White Cabinets with cream backsplash - will it work?

jillies01November 24, 2012

Hello! I have been "lurking" on this forum for a while, but am a point I need some input.

Here is a little background: Six years ago, we gutted our oak kitchen, and replaced it with custom painted cabinets, a light green granite and tumbled marble backsplash. The problem is I hated it. The cabinets turned out WAY to yellow (I wanted an oatmeal / creamy white) but instead they are a french country yellow, with a burnt umber glaze. In some lights, they are ok - more cream, but anytime after dusk they are just yellow. The finisher refused to repaint them without me paying the finishing costs, even though they were not the color we discussed. Needless to say - I have lived with them. Two years ago - I convinced my husband to save the expense and mess of refinishing them, and just replace the tile to try to make the kitchen look better. We replaced it with the Walker Zanger Avignon tile, which is creme with a yellow and green pearl border.

Here's the problem. I really like the backsplash but still hate the cabinets! Since my DH will not let me redo the tile or granite again - do you think I could get away with painting the cabinets a warm white without them looking odd against the cream backsplash? I saw on one backsplash thread by slonewby a picture that looks similar to what I am thinking - but at this point I am so unsure of my own decision making that I need some help! this is my last chance to "get it right" since my family thinks I am crazy with this!

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Here's a lesson I learned the hard way about 20 years ago. Never buy anything to match something you hate.

I once ordered a "mauve" countertop (big in the early 90's). When it arrived in large quantity at my home, it was actually PURPLE in natural light. I was so upset. As it was the only purple thing in the room, I decided to get matching purple custom window treatments. In a few years, I replaced both of them! I wasted money on the counter and then even more on the drapes.

I think that just about anything goes with a soft white cabinet. Take it from me, get what you KNOW you like. If you are the least bit unsure, keep looking.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:20PM
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When I first started my project (white kitchen), I thought all of the various shades of white were supposed to match. When I started working with a designer and learning a little on my own, I learned that various shades of white are desirable, as they provide depth and dimension.

That said, some whites can read as yellowish against other whites. My concern would be that your b-splash would "go yellow."

I'd paint a couple of pieces of wood shades of warm white, like Ben Moore's Acadia White and/or whatever others suggest, and live with them up against the b-splash for a week or so.

I think your idea would work, but you have to figure out by actually putting up painted sample boards which shade is going to do the trick.

Good luck!

Madeline :)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:21PM
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A warm white would work and update the over all look.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:44PM
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I think your kitchen is pretty and I do like your backsplash. That being said you are unhappy with it and I think you can lighten the color of your cabinets. I would avoid a stark white and go for a warm white. I do agree with the folks who said that it is fine to have various shades of white/off white together. The key is finding those that are harmonious. I would get some paint samples, paint some boards then leave in your kitchen to examine they look throughout the day and with your current backsplash.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Thank you all for the input. Berardmr - you are exactly right! I should have changed the major point of contention the first time - this is an expensive lesson for me! I think I was just having a hard time swallowing the idea that we spent so much money the first time around, that changing it would make me ungrateful or frivolous.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 9:32AM
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do a mockup as previously suggested - live with it and view in various light - i.e. times of day and weather

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 1:57PM
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I actually love the color of your cabinets and that they are warm and just a little different from the norm. They look very much done on purpose to me.

That said I think a warm white would totally work with your backsplash if you really feel like you want to change them.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:51PM
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I like the cabinets themselves (they look more cappuccino than yellow on my monitor) but the backsplash and paint colors aren't doing them any favors.

I think white cabinets would look great and the backsplash would go with white. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 8:59PM
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the thing I'd do initially is replace the small shades on the fixture with colored shades-anything-green/barn red/gray/black/blue/patterned-the current color is just accentuating the same aspect in the paint of cabs. Replace the valance that's resting ontop of the roman shade with something that coordinates with the shades and more tailored-maybe a check or ticking stripe .....French country would have some color infusion in this kitchen [maybe consider painting the chairs]-then the cabinets will recede in the overall scheme and appear more of a neutral. the next level of change to consider would be new glass doors for the upper cabs-or a couple of them. doing the few easy things would yield results-the space isn't that far from being right for the concept.....there's always more-like molding between soffit and ceiling,etc...not sure too much more is really necessary.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:18PM
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