I know the counters.. what cabs to go with?

KiwigemJuly 29, 2014

Hi everyone! We are building a rustic/ scandinavian modern mashup and I thought choosing my kitchen cabinets would be so simple but it's not! Just to give you an idea of the overall vibe: the walls will be BM White Dove, wide white oak floors (probably euro character grade), black doors (except for the barn sliders), black windows with drywall returns, Montauk blue slate flooring anywhere that isn't wood (entry, mudroom, pantry).

Our kitchen has one long working wall with refrigerator, sink, and stove. In front of that is a 10'6" island with a small prep sink to one side, otherwise just a big expanse with 5 stools on the other side.In front of that, the dining table (vintage danish modern) and 12' black patio sliders looking outside to the someday patio.

So, I've chosen my countertops based on function: Black soapstone on the working wall and white macaubas quartzite on the island. Now to choose the cabinets?!

The won't be any uppers. Most of the working wall is eaten up by 9' window over the sink and the range hood which will be white dove with 2X6 matte soft-white subway tile behind.

I originally thought I would do white cabinets with the soapstone and wood with the quartzite, but the more I think about it, it seems too Southern Living for what we are doing (Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with a Southern Living vibe!)

So now I'm thinking danish style wood cabinets (maybe a natural walnut tone) with the soapstone and ebonized oak or some other black for the island with the quartzite.

Any thoughts? I'm fighting decision fatigue! And when I get to that point I talk too much and I see my GC's face take on that heroic patience expression. Awful.


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**drool** I envy the design but not the decisions lol I think the walnut would be goooorgeous!

You might also start researching what door profile you want - that's actually harder to pick than colors because different profiles means using different materials. i.e. if you want shaker style, you can have solid wood rails but the center panel is veneered MDF. If you want slab fronts, your best bet is all veneered MDF. I ALMOST bought solid wood slab cabinet doors but was strongly advised against it here on the forums and ended up switching to MDF.

If you still want the white cabinets, you can do slab fronts and it will look very modern. Really the only time it starts to look Southern Livingish is when you introduce rails and arches and other decorative stuff on the doors. You could also integrate some woodgrain in with the white kitchen. Google up a couple images of "modern white kitchen soapstone" and you'll see what I mean.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:32PM
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Oh, what's wrong with solid slab doors? I'm not going to have many doors, mostly drawers, but I imagine the rationale still applies.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:55PM
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I guess warping is a big issue. Also if you look at the way solid slab doors are constructed, they're actually smaller strips of solid wood glued together and then structurally enforced with battens on the back (meaning you lose at least an inch of storage space inside the cabinet). MDF is much more structurally stable, and because its veneered, you get a much more cohesive look because you can specify bookmatched veneer, continuous grain across cabinets and drawers, etc. With solid slabs, you get what you get, and to me they look a little too busy.

Most of the kitchens you see with slab doors nowadays are MDF. I've been advised against plywood doors, too, because its just not made the same way it used to be. They can warp quite a bit (esp if you live in an area with big temperature and humidity swings throughout the year).

Here's a link for what solid slabs would look like. This is what changed my mind....

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by Swentastic on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 17:40

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:36PM
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I would probably skip the two-tone for the cabinets and go with a natural walnut veneer.

Something like this but with VERTICAL grain:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Sounds fantastic.
Go check out remodelista?
They have lots of ideas for the rustic/modern Scandinavian mashup look...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Norwegian kitchens. Definitely a lot of white.

I actually posted link by mistake a couple of day ago about "Norwegian kitchens and houses"

Click on house picture and more pictures will pop up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Norwegian kitchens

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:58PM
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And a separate question. I am planning on doing a similar treatment on my windows, (black sash and no interior casing), but was curious on how you plan to handle the Sills?

I was thinking of a completely flush sill (no projecting stool), but I can't quite decide on details.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:01PM
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Wow, sounds so much like my initial direction. Many of same materials like quartzite and soapstone, sliding barn door, etc. Some have been able to pull it off, I just couldn't make the quartzite and black soapstone work together. I think in my case, the quartzite looked too modern for my traditional kitchen. Besides, as I explored more, the softer gray/black soapstone wasn't for us. I'll love following this, though to watch it take shape.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:07PM
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Wow- thanks for all the feedback, guys!
palimpset- that veneer is lovely- are you doing something like that?. We have five kids and a big dog, so we definitely need something on the sills! What we end up doing may be budget driven; eIther a white solid surface or a piece of wood painted to match the walls, most likely. We don't have the budget to kerf the doors, so we are going to have jamb extensions and let the drywall die into the jambs. That said, we may have the tiniest bit of a projection on the sill to tie it in with the door treatment better. We also will have some square baseboards painted the color of the walls, so I think a tiny lip on the sill might work. I honestly don't think I'll decide for certain until I see things coming together a little bit.
What are you thinking for yours?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:59PM
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Mags, what did you end up doing? Is there a thread?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:01PM
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I was thinking of jamb extensions and plaster dying into it or a very narrow very flat casing for the doors. I've seen some kerfed jambs and they don't impress me as very durable: they seemed to have chipping and such of the plaster and paint on drywall corner beads. (Of course maybe I've seen some really well done ones and Not noticed them because they were perfect)

I am planning on doing recessed baseboard on the first floor at least.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:15PM
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