One of my readers recently asked if I ever come to Victoria as she wanted to hire me to evaluate whether her newly installed kitchen cabinets needed to be re-sprayed (an expensive proposition) because she was convinced the wrong white had been chosen.
So this weekend in between helping my mom with her house, I was able to make a house call while I was here!
The style of her kitchen was very much like the most copied kitchen of all time from Something’s Gotta Give.
The countertops are fabulous [Antiqued Cambrian Granite] and the floor is marmoleum. Currently the colour of the cabinets are Benjamin Moore’s Mascarpone from their new Affinity line.
When the cabinets were delivered the night before the installation and she saw them piled up in the dining room, she immediately noticed that they seemed to have a green undertone. At that point she would have sent them back to be re-painted but the next morning the cabinet company and the designer assured her that she was ‘guaranteed’ to love them once they were installed.
The designer went on to say that every white has an undertone and this one was no different. However the paint colour was simply not matched correctly (Cabinet manufacturers don’t use Benjamin Moore paint to spray cabinets).
Kitchen photos by Maria Killam
Whites are perceived as tricky because Benjamin Moore alone (in the Cdn deck) has 140 different whites. However there are a select few whites that don’t have an undertone (that can be perceived), and the undertones of white, creams and beige must be compared to others before you can be satisfied that the you have the right one.
The casings are all Cloud White, so you can see the difference (between the drawers) in the shading of the 2 whites although I’m sure the green undertone is lost in the photo.
When she asked what I thought of her floor I said that it had a blue undertone, and I liked that it relates to the countertop and the wall colour [BM Piedmont Grey].
The kitchen from Something’s Gotta Give (above) also had a dark floor although it was espresso brown.
When I pointed out that the marmoleum had a blue undertone she said “Thank you! Everyone around me (the cabinet company, the designer) kept saying, the cabinets are green because of the wall colour and the floor is gray not blue”. (If you’ve been reading this blog you already know that all grays have an undertone).
Here’s the farmhouse sink from the movie, just like my client’s (below).
I don’t know if you can see the green undertone in this image (compared to the sink) but I thought I’d include it just in case! I love the leaded glass in the upper cabinets (below).
The next step in finishing this kitchen will be choosing the backsplash tile, as well as window coverings. She asked if woven woods (like in this kitchen below) would work and I agreed and suggested a 5 x 8 bound sisal rug in the same tones as the blind to add some warmth.
So what was my advice?
In my experience, there are two kinds of clients.
One who is highly affected by colour and especially the varying undertones and how they relate to each other (many of you read this blog and send me emails) and the second client who could read this post, add some pots filled with rosemary, a topiary (below), some artwork, window coverings and an area rug and not notice it again.
I am most like the former (obviously it’s what I do) and after the first 10 minutes of discussion I concluded that my client is just like me.
She will not be happy with her (brand new) kitchen until it’s the right colour, which in this case is Cloud White as that is already the trim colour. As I outlined in my post 5 steps to a kitchen you will love, in general, white goes with black and cream looks the best with brown.
Colour creates a feeling and when it’s good it’s very, very good and when it’s not exactly right, (for some of us) it can take the joy right out of a brand new kitchen!
Need help choosing the right white? My White is Complicated: A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White eBook will help you get your whites right for your cabinets, trim, ceilings, and walls. This eBook also includes my Bonus book of Whites which will take the guesswork out of your decisions.
You’ll need them both if you have an entire house of whites and neutrals/colours to choose, get them here.
We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous email consultation packages here.
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