Afraid of dark stained cabinets?

September 16, 2007 § 1 Comment

Never fear dark stained cabinets as long as you know how to balance light and dark together.
Take a look at some kitchens that have successfully incorporated dark stained cabinets.

This kitchen, is located at the Residences at Victory Park. at the posh W Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The project became personal when design architect, Eddie Abeyta, of the W Hotel & Residences at Victory Park chose to make a condo in the South Tower his home.

Notice the lightness from the light horizontal shape wall cabinets, the 24″ high back painted glass back splash that reflects light. Not all of us can enjoy the soaring ceilings, but these ideas are transferable to a standard ht ceiling. I love the sculptural light over the table.

Dark-stained kitchen cabinetry pops against white paint and stainless steel. Eddie Abeyta’s favorite piece at home is above the dining table, where Ingo Maurer’s sculptural Oh Mei Ma Weiss pendant light casts a chic spotlight. (Photography by TERRI GLANGER / Dallas Morning News (MCT) )

We can take our cues for Residential Design from Public Spaces.


Notice the blend of light and dark in the restaurant, Craft, located at the W Hotel in Dallas Texas.

This kitchen is in a Terra Linda Eichler.
Notice the use of light wall cabinets that contrast against the dark base cabinets, high backsplashes, lots of glass, lots of stainless steel.

This kitchen is all dark cabinets against light floors, light counter surfaces and light walls. Minimalistic features keep this kitchen from feeling closed in. even if they warmed up the walls with a little bit more color, a warmer white perhaps, this would still feel bright. This is a comfortable modern kitchen.

This contemporary kitchen incorporates frosted glass horizontal bifold doors against the stained wall cabinet frame to keep things light. Again, notice the repetition of light-dark-light. Light floors, dark cabinets, light counters and splash.

Small spaces can use dark cabinets too. This is different. Notice the dark cabinets are on top! They work well, look at the inserts. They are a stainless mesh screen. Notice the repetition here from bottom to top: light/light/light/dark/dark/light. Light floors, light base cabinets, light counters, dark splash, dark wall cabinets, light ceiling. This kitchen is just so darn cute! It has great elements: beautiful wood tones, large slate tiles on the back splash make the space look bigger, bright off white counters. The counters would be too busy if it as a granite. The curve in the counter for a lap top is great. The blinds are wood and the tape is a contrasting fabric that blends with the cherry cabinets. No crown, no light rail. Simpler is better here. The stainless selection on the hood, cook top and sink are perfect. White or black would have been a bad note in this lyrical space. Whats wrong is the client kept the ratty old bow back spindle chair. This one needs to be banished in favor of a contemporary chair. So cute!

So far we have looked at Modern spaces. But traditional kitchens can also incorporate a little color ingenuity by combining colors in the design. The effect is welcoming. The lighter wood is Rustic Alder with a smoky-hued finish. Beautifully paired with a full-bodied finish on Lyptus to create a superb combination for this kitchen.

This transitional kitchen benefits from the flood of light coming in from the full walls of glass panels. The light honey blond of the floor and the light counter tops sets a beautiful counter point to the medium dark stain on the cabinets. I think this is one of my favorites yet!

This kitchen is beautiful but I would have suggested to the client they go a little further to complete the look. Something is a little off in this kitchen. Can you find it?
The refrigerator looks like they ran out of money and had to keep the old one. Folks, when you go this kind of expense, don’t skimp on the appliances. I would have ordered a built in refrigerator and applied integrated panels on the doors. The space is narrow and I want to see that refrigerator blend in, not stick out like a mistake. Also, the dark molding at the top of the refrigerator isn’t working either. It should match the white cabinets. The floor is maple natural and not the right tone. It is too light and contemporary looking. I would have gone with a shade or two darker and a wider plank. A hickory, cherry or oak floor would have looked better to complement the the traditional style of the kitchen.

Here is another one of my favorite kitchens. It has got all the elements, cleft stone walls in the back ground, a fireplace, painted cabinetry, stainless steel, dark wood tones, concrete, granite. Designed by Sandra Lutchens, this kitchen uses elements of oyster white as the primary cabinetry color. Anchored with a deep tone of Truffle on the island, paneling and trim, this kitchen is a dream. Notice the dark crown molding from the oven extending over the length of the range top wall. Great transition with shorter wall cabinets left and right of the hood. The island counter is a saturated coppery brown to match the island cabinets. Notice the dual sinks. Fabulous design!

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§ One Response to Afraid of dark stained cabinets?

  • erinn says:

    Oh, I needed this! We are thinking of sanding and painting our existing cabinets a dark color until we can do a gut kitchen reno. This was very helpful! Thanks for reading the happy living blog, too. erinn

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