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Lennon Granite with Cream colored Cabinets- how am I going to warm up?

Ann O
8 months ago

Hello everyone- we installed new kraftmaid kitchen cabinets in the color "warm white" which is basically a creamy white. We just had our Lennon Granite countertop installed today and I think it looks terrible. I like the countertop, but now that it is in my kitchen I see that it is way too cool/blue/gray....... I purposefully bought warm white cabinets so that the kitchen, which opens to LR/DR would be warm, and not too cold. But I see now that I made a big mistake choosing this granite for my project. (Even though I still love the stone in another kitchen.) Now the cabinets look dingy-- and I am missing the warmth. Is there nay way to save this project and warm up the kitchen somehow? Not sure if I can warm it up with backsplash? Our appliances and sink are SS, floors are hardwood- not finished yet but probably will be a medium brown/walnutty color. I most definitely appreciate any and all advice out there. Thank you!






Comments (79)

  • felizlady
    8 months ago

    Black, gray, white-white, creamy white. I would stain the floors in a medium natural wood color. If you are doing curtains or fabric valances, bring in accent color in a multi-color print fabric. Use several wood accessories: a salad bowl, a wood animal sculpture, a wood utensil holder, art or photos in wood frames. Add a rug in front of the sink and where you do your prep work. Use wood stools with colorful cushions at the island.

    Ann O thanked felizlady
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you @felizlady, @Kathy Furt,@Dawn Martinez, and @Beth H. : Again I appreciate you all taking the time to weigh in. I was wondering about what stools to get-- you now solved that problem :-) And for sure I am going to get lots of wood accessories...... Even though I have trouble visualizing I can see from looking at the rambling redhead IG how her wood accessories warm everything up so I now understand everyones comments about using wood. And I really want to change paint now in kitchen and adjoining room- although husband not yet on board..... he is now thinking I am trying to redesign the whole house around a bad countertop (bad for our room) which he now calls the elephant in the room. I really do think paint will make a difference- and backsplash- although at this point I may need to weight until I find a backsplash to convince husband that paint change is needed....... I should tell everyone here that my husband and I are building a new home from scratch-- never did this before- we do not have builder or a GC- we are acting as both-- so from designing the whole house, with help of architect of course, and researching and making decisions on every single angle height, color, and molecule of material that is going into this thing both inside and out, and doing a lot of work ourselves, we are both going a bit nuts!!! This is the first thing we have put in the house that we really don't like -- and of course this and the siding were two things we really didn't want to mess up since they are not something you can easily change on a budget. So somehow we must make this work-- and all of you on Houzz are helping me to get a glimpse of a possibility- so again thank you

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  • cawaps
    8 months ago

    I see the cream in the stone and I don't think it is going to be a problem in the long run once everything is together. It's a rare homeowner who hasn't had a moment of panic over some element when the remodel is partial and everything is new and different. Yes, sometimes it reflects a problematic choice, but I don't think that's the case here. Backsplash, wall color and lighting will pull it together.

    On the subject of color temperature for lighting, more often than not we are telling people to increase the color temperature of their light bulbs to tone down unwanted yellow tones. In your case, I suggest you try warmer color temperature lamps. Lower numbers are warmer, with 2700 corresponding to and old-school incandescent and 3000 corresponding to a "soft white" incandescent. Warm light will warm up all your kitchen colors. Regardless, choose lamps with high CRI (color rendering index). That's a value on a scale of 1-100 that says how well the lamp displays colors across the spectrum. Look for 90 and above, higher is better.

    Ann O thanked cawaps
  • felizlady
    8 months ago

    Your third photo shows your island as white white...is that the actual color or is the lighting from the windows making it more white than the perimeter cabinets?
    Of course the granite looks great with white white. Maybe you could have your cabinetry all re-done in white white.

    Ann O thanked felizlady
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you so much @cawaps! I spoke with electrician earlier today and he said the UCL they supply is either 3000 or 2700. I told him I would probably want the the 2700 based on what I learned last night but would like to try a few. Thanks for the info on CRI- di don't know what that meant..... I will check that as well for all my bulbs and UCL. There is quite a bit of cream and also a brown/taupe-- which is what I guess I was focusing on in the stoyeyard and ignoring the big giant swatch of gray/blue :-) Let us hope you are all correct and I can mange to pull this together (and change the paint)


    Also @Dawn Martinez I do think if I were brave that your idea of a blue backsplash ala Rambling redhead paint color could be amazing but I know I am definitely not brave enough to do that ..... im so afraid I will get sick of something a year from now. Bu thank you for the suggestion-- it gives me ideas.

  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    I think I will definitely need to consult with you all on floor, walls and backsplash as I move along..... for anyone who is interested I will try to post some ideas for feedback as I go along.........THANK YOU all again. You all have made me feel much better than 24 hours ago.

  • Sammy
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    You’re very welcome, @Ann O! Did you get a chance to read that blog post? I thought this was part was particularly apropos:


    “MAKING CREAM LOOK CURRENT

    No one wants to go back to the world of builder-beige! Each time large shifts like this repeat themselves, there are always talented designers and influencers that craft a new spin on it. I think the creams in our immediate future will be fresher and kept on the lighter side. I think they will most often convey a soft, tranquil look. If you’re looking at colors for your kitchen cabinets, my specific recommendation for keeping it current is to choose a reasonably light cream color (relative to the other shades in the room) and paint your walls and trim the same color as the cabinetry. When selecting cream cabinetry twenty years ago, the tendency would have been to choose a darker beige or yellow color for the walls. If you do that now, you’ll instantly send your kitchen back in time by several decades. If you keep the color of your walls the same lighter choice as your cabinetry (but perhaps change the sheen a bit to differentiate), it will make the whole room feel more spacious and bright. Many of the kitchen images below follow this concept, but the image above illustrates this point particularly well.”


    And here are a few of the other gorgeous creamy white kitchens (and one mud room!) featured in that post:






    And one of my all-time favorite kitchens EVER:


    Ann O thanked Sammy
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    @Sammy Yes- I did! I was very glad to read it in fact--- I apologize for not acknowledging it. I am not sure what color cream my cabinets are-- I thought they kind of looked like cream you would put in coffee with the hint of vanilla in it..... so not sure if that would make it cream with yellow hints or cream with pink hints? I don't think it is cream with hints of grey........ I guess all the more reason to bring backsplash home if I am to try to match backsplash with the cabinet color. The kitchens in the article are all gorgeous..... I do like the look of the wall matching the cabinet color-- it might tone down the countertop...... however if I do repaint adjoining room I don't think I would want the walls that light. Whats your thought?

  • susanb1968
    8 months ago

    I did this sort of thing on purpose. warm white cabinets and white /gray marbled quartz countertops and I love it. I matched the wall color to the cabinets exactly and the backsplash and trim to the counter. Floor is medium warm brown hardwood and warm lighting. I love the mix of warm and cool. They balance each other

    Ann O thanked susanb1968
  • Kathy Furt
    8 months ago

    Picture please?

  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you @susanb1968! So you successfully pulled off warm and cool together -- just as @Sammy stated above-- it is possible :-) If you feel comfortable sharing a photo a would love to see it. hardwood floors are scheduled to be finished next week so that is when I will need to pick a color so especially interested in your floor color considering your warm/cool toned cabinets/countertops etc. And actually if by warm white you mean the kraftmaid cabinet warm white color then I'd really love to have the name of your wall paint too! Thank you again for your help!

  • RedRyder
    8 months ago

    My kitchen is SW Creamy and definitely not white-White. Typhoon green granite and Butterscotch oak engineered floors.

    Ann O thanked RedRyder
  • susanb1968
    8 months ago


    Floors were just finished yesterday. I wanted them darker and was surprised how light they are based on the sample but There is so much light in the room I think that’s why. they are growing on me. Mix of Jacobean and dark walnut.

    Ann O thanked susanb1968
  • Kathy Furt
    8 months ago

    That’s the best mix out there. I had Jacobean at our old house and put in Aged Barrel in this one. It’s a skooch too dark but still beautiful

    Ann O thanked Kathy Furt
  • Kathy Furt
    8 months ago

    This is them

    Ann O thanked Kathy Furt
  • Dawn Martinez
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    @susanb1968, I too refinished my red oaks floors in a mix jacobean and walnut. They look pretty much the same as yours, and I love mine. Kitchen cabinets are called 'divinity' which is a creamy/white with Caesarstone perimeter counters in concrete (grey) and island is quartzite (looks like marble), with a lot of movement. So I guess that would be warm and cool as well...

    Ann O thanked Dawn Martinez
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you all for your new comments/ideas. And I apologize for my delayed response.


    @RedRyder your kitchen is beautiful- thanks for sharing! Countertops go beautifully with the creamy cabinet. Your countertop is definitely much warmer than mine.


    @susanb1968 your white and cream look amazing together! and I see the wall color does match your cabinets -- it all ties together. And I think your floor color looks great--- that is close to the tone I was thinking of in my head based on pictures I have seen but I didn't know what it was actually called. Are your floors red or white oak? although from what I understand with that particular color whether its red or white oak probably doesn't matter.


    @Kathy Furt your floors look beautiful too!


    @Dawn Martinez, would you mind posting a picture as well?






  • Dawn Martinez
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Ann, if you go to my idea books you will see my kitchen renovation there, but here's a photo taken from one side of the kitchen where behind me there is a built in hutch and just to my left a big farmhouse table. I think the floor looks reddish in the photo, but in natural light it's more a coffee/jacobean color. I too think your floor would look great in a dark stain.


    Here's a second photo taken from the hallway, that I think shows more accurately the color of the floors. Hope this helps.


    Ann O thanked Dawn Martinez
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you @Dawn Martinez wow your kitchen is really beautiful! How do I see your idea books? I am new to Houzz- this thread is my first time posting. When you say a dark stain, how dark are you thinking? I don't want to go too dark and have the issue of seeing every fleck of dust or scratch or making the house too dark.... Thanks so much for sharing your picture and for your insight


  • susanb1968
    8 months ago

    Kathy, your floors are exactly the color I was going for. I think they’re perfect.

    Ann, I’m pretty sure my floor is red oak. the stain is 5 parts Jacobean 2 parts dark walnut

    Ann O thanked susanb1968
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you @susanb1968 for the mix ratio! I know my floor guy said he would put different stains on the floor for me to pick from so other than gathering pictures I tones/colors/looks that I like I didn't realize that perhaps I should be investigating ratios etc. Glad this is coming up now with all of you :-)

  • Dawn Martinez
    8 months ago


    I like this depth of color for your flooring. Next to the unfinished floor the look/difference is quite striking. It's all what you're comfortable with.



    Ann O thanked Dawn Martinez
  • Dawn Martinez
    8 months ago

    Ann, to see my idea books click on my photo, I think that's how it works.

    Ann O thanked Dawn Martinez
  • Kathy Furt
    8 months ago

    Thanks Susan, I had to pick it out from a brochure. The dust from refinishing was killing my asthma, so I went to my sisters. Only to have the Paradise camp fire start. We’re still on fire

    Ann O thanked Kathy Furt
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    @Dawn Martinez Wow- thank you so much! it's amazing what the wood floor does..... really breaks up the blah-ness of all the colors merging into one grey, sad, state. Do you need a special program to be able to do the rendering you just did? What a help! Another question-- is "Burnished acacia" a stain color or a color of prefinished wood flooring? I would like to try to see more pictures with this color wood flooring to get a better idea of tone/depth of color so will do some googling. Also- thank you for the instructions on accessing your idea board. It worked. I am going to peruse your ideas more now.


    @Kathy Furt keeping you and all your neighbors in my prayers with regard to the fires. Devastating.

  • RedRyder
    8 months ago

    Ann-O: Your colors are going to be fine. The darker floors that were suggested (Jacobean/Walnut) in the exact ratio Susan suggested will be perfect to warm it up. Your stone is quite beautiful and the warmer cabinets will be fine. Most of us freak out in the middle of the renovation, so welcome to the club. Lots of great photos and helpers here. (PS my granite has quite a bit of grey in it, but less white than yours, which is why it looks warm. I love you’s too!)

    Ann O thanked RedRyder
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    @felizlady I am sorry I missed your question yesterday-- the countertop does have quite bit of white but it also has cream and taupe in it....... and if you really study it there are tiny spots of green, yellow, red, but predominantly white, gray, black, taupe, some pale blue, cream etc I was also thinking about painting the cabinets for a few hours also but I actually like the color of the cabinets. I had an idea of how I wanted the house to look at this countertop is conflicting with that vision -- it is starting to give me a headache! Maybe today is one of those days.


    And @RedRyder yes- definitely freaking out :-)

  • felizlady
    8 months ago

    I have used rugs in my kitchen for many years. They add color and texture plus are comfortable to stand on while prepping meals. I have rugs where I stand at the sink and stove...Persian/Oriental style rugs. While I am a neat cook and don’t spill things on the floor or rugs, I send them out for professional cleaning yearly. Just coming in from the garage or yard can bring traces of dirt. They get vacuumed weekly, too.

    Ann O thanked felizlady
  • Dawn Martinez
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    Ann, I think the acacia flooring in the mock up is a pre-finished floor. I put acacia flooring in my previous home and they came pre-finished. The MSI website I used has limited options for flooring visualization, so I picked the one the looked dark and rich in color.

    As noted by several of us above, we've all done floors on red oak (I believe) with a mix of jacobean and walnut. I really like the way my floors turned out.

    Others may have recommended it, but have your flooring folks put the stain right down on the floor in your space and in several different locations. Then look at it during the day at different times, and at night with your lighting. The color will appear to change depending upon all of those factors. As you can see from my two photos above, in artificial light in my kitchen, the same floor shows a 'reddish' undertone while in the living room, the same floor looks more coffee'ish in color. It does show dust, I won't lie, but I love the darker color.

    I painted the trim in my kitchen with a custom color matched color to the cabinets, I did color match the backsplash, and then the walls are Alpaca by Sherwin Williams.

    The easiest thing to change is paint...but you've got a beautiful template with your cabinets and granite to work with. The flooring does make a difference, I hope you'll explore a bit darker color, it really grounds your space beautifully.

    Ann O thanked Dawn Martinez
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Thank you @felizlady! Persian rugs/runner definitely will be part of the plan! Thank you for the suggestion. Was going to do that even before this debacle. Unfortunately will need to clean them much more often as my husband who likes to cook also likes to make a mess but I am not going to complain :-)


    @Dawn Martinez thank you for the paint colors and for your suggestions. I was amazed at how different your flooring looked in the two pictures. Will definitely ask the floor guy to place samples in different areas and view them in different lights before making a decision. Before chatting with you all I probably would have looked at samples in one area in daylight and chosen based on that. After this countertop thing I have lost all confidence in my decision making so I have a feeling picking floor color next week is going to be more difficult than it needs to be. Thank you again for your support- much appreciated!

  • felizlady
    8 months ago

    Ann O. 😷 😬
    Use the darker rugs where Hubby usually works, and show him how to use a paper towel or slightly damp sponge. Beware of tomatoes: maybe you can handle that part of prep.

    Ann O thanked felizlady
  • Dawn Martinez
    8 months ago

    Don't lose confidence Ann O, you're doing a great job! And yes it's surprising isn't it how artificial light and natural light make something look quite different in color. It's even more noticeable I think in an online photo - which never shows us the true color anyway. So you must view the colors in your space. There are so many great pros on here, and the rest of us learn from them here and from each other. But it is a learning process, and when we're doing an expensive build or renovation, we can begin to second guess ourselves... a lot. I sure did.


    And you know, I wouldn't have known these things before either, until someone recommended them to me. I even put my paint choices on the walls in the kitchen in several locations and then looked at them at various times throughout the day, before making a final decision. Also, because I chose a color called Alpaca, which is a neutral, but with a gray undertone, I found that having done my hard wood floors first in the dark jacobean stain, the wall color literally 'picked up' or reflected the darker floor color. I was told gray does that, so at certain times of day my gray Alpaca walls have light bounce off of the dark floor and they look almost lavender. I don't hate that, but was so surprised the first time I saw it. I was warned, but didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. So I'm not suggesting Alpaca as a color for you, but sharing my experience. That is what the houzz forum is so great for, sharing and learning. Keep us posted :-)

    Ann O thanked Dawn Martinez
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    @felizlady-- good idea :-) :-) :-)


    @Dawn Martinez Thank you so much! Wow about the grey colors... interesting....... and I will definitely keep you all posted-- you all are keeping me sane :-)

  • Kathy Furt
    8 months ago

    Thank you Dawn

  • RedRyder
    8 months ago

    Don’t sweat the Persian rug in the kitchen. Most of them are 100% wool and spot cleaning (mostly with water, maybe some Resolve) will keep it clean.

    Ann O thanked RedRyder
  • Hira Sarfraz
    7 days ago

    Ann o please send some pictures of your final kitchen. I have picked this granite with my builder too and want to see how it turns out. Although I picked white quartz and white cabinets for the perimeter and Lennon granite for island with navy blue cabinets.

  • Hira Sarfraz
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    @lettersatoz please share your pictures. I am little anxious as well..I wanted to go with white quartz for my island too but husband insisted this for island to death

  • Shannon_WI
    7 days ago

    @Hira Sarfraz - you should either have two counter materials with one cabinet color, or two cabinet colors with one counter material. What you described of two counter materials and two cabinet colors is too much going on. It is too busy, but also it will require you to match backsplash, flooring and wall color to 4 different things. Since your husband insists on a different island counter material, that is fine, but then you need to have just one cabinet color, not the white and the blue.

  • Ann O
    Original Author
    3 days ago

    Hi! I am sorry for the delayed response! I just saw this alert now. I still haven't finished decorating as we built the whole house and moved in- from another state-- 2.5 months ago so its been a bit chaotic! Everyone was right on this thread though- the finished wood floors, lighting, and neutral backsplash definitely warmed things up. When the counter was first installed, the only thing I wanted to do was rip it out. This group talked me off the ledge. THANK YOU!!! I now like the countertop. I don't "love it" but I definitely do like it and am happy with it! I think it will only get better when i get the right accesories etc. I just took a bunch of pictures now-- the kitchen is a bit messy and the light at this moment is not great so I apologize for that. I am taking some close ups so you can see backspash and floor color.













  • RedRyder
    3 days ago

    Congratulations on the move! The kitchen looks lovely.

    Ann O thanked RedRyder
  • barncatz
    3 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    It looks VERY pretty - the cabinets/counter look lovely in the photos. I know exactly what you mean, though, about liking, not loving, a countertop stone. I've learned a kitchen isn't a monolith - there are some angles where my counter tones look great with my other elements and some where I think, hmmm.

    And, not to be a Houzz heretic, but this past year has also helped me get over my "OMG, does my counter work!!!" obsession just a bit and accept good enough, and pretty darn pretty, just as I had to do about parenting.

    Ann O thanked barncatz
  • jonnyt
    2 days ago

    Your kitchen looks so nice! Would mind sharing the tile used for the backsplash? I have white dove cabinets and will most likely do a white tone backsplash/ small kitchen although I worry about choosing the wrong white and making my cabinets look yellow. Thanks

    Ann O thanked jonnyt
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    Thank you @RedRyder, @barncatz, and @jonnyt,! and yes, this year definitely put things into perspective! For sure the countertop - and everything else- is good enough! @jonnyt the backsplash tile is from ”The Tile Shop” and is called Imperial Bone Gloss . i got lucky- ordered four different samples on line and although the pictures dont reflect it accurately this tile is the exact same color as cabinet. Many of the folks on this thread suggested i attempt matching the color so that the cabinets dont look yellow. Let me know if you are able to find it.

  • jonnyt
    2 days ago

    Thank you so much, I’ll look for the tile today. I’ve taken numerous samples that have been close to the white dove cabinets and they’ve looked horrible. Again, your kitchen turned out beautiful

    Ann O thanked jonnyt
  • Ann O
    Original Author
    yesterday

    Thank you, @jonnyt! I'm not sure where you ar elocated but more than likely the Tile Shop can mail you a tile sample. I can probably dig up a product number for you if needed.

  • jonnyt
    yesterday

    I was actually able to find your tile online but it was turning into a nightmare trying to order a sample online. We’re in NH and noticed stores in MA so we will make a little trip, thanks again

  • barncatz
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    @jonnyt, may I suggest you look at some tiles with variation? Sometimes that works well with cabinet tones that are "off" something. Your eye isn't contrasting two side by side tones, so things blend together a bit. My cabinets are also off white and our backsplash has several tones.

    Bedrosians Chloe tile is an extremely popular example of a tile with variation. Tilebar (online) has some popular choices, such as this off-white 'Montauk' tile:



  • jonnyt
    yesterday

    I like this as well. I’m hoping the tile shop/contractor will have this in the shop Thank you

  • Ann O
    Original Author
    5 hours ago

    @barncatz that tile is really nice- much more interesting than mine yet not at all busy.