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what to put with this Granite

Tina Ballinger
January 13, 2020

We just purchased this house and have been in in for a few weeks now, but the bland walls and tan everything is driving me crazy. I want to either stain or paint the cabinet as they are golden Oak and in very good condition. I like the counter-top except for the orange copper color. I feel I can downplay that with just a few copper accents here and there. But it has a good amount of gray as well. My idea was a darker gray stain on the cabinets, white back splash, with light gray walls. We were also thinking of the doors and trim to be white. We are still bouncing on the flooring between hardwood and tile. (Tile that looks like wood because of our large dogs). Any advise would be helpful.

Comments (13)

  • acm

    A few thoughts:

    1) if you paint or stain your cabinets, do you know what you're getting into? this kind of oak takes a lot of prep, often absorbs stain poorly, can be painted with lots of care (and ideally with a sprayer in the garage). or a pro.

    2) if you change the flooring, do you intend to leave the original flooring under the cabinets?

    You might be able to leave the floor alone if you paint the cabinets (white/light gray) and the walls (a cooler white or taupe) -- the latter means committing to painting every room and cabinet that adjoins this space though, so be sure you're all in!

    I think your stone is pretty, but the cabinets are lacking a lot of features you would find with newer ones. Before you sink a lot of money into the look of things, you might be better living there for a year and seeing whether it serves you well (then facelift) or has major functional flaws (then save for bigger overhaul). nobody ever died of earth tones. :))

    Tina Ballinger thanked acm
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    to stain those cabinets would cost as much, if not more, than painting. Have you ever refinished wood? I can tell you that stripping those oak cabs of all previous finishes is not a fun thing to do. at all. And if you think you can just go over it with some type of gel stain, think again. it will look like crap.

    That leaves painting. If you plan on hiring a very good cabinet painter (not a house painter!!) the cost will be in the 4-6K range (depending on where you are). I'd go that route. they'll sand and prime and should spray them w/a spray lacquer. I just had mine done and love them

    I think doing them in a white will look much better. then you could do a gray backsplash if you like.

    I'd also a new cabinet above your fridge. that current one you have there is useless! get one (or have the kitchen cab painters build you one) that bumps out right over the fridge.

    My kitchen cab guys were able to modify my cabs (I moved my micro under the oven) and even give me two large drawers in my island.

    Are you completely happy w/the kitchen layout, if so, then doing the painting would be fine. If you have ideas about enlarging it, then hold off.

    as for the flooring, you could do a nice engineered oak (like I did). it's hand scraped and very durable. Putting in wood-look tile would be just as expensive. (if you go this route, please do your research and look for the very good quality porcelain wood-look tiles. the long ones. if you do the cheap short ones, it looks like poo)

    for your pantry, I'd do some nice vintage looking doors w/glass. with the white cabs and your granite, and french oak flooring, it would look beautiful!

    Tina Ballinger thanked Beth H. :
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  • maddielee

    start by simply adding some hardware to your cabinets.

    Tina Ballinger thanked maddielee
  • suedonim75

    Have you looked into how much work is involved in staining those cabinets? Are the cabinets boxes real wood or are they laminated particle board? You can’t stain particle board.

  • latifolia

    On my phone those countertops look warm, not cool. I would stay with cream, yellow or a warm color. Not only is gray a waning trend, but it may not look good with that granite.

  • dcarendt

    How about a tile in this color:

    Linen Tile

    Tina Ballinger thanked dcarendt
  • Mrs. S

    I think your kitchen is beautiful, and the counters are gorgeous. I love warm tones, and you have that. I'd choose some great hardware for the cabinets, something with substance, and dress up those doors. If you go with, say, polished nickel drawer pulls, I personally would switch out that faucet for polished nickel. Then I would replace the black outlets. Perhaps a rug in there to bring in some color with the warm tones (if you like a rug in your kitchen).

    After that, I'd leave it and save the money for a future reno, if you must. Again, those warm tones are trending, and gray is really waning in popularity. I'm not seeing them in newer model homes near me, but ymmv. And maybe gray is "your thing," in which case, please ignore trends and my advice.

    Tina Ballinger thanked Mrs. S
  • B F

    I don't agree that you have to necessarily match the warmth of the granite. I have orangey brown granite in my bathroom, and I was able to slightly tone it down with white walls and charcoal grey accessories. Choose cooler bulbs too -- anything under 3,000K will bring out the orange.

    If you like grey, choose grey. Don't worry about trends, it's very neutral. It would be like saying white is going out of style, lol.

  • Tina Ballinger

    Thanks everyone that is some great ideas, and Yes i have done many refinishing projects, but not of this size, (bathrooms, and furniture) I have 2 contractors who specialize in kitchen renovations coming to give me quotes and bring samples. The cabinet frames are all wood as well as wood side panels, very good quality just don't like the color. Due to how busy I am at my job, I will also hire a professional painter for the walls and trim, as well as having the flooring installed.

    I do like the kitchen layout, and not wanting to do a complete renovation. We have done 2 full kitchen renovations(tear down to studs, start over) in the past and not wanting to go that far. We are adding some crown molding to the upper cabinets and moving the cabinet over the microwave up 3" and the corner one up 3"(when they added the granite they had to add a lift to the stove so the upper cabinets are a inch to low, mixer does slide under) . We are also talking about adding a vent out of the house for the stove as the one installed in the microwave vents back into the house. We looked at white cabinets as what is what we used in our last home was wanting to add more color and the dark gray of the stain from the sample we brought home pulls the dark gray in the granite out. If we remove the gold of the cabinets and the tan of the back splash I think it will work great. (so depending we may go with a dark gray paint, I just like stain better.

    As for the flooring, we have to change it, it is laminate and next to the sliding glass door it is sun damaged. We have 2 American Bulldogs each are over 100 lbs, that is why we need a super durable floor that will last a while.

    I have hardware for the cabinets and I love the idea of french doors on the pantry, that would give it a great up to date feel, just would have to go with frosted glass, so it would look neat and clean.

  • SJ McCarthy

    Right now, the counter tops match the cabinets. And the floors have been used to high light the counters. At this point, you have 3 items tied together. You change one and the other two need looking into.

    The MOVEMENT in the stone is very impressive. The COLOURS are not in line with your own internal colour coordinator. That I get. I HATE orange.

    I would hesitate to go dark in this kitchen. Your lighting does not support a dark kitchen. You would have to update that as well if you go dark. Personally I would go white (but that's me). A white that is purpose matched to the white in the counter top will tone down all but the nastiest orange flecks.

    You can then use a mid-tone floor to anchor the space. You would have light/white cabinets with light counters (lots of movement) and probably a light backsplash. The deeper tones can be on the floor if you like.

    If you go dark stain on the cabinets you will enhance the dark brown of the slab and that in turn will make the orange in the slab POP. Yep. Dark cabs will HIGHLIGHT the orange/brass colouring in the slab. And you will have a dark kitchen that needs to be lit in a completely different way then what is happening right now.

    And then you would have to use the flooring to lighten the space up. It looks like you currently have a vinyl product. Laminate (the photograph on wood fibre board) rarely discolours....very very rarely. But VINYL changes colours in direct sunlight inside of 1 year. That's why my guess is you have vinyl....unless you can prove that you have laminate with wood fibre board.

    Anyway, if you have laminate or vinyl it doesn't matter. The window sliders have PROVEN they have very little UV protection on them. That means they have already shown that VINYL is OUT. We are down to porcelain, stone or wood for a durable floor.

    Your kitchen floor MATERIAL will be dictated by what you have elsewhere. Do you have carpet, wood, laminate anywhere else? And if so, are you planning on changing them in the next 10 years?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    I'd go w/stone or tile for your floors. It will hold up better and last longer than any of the vinyl stuff.

    here are some great choices: (check out Tilebar. you get 5 samples for $5)

    These are a few of their porcelain tile choices: (and all would work w/your kitchen choices)

    24x24 tile that looks like limestone.

    above, 30xx30 Arkim Lipica porcelain. more of a warmer neutral.

    Below, is the 12x24 (or 24x24) Basic Cement Ash tile

    Above^ is the wood look tile in an 8x45 size called Montana Chestnut (they have a few other colors in this line. it's a very nice quality wood-look tile)

    Above^, is their porcelain 30x30 called Arkim Persian Black. It would look like a dark gray slate. I really like this one too. So versatile, small grout lines, easy to clean.

    below, Concreto 8x36 porcelain. if you want something lighter

    Basalt Tile

    and a regular french oak engineered wood

    Tina Ballinger thanked Beth H. :
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    oh, forgot this one...It's the Cavatina tile in the Bronze. 24x24 (and you can use their app thing to view it on your floor)

    they have a light one or a dark one. this is Italian porcelain

    cavatina corda

  • Tina Ballinger

    Thanks so much we have a contractor coming over next week to take measurements and let us know how much tile is needed.

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