Help me with kitchen colors! (please)

Notorious_BIBAugust 21, 2013

My kitchen is, shall we say, "cosmetically challenged. I'd like to spruce it up, but I am working on a budget. My goal is to (possibly) paint the cabinets; install new a new countertop and sink and install a new backsplash. If I splurge it will be on the countertop. I am looking for advice on:

1. Whether or not to paint the cabinets (and what color)
2. What countertop to go with (color, material)
3. What style backsplash to go with (here I am partial to monochromatic tile)
4. What color to paint the walls

(FYI -- the cabinets are oak veneer and the floors are a blue slate). Thanks for any advice! :)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Choose any color scheme you like that doesn't clash with the blue slate.

I'd try going to Houzz and looking at kitchens for their color choices. Collect a lot of ones that just appeal to you, don't worry about style or accessories in the kitchens - just the colors. Then sort them into "piles" by overall color impression. That should give you hints about what appeals to you What we like, or what's "popular" (hint: that's the white, off-white, cream or pale gray of the OTK) doesn't matter.

After that you should consider your local light and adjacent rooms, your DH's preferences and pet color hates, etc.

Painting cabs well takes some effort. It's a bit more involved than it looks, but it is a DIY job. Though you can also have it contracted out. Do you have a place you can take the doors out to and paint there?

Choosing colors is the fun part of decorating since the various colors pretty much cost the same amount (Brands and paint formulas do vary in price, sometimes startlingly, but the colors can often be made up in any kind of paint.) So, there's little chance your wallet will dictate against what your heart really longs to have.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

get some new door quotes...the cathedral styling isn't helping the "long wall" look..... you can get a more up to date look with full overlay quartersawn oak in a natural tone[shaker or slab] because the carcass you have isn't the golden oak...but the 80's cathedral arch is full on display due to the long flat wall that you, I'd get a different style door first .Stainless dishwasher and then round 2 .....for the re-do of white counters and backsplash[they aren't really so bad]

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

I was at SW the other day and heard a painter telling the counter person that he just finished painting kitchen cabinets with SW Emerald semi gloss in white. He said the paint went on great and the coverage was wonderful. I filed that in the back of my mind in case I ever want to paint my cabs and I thought it might help you in choosing a paint type. The Emerald is a bit pricey but SW has frequent sales.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What is the countertop and what shape is it in? It's hard to tell from the picture.

I like your floor.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the feedback. The kitchen is a bit of a hodge-podge. The counter is actually two pieces -- the white is a cheap laminate (not sure if that is the right word... I am new to this!) that has some stains on it. Over by the oven we have some butcher block. It is this way because we recently had the old 24" wall oven torn out and replaced with the freestanding oven you see here. So the countertop is going to have to go at some point.

Also, you can't really see it in this photo, but the existing backsplash does not completely cover the area behind the stove. This is because we had a HUMONGOUS microwave oven there, which we also recently replaced.

The cabinets are slightly mismatched -- the ones on the left are darker than the ones on the right -- which is why I'm considering painting them all.

I am rather new to the kitchen rehab world... and I am working on a budget, so it's important to me that I stick with the basics of what I have, at least in terms of cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Virtually everyone is "working on a budget"...and no matter how big it is, it is rarely enough to do all that we would wish to. So,the question is...what kind of budget are you talking about? Do you want to make a transformation for $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, etc. If you give us a little bit of an idea of what kind of budget you are looking to stick within, we may be able to give you a few better answers. Also, are you open to making the transformation in a few steps or are you doing it once and then that's all you're doing? Also, are you DIY or will you need to hire someone for the work?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm doing whatever I can myself (i.e. painting cabinets, backsplash). Budget is less than $5,000, ideally around $3k. I'd love to get opinions on whether to paint the cabinets and if so, what color. Also opinions on backsplash or counter colors. Basically my question to the group is: What would you do to this kitchen (assuming you need to keep it less than $5k)?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you plan to keep the floor? If so (and it looks nice in the picture) blue is your color. Do you like slate blue? Do you want to have blue in your countertop or backsplash? Would you want a blue granite? Do you see yourself with white cabinets and lots of blue?

If so, then there's your answer. If not, do you need to work with the blue, but not add any more? Then grays or browns might be the way to go. Or you could choose a complementary or contrasting color scheme. You could add some grays, maybe some silver or gray/green for a calmer look. Or you could choose some oranges and golds that are opposite the slate blue, to bring in more color and jazz things up a bit.

If it were me (and I was keeping the floor) I would paint the cabinets white and get a gray or blue/gray countertop and a new white backsplash with some accent tiles. I'd bring in some plants and use a little green and have brushed nickel hardware. I'd pick one or two areas (floor and backsplash) and let them make the statement. I don't like busy countertops, or I might choose a blue granite.

Here's my idea of what I would use for the accent tiles, in the white backsplash. This might be all wrong for think about what YOU would like to see in your kitchen. But, since you asked :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures


From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

Overall kitchen color scheme, if there's room for a table. Or you could maybe not paint all the cabinets...uppers only?

From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lavender gave some good suggestions on ways to go.

In your budget, replacing doors (as was suggested) probably isn't really an option...but, paint just might work. The arches on the top cabinets are not to most current trends, but you will notice them less maybe if they are painted. Be prepared, from what I've read, it's going to keep you busy for a while painting them. :) Personally, I don't care for painted cabinets, but a lot of people it depends on your taste and I'm not certain that you have a lot of choice other than paint if you want all the cabinets to match.

I'd probably head for the blue palette personally and embrace the coolness of your slate. I don't know how much counter you have to cover, but you *may* be able to go with a granite if you like idea how much more counter space you have to the left of where your picture cut off. Don't forget that you'll probably be going with an undermount sink then and you'll probably want to get an updated faucet - those kind of go hand in hand with replacing the counter.

And I'd probably look for a simple white subway tile - keeps things simple and clean and they are on the inexpensive side of tiles.

The bulk of your money is likely to go to the countertop area, sink, and faucet.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Check out the link below on a currently ongoing thread onthe decorating forum on gel staining or not, lots of pictures.
I think you should decide what kind of look you like, e.g. more traditional or more transitional. The read up on painting cabinets (i.e. pros and cons), gel staining, or just working around the oak cabinets.
There's also a thread, decorating around golden oak.

Here is a link that might be useful: updating oak cabinets

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks all.

I do want to keep the floor. I put that in myself (you should have seen the old floor!) using FreeFit tiles. Thanks also for the link on oak cabinets. That's a great place for me to start!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What do the other sides of the cabinet doors look like? If they're in good shape (and perhaps simply a flat panel?), the only thing you'd have to worry about is the holes from the hinges, but they could be filled with wood putty...just a thought to try if you're not keen on painting. A friend of mine did that with hers and it looked instantly better! Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

KBSpinder, I'm not sure I understand what you're suggesting; are you suggesting I turn the doors around? Unfortunately, the arch is evident on both sides.

All -- as I think about this, I think it comes down to the fact that I'm torn about painting vs. not painting. Is it completely unrealistic to try to think of a countertop/backsplash combo that would work both with the existing cabinets AND the cabinets if they were painted white or gray?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

why don't you bring in some samples of counter and backsplash that you like- as tho you are leaving the oak as is....go for some great materials and new hardware....and see what happens as you tempt yourself with surfaces you like.....see how far you can go with your budget and get a great counter....maybe stainless dishwasher too. look at quartz, solid surface and granite. Ideas and likes will give you more ideas.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm assuming you like blue...since you chose the floor. Here are some very pretty blue granite countertops, with white and wood (similar to yours) cabinets. Hope this helps :)

From [Farmhouse plans]( From [Farmhouse plans](

Also, most of the backsplashes are white...but here's one with a pretty blue delft tile...

From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I was suggesting turning the door around, but it was only if the inside was a flat panel, not a mirror of the outside; which, unfortunately, was not the case. Ah well...was worth a shot...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 7:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the inspiration! Is there any way to know what tile I'm looking at in the first photo?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I donâÂÂt think itâÂÂs unrealistic at all to have a goal of finding a counter/backsplash that would work with oak, gray, or white cabinets. If you did, it would allow you to work in phases, so you could decide about painting the cabinets later.

IâÂÂd probably do laminate countertops, as itâÂÂs the most budget friendly, and that would leave a bit more money to splurge on a new sink, faucet, tile, and hardware, lighting, etc.

Paint and tile choices are almost unlimited, so IâÂÂd start with the counter, and build my color plan around that. IâÂÂd bring home a pile of laminate counter samples, in blues, whites, light gray, dark gray, whatever you choose. This is where your own personal choices come in to play, as well as how much natural light there is in the room. As you consider choices, try to also imagine it with gray or white cabinets. You could paint sheets of cardboard white or gray, and use those (squint from a distance!) to imagine the countertop with painted cabinets in the future.

After picking out some countertop colors I liked, then IâÂÂd play with building in the other choices (sink, backsplash, wall color, and maybe eventually, cabinet color) around it. You might be surprised by finding a countertop that will help make all the other things fall into place.

Countertop choices can define sink choices. Laminate usually means youâÂÂll be using a drop in, top mount sink, but you still have some leeway in sink colors...stainless, colored cast iron enamel, or a granite composite sink.

Hardware can inject color, too. You might find that neutral counter, backsplash, and cabinet colors would be set off by smoky blue glass knobs, to link to the blue floor.

IâÂÂve seen some beautiful kitchens posted here with built-in butcherblock areas by the stove. I think it looks great and many have posted they love how it functions.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I went to the FreeFit tiles website, to look at Slate Blue, but it's still hard to tell from their photo just how warm or cool the mottled color is in your floor. That will affect your color choices. If you have a spare tile, I'd always carry it in your car, so you could easily compare it to the countertop samples when you're out exploring!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's the's advertising the granite, not the backsplash, but it might give you some idea. Hope this helps :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to ad

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Undermount sink keeps separating from granite
We recently had granite installed in our kitchen and...
Strategies for washing dishes in a large single sink vs double sink
Hi all, We have in our plans to get a large (33 inch)...
Help with kitchen layout - main issue is where to put the ovens
I need to finalize my kitchen design so all feedback/suggestions...
Feedback on revised kitchen layout
Hello again! After receiving some great feedback for...
Sexist or Fun?
Trouble from young feminists over this billboard.
Joseph Corlett, LLC
Sponsored Products
Army Strong Wineglass
$13.99 | zulily
Titan Lighting Lamps Elysburg 56 in. Satin Nickel Floor Lamp TN-6060
Home Depot
Rachael Ray Porcelain II Yellow 10-piece Cookware Set ** With $20 Mail-In Rebate
Tanguay Banquette - RUST/BROWN
$2,999.00 | Horchow
Odyssey 3 pc. Pub Table Set Multicolor - FDI059
Polished Brass Whitehaus WHLAV1618 Brass Single Bowl Rectangular Bath Basin
$839.00 | Blue Bath
Foscarini | Diesel Collection Metal Glass Round Multipoint Pendant
$870.00 | YLighting
Sand Beach Frosted Glass Pencil Liners
$9.95 | TileBar
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™