6 Tips When Selecting Your Kitchen Cabinet Color

The first question people ask me when they are designing or renovating their kitchen is, what color cabinet should I select? Sounds like an easy question but actually there are several factors that need to be addressed so let’s jump right in my friends.


Kitchen Location– Where your kitchen is situated in the house and if it is open to another room is very important. For example, if the kitchen is a separate room without a lot of natural light the choice may be a lighter cabinet or adding some color. If you have an open plan consider the finishes in the other spaces and how the kitchen will relate to them and visually connect. Also consider how the cabinet color will impact the scale of the room.

aakit4 Choose Your Look – Decide which design aesthetic you are after for your new kitchen. If you are trying to create a light and airy feel, I suggest a painted white cabinet with some glass cabinet doors. If it is a touch of elegance you are after then how about a dark mahogany finish with some leaded glass cabinets. Search through hundreds of kitchens here for ideas.

Mixing It Up– This can be easily achieved by adding a pop of color or changing the finish on a hood or shown here on shelving. Islands are a popular place to change the finish creating a nice focal point in the center of the kitchen. Consider the lower cabinets in an entirely different color for a more modern look that really grounds the kitchen while creating a design detail.



Trendy Vs. Timeless– Many of my clients will design or renovate their kitchen once while living in a particular home. If you know you will be moving in a few years and you decide to go with the current trends they most likely will still be in style when you sell. If you are concerned about re-sale, classic white kitchens are always a winner and maybe add a pop of color on the island which can always be re-painted. At the end of the day you need to love your kitchen so go with your instincts not the current trend.


Cabinet Door Style– The style of the door can help determine the finish, if you are going for a mission style kitchen then natural cherry and finishes of that period make good choices. If you have selected a modern style door then a sleek white may be the ticket. Consider the amount of glass or decorative doors you are incorporating into the design and how they impact the overall feel you are creating.


Glazing Or DistressingOnce you have determined if your cabinet doors will be finished or painted the next question is, will there be a glaze or any distressing. A glaze adds a decorative element to your cabinets enhancing the color and look of the door. If your door has more detail the glaze will stand out more. There are different degrees of glazing, a light glaze for a subtle design detail vs. a heavier glaze that will stand out more. A distressed cabinet door adds a vintage or cottage element to your kitchen and is lovely when applied to colored cabinets like below.


Creating your dream kitchen can be super exciting and super challenging, take the time to research and look at several kitchen cabinet colors, finishes and manufacturers well before you begin designing and the process will run much smoother having one of the major decisions out of the way. You can always email me in Just Ask if you need help deciding.


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Just Ask a Designer: How to Select Kitchen Cabinets

One of my main reasons for creating Adore Your Place was to help our readers solve their design dilemmas, each week I answer hundreds of design questions and I just love being able to apply my years of experience as a professional to your projects. Today’s topic is a question that comes in almost every week and is the first decision you need to make when deciding to purchase new cabinets.


Q. Can you tell me the different types of cabinet doors out there and what you recommend? Chelsea

A. There are three basic types of cabinet doors; inset (shown above) where the cabinet door is set into the frame of the cabinetry. partial overlay (shown below) where the cabinet door partially covers the frame and full overlay (last image) where the entire door covers the frame.  The look of the inset door is classic and sometimes cottage, the concern is that wood naturally expands and contracts over time and the cabinet doors may need to be adjusted, in my opinion well worth it for this look.


Partial overlay I mainly use this option when the budget is tight, the style will have a lower cost due to less materials needed. In addition to the three types of doors then there is the style of the actual door which falls into two major categories; raised or recessed panel, this would pertain to the center panel of the door. A raised panel is a more traditional or formal look but can also be dressed down in a soft white where the recessed can be cottage, modern or traditional; based on the design details of the door.

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Above is the full over-lay door which means it covers the entire frame of the cabinet giving a sleek and streamline look. It allows the design detail of the door to become the focal point not the frame around it and can be specified in raised or recessed panel. It is what most of my clients select for style and functionality. Consider the look you are after, finish of cabinetry and scale of the room when selecting the door style, look through hundreds of styles here and read some of our favorite kitchen design articles here for inspiration.


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Our Journey to Ireland; Part II


So excited that you joined us for the rest of our journey, each day just seems to top the next. Above, a welcomed road block on the way to County Clare.

Day 3  Continues; We left Portmegee and headed to County Clare to a small seaside village called Doolin. We chose Doolin for its quick proximity to the ferry boats going to the Aran Islands and the traditional Irish music they are known for. We arrived at the charming Atlantic View Bed and Breakfast, with views of the Cliffs of Mohr and ran right out to Gus O’ Connor’s Pub to experience the music, it was the best we had heard.

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Day 4-Galway City; we woke to pouring rain and decided to travel to the Aran Islands the following day. Galway quickly became our favorite city in Ireland, the people were warm and friendly combining a hip city destination placed next to the sea. Great shopping, pubs, food and sights. We stayed at Hotel Meyrick across from Erye Square and found it to be lovely, within walking distance to everything.

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Day 5- Inis Oirr; our favorite destination in Ireland is the smallest of the Arran Islands, Inis Oirr. From the moment we stepped off the ferry we felt overcome with a sense of peace and tranquility. We were immediately drawn to picturesque shoreline and panoramic views of the Cliffs of Moher. We decided to tour the island by foot walking past impressive stonewalls looking out onto the sea.



What made our experience on Inis Oirr so special were the people we met there. Paul Haggins, who creates Celtic Stone Carvings and has been carving stone for over 25 years around the world. Further down, the Elissa Donoghue host of Teach An Tae Tea Rooms along with her husband Michael who served us scrumptious baked goods. We took a walk to the Arts Center and watched baskets being weaved and walked along the path to purchase authentic Aran jumpers. Inis Oirr is a place we will never forget.

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Day 6- Dromoland Castle, Clare; We decided to spend our final night in a castle located a short distance from Shannon where we flew out of. It was one of the most beautiful accommodations I have ever stayed in. We were treated like royalty from the moment we entered the castle and although we were both sad to leave Ireland we already began planning our next visit at dinner that evening.

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Images of Teach An Tae & Paul Haggins

My Journey to Ireland: Part I


Hello friends, this post is so special to me because it was the first trip my daughter and I took together on our own. Sarah did most of the planning along with the help of some great friends from Ireland and the result was a rockin itinerary.

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Day 1- Dublin; we arrived at 9 am and hit the ground running, my goal was that we would stay in a variety of accommodations to get the feel for Ireland’s hospitality from a small B & B to a Castle. Above is The Dylan a chic boutique hotel located in the old financial district in Dublin. I would highly recommend it, a historic building with a well designed interior in Art Deco fashion, impeccable service and a full Irish breakfast.

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Guinness Storehouse; after we checked in the hotel we headed straight to the Guinness Storehouse to see how Guinness is made and learn how to properly pour and drink a Guinness. With your ticket you receive a free Guinness, I recommend walking through a bit and going straight to the pouring school, it requires your ticket and then take your pint up to the top floor to see panoramic views of Dublin, a perfect kick-off to our trip.


Kilmainham; next we headed to Kilmainham Gaol, a massive stone structure built in 1796 that served as a prison. It was very moving to walk through the cold stone halls looking at the cells where some of Ireland’s leaders of the Irish Rebellions were imprisoned. We learned it is one of the most important Irish monuments because of its involvement in the struggle for Irish independence, it was quite a site.


Grafton Street; after we headed to Grafton Street , one of the main shopping streets in Dublin, it runs from Saint Stephen’s Green in the south to College Green in the north where Trintiy College is located. I snapped an image of a charming side street off Grafton above, this is St. Ann’s Church. Then finally sat down at a pub in the Temple Bar Area for a well deserved pint and some traditional Irish music.

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Trinity College; yes it is still the same day friends. Walking down Grafton Street brought us directly to College Green where Trinity College/The University of Dublin is located. Founded 1592 it is Ireland’s oldest and most prestigious college, the architecture was breathtaking. Below is the courtyard at Trinity where we enjoyed speaking with some student’s and faculty so much that we missed seeing the Book of Kells because the library had just closed, ugg next time.


Day 2-Blarney; after a well rested night we headed toward County Cork and stopped at Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. Not that either one of us needed to receive “the gift of gab” as legend has it but a friend told me if you already had it then it may reverse it, we ‘ll see. The funny thing is that you are actually suspended over the edge of the castle to kiss the stone (see below) which was a bit of a surprise but fun. I know this may sound touristy but we enjoyed it and the grounds and castle were lovely.

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Cork City; we then headed to Cork City and had a phenomenal dinner at Market Lane; exquisite food, chic yet inviting interior, open kitchen and excellent service. If you have time stop by the famous English Market, a covered indoor market founded in 1952 similar to Chelsea Market in NYC, there is something for every taste.


Kerry; After a good walk around Cork City we headed toward our destination for the night and our favorite stay, The Loch Lein Country House pictured below. The Loch Lein is located in Fossa just minutes from Killarney and perfect for touring The Ring of Kerry. It is situated on a lake with fabulous views and the rooms are lovely but what makes The Loch Lein so special are the people that run it. Innkeepers Annette and Paul Corridan and their wonderful staff took care of our every need, made arrangements for our trip the following day and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. I almost forgot to mention their scrumptious full Irish breakfast, don’t miss it if you’re in the area and one night is not nearly long enough, the definition of Irish Hospitality.



Day 3-  Portmagee; we traveled the Ring of Kerry to Portmagee a lovely little village pictured below where we departed for ‘Skellig Michael‘, an island off the coast that is a 6th-century monastic settlement, beyond challenging and beyond spectacular to climb. Above is my view driving the Ring of Kerry on the way there, just beautiful.


Skellig Michael; there we met Joe Roddy our captain at the dock and began a journey we will never forget, I love Joe’s webpage here and his description of Skellig Michael. Once there we climbed 700 steps formed out of rocks to reach the summit where 20 foot beehive shape huts still stand, it truly brings you back in time and a sense of peace came over me that I have never felt before. The weather was picture perfect at Skellig Michael for us and the puffins were everywhere, we would both love to return someday.




Stop in soon to see the next three days of our trip, you won’t want to miss our favorite city in Ireland Galway, the smallest yet most endearing of the three Aran Islands Inis Oirr and our final night spent at Dromoland Castle in Shannon.


(Images via Adore Your Place except the first image via)