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Poll: For an average sized kitchen, what's the best choice?
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For an average sized kitchen, what's the best choice?

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Old 03-16-2013, 09:10 AM   #1
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

We're redoing the kitchen cabinets. The doors will be mahogany rails & stiles with sapele panels and the drawer fronts will be either solid sapele or solid mahogany (still debating that). Photo "B" is the style we're building the doors in.

Where we're having the greatest difficulty is in toning the wood. The kitchen is about 12'x15' and opens up into the great room. But in no way does it look as large as A, D or E. I like the darker tones but I'm worried it may shrink the kitchen or just be too overpowering. We're using waterborne finish and even applying oil and shellac on the sapele before the finish looks bland. It seems the sapele only pops with the darker dyes.

Anyway, as far as the cabinets and accents in the pictures below goes, which one do you like best?

A - Dark toned wood with black accents

B - Medium toned wood with dark accents

- Natural with light accents

D - Dark toned with light accents

E - Dark - Sapele/Mahogany blend

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Old 03-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

I'll go first

B is nice, but the busy backsplash throws it off

E is my favourite with the counter from D. Love the table from D

Didn't see the actual poll earlier

Last edited by creeper; 03-16-2013 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #3
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

I like the wood tone in A. Overall, I like D. E is warm and inviting but I think too dark for most tastes. You have to have something to offset the dark colors.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

Cherry cabinets with clean lines and clean hardware. Quartz counter tops. Decorative tile back splash. Stainless steel appliances.

A is very close on cabinets.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

Not far off from what I did, 747. Although I used closed pulls (so they wouldn't catch on clothing) and a plain tile back splash matching the floor. The cherry has darkened nicely since the photo was taken, and the kitchen is easy to keep clean.

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:15 AM   #6
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

We went with mahogany for a setup very similar to what you're suggesting. We're putting a silestone 'lagoon' counter on it. It's vaguely like carrera marble in color and variation, but without the maintenance troubles that come with marble or other natural stones. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS. How you and your family are prepared to treat the surfaces is an important thing to consider. We'll be going with a floor color (all wood) that's somewhere in-between the lightness of the counter and the richer color of the cabinetry.

I'd avoid those rod handles as the protruding ends WILL snag your pants pockets and rip them.

I'd also avoid the wood in the footwell area under the island. You'd pay and arm and a leg for it, only to have the kids kicking dents in it. For ours it would've been an additional $2500 to get that wood from the cabinet company. If you insist on doing it then seriously considering shopping around for a veneer from someone else locally instead. Otherwise treat that area with something less prone to suffering scuffs.

I don't like veneers and a lot of slab doors use veneers. So that shaker style gets my vote. Bear in mind there are many ways to dress up a typical 5-piece door or drawer with moldings and the like. Veneer on a panel is ok as that would be a bit more stable than one built-up, and less prone to suffering water or other damage.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Poll - Sapele Kitchen Cabinet Style

Just after beginning the demo, I thought it would be good to have some before pics of the kitchen. What's missing in the pics below is a rough sawn cedar false beam inside the soffited area that had one beam down the length and two across the width. Inside were fluorescent strips that reflected light off the ceiling. The "backsplash" was oak baseboard.

We used a clothes steamer to aid in removing the wallpaper and dry ice to remove the counter top tile.

That comment about the bar handles is haunting me now. They looked like clothes catchers and I objected to them for that exact reason. Then we got caught up in design and it won out over function. We are now the proud owners of a box of bar handles. I don't see not using them.

I know if we go for the dark cabinets we have to offset it with light floors. I would have added counter top to that but we already replaced the old top with granite. At the time, we were thinking we could get away with not changing out the cabinet doors & drawer faces and that eventually the old ones would be back in style again. We couldn't see how much the old cabinets detracted from everything else we did. But family and friends let us know!

This is the first door I finished (laying on the kitchen floor). It's not glued up or stained and sealed yet and the handles are just sitting there, but it's the style we're going with. The rails & stiles are Honduran mahogany and the panels sapele. If you just applied a top coat on these doors, the sapele will darken a shade or more than the mahogany.

Most of the doors are done now. The panel glue ups are going slowly because I keep them clamped overnight and I don't have a ton of clamps.

Our biggest dilemma is what color will we dye the wood? Without cabinets, the kitchen is about 12'x15'. With cabinets in, that space (the floor) shrinks to 8'x10'. We're afraid dark cabinets will visually shrink the kitchen too much and stand out so much it will make the Early American maple stained oak in the adjacent rooms look dated.

What I've discovered about sapele is it looks gorgeous when dark toned but kind of plain when just top coated. WB satin on it looks awful. But even lacquer doesn't bring out its character unless you tone the wood first. Coming to a decision on the finishing of the wood has been a real problem.

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