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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Kitchen Advice Needed

starterhouseFebruary 10, 2013
Redoing kitchen in recently purchased home. Going with medallion premium choice cabinets (from menards). I had picked out Hawthorne door style in chestnut finish. My questions.

1. Are cabinets too dark for kitchen this size? ( see attached for sizing)

2. Do I have to worry about the cabinets darkening over time?

3. Any changes you would suggest regarding the layout?

TIA for your help!
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The wall that the refrigerator is against on the side needs to be shortened so the right refrigerator door can be opened all the way and so you can pull the drawers out. Check out the dimensional drawings for the specific refrigerator you intend to install to see how much to shorten the wall.

Whether or not the color you have chosen is too dark depends on the color of the other elements you plan on putting into the room--flooring, countertops, backsplashes, rooms that the kitchen is open to, lighting (both natural and electrical).

Chestnut finish is not the same as Chestnut wood which is photosensitive and yes, would darken over time. Chestnut finish, however, refers not to the wood but to the stain and/or pigment that has been added to the finish. You would need to find out if these cabinets are actually Chestnut to know if they will darken over time. There are other woods that are photosensitive also, so they would darken too. See if you can find out the actual wood that was used.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:04PM
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The wood is cherry - sales associate mentioned that it would darken over time.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Sales associate is correct. Cherry will darken. The more natural light in the room the faster it will darken. If you are concerned about that, choose other elements that are lighter.

Use undercabinet lighting and lighting that not only shines down but reflects up and off the ceiling / or use can lights (highhats) and if there is no soffit over your cabinets and there is space above, put lighting on top of the cabinets that shines up and reflects off the ceiling.

I was not able to find Hawthorne premium on the Medallion site but if you post pictures of your cabinets and any other elements you are thinking of using you will get other comments I'm sure.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:03PM
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
Eagledzines is spot on. One thing that is not evident from the floor plan is the lighting. This combined with the floor color and countertop color/material will affect how the dark the room appears. If looks like you have only one window in the room so I am not sure you need to worry too much about cherry cabinets darkening as the stain should have UV inhibitors in it, minimizing the darkening. Find someone local, such as a top notch electrician, to help you with the lighting and you should be good to go with the cherry cabs.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:15PM
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There is a small adjoining breakfast room that has natural sunlight coming in besides for the one window over the sink.

This is a starter house, and do I plan on selling it 5 - 10 years down the line. My concern is that it not be so dark at that point abd be deterrent.

There will be a fixture in the breakfast room, one over the sink, and one over the main kitchen area. It's not in budget at this point to do under cabinet lighting and the cabinets will be going up to the ceiling.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:30PM
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SunHouse Designs
i'm glad to hear that you are taking the cabinets to the ceiling. it gives height to the room and i think it looks more finished. plus the added bonus of not having to clean up there! you don't have to shorten the wall beside the fridge as long as you check the fridge specs and leave enough space between the fridge and the wall -- usually about 3" is enough. your designer should make sure that you have enough space. i agree with the others about the other elements in the room having a big impact on the overall lightness of the space. don't forget paint colour. that will have a huge impact. you can have black cabinets (very dark) in a white or very light painted space with light-ish backsplash and mid-toned flooring and countertops and end up with a very light feeling space.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Thank you all for replying. The counter-top and floors will be light tones. No backsplash for now ( planning on adding in the future) so will just be wall color.

So far no one thinks the dark cabinets - getting darker over time will be a deterrent when it comes time to sell the house?

I still have the option of picking a different finish but I prefer the richer darker finishes.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:55PM
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I'm not a professional, so I may be reading the plans incorrectly, but if this were my kitchen, I would want more space for chopping etc. between my sink and range. Also, why would you put a wall at the end of the counter top by the sink?
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Here are some pictures that might help you visualize and/or give you some ideas. I especially love the white tile backsplash and extra thick white countertops. You can see how the other components really make a difference.

The New American Home · More Info

Aston Road Butler's Pantry · More Info

Pepper Kitchen · More Info

Oceanside Glasstile Elevations Platinum · More Info
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Thanks eagledzines.

@ queenjean207 - there is a small existing wall there between the counter and the breakfast room - once I get more of a feel for my space I may add a small island on wheels to give me more prep space - I hate crowded kitchens so want to work in it before I do something like that. Otherwise what would be your suggestion as how to gain more counter prep space at this point?
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:47AM
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SunHouse Designs
i think that your idea of an island on wheels is perfect for the size of your kitchen. 24" x 36" could easily work in there as long as you can move it around as needed.

re: space between sink and range. i usually try to center the range/fan on the wall. is this slightly off center for a reason? sometimes this is necessary if your cabinetry doesn't come in 1" increments
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:26AM
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I know a range looks nice centered on a wall, but in this case, I would put it slightly more toward the fridge. Another possibility is to switch the locations of the sink and dishwasher. That leaves kind of a small space on the left of the sink and makes the corner base cabinets inaccessible when the dishwasher is open, but has the advantage (if you are right handed) of putting the dishwasher on the right. My current dishwasher is to the left of my sink and I notice that I do a lot more twisting which can be hard on my back. A small island could work, too, but I prefer to step left and right rather than turn around when cooking.

Thanks for the pics eagledzines.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:13AM
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