/ Ask a Designer

Ask a Designer: Cabinet Colors & Materials


Should I use multiple cabinet colors?


Gladys: It always goes back to the design and the layout. It doesn’t make sense to breakup different colors. Sometimes a perimeter is a different color, an island is a different color. Sometimes you have accent pieces, and then you end up with three that matched together. Some people will say, “Okay, this look really great. It’s clean, it’s contemporary, let’s keep it at one color.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be so. The determining factor is really the design. Sometimes you can get too much in there. When you have three different cabinet colors, you may not necessarily want three different countertop colors. Sometimes you might want one that unifies all three colors.

Eileen: We are seeing a lot of multi-colors and the kitchen is not all just one color. This is a little bit softer of a white, and it’s in conjunction with a barn red color. Some people like the red, the focal point. They want to set something up, so we pair it with a neutral, with the white or some other neutral or a wood stained cabinet will kind of tone things down, something that might have an island or certain areas that will have a different stain or finish. We could do the whole kitchen in the bright color, but that is not common because that might be your personal preference and what you really want. You always have to think of resale down the line.


Ask a Designer: Kitchen Lighting


How much light should a kitchen have?

The amount of light, or the number of lights, really depends on the size of the kitchen, but the type of light … There are several different types that you should have in a kitchen in order to make it functional. Number one would be task lighting, which is lighting that fits underneath your wall cabinets and sheds light onto your countertops, so as you’re working, you can see what you’re doing. If you only have lights in the ceiling behind you, you can have a tendency to have shadows on the countertop, so you can’t see as well. So, the task lighting under your wall cabinets is really helpful.

The other type of lighting would be general lighting, which might be [recess can 00:00:50] lighting in the ceiling; perhaps some track lighting that would shed light on a general basis and light the room fully. I always feel like, for cleaning purposes, perhaps, so you can make sure that you see all the different crevices that you need to get to.

The other type might be a decorative lighting; maybe over an island, if you wanted something that added to the ambiance of the room. You might put some track lighting, some decorative track lighting, perhaps; monorail-type systems or pendant lightings, or you could always use pots racks that have lights in them also that are also functional and beautiful.

Ask a Designer: Cooktop/Wall Oven vs. Range


Why choose a cooktop and wall oven instead of a range?

Cheryl: When it comes to selecting a wall oven versus a cook top versus a freestanding range, a lot of times it has to do with what type of space we have in the kitchen. With wall ovens you have the benefit of gaining two ovens versus a freestanding 30 inch range which would have one oven. Double ovens are something that is very commonly asked for, but a lot of times if we have a small kitchen, we can't fit double wall ovens and a cook top. Some 30 inch freestanding ranges now have warming drawers built in down below the oven.

Eileen: Some people want a larger cook top area. They want some burners. They want a griddle. They want to grill. So it takes up more room or they want to be able to move around five pots and pans at once. So they need a larger space. That requires a larger hood area. The ovens, like I said, some people want multiple ovens. So you can have a roast in one oven and your baking in another oven at the same time, especially for entertaining or having large dinner parties.

Ask a Designer: Cabinet Prices


Why do cabinets range so widely in price?

Trisha: Cabinets range in price, because of a few different things. One will be door style. You can never like simple door style that is less expensive than more decorative door style with a print molding. An overlaying door style versus a decorative in-set door style. There’s going to be big cost different within your door style. Then, wood pieces and finish are also variables that contribute to the difference of the whole cabinet. Cherry tends to be more expensive wood than a maple, pine or oak, so there’s a premium with a lot of cabinetries that I sell for cherry. As far as finishes, you have a standard stained finish, and then you’re going to have upgrade finishes, a painted finish for a little bit of an upgrade.

You have a painted glazed finish, and then you have themed glaze finishes. The more steps involved in the finishing process, that’s going to cost more for the cabinet. There is a quality difference sometimes in different lines of cabinetry. That’s going to contribute to cost difference as well. You’re going to look at thickness of doors and drawers and things that are offered as standard, that make it a higher quality cabinets such as full extension, soft closed slide and soft closed doors that are sometimes standard on a higher cabinet. Whereas, in a lower end, there’s an upgrade or something that’s not even available.