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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

I need some kitchen help!

vma4275November 23, 2012
I want to give my kitchen a major facelift. I have a fantastic guy who will paint my cabinets. I also want to change out the countertops, backsplash and hardware. I love the look of carrara marble for the countertops and have already done the research and pricing for them but my dilemma is my floor. I have travertine tile (which will not be changed). Can I do light on the cabinets, carrara marble counters and a light backsplash (possibly subway tile?) with a light floor? My husband thinks it's too much white/light color. I have seen a few pics with this combo but am very nervous to spend all this money and be unhappy. Can I add an area rug and accessories to bring in some color? I am attaching some pics of my existing kitchen.
Thanks for any help!!!
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Cameron H.I. Group
I have almost same cabinets as yours and this is what i did
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:29PM
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Extraordinaire Designs
Mmm...Carrara marble is much more porous and scratch prone than granite. I'd ask you how much cooking and entertaining do you do in your kitchen? Or is it just for looks? Are you looking for a material that will develop a 'patina' over time---meaning it will be less than perfect.

Do your kids spend much time in here? Because frankly Carrara isn't that wise of a choice for kitchen. It'll react every time an acidic food comes in contact with it. Cast iron, sharp objects and general use will scratch and mar it.

Why not consider it for the backsplash-maybe mixed with travertine. Have you looked at www.Sonomatilemakers.com website; go to the bottom of the home page and look at 'Create a custom blend'....they have numerous custom blends to create one of a kind back splashes.

Typically one chooses a countertop and floor that complement each other as they're on the same plane. I think white painted cabinets would look nice!
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Grace Reed
I agree; forgo the marble. But, you can get the look by going with a quartz countertop that looks like marble. Try Silestone's Lyra.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:41PM
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I have heard this about light marble...it yellows with age and use. I have white cabinets, and I have to look far and wide to find kitchen ideas that aren't some version of wood/stained color. Are you SURE you want white? I LOVE my granite..no sealing, in spite of what I was told, no stains. Perhaps, simply enough, an update of the backsplash?Glass block tiles would give a more contemporary splash and could add some color. I did see a kitchen in which the cabs were painted a grey with a light granite and subway tile backsplash. If you are just tired of your dark look, perhaps glass inserts in some of your doors would lighten without giving up the classic look of your stain. I think your cabinetry looks lovely.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Lisa Davenport Designs
J&D Interiors is absolutely right about the Carrara Marble, and gkreed3's suggestion of Silestone is a great suggestion.....but if you're looking for the beauty of variation and characteristic imperfections of natural stone, I have found a granite alternative to Carrara! 'Princess White' granite, I've attached a snap shot of the stone installed, in a kitchen I designed this year. (I apologize for the photo quality the space has not been professionally shot yet)

You can see in this photo I used very dark, almost black wood floors, although a lighter floor could work. My concern with your floor is that the travertine appears to have a yellow cast, if this is indeed the case the grey tones of the Princess white will fight the floor. Maybe try something like this http://elemarnewengland.com/granite.htm it will give you a similar result.

In reference to your cabinets, painting cabinets are a great way to give a kitchen a fresh new look, although if it is not done correctly, they will chip and peel..... And look awful in a few months, so make sure you check the process & references of the painter doing the job. Your final paint color will be driven by the counters.

I don't know if you have areas that can be highlighted with an accent color to break up the sea if white cabinets, I've attached a second photo of a kitchen currently under construction, this kitchen's cabinets are white with coffee glaze & areas accented in black. If you have an island this is another area that can be highlighted. This will definitely help break up all the white & ease your husbands concerns.

Your backsplash will also be driven by the counter.....subway tiles are a hot choice, I love to accent them with glass accents!

Hope this was helpful!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 4:59AM
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I'm a huge fan of white kitchens, but I have to say I think your current wood cabinets are beautiful. I am usually one of the first ones advising "paint it white" when the kitchen is cheap, builder's grade oak with arched top cabinet doors from the 1980's. But your cabinets look like they are a good quality wood and a style that isn't outdated. So while there is nothing wrong with doing a white kitchen, I'd think twice about whether you really need that much of a change.

I agree with other posters about the impracticality of marble for kitchens that get a lot of use. But there are lots of other options for counters that look like marble but are more durable.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 6:05AM
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Dar Eckert
Your kitchen cabinets are lovely. I really wouldn't paint them. Try a new countertop as previously suggested and new backsplash. Then new handles. You may love your kitchen again.
    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:22AM
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I think you are out of you mind painting those cabinets. They are beautiful, and I love white cabinets. I would put some glass doors in. A lighter granite. Marble, which is my favorite,stains..put in a new glass backsplash. I think it will change the whole look. Good luck to you.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Hi vma4275,

The others have already told you about the maintenance/upkeep of marble, so I will not say anything about that. Assuming that you stick with the marble, I would not paint your cabinets white. While painted cabinetry would be beautiful, an entire kitchen in a white/creamy color may come off too sterile. Generally, one needs a dark element (floor or countertops) to ground the space. Your cabinets are stunning, so I would leave them as is for now and just update the hardware.

Best of luck!
    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:47AM
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All of your comments are extremely helpful! Thank you all so much. I really appreciate it. I will definitely abandon the marble idea. Sounds like I asked at just the right time, as I was getting ready to put a deposit down. Again, thank you all.
    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Susan Jablon Mosaics
Hi vma4275!
If you're having trouble deciding on what direction to go concerning your backsplash, try playing around in our custom tile designer! You can create a custom tile mosaic in a number of different layouts using all the different tiles that we carry! Here's a link to the designer: http://www.susanjablon.com/designer/mosaic-designer.html
The image below is an example of what can be done in the designer.
    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 12:56PM
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