My sis-in-law directed me to your site. I have a question regarding my kitchen. Here is the rundown of where I am. We've lived here for 3 years. Our house is about 12 years old. We replaced the counter tops with silestone about 2 years ago, and installed a tumbled travertine backsplash. It was our intention to strip and then re-stain the cabinets. They are structurally sound, and I don't want to tear them out. They just need a face lift. I have gone back and forth with the idea of stain vs. paint. Now I am thinking I want to paint the cabinets. Now for the questions: Can I do a dark color on bottom and light on top? My thinking on this is that I have small children who love to leave hand prints, etc. at child level. I think a dark color would hide things better. I am afraid to put the dark on the top because I think it might make the kitchen feel smaller. There is only one small window over the sink (in addition to the open bar which lets light in). For that reason I want to put a lighter color on top. Also, do you have ideas on flooring? Right now it is a parquet floor that I don't really like. I like the look of travertine, but I am afraid it might be too cold in the winter mornings. What about vinyl/linoleum? Would I regret putting that down? We have oak in our dining room - should I continue it into the kitchen? Would it get too beat up by all the stuff that gets dropped?
Anyway, thanks for any insight/ideas you can give me!
- BALANCE When doing a combination of two colors, always have the darker of the two on the bottom. Otherwise, your kitchen can seem "top heavy", and lack balance.
- CONTRAST. Since your counters and backsplash are light, and if you have a good sized room, consider painting both the top and bottom dark, to give your room some contrast. When the dark is next to the light, everything shows up more. Whatever your colors, make sure you have good contrast, so it doesn't all blend together too much. See this post for another example. The top picture of the white kitchen looks good becasue the counters are black. You need some contrast somewhere.
- For fingerprints... consider a glaze.- think distressed. Keep in mind that a black car needs to be washed more frequently than a white car. Sometimes dark doesn't mean that it hides things. A clean, smooth finish in a dark color can show quite a bit, whereas a distressed finish, (like the photo above of the black kitchen) whether light or dark, can be very forgiving. See this post for an example.
Flooring for your kitchen. First of all- know this- there are pros and cons to EVERY floor. None are perfect, and none will look like new forever.
- I don't like large areas (over 4 feet) of flooring changes. If I had wood floors in a family room that was OPEN to the kitchen, I would put the same wood flooring in the kitchen. With wood, you will have to keep water off of it. Yes, it will scratch and dent eventually. I had wood in my last house, travertine in this one. I loved them both.
- Travertine is cold. I have over 1000 feet of travertine in my home right now. It is hot outside, and the floor feels great! However, I get the feeling from your e-mail that you don't live in California or Arizona. Keep in mind that you can have radiant heating put under your stone, or wear slippers :). Stone is easy to live with regarding water. It does require periodic sealing. Oil or dark colors can stain it if it is not tightly sealed.
- Vinyl. I am not a big vinyl fan- really just because I don't like the look. It is a very practical floor most of the time. (Unless you have a high moisture content in your slab- if you are on a slab).
- Linoleum. Linoleum is different than vinyl. I like it a LOT! It is made of linseed oil, and considered a very "green" choice for your home. It comes in fabulous colors, can be a sheet or squares. I have used this a number of times in customers homes, and it looks GREAT! The photo above is from Marmoleum. You can do some cool patterns with it. It is a great surface.
- Amtico. I am a HUGE Amtico fan. It is beautiful and practical. Flooring for a kitchen doesn't get much better than Amtico. It is easy with water spills, not cold and hard like stone, fun to personalize- all around GREAT. (Amtico should pay me huh?) Again, I have put in a lot of Amtico floors for clients, and had a lot of happy people. I would not use Amtico wood next to real wood. However, they have some great stone looks that would work great.
Good luck Ali! Send us a photo when you are done!
Post script- Ali just e-mailed me the "after" shots. Looks fantastic Ali! Thanks for the pics!