Help choosing cabinets for the island

sashasmommyAugust 4, 2012

We are putting in an island... the current cabinets are custom, so there will be no matching them exactly. We've been told by some people they are hickory and by some people they are walnut.

The contractor who is doing the work says we should go with something totally different so it doesn't look like we're trying to match it. He suggested painted, but the only painted ones I like are off-white distressed, and hubby hates them. I don't like black, I think it looks totally wrong.

So, back to wood. We went to the kitchen design place and talked to the lady who actually does the cabinets. These are two of the samples we came home with... she thinks either one of these would be fine, and she's the designer so I guess she knows what she's talking about. (and she's been doing it a long time.)

The lighter one is alder and has a darker detailing around the edges (the style we would choose does not have that smaller middle rectangle). The darker one is an amazingly close match to our cabinets in color and in style. It is birch.

Our floor is hickory, and though you see mostly light pieces in the picture, there is a lot of color variation.


P.S. Yes, you can see where we took the hardware off, and yes, it has faded that much. That's a wholllle other issue :-)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with your contractor - don't try to match because you will (most likely) miss and that won't look good. The darker is close, but not a match, and that will be more apparent when you have more of it in an island. So, of those two options I like the lighter one.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to say that is is one of those times that I would go with a painted cabinet (and I'm not a painted wood person). Have you considered going with an entirely different color than black or white for the paint on the island?

I'm not sure if you are going with a custom cabinet maker for your island or are trying to go with stock cabinetry, but I would suggest checking in with a custom cabinet maker and that way you would have a wider variety of painted cabinet colors to use. No idea what colors appeal to you, but you really could do any number of different colors.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are using a custom cabinet maker, they have tons of samples in their shop, but I didn't really see anything that appealed to me in the way of a painted look. The kitchen opens up to the sitting room (the island is right in the opening between the two rooms) so I feel like going with a "color" will limit the decor choices for the sitting room. I could go with sage green, that would be perfect right now, but if I or a future homeowner wanted to decorate the sitting room differently, then the sage green would be a limiting factor.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your dilemma is bringing back memories. Our kitchen is open to the rest of the living area, so we actually wanted it to function like a piece of complimentary furniture transitioning into the kitchen rather than the kitchen intruding so far into the LR.

Painted was the only way to go for all sorts of design reasons, similar to your issues. But I feared it would lock us in to a never ending redecorating box.

I finally decided that if I or another home owner hated the color, it can be repainted (professionally) as many people here have done.

Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to agree with everyone....painted. You are seeing only a small sample piece, and an entire island will show any differences in the wood. I can already tell the sample on the right doesn't match. The color looks the same, but the knotting and pattern in the woods are different. As for the one on the left, with your floor thrown in the mix, it's just too much wood. Go back to the showroom, and look at painted options with an open mind. I have an antique linen colored island with a glaze, and it's just gorgeous. My perimeter cabs are a medium/dark stained maple. Glazes can change the entire look of a painted color. Search through GW photos and you'll find some inspiration. Greys, ivories, banana yellows, even navy can be neutrals that enhance a space and coordinate with other rooms and styles. Good luck, let us know what you've chosen!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd do painted... but if not I'd do the one on the left being it will be obvious you weren't trying to match.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Of the two options presented, I said the one on the left - but if not forced to select between those two I totally agree on painted. I love wood, but you will have three different woods in your kitchen and that will be chaotic looking IMO.

As for painted cabs limiting your options with re to decor in the living room, it will limit you no more than your current cabs are limiting you with re to island choice. So, you are limited either way. And cabs can be repainted.

And just to confuse the issue - another option might be to paint your current cabs and then get wood on the island.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, we're back to looking at painted. We went to Home Depot and checked out the KraftMaid since I know our kitchen designer has those. We're looking at Biscotti with Coconut Glaze and Canvas with Cocoa Glaze, and there was one other one. We're going to get some samples and take them to the granite yard to see how they go with our granite. Thanks for the input, everyone!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Trying to use the right would be way too matchy-matchy busy.
The left is just not that attractive -- to me.

You don't have to use just the paint colors offered by the designers. Ask about a custom color you actually like. sometimes it's not that much different in price and you might like it a lot better.

The colors you're mentioning right above TO ME are too blendy. Way too beige. If you're going to paint, have a little adventure and explore something that might compliment both the color in the room to which your kitchen opens and your cabinets. (I won't say kitchen wall color, because I'm betting it's also of the same color family.)

If you're going to insist on such (to me) bland colors with such gorgeous cabinets, consider chocolate brown with a black or darker brown glaze. Give yourself some contrast! Bring out the gorgeous grain in that wood!

If you're going to paint your island, make a statement.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My kitchen makes a statement all on it's own, LOL. The cabinets are loud, the hickory floor is loud... quite frankly I think a bland color island would be a nice place for the eyes to rest.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think both samples look like you are trying to match the existing cabinets. Have you considered using a solid light-colored wood without any darker marks? It would bring out the lighter areas of your existing cabinets and the lighter areas of your hickory floors. . . and not look like you are trying to match the existing cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:54PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Anyone used solid surface backsplash with granite countertops?
I am considering doing full backsplash in Corian (or...
Carol Vesier
Ordered my cabinets in rustic beech
What I am wondering is why all the kitchen magazines...
Sexist or Fun?
Trouble from young feminists over this billboard.
Joseph Corlett, LLC
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
OT - Any Walking Dead Fans..?
Very much looking forward to tonight's episode..:)
Sponsored Products
Triangular Clear Glass Bathroom Shelf
Rectangular Bathroom Sink
MR Direct Sinks and Faucets
Parker House - Palazzo Collectors Curio Cabinet - PAH-GPAL-8000-2
Great Furniture Deal
Jensen Media Chest
Rustica Collection Round Knob
Signature Hardware
Austin Harbor Gray Paint Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
Empire 8-3/8 Inch Stainless Steel Finish Cabinet Bar Pull Handle
eModern Decor
Pedestal Cabinet
$899.99 | Dot & Bo
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™