December 4, 2009

Desperate for Advice Here!

updated 1/6/10: As Kristen is having a backwards edition of WFMW, I thought I'd send this in. More opinions can't hurt!

For the past 5 months, I've been looking at pictures of kitchens. Lots. Of. Kitchens. I can't decide what I want to do with the kitchen cabinets, and it's driving me crazy. Currently, my kitchen cabinets look like this:
This is a perfectly fine color, but it's just not me (at some point in the future, we will replace the stove hood and back splash, but not right now). And currently, our countertops in the kitchen look like this:
Wilsonart Laminate Shale Moonstone #13045-60
I'm not crazy about them, but the countertops are staying for the time being. In a few years, we have plans for some light renovation to the kitchen which will involve changing the existing countertop layout. With that in mind, we don't want to replace something only to change it in a few years. I know that countertops can be painted, and I'm not against that idea. But if possible, I'd like to avoid that.
Some of the upper kitchen cabinets are going to have their doors removed, so that I can display some of my dishes. I also plan on displaying some of my dishes on some shelves by the kitchen table. I plan on mixing in some solid white dish pieces in with my Currier and Ives dishes, which look like this:
I want to install white beadboard along the bottom of the walls near the kitchen table, and in between the upper and lower kitchen cabinets. For the walls, I either want to do a very pale blue (Valspar's Laura Ashley Navy 1), or a light tan (Sherwin Williams Softer Tan).
My color choices for the kitchen cabinets are either a soft, distressed black (I LOVE Layla's kitchen!), white (like Traci's or Jennifer's), or a deep, chocolate brown (I have NO inspiration pics for this one, but it would go nicely with the existing countertops).
If I paint the cabinets white or black, would I have to paint the countertops as well? Here are some additional pictures of my kitchen. These cabinets are directly across from the previous picture of our kitchen:

When I do remove the doors, I am either going to remove the 3 doors pictured above, or the 2 doors that are on either side of the stove.
So - what do you think? Black, white, or brown for the cabinets? Thoughts on the countertop?


  1. We painted our yucky, 70s cabinets white, and I just love them. I think white cabinets are classic, and the kitchen is so bright and cheerful. Also my blue and white dishes look gorgeous against the white - something to consider if you like blue walls (and I KNOW you like blue dishes :) Your counter has a touch of blue in it, so I think all of that would pull together nicely. You could use a creamy, cottagy white, which would work nicely with the counter's neutral blend.

    My husband sees a lot of houses as an appraiser, and there are unusual trends in cabinet colors lately - olive green, rusty red, etc., and while they look cool, those colors are trendy and will eventually be "out." You should choose colors you love and can live with for a long time, because cabinet painting is no small job - it took us about a month to finish - and if you hate painting like me, you probably won't want to have to to do it again!

    Just my 2 cents!

  2. I think your ideas are great--I think if you paint them black you'll want something in the back to lighten it up (I LOVE LOVE LOVE how she has mirrors in the back of hers!). Or you could do white since the blue will set off the white and it won't be too white.

    I personally would love to take off some of my cabinet doors so I'm eager to see how yours turn out--you're going to put up pictures, right???

  3. Hi, Heather! :) How fun that you're going to be painting your cabinets. Honestly, I think you could go with any of your choices at it would look fine. The black dishwasher seems to look good with the countertop in the photo - what do you think of that combo in real life? It seems like the dishwasher could give you a pretty good idea of what to expect if the cabinets were black. I suppose now that I think about it, would the black dishwasher look odd with chocolate cabinets? Maybe that color isn't the best choice.

    I also couldn't tell if you have a window in your kitchen. Something to consider when comparing to Layla's black cabinets. I think they have fairly good light in their kitchen.

    Looking forward to seeing what you choose!


    P.S. Are you going to add knobs or pulls? We got our **dirt** cheap on ebay.

  4. I think the black would look nice with your black appliances, but like mentioned above, you would need to have good lighting and use lighter colors for the walls and backsplash. Can't wait to see how it turns out! :)

  5. I'm weird and I'm opinonated, so take what I say here with a grain of salt. Or completely ignore! Ha! : )

    1. I think you know this, but whoever chose those countertops should be shot. I wish you had the money to replace them, since they are the real problem in making any good choice. In my opinion, none of the propositions you've mentioned here is a good fit to get around the problem of the countertops.

    2. I think the blue you've chosen is too light and too blah. I think the beige color is better, but also not right.

    3. As concerns which cabinets to remove the doors from (to display nicer dishes), do NOT remove the ones on the bottom. You don't need a toddler grabbing your dishes. You also don't need dust, dirt, and grime from sweeping and walking and dropping stuff off the cabinets dropping down into the open shelves. Basically, everything on those shelves will end up being dirty and covered in dust. Dirt floats down, not up. Unless you put glass fronts on them, and in that case, can you say "fingerprints?"

    4. My person solution, since you like the blue/white contrast thing, would be to paint the cabinets a shade of blue, such as colonial or gray-blue or just the right shade of darker country blue. Now when I say this, DON'T think country! Pantone (the international color predictors) said blue is the hot new color this year. Blue will make white walls POP and will make your blue decorative dishes pop on the walls. It's also a happy color. And quite frankly, it's the only color I can think of that is modern and relevant that goes with that ugly countertop. The fact that you have a black appliance is unfortunate, but there is more countertop to deal with than black appliances to match something to. To me, the countertop wins as far as crying for attention. Also, while white cabinets are classic and simple, remember that white sucks to clean, since it shows ever splash and spill and smudge of dirt.

    5. If I HAD to pick one of your options, I'd go for the chocolate brown, since it looks good with blue and also because it seems to match those countertops the best. Black would be my LAST choice.

    Let us know what you do! (Even if it's not what I recommend! Ha Ha!)

  6. I would go with a darker richer color, dark gray or warm brown. We painted out cabinets this summer a gray and the walls slightly lighter gray. We have white counter tops and flesh colored tile floor (sorta yuck). We're very happy with the results. Door pulls may dress up the doors too??? I see elements in your house that are very similar to things we want to change in ours. The former owners of our place LOVED fake brass. ugg

  7. We did very similar changes to our house when we moved in because I plan to demo the whole freaking room but it is going to be a few years SO, I too had to deal with ugly countertops mine are blue. So I went with orange, PUMPKIN from Martha Stewart at Lowes and black cabnients, now I too have lots of opinions but I do think paint changes the way everything looks and think you need to do a more dramatic Wall Color a dark blue, Lamppost also by MS is a great color. Don't go light- with the light countertops it will just all blend in. If you want to see some pics I can post some. Good Luck!!

  8. I'd paint them white. I don't think the black matches the countertops and I don't think brown would match your dishwasher.

    Like many others, I think you should add knobs or pulls which I think would go a long way towards updating the look.

    I think some molding between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling would look good too.


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