What counters/flooring/backsplash go with light maple cabinets?
Nicole Collins
June 16, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We're trying to work with the existing cabinets in the house we bought. The sunshine ceiling has been replaced with pot lights and all the appliances are being replaced with stainless steel. We're in our 30's, we like to entertain and are planning on starting a family (so the blackcounters are too trendy for us). It's a traditional home with transitional elements. Any help, suggestions, tips are greatly appreciated.
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Dytecture
Hi Nicole, I would have something more neutral so it will stand the test of time.


June 16, 2012 at 7:13pm   
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marvinone
There are several different directions to go - all depending on your personality. First, these are beautiful, classic cabinets. Your kitchen layout is good and should function well for you. Right now, what I'm seeing is a whole bunch of beige on beige and since you're asking this question - I'm guessing you might want a bit more punch. I recommend keeping permanent elements more neutral. These include items which have to be "glued" down like tile. If you have the budget, consider glass mosiac tiles for a backsplash in a neutral color scheme like cream, warm gray, browns. Check out a tile store (not a big box store) and talk to the professionals there and see their installations. It's hard to tell what your countertops are, but they look neutral to me I would keep them. If you're bent on changing them then consider a laminate, it really is the most durable, low maintenance countertop out there and can come in about 100 colors and patterns. If you'd like something else, check out solid surfaces like the brand name Corian or Formica (yes they make a solid surface countertop), these should be less maintenance than a natural stone. For a modern look, choose a counterop in something more solid, not in a pattern that is supposed to mimic stone. For your floors, I can't tell if they are currently vinyl or tile. If it's vinyl, replacing it with anything other than a vinyl or linoleum (those are different from each other) might cause a difference in flooring levels from one room to another so keep that in mind. You can do this, but you'll have to install a transition strip between them. If it's a tile and you want to swap it out, I'm a fan of contrasting colors, so I'd go with a dark wood floor. You can use traditional wood, bamboo or even cork (which installs in a tile, not a plank). I always recommend using the real product and not choosing a plastic laminate fake wood as they will feel different than the real thing. The dark wood floor will make your lighter cabinets pop. Save your bright colors for your paint, small appliances and accessories (I'd love to see apple green dish towels next to that light maple!). They will be easier to swap out with new colors when you want to refresh your look. Good luck.
June 16, 2012 at 7:43pm   
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RenovateKate
I would go with a darker floor to contrast with your lighter cabinet color (but not so dark that it shows footprints). I would also go with a darker countertop but with lots of movement (so water rings and messes don't show as much). Use dark grout on the floor (will never look dirty) and use your backsplash to tie together the floor, cabinets and countertop (something more decorative than tumbled marble...too "beige").

Add punch by painting the walls a bolder color. Paint is the easiest and least-expensive surface to change should you decide later to change the mood of the room, or just get tired of it.

Would love to see the "finished" room when you're done.
June 16, 2012 at 9:50pm   
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RenovateKate
You might also check out www.freshsurfaces.com if you narrow down your choices. Cool service that I've used for some of my clients.
June 16, 2012 at 9:52pm   
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karen paul interiors
Nicole, you really have the best of all worlds with your kitchen. Your maple cabinets are totally neutral. I would find an inspiration piece and begin there. Lock into a back splash, or a counter top or a floor that really speaks to you. Once you have that, it makes life much easier in deciding on the other elements.
June 16, 2012 at 10:07pm   
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
HI Nicole Collins, Marie here. Natural Maple cabinets are very forgiving, which means you do have lots of options. If you are wanting to stay to the home's roots of traditional, then I'd stay darker with your countertops, and bring in elements of your personality with your accessories and drapery (first photo), if you want it to be more transitional, go with mid to dark countertops, add a mosaic backsplash, paint to compliment that backsplash and modern lighting. If you want to push it more modern, then go lighter countertops, stainless or brushed nickel handles and lighting. Replace the floor to either hardwood, or a really great tile that pushes it more modern or more traditional depending upon your style. For the home's personality though, don't push the flooring too modern (metallic tile or something too linear) or it will feel out of place.
June 16, 2012 at 11:44pm     
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
I would love to see green with these cabinets. Consider a counter color like Sea Foam granite with travertine on the floor. Try to incorporate beige and green in the backsplash, take a look...


Hope that helps. Charmean Neithart
June 17, 2012 at 12:54am   
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bailstorm
Hi there,
We are going to start our kitchen Reno tomorrow....we to our going to be reusing our light maple cabinets which are very similar to yours. I found this great topaz granite. The colours in it are perfect. It has cream, black, grey, brown and pale yellow flecks in it. It complements the maple cabinets perfectly. We are using a mosaic small tile that has similar shades behind our range and hood and cream coloured (with a tiny beige vein) tile elsewhere. We have chosen a 12x24 brown tile (that has tiny lines of grey and maple in it). We have chosen a Paint colour by Benjamin Moore called Devonport Tan. We are going to add red for all of our accessories. We are going to be adding an island and banquette seating which are going to be white with maple showing through...can't wait to get started...hope this helps
June 17, 2012 at 6:22am     
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sheaba
wow designer Charmean (above) had the best ideas as I am doing a bathroom and need to pick color of my maple vanity thanks
June 17, 2012 at 7:19am   
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Nicole Collins
Thanks so much for the advice and reassurance :) We've basically gone down two different paths and got confused over which one we liked best...One option was the brown tiles that we loved with a green quartz and glass tile (I'm concerned the green is too much green though?)....the other option we loved was the more traditional pattern quartz with either a cream tile or the hardwood (we feel the cream washes out the cabinets though and are worried the wood is risky in the kitchen for damage/water damage)...thoughts?
June 17, 2012 at 9:09am   
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bailstorm
The contrasting flooring and counter are nice. The dilemma I'm concerned with in our kitchen is everything looking blah...beige
June 17, 2012 at 1:09pm     
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karen paul interiors
Maple IS forgiving, however, it won't be truly happy surrounded by pink tones. Also, a good contrast in floors with your cabinets will keep everything from feeling washed out. I mention the pink because my monitor is reading such in the green quarts sample as well as your sample to the right. I love the look of wood but it does have it's drawbacks (water damage). However, there are so many porcelain tiles on the market now that look every bit like wood. I just did a herringbone pattern in gray and used the tiles that equated the width of wood floors rather than the wider versions. I've used it in a commercial space and everyone thinks it is wood. People have actually argued with me about what I put down. Pretty funny, but that's how great they can look. The trick is to do a 1/16" grout that runs a tiny bit darker than the tile....same as the feeling you get with wood where the pieces are joined. Just some thoughts.
June 17, 2012 at 1:50pm   
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judianna20
YOUR APPLIANCES ARE WHITE SO I THINK YOU SHOULD MAKE THE COUNTERS WHITE, ALSO. HOW ABOUT WHITE GRANITE? NOW YOU HAVE TWO COLORS WITH WHICH TO WORK, SO MY NEXT COLOR CHOICE WOULD BE B/M STRATTON BLUE ON THE WALLS AND A BLACK AND WHITE FLOOR (SQUARE TILES ON THE DIAGONAL.) NEW PULLS ON THE CABINETS AND A GREAT CHANDELIER TO REPLACE YOUR CEILING LIGHT.
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/clarissa-rectangular-glass-drop-chandelier/?pkey=cchandeliers-pendants OR
http://www.shadesoflight.com/modern-drum-shade-downlight-kitchen-chandelier.html
June 17, 2012 at 2:03pm   
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karen paul interiors
The appliances are being replaced with stainless.
June 17, 2012 at 3:16pm   
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ddmurnion
Our maple cabinets seemed to need a punch of color, so we put terra cotta colored tile with brick red grout. At first it seemed crazy, but everyone loves it. Darker grout lends a pop to subtle shades of tile. Go with colors you like and won't tire of so quickly.
July 15, 2012 at 5:11pm   
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Nicole Collins
Just wanted to say THANK-YOU to all of you who made suggestions - you lead us down the right path! We're very happy with the result. Here are some photos of our nearly finished product (still need a door entry and window framed and blinds...but we're very close!) We hope you approve :)
February 8, 2013 at 7:56pm     
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