Cabinet Confliction - Input Sought

uvascanyonJune 27, 2013

I can use your help and feedback, please.

I am just about done demo'ing the kitchen in a home recently purchased. My wife and I found some cabinets we both like, and while on the dark side ("American Cherry"), we are convinced that we can get away with that because of the abundance of natural light. Good news.

However, as seen in the video clip below, the adjacent living area has rather large cabinets, I believe oak, that roll around in the kitchen's dining area.

While I realize these are two different rooms, this would generally not present a problem for most folks. But since the these cabinets encroach upon the kitchen / dining area, I wonder if this will look bad or strange to have such dissimilar woods rather close to each other.

Thoughts, please? Maybe safer to go with white cabs and get color from the countertop? We really like these cabs, but realize that the kitchen is not in a vacuum so-to-speak, and it would seem prudent to look at the larger picture...

I will also try to attach a showroom photo of the cabinets. Sorry about it being upside down!

I really appreciate the help. Thank you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Video of kitchen area

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Well, I'm new to the who.e kitchen thing, but my thought is if you love the cherry, maybe you should be asking how can you change the oak? Or how can you create a separation between that end wrap around and your new kitchen. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:31PM
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They are quite different looks. I'm with Chrissyb - can you change out the oak cabinets to match the kitchen?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:48PM
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the kitchen is too large for that much dark cherry-if it were mine...but if you love the dark cherry, be prepared the oak will look even worse once the large new kitchen in a completely different wood is completed. When you spiffy up an area, the old areas adjacent look worse for wear. You can do something later with the oak...but "something" will happen if I had to bet. Don't go too fast -it's a lot of cherry and it looks like you want to get it ordered about a 2 finishes kitchen[just don't worry about the oak-that project can wait-kitchen is very important to get right]

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 12:12AM
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I'm trying to digest it all...

I'm hoping to get my family in the new house sooner as opposed to later, but time can be somewhat flexible I suppose. We currently have a cabinet install set for the week of the 15th (July)...

Those massive oak cabinets in the living room, as seen in the video, are not in scope now. Just so much to tackle before we move-in...

Would you all agree that since those cabinets go into the kitchen area, that the kitchen cabinets should match, at least in color? Leaving those cabinets as they are would then mean getting matching oak kitchen cabinets. Or, as some have said, change the color of the oak cabinets, to the kitchen's cherry... Is there an easy way to strip or remove the oak finish other than hand-sanding?

Would white kitchen cabinets be safe in this situation, and not conflict with the oak ones?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:22AM
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Maybe you should consider having the entertainment center cabinetry painted. As herbflavor pointed out the new kitchen will probably make the old area look even older and more tired out. The oak could be painted a white, off white, cream or any other light color that will coordinate with you decorating scheme. Google images or have lots of photos of painted entertainment centers that look very nice.
Painting the oak would be quite a DIY project but has been done by many on this forum. If you do a google search with the terms "gardenweb painting oak"
you should find lots of information.
The entertainment cabinets could always be painted sometime after you have moved into the house.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:22AM
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gel stain is easy--take a door off the oak and go to your custom paint store--they will open the cans of gelstain for you and test them on the back of one of the doors---you can get a completely different tone on the oak from ebonized to mahogany to chestnut brown to cherry red to more orangey if you want...... More difficult is painting because of the grain. You could reface the carcasses and frames and get new doors to coordinate with what you do in the kitchen. Yes a white or painted kitchen would"go with" the oak......but the oak is not special at all. I would aim for something you will be able to do to the oak later [like gelstain] that will go with your more desired choices you seek for the kitchen. Personally, I would relish the opportunity to remove the oak doors-I don't care for the style and doubt a new kitchen will help the doorstyle look any more suitable or up to date. When you are down to just the oak carcasses, and after the kitchen is done, something better can be done with the wall of oak.I would get t a bunch of baskets at Ikea and fill a lot of the cabinet spaces with them and store the doors temporarily.....proceed with your kitchen, keeping in mind what the cheapest redo in the form of gelstain colors will allow in changing the oak color. Refacing or painting the oak are either more money or more time and difficulty. You could do a handsome natural quartersawn oak kitchen and darken the oak shelves and have the light/dark woods play off each other.You have options.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Agree with herbflavor. Painted oak always looks like painted oak. General Finishes (or any other brand) gel stain is easy to work with.
Can you at least add cherry doors and reface the wrap-around oak cabinets?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:47AM
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You all are a great group. So helpful. Thank you.

I was watching a YouTube video last night about gel stains. Looked promising and not all that difficult. If I were to make those living room cabinets cherry too (matching the kitchen), that would be A LOT of cherry to behold. Not sure that will be desirable...

Is there such a thing as white or whitish stains, something that impregnates the wood? As someone said earlier about painting them, that too was a thought. But, painted oak doesn't always look all that great, IMO. Maybe if done right...

Back to gel stains... As I recall, one can only go darker with these, right? These cabinets are not your typical golden oak, but quite dark already. If so, then I'm quite limited with gel stain on these dark oak cabinets. Might there be a chemical, as opposed to sanding, to strip, bleach or remove this dark oak stain? If not, painting these might be the way to go...

I think it was badgergirl who recommended I search here on painted oak cabinets. I did so, thank you. Some certainly came-out nice...

The real issue here is that these cabinets wrap-around into the kitchen's dining area. I don't see a viable way to change the color there, without it looking very strange / bad with the rest the cabinet in the living room, as it's all connected...

What I am pondering now is somehow finding a way to carefully remove the section that wraps-around into the dining area and just fab a wall there instead. Different woods in different rooms is fine and acceptable, but this wrap-around is making life difficult...

I'm not at that house now, but from the video, even this looks not so easy as a flush cut with the wall goes into a living room cabinet below.

I'll be at that house later today...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 2:53PM
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The polished cherry clearly does not mesh with the informal oak cabinetry or other elements of the next room (louvered doors and potbelly stove). That would be whether they are visible to each other or not. Before you start purchasing big ticket items, get a clear picture of what you want to do with the house overall. Otherwise you will be terribly disappointed in the end, when all becomes obvious.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Fri, Jun 28, 13 at 16:23

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:16PM
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Do you really need/want all that oak cabinetry in the adjacent room? I think I would rip it all out and let the kitchen cabinets be the star.

If you do want cabinetry in there...I would have it match the kitchen...otherwise they will compete. I think gel-staining the oak will just look like you tried to get old oak cabs to match your new kitchen. You won't be happy.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:27PM
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Thank you for confirming my concerns. I realize this is a huge decision, thus the confliction and this thread. I have two weeks before the intall, and there are options and I can always delay... I very much want to avoid not being happy about the decision.

First, I have the choice to go with white kitchen cabinets, as I alluded. My mom is of the belief that this is the way to go actually. Appliances will be stainless steel. Get some color with the countertop and / flooring, paint, other highlights and maybe a dark oak kitchen table to tie-in the living room cabinets? Something tells me that this will work, but I have no experience on such things...

The wood-burning stove is coming-out and the louvered doors too. I will fab a wall there and mount our big screen TV, between both cabinets. All of A/V equipment including speakers will be housed in these oak cabinets, along with a few family photos, and decorative items. The below cabinets will probably house some throw blankets, pillows, family games, etc...

I'm not adverse to oak at all, it's just the conflict area of the two rooms... The house is in a somewhat rural area, nestled into a hillside over-looking a lake. Oak has somewhat a rustic feel, so I'm cool with that in this house.

Thoughts on white kitchen cabinets instead, with some matching oak, like the kitchen table, to blend this all in?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 3:59PM
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If you like a somewhat rustic feel, I'd go with the white cabinets over the cherry, which clash pretty horribly with both the color and style of the oak built-ins.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I wouldn't do cherry in that house. It doesn't suit it. What would work with the oak, and the other bones of the house would be painted cabinetry. Not white though. Barn red. Navy blue. Butter yellow. Moss green. Something with some color and character to it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:52PM
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If you really want cherry, go get the cherry. Going to a quality white finish on pgm will actually be a significant upcharge in many cabinet lines. (Disclaimer, I have a mix of white and cherry in my new kitchen). Why pay extra for something you did not love?

You might consider refacing the existing entertainment center in a painted finish instead, in a similar door style. Oak is such a strong grain pattern it will not look right painted, and with a gel stain the door style and grain will still clash with your kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:55PM
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Not going to watch the video, though I'd be happy to look at a picture of the oak cabinets. That said, I love cherry and I think those you show from the showroom look quite lovely. I personally would not like having oak cabinets adjacent to lovely cherry cabinets like that and would suggest pricing the cost of replacing the oak cabinets as well if you want cherry in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Had to look-up PGM. I assume Paint Grade Material...

Thank you gooster.

The cabinet place has the cherry in stock and slightly discounted. We both liked it in the showroom, but as we visualize them in the house, concerns surface, as we've been discussing...

I'm fine with white, or antique white. hollysprings has me thinking... Hate to buy new kitchen cabs then paint them though. How about white, with the walls in the kitchen with some vibrancy, some ornamentals, hanging light over the sink with some pop?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Ok, at the house, spending the night, continuing with soffit removal...

As I stated earlier, if indeed the issue is solely the encroachment of the dark oak into the kitchen / dining area, how about eliminating that from happening? If done as described, there would be no dark oak in the kitchen / dining area, but a wall instead.

I include another short vid below. If this is truly the issue at-hand, then might such surgery then allow me to more easily go with the kitchen cabinets of choice without worrying about conflicts and clashes of woods?

Here is a link that might be useful: End cabinet removal?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:50PM
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No, I wouldn't mess with that kind of activity. It will cost you and there is still plenty of oak, even though the remaining sections don't encroach-they are in visual space with the kitchen generally. What needs to happen is you proceed with a kitchen and forget about the oak. When the kitchen is done, if the oak 'works" or can be easily altered to work then you will probably get to it when you recover from the kitchen. If a thorough eval of the oak reveals it can't really be made to work with the kitchen , then money will be spent to remove or drastically alter.. People are offering suggestions about the oak but this is not a part of the kitchen enough to be a driving force in your kitchen goals-huge amounts of money will be spent on the kitchen-get going on that as a priority for now. It seems like you are going in circles a bit-thinking of what you want for a kitchen-then looking over at the oak-worrying about it then going back and changing the idea of the kitchen, then rehashing remarks about the oak and if it's what you want anyway....I suppose you need to go through this process until you are tired of it. It will be nice to see some progress on the kitchen....words like "vibrancy" and "pop" won't get you to a finish line.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:51PM
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herbflavor, good advice, thank you.

I do think and agree with others here that cherry has less of a chance to work that other kitchen cabinet options....

Speaking of progress on the kitchen, I got the last of soffits out tonight. Re-location of plumbing and electrical and drywall to follow....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 2:32AM
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Sophie Wheeler

I'd drop back and take another look at those "stock" cabinets. I'd bet that they are Chinese. Most cabinets stocked in stores are. Very few are actually American made. They're designed for house flippers, not people who want to live in a home long term.

If this is going to be a home where you live, you want to first of all make sure that you're choosing something that fits the bones of the home. The visual look of those cabinets does not, regardless of the oak elsewhere in the home. And the quality is suspect. The biggest mistake that you can make is to rush into cabinet replacement just because you can go and grab something off the shelf. You will get much better quality and much more suitable cabinetry to the home's bones by taking your time and visiting a few kitchen showrooms and choosing a good quality semi custom American made cabinet line.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Thank you hollysprings for the follow-up. I almost didn't check (still no email alerts, despite my checking that option)...

These are indeed Chinese made cabinets. Oddly, after looking at several brands and HD and Lowe's, I found these to be thicker material (wood), and absolutely no particle board anywhere. I wish I could say the same for what I saw in the big box stores... Between that and a massive price delta, we started working with this cabinet provider...

That said, the white cabs that we might now want from this company, I'm not so sure they are of the same construction / quality. I am in the process of finding-out...

I realize that several years back there were reasons for concern, but I was under the impression that Chinese cabinets have improved quite a bit. There's a good thread here on imported Chinese cabinet quality...

My colleague got his cabinets and granite countertop there a couple years back and he's been quite satisfied. Just two years though, I know...

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:20PM
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