Sad about new walnut kitchen cabinets (anyone have solutions?)

Mittens Cat
last year
last modified: last year

First off: yes, I gave final approval to this color. I signed the dotted line. So I know I can't/shouldn't complain. More on that later. Also, I hate complaining about this stuff. (First World Problems!) But here goes...

Our custom kitchen cabinets were installed yesterday. We're going for the contemporary/Midcentury Modern look, with a mix of walnut veneer and white acrylic. The happy news: the white acrylic wasn't nearly as frosty white as I'd feared (big relief!), the dovetails looked great, and the maple veneer interiors are as yummy as I'd hoped. Hooray!

But ohhh...the walnut veneer looks much too yellow to my eyes, I fought back tears. It's not just the yellow, it's how the stain seems to muddle rather than enhance the beauty of the natural grain. Almost as if they melted Kraft caramels with French's yellow mustard and applied it to the wood..) Yuck.

It's probably not *that* bad, right? It'll look better six weeks from now? (I didn't even take photos because I was so bummed out.) In the meantime, trying to figure out how best to work with it or around it. (I realize there's probably no real remedy for the cabinets themselves since I believe the veneer is only 2mm thick.)

I spent much of my night pondering ways we might distract from the cabinets: beautiful hand blown glass pendants...lots of houseplants...a bunch of trained squirrels...

One sorta positive: I'm now very grateful I procrastinated on ordering our hardwood floors. Because I dragged out every sample of hardwood flooring I had and not ONE looked even close to right with this stain. Thank god I didn't purchase any!

I don't know what to do about flooring now. I tried a variety of white oaks, maple, hickory, but the yellow seems to clash with everything. Someone suggested going very dark with the wood, but we feel it'll suck up the light of the room too much. And going with white or super light seems to draw the eye straight to the cabinets.


And for those interested in how I got into this mess: long story short, the cabinet maker and I came to an agreement on a custom stain. He cut a sample in half; I signed the back of both pieces. I took mine with me. It was beautiful. I was thrilled.

A couple weeks later, he asked me to come in to see a sample door. I was confused--to me, it clearly leaned far too yellow. He agreed to try again. When I returned the next week, his attitude was much less cheerful. He had his business partner there at his side. The two men literally stood on both sides of me insisting it was just like the original sample we'd agreed on. I kept saying holding the original sample to it, saying I didn't think so, that it was still yellowish. They didn't seem to understand what I was saying. Back and forth for what seemed an eternity.

I finally caved, doing the stupid thing so many women do, telling myself maybe they're right. Maybe I'm just being overly picky.... UGH. Now that yellow tone reminds me of being too cowardly to stick up for myself. Blah!

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