frustrated with how the kitchen is turning out and oak bashing
This is really two concerns. Re oak. I have the "hated" cathedral golden oak cabinets and I put them up in 1993 myself. I liked the warmth of them and the fact they were solid wood. We started out here as a partial remodel-knocking down a wall between our small kitchen and dining room so we could add a peninsula, open it up and have room for more than one cook at a time in the kitchen. I had almost no counter space and bending over to bake etc on the kitchen table was hard on my back. I wasn't planning a dream kitchen just trying to do some low cost remodeling for function. We're doing it ourselves and money is a concern.
I would have really really liked to have removed the soffits and put in shaker style cabinets to the ceiling. Long story short we ended up with my DH refinishing the existing cabinets to save money and because he really still likes them. I could not convince him we could use different wood for the peninsula. Before this site I'd never thought that grain was a problem for so many. I kept asking why the need to bash oak? At first I wondered if it was generational-reminded people of their parent's kitchens. It can just be so vehement. I never hear it about maple or cherry or ash or pine. It's an interesting current cultural phenomena at least on decorating sites.
My kitchen is turning out to a not really working whole but I'm feeling too sensitive to post pictures for help! I know this is my problem-and its kind of funny that I've becme so sensitive about my kitchen! People on this site are so generous with advice and good ideas.I've been helped many times and really appreciate it. I love the wealth of ideas here and how it is expanding the way I look at design. But there are also responses that surprise me.
My problem in the kitchen is that things do not go together and I do not have the gift of pulling it all together. I wanted both sparkle and warmth. Its really the problem someone previously posted of liking and putting in different things without the vision of the whole.So I'm going off now to make some pea soup and corn bread and hopefully I'll develop the courage to post some pictures and get your needed expertice.