Want to change the look of my cabinets

I have a post & beam home that has lots of wood in every room. My kitchen cabinets are $$ and made of alder, but I need to incorporate some other color in the room. Ceiling is wood, cabinets, etc. Don't want to paint( seems like a sin with the alder) but should I white wash them- want to keep look of grain? Kitchen is dark even with yellow walls. HELP?
  10 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 08, 2013
    I would never paint cabinets in my home...I'm too much of a wood fan. Other ways to lighten a room include wall color, window coverings / treatment, lighting changes /choices, flooring, floor coverings.

  • Susan Kenneally Susan Kenneally on Sep 08, 2013
    @KMS Woodworks I've done all of that. Thinking of a skylight and/or removing a single window and putting in a double. I think a skylight would light it up the most. Floors are slate so I'm not changing. No window coverings since we overlook a river and wetlands...have double sliders but no direct sun comes in. Thanks anyway!

  • Therese C Therese C on Sep 08, 2013
    Susan Kenneally You have had me sitting here pondering your problem for a bit and I have an idea or two. Have you considered installing LED down lights under your top cupboards? That will throw some strong light to wake the room. Use LED's that cast a kind of bright blue to them. Strange as it sounds, the blue will actually help bring out the yellow and brighten the wood. Skylights are a very good way to wake up a wooden room. May I suggest 2 skylights? One over the cook area (or as close as possible) and one over a main area, like the eating area. Leave your windows uncovered and wide open to the view. I would start with the lights and skylights then see where your lighting level is at. Post pictures and I may be able to come up with more ideas. Good luck dear!

  • Susan Kenneally Susan Kenneally on Sep 08, 2013
    @Therese C Thanks so much. I do have lights under my cabinets but I think I need stronger/larger ones. I think skylights are my best bet . I need natural light. Even though there are way too many pot lights in the ceiling, it just doesn't give the right feel. I will get some pictures and post them. Thanks again!

  • Susan Kenneally Susan Kenneally on Sep 08, 2013
    @Therese C - here are the pictures of my kitchen. I also thought of white washing my ceiling to brighten things up. The one window in the work area is just too small for me. thanks for any ideas!

  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Sep 09, 2013
    It looks like your kitchen is pretty open to a dinning or living room. Getting more light in there will help a lot as well.

  • Z Z on Sep 09, 2013
    We're slowing changing most all our lightbulbs to LEDs and using full spectrum/daylight wherever we needed. It's amazing the difference that makes in a room full of wood. I'm with you and Kevin in not painting beautiful wood. Personally I wouldn't even white wash it. LEDs and full spectrum lighting can be expensive, but they are well worth it.

  • Therese C Therese C on Sep 09, 2013
    Okay, I have looked your photos over and came up with a solution...ready? Yes add the skylights and under cabinet LED's, and a larger window. However, before you whitewash those beautiful cabinets, let's try this; whitewash the ceiling, and change the wall color to "Silver-Sage" (in the picture I am showing you). Then step back and see what a HUGE difference the wall paint makes! It will play beautifully off of your SS appliances and counter tops!! Do NOT add window coverings and lose that beautiful view! Let me know what you think. :)

    • Susan Kenneally Susan Kenneally on Sep 14, 2013
      @Therese C Thanks Therese- I already contacted a company about the skylights and I may do the ceiling, but I love sunny, warm yellow on the walls so that would be the last one I try.Thanks again!

  • Therese C Therese C on Sep 14, 2013
    I cannot wait to see pictures!

  • Cherie Cherie on May 17, 2015
    I agree with Therese C! I would put in the skylights, and everything else she suggested! I think the main problem IS the wall color!! Sunny Yellow does nothing for your beautiful cabinets! One way to try it is to paint a piece of cardboard and put it above your refrigerator to see the difference. And your kitchen is beautiful!!!!