Kitchen Color Schemes

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

After living with a bad kitchen for many years, we are finally remodeling the old girl. We will be retiring in 3 years and don't want to spend a ton of money - but so much needs to be done. We have completely redecorated and remodeled the rest of the house and yards - but the kitchen needs attention. We are worried the house won't be desirable to potential buyers if the kitchen is outdated.

We will end up getting paint grade cupboards - we are putting hardwood floors in because all but the bathrooms and office are hardwood and we want a nice flow.

Our house is pretty formal - the walls in the eating area in the kitchen are painted a sage green (fairly large area). There are white plantation shutters on 3 windows in the kitchen. I'm having a problem deciding what color the cupboards should be - white seems too stark. I've thought of a warm yellow - I just don't know.

The granite guy is coming tonight for to give us a bid - so I have to consider the countertops with the paint color......if the bid is too high - I'll probably go with porcelain tile or a laminate countertop.

Another thing is appliances - we don't want to spend a fortune - but everything needs to look good together - so we are going to replace the stove, dishwasher, microwave and possibly the fridge - would love stainless steel - but they are too expensive.

Can you tell, this whole thing is stressing me out??

Any ideas would be appreciated.

This message was edited Jun 30, 2004 10:41 PM

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Hey Kathleen,

Since I've been in your home ( which is lovely), I kind of know what your saying. We put in a brand new kitchen when we moved into this home 6 yrs. ago. OH, the decisions I had to make, gave me many headaches, but I think we came out pretty good.

There are only a few things which I wish I could change my mind on now. Everyone pushed me into putting down ceramic tile on the floors and as much as I love to cook, my legs and back hurt after a long day standing on hard ground.

I also opted to put in ceramic tiles on the counter tops, instead of granite, because of the high price....but now I want granite. I am so tired of the dirty grout, especially in the area where I work most. I can scrub it with pure bleach and it still doesn't look nice.

Regarding your decisions....
How about Black appliances? I know the stainless steel is high price and very nice, but the black will also compliment everything as it is neutral. We have a black double oven, microwave and refrigerator, although the frig. has the front covered with wood to match the cabinets. I didn't get a new stove top or dishwasher at the time, as they were in pretty good shape from the previous owners, but I need to replace them now.

The paint grade cabinets could be fun. How about painting them a light golden beige with a brown glaze over them? I redid this old bookcase and did this same technique on it. I love the look of it. See 2 pictures below. I even have the color of the paint still if you want it.

I think this look of the cabinets and black appliances could fit well into your decorating scheme.

Do you know of the Home Appliance place on Beach Blvd. here in HB? They sell new appliances that have small scratches and dents for a reasonable price. We bought our Frig. and microwave oven there and 3/4th the price. They both had scratchs on the sides, but when we put them in, they are completely covered within the cabinets.

Hope some of this info helps you.

Thumbnail by SoCal
Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Here is a close up of the same doors.

Thumbnail by SoCal
Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Donna - good ideas! I love your cabinets - yes please tell me the paint and could you give me the method you used - exactly to achieve that pretty color? What is the name of the appliance store on Beach - sounds perfect. Thanks very much!

Whitewater, WI

Cattknap, have you considered solid surface for your counters?
I have to agree with SoCal on the ceramic title counters... and laminates are so...laminate lol
As a 20 yrs veteran with solid surface I could give you some info if you are interested.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Yes I am interested in solid surface - I will never have tile again - on my counter or kitchen floor. I'd appreciate any info you can give me - thanks very much!

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10a)


I will get all the info on the paint and the store name and contact you tomorrow, K?


Whitewater, WI

We have a solid surface countertop business and have been doing it for almost 20 years. Nowadays there is a quite a few solid surface products on the market. The price will vary accordingly and so will its performance. If you will hear the words "it's just like Corian" and the name is not LG Hi-Macs don't even think about it. Simply it is not the same. In my honest opinion for kitchen counters I would recommend two. One being Corian and the other LG Hi-Macs.
Both are acrylics. The warranty on Corian is 10 yrs and the warranty on Hi-Macs is 15 yrs. Both have a wide range of colors. We have been told that the acrylic formula used for both is the same. Hi-Macs is little less expensive. Depending on the size of your kitchen and the color you pick, the difference in price could be anywhere from $300 and up...
The possibilities with solid surface are truly endless. Maintenence is a lot less expensive than granite. Also solid surface can be repaired if anything happens to it. Granite can not be and it can stain. It is a natural stone, hence it is porous.Unfortunately granite has to be recoated every so often depending on how busy you are in the kitchen. Certain accidy liquids like wine, orange juice etc, if spilled and left unnoticed can and will penetrate the clear coating. If you decide to go with granite ask the fabricator how costly is this process. I don't know the prices in CA, but just last week I received a phone call from some lady asking if there is anything that we can recommend cuz the granite guy wanted another $500 to recoat her counters that are about a year old. Something that she was not aware of.
Don't get me wrong, I love granite. Some of the colors are absolutely beautiful. I prefer it for use in bathrooms.
None of these products are indistructable.If anybody says that, they are Every one has it's limitations. With solid surface you can have seamed undermount kitchen bowls, the seamless look. Granite will have to be either dropped in or undermounted. Solid surface will have invisible seams, provided you will hire a good Granite, you will see the seams unless your counters are fairly small. Granite will take the heat better, and with solid surface you should use trivets for lets say taking something straight from the oven and setting it on.
Solid surface should take something around 500 degrees F but cuz the glues are 80% strength of the product itself, and you should not know where the seams are, it is recommended that you use precautions.
If you like the look of coved back splashes, you can have it with solid surface. It is a little more costly to fabricate.

I'm getting long winded but if there is anything else that you would like to know, please ask.

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7b)

I used to work for the company which makes Corian. They now have a granite composite solid surface. May want to look at it!

I bought a modest home with a 100% Corian countered kitchen and bathroom; both light colors. Even the bathroom WALLS are Corian! Both rooms have tile floors. I am not a careful cook, and I have 2 children. I never have to worry about the Corian.

It looks great with steel sink, and black faced appliances.

I only hope I can afford sheet Corian for the desk addition I want to put in the kitchen!

If you are going to stay in the house "forever", I strongly recommend Corian or the other solid surface Steel_Datura mentioned.

Sorry I can't include a picture. Gardening season finds my house quite a mess inside!

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Thanks everyone! Well, we are not going to stay in the house forever (retiring in just a couple of years and moving to East Coast). otherwise we would make this the kitchen of our dreams.

I love Corian - love it! But, Corian is almost the same amount of $$ now as granite and the reason is this: Granite manufacturers and importers abound now - a lot of it is coming from China - the market is glutted and the price of granite has plumeted. Corian is a petroleum based manufactured product and we all know what has happened to petroleium prices - and Corian is a top brand with a great reputation - but it is very expensive.

The fact is, once I began looking at sample kitchens in granite, I have to say - I don't like the shiny surface - it bugs me, LOL. Steel Dura's negative points about granite were well taken. I use cutting boards and hot plates on my tile surface now - so there would be no problem with us setting hot things on top of a solid surface counter - we don't do that now.....however, the staining problem of granite would be an issue for us - since we have men in the house that tend to not clean up very well after themselves. So, we are looking at different solid surface alternatives.

I do appreciate everyone's input - keep those ideas coming!

Silver Lake, OH(Zone 5b)

When I studied color theory in psychology we learned that people fight more in a yellow kitchen. They eat more when the colors are warm. They eat less when the colors are cool.

I also learned from voracious reading and talking to REALTORS that white cabinets become a mess quicker than you would think, that shiny is better than matte finish with a countertop for most applications and that, stated above, nothing is indestructable.

However, that said, I hate stain problems I'd rather spray my counter iwth Chlorox cleanup and forget it Or better yet, buy counter tops the color of my most normal stains in a non decript pattern and have that put in with laminate.

Those are my thoughts for the day.... For that they'er worth.

Going to bed now as my fingers like the wrong keys tongith.

KEep us posted.

Surry, VA(Zone 7b)

I think beige would be a great color for your cabinets, but I may be biased because I painted my kitchen cabinets almost the same color as the ones posted above. Beige is easier to maintain than white, will make the kitchen look larger than a darker color, and won't be a pain to paint over in the future. Plus the color seems to agree well with today's trendy cabinet hardware.

I painted my kitchen walls white, and combined with the beige cabinets if I want to decorate for any holiday all I have to do is change the curtains and tablecloth to make it festive.

If I was going to remain at my home more than a few years I'd go with a Corian countertop too. Otherwise I'd save my money and buy one for myself once I relocated. I can only speak for myself, but a kitchen countertop wouldn't be one of the deciding factors when purchasing a home - the size of the kitchen and the cabinet space would mean more to me.

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm looking into changing the color of our dark oak cabinets too. At first, I thought I would strip them and re-stain them lighter. But that is going to be way too much work. I liked the color combo of the beige and stain that SoCal posted. Can you please post the color combos and where you bought the paint (in case it is store brand).
I've also priced the Silstone counters and Courian stone type counters here in the DC area. They run 80-87 per foot. That would run us about $4,000 for the counters and eating bar in our kitchen. We are still looking!! Thanks.

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

I finally went out into the garage and found the name of the paint.

I used Sherwin Willians paint #1386 for the base coat and the glaze was Delta acrylic "Dark Burnt Umber". I mixed the clear glaze with the Umber at a 3 to 1 ratio. 3 parts clear glaze to 1 part paint.

This was one of the first projects I attempted, and at the time I was experimenting with the glazes....that's why I used the small bottles of Delta Ceramicoat paint. You could probably get a regular Dark Br. Umber paint to use instead.

Nancy and Cathleen, I will email you.


Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

This is a fascinating and informative discussion. Keep talking!! All of the above are on my list of kitchen needs updating projects and I've got $50.00. lol and crying!!!!!

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

So, did you decide on anything? I'm just catching up on threads I've missed in the past and I'm curious now! :)

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

Cattknap, an update? I have printed this discussion for reference. Is there an off brand of Corian?

Lafayette, IN(Zone 5a)

(many lurkers out here waiting for more exciting details)

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Well, we hired a kitchen design firm to do the whole thing (except taking the ceramic tile floor up - my husband did that). We decided on granite countertops (yellow Bahia - goldish color with black and looks like a stream bed), solid hardwood cabinets, black granite sink, black appliances, antique brass pulls and handles (very old, slightly pitted and heavy)....all the colors are warm - I love stainless steel, but we have a very traditional house and the silver color would not have looked right with all the other warm colors. I will post a picture when it is done. They start in 2 weeks! This will be the first new kitchen we have ever had so we are excited - even if we will only enjoy it for a couple of years before we move.

Wilmington, DE(Zone 7b)

anastatia et al, I found Home Depot has a "store brand" Corian-like solid surface. Still not cheap, and you can't put hot pots on it, but it looks like the real thing.

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

steel_datura, familiar w/ Home Depots home brand "corian"?

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