White kitchen cabinets- design dilemma

torreyhillsAugust 28, 2013
I am re-doing my kitchen and I have my heart set on a white kitchen. However, I'm concerned that durability with white kitchen cabinets may not be there (something about visible seams over time). I am also noticing that while I LOVE some photos of white kitchens there are other examples of white kitchens that look cheap and bland to me. Is it the color of white (e.g. pure white versus antique white) that gives that impression?

Thoughts?
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torreyhills
Here's an example of a bland white kitchen I came across in my house hunt. Something about this kitchen looks off to me but I can't put my finger on it.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:12PM
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quercus2
The selection of hardware makes all the difference in white cabinets. I can barely see the hardware in your example bland white kitchen photo. Are they small clear glass knobs? White cabinets with black countertops look really good with relatively large black hardware. See photo. Change the style of the hardware to match the style of your room (contemporary, traditional, etc.) Also, in the example photo, the painted white windsor chairs with blond wood that doesn't match the wood of the floor look terrible and cheap.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:19PM
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torreyhills
Thanks for responding Quercus2. So do you think just changing out the hardware in my bland example would make the difference? Its my opinion that while hardware certainly adds to the look, there is something implicit in the cabinets that make the kitchen look cheap in my example... I'm not a professional though so all I can tell is that it feels "off" to me but I can't identify why.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:26PM
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PRO
Aggie dba Aggie Designs
Well, for starters, the kitchen in the bland example is 20 years old, the appliances are old and outdated and black, the chandeliers are hideous and the table cloth is ridiculous. For an older kitchen it looks good.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:35PM
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quercus2
What Aggie said ...
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:40PM
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Judy M
2nd photo has custom cabinets with crown molding and range hood is a feature. It is also a professionally taken photo.

The differences are in the details.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:42PM
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dianepettis
Very outdated....plus the wall color is really flat and bland. I am not a white cabinet lover...it feels cold to me, but there are sooooo many pics of them. I would love to do a painted cabinet but that ole gnawing fear comes into play...what if it gets old fast?
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:42PM
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PRO
Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Judy is right, it is the details and overall pulling everything together that makes the difference. You can see the same differences in one kitchen vs another that have stained cabinets.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Merry McMahon
The cabinets in your photo look like cheap ones, possibly thermofoil which is a wrapped product and has a plastic feel. The cabinets in the picture someone else posted look like a painted shaker style which are beautiful. Keep in mind that paint is more expensive than stained, approximately 15 percent more, but definitely worth it if you choose white. If done correctly a kitchen with white cabinets will not feel cold - its all in the other choices such as flooring, counter and backsplash, hardware, etc.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by torreyhills    August 28, 2013 at 4:04PM
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torreyhills
Thank you all for writing. I feel better about my decision about white cabinets. It seems as long as I stay away from hideous chandeliers and ridiculous tablecloths I should be good to go ;)

Are there concerns with white cabinets that I should be aware of such as staining?
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:06PM
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torreyhills
Thank you Merry! That's what I was thinking too! I don't know for certain if the cabinets in my example are thermafoil but I do know I much prefer the later example posted.

How can one tell the difference between thermafoil, stained and painted cabinets when viewing inspiration photos?
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Judy M
There are differences in the construction of cabinets and then there are differences in door and drawer details.

A visit to a few places that carry cabinets and asking questions will help to educate you on what to
Look for in construction and how to spot the differences.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:14PM
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Judy M
In the second photo, the doors are inset into the frame, they do not lay over the frame.
Some doors are called full overlay meaning there is no center stile blocking (supporting) the area between a double cabinet.

Drawer glides of full extension and soft close drawers and doors are also features, to learn about.

In some kitchens, all the base cabinets are flush to each other and some (often at sink or stove) are deeper which gives the kitchen some dimension.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Judy M
European Inspired Kitchen · More Info

Sink cabinet is deeper with detail on each side.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Judy M
Kitchen · More Info

Cooktop base cabinet is deeper
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Judy M
In this pic notice the cabinet feet.

Verona Ranges across the country · More Info


All part of the details
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by torreyhills    August 28, 2013 at 4:27PM
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torreyhills
WOW!!! Judy thank you SO MUCH for adding photos. I'm a visual learner and the photos you attached are very helpful. I never thought about the "dimensional" aspect but you are right, it does add visual interest from an otherwise flat look. I'm going to write this tip down in my renovation notebook! Thank you again, this is wonderful advice.
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Judy M
Glad I can help.
Here's one you'll like, these look like decorative legs on each side of cooktop, but they pull out for spices. :) no more reaching over a hot stove for spices.
Kitchen Remodel · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Judy M
Similar but different style pullout.
Mine look like these.

Classically Modern Kitchen · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:44PM
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torreyhills
How neat! You're right, I do like that! But then again who wouldn't like it! :) These are beautiful photos you've gathered. Are you a decorator or designer?
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:51PM
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favoritegram
I have one of the spice pull outs and love it my only regret is not putting one on each side of my stove and having 2
    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Judy M
Neither, just like decorating.
We own three beach rentals that we have renovated, so I get a lot
Of practice.
Plus our own home.

We use one side for cooking spices and other side for baking spices (of course a few
Of those overlap in use)
1 Like    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 5:42PM
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