange because at my current house it barely looks yellow at all. I'm heading back tomorrow to get a look by daylight. If they're too dark I'll check out the House White. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 11:05PM
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Wow! And, again, wow! What a great kitchen.

A bit of a contrarian thought. If the book matched soapstone doesn't work out, what about a white-with-grey-veined and honed marble? It would go with the look and feel of the floor (which looks dark grey on my monitor) and the wonderful old sink.

It would be great for your inner baker persona. I got talked into a piece of granite to top our baking "center." But I've also had a 20 x 30 piece of honed white marble from my grandmother's kitchen that I use when I don't need a larger surface. It has a couple of pits and a few stains, but the look is wonderful. If I had it to do over again, I'd get marble and enjoy the "lived in" look.

We went to a wood-fired pizza restaurant the other night. Their white marble counter top has been in constant use for 4 years -- tomato sauce and all. It still looked great.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions Kashmi. The floor has got grays and blacks but mainly deep reddish browns. I took some calacatta tiles out to try as a backsplash idea and they looked pretty fabulous. That got me thinking more seriously about marble for the island. I'm really not fastidious (sadly), and I've lived with tile counters for years without any issue. But I'm still nervous about the idea of marble. It helps a lot to hear people like you say that they love their marble in its lived in state.

I think I'll wait until the painting and staining is done and see whether I think the kitchen needs the lightness of marble or the "gravity" of soapstone. At least I've got it narrowed down to two choices, right?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 10:07AM
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