Love House of Cards kitchen - would it work in my home? (X-post)

juddgirl2September 28, 2013

X-post from Home Decorating - I'm new to the Kitchen forums although I often visit to look at all the beautiful kitchens!

Is anyone else loving Frank and Claire's kitchen in House of Cards? I just finished the first season and liked the show but fell in love - with their house, especially the kitchen and baths. I keep going back and stopping the show to ogle the rich white cabinetry and millwork, dark walnut floors and details, the beautiful white and black tile, everything! I think it's the combination of dark brown, black, white and cream that makes it most appealing to me.

If you've watched the show, do you think this decor would be considered a "modern traditional" style and do you think the kitchen and bath could work with a "modern rustic/country" look (which is what I have)?

I'm going to be remodeling my master bath soon and also the kitchen if we decide in the next few years that this is our "forever" house. My house already has craftsman style creamy white millwork and walnut stained wood floors but it also has a lot of reclaimed wood, oil rubbed bronze and natural stone (ledge fireplace, travertine bathroom floors, slate kitchen floor), which I love.

My current kitchen has oak cabinets (quality but orangey with cathedral uppers), tan granite, and black appliances, all installed by PO in 2000. For now, we just plan on replacing the failing appliances with stainless steel and I'm considering painting the cabinets a creamy white because I really don't like the current color. Staining them dark won't work because I don't have a lot of natural light in this room and I have a dark floor.

But - if we decide to hold off for a larger remodel in a few years, I'd love to use creamy white cabinets, marble and/or soapstone counters, similar to the House of Cards kitchen. I also like the white cabinets and tile in the bathroom. Could that work with a more rustic home?

Also, I haven't found any sources for the kitchen and I'm not well versed in kitchen design but when I read other posts I see references to different cabinet styles (overlay, inset, etc.). Does anyone know the style of the House of Cards kitchen cabinets and do they look like they have any glaze? (DH wants glaze whether we paint current cabinets or get new ones and I'm not so sure.)

Here are some pics of the kitchen and bath from Netflix and some features I've used in my own home (most were taken a few years ago during constrution so things have changed a bit).

"House of Cards" on Netflix:

Also love this kitchen from S.R. Gambrel:

My stuff:

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Sophie Wheeler

Post a pic of the front of your house, and of some of the rooms in it. The kitchens and baths you are inspired by are formal and traditional, which doesn't sound like your description of your home. However, you can downgrade some of that formality in some ways maybe, if the rest of your house would work with white cabinetry.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:28PM
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I've always thought a dark walnut or mahogany work table would make a great island...especially with a marble top! (The one with the streaks of gray and gold...Calcutta?)

Nice pictures. I've never seen the show, but it's a pretty space. I really like the twin benches, in the other picture :)

Your dining room table and chairs are are the hutches and entry doors. Nice vanity, too!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:34PM
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lavenderlass - thank you, my dining room is my favorite space. I love those twin benches too, as well as the antique trestle table. Not sure about losing an island to have that open space in the middle of the kitchen, but it's a great look. Two tone kitchens with a dark walnut island and white perimeter cabinets are also very appealing - I have lots of those saved in my inspiration photos!

hollysprings - I posted some pictures of different rooms in my house in the original post. I don't have current exterior photos since we remodeled, but it's definitely not formal. It's a one-story ranch with a light tan cat-face stucco finish and dark stained rough beams (not sure of the correct term) trim. You can see the large double doors with the transom and sidelights in the picture of my foyer, and that's the focal point of the front of the house. We did install white trim work throughout the house - tall baseboards, crown, pillars in the great room, window trim, etc., which is simple but I think adds a touch of formality overall.

Below are pics of a guest bathroom we just remodeled. The trim work isn't done yet and I still want to install the subway tile that's in the showers on all of the walls, to just under the double mirrors (and replacing current granite backsplash, which I know might not be current but I was in a hurry to get the bathroom finished!).

The bathroom is a bit different than most of the warmer finishes in the house, but I wanted it to have a clean, "spa" feel. I wish I had gone with white cabinetry here, and may end up painting the vanity.

This post was edited by juddgirl2 on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 11:33

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 7:49PM
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The rest of your house is warm and earthy. I can't see the cabinetry you've posted blending with it. If you want light painted cabinets, I would think about something warmer like your hutch and not so modern and sleek looking, more European influence. Continue the path you've already taken.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 8:40PM
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You have amazing floors! And a nice warm vibe going throughout your house. I don't see a white kitchen in the decor you've got.
This pic is way over the top - It's Wm Ohs, of course it's OTT - but it's closer to the vibe you might consider. The wood countertops, the mix of stained wood and cream cabinetry.

Transitional Kitchen by Denver Kitchen and Bath Fixtures Wm Ohs Inc.
here's another

Traditional Kitchen by Denver Kitchen and Bath Fixtures Wm Ohs Inc.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 11:43PM
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Thanks for your input snookums. Maybe painted cabinets with a raised panel or some detail with a very light glaze would "fit" better with the rest of my house than the kitchens that I posted. I'll look for inspiration kitchens with more of a European influence.

mlweaving - those are beautiful kitchens! I really like the second one and think the lighter cabinets would work better in my kitchen since I have little natural light.

This post was edited by juddgirl2 on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 0:56

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 12:55AM
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where did you get the sconces for you bath? the bathroom is lovely.

It seems the trends these days with white cabs is to pair them with much grey- grey counters, grey walls, etc. I'm personally aspiring to a much warmer overall feel to my house (but still have white cabs). These are some of my favorite inspiration rooms that have white cabs but a warm feel:


Traditional Kitchen by Calabasas Interior Designers & Decorators Jill Wolff Interior Design[/img]


Traditional Kitchen by Portland Interior Designers & Decorators Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.[/img]


Traditional Kitchen by Seattle Architects & Designers Paul Moon Design[/img]

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:10AM
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illinigirl - thanks so much for posting those pictures. The last one is almost the exact layout of my kitchen, down to the placement of the sliding door and door into the dining area. I even have those same barstools and very similar pendants. I think something like this with perhaps a dark stained island, would be very nice.

The bathroom sconces are from Pottery Barn. I was looking for some that were narrow and shallow and ended up buying and returning a few from PB and Restoration Hardware before I found these.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:49AM
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Are the mirrors in your bath Restoration Hardware? Your whole bath is lovely. Maybe live with the stained cabinet for awhile before changing it out.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Thank you, mlweaving. I believe the mirrors are also from Pottery Barn, but if not, then they are Restoration Hardware.

I know the cabinet hardware, train rack, robe hooks, and TP holder are all Restoration Hardware, and the arched hand towel bars are Ginger. They all are very similar in style.

These pics remind me - I still need to talk to DH about adding pulls to the two false drawers. He doesn't see why I would want to when they can't be opened!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I can see why you crave light colored cabinets. You can't see much, but here's the creamy beige that would blend with the more rustic warm surroundings like your house and furnishings.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Well, if those wonderful, dark, wide board floors and fantastic doors are yours in those pictures, it seems to me you're well on your way for the kitchen. IMO, cabinets painted a creamy white that harmonized with your woodwork would be gorgeous against them.

I'm guessing that you want a strong, but not overwhelming contrast of dark against mostly light? Perhaps it's the mostly rich dark browns (with some black) against lots of creamy whites that you love, as opposed to a more common blacks on whites contrast?

I wouldn't get too caught up in trying to copy actual details for specific items such as what finish type or counter material since what you need is what would look and feel like that to you in your conditions. What was used to eventually come across that way after being filmed under camera lights and appearing on your screen is relatively irrelevant.

BTW, being me, I of course had fun looking that house over. The "Underwoods" use their home as a workplace, just like their offices, and to me it was (supposedly) designed to say all the "right" things about them to those they entertain there, without giving anything away about them unnecessarily--as in "knowledge is power". That is to say, it is supposed to be comfortable and come off as a warm and quietly stylish version of an "appropriate" Georgetown look, but actually be completely unrevealing and impersonal. What you might expect of super-focused players who, of course, would have hired a competent decorator to produce this expensive product to their cool-eyed specifications.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 5:00PM
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snookums - I do lean towards the warmer white and the ORB hardware, just like the finishes in your pictures (love those pulls!). That's a great example of white cabinets blending well with the copper and natural wood details.

I just posted on my other post on Home Dec that if I paint my current cabinets I would use SW Antique White, which matches all my trim, and I think that's pretty close to what you've shown. Of course, the style of my cabinets aren't as beautiful as all the ones in these pictures, but it could make a big difference!

Thank you, rosie. Those are my wood floors, although I have slate tile in the kitchen (shown below). I really like that too and it will stay if I paint my current cabinets, but will be replaced if I do a larger-scale remodel. I'm not sure if I would bring the soft pine floors into the kitchen or choose another tile floor.

We've done several improvements - replaced all the electrical, drywall, ceiling, paint, new wood slider and crown/baseboard, and installed the recessed lighting and pendants, but everything else is from the PO. I've since replaced those terribly uncomfortable metal barstools with Pottery Barn wood stools.

We're shopping for a stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator right now and I'd like to switch out all the appliances, because I know having mixed finishes is going to bother me. I also wouldn't want black appliances if I paint the cabinets white.

There's a lot of wasted space on the other side of the room that I would like to expand into with a stand alone island and more cabinetry if we do a larger-scale remodel.

I don't usually post pics of my kitchen but here goes.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:59PM
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It seems to me that you have a mix of too many styles in your house. The trim is more "colonial"/formal/traditional, some of the furnishings are "country", the current cabinets are neither, and the baths (which I really like) seem to go in yet another direction.

I agree that painting the cabinets to match the other trims will go a long way to unify your look.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:24PM
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If you decide to paint your current cabinets, I'd get a color consultant to help you. Your counters and backsplash have a significant pink undertone, and the floor has green and blue and pink undertones. I don't think a white would be the best choice here given those undertones. Something darker, in the light tan range, with just a hint of the pink undertones that your counter has to keep it in the same family would be something to test, or a gray with the barest hint of pink to it. When you add pink on top of pink, the eye cancels it out and you don't see the pink anymore. When you add yellow or green like the cabinets or floor (and a lot of whites) , the yellows and greens look yellower and greener and the pink looks pinker.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:28PM
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raee - you're right, of course. My furnishings and d├ęcor do reflect different styles. Part of it is that I very much like each of the styles you mentioned (except the kitchen, but that was here before we moved in), and some were more of an influence than others at different times when we've been remodeling over several years. It's also the result of blending households with my DH, because my previous house was very country cottage and his was very Western rustic, so I try to incorporate a bit of both styles into our home together.

My favorite choices, the ones that are the most reflective of what I like and what makes me feel comfortable right now, are my dining room table and chairs, painted hutch in the foyer, and stone fireplace. I purposely did something different in the guest bath because I wanted something spa-like and fresh for my daughter, and I like it very much but probably won't be using the polished chrome and cooler paint colors in my master bath.

live wire oak - that's interesting. I never realized my counters had a pink undertone. I think the trim, walls and ceiling in the kitchen, and throughout the house, have a yellow undertone (SW Antique White, Creamy, and Believable Buff). I like those colors and won't be changing them, but I definitely wouldn't want to make my counters look pink and my cabinets look yellow if I paint the cabinets Antique White.

This post was edited by juddgirl2 on Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 21:44

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:40PM
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