Monday, September 15, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ask Jennifer Adams: Should a new wood finish for the kitchen match other wood in the house?

Stay simple with the kitchen cabinet door shapes to blend with many popular styles. Add some flair with the handles. (iStockphoto.com) <br />
Stay simple with the kitchen cabinet door shapes to blend with many popular styles. Add some flair with the handles. (iStockphoto.com)

Q: I have outdated oak kitchen cabinets. I am considering redoing the kitchen in maple, but the doors and woodwork throughout the rest of the house also are oak. I'm afraid as soon as I redo the kitchen, it will look just as outdated, and not go with the rest of the house. What should I do?

- Sue B.

A: Who says it has to match? Kitchens are a great place to express yourself.

You don't need to use oak in your kitchen. What's more, even if you did, it won't match the rest of your house anyway. It is nearly impossible to match old woodwork with new. Old wood has a different grain than new, and being exposed to sunlight and air changes the color. Embrace the opportunity for something different, because contrast creates interest.

Maple is a very popular and durable choice for kitchen cabinets, and you can stain maple any color you'd like. A beautiful trend right now is gray-stained maple. You can still see the grain show through, and the warm gray color would certainly play off the tones of the oak's grain.

Stay simple with the cabinet door shapes to blend with many popular styles. For example, a completely flat panel is considered modern, but was quite popular during the 1950s and '60s. Add some flair with the handles, and change those out for an easy update.

Choose neutrals for paint colors, or have some fun; paint is easy to change. Select a counter material and backsplash that will match the maple, not necessarily the oak. You could also stain the island, if you have one, or the lower cabinets a darker tone than the uppers for a rustic look, or keep them all the same for more modern style.

It's your kitchen, and if you're planning to stay in your house for a while, choose what will make you happy.

Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her:

AskJennifer@JenniferAdams.com

@JenniferAdams

www.jenniferadams.com

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