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What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Posted by drybean (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 17, 12 at 17:18

Kitchen will be modern, sort of MCM-lite.
House is 1951. Meeting with cab maker tomorrow and need to finalize decision.

Slab cabs, finger pulls. Dark bases, white uppers, of which there are only 4 , including fridge box and one of those has no doors (for cookbooks). Open shelves around hood.

Would like something that has a visible horizontal grain like walnut, but pretty sure I can't afford walnut. He wants to do maple, but I don't think that will be same look I'm going for. Will kitchen still look modern/mid century with dark maple cabinets? Or poplar?

Is there a poor man walnut? Or other idea?

Finally, need to order floor tile. 24" tile in white or grey. This brick is one one wall in kitchen counters will be white quartz. (Door is just a sample to approximate color ideas)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Your used brick looks just like our 1953 house!
Maple is not dark, has very little grain, and is very hard and dense, making it not the best choice for a dark stain. Poplar has a greenish hue, and while it can be stained dark, it is usually used for paint grade wood work. Maybe try some samples on Alder or Birch, both can be stained dark, and may give the look you want.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

double post oops

This post was edited by ctycdm on Mon, Dec 17, 12 at 19:01


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Why do you think walnut will be too expensive? I have most of the elements you're looking for in your new kitchen (Slab cabs, finger pulls. Dark bases, white uppers, white quartz counters). I used Ikea cabinet boxes and got custom grain-matched walnut doors from SemiHandMade. I didn't spend a fortune.

From Kitchen

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen details


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Look at natural maple. I think it would look stunning in slab doors in an MCM-lite idea.. Might be too light for you.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Ctycdm-

Ha! That brick was actually put in during the 1981 addition, but the original 1951 red brick fireplace is similar:
(Prior owner's stuff. Since ripped up carpet!)
Dining Room (Before we moved in-carpets have been since torn out)

You are right about the maple grain not being very conspicious. I wonder if I would be happy with maple, or perhaps rift sawn oak...which may not be any cheaper than walnut.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

AnnaKathryn-Your stunning kitchen is actually what gave me the confidence to change the direction of my plans. I'm kind of copying you. :-) I was planning on doing Ikea cabinets-and have eleventy thousand boxes of them sitting in my garage. But then I changed my mind from Adel to Abstrakt, and by the time I account for that price increase, plus pay to assemble and install, I am nearly at the same price for custom, installed. And that doesn't even include the quote I got from SMH for the walnut doors. So I'm trying to stay with the custom cabinet guy, since I think it will be a cost savings over doing the Ikea + SMH + paying my contractor to assemble and install.

I don't know that the walnut will be more expensive, but when I changed from white painted (which would have been poplar), to stained maple, the price went up about $1k. I figure the walnut will be even more expensive material. But I could be wrong.

BLFenton-I am having trouble finding photos of natural maple that I like. I did find this one, but it has a very noticable grain, which seems a bit unusual for maple.

ETA: Just read that those cabinets are actually Elm. Huh.

This post was edited by drybean on Mon, Dec 17, 12 at 20:35


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Wow, if that doesn't say 1951, nothing does! Born just a year later, this could be any one of my childhood friends house. The entry door with mail slot and speakeasy, the half wall partition, and that corner fireplace with flat hearth, ...so mod for the times!


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

I think rift-cut oak would be nice. Fir would be nice too, but may be more than walnut, depending.

My general advice would be to not go too slick, because the original isn't. There is a series of houses here built in the early 60s that are a combination of colonial revival (complete with a box lock on the front door, which is topped by a fanlight), and modernist, with corner fireplaces such as yours, and big picture windows in the back. (Redevelopment of unsalvageable parts of an early 19th c. neighborhood)

As these houses are 50 years old, a lot of them are getting new kitchens, (and I've seen a lot of them, I wanted to buy one for years). The original kitchens were the same mix of colonial-modernist. Although I think modernist is generally the way to go in these houses, the ones that are too modern are not much more successful than the too neo-traditional kitchens done in that white subway tile kinda way.

Your house appears to have a similar mix of modernist and traditional roots, and I think a new kitchen in that vein would work well. These houses aren't so old yet that they can take the glass box on the back with the totally contemporary vibe the way some Victorians can.

That's a long answer containing a lot of opinion that you didn't ask for but it's the type of thing I think about.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

ctycdm-I know, right? I love it. My husband isn't overly keen on the corner fireplace, but I actually dig it. I want to replace the glass in that partition since the glass in there is damaged. And my kids adore that mail slot. It's the best kid trapdoor ever. :-)

Pal-I am always up for unsolicited advice re: decor, so I thank you. And I've been thinking a lot about it too. I was originally going with the one true kitchen, just because that is what I've always had and I like. But the more I looked around the house, the less I thought it would really fit in with this not-so cute little house that we are fixing up.

I'm glad you said not to go too slick. A previous plan in my head had the glossy cabinets and a sputnik light over the island. But I don't think that's right either.

So then you would lean more towards a mid-tone wooden slab cabinet, if I'm interpreting your thoughts correctly. Would a mid toned maple cabinet be in that vein? Do you think mixed finishes is too today?

A handful of the the original cabinets now live in the garage and the workshop. I love them, and the cool hardware.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I think they are birch, although I really have no idea.


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drybean I'm happy you're using my kitchen ideas but sorry you're finding it so expensive. Are you going to return all of your Ikea cabinets? My husband and I assembled all of the cabinets ourselves (a mix of Ikea and Sherr's). The first one took about an hour and the subsequent ones took about 10 minutes each. We saved about $10K compared to the cost of full custom cabinets, but I know in some areas of the country custom isn't as expensive as it is here in California.

I've lived in neighborhoods of 50s homes like yours and it seems the original kitchens all had very dark oak slab doors, no knobs or pulls, with little of the grain showing.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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Looks like Birch to me, and very period correct for MSM


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You may want to check these out:

I could see doing a complete riff on that original cabinet. Updated but completely acknowledging it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Atlas Roundabout


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

We had a similar quest...I loved the idea of walnut but needed solid wood doors - we cook a lot, have little kids, and none of us treat the kitchen like a showplace. The walnut veneer we put on the built-in entertainment unit in the family room is getting worked, so I knew that was not a good option for our kitchen. I had a strict budget, and solid walnut would have been craaaazy expensive. Oh, and we live in a 1952 rancher, so I have a similar vibe.

I went with Scherr's doors (on the old existing cabinets, which were custom in 1998 and still in top shape) Lyptus with a dark walnut stain. When you sit in the dining room you can see both the walnut in the family room and the lyptus in the kitchen and they look very similar. This picture is a little yellow, but this is generally a good representation of the effect.

Hope this helps!

Deb

DSC_1596


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YoungDeb-Thank you so much! Those are just beautiful. I'm not familiar with Lyptus. Saving this to show to my cabinet maker today. That is exactly what I want. I love the white frames too.

We are very hard on our things too, which is part of the reason I'm shying away from painted base cabinets. I was a crazy person in our last painted kitchen trying to keep the kids from banging into them. Are your counters stainless? And I really like your b/s too.

Pal-Thanks for that link. I wish they came in antique brass, although the chrome may be OK.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

There may be other versions out there, but if not, easy enough to get replated if you live in or near a city and not all that expensive in the scheme of things.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

I say forget Maple. I have it, and I want to get rid of it. The grain is not visible and it turns very yellow with time. Mine are only about 6 years old. (Not the whole kitchen.) Rift cut oak is nice, but very Craftsman in style, probably not right for your house. I like the idea of Walnut. I have seen some very nice walnut cabinets, like those above. Wenge veneer is also very popular. Solid Wenge is too heavy and too expensive. Check out the East Indian Quartered Rosewood. How awesome would that be! But it's probably the most expensive on this list.

Here is a link that might be useful: Veneer Samples


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

I forgot to say, my plan is to do part of my kitchen in Ribbon Sapele (Mahogany). Well, that's the plan if I ever get the funds together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deluxe Veneers Ultracraft


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

AnnaKathryn-We are in L.A., but we have found a very reasonable custom cabinet maker recommended by a friend. So that is why the cost differential is coming up so slim.
I am planning on returning the cabinets (and dreading doing so. Luckily we have a truck.), unless something changes today during my final meeeting with him. I'm also a bit wary of my GCs ability to get the Ikea cabinets looking as good as I want them and as good as yours. I remember the issues you said you had with cutting the Abstrakt trim and cover panels, and I'm not sure my guy has tons of Ikea experience. Plus, I want pocket doors to cover my washer/dryer, and that would prove difficult to hack with Ikea/semi handmade. I wish they had not discontinued the Nexus. I bought a sample of the Gnosjo (pictured above), but it shows fingerprints like crazy.

What floor do you have in your kitchen? It's wood, right? Do you like the white or the grey tile, or neither? I don't want to do wood since the rest of the wood in our house is very dark and I am a crazy person trying to keep it dust and dog hair free.


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CLG-Thanks for the thoughts on the maple. I'm glad to hear you say that because I keep trying to talk myself into it and find photos that I like.
That East Indian rosewood is gorgeous!! The wenge is too, but quite a bit more than the walnut. I quite like the Sapele too, but I always thought it was more red?


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I really don't think that rift sawn oak is "too Craftsman" at all. It's what I would suggest.


Oak takes a medium or dark stain beautifully as well.


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drybean we used bamboo in a chestnut color in the areas we renovated downstairs (hall, kitchen, new office) and a wheat color in our upstairs master bedroom. The darker color definitely shows the dust/dog hair, so if that's a concern for you then the gray floor tile might work better for you than the white.

I like the rift sawn oak in the photos above.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

We replaced painted doors that were looking really crummy. I am kind of dubious about veneer in a kitchen. They're so beautiful, but I question the practicality in a family home. Our bamboo veneer cabinets in the master bath are in perfect shape 4 years on, but that is a Mommy Zone, children restricted! In our family room, the doors are chipped along the edges.

If you want the walnut look, I don't think the oak is going to make you happy. Those kitchens are beautiful that LWO put up, but they're very different than what you've fallen in love with.

Our counters are stainless on that run, with a quartzite on the island and bar.
We put in a charcoal gray linoleum, and I love the contrast with the white and the wood. Ours is a couple shades darker than your tile, but our two finalists were one along the lines of what you show and the one we chose. The contrast of the darker floor really brought everything together, but I am not super-picky about the floor looking spotless, I have to confess!


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Sapele Mahogany is kind of redish. It's hard to tell from the link I gave you. I love this photo on Houzz, it's in a mid-century house (the first photo). It's probably not the color you are going for, though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sapele


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Thinking as a purist again, there was a modesty in the materials used in kitchens 60 years ago, and it, too should be acknowledged. The relative price of some of the exotics is probably less now, than it was then, which makes them more accessible but I think one needs to be careful not to gild the lily too much. I still like the midcentury detail of using good quality veneer plywood, but allowing the inner layers to reveal themselves in an exposed edge.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Pal- how right you are. I showed the cabinet maker the original cabinets, and he was certain they were plywood veneer.

He brought lots of samples, and pretty much enforced the idea I don't want maple. He had a poplar door that I actually quite liked. It had a visible, straight grain. I asked him if he could turn it horizontal and ensure that all drawers had that linear grain. He assures me he can select pieces that will look like that.

He said Lyptus is over my budget, although I have to admit he didn't seem terribly familiar.

He is making a sample door out of the poplar so i will see what that looks like on Friday. It will be solid poplar with battens on the inside door for stability and warpage prevention.

He said if I were to choose a veneer, I would pay just as much due to all the labor needed to apply.

liveWireOak-those rift sawn oak cabinets are beautiful. I did not see this while he was here. I suspect that solid rift sawn oak doors may be out my budget, but I'll ask him.

YoungDeb-I am far from an obsessive housekeeper, but our dog sheds everywhere. Something about our new CA climate; or perhaps he is just getting old. Do you have any photos that show your floor?

AnnaKathryn-my daughters name is Kathryn, spelled that way. Lovely. :-)
I was actually thinking the white tile floors would be easier to keep clean, since you won't see dust or dog hair. Plus with the brick wall and dark cabs, I thought it might bring some lightness to space.

Clg-I think those cabs are beautiful. Out of my budget though, unfortunately.


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I would look at Amtico Vinyl for flooring, particularly the "Linear" and "infinity" patterns.

I am doing a wood floor in my next kitchen (we've had one 7 years here, no problems), but if not I would definitely consider one of these for my upcoming 1963 kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amtico


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We considered the exposed edge plywood as well...but I couldn't get comfortable with veneer. Maybe it's a personal problem ;-).

Like this counter, but with walnut or something instead of laminate:

We have those battens as well. Lyptus was more expensive than our second choice, which I can't remember, but it wasn't by that much. Of course, we were only doing the doors. Here's a better picture of our floor (the trim has since been finished off and painted white.) It's Marmoleum Volcanic Ash. Second choice was Eternity.

DSC_1584


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

I know you have all been holding your breath to know what I decided.
I opted to go with white slab cabinets (glossy) from ikea on the perimeter, and custom walnut doors on ikea boxes for the island.

The more I looked at the cabinets I was able to get from the cabinet maker, the more I thought it would not give me the look I'm after. So it's actually costing me a bit more than the custom guy, but I'm happier with the overall look.

Thanks so much for all your help and input. Off to order my Mockett pulls now. :-)


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

I love modern - i.e. clean lines - and we made it work in our mid-80's traditional home. we went very dark with our slab cabs and used poplar which was a significant savings over our original plan of cherry. we are very happy with how they turned out. no issues with damage due to "soft" wood. we used a natural stain, white oak for floors.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


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I see now that I didn't reach the end of the post :) sounds like you made great choices. can't wait to see the results!


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Thanks for the update drybean. I too live in a 50's ranch with both traditional and modernist leanings. I have gone back and forth on which direction to take and finally think I have one. I will continue following your progress as it totally has my interest piqued.

It is funny you and AnnKathryn say you both live in SoCa as I look for inspiration from that area. Houses there as well as here have many of the same attributes as ones here from that time period.

I love both AnnKathryn's kitchen and youngdeb's and hope I can be that successful. Youngdeb, I would be interested in seeing your moulding throughout the rest of your home. Does it continue throughout like the kitchen? Not to hijack....sorry.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Modern mom-I love your kitchen so much. I've spent a lot of time staring at the pics you posted in your thread. I wasn't overly concerned about the poplar wood being too soft. However, I agree that it looks best in a dark stain, and since our kitchen has no windows, I was nervous about it being too dark. Plus, I just really love walnut and wanted that mid century feel.

Louisiana-hijack away! No worries. Which direction did you decide to go in...more modern or traditional? There are so many great blog resources on what people have done with their 50s homes. Are you in Louisiana? I'm from TX, and my grandparents house is a perfect "granny ranch". I definitely recognized a lot of the same elements from their house when we were house hunting here. I think AnnaKathryn actually lives in Northern California. I'm pretty much just copying her. I should pay her a commission. :-) I love YoungDebs kitchen too... Those Lyptus cabinets are gorgeous.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

"Granny ranch" that is funny. I have never heard that one before. I am in Louisiana in fact and I am sure many 50's ranches have the same elements throughout the country, but I find that the ones in SoCal are soo similar to the ones here. Today I am on a more modernist bend. Tommorrow might be different...who knows. Slab doors not only for cabinets in the kitchen but throughout the house. Flat mouldings with no crown. That is why I am interested in seeing more of youngdeb's moulding. Kitchen only or througout? Modern mom---wowza.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

I read it on a blog somewhere, I'm sure. It means old homes that were meticulously taken care of, but very original. :)
I think that sometimes your house can speak to you, so go modern if that's what you hear. I ordered doors for the pantry in the kitchens and the guy at the store said he is starting to see a lot more people ordering flush (slab) doors for their homes. I want to replace all the cheap hollow doors in the house with them. I would love drywall returns, but I think it's kind of tricky to get right. I'm currently obsessing over doorknobs. I think I want these:


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Thanks for the update, drybean. Did you decide on the Ikea Abstrakt doors? Where are you getting the walnut pieces? I can't wait to see how your kitchen comes together!


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Annkathryn-I'm doing Abstrakt for the perimeter and semihandmade for the island. I should totally pay you a commission. :-)
I'm a bit nervous about cutting the abstrakt trim pieces, since I remember you having some issues. Hoping for the best.

This post was edited by drybean on Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 0:57


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

For the Abstrakt trim pieces, make sure you have a really sharp blade on your saw, and do a couple of practice cuts using toekick or deco strips. The finish tended to tear a little, and since it's glossy it can't just be painted over to hide any imperfections. I asked a couple of people in the kitchen dept at Ikea about this and they all just shook their heads and said there was no way to repair damage to the material. If you can minimize your use of filler/deco strips, that would be for the best. Sorry I can't give you better news on that topic, but the cabinet doors themselves look great and (so far) are holding up just fine.

A commission...yeah, what a great idea ;)


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I wonder if it would help to lay down some blue tape where you are cutting to minimize the tear on the finish. Might be something to try on a spare and see...

We are in Dallas and ours is definitely a granny ranch! We are the third owners, and all 3 have put on additions, so we've got an interesting situation with trim over here, to say the least. Originally the house would have had no crown and fairly small door/floor trim, which we have in the bedrooms and office:

The second owner was a little more traditional, and they put crown in the living spaces - the LR, DR, den, front foyer and kitchen. I am not a fan of the crown in this style of house, but I am too lazy/cheap to pull it out and patch the walls and ceiling, so in the only case where it's not a white wall, I painted it out to match the walls. This has the advantage of making the low ceilings look a bit higher.

In the rooms that we've added, I put in no crown and a 1x6 squared-off base.

So it's kind of a hot mess, but I don't think most people notice it to be honest. If I was doing a whole-house reno, I'd pull all the trim and do something more like the 1x6 on the floor and a 1x4 on the windows and doors. A guy I really like here did that, and on the doors and windows he trimmed the 1 x 6 with a 1x2 (with the 1" along the wall, so that it sticks out an inch) and it looks FANTASTIC. Come to think of it, he's from Louisiana...;-)

Good luck!


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Another IKEA kitchen here. We used the IKEA door/drawer fronts. The style was Nexus in the yellow-brown finish (which, sadly, has since been discontinued). But it will give you an idea what a horizontal-grain oak in a medium stain might look like.

Our floors are pavers, original to the MCM house. As a sort of organic MCM in the woods (rather than a slick urban mod), we also have a lot of wood in the posts, beams, ceilings and some paneling, as well as cork floors. So my goal was to not try to match any of the existing tones and not to go too crispy-clean. The mid-tone oak seemed to to work the best for our setting.

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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Sorry abandoning the post....drybean I think those knobs would look fantastic. I too am in a cunumdrum about door hardware. I currently have cabinet hardware chosen. The only issue with it might be the price. Your cabinets are going to be great.

Youngdeb, thanks for posting your mouldings. My situation is exactly the same. All of our bedrooms are correctly done without crown but at some point along the way the public spaces acquired them. However, they are demure (well except the ones in the kitchen) so I think they still kind of work. That is why I was interested in seeing yours.

In our gut remodel, I do plan on using solid slab doors again with flat base and door mouldings. No mouldings in private spaces and still questioning the public spaces. I think yours look great and like you said most don't even notice what's where and/or if it is supposed to be there or not. I think I am overthinking this.


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We are doing a ranch remodel too and I appreciate the comments about the architectural detail of the times. We are likely going with the more traditional walnut on slab doors. Our cabinet maker is saying veneer on MDF for stability, but I too can't seem to get past the veneer. I haven't heard of using battans but will ask. We had selected rift cut oak (a more modern version of the original cabinets in the house), but are leaning toward walnut because of the color. I don;t want to have to have the cabinets stained (trying to keep costs down) - but rather use a simple clear coat finish. Natural walnut gives the right color. Oak - the right material.

As for crowns, the living room and dining room had them added at some point and the windows have all been replaced with energy efficient ones so casements were added. We will rip out the crown, but I think we have to leave the window casements.


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>I wonder if it would help to lay down some blue tape where you are cutting to minimize the tear on the finish

Yes, the ikeafans folks are pretty definite about that. I think that if you search over there (I know it's hard to do) there's information about the best blades to use, too.

Youngdeb, I love your backsplash.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

Well, I can tell you that I LOVE my natural maple slab cabinets AND my gray 24" rectangular tile floor...I would definitely NOT do a white floor--it will show every little spec. We had a white tile floor in a very small powder room and I hated it showing everything..can't imagine it in a kitchen..too much upkeep and constant sweeping. My gray floor hides everything, but of course I do sweep it, usually once a week. Would never have a light floor again in a high-traffic area. Good luck--your MCM theme is great!


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laurat88 my walnut cabinets are all veneer, see my post from Dec 17 above. The person who made them (John at SemiHandMade) made doors from solid walnut when he first started out and had way too many issues with them warping for them to be practical.


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RE: What wood for modern slab cabs/ and floor color

YoungDeb-I grew up in Dallas, over by WR lake. My family is still there and it's home. You're very lucky to live there and in such a gorgeous house! I really love your office. I am definitely going to try the tape trick on the cabs.

Jakabedy- yours is another kitchen that I've spent much time studying the pictures of. It's so gorgeous, and I love how true it seems to the original feel of your house. I love your range niche, and your bs is gorgeous.

Louisiana- join the club on over thinking! I definitely sweat every detail, which most people don't even think about. I think minimal crown is probably ok. It's when you get into the gigantic moldings that it starts to jar with the original style of the home.

Laura- is the doors will be solid walnut, you will have to have battens-the ones my cab maker proposed are pictured above. Do a search for slab cabinets on this site-veneer is often the choice of even higher end lines. I am also using semi handmade walnut doors. Scherrs has walnut ones too-both solid and veneer IIRC.

Writers block-thank you, yes, I saw that on IF. Their website is not easy to search and seems to crash my browser so I try to minimize how often I visit. But I saw that some had recommended a specific blade, which I will buy. Also going to try to find an as is door for practice.

Joanie- thanks for the thoughts on the floor. I think you are right about the white being too high maintenance. I ordered a 12x24 grey tile, so hopefully it doesn't show too much dirt.


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