Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Suffocated By Oak

I travel too often for work, and like to spend flight time flipping through home decor and renovation magazines. The latest issue of This Old House ignited a back burner obsession: painting our kitchen cabinets. No, that link is not my kitchen cabinets, instead it offers delicious photo ideas from This Old House to inspire painting cabinets. Our cabinets are good -- they are oak and so solid that I can't screw in hooks on the inside doors to hang potholders. But, our kitchen floor is oak too. And the island is built of oak. And there are two planks of oak facing our entry hallway that encase the fridge and double oven. There's so much oak! It's suffocation by oak! And grain! Too much of a good thing. Or, as some people who haven't been struck by the homey charms of a typical midwestern house, any oak at all is not a good thing. I mean, really, I do have a hard time imagining lots of oak in California, or Seattle. It just doesn't seem to fit. But in Chicago, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Detroit -- all places I've lived -- oak cabinetry is nearly inescapable. I can accept it, but to a point.

Which leads to the ideas in the back of my mind to transform the cabinets into a warm buttery ivory, perhaps, with darker antiqued streaks in the cracks and on the edges. But I don't know. It's a big commitment. Not something to jump into impulsively, as I'm likely to do. This Old House does tell you how to paint the cabinets.

Some ideas ... light cabinets with darker glaze accents like this finish at KraftMaid:

Something like this effect at Plain & Fancy cabinets, except with more glaze in the recessed areas of the cabinets:

A final note to leave you with as I got drawn into the This Old House site: vintage metal doorknobs. What things people get crazy about! But they are beautiful. A row of these on the wall to hang robes and such would be something.

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