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Follow my heart or follow my designer?

bondia
26 days ago

I trust my designer and respect her recommendations. However, on one point (kitchen counters) while I know the two recommendations she gave me are correct from a design POV, I don't love either, in fact I barely like them. I have another countertop choice that makes my heart sing but she says the colors are not quite perfect together. Anyone else ever had this dilemma and if so, what did you do and how to you feel about it now?


(I'm asking more about the general topic but in case you are interested in the specifics - my designer is recommending either London Grey or Alpine Mist [both Caesarstone] counters to contrast with SW Pure White cabinets. I would like to use Viatera Minuet counters which she says are too off-white to go with Pure White which she says is a true white. Changing the cabinet color is not an option.)


Thank you!

Comments (100)

  • Mamaham_NC_Zone7
    25 days ago

    I love Kylie m interiors. Her posts are so detailed and helpful. picking whites is the most difficult ! She has lots of posts on it.


    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/painting-kitchen-cabinets-how-to-pick-the-best-paint-colour/


    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/how-to-choose-the-best-white-for-your-kitchen-cabinets/


    She did this kitchen in sw pure white and minuet (someone else posted above too).


    https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/a-brand-new-white-kitchen-with-sw-pure-white-and-cyberspace/

    bondia thanked Mamaham_NC_Zone7
  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    I haven't taken the time to read thru all the posts, but just wanted to say that while I completely understand and agree with the concept that changing this major element will affect other choices and the design as a whole, if you don't like the choices she posed then you don't like them, plain and simple. No amount of reasoning that her choices "go together" is going to make you like them. And that's okay. There is no reason with the 1 million+ choices of countertops in either man-made or natural materials that you can't find something that both looks good and makes your heart sing -- that's the sweet spot you're looking for. It may take some time to find it, but there's no reason it can't be done and will be worth the extra time it takes. You're going to be looking at that counter every.single.day -- do not settle for what you do not love.

    bondia thanked mxk3 z5b_MI
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  • everdebz
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I can't read them all... designer doesn't push, to convince, but at least be able to explain WHY, and help client. Not with every item I suppose, but fixed elements.

    bondia thanked everdebz
  • Jennifer Hogan
    24 days ago

    @JuneKnow XIV - I alter recipes all the time. When I moved from the desert climate to a humid climate I had to alter many of my already altered recipes again. Following a recipe creates a dish that someone loved enough to publish, but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't alter it to fit your taste preferences or to make it healthier.

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  • bondia
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    everdebz, the designer did explain her reasoning, she said that most "white" quartz is actually off white and thus too creamy to pair with true white cabinets. She has seen Minuet online, not sure about in person.


    Jan Moyer, the cabinets are not yet painted. But I question if any white paint will look right at all times of day, in all types of light, with something made of a different material? Is that possible?

    If it were possible for me to take two days for a trip to see quartz slabs I would love to do that but other obligations have prevented me. That is a beautiful kitchen! Thank you for the photos.


    RedRyder, the granite and your kitchen are beautiful and I'm so glad you found the granite you were looking for. I could change the paint color to another true white but my designer said Minuet is off white and I don't want off white cabinets. They are lovely in other people's homes but just not what I want. My designer gave me two cabinet paint options - Extra White and Pure White. Extra White was too bright for me; I love Pure White.


    Jennifer Hogan, Kylie does give me hope that the combo could work! Thank you for that link, and the others, they are very helpful.


    LilDesignWorks, our flooring will be laid starting Monday so that will be helpful. The designer was fine with the flooring I had tentatively chosen. In real life, there isn't any noticeable red, it's a pretty classic, mid tone, neutral floor. I spent a long time choosing the flooring and it's a relief to have that decision out of the way. And I actually think the colors look great together in the photos you added so thank you for that. I intend to use a true white, 3x6 subway tile for the backsplash. That should be a simple decision :) And thank you for the link to Kylie's article about Pure White, very helpful about the paint reflecting the surroundings. And that's why I like Pure White - it is ever so slightly warm without being creamy.


    JuneKnow XIV, I have been very aware of and concerned about exactly what you are talking about, the cascading domino affect of changing even one thing, and I appreciate the reminder and your taking the time to post, I certainly value your input. I understand that if I do go with Minuet, that may negatively impact the wall color my designer chose and that I really like (SW Heron Plume.)


    Thor, I love the visual analogy!


    barncatz, thank you for the information and the link, helpful information about lighting in there, and thank you for doing some research on this! I don't think anyone on this thread has actually said they have seen the combo and didn't like it.


    Mamaham, thank you also for the links, I also love Kylie's posts.


    mxk3 - exactly. At this point (mental exhaustion) I am willing to give up Minuet, but I still can't go with the designer's two options, I truly wish I could but both have something specific I object to. I have looked at SO many samples and none stand out to me in a positive way. But I'll be looking at more slabs locally tomorrow.


    I have just contacted a local designer who is going to help me; hopefully she can get me through this mental impasse. She is familiar with the designer who did my e-package so I am confident she will understand my issues.


    I SO appreciate everyone's input. I have read every single comment more than once and appreciate them all, even those I did not reply directly to. Thank you for being generous with your expertise, for doing research for me, and thank you for your positive support.

  • everdebz
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I'm still going to ask - with the counter you like - do you see an entire plan in your mind? I don't think you said so... this is farmhouse:


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  • everdebz
    24 days ago

    I'm not criticizing necessarily, but maybe she could adapt it for you, in some way.... maybe this 'richer' counter is same color as the grout, for example... Would that help yours? doubt it and Idk if you want to continue...

    Is this style usually a mishmash mix of different finishes, etc.? I don't mind it.


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  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    "But I question if any white paint will look right at all times of day, in all types of light, with something made of a different material? Is that possible?"

    Yes. No. Why?

    Because all colors , even SW Purse White, will appear differently at different times of the day, in spring in summer in the dead of winter. With lights on, with them off. It is the nature of paint, and color. You see it by comparison as well .......to any other color in a space.

    The brightest white linen shirt you own from last year? Put it on with the brand new white jeans . OOPS. A little dingy. .........? Two walls of cabinetry ? One may look different depending where the light in the space comes from. But I can say with total certainty............that all Six of these kitchens are VERY White....AND NONE ARE THE SAME WHITE. NONE HAVE THE SAME COUNTER TOP. Not one is an "off white" kitchen. First and fifth pic are same kitchen.

    Quatite, Marble,Quarttz,Soapstone, Quartz, quartzite .........: ) all different. They all change with lights on, off, abundant spring greenery or a snow storm out the window, lights on, lights off. SW Pure White will do the same thing.


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    bondia thanked JAN MOYER
  • barncatz
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    ^^^ I think this is a very clear summation of an often garbled topic.

    When we refreshed our kitchen six years ago, I wanted marble. DH really dislikes it. His choice was a very pretty white granite. As I researched back then, I remember thinking how beautiful Minuet looked in that kitchen at the end of the "Minuet thread" I posted.


    This thread is rather ironic, because it reminds me that our counter is lovely and I still regret my lost Minuet (or marble) counter.

    bondia thanked barncatz
  • bondia
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    Jan Moyer, thank you so much for the photos, they are very helpful and inspirational. I believe I understand what you are saying. So expanding on that, is it correct to say that no white wall combined with another white surface, say quartz, will ever look perfectly coordinated 100% of the time due to light changes? (Which is why my decorator wanted me to go with something non-white that would provide contrast rather than matching/coordination.) So if I want white walls and a white surface, I have to accept that? If that is true, then I am OK as Minuet and Pure White, in my kitchen, look great well over 50% of the time, and I don't think they ever look awful. Thank you for all the time you've given me and if you are willing to continue this topic, I'd appreciate being corrected if I'm wrong.


    barncatz, I'm glad you still like your counter!


    Jennifer Hogan, I have wondered if anyone would answer the original question! No complaints though, I didn't expect all this specific help but it's been invaluable. I love your story and experiences. I can perfectly picture your wall looking like dirty makeup. I'm so glad you were able to find, then become, a color expert. And what a wonderful thing you did for your sister. Four dogs and ten cats - hello, fellow animal lover! Though you have me topped, our high number was one dog and six cats, plus two feral cats I fed. I loved your story, you are a good writer too. Especially like the way you tie in color and your personal belief system - that is worthy of a book or at least an article in a magazine, maybe you should pitch it. I was born in 1954 so I get it. Thank you!

  • bondia
    Original Author
    24 days ago

    everdebz, I think of my style generally as Transitional. I guess my vision for my kitchen is French bakery/café meets See’s candy store. (Does that sound too cutesy?) Having a tie in with the grout color makes complete sense theoretically but my designer specified, and I prefer, white grout with white tile. But I understand that was just a suggestion and I am sure there are other ways to implement that theory and it sounds like a really good idea.

  • stillpitpat
    24 days ago

    Finding whites that work together is challenging but not impossible. I spent a lot of time, and a bit of money, experimenting to find a pair that worked. I have glacier white corian, and I bought several white paint samples (at least 7), made sample boards, and then tested each sample in my demoed kitchen space in morning, afternoon, and evening light, and nighttime with artificial lights. Some of the samples looked great with the corian in some lights and then turned grayish or muddy in others. I took careful notes and then picked the one that had the most positives. It either looks perfect or good, depending on the time of day. It depends a lot on your specific space and lighting (including how warm your light bulbs are). I got some white suggestions here, but the one I went with was not among them.

    bondia thanked stillpitpat
  • RedRyder
    24 days ago

    If I could, I would fly my designer over to you. She is a true Color Savant.

    bondia thanked RedRyder
  • Missi (4b IA)
    24 days ago

    Colors and lighting are tricky. I can never find the right color for the kitchen/dining and living room. My husband insists we've lost square footage b/c of how many times we've repainted. Lighter colors set me on edge, trying to figure out. My basement is a dark purple and dark gray-people harped on me about "you CAN'T put dark colors in a basement" like it was a law--except 11 years later I *still* love it. For the upstairs, so many hours spent reading and looking at pictures on line, buying samples and moving painted canvases all over b/c I'd read about lighting, so yep totally know what to do...Agreeable Gray was perfect (I thought) for the kitchen/dining, pantry, living room, both kids' rooms.


    Once we put cabinets and such in-I loved it in the kids rooms, but nowhere else. Nobody else could see it but me. Blue-ish purple-ish, when I wanted a gray-brown color. I didn't care if it was gray in some lights and brown in some or gray-brown in others. Blue/purple made me want to cry. Detested it w/the counters. Went thru the process again, Repose Gray, ok, do over then. Better, but still, with neither of those colors did I see an issue when I had all the samples together. I thought they looked lovely. Then once the walls were painted all I could think of was the choking noise Bugs Bunny makes. I hate that heart sinking to the toes feeling when you mess up.


    I posted on here when I had the second go round of oh no what did I do paint color failure. Some thought it looked fine (most didn't like it tho), some didn't like the counters/cabinets together themselves. I'm hoping getting new lighting makes a difference in those rooms as well. If not, I'll leave it for a while and decide if the counter or cabinet color will be changed.


    All this to say...I *like* the pictures/links above that were of the choices you're wanting. I think they look nice together! There was a thread a couple weeks ago about two choices for a counter that she liked, one was like...crazy wild dramatic and man was it stunning. I don't remember if it was a question about which one was best w/the cabinet color or not, but for that counter I'd've repainted ha! I guess, were it me, and I loved that Minuet counter, I'd go into it w/my eyes open that maaaybe it might not turn out exactly as I planned, and that's ok, if it is a bothersome thing, I can just repaint the cabinets if needed (or whatever the case may be). Or, if I don't want to chance it, there *has* to be a counter that works w/the cabinet color, so I need to keep looking. I can not possibly imagine there is a paint color that in the entire world only two countertops will work w/it.

    bondia thanked Missi (4b IA)
  • HU-290654264
    24 days ago

    If you want to strike out and go rogue, and “do what you love” why did you hire a designer to begin with? Why didn’t you just say to heck with all the potential for colors and patterns clashing? I don’t care.

    bondia thanked HU-290654264
  • Becky H
    24 days ago

    I’m wanting to paint my custom cabinets pure white. So far I’ve picked out MSI calcatta laza for countertops. I used a remnant pc of laza in my bathroom on a very bright white cabinet from HD. I’m ok with the difference in the bathroom but wouldn’t like it in my kitchen.

    bondia thanked Becky H
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    23 days ago

    It's possible that your designer can see what you can not YET see. Designers are paid to "see" in advance. Some see clearly, some do not. Some are good , some are not.

    All ANYONE is saying is that "minuet" is not the ONLY top for a white kitchen. That SW"pure white " is not the only "white"

    You pay to get a result that takes you to a "french bakery" or any other place. . Otherwise ? You select all and enjoy the result.

    bondia thanked JAN MOYER
  • everdebz
    23 days ago

    I'm gonna add though it's been said - Jan's post shows how "a picture is worth a thousand words" -- maybe your designer didn't know or bother. I liked Jennifer's good 'luck' with her kind, artistic, and a communicator... it isn't "one size one way for all."

    bondia thanked everdebz
  • Jennifer Hogan
    23 days ago

    My dad was a doctor, one of my sisters was a doctor and one of my brothers was a hospital administrator. I was taught to respect physicians. They went through years of training to become experts in the field of health care. They know far more than I know.


    2 years ago I went to urgent care because I didn't feel well - I felt exhausted, overheated, nauseated and my arms ached. It was the middle of January. I was 57, in relatively good health, active, had low cholesterol, low blood pressure, exercised regularly.


    I had gotten a flu shot in the fall, but the doctor tested me for the flu anyway. It came back negative, but he still felt that my symptoms indicated that I had the flu. He sent me home with a prescription for an antiviral and told me to check in with my PCP in a couple of days.


    Over the next 5 weeks I saw my PCP twice, another physician at my PCPs practice, a surgeon (I had thrown up so violently that I got a hernia) and was finally referred to a rheumatologist for the arm pain. Every doctor told me that sometimes, if we have a bad case of the flu, the symptoms can linger.


    I saw the Rheumatologist and was told that I had tendonitis that was most likely aggravated by the flu. I went home, went to bed and woke to excruciating arm pain. I called 911 and an ambulance was dispatched. By the time the ambulance got to my house I was throwing up again and knew something was terribly wrong. The EMT took my vitals and told me I was probably having an anxiety attack. On the way to the hospital the portable EKG machine started jumping all over the place. I was having a heart attack. I arrived at the hospital and had a stent implanted. I had a 99% block in the widow maker.


    I was told by the cardiologist that test showed that this was not my first heart attack and I probably had several silent heart attacks prior to the major attack. I looked him square in the eye and told him they were not silent and went on to tell him my story.


    I get it. It was the middle of flu season. Once the first doctor diagnosed me as having the flu the others knew that was the issue and kept explaining my symptoms based on that first diagnosis. They had no real compelling reason to doubt his competence.


    My ingrained belief that doctors are always right and not to be questioned almost put me 6 feet under the ground. In all honesty, I knew I didn't have the flu. I had the flu in the past and knew this was different.


    Professionals are trained in their profession, but no one knows you better than yourself and no one can advocate for you better than yourself.


    Just like physicians, designers are trained to be experts in their field, but that doesn't stop them from diagnosing you with the flu in the middle of flu season even if you are having a heart attack. The counter choices they make may be perfect for someone's home, but if those counters don't bring joy to your heart it isn't the right choice for your home. No one knows you better than you know yourself.

    bondia thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • lindalana 5b Chicago
    23 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Just showing you my struggle. White that is warm vs white that is cold. This is Corian Glacier white which has warm undertone and Designer white which has cool undertone. Lousy lighting though. Get samples maybe order a trivet from Viatera or something.

    Good to have designer's input but it has to be pleasing to your eye.







    bondia thanked lindalana 5b Chicago
  • Peter Mugwedji
    23 days ago

    But surely if you hired the designer: that means you took the time to see his work, consult and throw about a few ideas as to what is that you are looking for.


    It feels like a dilemma: of who can I trust the expert or my heart.

    https://bit.ly/3doo900. 

    That‘s my two cents worth of thought.


    bondia thanked Peter Mugwedji
  • bondia
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    stillpitpat, I admire your organization. I have done something similarly but in a less organized way and without taking notes. If you found something that is perfect to good, I think that is a huge success.


    RedRyder, I would love that!!!


    Missi (4b1A), I feel your pain, that is an awful feeling. My paint experience so far has been the opposite - I made a 12x12 sample of the color my designer recommended for the walls and really didn't like it as I carried it around the room, it had an odd pink tone. Finally my husband painted an entire wall for me and the pink disappeared and I love the color (thank goodness.) Good luck to you going forward!


    HU-290654264, I very much want a well coordinated home and knew the designer could guide me to that. However, there is more to any feature than just a correct color and unfortunately, although her choices are correct for good color design, I dislike other aspects of them. I don't think hiring a designer requires that people completely give up their own taste and preferences, and each choice involves multiple factors.


    Becky H, I am thinking the same thing. If I don't use Minuet in my kitchen, I will still use it in my primary bathroom where I know I'll be fine with it combined with Pure White, even if I decide against that combination in my kitchen.


    JAN MOYER, I agree about the designer seeing ahead to what I can't see, that is true. And I do understand that Minuet and Pure White are not the only choices. And yet, after looking at scores of quartz, quartzite, and granite samples in person and online, and yesterday looking at dozens and dozens of slabs in person at four warehouses, I haven't found anything I like as well, though I have found a few that I do like OK. Is this like falling in love with Mr Wrong?


    Jennifer Hogan, what a terrifying experience. And it sounds like a classic illustration of heart attacks in women being misdiagnosed. I hope you have made a complete recovery? And thank you for turning that awful experience into a great analogy, point well made.


    lindalana 5b Chicago - whites are SO HARD. Good luck with your struggle, I feel it. I do have a bunch of samples, Viatera gives the biggest/most helpful I think, and seemed to only charge for the freight. Caesarstone sent wimpy ones and overcharged IMO. Got some nice free ones yesterday at a warehouse.


    Peter Mugwedji, oh, yes, I've followed this designer online and am very familiar with her work which is top knotch, and we generally share the same taste as far as color. She allowed me extensive input. But no two people have identical taste and color is not the only aspect of home decor, there is pattern, too, among other things. Unfortunately the link you included does not work, is there a way to redo it?

  • theresen
    22 days ago

    Wow, I’ve glanced at a few of the wordy, yet largely unhelpful responses.

    1. I went through similar. Had my heart set on soapstone, but got lots of resistance and warnings. Went with my heart and haven’t looked back! Singing hearts shouldn’t go unheard 😉❤️
    2. Here are some examples of your selection with white and I’d go for it! Even play up the grey a little like that one photo.

    bondia thanked theresen
  • theresen
    22 days ago

    In case you’re open to similar options, this one seems to include more white that could help tie in better, but is nearly the same.

    bondia thanked theresen
  • bondia
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    theresen, I like that motto, and I'm glad to hear it worked for someone, going with what you really wanted. The gray really does add to it, doesn't it? I hadn't thought of a gray island, though I am going with greige wall paint per my decorator's suggestion. (I am not always a rebel.) I will check out the Cambria, I haven't seen that one before, thank you.

  • theresen
    22 days ago

    The wall color is entirely dependent on your situation, but I just used Behr “weathered white” in our kitchen and the next darker shade “cotton grey” on the rest of the main level. I really like it so far. Very neutral undertones. No pink or lavender, or any other weirdness.

    bondia thanked theresen
  • Jennifer Hogan
    22 days ago

    @Missi (4b IA) - It isn't you! Darker, more saturated colors are easier for everyone to see. Large samples are easier for everyone to see. Looking at samples when they are near other colors changes the way we see the color. Every person sees color a bit differently. Since color is the reflection of light waves hitting our retinas, the quality of light waves being reflected changes the length of the waves being reflected.


    Color acuity (the ability to see differences in color) is learned. If you colored and played with finger paints and played with makeup you were learning color acuity while doing these activities. They did a study on color acuity on people born and raised in the artic circle and found that color acuity was impacted by date of birth. Just being exposed to a larger variety of colors when they were learning to distinguish color during the first year of development changed their ability to see differences in color for the rest of their lives. There is rapid development of the visual cortex during the first year of life, but it isn't fully developed until we are about 10 years old.


    Other studies show that men see motion better than women and women see color better than men. Just another Hunter/Gatherer phenomena.


    In addition to all these differences we have to throw in 'mood'. If we are depressed, we see less color. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that carries information from our retinas to our brain and when dopamine is limited everything turns grayer. The opposite of this is when we see colors that we associate with happy memories dopamine production increases. Surround yourself with colors you love!


    BTW - I often advise people to use more saturated and darker color in low light conditions (basements).


    The only difference between true white, true gray and true black is the amount of light reflected off the surface.


    Without light white cannot appear white.





    bondia thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • isabellagracepan
    22 days ago

    I think you should definitely go with what you love. You are going to see the countertops everytime you work in that kitchen, and you want something that fills your heart with joy!

    I think it is a specifically North American worry about whites all going together. British and European design magazines frequently showcase gorgeous rooms with a variety of whites.

    Choosing something you don't love will only build up resentment. I don't like the designers choices either, and I would choose a white countertop with white cabinets like you want to do.

    It is your house! Only you will know what you really love. Things don't have to look perfectly matched to look good together. If you like how they look then that is enough.

    bondia thanked isabellagracepan
  • Thalia B.
    21 days ago

    In summary.....
    You do you Boo!

    bondia thanked Thalia B.
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    "I agree about the designer seeing ahead to what I can't see, that is true. And I do understand that Minuet and Pure White are not the only choices. And yet, after looking at scores of quartz, quartzite, and granite samples in person and online, and yesterday looking at dozens and dozens of slabs in person at four warehouses, I haven't found anything I like as well, though I have found a few that I do like OK. Is this like falling in love with Mr Wrong??

    Nothing is going to convince you it MAY not be the best choice. I said MAY. If you want it ? Do it. Just be prepared for a paint job on the cabinets. If YOU turn out to wrong.

    Designers learn to fall out of love with the impossible. To re think a room a house a surface, a selection. Because experience tells us there are thousands of avenues to rooms a client will love. All spaces are the SUM of their elements. You can insist on having the "it" and find it won't live in the isolated realm you selected.......it depends the whole.

    Again, only you know what you want, and only YOU will be unhappy if you don't get it. Just leave the dollars and a "window" open for the other set in stone elements. Or ask the designer for a half day in a pint store, a bunch of test boards and adjust your cabinet white,. There's no magic here, not in words either.

    bondia thanked JAN MOYER
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Last and I am out.

    Word a client never wants to hear: No

    Word a designer tries to use sparingly: No.

    Why.......you may ask?

    Because the sentence we NEVER want to hear is:

    "She should have known, and she should have TOLD me".

    She did. The rest is up to you. TA TA .!

    bondia thanked JAN MOYER
  • Jennifer Hogan
    20 days ago

    @JAN MOYER - have you ever told a client no without looking at the combination they are asking about?


    That is what is bothering me with this whole post. No one has looked at the combination together and said no.


    The OP Wrote: "The designer did explain her reasoning, she said that most "white" quartz is actually off white and thus too creamy to pair with true white cabinets."


    To me this means she has not seen this quartz, she is saying no based on lack on knowledge, not personal experience or true knowledge.


    I have not seen one designer who posted on this Dilemma say- I looked at the two together and it doesn't work.


    I have seen a 1/2 dozen posts where designers deliberately used these two colors together and a recommendation from Beth H telling someone to use Pure White with Minuet.


    Should we be basing any opinion on the recommendation from a designer who has not personally seen the countertop?

    bondia thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Jinx
    20 days ago

    Jan, designers are not a monolith. Houzz forums are the best proof of that I’ve ever seen.

    Everyone should just speak for themselves, not some designer they’ve never met and know nothing about.

    ”Last and I am out.” As if! 😂🤣

    bondia thanked Jinx
  • bondia
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    JAN MOYER (and I realize she may not see this) - I understand what you are saying about rooms being the sum of their elements. If I were choosing between an element I love and an element the decorator recommends that I like OK, it would be acceptable to sacrifice what I love for the benefit of the whole. But I am talking about a recommendation that I actively dislike. No one should have to live with that. I can give up what I love if needs be but I have to at least like or tolerate the alternative. I think the problem for me has been the nature of an e-design package where there is not in person interaction and the ability to ask multiple questions. I knew this would be the case upfront so I'm not complaining, just observing. And because I really wanted to work with this particular designer, I do not regret my choice. But even she would not say she is on such a pedestal that her choices cannot be questioned.


    Jennifer Hogan - I had the same thought, no designers have told me that they looked at this combo and didn't like it, and as you said, some designers on line have used the combo. Very interesting about color acuity/mood/light/male-female! In fairness to my designer, I am not sure she hasn't actually seen Minuet, it is used a lot and she is very on the ball so it's possible she has seen it, it just wasn't clear to me.


    isabellagracepan, interesting about the US/UK-European perspectives. And I have had the thought that I may not know enough to be unhappy if things aren't quite right from a designer's POV😁


    theresen, I will look at Cotton Gray, you had me at "no undertones."


    Thalia B - thanks!


    Jinx, agree, designers are a varied group! But the ones on Houzz all are generous with their time and knowledge, I am surprised that so many are willing to give advice and help, etc. I am grateful to all those who have commented on here, pros and not.

  • theresen
    20 days ago

    @bondia you’re welcome. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work for you. Paint colors are super tricky and are different for each room and each house.I’m also not normally one to crap on a certain brand, but we had a very alarming situation with Behr paint. Specifically their Marquee line. The paint peeled off in large rubbery sheets. I love looking through their palettes, but I’ve been using other brands since. Our painter swears by SW. They have great colors too, but anywhere you have paint mixed that can match other colors.

    bondia thanked theresen
  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Remote and long distance projects? Both require that questions involve TWO people looking at the same things from their locations. Paint, surface whatever it may be. The designer AND the client. This is why God has samples available everywhere in quartz, and in paint.

    If o n a long distance project, and a situation there is no possible way I can accurately weigh in? I SAY that. .......... If the designer can't get off her fanny to grab a sample of what YOU love, or it isn't available to her anywhere, or she can not order a sample or you can not fed x her a sample......? Is she seeing what you are seeing, and vice versa.

    Either way, the issue was "you wanted to work with her" and then became one of trusting her advice.

    The best scenario is two folks in the SAME locale. But. As one who has successful projects from great distance all over this USA? ? I can also say my fed x bills reflect that. Tech time, print scan, text Face Time......whatever it takes. I am not a "here is your package" design. Whether in person, or long distance, if I don't think it works, I say so and with all the reasons. In the end, it is not my house, If the situation is extreme and a disaster in the making? I make them SIGN. "You were advised .........." If a client comes up with an alternate whatever solution to any given situation and I consider it great? I say it is that. It is not about dictum or egos. Ever. Design is collaboration no matter the miles between the collaborators.

    bondia thanked JAN MOYER
  • jjam
    20 days ago

    This has been a most interesting thread! Someone posted earlier about the reality that sometimes you don't love every individual piece of the puzzle. That makes a lot of sense. I can't speak to how much input the designer should have, but I know that sometimes I have a favorite color, texture, or piece of furniture that I love on its own but it doesn't fit in the big picture. Harmony is what I am seeking when putting together a space. That doesn't mean it will be boring. The pieces should be interesting when next to each other without fighting for attention. A good mix of surfaces should result in both looking better together than they do on their own. If that's not true for your countertop and paint color, then it's ok to keep looking, even if you have to give up a part of it that you love. In the end, I think you'll be happier.

    bondia thanked jjam
  • RedRyder
    20 days ago

    I just think you can’t live with a countertop you hate. It’s such a large element in a kitchen. You have to love it. Change the cabinet door color to match the countertop. You are finding it hard to replace the one you love (unless the Cambria suggestion works). Make the white paint work with the stone choice.

    bondia thanked RedRyder
  • judianna20
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    I don't think the color of the cabinets needs to control the color of the quartz, in that cabinets are "furniture". Assuming your trim is also Pure White, also, my thought is go with the counter you love and choose a perfect compliment to the pure white cabinets/trim.

    Viatera Minuet.


    S W, recommends March Wind....here it is paired with white trim:


    I know this sweet horse has been around a while, but it is a good example of why different whites can work together.



    bondia thanked judianna20
  • Tina
    20 days ago

    Following.......

  • Jennifer Hogan
    20 days ago

    Undertones are tricky and the lighter, more reflective the color the trickier undertones become. What is "No undertone" in one home on one surface may be pink or green or blue in another.


    We have multiple things at play.

    The color itself has certain physical properties. Luminance, Chroma and Hue.

    The surface it is painted on may be smooth or rough and that will change how the light reflects off the surface.

    The paint has different gloss levels which changes how much light is reflected off the paint.

    Then you add in the quality and color of the light that is either coming through the windows or produced by artificial lighting in your home.

    The last part of the equation is the colors that surround the color you are looking at. Our brains receive about 11 million bits of information per second, but we only process about 50 bits of information per second. Our brain groups data so that it is easier to ingest. (Cool fact - when we hear a sentence our brain fires electromagnetic energy from different areas for nouns vs adjectives vs verbs etc. Even if you don't know the parts of speech your brain organizes types of words in different spaces.)

    When we see white we automatically compare it to every other color in the space and the brain decides how to process the information as a whole, not each individual color.


    We can make some assumptions based on comparison of whites to pure neutral white and say this will most likely have a blue undertone because it is bluer or grayer than pure neutral white, but if you place the white next to a brilliant pastel blue it may look more green or more purple than the blue.


    We also associate gray with blue. Remember how we see less color when we are depressed? What do we say? "I feel blue today". We're not seeing more blue, we are seeing more gray, but our brain groups gray and blue together.


    The best way I have found to test if my colors will work together or fight with each other is to look at the combinations outside around 2:00 in the afternoon on a sunny day. If they look good together they will still look good together when the color/quality of the light changes. They may not look the same, but the colors will all be impacted the same way by the light and will still work or not work together. Natural daylight reveals subtle color differences that you may miss with artificial or filtered light.






    bondia thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • bondia
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    JAN MOYER - I don't regret doing the design e-package but after all the mental gymnastics I've been through since receiving it, I completely agree with your "design is collaboration no matter the miles between the collaborators." A local color person is coming to help me Saturday as I really need the interaction and ability to ask multiple questions.


    jjam, very nicely said, I appreciate that and agree.


    RedRyder, agree, no matter what else changes, I can't live with a counter I actively dislike. I think it looks different in my house than other settings as I have seen lovely photos of it and many people love it (London Grey and the other option is Alpine Mist.)


    Judianna20, thank you for the photos, I always appreciate those. March Wind is very nice and yes, the horse is a good illustration of that.


    Jennifer Hogan, all of that is so interesting, especially looking at colors outside at 2pm (and the parts of speech.) I have done that and have wondered if it was a good or bad time to compare colors, so now I know, thank you!!

  • bondia
    Original Author
    18 days ago

    theresen, Yes, I tested a paint color years ago that was perfect in my next door neighbor's house but not so much in mine. Peeling paint sounds awful! I've never used Behr, I usually go with SW.

  • bondia
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    Hi, I'm the OP. If anyone is interested in my final decision - I decided to follow my designer. Not blindly though. Through lots of comparison of different quartz products and their undertones, research, re-reading a book my designer wrote on "whites," (Maria Killam), and also with the help of comments in this thread, I was eventually able to see the quartz I thought I hated in a new way and it became prettier to me and I could see it will give me the look I want in my kitchen (cohesive as well as attractive.) It was a long process and interesting to have my POV turned 180 degrees. I think part of my hang up had been related to the size of the quartz samples I was looking at, very hard to see what an entire kitchen will look like. I have looked at lots of slabs since then and have decided even that (vertical slab in a warehouse) doesn't really tell you what a particular quartz will look like, installed horizontally in your own kitchen with your particular lighting. If you can find it installed in a showroom or someone's home, that is one step closer.


    Thank you all who posted in this thread. You either educated me or supported me or both and I appreciate both more than I can say.


    Side note - I told myself that I would still have Minuet, the one I loved originally, installed in my bathroom and would enjoy it there. I didn't understand that would require me to find a remnant as of course no fabricator wants to sell me a relatively small hunk out of a slab without knowing if the rest of the slab will be sellable. So now I'm searching for a Minuet remnant with no luck so far.

  • Jinx
    7 days ago

    Great update! I’ll bet your kitchen will be fabulous. :)

    bondia thanked Jinx
  • Missi (4b IA)
    6 days ago

    I hope you post pics when you’re done!

    bondia thanked Missi (4b IA)
  • RedRyder
    6 days ago

    We all love happy endings. We love them more when we see photos. (Read: please let us in on the process, if you are up to it, and definitely the finale!)

    bondia thanked RedRyder
  • stillpitpat
    5 days ago

    Maria Killam is your designer? Wow!

    bondia thanked stillpitpat
  • bondia
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    stillpitpat, not in person, unfortunately! I purchased one of her e-design packages.


    RedRyder and Missi (4b1A), I will post photos soon, right now everything is a bit of a disaster, baseboards are going in and painting starts tomorrow I think.