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kmr12017

Burled wood kitchen cabinets

kmr12017
2 years ago


Hi All,


We moved into our home 3 years ago and while I initially was CERTAIN a complete kitchen remodel would be in the future, now I am not so sure. After working in this kitchen I have come to appreciate the efficient size and wonderful craftsmanship of the custom cabinets. This kitchen is 20 years old and shows very little (if any) signs of wear and tear. The drawers are dovetailed and soft close and the lowers all have pull out shelves. The biggest dilemma I am having is the burled wood. This is definitely not my style (I have always dreamed of a white kitchen with sea pearl quartzite counter-tops) but I am hoping that with the right counter surface I can make it work. Painting the cabinets is not out of the question, however I am realistic enough to know paint will chip and wear and that I would be covering up something quite beautiful (but again, not my style). Please offer any advice or encouragement on what to do with this space.


For reference I tend to look to Serena & Lily and Urban Grace Interiors for design inspiration and my style is definitely more traditional than modern.







Comments (46)

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The cabinets are beautiful and if you decide to paint, use a professional who knows his/her stuff.

    You will hear from the nay sayers about painting them ," burl is a thin slice of wood cut from a log with a slicing, peeling, or sawing machine. It is used on plywood, fine furniture, and laminated shapes for decorative and architectural purposes”. In other words it is a veneer.



    I would leave the kitchen as is (I see stained woodwork). Consider painting the ceiling.

    kmr12017 thanked JudyG Designs
  • Steph
    2 years ago

    Vineer can be painted quite easily, and no grain will show, but you can’t treat them like solid wood. Light clean, shellac primer- the sand with 320, and 2-3 thin rolls of cab paint with a velour nap roller. It’s not hard, but time consuming and takes patience. Don’t forget to caulk the seams.

    kmr12017 thanked Steph
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  • jhmarie
    2 years ago

    This is my wood kitchens idea book though it sounds like you have been looking at lots of pics already:) It has both new and older, refreshed kitchens:

    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/75202366/list/wood-kitchens



    kmr12017 thanked jhmarie
  • vlance
    2 years ago

    Leave it alone, you say it’s functional and no wear. Break the addiction to Houzz “porn”, too much of a good thing is bad for us.

  • apple_pie_order
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Looks like tiger (curly) or birdseye maple. You could take a door to a local custom cabinetmaker to ask about it.


    https://strawwoodwork.com/portfolios/birds-eye-maple-kitchen-cabinets/

    kmr12017 thanked apple_pie_order
  • J Inhof
    2 years ago

    A few ideas come to my mind—nothing too taxing or expensive but they might make enough of a difference to make you like the kitchen a little better. First I would definitely change the cabinet pulls and update the lighting—under cab and maybe some sconces or pendants or recessed 4”. If you feel like the ‘burl‘ is too orangey perhaps experiment with lightbulbs with a whiter light (K 4000?).


    The countertops are beautiful and it would be a shame to give them the yank unless you really want white, which would be OK too if you want to spend the $$. Maybe you could paint the ceiling and backsplash a nice matte white (like Benjamin Moore White Dove) to brighten the room. I would paint the woodwork around the window white and remove the window shade while I was at it. Another idea to minimize the burl would be to remove a couple of the cabinet doors to make exposed shelves for display (If you don't need the storage) .


    I know too well how you feel about your custom wood cabinets—we just demo-ed some 20 year old very custom maple cabinets. When the contractor was tearing them out they all remarked how beautiful and artisanal they were. Even built on site. I wished I had known before that they were so special—I would have done a work around If for no other reason than environmental/ecology. I feel the same way about your countertops (and cabs)—they may not be exactly your cup of tea, but they area beautiful natural stone (I’m guessing) and maybe with a few other changes you might like them more.


    Just a few ideas to add to the mix. Good luck!


    kmr12017 thanked J Inhof
  • J Inhof
    2 years ago

    P.s. Your cabinets look more like birdseye maple than a ‘burl’ to me. And I’d guess there is a good possibility that they are not a veneer, although birdseye maple is often made in to a veneer. That said, there is nothing amiss about good veneer—very fine European furniture is made with veneer. As I understand it, ’Burl’ is wood from a knotty growth on/in a tree and can be made into veneer or lumber for furniture and the like. Usually burl has a lot more movement and color change in the pattern than your cabs display.

    kmr12017 thanked J Inhof
  • roccouple
    2 years ago

    Pretty cabinets. I do think a lighter counter would be nice. Alternatively soapstone or soapstone look could be pretty. Also a slide in style range and simple backsplash would be a nice upgrade.

    kmr12017 thanked roccouple
  • decoenthusiaste
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I would upgrade the lighting, add glass shelves to that open cabinet and light it up too. Don't forget lights under the cabs as well. Trade out the short backsplash for something new that goes to the upper cabs and surrounds the window. Can't see left of the window but a bookshelf there for the cookbooks might be nice. New paint and a new approach to the window treatment would help. When it breaks down or budget allows, a counter depth fridge would open the feeling. And a new rug can completely change the ambiance. Check www.ruggable.com for washable ones.

    kmr12017 thanked decoenthusiaste
  • flopsycat1
    2 years ago

    As per your request, I’ll offer encouragement. I think your cabinets are lovely. Agree with a counter depths refridgerator. I’d put the knives elsewhere, and maybe change out the window shade for something with a little color and design. No total gut needed here.

    kmr12017 thanked flopsycat1
  • Donald
    2 years ago

    I’d do a solid color rug, navy, or navy with a subtle pattern, new knobs, add some trim/ribbon tape to the blind that matched the rug and find a new home for the cookbooks and then live with it for a while. If the countertop still bothers you, then start looking for a replacement.

    kmr12017 thanked Donald
  • Cynthia Bell
    2 years ago

    Have you thought about having the shiny finish removed and staining them slightly darker but a more neutral tone and matte or satin finish? That would update the look without having to worry about how paint will hold up.

    kmr12017 thanked Cynthia Bell
  • Gail Diane
    2 years ago

    I would leave the cabinets and countertops as is. When I look at the room the thing that stands out is the walls. Compared to the warmth of the cabinets and counter they are cold and do not tie in. Warm the wall color up and change the window shade to an interesting print and takedown the knives.

    kmr12017 thanked Gail Diane
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    In Italy they stain birdseye maple with colored stains so the grain shows but the colors make it look so awesome. I am all for painting wood but I would not paint that really special wood but I can see changing the counters but before you do make sure all the lighting is changed to 4000K LEDS to make all the colors stay true.You might have to test drive some sample of other whitish counters.

    kmr12017 thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • RedRyder
    2 years ago

    If you want to try keeping the cabinets then everything else should be under consideration for change - hardware, countertop, lighting, paint, window treatment. The cabinets are not that dark, but the surrounding areas could easily go lighter. If there is a good color designer in your area, I’d get a consult.

    Ultimately, it’s your house and if you can’t make it work, then consider refacing and selling the doors and drawer fronts. Good cabinetry shouldn’t go to waste.
    If it’s any consolation, I refaced a custom quarter-sawn oak kitchen. I just couldn’t live with it, so I did what I wanted. Many people criticized my decision- until they saw my new ivory kitchen with updated lighting. Be true to yourself if you can afford to redo it in the end.

    kmr12017 thanked RedRyder
  • hermothersdaughter
    2 years ago

    One possibility would be to remove the cabinet over the range and replace the vent hood. That would really open up the space. You could choose an all-stainless hood with chimney or an inset vent hood in a contrasting wood cladding.

    kmr12017 thanked hermothersdaughter
  • daisychain Zn3b
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    What if you just painted or replaced doors on the upper cabs in a painted white or cream finish? That would allow you to keep the awesome craft work and design but change the mood of the kitchen.

    Someone recently posted their kitchen where they replaced some of their wood cabs with painted and it looked amazing. I'll see if I can find it.

    Here it is: justterrilynn's kitchen She has painted lowers too, but you get the idea of how yours could be updated with relatively minor changes.

    kmr12017 thanked daisychain Zn3b
  • bry911
    2 years ago

    Personally, I feel the real culprit in this kitchen is ceiling height. Your ceiling appears to be dropped to 7'. Finding a way to open up that ceiling somehow will do a lot more for your kitchen than any other project you could undertake.

    kmr12017 thanked bry911
  • PRO
    About Time Design, LLC.
    2 years ago

    There are some great ideas here. if it were me, I would replace all doors and drawer fronts on all except the island. Get faces for the others in a white that is warmer to flow with the wood on the island and glass on the uppers will make it feel more open. refinish the countertop on the island a darker color to give some contrast and and a black quartz with the white cabinets would be a great contrast. I agree with different light temp and if you cannot raise the ceiling by more than a foot would not be worth the cost so lots of can lights would help bringing in more light. You also consider a bigger window. Good luck!

    kmr12017 thanked About Time Design, LLC.
  • PRO
    About Time Design, LLC.
    2 years ago

    Sorry, no glasses, just saw you don't have an island! all counters should be dark. I would sell the wood counters.

  • auntthelma
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Beautiful kitchen. My suggestions, find another home for the cookbooks and knives. Paint the walls a bright color. New stainless sink and faucet. Stainless pulls on cabinets.

    Full disclosure: I love maple and my kitchen (2014) is maple.

    kmr12017 thanked auntthelma
  • daisychain Zn3b
    2 years ago

    Some pics for inspiration


    kmr12017 thanked daisychain Zn3b
  • Snaggy
    2 years ago

    Lovely Kitchen

    kmr12017 thanked Snaggy
  • vinmarks
    2 years ago

    It would be a shame to paint those cabinets. They are beautiful. Countertops are also very nice. I think you need some under cabinet lighting, new cabinet hardware, a new home for the knives and cookbooks and a different paint color on the walls.

    kmr12017 thanked vinmarks
  • momjk
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    There appears to be a darker band or trim piece along top of upper cabinets, just under lip of counter, and along top of (too-short) backsplash. Not sure adds to look or is too busy. Could this be lightened or replaced to clean up the look? Remove short backsplash all together and put in new full backsplash. Something simple - a tile in light-ish to med warm colour from countertop? Nothing gray or cool. And agree with replacing rug in solid colour as suggested earlier.

    kmr12017 thanked momjk
  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I like the cabinets. (I‘m not sure I like the glossy finish though.) I don't care for the pulls, the dark trim, or the countertop.

    I think you need twice as many pot lights and more storage space so you can put the cookbooks and knives away.

    The window covering is kind of blah. Do you need it for privacy?

    kmr12017 thanked littlebug zone 5 Missouri
  • Whatever
    2 years ago

    This looks craftsman the cabinets the counters floor even the rug. What does the rest if your house look like. Does it go with this style kitchen. If it does and you dont like it move. If its just the kitchen sell the cabinets and counters to some one who wants that style and buy whatever you want.

    kmr12017 thanked Whatever
  • cawaps
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I also think it looks like bird's-eye maple. It seems a shame to paint it, so if you do decide to go white, definitely think about getting new doors and trying to find a home for these.

    If you don't like the warmth of wood, lighting is a good place to start. Color temperatures that are closer to daylight (4000 K or even higher) will tone down the orange/yellow tones.

    I see that some others also suggested toning down the shininess of the finish. That had also come to my mind looking at the photos.

    kmr12017 thanked cawaps
  • scottie mom
    2 years ago

    Before doing anything to those (very nice) cabinets, I would suggest the following, in this order:

    #1 Counter depth fridge with a panel on the left hand side. (Built-in/ cabinet depth would be even better, if you can swing it.)

    #2 remove or redo that brown piece of crown at the top

    #3 Redo the lighting—remove those poorly placed and oversized cans and get a lighting pro to give you something more functional and attractive. That one over the fridge is doing nothing but adding glare to the cabinet that you probably can’t reach.

    #4 slide-in range with a chimney hood above.

    And regardless, relocate the books and the knives. Replace the cabinet hardware and patch that hole in the flooring. I think you can make it really nice and you already like working in the space! Good luck.

    kmr12017 thanked scottie mom
  • Erin
    2 years ago

    We were in the same boat...wanted a white kitchen but replacing cabs out of the question. We also had painted cabs in a previous and knew we didn’t want to go that route. We replaced counters with white quartz and backsplash with subway tile and I’m now glad we didn’t rip it all out! The white brightened up the space so much! We also put in a bigger island in the middle, but left our perimeter. So pleased. Next phase is adding crown to the cabinets, putting in hood above island.

  • Bob&Jackie Adventures
    2 years ago

    Definitely maple not burl.

  • kmr12017
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you all so much for commenting and for the fantastic feedback/suggestions! You have no idea how helpful and appreciated it is! My mind is swirling with ideas! I will be sure to post pictures once a plan is executed :)

  • lindastein
    2 years ago

    following...

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    2 years ago

    The other thing you could look into is selling the kitchen or donating it to Habitat for Humanity. Someone else can enjoy a beautiful kitchen and you can create a dream kitchen.

  • cabinathome
    last year

    I came across this post looking for maple burled maple cabinets in a modern kitchen. I definitely vote to use the funds to replace/donate the refrigerator, range, lighting and handles. They all compete with the wood cabinets and the countertop. Small square knobs, counter-depth refrigerator (paneled is nice but not needed depending on the range and hood). The countertop and cabinets are rich in color. Better lighting suited for those features is crucial. Hope it all worked out for you.

  • RedRyder
    last year

    What did you decide to do?

  • cabinathome
    last year

    For my kitchen, I will do a hard maple, contemporary cabinets with no hardware and grain horizontal. (I debated between this and vertical grain white oak because the window jamb that is along the counter is sapele wood.) Lower drawers only and one entire wall with stacked ovens, pantry door and refrigerator in maple. The kitchen has a shed roof design. Countertop (extra deep) and island both soapstone, unoiled. Appliances in black.

  • Kate
    last year

    I think it’s beautiful. I would change the handle and add a nice custom Roman shade on the outside of the frame. I do like the idea of a new hood up to ceiling for a fresh look.

  • cabinathome
    last year

    RedRyder - Oh, sorry. I think you were asking for an update from the original cabinet poster. Oops.

  • Jill Feeler
    8 months ago

    I have burl wood cabinets that are just a few years newer than yours and with a different style. Making some changes to help them sing. Would love to see your after pics, or transitional pics when you have them.

  • HU-326560860
    4 months ago

    Looks great! Did you reuse, or donate your old cabinets, I’d hate to see them in a landfill. Sure is allot brighter too👍🏼

  • Jill Feeler
    4 months ago

    Congratulations!! Beautiful outcome 🌟

  • RedRyder
    4 months ago

    Lovely! Looks amazing.

  • hbeing
    4 months ago

    What did you do with the orig cabinets?

  • function_first
    4 months ago

    Your new kitchen looks amazingly beautiful -- and with all the drawers, I'm sure it's so much easier to work in, too. Love the new window, too.