Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kitchen Planning: Head v. Heart

Mid Century (or what normal people call "The 50's") kitchen cabinets usually were a simple slab style of door, if the cabinets were made of wood, such as seen in the picture above.

Often the cabinets were either painted, or birch or a knotty pine.

I have spent two months looking at various styles of kitchen cabinets now, and as I looked I reminding myself of these facts:

A slab door is 1.) the least expensive option 2.) easiest to keep clean 3.) keeps within the style of the house's era. 4.) can be dress it up with hardware.

The "easiest to keep clean" fact speak especially loudly to me.

For the past eight years I have daily dealt with cream colored cabinets that showed newsprint smeared fingerprints and coffee drips from blurry eyed breakfast preparations. The raised panels called for never ending gyrations of spritz and wipe moves on my part to keep the kitchen looking clean.

I swore I would NEVER have raised panel cabinet doors in a kitchen EVER again.

Slab doors were the doors for me!

Yet...even knowing the truth of all those statements above, I would stand and look at slab doors and feel like I was signing up for a "Plain Jane" kitchen.
Oh I have had beautiful mahogany slab doors before and loved them for their simplicity.
And in my head I really wanted to simplify my life...but my heart kept yearning for something different.

Early in the kitchen cabinet style hunt I had several times admired a finish called Whiskey Black.
Each time I had told myself that since it was a finish only available on certain doors with extra detailing, I shouldn't chose it, since I was determined to keep the kitchen cleaning time at a minimum.
Well...the other day we were sent to a show room by our contractor to select some items for the renovation, and B. saw this model kitchen pictured above and...




Well, actually they aren't really raised panel.

Interestingly, the style and finish is very similar to our 32 year old bedroom set, which B. also selected just before we got married, and which I have always loved.

And yes, I have had to carefully dust those little inset details on the bedroom set about every other month or so too.

The show room had created a custom crown moulding that looked spotty and rather heavy.
We will pass on that feature, but may have a dark smaller crown and toe board created instead.

The cabinet style is by Diamond, the style is called LaGrange, created out of maple, and the finish is a glaze called Whiskey black.

Our oak floors will be close to the same color, but with more grain, which will create more high and low lights.

I don't know whether I will eventually regret not listened to my head, which insisted on either plank or simple frame doors.

All I know is that both my heart and B.'s heart just loved this fussier style.

(It did help in my head that B. has agreed to help with the cleaning...and that while I know the drips and smudges will still happen, at least they will not show so much on wood!)


Islandsparrow said...

I think they are beautiful!

Sara said...

Hi glad you stopped by my blog.
I love this look too, and though I also said I'd NEVER again have a raised panel door again (at least if I had the option)...ended up with a shaker style door with cherry wood. I did give up the 'chocolate' glaze, which I so love! So, I say, go with your heart :P (if you can)

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe you should simplify in a different way, such as hiring a monthly maid service for the harder cleaning. Debbie

Anonymous said...

I too thought it
was love at first sight! Probably because I have lived with the "plain Jane" style for 50 years. My vote is...GO for it! Love ya, Mom

Lovella said...

Oh they do look quite wonderful. . .very nice.
How much mess can two adults actually create? Really?

Vicki said...

Beautiful! I love your choice! Although I despise dusting kitchen cabinetry, I just couldn't go with the plain slab doors.

You and B did well. Very well.

Anonymous said...

I like your choice of cabinets!!! Looking forward to further developments. Love, mom S.

Sara said...

Just gorgeous....I love them too.

Julie said...

Ohh .. Hands down, Jill.. your heart has better taste! smile..
I LOVE those cabinets...and when they need cleaning .. just wipe them down with your heart and not your head !!

Becky said...

Oh, I really like what you have chosen. You are a detail lover - usually in facts and tid-bits, but maybe that carries over into styles as well. You seem to appreciate the intricacy and details of craftmanship. You'll love these - I mean, how dusty can your rustic neighbourhood be? And, if you only invite others over to do the baking, hmmm.... there really won't be that much flour floating about to those upper cupboards. Have fun!

running wildly said...

I was absolutely salivating at that photo of the whole kitchen cabinet spread. Seriously. Drooling.