Thursday, January 03, 2008

Countertops and Color Schemes

Let the kitchen decorating begin! Over the holidays we managed to get the walls up and prime them to be ready for decoration. We're currently having the original maple floors patched where the rooms were combined and refinished by the fine gents at Elm Floor from Elmwood Park who came highly recommended to us. That leaves us time to decide things that, in all honesty, should have probably been done a long time ago. Well, it was hard to visualize how the space and colors will be working together until we had a blank canvas.
While browsing many kitchen design photos, we noticed that light cabinetry generally is paired with dark countertops, and dark cabinetry generally has lighter countertops. Since we already have elected to go with dark cherry cabinets (currently taking up residence in our living room), we thought we were pretty well pigeoned into a light coutnertop. Besides, its a small space, and we didn't want too many dark colors to become overwhelming and claustrophobic. Another plus is that a lighter surface doesn't reveal how dirty they are as easily as dark surfaces (as we learned from having black appliances in our condo!), so we can wait longer before cleaning it!

We went to our local KDA and looked at some Zodiaq samples, and found a style called "Cappucino" that really was great against Cherry cabinets. I've succumbed to the fact that we simply don't have the budget to purchase IceStone counters, as much as I love the idea of having beer-bottle-based countertops. But Zodiaq is a great alternative that is still green, harder than granite, and requires almost no maintenance.

However, some darker (midtone?) counters, such as a rich green, end up looking really sharp with cherry cabinets. I mean REALLY sharp, as we found out by looking at the "Magellen Green" Zodiaq sample in the store. We didn't think much of this color by looking at the brochure (or web site for that matter), but this just proves that it is hard for the web or print to capture the look of these stone-ish counters, especially the abstract "sparkle factor" that Jen loves so much.

I think we've pretty much decided that it is down to these two counter colors. Kudos to Jen for the awesome mockups of our kitchen space with cabinet layouts with both counters done by hand in Adobe Illustrator. It's good to have a graphic designer in the family! Once we decide on the counters, we can figure out colors on the walls that will encapsulate them.