Stalled on cabinet and paint style/colors--help?

laughablemomentsOctober 5, 2012

Hi all,

Now that I've got the layout for our kitchen, I've stalled out. I can't seem to decide what direction to go for the cabinet style/colors and wall colors.

The kitchen will be in the same room as our wood stove, which is gray soapstone with metallic brown cast iron. The surround is a pinky-beige tile with gray grout, topped with a natural stained mantel. I feel like this corner is going to help determine what direction we go in.

The kitchen is open to the dining room which has 2 very different looking built-ins. One is painted, which can be repainted if necessary, and the other is a light maple color.

Both rooms are fairly dark. The kitchen has a window to the East, to the North (by the woodstove) and a tiny window to the West. The dining room has 2 tall North facing windows.

Here is the dining room. You can see a teeny bit of the living room on the upper right.

I'd like to have good flow of colors between those 3 rooms. The living room is pale in a cottage/shabby chic sort of way, light pinky-tan walls, pale blue-green curtains with pale pink flowers, white painted trim. These colors look great in the living room, but when I tried hanging these curtains in the kitchen area they washed out. They looked colorless, like a child after they have the flu. So, I don't think these pale, watery colors are going to work in the kitchen.

The cabinet line we're looking at is Lily Ann. I've thought about doing off-white uppers and medium wood-toned lowers, with not a lot of dimensional grooves that would collect grime. Are any of their doors a good choice? DH has offered to build cabs, so we can go in that direction if necessary.

My goal is a happy, cheerful, welcoming space, which I'm having a tough time pulling off. Any advice or opinions? Oh, and it needs to be easy to clean and maintain, too. : )

Here are some inspiration items from our home. I'm not sure the yellow is doing us any favors, though.

Here is the Formica I'm thinking of using:

Here is a link that might be useful: Lily Ann Cabinets that we're considering using

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Just out of curiosity, which cabinets are you choosing?
The link when to their home page.

Are you choosing this pink direction?
I mean, I guess, what really speaks to you out of some of those sweet inspiration pictures?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I'm not sure which direction to go. It's more that I think we ought to go with the pink-y beige direction so that the tile doesn't end up looking muddy and dirty against some brighter, clearer colors.

What speaks to me? I wish I knew! I just like these prints, I love the colors, I like the blue and white, I love the greens and pinks together. They make me happy. It would be so much easier for me to say, oh, I can't stand the cold, modern look (respect those that do, it's just not me), than to identify what it is that appeals to me.

Door choices from L.A.:
Charleston Antique White

Over Cherry:


York Antique white: over
Savannah Toffee:

or White Shaker Elite:

over Caramel Shaker

And if you really want to be overwhelmed, I have lots of inspiration here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Birch Cabinet Options

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:09PM
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This is personal taste stuff - I won't be offended if you don't like what I like if you'll offer the same. Your question is basically asking what we individually like.

Please try to post larger pics if you can. If can be very hard to judge from postage stamp size pics of a large room.

I don't think I would paint the cupboards all the same. I would wait until the new cabinets were installed and see if I wanted to change a hue or two. From what I recall from seeing a previous picture, you have an interesting style going on in the colors.

New cabinets may make the other cabinets seem dowdy for a little bit, but that's a small price to pay for being sure about new colors in new proportions.

With the counter, your choice is fine but I'm a little afraid of warm, warm and even more warm. So, just in case, this has sorta the same vibe, but its lighter and more gray.

Big breath, car is started so I can run away really fast.

I'd rip the tile around the woodstove down in a heartbeat. It's a difficult color to work around and the tile starts and stops on the wall in a way that drives my eyes bananas.

I know you're trying for a little fire/wet protection for the wall, but the layout of those tiles and how they intersect the window (plus the overly wide topper) makes a hot mess of lines in that corner. I'm guessing it's the minimum area that needed tile for safety. The existing tile itself is kinda please forgive me commercial bathroom in nature - both color and pattern.

I would retile with something like 6x6's. I'd stick with white or cream and use a somewhat contrasting grout. I might turn some or all on the diagonal. I'd look at old lots and odd lots of tiles and see if I could find english rose colored or patterned tiles to use as specials here and there. I'd do both walls the same way and I'd do the entire wall length or until I got to a good sized obstruction (like the intersecting arch wall).

I'm hoping this is a clear description, but I'd run the hanging rail so the bottom of the rail was the same as height as the bottom line of any uppers on the same wall. And I'd tile everything underneath it and run the tile pattern as the backsplash too.

So, in the pic above, I'd run the hanging rail on the left side of the window until I got to a vertical stop and tile everything underneath it and underneath the window. Possibly, I'd change the style of the hanging rail, so it was a wide, flat board on the wall with decorative shelf supports and an actual shelf over top - maybe could do books, kitchen implements or pottery as well as pictures. If possibly, I'd look at 1940's movies and pick out something like from those. Greer Garson war movies are always good for details.

The other thing I'd get some advice on is whether just to use hooks on the tile (drill through the grout) instead of the mantle treatment. I think your room would look larger and taller without the strong horizontal break. It would let you use old hooks plus old door knobs, old cabinet knobs or other pretties from yard sales or salvage places without needing them to match or be everywhere. And I could just tile the entire wall - Floor to ceiling.

Runs away

Here is a link that might be useful: 3422 Crema Mascarello

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:23PM
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What do you think about the two dining room built-ins? Do you like the mixture of wood and white, or do you think it would look better if they matched?

That might help you with your cabinet choices. If you like to mix it up, than mixing white and wood might work well in your space. If you really would prefer more of a unified look, than I would pick one color for the cabinets. Another option is to paint the island cabinets a different color...but that would probably mean different countertops for those areas, too.

Also, think about the backsplash. Do you have something in mind to go with the formica...or would a faux black granite go better with your backsplash? Or maybe something else?

It's really helpful to make all these decisions you aren't back with an almost finished kitchen and a backsplash that doesn't work with your countertop choices.

Oh, and I thought of you, when I saw this the other day :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

Maybe even a delft tile backsplash? From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:37PM
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I really like this kitchen, too. Not so much the little details, but the mixture of wood and white cabinets, blue range, wood table, tile floor, etc. The white, blue and wood is always a nice combination...and the tile floor really warms up the space, IMHO :) From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:11PM
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lavender lass--I love that kitchen that you posted and the tile picture.

laughable-To be really honest and based on mistakes that I have made trying to work around something that doesn't work in a room, I would recommend changing the tile. I would pick your cabinets and other elements that you are drawn to and then decide on your tile. I love the tile lavender lass posted. I love the idea of white/cream uppers and stained lowers. If I were starting over, that's what I would do. Make sure that you pick a stain that will work well with wall colors that you like. Personally I like a deeper rich stain along the lines of the first picture that you posted. One of my favorite kitchens has creamy uppers and rich cherry stained lowers. The inspiration picture that l.l. posted has some neat ideas. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:29PM
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I've tried resizing the pics to 400 x 400. Not sure what size is best.

I don't know if changing out the tile is a possibility or not. Still working up the courage to delve into that one! We lived with unadorned hardi-backer there for 2 years, so even bathroom tile seems like an improvement. : ) I longed for some inspiration photos when we were trying to lay the tile out, and couldn't find much. Not for wood stove surrounds, anyway. I admit it's a little wonky; we just tried to line everything up with the floor tiles.

I did try to find the Formica you red'd at H. Dep. today, Bmore, but they didn't have it in their display. : (

You've kept me ruminating on this all day. Part of me wants to rip out and start over. And part of me says, "Eh, we'll just live with it." What if we just went with muddier colors, or greens that would play better with the tile?

I love the idea of the delft tiles, Lavender, just not the price. Eeeep! I had no idea they'd be so pricey. I do have some Courier and Ives tiles I picked up a few years ago that we could incorporate (if we redid the tile...) but they are all these lovely winter scenes. Would that be weird?

For backsplash, I was thinking of just doing beadboard. We currently have black counters, and it is not for me! It looks so pretty, but it feels so dark. No way I can do that on the bs. I'm craving something lighter.

That fabric is so cute! Very cheery and feminine. I like it. : )

Where on earth did you find that adorable kitchen?

Bmore, I'm having a hard time picturing the tile you are recommending. Can you point me to a picture? It sounds so nice, but I don't know if I've seen anything like that. Is there somewhere I can just see the old movie kitchens and skip over the movie parts? That would be neat.

It's good to hear another vote for making it right from the beginning. I just hate putting DH through that. But it does make sense, too. Sigh.

Baby's cryin' better go.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Wondering if these colors play better with the tiles. I like the colors in this plate just as much as the other one. It's a whole lot easier to change out the curtains and paint than the tile.

What is up with photobucket? Both pictures are the 640 x 480 size, yet the close-up looks gigantic. Ack!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Maybe just take out the wall tile? It doesn't bother me so much on the floor. It seems like you have the side & back wall clearances for a combustible wall so the tile is not needed there.

It's a great space you have with the arch and I think your old white built-in is a star. The newer overlay storage doors look out of place to me, but I bet the storage itself is killer.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Hi onedogedie, I'm still hemming and hawing on the tile. Leaving the floor tiles alone sounds like less trouble.

If the old white built-in is a star, than, man, that thing is sooo easy to replicate. The toughest part would be finding hardware. We've talked about copying its style for the kitchen cupboards. DH has already built the doors to put down below, but we haven't installed them yet. They look just like the uppers.

Is that the direction we should go, to make our own cabs and mimic the white cupboard?

Here's a close-up of the cupboard, no flash: (Now why is it I notice the little details like the open doors and the "what is that bag doing there??" AFTER I take the picture?)

The overlay storage cupboard might look a bit out of place, but you are right. It holds a ton, and with 9 people in less than 1600 sq. ft, we really value the hard work that it does for us! : )

Glad you like the arch. DH built that when we took the wall out.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:37PM
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I think you have a good idea, incoporating a little pink and green, to pick up the tile. Why change it? It looks fine (at least in the picture) and the right shade of white or the wood will look great with it.

The wood stove is charming and I think it helps set the feeling for the entire room. If it were me, I'd pick a more solid color formica, so you can have more choices with the backsplash and the fabrics.

I'm always amazed at how much delft tile costs, too. If it's something you don't scrape against very often (display shelves rather than over the range) even a peel and stick tile might work well. I'm all for finding inexpensive solutions and saving the budget for something really special.

To me, your wood stove corner (the tile, the wood trim on top, the stove itself) all look a little 'fairy tale' and I think your fabric and plate choices fit right in with that. Have fun with the kitchen and try to think about a more natural look for the countertops. Maybe faux black granite or wood will work better with this look than the brown swirls. Just my two cents :) From Kitchen plans From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Thanks for the encouragement, Lavender. I'd love to be able to let the tile around the stove work for us instead of against us.

I'm resistant to black granite, but the wood that's pretty!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:01PM
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My mom has the Formica that looks like black granite, with a few 'veins' of brown and gold. It's really pretty and looks great with the wood cabinets. There's also a nice Formica that looks like granite or's a link to the Scullery kitchen. I like the way they use wood and Formica countertops in different areas :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Scullery kitchen

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Some Sarah Richardson Tile walls They aren't all wild!

And also this from Houzz - - I think its a nice example of doing a pattern.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:51PM
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laughable--lavender lass does have a point about making the tile work for you. I love the plate you are holding and the white cupboard. You have some really nice cottagey elements that I really like. Soapstone laminate would be really nice too. Lavender lass has a really good eye for these things. Love her pictures!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:14PM
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I think you should mimic the old cupboard style, which I call partial inset but I am very much in the minority! Most of my inspiration pictures are before pictures!

The things I love about that door style are the visual lightness, the simplicity, and the cleanliness. They are humble & utilitarian and perfect for a house like mine. They haven't come back in style yet and if you were selling your house the current buyers would be horrified, but they will come back because, heck, babies are being named Dorothy again! I wonder if they've gone out of style because of their outdated arrangement? Imagine this kitchen magically reordered with a GWer's ideal cabinet layout.

Eclectic Kitchen design

I wouldn't feel like you had to have the exact same hardware on the kitchen cabinets as the dining room built-in depending on how you see the two spaces.

Make sure you like stone-mimicking formica before you commit. We have pre-formed laminate in our MIL kitchen. It's supposed to be limestone, maybe. Over time I came to find it slightly depressing, while the section of old plain almond laminate counter in my kitchen just disappears.

Fabulous job on the arch! I thought it was original.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Lavender, isn't that scullery kitchen amazing? I love her pass-through cupboards. That's the neatest idea. And the great wall of storage is nice too.

I hope you'll pop back over to the "Not bunnies" thread that Oldbat2be started. There are a few more pics there for you to see. : )

We have dark colored counters now: It looks pretty, but I find that it gobbles the light, and it's hard to clean b/c I have to go by feel, not by sight. I'd like to have something that's easy to clean and that bounces lots of light around the room.

sis2two, I think we're probably going to leave the tile for now. DH and I talked about it earlier today, and we think we can make it work. I think I'm going to use the 2nd plate I showed as the color inspiration. I held it up to the cranberry colored wall and it just popped! DH wants to hang it up. Now I need to find one of those plate hangers that I bought and put in a really special spot (that I can't for the life of me find!) Cottagey is good, that's what we're aiming for, so thank you. : )

Thanks for the pictures, Bmore, and the link. Some of those are quite pretty. And one made me dizzy, LOL.

It's funny how what we bring to the table alters our perceptions. So many tiles remind me of my high school days where our school had tile on the walls, or even more so of the girls' locker room that was coated in multi-shade green mini tiles everywhere. So a lot of tiles that are popular these days say "girls locker room!" in my brain. I'll bet the folks that are loving their newly tiled bs's never had that in their locker rooms to spoil their perceptions. (Grin)

Oh, and I really like the little corner cupboard with the curtain. That's darling. Actually, I find that whole kitchen to be rather pleasant. : ) (I wonder if I'd be able to see out the window? I'm kinda short...) Oh and the ctop is different on each side of the sink. Look at that. Is SS a noisy ctop surface? Just wonderin'

"The things I love about that door style are the visual lightness, the simplicity, and the cleanliness. They are humble & utilitarian and perfect for a house like mine." So true! Except for the cleanliness part. That's one of the reasons I'm reluctant to build our own cabinets. I know that we cannot get a high quality factory finish at home. The white painted cupboards in our kitchen are showing a tremendous amount of wear and have been very difficult to wipe down. It seems like all grime sticks like glue, whether fresh or old.

Just the same, I'd love to see that door style come back around again.
I had plain old almond laminate in a kitchen once, and it disappeared just like you said. Actually, we painted the lowers green and the uppers white, so it was very similar to the inspiration picture you posted. It was a cheery kitchen to work in.

Thanks for the complements on the arch. : )

Nap, I need a nap.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:18PM
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laughable-I actually meant the last plate that's sitting against the tile. Love it! It's already a cozy space and has a lot going for it. I love the cottage look and the direction that you are going in. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Well, I've been scouring google images of wood stove tile surrounds. I think I've found their range. They go from sort of ugly to very ugly! Lots of other 12" tiles out there besides ours, many of the potty variety, LOL. I did come across a link of a blogger who painted the builder grade tile surround on her fireplace (looks strikingly similar to the tile on ours...) Now, that might be an option. I am a fairly capable, albeit rusty, painter. I could do some embellishments on the tiles that are there. How's that sound? I'm mentally tossing around painting over the whole backdrop, then jazzing them up, or just doing some decorative details on the tiles that are there. I could pull those details right from the 2nd plate.

Then maybe at some point down the road, when more pressing projects have been tackled (raising the roof on the attic for more bedroom space, siding the house, siding the outbuildings, spending time with our kiddos...) we could redo the surround.

Wouldn't this be lovely? (Artist: Carl Larsson)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tiled Fireplace Makeover

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:47PM
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