Grey stained cabinets

MinnieKnightJuly 4, 2012

Hello everyone,

First time posting..I am getting a house built (not custom) and had originally picked out white painted maple cabs on the perimeter with an espresso island, but my husband says he "hates" white cabinets. We settled on grey as a compromise, but I am not sure if I should still go with the espresso island or change the color to cream or white. I am afraid this cabinet color is too close to all the stainless steel it will be juxtaposed to. Any advice?

thanks very much.

Here is a link that might be useful: flickrphotogrey

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you considered antiquing those or something? The first thing that comes to mind is "industrial" or "commercial".

I would definitely put in some wood to warm it up.

Do you have your other finishes picked out?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The oak floors will be sanded/stained with Jacobean and the island, I was going to go with a walnut stain, and for the countertops, (which I haven't picked yet) I was envisioning a white granite or quartzite.
I am just trying to imagine a wall of gray(see above) and it's not making me feel happy. I might just have to go back to my original white cabinets. Do you think the gray will work as an island, or should I just scrap it. Thanks for the input, CEFreeman, "industrial" is not what I am going for at all. Oh, for the appliances, we will be putting in a Bluestar rangetop, Modernaire range hood, and Wolf ovens. GW is awesome. I have learned so much in the past couple of months.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was thinking about this again last night. (I need a life.) But the word I really couldn't find was "institutional".

I'm glad you're going to have some very warm wood. White counter tops will be nice and clean, and complete (to me) a very sterile look if you use these as all your cupboards. If you did go to white, it would lean towards that OTK everyone moans over. :) Again, the wood would warm that up and be very classic.

I definitely think gray would work on the island. Somehow white cabinets (if not stark white) look cleaner and less ... cold. Again, more classic.

But really, what do I know? It would help if you'd start to get your pieces together and post them here. Far better decorators than I can help!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is it the white or the idea of painted cabinets he doesn't like? If it's the paint, then neither of you is likely to be totally content with the gray cabinets.

This is just me -- I find gray a bit depressing. Might have something to do with the colors and lighting in the rest of my house, because I have certainly seen photos of gray that is rich and beautiful in other people's houses, but I didn't like any of the gray tile I brought home. So if you want to change the gray, you have at least one person on your side. :) But if you keep gray, you might think about going for a darker/warmer shade of it and adding some wood somewhere else as Christine says.

My DH was strongly in favor of white (instead of wood) cabinets -- go figure.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was still thinking about this.

That photo looks like a painted cabinet, not stained. If it's either, you can change the finish. But if you're paying for them, get something you want in the first place.

It's just such a pale gray it doesn't seem to have much character to me. I hope IRL that's not the case. Perhaps something with more depth?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you don't love the gray, time to re-think. How do you/he feel about a pale blue or green? There are several kitchens here which have gone that way, so you should be able to find photos. No? How about going to a light wood, like a birch? Or how about a different shade of gray? Here's one I found on Houzz (while trying to find out what color Jacobean is):

Contemporary Kitchen design by Seattle Architect knowles ps

This is an awfully big (and sort of permanent) purchase to move on if you're not quite happy with the color. Keep thinking. I put "wood floors jacobean" into Google and came up with a whole raft of photos on Houzz which show lots of colors with that gorgeous floor. Here's one more:

Contemporary Kitchen design by Charleston Architect Christopher A Rose AIA, ASID

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On my monitor, that cabinet looks painted with uneven color. I expected to see a "clear" stain that shows wood grain as well.

I'm also not a fan of gray, but that is purely personal. You have to choose a total look that both you and your husband like.

My suggestion is that you give it a few more days to think about the kitchen cabinets in the total picture before you make a decision. It seems like you are piece-mealing your very big (and expensive) decision.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grey comes and goes, white (or off white) is timeless, IMHO. Grey cabinets can make for a striking for them on houzz! But even when I see a gorgeous grey kitchen, I think....I would get tired of that quickly.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Two years ago I intended to go with natural white birch cabinets. Then I started seeing posts all over the net about grey becoming the new neutral. I fell in love with grey.

In my kitchen I wanted to keep my cabinets light and I wanted to see the wood grain. Painted cabs were not for me as I do like the warmth of wood and I also wanted to do the cabs with a horizontal grain with slab doors. There was nothing in the showrooms in grey other than grey painted.
I did get quotes on natural birch and the two places I liked the best gave me estimates within $500.00. The estimates were the same layout but one was from a true custom maker and the other claimed custom but used stock sizes and had some spacers. I went with the custom guy and I am so happy I did. When I asked him about doing a grey stain, he said no problem. He did about 20 samples of grey stain, trying to capture my vision.

I have now been living with the finished cabs for about 1 1/2 years. I find them calming, not cold, not institutional and I am so happy I went in the direction I did.

Here is a wall of cabs....

A shot of the other walls. I am getting ready to change the wall color to a softer shade of either aqua or grey and am looking for a slab of granite for the backsplash behind the cook top.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Minnie--I really like gray cabinets. The pictures I see with gray cabs always grab me regardless of the other details. I initially wanted green cabinets, but my partner hated the idea and so we, like you, compromised on gray.

We ordered the gray cabs after lots of good folks here helped me finalized some of my choices. Well, two days after I placed the cabinets order, my partner and I both woke up regretting it for reasons some have mentioned: it is something that comes and goes and that we may get sick of quickly. Since we don't want to redo our kitchen in 5 or 10 years and since we may sell this house around that time, we decided to make a frantic call to our supplier and change the color. For what it's worth, we ultimately went with a very creamy light color that Medallion calls white chocolate. I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn't do gray, but if you're doubting yourself at all, trust your gut. To me, my new color doesn't read white, but I don't know how light would be too light for your husband.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the input! The only element I know "for sure" as of right now is the floor and the appliances. I am attaching the picture of the floor (builder sample).It is Minwax Jacobean 2750. The cabinet maker is Decora. My DH wants high gloss, very modern stuff that just isn't possible with Decora. So it's up to me to sell him on white cabs. Wizard, I love your kitchen, your grey is calm and soothing, especially with that blue. I think my cab color looks like it might have a green undertone compared to your cabs, which i definitely do not want.
I have thought about going with a very light maple, but I think white would look prettier.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love this kitchen from Houzz. I could live with that grey.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the darker grain, wizardnm. I also love the contrast in your kitchen, which makes it warm.

Minwax Jacobean is usually much darker, Miniknight and makes the grain more subtle! Make certain you get what you're choosing. I'm considering that stain for the interior doors I'm stripping. But on the darker side! I'm not one who's married to the cookie cutter ebony kitchens, either. (No offense. They're beautiful, but like white, pretty common right now.)

Anyway, don't be pressured into anything that doesn't ring with the Ah HA! moment.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have seen gray stained cabinets I really like, but the door sample in your picture just looks blah and lifeless to me. Do you have to use Decora cabinets? I like your picture from Houzz with the painted dark gray cabinets. A blue-gray paint could look really nice with your floors.

This gray stained cabinetry is the inspiration for my master closet cabinetry:

Modern Kitchen design by New York Architect Chelsea Atelier Architect, PC

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love those cabinets too! They're alreay in my ideabook :) DH and I are discussing not going with Decora, we need to find out from the builder if they would accomodate that.
Staying with builder options really limits our choices.
I will keep researching until I have that final "aha" moment.
Freeman, thanks for letting me know about the Jacobean stain--the model has the same floor, and it's much darker than the example! Didn't realize that until you pointed that out.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 7:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Reviving this thread to ask if Wizard can share how the wonderful grey-stained cabinets were done? That is exactly what I want but I don't know how to go about getting it. It's hard to find grey-stained slab door inspiration :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd like to know, too! :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anyone else have grey-stained cabinet formulations they'd be willing to share?

Here's my inspiration photo, but I have no idea how to achieve it. I can hardly stand how awesome it is :)

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen by German architect Thomas Bendel

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is a beautiful kitchen.
How are you going to emulate it?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

CEFreeman, isn't it swoon-worthy? I don't have the architecture for that look, unfortunately. In my humble small kitchen, I will be incorporating:

* white walls
* trying to recreate the greystained slab cabinet fronts
* wood floors
* minimal uppers (just above fridge in my case)
* an "unkitchen* look
* art in the kitchen

I'd love input on my plan if you're up for it - it's the thread entitled "take a peek at my "soft modern" small kitchen design?"

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 12:46PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What are your thoughts on Ikea Sektion base cabinets?
I've commented here over and over that since this little...
Any reason a DW couldn't go next to a fridge?
We need to pull the trigger on our cabinets next week,...
Old, Deep Cast Iron Sink or New Sink? I can't decide
Hello, would love to hear from those of you who have...
Cindy McMahon
Sexist or Fun?
Trouble from young feminists over this billboard.
Joseph Corlett, LLC
Prep sink location
After a lot of talking on another thread, I took sena01...
Jennifer Weinman
Sponsored Products
Domusworks Lattice Grey Decorative Pillow - DM36
$69.99 | Hayneedle
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Safavieh Rugs Soho Grey/Ivory 5 ft. x 8 ft.
Home Depot
Artemide | Logico Triple Linear Ceiling Light
Fanimation | Torto Ceiling Fan
$699.00 | YLighting
Boulevard 8-piece Comforter Set
Wing Loveseat in Dark Gray
$799.00 | LexMod
Grey Geometric Wallpaper R2245
Walls Republic
Chinchilla Grey Vintage Cotton Velvet Single Panel Curtain, 50 X 96
$99.95 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™