Vintage-look kitchen with unpainted wood? -help!
We are hoping to soon replace the circa 1980 pickled oak cabinets in our kitchen, which is a small, L shaped room that opens into a larger dining area. While I love white cabinets, every KD I've spoken to advises against them, due to our busy house with 5 kids still at home and the wear and tear they'll get. More importantly, my husband really wants wood in the kitchen.
My requirements to work around: my small kitchen is a workhorse, as multiple food issues require I cook most everything from scratch, so it must be durable. While our house is a 50's split-level, we have a lot of old/antique furnishings, and would love to incorporate my collection of Jadeite and old pyrex in colors like turquoise and yellow. In the adjoining dining area, which is feet from the last of the kitchen cabinets, I have a 70" antique quartersawn oak buffet - probably from an old country store - that I'm going to have a matching glass top made for by a custom carpenter. My cabinets, however, will be stock, either Candlelight, if we can afford, or Legacy, if we cannot. While I'm not going to try to match the buffet, I'd like whatever wood we choose for the kitchen to compliment it. Cherry, for instance, would be too busy IMO. That room also houses a huge table with a stained alder top and black enameled legs, and Hitchcock chairs.
So, my question for the amazingly creative people on this forum (I've read your posts, I know you are!), is what type of wood - and countertop - might you choose? I'll be most likely going with a simple shaker door, with cup pulls, either brushed nickel or black, depending on the wood and countertop. One other note - the kitchen is in the center of the house, and while the dining addition is bright and has natural light, the actual kitchen has little, so while I love darker countertops, I don't know that I can get away with them.
Thank you for any input you can give.