I find the direction this trend is going to be interesting. In the 90's when gray was in, there were many cold gray 12 x 12 tiles in kitchens and bathrooms with a lot of shiny white cabinets to go with them. However, not a lot of gray cabinets (not here in Vancouver anyway). Now that gray is coming back around again, it's going on cabinets too.
For the most part, we are using complex grays
now so the look is more warm and luminous. Then if you have white appliances, you don't need to worry about choosing the wrong white which might clash.
The first set of cabinets looks distressed. As the cabinet makers said at the CMG Conference
last year, for many years now clients wanted 'perfection' in all their cabinetry. Now they can't get enough worm holes and distress marks on cabinets including furniture.
The lowers in this kitchen are Farrow & Ball's Mouse's Back.
If you are thinking of installing Carrara in your kitchen and are worried about staining, keep it in the bathrooms. Or you could always do what I heard (a long time ago) Meg Ryan or was it Gwyneth Paltrow, did. Take a can of tomatoes and evenly stain all your counters with it. I have no idea what that would look like or if really works but I though it was a super creative way to get the staining process over with.
In Europe they have been using Carrara forever, and they don't care about staining and I think it relates to the properties of crushed velvet. Before velvet has an all-over crushed look to it, it looks terrible. You lay down on your sofa with your head on the arm, and your head mark is there. If you rest a plate of food on the seat cushion for even a second, suddenly you have a ring mark permanently etched into the fabric. But wait a while and the whole sofa gets evenly 'crushed' so all of those obvious marks go away.
This kitchen on Joni's blog has definitely made the rounds in blogland as being a favourite. The colour of these cabinets is BM Fieldstone 1558. What I found fascinating about this (because I just looked it up) was that I posted about this exact shade of blue
last year in February when I was in Houston to see a client. She wanted the 'real french blue' for her powder room cabinet so when we were in one of the many beautiful home decor stores there, I brought my fan deck right into the shop and found the muted blue that appeared on so many of the french antiques and it was 1558.
I love this rustic stone floor even though it is greener than the blue/gray of the island all done in Carrara Marble.
How about black kitchens?
I recently received an email from a reader who said I hadn't mentioned them on my blog at all. I like the black lowers in this one (above) because they don't fill the entire space and contrast beautifully with the whites and grays, but in general I have black in the same category as brown. Too dark and trendy for the average kitchen. And you need a lot of light, like Gwyneth Paltrow's kitchen in House Beautiful (below). See the skylights?
Black and Brown are fabulous grounding colours in any space. Prior to the brown trend of the 2000's, common decorating advice was that 'every room needs a touch of black to ground the space'. Brown does the same thing, but it's when it becomes the colour of the sofa, the kitchen cabinets, the walls, the floors, is when it starts to read super trendy. A gray kitchen is trendy too, lets face it, but if you are just now painting your cabinets gray, they will be good for at least 10 years before the next trendy neutral arrives on the scene.
How do you know if you should follow the trend and paint yours gray? Here are 4 ways to decide:
1. If you plan on selling your house inside of 10 years, many prospective homeowners will love your gray cabinets because they will still be hot.
2. If you loved gray 'before' it became a trend which means you'll still love it when your kitchen is 20 years old (and you are not moving). Then do it.
3. If you have white appliances, a soft shade of gray will contrast nicely instead of looking like you've tried to match the appliances--impossible--and failed.
4. DO NOT slap just any gray on your kitchen cabinets if everything else in your kitchen still tells a story of another era. The best advice I give every day to my clients is to be careful of mixing something 'too new and trendy' with 'existing, not changing, dated elements'. Yesterday and today all in one space is not a look that will make you happy when you walk in the door.
An example of combining this look appropriately is the 3rd kitchen in the above photos. You can tell by the rounded tops on the upper doors that this was most likely an oak kitchen before it was painted. However I think the new paint job works because of the floor and the countertop.
Better to get some professional advice
first to make sure that the finishes and colours you are injecting into your kitchen or house will give you the look and feel that you want. You can combine old and new but it needs to be done correctly. Trust me, if it bothers you now, it'll bother you even more when you're done because it still won't look right.
If you would like your kitchen to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me
Will the real French Blue please Stand Up?
Timeless White Kitchen Cabinets
What Everyone should know About Gray
Is Travertine Pink or Yellow?
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