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Is Your Cabinet Maker Still Selling Glazed Cabinets?

By 07/07/2021July 8th, 202150 Comments

Trying to choose a cabinet colour to coordinate with your matte white cafe appliances? There are plenty of beautiful cabinet colours to choose from, but glazed cabinets are not one of them. Even if your cabinet maker is still selling them.

I know, I know, we’ve come full circle. 2o years after the brown trend first arrived on the scene, we are talking about this look again.

And here’s why:

I received this message on Instagram last week: 

Before we go further, I want to say that I sincerely appreciate questions like this because this kind of post helps EVERYONE make better decisions going forward. I appreciate my followers so much!

Hi, we are building a new house and I picked cabinets yesterday (bottom right). I LOVE them, but now I’m unsure what colour to paint the walls. What neutral would you suggest? Our appliances are GE Cafe Collection (bottom left):

White and brass appliances | Cream cabinets with green grey glaze

First of all, these appliances are beautiful! What a lovely choice! However, when I saw the glazed cabinet colour she had chosen, I realized something.

What is the appeal of a glazed cabinet?

Going to a cabinet maker without a plan is like going to a brand new hairdresser with no idea what you want. And no idea what their style is.

You will be directed by their preferences and up-sells. Only instead of walking out with some trendy hairdo you never wanted that will eventually grow out, now you’ve now committed to a renovation of a lifetime plan for tens of thousands of dollars that might not even make sense.

Let’s say you ask for a cream cabinet because you think white might be too stark because your house is already being painted white by default AND you have not done your homework BEFORE your meeting. Well, then you might suddenly get upgraded to a more “custom, high-end (NOT) look.”

Custom does not always equal beautiful

Since I would never choose a glazed cabinet in 2021, because it’s just not a current or timeless choice, it made me wonder what the process must be to land on one: 

  1. A lack of knowledge about trends, because installing a glazed cabinet now will instantly date your kitchen at least 15 to 20 years.
  2. A desire for a “warmer” look than a white kitchen. Yes, warmer kitchens are trending, in large part, because walls are most often white therefore consumers are opting to add warmth (ie. colour) on their cabinets instead.  But there are many more current, and timeless, ways of achieving a warmer look for your kitchen.
  3. You walk into the cabinet maker’s shop and they believe they are doing you a favour by directing you to a “custom upgrade.” Raised panel glazed cabinets are still very much on display in any cabinet maker’s showroom and someone is still choosing them. But these are just not the kitchens that make it onto interior design magazines and social media platforms. I’m willing to bet that you aren’t pinning kitchens with glazed cabinets right now either.
  4. A classic case of falling in love with an element out of context. Does the countrified charm of the glazed raised panel cabinet belong in your house? (Because a very traditional country house might be the only place it belongs. But even then, the more versatile, casual shaker is often the more current choice.)

Honestly, although it’s going to be touted as a custom upgrade by any cabinet maker, a glazed raised panel kitchen is just a dated look. 

And glazed cabinets in no way looks right with the streamlined, bright matte white GE Cafe appliances.

My advice? I told my reader that I wouldn’t install glazed cabinets right now because that would instantly date your kitchen 20 years.

Here’s a similar kitchen to the one about to be installed with white appliances. Imagine this same kitchen with the GE appliances? It simply looks like “old kitchen, new appliances.” It will be very clear these were installed during different trend cycles.

So, what would be a better choice for creating a more timeless design for a “warm” kitchen with white appliances?

Trending kitchen styles with white appliances

The following kitchen styles aren’t going to look dated anytime soon. Not only does a glazed cabinet look too country and busy in my opinion, but the transparent glaze over a solid cream creates a tricky colour to coordinate anything with. When we were glazing cabinets with “coffee” browns, they most often turned pink beige.

I’ve seen some cabinets with a grey glaze in the past 10 years since this neutral has been trending. But again, it simply looked like a cabinet maker upsell.

Glazed cabinets are just not what we’re doing right now.

Instead, I would choose a pretty pale, SOLID neutral for cabinetry. (And although I haven’t seen this kitchen, the GE appliances–being more contemporary, will look much better with a clean shaker profile than a more formal raised panel).

Domino

We have been specifying lots of pale warm grey, taupe, green beige and complex creams for cabinets in my eDesign department, and the look is really beautiful!

Jen Naye Herrmann

Choosing a beautiful colour (instead of a neutral) for your cabinets is also an excellent way to add colour to your kitchen.

Wayfair

My new VIP collection features a beautiful range of blues, greens, warm golds and terracotta, plus some beautiful neutrals that would be lovely choices for a custom cabinet colour. Choose a colour that you have loved for a long time, and it will always bring you joy.

By the way, if you bought this collection before March 2021, you might want to purchase the recent update of 20 colour boards that are available for a limited time only. Contact us here if you’d like a list of the new colours with a link to purchase.

If you prefer a warm look in your kitchen, consider light wood cabinets

Alternately, if you want to warm up your white hard finishes, consider a pale, natural wood-toned cabinet surrounded by lots of white. With white countertops and backsplash to match the appliances, you will create a gorgeous custom look. 

Midwestliving.com

By the way, while writing this post, I searched for inspiration images on Pinterest with painted and wood cabinets with GE Cafe Appliances. Not one image came up for “glazed cabinets with GE Cafe Appliances.”

So, if you are doing a DIY kitchen design and you can’t find a beautiful image picturing what you have in mind within a few clicks on the internet, there is a good chance there is something off about your plan.

If you’d like help with your kitchen renovation, see my Create a Classic Kitchen package here.

Related posts:

What Everyone Should Know About Paint

How to Coordinate White & Cream if You Made a Mistake

Third Rule of Design; Expensive Does Not Equal Timeless

 

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50 Comments

  • Lisa says:

    Now I’m dying to know what advice you gave the Instagram questioner! Did I miss it in the post?

    • Tammy says:

      Yes, she said she wouldn’t install glazed cabinetry. Instead pick a solid painted finish. Hope it’s not too late for them to change their door style and colour, or they’ll feel really crummy about their choices :S

  • Liz says:

    I haven’t seen these gorgeous GE Cafe matte white appliances in person — what type of white (undertone) is it?

    • Tammy says:

      Personally, I love the idea of the Cafe appliances, but find whatever white they landed on for them (it’s almost like a blue/white like paper) really cold compared to all the really beautiful softer whites out there. I am a kitchen designer and no matter what white I pair with them, they always look slightly off. Wish they had selected a different white for their appliances.

      • Rebecca says:

        Tammy I second that! What also needs to be considered is the metal finish of the handles (I believe they are offered in copper, gold and silver). We initially looked at the Cafe appliances with the gold finish; but the white didn’t look good with our cabinets and the gold finish was very different tone from the gold hardware I wanted. Even though I loved the contemporary look of the white Cafe series, we ended up buying stainless appliances. They just seemed more timeless in the long run.

      • Jackie says:

        I love the white Cafe appliances–so pretty! But I was worried about the whites matching my cabinets close enough that it wouldn’t drive me crazy. And my cabinets are very white–SW high reflective white in satin (and I love it). Based on some of the pics I’ve seen, I’m not sure I’d be happy… So I’ll probably go with stainless. I think the white appliances may perhaps be best (or more easily) paired with cabinets that are natural wood tones or painted colors (gray, blue, green, black, etc.) where whites that don’t quite match are not an issue. ??

        P.S. I inherited the 2 oven cafe range when we purchased our house and hate it… such a bad design. If you are over a certain age, or aren’t pretty strong, who wants to lift anything heavy out of an oven where the bottom rack is practically on the ground? Why isn’t the small oven on the bottom where you put smaller (lighter) things? Also the broiler is in the smaller oven, so don’t plan to put anything big in there for browning at the end! Just some things to consider…

        • DeniseGK says:

          Thanks for the PS – that is very good info to know. I have been seeing a lot recommendations for the GE Cafe series, especially for getting something pretty and upgraded without quite as much of a hit on the wallet. But I would have the same issues as you with each oven.

  • Christina Nickerson says:

    Both cabinets, the blue and oak, are so good with the cabinets! I hope she didn’t do the glazed and it sounds like she didn’t, whew! Maria saving the day again!!:)

  • Sue says:

    Yeah Maria! Love your advice!!

  • Jennifer George says:

    Hmmm. I have a Georgian home in the hills of Tahoe and I can confirm that I went with a painted cabinet and a sage green island. Both have moldings, corbels, highlights, and also were designed by Crystal cabinets [who make cabinets for Oprah etc]. My kitchen is very large though and it functions as a gathering area for the core of the house. Do I regret my decision after reading this article? No. Shaker cabinets would never work in our situation. I love the Cafe oven and had it on order for 5 months. And cut to Milano because of the backorder I mention this because as homeowners and style mavens you need to know your house. And what works for it.

  • Amy says:

    What color is the cabinet paint in the 4th picture down, the one with “Jen Naye Herrmann” under it?

  • Tara Dillard says:

    Gorgeous oven with pair of doors? Uh oh.

    More to go wrong.

    Dad was NASA: Gemini, Mercury, Apollo, Shuttle.

    Lowest amount of engineering, any appliance, car, pool……..

    Merely, a smile. All the different thought patterns, choosing.

    Your job isn’t easy Maria !!!

    Garden & Be Well, Tara

  • Therese says:

    The manufacturer of the chosen cabinets have some other nice modern options that would work better with the white appliances. The WALDEN door for example is cleaner and more modern. I would encourage her to check that out if she does not want a painted door. We recently did a reno with cream floors and backsplash and went with a mid colour neutral flat door in a wood grain and it looks great and easy to clean .

  • Gina says:

    Thank you so much Maria for making these incredibly helpful posts with pictures! You’ve got a fan for life here 🤗

  • Gina says:

    Oh, and another way to go… White appliances, white cabinets, and a rich color on the walls. I love the navy blue of the cabinets, but it’s easier to change wall color than cabinet color.

  • Holly says:

    Maria, Allen + Roth currently sells glazed cabinets at Lowes! The “Tuckhill” style has a dark glaze. When we were cabinet shopping, my husband tried talking me into thst style. It was of course a hard no for me. I ended up with the “Aveley” a bright white shaker cabinet, which to me is their most updated style along with the navy blue “Port” shaker style. So yeah, glazed is still out there and if I wasn’t reading your blog to know what’s classic, timeless, and current at the time I went cabinet shopping I may have ended up with them.

  • SB says:

    While I don’t necessarily disagree with your old kitchen new appliances statement, what would be your alternative if you cannot upgrade your cabinets but need new appliances? Are you supposed to buy “old” appliances? I personally don’t have a problem with mixing old and new in a home. Not everyone has the means to do a full kitchen renovation every 15-20 years.

    • B says:

      While that is true, I don’t think that is what Maria is saying. If you are starting from scratch though, why would you instantly put in something dated? If you look at Maria’s blog posts, you will find Maria’s sister’s house. It is an older home with glazed cabinets and Maria has updated it by using colour and decorating. Maria has said in her previous posts that she doesn’t want people to have to renovate with every trend — that is why she has been saying over and over and over again — choose timeless and classic.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Definitely not. But THOSE appliances specifically are more contemporary and don’t work with a traditional kitchen. I would still recommend stainless for sure! Mixing old and new is necessary when updating and not completely renovating but it can still be done in a way that doesn’t make the old really look old. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Judy says:

    The glazed kitchen cabinet was shown resting on a granite slab. I hope that the new kitchen doesn’t have granite. No counter top information provided but the glazed gray goes with the granite.

  • Katy says:

    I still see lightly glazed ornate white cabinets in larger new homes in my area. So yes they are still in custom cabinet makers shops. High dollar. The kitchens are open and include gracious elements and feature space and minimal accessories. Modern art and very classic details. It’s true the architecture is mostly Georgian with a fresh updated look. It’s so beautiful. None of it will be repeated down the street. All of the pictures above are lovely, but, no matter how trendy, would seem out of place with some styles. All this in agreement with what many of you have said very well….consider your home’s style.

    • DeniseGK says:

      I still see glazed cabinets on McMansion Hell frequently, often there’s note in the listing that the kitchen is recently updated/renovated. So, there are still people doing glazed cabinets, but it depends on personal preference whether an appearance on MH is a red flag or vote of confidence.

  • Kim says:

    Hi Maria,

    I was wondering what you consider the most timeless choice for appliances. Stainless steel has been the go to for such a long time that I worry that it will soon end it’s run and look dated. Many manufacturers now offer a variety of colored appliances, like the white above. But, they seem to limit cabinet choices and I’m not sure about their staying power.

    Thanks,

    Kim

    • jane says:

      That’s a great question! I hope Maria will answer it. My kitchen looks very much like one in the third photo in the post (the one with the glazed cabinets, travertine tile backsplash, granite counter top, and (2003 style) white appliances. We’ve replaced the dishwasher with stainless steel and currently plan to replace the other appliances with stainless steel as they die.

  • I’m getting those cabinets in our new home, they should arrive within a month. I went with Simply White cabinets and I think it’s going to be perfect!
    Great advice as always Maria!

  • Joanna says:

    Oh Maria, how I wish I had all this knowledge 10 years ago, when we have installed new glazed cabinets that I am stuck with untill I sell my house. Solid color shaker door is my dream cabinet style.

  • Christa Lee says:

    Preach it Maria! Your posts should be mandatory reading before being allowed to enter a home store. Lol, but for real…..😬

    • Sheree L says:

      Amen, Christa Lee! Mandatory reading for everyone! The world (or at least our homes) would be a much prettier place 🙂

  • jess says:

    The other way to warm up a white kitchen, as noted by another commenter above, is to paint the walls a lovely color. A very soft blue, very pale lemon yellow, there are lots of options. One can also use color in accessories to pop a white kitchen.

  • Heidi says:

    I am a cabinet finisher and been painting cabinets for a long time. We haven’t recommended glazed cabinets for a long time. Glazed cabinets don’t work at all with today’s clean looks. They just end up looking dirty! Glazed cabinets are not money makers for cabinet finishers so it’s not the finishers pushing these. As a finisher our money makers are straight painted cabinets. We do still get people who ask for them but when we educate them about why it’s not a good choice most clearly understand. We deal with so many people who are downsizing and have no idea what is trending and how to select anything let alone getting undertones correct. Lots of them have friends that got new kitchens in the early 2000’s and they think those kitchens are updated!

  • Kat says:

    Amen. This makes me feel terrible about my kitchen. I was planning to paint my cabinets but since I have the dreaded raised panel and matching appliance panels … Well why bother! And oh dear I have granite too! *gasp*
    So if one can’t afford to replace such items after13 years what does one do? Just be stuck with them and avoid reading decor blogs so you don’t see comments saying oh no what a horrible choice so glad you saved her from making a terrible mistake!! Sheesh. How nice for you all to be able to change your cabinets at will! Shaker was not considered timeless by designers 20 years ago. Not by mine anyway. It was a boring “country” choice. (Which I have in my dining room anyway.) I realize this was an article about a new install, but the way you all are blatantly scoffing at raised paneling sounds entitled and elitist. You could be alienating a very wide audience of those of us with homes built in the 2000s. I have just spent 30k having my 4500 sq ft home repainted – not including other updates – so I am not exactly destitute but please consider those who do not have such income in these times.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Kat, this post was written specifically for a GLAZED raised panel cabinet that in no way works with those modern (look at the handles) appliances. Sorry that was obviously not clear. There are many ways to update the kitchen you have now, my advice in this post was about installing an already dated kitchen today AND with the wrong appliances. Maria

    • Holly says:

      Kat, I definitely understand how you feel and sometimes I wonder if this is the right blog for me to follow, because yes, some of the blog posts and comments made feel entitled and elitist. I asked myself this question last week after the LVP installed in bathrooms post: Why am I getting so lit up over the comments? It’s most likely because I’m not an expert in the field of interior design and I know I’ve made so many mistakes through the years, then I feel bad about my design choices becasue I don’t have a disposable income to rip everything out and put in everything timeless and classic. In the end, I will do what I can and ignore the rest of my design mistakes until I can fix them (or not).

      Maria is in the business of giving us the truth and she can be so blunt about it that people get upset but at least she’s not giving us a bunch of fluff. Her ebooks have tons of information about how to make the right paint choices to make your granite look current. and I’m sure that your raised panel cabinets (which are considered classic, but many people are stuck on shaker right now) are just fine and if you desired could find a paint that matches your granite and make them look fabulous.

      By the way, after 28 years, I just bought shaker cabinets AND granite countertops (black pearl) and people can scoff at it all they want. I had laminate for 28 years and feel so fortunate to have have been able to afford the granite countertops. congrats on being able to paint your house exterior. I bet it looks great! 🙂

      • EllenO says:

        I get it too. I struggled to purchase a major fixer upper in the mid nineteen nineties that was in an “edgy” (read still dealing drugs late at night on street corners) neighborhood. It’s now super gentrified, our old craftsmen bungalows are being torn down for million dollar faux Joanna Gaines farmhouses. I know that they too will look dated in ten years but I’ve never had the funds to just up and replace everything. I think I told the past people just moved to solve their “dated” decor issues. But I do appreciate Maria’s advice…

  • Janelle says:

    Great advice Maria. Perhaps the cabinet seller has old stock they want to clear out?? I hope she can get the cabinets changed because she will not be happy.

  • michelle says:

    Thanks again Maria. Another article that TEACHES us how to approach design, instead of just telling us. I love learning how designers think…the what along with the why. Keep them coming please!

  • Holly says:

    Maria, I was wondering why you left your sisters cabinets glazed and didn’t just paint them when you did her kitchen reno?

    Also, I think people believe glazed cabinets are current becasue they are still being sold, as I mentioed Allen + Roth has three cabinet lines that are glazed, one in mocha and two in a light and dark gray glaze. They make the cabinets look as fresh and current as possible in the books with marble countertops and subway backsplash with current appliances and lighting. I noted the appliances are mostly stainless steel. Maybe they are trying to appeal to all design asthetics as some people don’t care what is current or classic and they just like what they like.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Makes sense Holly! And we didn’t paint my sisters cabinets because it was not in her budget. When you think about it. If you had $5000 for an update and that bought you painted cabinets (which is the approximate cost of what it would take to paint them) OR new lighting, a new quartz island countertop, new kitchen dining furniture and accessories, what would you choose? We chose the latter 🙂 Maria

      • Holly says:

        For sure!, Maria! Although 5 years ago we bought Sherwin Williams’ best paint for cabinets and I did it myself for only $400.00. My brother is a furniture maker and he walked me through the steps. Three weeks later in a garage full of 18 kitchen cabinets (and a lot of tears and expletives coming out of my mouth) they came out beautiful! 5 years later and I was going to paint them again but after my husband watched me toiling in the garage last time, he bought me new simple shaker cabinets at Lowe’s because they had an amazing sale that we couldn’t pass up (I couldn’t afford to have my brother custom make them because of the cost of lumber skyrocketing and the cost to ship them because he lives in Florida now and I’m in New York).

        I love that you were able to get all that for $5000! Oh the benefits of having an interior decorator as a sister!

  • Elizabeth Minish says:

    The biggest take away from this and almost every other post on this blog is that if you want something timeless and not trendy, pay attention to the architectural style of your house and do not mis-apply trendy finishes. Work with the over-arching style of your house, not against it, and you will end up being happy with your choices for a much longer period of time. And, if you need to sell your home, it will retain its value better. Far from being elitist, I think this blog is about getting the greatest value from whatever budget you have available to spend on your home and it is excellent advice. Great post, Maria.

  • Monica says:

    I personally like white painted shaker style doors. However, raised cabinet doors are nice too, even if they are glazed. In this case, the appliances don’t go with the cabinet color and the brown granite makes it look dated. If you pair the doors with stainless steel appliances, or preferably wood paneled ones, and choose a creamy granite, or one of the new marble look porcelain slab countertops it would look great.

  • Elsbeth says:

    This is so sad because she said she LOVED the glazed cabinets. Are Shaker cabinets really timeless? They seem like part of the clean trend to me, which is ending, and people are shifting to warmer looks, right? I feel like “trends” are a big problem when they are mislabeled as timeless and it’s also a problem to label preferences outdated. If everyone follows the same info it will all look the same, but only for those who can afford it.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Everyone always thinks it’s important and that it means it will somehow all work out if they ‘LOVE’ their hard finish choices to begin with.

      But this is usually what happens in the end.

      1. She might have been ‘dreaming’ of her new kitchen for 10 years and now that she is getting one, she has not spent any time studying where kitchen trends now so she goes for the kitchen she wanted when she first started planning it. THEN when it’s installed and it’s too late, by then, given she has made all kinds of other choices, she might become aware that her kitchen is dated. And it’s way too late to do anything about it.

      2. You move into a new house. That house needs a new kitchen, you go cabinet shopping. You see all the cabinets, chose ‘cream’ because you like warmer colours and then you add a ‘glaze’ because that seems more interesting. You have no idea you’ve just chosen something dated. UNTIL it’s also way too late to do anything about it.

      Hard finishes are not like clothes. If you buy something that doesn’t look good on you, or you put on an outfit that you thought you LOVED in the store, but in the end is really bad or outdated. You might not have not realized that in the store, maybe the clerk didn’t tell you or they didn’t know either, but you find out when your sister tells you or you wear it and decide it doesn’t look good on you, well you can take them off. You can’t do that with kitchens or bathrooms.

      The reason why I’m unfazed by a ‘I really love it’ comment is because I have spoken to thousands of readers and clients over the years who thought they loved that tile or that countertop BEFORE it was installed. But after it all came together, they hated their kitchen or bathroom and now hope that painting SOMETHING will fix it.

      I’d just like to save you from going through that.
      Maria

    • Marna says:

      YES! You nailed it. What if I don’t like shaker?! And something else Maria says is that black and white is the incoming trend. She’s absolutely right, it’s already here. Well I don’t like too much white, so I’m going to design my interior with as much classic/timeless material and color as I can. It’ll be perfect for me and never go out of style, hopefully 😃.
      Love this blog and info, so glad I found it. I have an obsession with color (and lamps, funnily enough) and lap this stuff like milk. 💗

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