powered by
Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help with kitchen cabinet color/wood

AMNJanuary 4, 2013
I will need other questions answered in the future, but I would like to start by having my fellow Houzzers to take look and help me figure out what color cabinetry would work in this kitchen (belongs to a family member). Pardon the clutter--especially the wine bottles. They just landed there during the move, and haven't been removed.

- Most likely going with a shaker style door.
- Room is fairly dark despite facing south (big tree outside)
- Floor is staying
- Dishwasher is staying
- May change eat-at-peninsula to lower cabinets with counter-height bar seating.
- Cabinet configurations should remain similar except for refrigerator wall. Would like to add some sort of pantry style cabinetry.
- Side door (right of stove) is primarily-used entrance for house

I have six pics to show. I will reply and add the extras there.

Thank you.
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Here are a few additional photos.
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 2:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I would go with white cabinets.
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stefanie Zanow- Kitchens Plus
I would consider going with a white cabinet...it would lighten up the space and is a very clean look. I do kitchen remodeling and about 80% of my clients choose white cabinets becuase of how bright and open it makes the room look. For a contrast in the kitchen I would consider doing a medium to dark counter top.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
White cabinets would be very pretty and add a sharp contrast to the dark floor. Or you could think about light maple cabinetry: [houzz=
Bryant Residence 05 · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 3:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I agree a white Swiss Coffee color cabinets would look nice. I like your idea of adding a pennisula cabinet with overhang. The kitchen entrance door looks tight with the refrigerator there. I'd suggest moving the refrigerator over to the right (with the extra wall space on the right of the refrig) and put a tall pull out pantry on both sides of the refrigerator with a top cabinet above the refrig. This will make the refrigerator look "built-in" and gain some entrace space from that door.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I agree with Darzy on everything, but the paint color. I would go with BM white chocolate because it has a warm undertone that will brighten the room.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
LM Designers
If you add bar height seating on the peninsula you will need to build a wall for the raised counter top. The wall would be 40 1/2" high and then the counter top. Good idea and I like the white cabinet suggestion as well.
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yep..janishill is right about white chocolate.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
White cabinets get my vote, but please no peninsula overhang. Try a punch of colour with your back splash. Beautiful task lighting over peninsula would be my preference--try Progress Lighting or Murray Feiss. Also adding a crown moulding to top of cabinets gives a beautiful finished look.
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 4:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I agree with staingen...try lighting over peninsula instead of overhang.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Brenda Cole
I had your exact layout in our first home and we painted the cabinets white. When I walked in for the first time after they were painted, I was amazed at how the room opened up. Pendant lights over the bar area definitely.
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thanks for the suggestions so far.

We are not looking to put in overhanging cabinets. I don't know where that came from. Yes. We'll add pendant lighting above.

Instead of having the open, table-height bar that is there now, we'll install lower cabinets and counter-height seating on the side facing the dining area. Like this kitchen has:
Donald Billinkoff Architects · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
White cabinets with a shaker style door will most likely not be a full overlay door meaning most likely you will be able to see the seam between every cabinet no matter how professional the install (all the pics above are full overlays). I would consider going with a wood tone to match your floors then contrast with a brighter countertop. Your other ideas are good. Could also add under cab lighting and/or rope lighting in cabinet crown to brighten up room
    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Thanks everyone for your ideas and advice.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I'd suggest fixing the ceiling and keeping everything else. Make the ceiling match the rest. Possibly put some lights up there too if it's in the budget. Oh and paint the trip around the windows to match the cupboards. Just my thoughts on that.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
How about top white and bottom a darker stain? White or a soft grey would open up the space.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I ask myself about the colors of your wall?? are they off white or pale green or pale yellow? (maybe the lack of light makes them look pale yellow or green...).

If you want your cabinets be less visible and make the room looks brighter, one simple idea is to paint them the same color than your wall and add a splash of one or two other colors on the backsplash, or in details (cabinet handles, kitchenware, towels, chairs...).

Sure that white cabinets will works, however what a common choice, when you have so many colors !
Why not a eggshell blue, baby blue, pale lemon, celadon, powder pink... (all these color are gustavian style and also fits for shaker style) which match great with the dark brown floor.

I will definitely (and maybe you will not have to paint anything!) :

- change the place of the refrigerator as Darzy says, and add two low cabinets next to it.
It will give space to the door entrance and allow you to make it more uncluttered and cosy (? not sure of this term..)
- put some new lightings all over the kitchen and dinner space.
- I would remove the eat-at-peninsula and use the dinning table. If on budget, try a bigger rectangle or oval table. It will give a space feeling.
-change the cabinet handle for colored or silver or white ones.
I'm french. ;o)

Have a nice time .
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
The cabinets definitely have to go. They were installed in 1977, and they were the cheapies back then. The particle board they're made of is actually crumbling when you touch it! Lol! Although, I will say, they're not the worst looking 1970s cabinets I've ever seen. They, at least, have that going for them. I'm so glad they installed white laminate, and not some harvest gold or avocado green thing. This has allowed this kitchen to make it this far into the future and not be totally repulsive.

The current paint on the walls is a green color. I know it's hard to tell with the lighting. It's amazing that these pictures were taken at 10:00 in the morning with snow outside, southern exposure, and it's still dark.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Maybe recessed lights?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WHITE WHITE WHITE WHITE WHITE....there are no other options for this dark kitchen...
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Has anyone mentioned putting in long rectangular skylights? Not expensive.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Loving all the comments about white cabinets, and I agree.
We put Solatubes in our house and it made a WORLD of difference in the brightness. I cannot say enough good things about these! They are like having a free lightbulb on all day! THIS will help brighten the space!
If I could afford them, I'd have one in every dark room in my house. We have two and are going to install two more.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
If your cabinets are particle board you'll have to replace. If this home is a mobile home (just taking a guess by some things I see that hint at such) the walls may not support the weight of standard cabinetry without being reinforced - ie. taking them down, installing more 2x4s and rebuilding.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I would definetly add track lighting to the angle side of your beautiful ceiling. I would also brighten up cabinets to a blonde/light color. Reface your cabinets-switch doors and repaint the rest. If your cabinets are really pretty on the inside consider putting track lighting and glass shelving on the insides. Add glass doors to the cabinets you want to highlight. Also from this point on dont granny up your kitchen with coats,towels, pot holders,sponges, knickknacks,etc. It took me some time to get rid of stuff I liked too.Also I had a designer tell me not to pick a theme like apples or roosters. But pick a texture and stick with that for a ktichen. For example glass,water,wood,cotton. Its then feel you want others to get when they walk in.Then it will be updated and have a more modern look. Us women, we like to change our kitchens. So if we dont choose dominant themes then we can add stuff from homegoods and marshalls without our rooms looking cluttery!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Becky Ford
It looks like the entryway into the kitchen is tight with the refrigerator right there. Consider moving the frig to the wall where the peninsula is (you would have to give up the peninsula) this would leave you two possible options. 1. Leave the wall next to the entry open and put in an island or 2. Have the full wall be pantry cupboards or base cabinets with extra counter space and upper cabinets over leaving you a buffet/bar area for when you entertain. Either way, it would not protrude as far into the kitchen as the refrigerator in front of the door. The existing floor looks nice, go with a cabinet color that is lighter than the floor. There are painted finishes other than white that are beautiful, also some nice light-ish maple colors, white is good too, just pick what you like.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
you might want to consider putting solar tubes. it's an economical way to bring more light into the kitchen. http://www.solatube.com/
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
David Landy ASID CID NY State
My firm has just completed a kitchen renovation that has the same layout as yours. I kept the carcass of the cabinet (they were in decent shape, and made new drawers and doors - with a shaker square framing and Blum self closing hinges and full extension drawer slides... I specified white oak, rift cut as the material and when it was made, had it stained a translucent grey... It's one of the lowest priced kitchens I have completed, yet it is the best in efficientcy and style.... Great materials such as a counter and a backsplash can go a long way to making a statement....Good luck.... David Landy ASID CID NY State Interior Designer. www.davidlandyinteriors.com
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Turned out lovely, David Landy! I always like seeing pics of kitchens with the same layout. Thank you for the post.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linda Heinrichs
If you want to save money and keep the cabinets you have, go with a mid tone gray paint and add dark knobs. Remove the table/bar area and put the refrigerator in this spot. Remove all of the cabinets along the wall where the refrigerator is currently located and install a narrow bookshelf type of unit floor to ceiling to create a built in look and more storage. Ikea has an inexpensive bookshelf with doors on the bottom & shelves on the top - I have installed 4 side by side and they look built in. You could probably fit 3 of them here. Go with White and then match the same knobs. You might even have room for a butcher block rolling island from Ikea. New counter tops, counter to cabinet back splash. good lighting & appliances and you will have a sparkling new kitchen for under $5k. Huge enhancement.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
further to the skylight/solartube idea. IF you decide to go with it, do it first. They will change every other choice you would have made/ colour/texture/surfaces etc.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
1. Remove Peninsula and build in refrigerator in it's place on the exterior wall.
2. Remove all cabinetry on the former refrigerator wall to open pathway to primary door,
3. Install Island parallel to kitchen exterior wall, mid kitchen. Which will replace some lost storage and you might have room for additional small pantry on outside edge of new refrigerator location.
4. To the right of the primary door, if there is room, you can consider building a shallow wall of cabinets, and/or book shelving etc.
5. Now that the kitchen is more open concept,, paint primary door, windows and trim (even the wood finished trim) white.
6. Remove the bottles above the cabinets and find a simpler decorative solution, perhaps in an accent color of your chosing.
7.Suggestion: Add simple crown-finishing moulding - style depends on the style you are ultimately trying to achieve. simple for contemporar/transitional more complex/larger the more traditional you go.
8. As far as the final paint colors, you can't go wrong with muted wall colors and white trim. All white kitchens are being done so much you might tire of it before it is completed. So, perhaps you can do white upper cabinets with a medium to deeper gray or color on the base cabinets.
Side Note- I do a lot of kitchens and this is what I would suggest to my client.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marie Bible
love this!!! The pot rack over the sink and magnet for knives
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Consider removing that tree. Our home was so dark on the south facing side that we needed lights on in the daytime. I could not believe how much light a tree could block until it was gone. Love trees but love sunshine more!
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 6:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Becky Ford
I left a comment about a week ago. This is along the lines of what I was thinking for the area where your refrigerator is now.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 8:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I have a similar layout in my kitchen. When we moved in we had a penisula attached to the end cabinet similar to yours. One of the first things we did was to take the peninsula off and it opened up the entire room. You can now bring your cabinets down further if you can or have room for a nice table that you like and chairs and be able to move it if you had too. The peninsula to us was just a blockage.
Good luck
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I love Mary Poulos' idea of removing the peninsula and placing the refrigerator on that wall to open up the path from the doorway. I also love the kitchen island idea parallel with the outer wall. Could you fit 2 or 3 stools to replace seating lost at your peninsula?
I enjoy having an island in my kitchen. We installed wide drawers of various depths and use the top drawer for cutlery and the other two deeper ones for pots and pans.
I also like Mary's idea of placing the pantry beside the new location for the fridge if you can fit it in. If you look back at iamchickaddd's picture of the white cabinets posted a while back - this gives you an idea of how things would look with an island.
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 4:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I like some of the ideas of some of the others. Here are some of my ideas:

Cabinets go,white or a light wash/ stain
Counter darker than cabinets
New counter height peninsula
The cabinets to extend on the wall to meet the edge of new peninsula, these would have glass front for china and serve ware
The wall to the right of back door, shelves and cubbies for boot/shoes and high cabinets w/hooks below fow coats
Install counter depth refrigerator ( for a nice flow and more floor space) and have a panty to the left and to the right have a cabinet with the microwave installed in cabinet above freeing up that counter
Lights, lights, lights.....install overhead lights and under counter lights
Wine should be kept in a cool dark place, too much heat up high
    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 11:40PM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Help me decide on kitchen cabinet wood tone in my new house.
I love the darker brown (espresso) cabinets but I am...
Beech wood with Espresso stain cabinets in the kitchen? Need help!
I had to choose between beechwood cabinets with espresso...
What color wood goes with dark kitchen cabinets? Small kitchen
Our kitchen is about 250 square feet with very dark...
Susan Pedersen
Need help choosing wood type and color or kitchen cabinets
Have eat-in-kitchen/dining. Very small. We have been...
More Discussions
Yellow must go!
We live at the beach and love "beachy" style, but as...
Julie Collins
Accent pillows????
Any suggestions for accent pillows? Ordered turquoise...
accent pillows/decor pillows
hi there - what color pillows should i do on these...
Sunroom - Open but Separate?
Hi, I plan to remove bulky sliding glass doors that...
Gazillion photos, what to do?
We just moved into a great new home (posted my kitchen...
Donna Seaman Richman
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.