Home & Garden

Open the door to more cabinetry colors

AFTER: Here the guest bathroom cabinetry has been updated from a dark brown stain to a contemporary gray. With finishes
AFTER: Here the guest bathroom cabinetry has been updated from a dark brown stain to a contemporary gray. With finishes available in paint, laminate and acrylic, the color possibilities are broad. It’s up to designers to think beyond the standard colors.
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Fall is all about color. Leaves are not shy about showing their golds, oranges and reds. We gravitate toward these showy displays of color. People drive to other states to witness autumn’s foliage.

If we’re willing to go to such lengths for color, what holds us back at home — embracing a color that’s beyond what’s expected? I’m referring specifically to cabinetry.

White long has been a popular cabinet color in the kitchen. It brightens the space and looks clean. Our kitchen has been on our list to update, but space and financial constraints have prevented major changes. When I suggested to my husband that we paint the kitchen cabinets white, he quickly rejected that idea. He didn’t want to lose the beauty of the wood’s grain. Having a grandfather who had an active wood shop will do that to someone.

Some people do infuse the kitchen with color beyond the backsplashes and walls. Whether that’s making the island base a shade of gray or choosing base cabinets in a navy finish, we are no longer limited to traditional stain colors. These are welcome changes, but we could go further.

Looking through Photo Galleries of local cabinetry businesses, at least half of the cabinetry shown is white or an adjacent color. Grey, espresso and black also could be found.

Black in the kitchen began trending in 2015, and not just for appliances. While it sounds like an odd choice at first, the popularity of farmhouse style begins to explain it. Depending on the value, black is just a few steps away from charcoal gray. Some have made the black pronounced, with high-gloss cabinets and gold fixtures, while others downplay it with matte finishes.

Our built-in shelves surrounding the fireplace are from an era when the casework color palette was more limited — and skewed more orange. The stain color is nearly identical to the wood-paneled wall behind. It all blends together. I would love for the built-ins to make a statement.

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I envision the cabinetry finished in the blue range with the wall behind a different color. I also am interested in applying a textured wallpaper that could be updated in the future. Integrated accent lighting would be a must. Until then, we’ll have to appreciate our gray bathroom cabinetry, which was a recent update.

The kitchen is a heavily used room and gathering space for families. I can understand the reluctance to go with a bold color for a room that is often the most expensive to remodel. Media rooms, basement bars or guest rooms lend themselves more easily to non-traditional cabinetry.

The cabinetry in this home, www.bakesandkropp.com/project/meadow-lane-entertainment-center, is certainly non-traditional. The coral-red color surrounds the fireplace and extends to the mantel, built-in benches, crown molding and window trim. The white walls and neutral finishes put the focus on the cabinetry and don’t overwhelm the room.

It takes brave people to choose aqua cabinetry, but it is available. We need designers to think beyond what is standard and suggest more daring color schemes for cabinetry. It’s only after projects are photographed and pinned that a new color trend will begin. Until then, people are more likely to choose what is featured in showrooms. We certainly could open our doors to more colors.

Erin Owen graduated from the interior design program at Kirkwood Community College. She has worked as a commercial and residential interior designer. Comments: erin.n.owen@gmail.com

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