Need Inspiration - Keeping medium wood cabinets

Amy-BeeSeptember 28, 2012


We're planning a kitchen update with a new counter, stainless steel appliances and a backsplash. We want to keep the existing floor tile and cabinets, however; I'm having a hard time finding inspiration pictures that don't have dark wood or light painted cabinets. Are my cabinets too passe to live?

I'm looking for opinions and inspiration pictures on a countertop and backsplash to go with what we've got. We were thinking cream subway tiles and a light counter in granite but my sister thinks it would be too bland. Help please! The floor tile is pretty much the same color as the counter in 12x12 ceramic and I've since replaced the knobs with a dark brushed steel (same shape). I'm not bound to the wall color either.

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Here's a picture with the floor tile showing.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Are you keeping your appliances? You could do a counter that is mostly white. Have a fabricator make sure your cabinets can support the weight.

Contemporary Bathroom design by Toronto Photographer Brandon Barr�

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I'd keep the cabs-are they natural oak? Not fond of the wall color-can always paint later. Counters-I see a blackish with flecks/particles. After new hardware and stainless elements-decide on backsplash-I'd skip the 4 inch strip running across the back of counter area-when you get to the backsplash run it down to counter.The floor is okay-it's neutral-I'd be throwing down area rugs[not a tile fan]Can the fixture over the table be lowered-it's nice but sits a little high right now.The cabinets are missing molding at top and across bottom. The addition of molding and probably under cab lighting commits you to the cabs-just figure out if you're ok with the cabs for some time,before
trimming out some more. You could keep the base cabs and change the pantry/uppers. Reface carcasses...change the upper doors[paint or brand new doors?]... some glass doors?lots of tweaks can be done to uppers....biggest upgrade would be a couple glass all depends on your budget and time available for these tasks, and long term plans.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:40AM
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No offense to your sister, but I think your plan sounds lovely. A nice, neutral kitchen will let you add display/accessories to go with any season or holiday that you wish. I even like the wall color, at least on my monitor :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The kitchen needs dark counters to ground it. Black or a very dark green or grey. Uba Tuba granite is the first thing that comes to mind as it's pretty, usually inexpensive, and works great with oak. It will even work later if you get a notion to paint those cabinets white. Then do some black iron knobs and a couple of mini pendants above the island. I wouldn't do white tile as a backsplash. It's too stark with the wood, and yet the wood isn't dark enough to pull off the dark/white modern vibe. Think about something in a mossy green.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:57AM
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    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 11:58AM
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I like Marti's picture...the light countertop keeps the room airy. Rather like marble countertops in a white kitchen, instead of soapstone or black granite.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:20PM
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I was thinking dark counters, too. I love prospect711's kitchen. Those colors would work for your kitchen, too.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 12:39PM
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I really like prospect711's photo. It's so much easier when you have a picture to work with.
I like the wall color as well. The yellow was fine 8 years ago but I'm in the mood for something richer and less country looking.
We've got a new table since then in a darker wood with no white paint. I'd lower the light but my husband is tall and tends to hit his head when he stands up.
Your input is fantastic. My sister is an architect and interior designer with a very modern aesthetic. I appreciate her input but I just want to make sure whatever we go with can be lived with for a long time.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:05PM
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We have light wood cabinets with soapstone counters (thanks, GW) and a light green backsplash. Our floors are longleaf pine, so sort of orange-ish (they are original to the house). The pic is not great but it's the best I've got right now. From Finished Kitchen

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Are you sure about SS appliances?

Are your old ones not working properly?

I know it may be "none of my business" but white appliances may be more "in" than SS. Full disclosure: I have SS but I wanted them before anyone else did, LOL, and I am sort of tired of them.

There have been a thread or two about color trends here.

I am not a KD but I know some KDs working for "higher-end" clients who are now putting colored appliances in their client's houses.

Your appliances may be outdated "functionally" (like in induction vs. ceramic cooktop) and you want new ones but you don't *have* to do all SS, kwim?

You can keep them white or mix. Just saying...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Austin- Those are soapstone? Very pretty! Do you have any pictures that show the top of the countertops? :)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:13PM
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and sw_in_austin, where did you get your backsplash tiles? (Sorry for the threadjack!)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:31PM
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I like white appliances in some designs, but I like SS or black or some other actual color with medium-toned wood. I just think it looks more elegant. Try to picture prospect's kitchen with white appliances. I think the effect would be jarring. I like medium-dark counters, with a mellow medium toned BS (as someone has said, white would be too stark), with your medium wood and medium floors. Then medium toned SS appliances work. Just my taste, I'm not a design guru by any means. What seems quiet and elegant to me certainly could seem boring to many others.

Of course, ceran cooktops, whether induction or radiant, are usually black, as are the windows of many ovens, so even with SS appliances,you'll have black in the design.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Lavender --

These are the best I have that actually show the counter. The soapstone is Beleza, which is naturally very dark (we've never oiled) and hard. It has some movement and some greenish places that show up mostly in direct sun. These pictures were taken shortly after installation and I'd say the counters are a bit darker now, especially around the stove.

The shelf on top of the pony wall is steel, by the way. From Finished Kitchen From Finished Kitchen

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Angie --

My apologies also is we're highjacking.

The backsplash tiles are both from Sonoma Tilemakers. The field tile is the Star line, color Trellis Green, while the inset smaller tiles are the Tantrum line in Tazo. The small tile is an excellent match for the green inclusions in the soapstone!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sonoma Tilemakers

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 5:22PM
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