Disclaimer: we aren't professionals

Thanks for reading our silly little blog! As the disclaimer says, we aren't professionals in either blogging or house stuff, but we try. This is mostly to let our friends and family know what we've destroyed so far in the house. We post irregularly and usually forget to take pictures, so thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kitchen decoration - I changed my mind

When we first started looking at the unfinished oak cabinetry, we were like "yeah, these could be stained really prettily, and then people will know they're real wood instead of laminate or something". I bought sample stain cans, and tested a few, and decided they were not quite what I had envisioned. I feel like the really distinct oak grain would give the cabinets a more country or rustic look. While oak is gorgeous in the right space, as is dark-stained wood, I don't think the combination would be right for our kitchen because of 1) its size and 2) the grain. Dark stained cherry is very pretty, but it has a less distinct grain pattern. Maple or birch with a clear varnish is also gorgeous, and modern, but again both of those have very subtle grains. The size of the kitchen is small, and it's enclosed by walls, so we need something that will make it seem light and open and airy.

The new kitchen cabinet idea is: painted white cabinets! Classic, bright, easy to clean, and they can go either traditional or contemporary. So now we'll have black appliances and white cabinets. We're looking for a laminate countertop that can bring those two together. We were thinking a black-gray-white granite-look laminate like this:
"Granite" from Wilsonart
However, then I found these pretty cheap mosaic glass tiles for the backsplash:
They incorporate my original colors of red and green, but not yellow. So yellow is out of the kitchen design scheme. I like these tiles because they're small (only 3/4" each) and a sheet (1 square foot) only costs $6. They will tie in with the white cabinets, with the tan floor tiles, and once I paint the walls green, they'll match the walls too. If green is too much for the new owner, they can paint the walls beige, or white. They can strip the paint off our cabinets and have the cabinets match the wood tones in the tile. There are many options!

The trouble is, the beige does NOT go well with the pink in the laminate. I have samples of both the tile and the laminate, and it's awful. So we're going to keep looking.

Home Depot has 3 colors of stock countertops. Using the stock colors, we could get counters for less than $200. Here's one that might work for us:
This one is nice but has bits of green-blue. We definitely like the darker look, though, to provide contrast with the cabinets and to match the appliances. 
Lowe's has a bit wider selection. Here's a grainy picture I took with my cell phone: 

That middle one, the grayish with beige, might work. I'll have to take my tile sample with me and check it out.
Another option is Ikea's stock countertop Pragel, which is just black and white speckled. A 96" section is only $70. I haven't looked at it in a while, so I'm not sure of the quality, but we'll have to swing by Ikea soon anyway to pick up some outdoor furniture for the cookout.
Finally, the wall color will be something like this:
I've tested Spring Leaf already, and it's not quite so lime. I've also tested its darker tone, Granny Smith Apple, which matches the tile perfectly but is a little too dark to do a whole room in. I haven't tried Spring Cactus yet, which has a little more blue, or Celery Sticks, which comes recommended by younghouselove.
Because samples are only $3 each, I'll go ahead and get those two and check it out. Also, these are Glidden colors, which I mostly chose because they have these awesome testers:
Brush included, eggshell finish, $3 a pop. They cover enough space so you can see them on different walls, in different light conditions. Can't get better than that!

So in summary:
- white cabinets
- black appliances
- black/gray/white/tan countertops
- tan/white/green/red mosaic tile backsplash
- red small appliances (stand mixer, coffee maker, toaster)
- green walls
- tan ceramic floor tiles

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