All cherry or white uppers/cherry below?

lisa0527June 28, 2011

It finally, finally looks like our contractor will start in September. I was sure I'd decided on natural cherry shaker cabinets and soapstone counters, but I'm having a few second thoughts. I'm a little worried the kitchen may be a bit too dark (north facing), and was thinking of maybe using white/cream uppers and cherry lower cabinets. You see a lot of it design mags, but will it look dated in a few years? I'd appreciate any thoughts you may have, and if you have pics would love to see them.

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I gave up my searching too soon...just found some of the recent threads on differebt colored uppers and lowers. Some of those photos are wonderful!I think I now feel confident enough to seriously discuss it with husband and contractor.
So, I'll refine my question a little.
With creamy white uppers and natural cherry shaker lowers would you go white counters or soapstone? And what about the backsplash?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 12:49AM
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My first instinct was white or light backsplash and white counter, to tie in the uppers so they're not randomly floating, something like this:

But I also really like this pic posted earlier by boxerpups (again with the white backsplash/wall tying in the white uppers):

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 2:29PM
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I love the look of natural cherry with soapstone. A lot of people say there's no such thing as a "timeless" look, but that's as classic and timeless as it gets! My backsplash preference is simple subway tile. I wouldn't want anything to compete with a gorgeous piece of soapstone!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 5:54PM
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Love the picture above with the soapstone countertops and natural cherry cabinets. That is VERY classic! And, the subway tile sets it off.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 6:10PM
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I love soapstone with natural cherry cabs, but if you're concerned your kitchen will be too dark, light/white countertops may be the way to go in your space. Teamed with a light/white BS, it would maximize the light in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 6:33PM
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flwrs_n_co has a good point. Here's a better example of white counters & backsplash (more classic to fairly contrast with the soapstone everyone loves):

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 12:56AM
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Thanks so much for all of your advice and pics! Definitely leaning towards light counters and light BS, give how small my kitchen is (9 1/2 feet wide by 14 for the kitchen area, another 91/2 by 10 for eating area). But love that soapstone, with white subways/gray grout. Time to pour through my design magazines one more time. Paulineinmn has posted some gorgeous photos as well today. All food for thought...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 1:44AM
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Seems that lately we are seeing a spate of kitchens that combine wood and white-- the best of both worlds -- as well as kitchens that are unique and that are in keeping with the character of the house. White and wood together (and with a little black or color to punch it up) is a great combination and can be achieved so many ways. It is the counterpoint among the materials that makes it all so much more tactile and interesting. Whether it is a white kitchen with wood floors, or a mix of cabinets, or wood with lots of light/white elsewhere in the room -- it works so well. Love the pictures posted here!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 6:55AM
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My cabinets are being installed as I type. Wood base (mildly distressed hickory) w/off white painted uppers lightly glazed with gray. Thanks for the idea to use gray grout in my subway tile backsplash Lisa. I love soapstone too but I wanted a light airy kitchen. I ordered Kashmir White granite with the leathered/antiqued finish which has a similar country feel and look of soapstone. It isn't honed but it's not glossy. There are flecks and specks of gray, brown, black, and beige in it which ties it in w/ss applicances; black accents; and the browns of the wood. My sink is Blanco Silgranit large single in the metallic gray which is not really 'metallic' looking and has a soapstone-like look.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Better homes and gardens magazine, April 2011 issue, page 110 shows a kitchen with white base cabinets and wood uppers. It looks nice. Maybe you can look At this issue at your library. Or let me know if you'd like me to scan it for you.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:52AM
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I'd love to see the photo Dilly ny!
And distressed hickory sounds wonderful colorlady. I couldn't find anyone in Vancouver who'll do a slightly distressed (wire brushed?) gray washed oak. I think there was a kitchen recently in House Beautiful that showed this with white uppers and marble counters. Very yummy!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:59AM
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Here are a few more pictures. I love the mix of wood
and white.

Not cherry but it is lovely

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 8:24PM
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We did a very small kitchen in our coach house and went with the dark espresso lowers/creme brule uppers and a light quartz composite counter and found that there was enough "lightness" to put in some architectural handmade ceramic tiles for the backsplash that are a dark green glaze. I was pleasantly surprised how uplifting the light uppers actually are!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:21PM
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I LOVE your kitchen.
Beautifully done with elegance, charm, sophistication
and style. Like your screen name.
Obrigada, muinto Bonita.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:37AM
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lisa0527 those cabinets. Clipped and aved to inspire the design of my uppers...which I've firmly decided will be white!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Thank you so much (e obrigada tambem, Boxer!)! I was really happy in the end (and the lovely young couple who just bought the place were pretty excited as well). This is a coach house/laneway house that is perfect for first time buyers, so we were going for a sophisticated contemporary look.

The uppers are a Benjamin Moore Creme Brule colour, and the lowers are dark stained maple espresso. My DH is a finishing carpenter and a GC with a severe dislike for flat front cabinets and white, which remind him of the thousands of melamine kitchens he's tossed out, but he was OK with the shaker and finally acquiesced on the colour on the uppers. Whew!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:29AM
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Just curious...not sure where you're posting from, but Vancouver has just allowed laneway housing and we're considering building one. Your kitchen looks so large and spacious for a laneway many square feet are you allowed to build??

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:01PM
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Lisa - yes, we're in Vancouver! I apologise in advance if this hijacks the thread - I am new to posting and unsure how to send this info directly to you.

Laneway housing in RS (residential single family) zoning is restricted to ~750 sq ft, but this particular home is a coach house, which is built in an RT (Residential two family) zone, where you can strata and sell separate from the front house. The sq footage is based on the total lot FSR (floor space ratio) and therefore can be significantly larger than a laneway house. Having said that, this home is 865 sq ft, two bedrooms and a bath and a half. This photo set is from our realtor's shoot, so of course things look wildly distorted with the wide angle lens. Here's a link to the set of photos:

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 5:08PM
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White and cherry cabinetry shown in BHG

Here is a link that might be useful: BHG Warm Welcome

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:42PM
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Thanks dilly!
There's another thread going where someone wanted advice on dark uppers and white lowers. As I recall she was encouraged to do white uppers and dark lowers...but this picture is really nice. I'll see if I can send her the link to this.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:09PM
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