1.21.2014

White Cabinets or Stained Cabinets? Kitchen Refresh Begins {I Hate Making Decisions}


We love our house.  After three years of living here, I think I love it more now than when it was shiny and new (well, new to us). Over the years, a few things in the kitchen have been begging for a refresh. Most importantly, we've got some serious water damage on our cabinets.  It was there when we moved it an it's only gotten worse.  Exhibit A of water damage:

Poor  water damaged cabinets.  Don't you feel sorry for them?
We looked into getting it repaired, but the cost was sorta crazy.  If we were going to spend that much, why not just change the color of the cabinets while we were at it, since the light maple just doesn't appeal to us? Well, the idea of staining really got me thinking of changing them to a warm brown that coordinates with other wood in our house.  The cabinets are a beautiful maple, so it seemed like a shame to paint over them. We put off a decision and started to sock away money for a kitchen refresh that would solve this problem (and  few other nagging things listed below).

It was an arduous decision making process. After spending way to much time on Pinterest (a required part of any home decor decision, as far as I am concerned), I figured out that my granite tile is called Baltic Brown. Using that as a search term, I started researching which cabinet colors people used with Baltic Brown granite countertops.  I found two basic groups: white and warm/medium brown. Here are the pictures I pinned for these categories:

The Pinterest Evidence


1.  Warm/Medium Brown Cabinets with Baltic Brown Granite Countertops


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2.  White Cabinets with Baltic Brown Granite Countertops


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The Analysis


Pros of white cabinets: When I look at those pictures I see "dated" with the brown and I see "bright and happy" with the white.  Our kitchen windows are shaded by our outdoor patio covers, which are great in Summer, but really darken the room.  White will also coordinate with our trim and doors and will brighten up the dark room.

The cons of white cabinets: The grubby fingers of two small children (and don't tell him I said this, but my husband, too) will make them dirty.We have pulls on them now, but I have heard from friends that the family will need to endure "training" to remember to use the pulls, which will keep the cabinets clean. The paint will need to be retouched over time. Other than that, I can't really think of cons.

Conclusion:  What do I love about kitchens that I pin on Pinterest?  The common theme was white cabinets. So, after all that, we've decided white cabinets is the way to go. I just wish I loved the light maple, but I don't!

Next Steps: We got three quotes and selected a painter.  He came by to help us select the color (I'm thinking Swiss Coffee) and the sheen (I'm thinking semi-gloss).  He took the doors and drawers with him and we are off to the races! I can't believe (a) we finally made a decision and (b) by Friday, fingers crossed, we'll have white cabinets.

Here we are with no doors and drawers:



The cabinets are part one of what we're calling our "kitchen refresh." Here are the other ideas we're kicking around:

  • Replacing the black appliances (we purchased a stainless fridge when we moved in, so it's the range, hood, dishwasher and microwave/oven combination)
  • Installation of a beverage center to replace our never-used trash compactor.  We do lots of parties around here, so this will really come in handy.
  • Replace hardware on the drawers with these cup pulls.
  • Maybe a new back splash?  We're waiting to make a decision until after we see if the white cabinets will make the back splash look better.
  • Replace the kitchen table.
  • Replace fixture over kitchen table.
  • Get a piece of glass custom cut to cover the desk area.

Phew.  I think that's it.  It's going to be crazy around here for a few days so I am taking deep breaths.

10 comments:

  1. I think you'll love your white cabinets. As long as the paint is a little glossy, it won't get too fingerprinty. (We had white cabinets in my parents kitchen growing up). I have cup pulls on the lower cabinet drawers in my house, and I really like them.

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  2. They are doing semi-gloss, so I am hoping for the best! Those cup pulls were my husband's idea and he was just dead set on them. I was fine with doing the old hardware, but he talked me into it. I think it will really update the whole look.

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Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!