suggestions for achieving a warm space with white cabs?

illinigirlOctober 3, 2013

I'm more than a little concerned about the 'putting everything together' part of designing a kitchen (and home). Since we are doing new construction and are going for a very open concept floor plan we need to take into account all of those spaces when considering the kitchen.

I know what I like on and individual level (cabinets, countertops, pendants, etc) but I'm afraid that putting it all together will yield a mish mash of styles that just won't work.

It seems that cool white/gray kitchens are easy to find, and those with warmer kitchens tend to have the stained cabs over white. But I'm sure that there must be a way with white cabinets.....and the thing is I don't want OFF WHITE cabinets.....a little creamy is ok, but not too much.

Can anyone give me some advice on achieving the warm space I so desire? These are the individual pieces I like so far:

white shaker full overlay frameless cabs (not true shaker, they have a quarter round moulding )

leathered or antiqued black countertops such as cambrian black

clean lined faucet like simplice

brushed nickel or similar hardware (was debating orb or black)

these pendants from RH: [img]


warm medium toned wood floors throughout all the spaces (dining/kitchen/great room)

in the adjacent (open to the kitchen) great room there will be a stone fireplace going up the vaulted ceiling, with some rustic touches like beams in ceiling and mantle.

and I know paint comes last but I'm really envisioning a warm yellow tan color like BM Chestertown buff or similar.

I'm afraid the cabinets are too transitional, while the fireplace/beams are too rustic/traditional. Can I tie this theme together or do I need to make some significant design changes in the kitchen style wise?

here is a houzz pic that inspires me:

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

however there are significant differences such as inset cabs here, and dark hardware.


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Just curious--do you have the ability to specify a custom color for the cabinets? If so, you may wish to look at Ben Moore Chantilly Lace. It is just off-white. Reads white, but is not as stark as a true white. This gives you a bit more flexibility with the wall colors, etc as just the little bit of warmth in the cabs will go with more colors and tone down the starkness of a true white. I wanted pure white on my trim but my designer and my cabinet maker both recommended something with a hint of warmth. Used the Chantilly Lace on all the trim and it is perfect. Good luck! Sounds like your kitchen will be beautiful...

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:07PM
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yes! my cabs are custom and I can pick any paint color I would like (using the term paint loosely as it is catalyzed lacquer).

Thanks for the suggestion. I don't want stark white, but I don't want something that reads too yellow-y or grey-y either. Creamy sounds lovely as long as it doesn't seem dingy. If it makes any sense I want "crisp creamy" . Something that reads white but doesn't hurt the eyes. And still goes with warm wall colors.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:23PM
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My cabs are BM Cloud White. It reads white to me, not stark or polar, but soft and creamy. My second choice was BM Simply White, not a lot of difference although people with Simply White (e.g., Breezy) may disagree.

My counters are dark gray. When the cabs and counters were in place and the floor was still covered in that construction cardboard, I was appalled how unwarm and stark it appeared. My golden oak cabs had been painted and suddenly it was all colorless.

Then I removed the floor covering and there was my red oak floor! It completely rescued the space. Red oak is nothing if not warm. I've also added red stools and kettle (small kitchen). It took a little getting used to.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:38PM
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My house is an open floor plan design too. (under construction)
We have rustic beams in the ceiling and another wood treatment in the kitchen ceiling. I did creamy white cabinets with a khaki island with a coffee stain over the khaki. I have darker wood floors too...I have delicatus/alaska white granite with tones of cream/white/khaki. It all ties in together.

My walls/ceiling are SW Wool Skein and my beams will be stained to pull out some tones of the floor.

I think you are fine...

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:48PM
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spotty that sounds so pretty. can you give me any more details on the paint colors of the cabs and island?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Those cabinets are good with so many styles, a little rustic, farmhouse, more modern. They will be fine.

I have pulled a lot of white paint chips and without veering fully into "off-white" territory there is still a lot of variation in warmth and undertone available, yet on the wall or trim you would still look at it and just think, "white"

If I recall correctly, BM Simply White was a very neutral and very pretty white, and far from stark white, which went well with the warmer colors that I have been thinking about. But, it is not a white that some will categorize as creamy -- maybe "crisp creamy" is a good description!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 3:10PM
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I have used Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17 in our own house as well as other projects. Our cabinets are a catalyzed lacquer color matched to White Dove. In my experience it reads as a true white with the stark edge knocked down so to speak, which adds to the warmness you spoke of. Accessorizing and decorating can do a lot to warm a space as well as create a cohesive overall design. Bringing certain textures in to a space can make the space more inviting. The theme you mentioned can work without significant design changes. You are on the right track with your inspiration photos. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your project progress.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 3:10PM
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The kitchen in the inspiration picture looks as if it's lit up for shooting an episode of a TV show. It's just missing the cameras and crew. So, LOTS of warm-lite bulbs, and better choose your paint color with lots of them on. And off.

I'd put books on display. To me, they always warm up a room.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:04PM
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I love this look and am leaning toward this as well in our new build with open floor plan. My favorite looks are white cabinets with marble or some sort of black matte surface. Followed closely by cream cabinets with grey. Due to a thousand different reasons, it seems the best choice is looking like white cabinets with black counters. I am leaning toward BM Simply White as a very neutral white. Not too grey, not too yellow.
I am also thinking about Black or Cambrian Black Leather counters although a quartzite is still in the narrowing realm of possibilities for the island.
I plan on warming things up with wood counter stools, fabric, mixing metals in the finishes (brass, nickel & ORB maybe) and paint.
Love your choices and you seem to be on a great path to a beautiful home!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 8:29PM
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I feel like my kitchen is an arctic landscape. the "decorative' phase with added lighting, fabric, books, accessories isn't done, so I know I've got an incomplete picture.
Still I am not happy when I pass through it to get to the refrigerator, which is still in adjoining sunroom.
I'll follow this with interest.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 9:39PM
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The right backsplash can warm up the coolest of spaces. Have you given any though to adding rich color there? You can do so with beautiful, hand glazed tiles or mosaics. If you want to stick with neutrals you might consider Calacatta Gold or Crema Marfil marble tiles.

I can't help but notice that the inspiration pic has a very different wall color than the one you plan to use. You might want to reconsider the paint color.

BM Chestertown Buff

Below are Farrow and Ball colors that might work better for you. Hound Lemon, Pale Hound.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:35AM
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We have several large wooden cutting boards on our counters and it warms up the stone dramatically (and are very practical as well).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:44AM
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I-N-I!! woot woot! Thanks for the encouragement. White Dove is high on my list to look at for cabinet colors. I am definitely wanting to bring in texture to the space. I love the fabric on the couch in my inspiration room.

Raee- Simply White is another white I've made note of in many of my houzz inspiration rooms. Thanks!

Rosie- notes taken, we are having some built ins on each side of the stone to ceiling fireplace. One side will likely have book shelves, check :)

Ruby- the hardware color is giving me first I was set on black/orb....but I think I will get less tired of a silver color over the long hall. I'm still a bit undecided as to which direction to go in....I like them both.

EAM44- Thankfully my builder has an interior designer on staff to help me make the paint choices....but I will say that I am very familiar with Chestertown Buff as we have it in our current family room and love it. It looks much more yellow and very similar to my inspiration room as compared to the swatch you posted (at least in south facing natural daylight) BUT I am open to other colors perhaps a little more cleaner than CB. We also have Hawthorne Yellow our current kitchen and it's "too" yellow for what I'm after. Unfortunately the inspiration room used a custom color that I'm unlikely to be able to replicate perfectly. Thanks for your suggestions, I will add them to my list and evaluate them fully with the interior decorator!

Thanks so much to everyone, you guys are all so helpful. Decorating/Design is not a natural skill for me.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:44AM
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just an fyi for anyone interested: I went back to my idea books and I have a note under my inspiration photo that the paint is Concorde Ivory with 30% white custom blended. I must have found that somewhere in the comments section under one of the photos of that space.

Love that color!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:43AM
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My cabinets are Conestoga Crystal White (some custom companies use their doors). Google Conestoga to see the color. My island is Sandstone with a coffee glaze. Also on that website. I can post some pics too.

My walls are SW Wool Skein.

In this photo, you can see my cabs and my granite (Alaska White, but looks more like Delicatus)
Let me find one of the island closeup.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:02PM
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This one is a little blurry...but you can see my dark floors peeking out from under the paper....


    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Upclose of sandstone island cabs with coffee stain.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:13PM
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I am ordering from Conestoga next week. What is the door style on your island? I love the color and the detail of the door. So Pretty!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Eam44 - Can you tell me about the colors you've suggested? Have you ever used either? I'm looking for paint for my kitchen (going nuts), and I'm trying to match it up to the LR next to it. The LR is creamy yellow, sort of like the Hound Lemon. What color would you say Pale Hound is? Thanks for this OT question. Any help is appreciated.

illinigirl - I think your inspiration pic is great, and you're on your way. Keep us posted on how it's coming.

Spotty - we actually have a cat named Spotty :)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Lake girl- we have a cat named spotty too and I guess I am a lake girl too - building on a lake! Our spotty is black and white...yours?

AR Kiki - thx! Rockford on island. Maple sandstone with coffee glaze.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 4:05PM
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We are so highjacking :7/ My Spotty is solid white (he had spots on his head when he was a kitten).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 5:22PM
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SUM5463, I am in the process of a redo and am considering Chantilly Lace for my cabinets and trim, can you post a picture? I am doing a grey ceasarstone pebble countertop and white glossy stacked glass tile, not opaque, with no upper cabinets and a medium to dark color hardwood. Do you think this will work good with chantilly lace cabinets and trim?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:23PM
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