How to Choose All the Cabinets

Blair Harris Kitchen Is it a bad idea to show you such beautiful kitchens before revealing mine? Probably. Image Source

While I decided against using the black and white floor tiles (for now) I knew for sure that I still wanted a very black and white kitchen. Black cabinets on the bottom and light on top are often referred to as a tuxedo kitchen. This color scheme is ideal if you want the drama of dark cabinets, without the heaviness. The black bottoms keep the space grounded, while the light uppers keep it open and airy.

I also decided I wanted to mix cabinet styles. That may elicit a cringe from my friendly readers (the three who aren’t blood related). I’m not sure exactly what drove me to that decision besides Pinterest and a fear of commitment. I do think it’s a kind of amazing illustration of my personality. As I’ve firmly established, choosing is not a thing that comes easy for me. I’m naturally an optimist, and I often believe that there will always be something better. It’s a good thing my husband wasn’t lacking in the self-confidence department when he wooed me. At some point early on in our engagement, I was very honest about how scared I was to be making such a big decision (we were babies, by the way). He remained completely unshaken and responded with, “If you don’t marry me, who the hell are you gonna marry?” Clearly, he was the one for me.

Dana-Miller-House-Tweaking-Kitchen-Remodelista-10-733x1100Ikea, for the win, in this kitchen by House Tweaking. Image Source

Unfortunately, cabinets don’t speak quite as clearly as young, overly confidant fiancés. I vacillated between having the cabinets custom made and going the Ikea route. Ikea cabinets are basically magic. All it takes to be under their spell is to walk into an Ikea. Granted, it might take you 3 years to find the kitchen department, but once you do, you’re toast (that was a kitchen joke.) Ikea kitchens are Nordic fairy lands where spices stay organized, cabinets flaunt their spacious quarters, and trash doesn’t stink. You really do believe that you will instantaneously become a hip, yet organized Swedish model/chef if you simply get your hands on one of those Fyorjofferståtinkis. (Did I make that up? Maybe you should learn Swedish and find out.) Since Ikea cabinets are affordable, easily acquired, and get rave reviews from users, I decided to put my money on them.

In the end, I chose black shaker cabinets for the bottom and modern, high-gloss, white uppers. I also added some custom open shelving in walnut, and a custom walnut island. A few years ago, if you would have told me I’d be putting shiny, modern, white cabinets in my kitchen I probably would have told you to stop cussing. Before moving to the West Coast, I was not a fan of modern anything (except medical practices). But the more I saw those clean, unfussy lines, the more they grew on me. I took a chance on not choosing just one style of cabinet and prayed that all these disparate choices would play nicely together.

Robe kitchenHere’s another kitchen, because it’s just so cool. Image Source

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11 thoughts on “How to Choose All the Cabinets

  1. I love this, and think your choice will be fabulous! It is so fun keeping up with your kitchen / house journey 🙂


  2. It sounds like we are making the same kitchen minus all the class in yours and all of the squinting I have the so in mine. I want to STRONGLY affirm the choice to have high gloss white uppers. If I’ve learned anything from having painted my cabinets once in *some paint texture I have no idea what it was bc it was 2 years ago and I didn’t even know the difference be high gloss and egg shell* and then again in a satin (after I should have known better) I WISH already I had chosen high gloss. Dust just floats around looking for a cabinet without sheen. Every dust particle in RTP has been welcomed on my freshly painted satin cabinets, believe you me. My open shelving is oak and was thwarted by the a hole builder who didn’t properly align studs and my counter/cabinets so I had to reduce their length by 1/3 to get the screws in studs. First world problems. I’m so happy you went w ikea! I was so drunk on their trash-stink-less kitchen display I bought 4 brackets for a reason I had to be very creative to justify.


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