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modern farmhouse? help!

Heather
last month

I’m looking to update my kitchen. I keep going back and forth on what I want to do. Should I go black, gray or white countertops? The cabinets are in good shape so I’m not looking to change those. I’m thinking more backsplash and countertops. I kind of like the modern farmhouse look with white subway tile maybe gray grout. I’d like to brighten the kitchen up a bit since there’s very little natural light. I’m not crazy about the paint color I think it’s too dark for the area and it doesn’t go well with our current countertops (verde peacock granite).

Comments (51)

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    last month

    Your cabinets are lovely, glad you want to keep them.

    I think that you need to avoid any cool tones in your paint, especially any gray that is the slightest bit cool - and also stay away from beige/tans/yellow (too many people make the mistake of thinking they have to match the wood color but that just make it all uniformly dull - IMO).

    I would go with a warm white, or perhaps a warm pale blue, green, or aqua/turquoise on the walls.

    What you choose for your counter will be limited by what material you decide to use - and you need to decide that first, since each (granite, solid surface, quartz, soapstone etc) has their pros and cons and differences in cost.

    Get your paint and counter in, then think about the backsplash.



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  • sprtphntc7a
    last month

    can we get another pic or two to see the rest of the space? where is your cooktop?


    going off of what you said, i like the idea of white counters. look at corian, granite, quartz and make a decision. the rest will be based off of that choice.

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    Here is some more pictures

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    Can I achieve something like this?

  • sprtphntc7a
    last month

    i think you can get it close. won't look the same b/c of different cabs.

    i would not grout in a darker shade, i would match as close i can. for one reason, you have veritcal lines in your cabs and the horizontal b/s lines will be overload.

    looking at your space again., i would do a stacked tile and have your grout lines all go vertical, to match your wood grain.

    one idea would be to use your counters as your b/s as well, especially on your cooktop wall. this will eleminate cleaning the grout, especially if its white!!


  • everdebz
    last month

    On houzz: Modern farmhouse: apron sink, Shakers, shelves, items, paneling; combined with MODERN elements: s.steel, quartz counters, clean-lined faucet. Edit more rustic elements to a handful (some vintage objects, reclaimed wood shelves). Balancing with smooth, polished finishes is a good way to get a modern farmhouse look.

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    From the lived-in area [is it open?] - what kitchen wall is seen most?

    Here kept stain in the back -- in yours, a large portion with cool tone of s.steel - good combo with cool blue-ish paint.. sectioned off.


    Crafted Farmhouse · More Info


  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    Everdebz that’s pretty but I’m not looking to change my cabinets. :)

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    Just looking to brighten my kitchen with wall paint, backsplash and maybe countertops.

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    Ok here are my counters next to my butter tray. Think I could do a white subway tile with my current counters? I don’t think it looks too bad right? I will say I’m a little worried about white grout lines above the cooktop because we have a grill and griddle cooktop that we use often. Might be difficult to keep clean?

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    If you had white counters... is this a similar look to your last photo?

    [Beadboard can be painted over again.]

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  • housegal200
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Creamy white wall paint, backsplash, and lightly patterned cream countertops will hugely lighten your kitchen. The blue walls don't really work.

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  • RedRyder
    last month

    I’m with @housegal ^^^ Light counters, backsplash with white/cream tiles and white grout, more lighting and white walls. Maple cabinets like yours look great with soft creamy whites. (No gray!)

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    I agree I really like housegals pics! My cabinets are actually quarter and rift sawn white oak. ;)

  • Yvonne Martin
    last month

    You brighten a room with electric lights, not by hoping it will be brighter in daylight. Remember, over the year, half the time is daylight and half night.

  • Holly- Kay
    last month

    I agree with Housegal. Light counters and light backsplash and keep the grout the same color as the bs tile.

  • everdebz
    last month

    Is your modern farmhouse look still a concern?

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    No I think you all have helped! Thank you!

  • rebunky
    last month

    Your cabinets are GORGEOUS! I can see your kitchen easily going in the modern farmhouse direction. You even have the nice brick fireplace near the kitchen. I think your inspiration backsplash with a light grey grout could work. If you can swing it budget wise a real marble countertop or other natural stone would be beautuiful and lighten it up. But I I would stay away from the quartz marble look-a-like. Maybe something like this?



  • karin_mt
    last month

    Agree, and I think honed Danby marble would look right at home here.

    Those cabinets are dreamy!

  • ptreckel
    last month

    If you replace your countertop or even if you keep them and just install a backsplash, remove the curb. I could also cut down your island so that it is all one level.

  • RedRyder
    last month

    Yes, definitely cut the island mini wall down. I inherited one of those and the whole kitchen looked better without that view-blocker.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    last month
    last modified: last month

    To help yourself decide on whether to keep the counter with white backsplash and walls, go ahead and prime the walls with a warm white (since you are going to paint them anyway.) That way you can get an idea if that will be enough to get the effect you want. White/light walls, natural wood and darker counters is a fairly classic look IMO - and your counters are not super dark because of the color variations in the stone.

    Or, get some white poster board, paint it a warm white similar to the tile you are considering, and cover your current backsplash & side wall areas to test it out.

  • Glory
    last month

    No suggestions from me. Simply saying I have kitchen envy even before you make any changes. I especially love your cabinets. I’m saving this post for when I can finally get my act together for a remodel.

  • Tom S
    last month

    Echo what others have said.


    Paint the walls a soft off white. Benjamin Moore Navajo White can perhaps be ideal, it'd be a wonderful match for your cabinets.


    Replace countertops with a lighter material. Off white quartz/marbelized quartz or look for a marble-like granite, or even glacier white Corian.


    If you're replacing the countertops, replace the sink with a rectangular porcelain sink. Doesn't need to be farmhouse.


    Try adding a soffit to wall up the awkward gap above the cabinets.


    These changes would greatly brighten your kitchen and that's not even contemplating subway tiles.

  • Sarah
    last month

    Least disruptive- paint all the walls white. Live with that for a few weeks. Then see how you want to proceed with new counters/ backsplash.

  • Heather
    Original Author
    last month

    Should you remove the 4inch edge around the counters before you tile?

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    last month

    I would remove it, I think it looks more up to date without, and I just dislike the visual of tile stacked above it.

  • ptreckel
    last month

    Yes, the curb should be removed if you are planning on tiling your backsplash. The tile should begin at the counter top.

  • rebunky
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, as mentioned it’s best to remove the little 4” piece. It will look like an afterthought to add tile above it because…well it would be an afterthought. 😬

    Have you decided that you are keeping your dark granite?

    I ask because if you think you may still want to replace it at some point, it would be best to hold off on doing the new tile bs until you are absolutly positive you won’t change them for awhile. The 4” splash looks just fine and works for its intended purpose.

    Replacing the tops after tiling would most likely bust up the bottom rows. Also the new tops’ thickness might be different and mess up the lowest tile height. Plus if you look at all the multiple threads about what color white tile matches the countertop, you‘ll agree it is notoriously hard to combine whites or greys because of the cool or warm undertones.

    I just wanted to mention that when I said above to avoid quartz counters that try to mimick marble, it is not that I have anything against them. They look great in many kitchens. It‘s just that real marble is such an authentic and stunning addition to the farmhouse look. I can totally appreciate that not everyone can accept the etching or patina it will get though. I have a white quartz in my little cottage kitchen and it is easy care for. Not my prefered choice but it works. However, if I had your amazing cabinets, I would definitely go for the real deal be it marble, soapstone, granite, etc... I am not sure but I believe there are some harder marbles (is it called super white? maybe another name?) and some whitish quartzites that are very durable if you are interested. Karen_mt might know for sure. If I remember correctly she is our expert geologist here on Houzz! Sorry its been a while since I have been active on the kitchen forum and my memory is pathetic. Best wishes Heather! I am sure whatever you choose will look lovely!

  • Xty G (z4)
    last month

    Following because I have almost the same dilema of how to brighten a kitchen with similar wood cabinets. i have to say from reading the comments that the last picture of the ones posted by housegal is my absolute favorite. and the mock up done by rebunky is terrific and would look even better with the blue walls painted white.

  • Maria M.
    29 days ago

    Paint is the easiest and cheapest to change. To begin with, just paint over all the gray. Maybe go for a creamy white. Hold off a bit on the bigger decisions until you've lived with the new, non-awful paint color a bit. If you want to brighten up the kitchen, I think accents in a yellow-y green would work really well with the wood tone of the cabinets and with the countertops. Something like Benjamin Moore Apple Green (for decor-ish items only, not for walls).

  • Heather
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Thank you everyone for your advice! I agree I’m going to try painting first. Maybe BM white dove or something similar? My only concern with going with light counters, light paint and possibly light backsplash is that it’s going to be too much of a contrast with the warm wood cabinets? I see why the original owners picked the verde peacock. It looks beautiful with the cabinets. I’m just not sure it’s my style…I like a more light airy white kitchen. Housegal pics are incredible and if I could 100% get that look with my cabinets I would. Rebunky love yours too but yes I’m a little worried about the maintenance and durability of actual marble. When I look at my cabinets they have color variations that run vertically so I’m worried about putting in a busy counter especially something with a lot of movement. Some of the quartz I’ve seen lately look somewhat “fake” next to my cabinet if that makes any sense. My gut tells me to stick to a natural stone…I went to a stone yard and looked at some slabs. I found this one but now I’m thinking it’s too cool with the grays? Idk. Lol it’s so hard to visualize how it will all look.

  • Heather
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    The other thing I was thinking was maybe I do a soapstone (or similar looking stone) and a white subway tile to help brighten the walls? Something like this?

  • Heather
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Again though I’m worried about durability of soapstone. I have a one year old and 4 year old.

  • everdebz
    29 days ago

    Might sound silly, but your current room seems a fair approximation of light tile and dark counter... you could even place white something on backsplash to see.

  • Me AGirl
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    White or offwhite glazed backsplash

    white granite countertop

    some glass doors?

    warm white walls




  • RedRyder
    29 days ago

    I like the idea of soapstone better than the slab you’re holding the door up to. Either go all white or go dark counter with white everything else. I am in agreement with you that some quartz counters look “fake”, so either find a granite that is warm white or go soapstone all the way.
    Granites have different names everywhere but “River White”is a warm white granite that could complement your cabinets. See if you can find that at a stone yard.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    29 days ago
    last modified: 29 days ago

    I'm a big fan of soapstone (but I couldn't afford it). I think every counter choice has some kid-related drawbacks, whether chipping, staining, or more likely to cause something dropped on it to break

    From the research I did, it seemed to me that soapstone is actually more kid friendly - it doesn't stain, things dropped are less likely to break, and any chips can be sanded to blend in. It will develop a "patina" over time - a worn, used look, just like you see with beautiful old marble - so if you want that glossy, brand new look then it wouldn't be for you.

    River White is one of my favorite granite colors, but IIRC it can stain. And granites are less forgiving to something dropped - that glass is more likely to shatter on granite.

    Have you looked at any of the new solid surface products? when I was shopping, they were coming out with some really pretty and more natural looking patterns. SS is very forgiving too, a good surface with kids helping in the kitchen, I think.

    If my computer is showing the colors correctly, that granite slab looks pretty good to me - it is grayer/bluer in the top half, but the bottom half has some nice warm coloration too. It is pretty.

  • Becky H
    29 days ago

    Have you looked at Taj mahal quartzite? If you coukd find a slab with the creamy colors it would look good with your current cabinets.

  • RedRyder
    29 days ago

    Silestone makes a very “close to real” soapstone color. Another option. Taj is gorgeous if you can find a creamy one with caramel streaks. Most of the ones coming out now have a lot of green and very little cream. And it’s still a quartzite.

    Full disclosure: I’m a granite fan. It wears well and is easy to maintain. My previous house till has the granite from 15 years ago and it looks great. I would use soapstone in my house if it worked with my overall theme.

    Have you looked at Cambria?

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
    28 days ago

    I also thought switching a few of the upper cabinet doors to glass doors as well. One on either side of the sink..either the middles or ends. The cabinets are gorgeous but its a solid block of wood. The glass would brighten things up.

  • M 2
    28 days ago

    Perhaps just paint a few cabinets lighter and change wall color

  • loobab
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Hi Heather-

    I would definitely paint, and a nice crisp white is a great color.

    I like your current cabinets and don't think you need to replace them.

    Whether or not you replace your counters is up to you.

    If you want a farmhouse country look, soapstone would be perfect, it looks country farmhouse, and you can put hot pots right on it, and any scratches can be rubbed right off.

    Another choice that is kid friendly, but you cannot put hot pots on it, is Corian.

    White tile can be used as a backsplash with soapstone.

    You don't really need to use backsplash everywhere.

    A backsplash is really only needed to protect walls where they would be damaged, so that is behind the sink and the stove.

    Here's the thing though, if you do a lot of grilling and griddling and frying, a white tile backsplash behind the stovetop will be a disaster no matter what color grout you use.

    You will be scrubbing that backsplash clean every time you grill and griddle and fry and you will never feel like the grout is clean.

    That's why we don't like tile counters any more, because we don't feel like we can really get them clean.

    I suggest you get a stainless steel backsplash behind your stove top, in plain, brushed pattern, or quilted, or another pattern.

    You can still have your utility racks on top of that.





    You don't have to replace the counters unless you hate them.

    You can increase the "farmhouse", country factor by changing your drawer knobs for cup pulls and adding inexpensive accessories rather than spending $10,000 for new counters.

    Have you ever visited Stone Gable blog?

    stonegableblog.com

    She talks about lots of things, recipes, decorating, etc.

    Her style is transitional with farmhouse accents, but she is not a Joanna Gaines clone, her style is less rustic.

    I think you would enjoy her kitchens, especially the kitchen in her previous home which is very country farmhouse.

  • rebunky
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    Oh I love soapstone too. I dreamed of it for my own kitchen. I love that photo you posted. It would look perfectly at home in your kitchen. But I get it about being nervous about the upkeep. I have heard there are some harder types of soapstones that are great though.

    I like the idea of a ”leathered” black granite that looks like soapstone for your countertops. I would definately not do a “polished” granite if you want a farmhouse look. I think it may be part of the reason your verde butterfly isn’t quite fitting in with your vision.

    Here is a thread I found that might give you ideas for look-a-likes to soapstone.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5120749/granite-or-quartz-that-looks-like-soapstone

    I ended up getting a leathered black granite called San Benedicto or something like that. It was the closest I found in my area at the time and I am happy with it. I actually didn’t want one that had any white veining (though it would look great in your kitchen) because my existing island granite had alot of color and movement and we were not replacing it. The leathered doesn’t show fingerprints, and always looks clean verses my polished granite. I love the feel of it too. In reality it is more of a charcoal grey with tiny greenish white flecks then the solid black in the photo. Here’s mine..



    Please do keep us updated on your progress. Oh and you are adorable and great that you are keeping safe with your mask on!

  • Sam Robi
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I love how our kitchen turned out. We did a very black soapstone with white veining. It's one of the harder soapstones (black soapstone is harder then grey). I love it! It's easy to take care of, doesn't stain. You can clean it with anything. I do use placemats when eating at the bar though, because you can scratch soapstone. No noticeable scratches yet (2 years), and I'm not very careful. We have white cabinets, bronze bar pulls & knobs, ivory undulating tile backsplash. I have to say, it's pretty. So pretty I'm sharing!

  • everdebz
    6 days ago

    Is this "over"? new day and I saw brick -- many alter it and make it soft white, cream, etc... The black stools aren't m.farm.

  • everdebz
    6 days ago

    I didn't get what your current counters are made of... seem a warm grey-green, fitting for m.farm.