Friday, March 4, 2011

Please, Aidez Moi.

I had to do it.

Remember my kitchen island re-no?

Well, one day the mommy-o strolled into the kitchen and said,
"I told ya wrong-- your island needs to be white."

Thanks, mom. Thanks for the bum-steer towards the antique white. It's all your fault! And I never learned to read!

Not really. I didn't mean it, mom.

So I re-painted the very next day. Stood up, stood back, and went,


It was just so stark, man. That white with the black marble. Whoa. Take a look again:

It just seemed, so. . . harsh. Nude. Severe. Shocking.

And so forth.

And, this just got me to thinking. Now, I done tole ya and tole ya I wanted a white kitchen. Do you remember this? 'Member? I like white? Painting real wood is a total and complete no-no to many people (including the hubs and the daddy-o).

But the starky starkness of that stark marble/island cataclysm had me take a couple steps back.

I'm used to it, now. I stopped pulling a "Kramer" stumble every time I stepped into the ole galley long ago.

Now, looky here:

"No way! That's great! WE LANDED ON THE MOON!" Er, I mean, the floor's clean! Someone document this!

Allow me to show you the changes that have been made to the Cookery in the last few months, okey dokey?

Man. I've been biz-ay.

But, but, are you picking up on a pattern here? Crazy-haired kid picture and nasty stove top arrow aside? All that white.

Now, I get a little sceered when I ask for opinions-- it's like people give their opinions and forget their manners, allatthesametime. Be nice about my kitchen, okay? It has feelings, too! Note to the rude comment givers in the world: Be nice or I will have to F-word you up.

(Note: "F" refers to "flick", as in, "I will 'flick' your forehead." But you knew that already.)

So here's where I just must crave some input. This is a hot-button topic. This is a life-changing question. It's personal. Children are written out of wills for this. Families never speak to each other again over this kind of thing:



Will we?

Discuss. Please?


Kristi@living-blessed-life said...

1st I love your kitchen!!!

And while it's important to keep up with fads in case you need to sell or whatever, to me the most important question is...

Will YOU still like white 5 years from now?

If so, and you get the it!!! If you need to see you can always slap a coat of paint on to "trend" it right up. But I have never been one to follow trends and always what makes me do that jumping up and down while clapping my hands squealing,'Iloveit,Iloveit, Iloveit'!

So I'm not much help,huh! :)

Felicity said...

LOVE YOUR KITCHEN!! Gorgeous. Oh, my heavens!

Personally, I think white will always be in, in some form or another. I don't think you'll regret it.

If, perchance, you do regret it in five years, call me up and we could make arrangements to swap kitchens. I love the white. ;)

Felicity, at {Simple Elegance}

Mommybreath said...

White is classic. White is good. But...
Do you reaize how many shades of white there are?! It is staggering. I knew this was a feat to be conquered but just recently (like yesterday) I happened to have a lengthy conversation with the hottie running the paint shanty at Home Depot and to my surprise "white" isn't even white.
Fad? sure. Love? What else?!
I have done my kitchen in shades (many) of white much like the fad is to do your woods in all different stains.
I say go with your gut. Or just say screw it and put things in your kitchen that you want to see.
That is where we live anyway, right? Take a deep breath and love it.
You are doing a great job. :)

slommler said...

Well your kitchen is fabulous!! And I do love the pop of white. "White" would really change the feel...maybe not a stark white but a softer white would do???
Good luck with your decision!!

Jen said...

I'm stuck on this one because I've been fighting this same internal battle of what to do. But, I just wanted to show you what a neighbor of mine did. She says her son calls it the oreo kitchen. Her cabinets were the very same color as yours.

Good luck with your decision. I can't wait to see the end product!!!!

Mrs BC said...

Go for it! White will still be in, & even if it's not - so what? You have created so many beautiful things in your home that you will surely be able to make a success of painting your cabinets white. You can DO it!

Kristi said...

First off, the island looks great! Second, I say go ahead and paint the cabinets white. I agree with those who said that white will always be in.

Our I'm thinking I might have to try a curtain over the back door. Ours is just a single door of full glass. Right now, we have blinds attached to the door. They aren't fastened to the bottom so whenever we open the door, they swing. Also, the slats near the knob have broken off on the ends so it looks all redneck. I think curtains might be the way to go. Thanks for the idea!

Ruth H. said...

I want to weigh in on the cabinet issue. Eight years ago, when no one I knew had a white kitchen, my husband and I gutted the kitchen in our little, old cottage and installed white cabinetry. I loved it almost as much as my children. It was easy to keep clean, it brightened up the whole space, and it looked awesome. If I had the money to take out the oak cabinets in my current kitchen (white kitchen totally sold the last house) I absolutely would. But I wouldn't paint them. Mostly because my husband is also a wood purist, and I cannot imagine the backlash if I painted the cabinets white, and then....even 10 years later, said I wanted natural wood cabinets like everyone else. That could get ugly. Another reason I wouldn't paint them is because it would be a ton of work, and I think it would be hard to achieve the extremely washable finish that was on the cabinets we installed in the last house. So I'm not sure it would be worth the effort.

But the real question: will white always be in? I don't think so. Everything in fashion is cyclic. Go back to vintage BH&G magazines, and you'll see that white or pastel painted cabinets were big in the 50's and early 60's, but by the mid-60's and 70's, it was all about the wood grain.

So, instead of wondering if white will still be in, wonder if you will love it for the rest of your life, even when your children make fun of them. If you are sure you love it, go for it!

Thank you for allowing me to post my dissertation on this topic on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm in sorta the same boat! I love the look of white kitchens, but I'm not so sure that it would stand up the way that stained wood does. Once the paint starts chipping and gets dinged up, it doesn't look so nice. My kitchen gets a lot of use and I'm afraid paint wouldn't clean up like a varnished finish does. My mom is from the time, when it is "wrong" to paint wood trim or anything. She says that she used to have it in a house and it was miserable to upkeep! My mother-in-law spent a huge amount of time stripping years worth of layers of paint off of cabinets in a house they bought. I don't know - like I said, I love the clean look, but where does practical come in the picture?!?!?!? Just saying...I'm torn.
By the way, what if you distressed your island, like you did the pantry doors/trim? It wouldn't be as stark?

Carrielyn said...

Will white be "in" in five years?? No. We're way to fickle for that!!

But should you paint is a different question! I adore wood... as in, if they came out with wooden sheets and pillowcases that wouldn't give you slivers, I would SOOOOO be there.

In other words, I'm totally biased. So don't listen to me when I say, NO!

Unbiased: I agree with whoever above me said it would be VERY hard to get the right finish. Pure white will be classic in a few years... shabby antique patina no so much. I would hire it out to a professional because you DO.Not. want to mess THAT up. And that will probably cost almost as much as a new IKEA custom white kitchen!

Leslie@leserleeslovesandhobbies said...

Hmmmmmmmm, I am loving some of the white, but I also love the wood. I love the brightness of white, but sometimes when I look at white kitchens I think it's over-kill and I want to put on sunglasses. However, I love your dining room table. Especially against that white island. I say do some white, but maybe stain the bottom cabinets a dark color like your table. It reminds me of a farmhouse, and I like that look. And I think everything is a fad. Sometimes it's a fad that last for years, and sometimes it's not. My hubs and I have been house hunting a little bit, and the houses we've been looking at have been built in the 60s and 70s (because that's what you get when looking for reasonably priced homes with some land around here) but, one of the houses had not been updated since it had been built. Original light fixtures, cabinets, appliances, bathroom sinks (yes, one was pink and one was green, and the toilets matched. I didn't even know toilets came in colors. I thought they only came in white). Anyway, everything is a fad, but sometimes the fads last a while, so do what you want. It's your kitchen. You know what you like. And you are so stinkin' handy that if you don't like it, you can always change it back for a small price. Or have the Daddy-O and Hubs do it for you. :)

Kimra said...

i havent read the other comments, but my opinion: White IS a fad, but will always be "in" and has been since the 50's only because it's an easy way to cover up not so good looking cabinets. I think the new kitchen's that are made white from the beginning will go out of style. I say if someone has ugly cabinets or non-all-wood cabinets, go white happy! Otherwise, stain stain stain!

Sue said...

I've been working as an interior designer since 1980...were you even born then?
White will never go out of fashion, you may get tired of it but it's here to stay. Go with your instincts and by the way, call it "Vanilla" and people will leave you alone.

Trina said...

I'm aesthetically challenged, and have no useful advice to offer you, but I can't wait to see what you decide to do!

annieglan said...

I don't think white cabinets are a fad. They have been around for a long time. So I don't think you would regret painting them, but the thing to consider is that your appliances are also white. So the only thing with definition would be your counter tops and assuming new black handles. It would be a lot of white. If your appliances were black I would say go for it, but they aren't so it's a tough call.

Karen said...

I agree with mommybreath..... white is classic. It has been the all time winner and go to color for generations of kitchens. If whites popularity fades which I doubt you could just paint them again, it is just work, right?
All through the history of trendy colors you see they go dark then they go light (I think this may have a psychological meaning.
So, I say go for it. You'll only be happy with what you truly envision.

Dara said...

It looks great!!!!! My thoughts would be to not paint it white.....maybe do an awesome white with black accents of a tile back splash along the 2 walls. Also, not sure if it is possible because there aren't a lot of details...but if you are going to paint, and maybe you try this in the island first...what about using a black glaze to offset the stark white and tie in the black countertop..... Either way, you have to do what YOU will LOVE! I think you deserve SAINTHOOD for wanting so much white in a kitchen with 4 kids....the amount it would take to keep it clean gives me a panic attack just thinking about it! LOL

alamama said...

i really can't add much more to all of the good comments. BUT i will anyway! ;)
*LOVE your kitchen btw.
*I would go with white, maybe a bit creamier than the white whites you have now, or stick with the same color.
*White is always in.
*When we redo our kitchen it will have white cabinets.
*Can't wait to see what you do, you my friend are a trend setter.

Emily said...

I love your kitchen I think it looks fabulous! I'm going to opt out of the opinion thing. Not because I would say something mean, but I have no home decor knowledge. I think whatever you do will look amazing.

Angela said...

Go white. I don't see it ever going out. The majority of kitchens in home dec. mags are white. With white you can change everything else if you get tired of the starkness of it. With your wood floors it will still be warm. In 1996 our contractor told me white was out. We've built two homes since and keep installing white cabinets and I've never been even slightly inclined toward anything else. I love that I can relatively inexpensively change the whole look with wall color, accents, a few new dishes on display, chair cushions, curtains, rugs, etc. And, if you do ever tire of it, paint it again. I vote for white!! Look at my metamorphosis post. I have black counters too.

Angela said...

Just coincidentially came across this for you to consider

Mallory said...

I'm surprised at how few people have mentioned that you can always change them back! If you hate them in five years, I mean. I say go white. Who cares what's "in?"

Catherine G said...

I think white has always been around, and will never go away, it was in in the 20s, it's still in now - what I do believe is a fad is stuff being antiqued, and the shapes of cabinet doors. White never really dates a kitchen, but certain door styles do.

Angela said...

Sorry, I can't stop. Scroll through the pics of this kitchen to see what they did with a door to add color to an otherwie white kitchen - - so many ideas and possibilities with white.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

The question should be how do you feel about your cabinets now? Love, hate, in between? I hate mine. HATE. They are old, dark and suck the light out of the room faster then they dyson I want to some day own. So, mine are going white. Which shade is the problem. I can't go stark white because of the color of the tile and granite. So, I'm thinking SW Creamy.

I think the island came out great. What color was it? My monitor is reading yellow, but I could be wrong!

Char @ Crap I've Made said...

White is way way way more classic than the knotty alder that I LOVED 8 years ago and can't stand now and also can't paint on account of the knots/holes.

There's my .02.

dena4kids said...

I love a white kitchen. So bright and pretty. The only thing about painting the cabinets white is I like the contrast.Your pretty white plates and dishes won't be as effective on your shelf if they are surronded by white. They will just fade into the background. Sometimes you can have too much white. That being said I always love what you do, so if you want white GO FOR IT!!=)

Shirley said...

I have had two white kitchens. The first was a split foyer with ugly brown 70's cabinets. Painting them was the best decision I ever made. The second house was already painted when I got it. It is such a cheerful feeling. I like Leslie's comment about having white on top, and darker on bottom. It mixes things up, and keeps it from being a "matchie matchie" look. I've never been concerned with keeping up with the style, just with what I like. In my current home, against my say, my hubs got stainless steel appliances. HATE them. Stainless does too show fingerprints.
Can't wait to see what you decide!

Pamma said...

I do not think that 'white' is a fad for kitchens. I don't have one, however, I think they are very pretty as are all white rooms--my opinion.
I can see why you are thinking of going white on the cabinets---it would be pretty--especially now that you are used to the white island---that's what is tipping you over, right?
Your have great taste and it will be beautiful!

Creative Decor by Brooke said...

Your kitchen is great the way it is. You have really made some beautiful changes. I think white will always be in, in one form or another, it's classic. But I think I would have to distress it some because I would worry about kids dinging and scratching and also everything would show on them, right. I don't know, I have thought about painting mine also but haven't dared yet. You take the plunge first and maybe I will follow, Ha. Good luck.

Stacy said...

White is clean and classic. It never goes out of style. At least I hope not. I am in the process of painting mine right now!

Kimbo West @ a girl and a glue gun said...

whoa...I was simply going to say white is classic...but I feel like I should keep writing to keep up with the other comments. I wanted white 5 years ago...still want it....and can't imagine changing my mind in the next five years. If I had white painted cabinets.....then got sick of them..I would paint them red....or tiffany blue....not that I don't love wood...but i love color more....have I reached my word count quota?

Suesan said...

If you have high end cabinets that are all nice wood, I would not paint it. I do love the white cabinets, but you have a lot of white in there already. It think too much more and you're going to be blinded.

You have a good sense for what you love, but for me, I'd only do a white kitchen if I were replacing all the cabinet doors with ones done professionally. They hold their finish, whereas painted ones, no matter how well you do it, always get dinged up.

Layne Bushell said...

It's a tough one. Your cabinets aren't a disgusting shade of olive green stain. If they were (like they were in my 1st house) you'd've already painted them by now!

My mommy-o has a white kitchen and she doesn't like it at all! It's really super duper hard to keep clean (she's got g-kids my kids' ages).

Having painted my kitchen cabinets before here is what happens afterwards. The paint will chip. If that's buggy to you, then you may want to leave it status quo. If it doesn't bug you...then paint away!!! I also painted the cabinets white and the doors a taupe color! Loved the look...maybe that'd be an option to keep it from feeling too white.

I love, love, love the look of a white kitchen. The upkeep may be like keeping your white carpet clean.

Does that count as a rude comment? hope not. Just going from experience I've had. What ever you do will be amazing Mandi style and it will look great!

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points said...

Umm...oh dear. I feel so awkward...

I don't really like the white kitchen, for moi.

That being said, I have seen some breathtakingly beautiful white kitchens.

But it is not a kitchen I would want to live in. need to keep my mouth shut. Once it's a matter of taste people's opinions sorta go out the window.

Or, they SHOULD.

Sylvia said...

Go back and look at your pantry inspiration. You loved it. It motivated you to make the most innovative, beautiful pantry. Now finish your kitchen and make it just as beautiful and innovative. You won't regret it. You are molto talented and I can't wait for the reveal!

Tina said...

My dad has the SAME opinion of yours in the whole painting of the wood scenario...however, I painted our main (read BOYS, yes four of them) bathrrom cabinet black last fall when my darling dear went on a week long fishing trip. Black. From natural knotty alder to black,,,albeit I dinged it up and sanded here and there and I LOVE it. The master bath and lower kitchen cabinets will soon join the lovely main bath in black cabinetry this summer. If you don't like it, strip it and restain. :) Love your blog, by the way. Although I think you have my husband freaking out for those week long fishing trips :)
As for white, do what makes you happy...remember four boys, so no white in my house...although now that I'm thinking about it a nice glaze over white could be just what my upper cabinets need :)

WhettenWild said...

Um, I don't have an opinion. Usually I just ask you what you think and then I do that. So, ask yourself what you think and that is my opinion =)

Renee said...

:) Mo, that was an awesome comment! lol...

A lady in my ward painted hers white {after A TON of sanding}....she cut out the middle sections & put bead board in them. Then she used a "coffee bean" glaze over the white, beautiful in all the nooks & cranny's but still that white feel! It is gooooowwwrgeous!!! Seriously, gorgeous!

Whatever you do will be great!! You have a great eye for decor, trust yourself!

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

I think your island needsa be black...but really what do I know?

Heather@The Black's Best said...

I recently remodeled my kitchen and absolutely love the white cabinets we installed. It made the space so light, bright, and cheerful. That said, ya gotta do what you love!

UBee said...

Just do it! You know you wanna. Btw, tell hubs and daddy-o sorry, but you live in it most, right?

Cami said...

I think white cabinets are great, and I think the island looks really awesome with the dark counter tops. But what is especially awesome is that kid sleeping on a bench in the hallway behind the kitchen, or where ever that doorway leads. I just noticed the little feet and started cracking up!

Libby said...

According to the Canadian design denizens, white kitchens are out...people want colour in their lives. I think they're talking about the all white ones, ya know, the white walls, floors, cabinets, tables, chairs and light or white counters. I think those ones have zip personality. And you have a lively personality so all white won't work for you.

IMHO, I'd say that your cabinets need something, the light colour seems to not mesh with the rest of the room (on my monitor anyways). That may be why you want to change it. I wonder if pickling them would look great and still appease us "don't paint good wood" stick in the muds? I'm not sure it would look good though.

On the other hand, dark cherry is 'in' right now. But that may suck the light & life out of your kitchen.

I'm with the others that white cabinetry is never going to be 'out' (just having everything in the room white is a fad). For a splash of colour, paint the back of the exposed cabinets a dark but cheery colour. That would make your white dishes pop. You could also take the centre piece out and put glass or small chicken wire (less than 1" stuff) on them. I did that in one set of cabinets (not all in kitchen) and liked it.

I also agree with the others that whatever you do will be stunning and I look forward to seeing the results.

C said...

I love the white- I think it looks clean and architectural and is softened by the wall color and the personal touches (the french signs, the spice shelves, etc.) It grabs people's attention and directs it to the interesting, personalized touches. I like it!

Lisa said...

I just did the white thing - but that's because the cabinets were already painted a lovely shade of puke. But I do think it's a classic look - I'd do it again - if I ever have an island I think I'll do that another color just to funk it up....robin's egg blue? I don't know. Only thing is - wood hides fingerprints and scum SO much better than white. And you've got littles....something to consider! I'm always wiping down my cabinets! ggrrrr. PS I think your kitchen the way it is is lovely!!

Spencer & Lorilyn Crum said...

I honestly don't think they will go out of style because white cabinets are typically associate with "Cottage Style", which happens to be hot mainstream right now, but will always be it's own unique style, sort of like Mid-Century Modern or Bungalow. And I think it would look perfect with your new pantry door too :)

Libby said...

ok, I've just looked at your kitchen again and in the low light of a semi-beautiful COLD late afternoon, the cabinets look just fine with the floor, walls and table (which btw is gorgeous). White cabinets would also look good with everything in there.

Ariel Elizabeth said...

I don't think you should worry about whether white cabinets will be in or out in 5 years with all the other personalized updates you have done in your home. You have to be comfortable in your own house. When it comes time to sell, you can make the necessary adjustments. Paint is one of the easiest things to's not like you're taking out a wall! Go for it. Paint your cabinets white!! Add a tile backsplash to really make your kitchen look fabulous...and, as always, post pictures of the progress!

KT said...

Of course we'll like something better in five years. White does look fresh and bright - but I have white cabinets right now, and though I like them, they are a PAIN in the NECK to keep clean when you have small children. There are many many days I would like darker cabinets that hide the dirt a little better. The cabinets wouldn't be that much cleaner, but I would feel better about it!

Joanna said...

IMHO: Both. Of course it's a fad right now. But it's also classic, which is why it KEEPS COMING BACK. Do what you love and who cares what anyone else thinks? ;)

alison said...

As I looked at your kitchen I realized that my kitchen is it's little sister. Virtually same cabinets, countertops, layout. Mr. CFO won't let me paint the cabinets--even though the only real wood part is the door and the rest is cheap-o laminate!

Sorry I am no help--I'm such a fence sitter on this issue.

I♥naptime w/ Chocolate Sundaes said...

I LOVE your island. Your kitchen is BEAUTIFUL!! Can't wit to see it all finished.
I ♥ Nap Time

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

I have to say I hate white kitchens. But that's just me. most people love them (although I dont think that fad will last forever. BUT I also don't like light wood (like birch) I like DARK wood cabinets. Good luck with the decision!