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Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Posted by jugo (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 4, 10 at 22:39

So were 4 months into our remodel (total kitchen redo, full bath into powder room and pantry, new staircase to basement, and finishing basement with 3 new rooms and a bathroom), finally coming down the home stretch. We have to move back in from our rental place in 6 days. We were excited as the end of last week approached, because word on the street was that our cabinets would start arriving Friday. They were made by a local custom shopwell-regarded, used by our architect several times in the past. We chose sapele cabinets, with a clear finish, based on a sample that we have been toting around like a talisman over these last 9 months or so, using it as the basis for selection of all of the other finishes for the kitchen. This decision on the cabinets was the easiest of the entire design processwithin 2 minutes of being in the showroom my SO and I both gravitated to the sample sapele door, which was nearly identical to the wood sample we then took home. It was also very similar to another project I got to see that my architect had done with the same cabinetmaker, using the same wood species. We thought it would be a great complement to the brown mahogany trim throughout the rest of the house (much of it original from the 1920s).

I stopped by the house Friday evening to see if they had arrived, and sure enough, our kitchen, living room and dining room are now overflowing with kitchen cabinets. And theyre beautiful. But theyre not all that close in color to the sample we have. Instead of the fairly deep brown with lighter highlights that we see in our sample, theyre much lighter and more red/orange in color.

Sample vs Cab 2

Sample vs Cab 1

Sample vs Cab 3

The cabs are beautiful. But not the color we were expecting. I tried not to overreactgot the sample to compare, went to exercise, came back, left again to meet up with SO, came back together But consistently came up with the same gut reactiondisappointment that it wasnt what we thought we were getting. Even now, after 2 days, I just looked at them again, and same reaction. Beautiful, but not what we were expecting.

We spoke to the architect Friday afternoon who came over to look at themand he agreed: Definitely different. We called our cabinetmaker, but it was by this point after hours on Friday evening, and they were long gone. Our architect has sent an email requesting an ASAP meeting, but we havent heard back yet (it is, after all, still the weekend as Im writing).

So, some questions for you all:

1. We knew there would be some variation in coloration with natural wood, but is this much variation reasonable? Should the cabinetmaker have gotten some sort of approval from us after receiving the wood? (It didnt even occur to us or our architect that this could be necessary)
2. Is the sapele likely to darken with time?
3. Do you think staining might be an option?

Obviously, we need to communicate with the cabinetmaker, which will presumably (hopefully) happen tomorrow. However, given time constraints and what I imagine will be the cabinetmakers positionthat natural wood coloration will varyI also have a hard time imagining that were ultimately going to send these cabinets back to start from scratch. (we are talking about a lot of cabinetsits a roughly 13x 25 kitchen with cabs along at least 2/3 of the perimeter, a narrow 12 long island down the middle that will be half cabs and half table top, and a separate pantry with cabs). If this is the case, and we end up with our current cabs with their current finish, I should also say that we feel like the granite we have picked (satin Sea Foam Green) doesnt look as good with the actual cabinets as it does with the sample. Still OK, but not great. So while we had the time to do so, we headed back to our old stomping grounds on Saturdaythe local stone yards-- and looked again at some other options on our short list. We think we like Brazilian Dream (a.k.a. "Van Gogh" at one of the competitor stone yards) better with the current iteration of the cabs, and reserved some slabs, just in case. Here are some pics, with one of the actual drawer fronts:

sea foam green
Cab with sea foam green

cab with sea foam green 2

Brazilian dream
cab with brazilian dream 1

cab with brazilian dream 2

4. Are there any votes for one stone over the other? Theyre obviously very differentSea Foam Green being much more understated (especially in the satin, or "rainwash" finish) then the fairly emphatic Brazilian Dreambut were thinking that the Brazilian Dream works better with coloration of the cabs. And I do love the movement of the BD, too.

Thanks in advance for any input


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Does this wood darken over time?


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

So disappointing when you don't get what you expect - hope you get that resolved to your satisfaction.

Very different granites - but I too love the movement and coloring in the Brazilian Dream. So gorgeous!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I am not crazy about either choice. Between the two, however, I do prefer the Brazilian Dream.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

What kind of wood is it and is it stained or natural? If it's natural it may well darken over time - cherry certainly does. If it's stained it may be possible to stain it darker.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I bet that the cabinet maker will tell you - and your architect should have known this! - that sapele darkens over time.

This is true with Cherry also as weissman points out, as well as with other woods. Actually all woods change with exposure to light but Sapele, like Cherry, Mahogany etc. darkens quite substantially for several months after finishing. See this post on the Wood worker's website about this.

Don't worry. Many people here getting Cherry have reported exactly the same alarm that you're feeling and to a person they've had to be reminded that the amount of darkening is not insubstantial. I bet you your cabinets will look like your sample in a years time.

In the meantime, Gorgeous!. Who cares what countertop you put over that amazing cabinetry! Actually I liked granite picture number 2 (the one wiht the sample piece being held up next to it).


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Your cabinets are STUNNING. And even though I like the seafoam, the second one is gorgeous.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

The cabinets are beautiful and think the Brazilian looks best with them. Your kitchen is going to look gorgeous...very energetic and warm in colors. :-)


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Weissman-- natural. No stain. Just a clear varnish over the wood.

Mindstorm-- Thanks. I'm hoping that darkening over time is the easy answer.

And just to clarify, the wood shown in all of the granite pics above is from the actual delivered cabinetry. The first one with the small somewhat blurry sea foam green sample is in front of a bigger drawer, taken at the house. The other 3 pics are all at the stone warehouse, with a small drawer taken from the cache of cabinets at the house (i.e. not the darker sample).

As for the question not asked, but likely thought: Why such different granites in the final 2? It's because they were two of the few that the SO and I could agree on!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Love the coloring and movement of the Brazilian Dream. Your kitchen will look amazing.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I don't like the color of the cab in the first pic - in the house. too reddish. but could it be the lighting? the flash?
because the pieces in the other pics look different - and they look ok.

I like the granite you have as Brazilian Dream - I would with the purple in it!

but, it isn't what I know as 'Van Gogh' granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: van gogh


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Mirage site says that Sapele does darken over time when exposed to light. I love the way the cabinets look now but I also love your wood sample so when they darken up they will look even richer and still beautiful. I love all your choices especially the movement of the Brazilian Dream. I can't wait to see your finished kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirage site says that Sapele does darken over time when exposed to light


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

The beauty of wood is that the grain and color are natural so slight variations are expected and celebrated.

Staining sapele to match a sample would be sacrilegious in my book :)
It will darken over time and you will enjoy the changing colors. it is organic.
BTW, the cabinets are gorgeous and I actually like the cabinets as they are more than the sample (sorry)!

Brazilian dream, hands down. I like dramatic stones.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Normally, I am the first to jump up and down over a dramatic stone like Brazilian Dream. But in this case, your cabinets already have a lot of drama to them with all the stripes. I am really afraid if you get a dramatic granite, you may have way too much going on visually. As far as cabinet color goes....I like the dark one you originally selected much better than the orangy one you ended up with. I sure hope they can make this right for you.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

The cabinets look nice. I remember that I wasn't happy with my cabinets when they arrived although they were white. Things seem to work out in the end. I like the color very much. As far as slabs I like the last two options best.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

What ccombs said plus the cabinets will darken over time.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

MMmmmm. I like. I'm probably the only reader who really prefers the orangey tone of the new wood (my house is all in douglas fir), but I've also googled around and found sources that say sapele wood darkens over time like cherry. So I'm betting that in a year they will match your sample.

To give you a better idea of the time frame, find out from your carpenter exactly how old the sample piece was. You could hasten the experiment by taking an extra scrap piece from the new cabinetry and setting it out in the bright sun for a day or two. (I did this with new cherry doors to match my older cherry cabs, and it's a dramatic change -- you can even darken them too much in the sun.)

I much prefer the first granite (seafoam), but I'm not a granite person. I agree that the drama of the wood deserves a subtle backdrop, and the dark green sets it off so very nicely. The orange in that busy granite might also bring out the orange tones in the wood too much? Whereas the green will enhance both lighter and darker versions of the sapele.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mindstorm's link again


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Your cabs are ridiculously gorgeous. Give it time and ENJOY!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

The cabinets are beautiful and they will definitely darken. The Brazilian Dream is gorgeous. Remember you are looking at it now as giant slabs and holding the wood and slabs on the same plane in full light. When the cabs are in and are vertical relative to smaller pieces of the granite, which is in a horizontal plane, it will all look much more mellow.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I hope you are able to resolve the cabinet issue to your ultimate satisfaction. I would choose the BD granite if it were my kitchen. :o)


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I can totally relate to that disappointing feeling when something you had custom done doesn't match what you were planning on. My bathroom tile was that way. Unfortunately it'll always be that way, and I had to adjust the rest of my palette to the new color. In your case, I do think the Sapele will darken. Our bathroom vanity (African Mahogany) already has. Our cherry kitchen cabinets DEFINITELY have darkened.

I'll have to be in the monority about the granite. I think that the Brazilian Dream really competes too much with the Sapele. It would be just way too busy for me. Although I understand some people like just tons of movement everywhere in their materials, I prefer some place a little calmer for the eye to rest. I'd choose a more understated stone.

If your cabs had the grain all running in the same direction, the very swirly granite MIGHT work.... but given they're shaker style with perpendicular grain directions, I think I'd choose something calmer.

The second photo of the big green slab looks very nice, but the first, with the little sample, looks a lot different. Not sure why? I do like the idea of green to compliment the red sapele, though.

I'm sure it's going to be stunning, whatever you choose :)


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I have some older millwork(45 year old open tread stairs) that appears to be sapele that was sanded to bare wood and the new work that was added needed to be stained quite a bit to blend with it--it has the potential to darken a far amount.

Have you considered using a quartz countertop, with a feature area of the Brazilian Dream? The woodgrain and the granite are both really nice, but the effect of the movement of the woodgrain and the movement of the granite may be a bit much. Something monolithic to allow the woodgrain to stand out may be nice, particularly on the perimeter.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I feel for you! I had a freak out about my white cabinets a couple of days ago, and now I think I'm at peace. While the color of my cabinets will never change, it is possible that your cabinets will darken over time to match your sample. We had cherry cabinets and cherry floors in our last house, and both darkened substantially over time. In fact, our floors left a big light square spot where the rugs had covered the floors. So, we could see how much darker they got. May be your sample is what your cabinets will look like over time. Good luck!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I agree with circuspeanut.

Beautiful wood!!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Ah yes, I recognize that wood immediately. Your cabinets are gorgeous!!!

We had our bathroom vanity done in African Sapele a year and a half ago. I can tell you that yes it has darkend a little bit and there is NO direct sunlight. However, that said there is a richness that develops which I can't explain. All of those granites, except the Sea Foam, are going to "compete" with the sapele. So IMHO I would stay with something simple and plain because your cabinets are going to be the "jewelry" in your kitchen. The wood is unique and gorgeous.

(Put another way, there are alot of lines in the wood grain showing. THat's the nature of african sapele. If you add a granite with alot of "movement" or wavy lines, it will be overload. With sapele you need to stay simple and clean looking so as not to distract from the beauty of the wood.)

When we get around to redoing our kitchen, we will use sapele. There is a special "sparkle" to this wood I've never seen anywhere else.

They are beautiful! Enjoy them :)


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I love the granite with a lot of movement, however, with all the visible wood grain showing in your cabinets, I think it may look too busy? I would pick a granite with less movement, and let the cabinets be the "highlight" of the kitchen! Good Luck!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I agree with those who think your spectacular cabinets should be the "star" and the counters the "audience". Can't wait to see your finished kitchen!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I'd worry about choosing a granite that "matches" your cabinets right now given that the cabinets will darken over time. I'd prefer a contrast (and a counter that isn't so busy that the cabinets compete with it). So I definitely would not go with the granite pictured last - it matches completely color-wise, but if the cabinets change....


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I think your wood is lovely. Hope you will get confirmation that it will darken over time. In regard to the two granite samples: I am more drawn to the first one, but both are beautiful. The first one is more subdued and will compete less with the beautiful cabinetry. The second is more "WOW." Overall what mood are you going for? Which would you prefer to highlight? Cabinetry or Granite? How will each look against other planned elements in your kitchen? If your kitchen is open concept how will it effect adjacent spaces?


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I have a very subdued granite, and I don't normally like a very swirly or flashy granite, BUT...that Brazilian Dream is out of this world. I don't think it will compete at all. It's gorgeous. Either way, your cabinets will be beautiful. Good luck!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I like the Brazilian Dream. It does have a lot of pattern, but unless you're planning use it for a backsplash, too, the granite and the cabinets will be in different planes and "competition" will be less noticeable. What is nice about the Brazilian Dream is that it goes well with the cabinets now and will also go well with them as they darken.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

We have Sepele wood floors in our living room, dining room and hallways. They began to darken within days of being down. In fact we have to change the area rugs periodically so that the floors will darken evenly. There was a huge difference in the floor color after the first week of their being down. They have now been down for several years and are a beautiful brown color with multiple shades from light to dark. You will love your cabinets and they will become more beautiful with time.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I am not usually into wild movement in granites, but because I don't see the Brazilian Dream as wild or busy at all, but sweeping and graceful. I don't think it competes with the cabinets at all, and will be a elegant and breathtaking topper to the already beautiful cabinets. We had cherry cabs in our last house and most of the darkening happened in the first several weeks, with more over time. I'm betting you'll love the cabinets and the changes as they happen. I am surprised no one discussed this with you when you chose that wood...but you're going to have a gorgeous kitchen!!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

This happened to us with mahogany cabinets: the sample that everything was based on was a deep color. The actual wood was very light colored and we were unsure if it was really mahogany. MongoCt gave us a formula- I think it was sodium dichromate. My cabinet maker donned a protective suit and mask to apply it. He then had to sand every surface as it raised the grain. It ages it instantly. We actually paid him a lot extra to do this.

We should have only done this on a sample of the wood for proof that the wood was genuine. It was an unnecessary step to do on all that wood. It would age all on its own rather rapidly. Your's will age also, as everyone is suggesting. I think the counters should be very simple because you have vertical as well as horizontal lines in your cabinets. They will be so much nicer without a stain.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

IMO I can't see how the orange color wood is going to change into a walnut color wood. I can see it getting daarker within it's own color range.
It doesn't seem fair for you to keep cabinets that you didn't order. I wonder if you can do some more research. Maybe this color will turn into your sample color.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I like what came in better than your sample. Much warmer, prettier and livelier. I think the Brazilian granite has to much movement and conflicts with the pronounced grain of your cabinets. They fight each other for attention. I would go with a finer, tighter grained, more uniform granite and let the grain in your cabinets be the star.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I just looked up Sapelle and found a website with some photos. I have the idea now that some is more orange than others. I am not sure that your's will turn brown. I also like the warm color in your cabinets and it would seem that green granites will work with that.

Here is a link that might be useful: sapelle photographs


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I agree with the minority here - the Brazilian Dream is gorgeous, but it's too much movement with the cabinets. Usually you want the granite to be the star - here it's going to be the cabinets, and the granite should set them off without competing with them. I like the Sea Foam Green, but I'd also keep looking.

The cabinets are gorgeous, btw. Stunning. How exciting to be able to watch them darken day by day to a richer, deeper color - be sure to take lots of pictures along the way! (Put something white in each photo so you can tell the color difference over time...)

However the color turns out, they're gorgeous. :-)


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I think the wood looks beautiful. I don't like too many competing ideas in one space. I would pick a very dark granite and let the wood grain shine. I think every room needs a touch of black (or very dark) to ground the room. I think the busy granites go better with solid colored cabinets. I'm sure it will all look beautiful no matter what you do.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Update:

The cabinetmaker went by the house, checked out the cabinet and our sample, and had this to say:

"I just returned from checking on the cabinets this morning and found the sample.... It is the same as the one that we were using, which I left with your sample, so all seems right. Sapele is one of those (few) woods that will get darker as it ages. (Most woods just yellow as they age.) Sapele also turns browner as it get darker. The dates are on both samples indicate they are about a year old. Your cabinets will start to change very quickly and will age to look similar to the samples."

So I guess we are reassured at this point. For those of you who like the lighter, current colors, it sounds like we'll have those for a bit. For those of you who like the darker colors (like me), hopefully we'll end up there at some point before too long. Thanks for all of the input! I will post some more pics soon (a couple of the cabinets were installed today!)

As for granite: Jury's still out. We were pretty sold on sea foam green, but I think the tide has turned, to use an oceanic metaphor. We haven't made our minds up definitively yet, though. I hear what many of you are saying about keeping it (the countertops) simple, maybe dark, but we had decided we didn't want the room too dark, especially with dark(ish) cabinets. I dunno--we'll see what we come up with in the next couple of days.

Again, many, many thanks for all of the info, suggestions, etc. Stay tuned...


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

That much variation is to be expected.

I like the top-most of the large pictures ... the brazilian dream will bring out the orangy tones you are objecting to in the wood.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

When my Brazilian Cherry Floor 5" planks first arrived, I was upset since they were lighter and more brown than I had in mind. They have since deepened and darkened up looking richer and more beautiful.

I love your sapele cabinets and I know you will love them also and they will darken up in no time to be the color that you chose with that amazing beautiful grain.

Let us know which granite you choose. I also like the sea foam green granite counters as well as the Brazilian dream granite counters.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Now that you know that the wood will darken, I suggest that you go with your original seafoam green countertop. When you made your choices originally, you obviously chose very well! You and your SO loved it then, and you will love it again!!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Couple more pics. Cabinets are starting to go in...

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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

The cabinets going in are stunning already and will get richer and even more beautiful with time. What hardware are you using on the cabinets or are you going to leave them without hardware? I can't wait to see which granite you chose. Please post pictures of your finished kitchen when it is completed and then in a few months so we can see the before and after on the cabinet color.

Where did you find Sapele cabinets? I just love them so much.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I have to echo lynn2006 -- stunning! That is the only word I can think of for your beautiful cabinets. Your cabinets are beautiful now, and it sounds from your recent post that they will only grow richer and more beautiful with time. We can't wait to see your new kitchen.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

You made selections based on a sample that had time to darken ... stick to them, because if you match to the fresh wood you will be chasing the color change.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Again, thanks, all.

Lynn2006- We're thinking of Rocky Mountain Hardware's single twist pulls, likely in their Silicon Bronze Rust or Silicon Bronze medium patina. The sapele was just one of the options on display at our cabinetmaker's shop. As I mentioned above, the SO and I immediately gravitated to it, and our tastes are not frequently on the same page like that. There has not been a single other major decision in this whole process that was as easy for us to make...


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I don't think I've ever seen cabinets like that. love, Love, LOVE them!!!! And I really think they want a quiet granite, or maybe even a light quartz??


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

I am always one that would go for "plain & simple"! Your cab wood is stunning and normally I would say go simple but I have to say the BD stone is out of this world beautiful. I would wait till cabs are in -- then lay the stone down and hold up the aged piece of saple. The grain does not look as busy as the wood darkens. Keep posting your kitchen is going to be beautiful and different!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Jugo, the Rocky Mountain Hardware's single twist pulls sounds like they will be perfect for the cabinets. I can't wait to see pictures! You are going to love your kitchen and like my Brazilian Cherry floors, your Sapele cabinets will get richer and more beautiful as time passes. I can't wait to see your final granite choice and backsplash installed.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Jugo, Just checked the catalog - Rocky Mountain Hardware single twist will look great!!! Can't wait to see the finished product!


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Please post pictures again so we can see how much the color has changed. This is very interesting to me. I have natural wood furniture that has darkened over the years, but I have never heard of a wood changing to such a different color.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Update:

The cabinet install continues.

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I followed eandhl's advice, and laid out the stone samples on the cabs, with the "aged", darker wood samples on hand as well. Getting a good sample of the Brazilian dream was actually no mean feat, since the samples I've gotten previously were all merely chipped off corners of slabs, and were not even close to representative of the slab as a whole. A call to our fabricator to see if they had a remnant laying around led them to call the stone yard where we had reserved our slabs-- voila, we had a 2'x 2' sample that we could borrow.

That said, the sample still wasn't 100% similar to our slabs-- ours had more white and red veining in it, but the orange/brown minor veining was comparable. It was really helpful for me to see the bigger sample with the cabinets. And the verdict: It looked great with both the current wood and the older samples, but I think I agree with those of you who suggested it would be a bit much. All the movement definitely becomes the star attraction (and perhaps would do so even more with our slab, with more strident coloring and veining), to the detriment of the cabinets. I'm not sure these pics really give that sense, but here they are anyway, with a seafoam green sample pic also.

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We love the Brazilian dream--great colors, movement, and there's a slight iridescent depth to it in a lot of places (unfortunately, you can't see this in the pics). The veining feels very marble-y to me, which I really like (the SO had nixed the idea of marble early on). The seafoam green just feels a bit more grounding to us. And we like the satin finish better (or rainwash--can't remember now, nor am I certain they're different...).

So, barring a change of heart when we come back tomorrow to start our move back from our temporary digs (landlords came back from overseas, and our project is, as we could have expected, running a bit long), I think we will be going with the seafoam green.

Couple of other tidbits I learned today:

1. Brazilian dream also goes by the name Nacarado. You can find a lot more from the Google using the latter than you can with the former. I stopped by another stone yard while on my quest for the mother of all samples-- this was the place that had previously labeled this stone "Van Gogh." This had confused me, since the web seems to associate "Van Gogh" with a stone that also goes by "Luisa blue" or something like that--totally different (though spectacular, in a bright blue, very colorful kind of way). Nacarado/Brazilian dream is apparently a quartzite, not a granite. One of the websites I saw, from a stone peddler called ARC, says this:

"Nacarado is a smooth creamy amber colored quartzite, with delicate fine brownish gold veining.

Some lots of Nacarado extracted from the top portions of the quarry may present heavy rust color resulting from infiltration of iron oxide. ARC opts to stock only the cleanest Nacarado available on the market, which is quarried deep in the bedrock, with minimum rust coloring."

And indeed, the pic of their slab is a fairly uniform "creamy amber," without any of the red, white, orange/brown, which is actually what drew me to it in the first place. Interesting stone.

2. The guy who's installing our cabs drew my attention to how variable the appearance of sapele is in different light, and from different angles. Indeed, here are 2 pics of our older sapele samples, with both of them rotated about 180 degrees in the second pic.

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Same light, same camera settings. Interesting wood.

That's all for now. Gotta get back to packing. I'll post pics under a new thread once we're further along. (Next week: cab install completed, stone templated, floors refinished, painting, maybe some backsplash tiling.)


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Our sapele cabs are being installed right now. We are having a very difficult time finding granite that accents, not fights with our cabinets. Don't want to overpower the beautiful wood. Our cabinets at delivery are half as dark as a sample door I ordered 2 months ago that has been here in the house seasoning. The original sample came in nearly blonde/beech in color and has already changed that much. It is stunning wood and remarkable how quickly it darkens.

I'd love to know how you are feeling about your cabinets and granite choice now the cabinets have had time to darken.


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RE: Uggh. Cabinets not quite what we expected...

Hi Monica-

So weird that you wrote now. Just yesterday, I got an email from someone local to our (Seattle) area who wanted to come by and see our cabinets--they're coming by this afternoon for a quick look. Prior to that, I had neither checked nor received any communication from Gardenweb in probably a year. Strange that I've now had 2 in 2 days. Out of curiosity, how did you find this thread? When I just went to gardenweb, I couldn't even pull the thread up searching via their search engine... And even though you posted this query through the thread, the thread still isn't listed in the chonologic listing of recent thread activity on the GW site. Strange.

We love both our cabinets and our countertop choice. We were just talking about this the other day, how we are still thrilled with how it turned out. The kitchen's been finished for over a year now, and we would hardly change a thing, certainly not the cabs or granite. Both are gorgeous in their own right, but they work well together. The Brazilian Dream would have "matched" a bit better, with the orange/rust colors in it complementing the cabs, but we love the contrast of the seafoam green. It's also just a bit more sedate than the B.D. would have been. We really love the "rainwash" finish of the seafoam green that we chose-- still pretty, interesting, but not shiny. Again, maybe a bit more calming. Still plenty going on between the wood and the stone, but not overwhelming. The wood continues to darken, and some of the modest variation we saw early on (e.g. between the fridge/freezer doors that were installed several weeks later than the rest of the cabs) has almost completely disappeared at this point.

We are so happy with our sapele choice, in fact, that we just met with a cabinet maker this morning to finalize some plans for office built-ins (in another part of the house) that we're also going to do in sapele.

Hope that helps!


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