project library :: dark cabinets ?
Thursday, February 28, 2013 by {darlene}

Hmmm…. dark cabinets ….

So our new school room is going to have a LOT of cabinetry, and my original vision for the room {see the floor plan and sketch renditions here} was to paint all of the cabinetry in French Ivory {a Sherwin Williams color from the former Martha Stewart line, you can still get it mixed}.

This is the same color that we have on our trim and cabinetry throughout our farmhouse. It keeps things bright and cohesive in an old home that has evolved over the years.

Here are several pics throughout our home featuring the French Ivory trim:

school room post dark cabinets school room dark cabinets school room dark cabinets

So, my plan for the cabinets was to paint them in this beautiful ivory, and paint the backs of them in a fantastic dark color {yet to be determined}.


Lately I have been dreaming of THIS:

school room dark cabinets {via The Painted House}

school room dark cabinets

{via Little Green Notebook}

school room dark cabinets

{via Inspiration Kitchens}

  school room dark cabinets

{via Loft and Cottage}

school room dark cabinets

{via birch and lily}

school room dark cabinets

{via poppy talk}

This new school room is going to be in a walkout basement with plenty of light. It is western and southern facing, and while the before shots show a very dark room, there will soon be a full glass door on the back wall that faces west. The small room has also been filled with a variety of light sources.

I would love your vote! French Ivory vs. Gray Navy?





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Labeled: inspiration, project library, renovation


  • gray/navy for sure….let’s face it, we can all pin a gazillion pictures of each option (dark vs. light), but usually, we only have one room to decorate and one option that really works with our lighting! So, for you to have the option of dark in the basement, when you already have ivory in the kitchen, I say GO FOR IT! Have the best of both worlds, have your cake and eat it too…it’ll look fabulous!!

  • First, what a beautiful home you have! I vote for the gray/navy in the school room. Gorgeous inspiration pics, and it will set that room off from the other spaces in your house. Can’t wait to see what you choose. :)

  • Gray/navy because this room will be filled with light and it’s a grounding color. And YOU love it!

  • Juliette Mariano-Carlson

    Gray/navy will look beautiful. It’ll be contemporary and classy. Dreams can come true!!

  • AS much as I love dark woods and great color, I really don’t think I would put Grey Navy cabinetry in the school room. Your flooring choices would make a difference. And didn’t you say you plan to have dark couches? I would keep it pretty light, but being *in* the space and deciding that might be different too.

    In the post below you credited the picture of striped walls and ceilings to a blog and it is in my Coastal Living mag right now. The picture below it you credited to Coastal Living and I wondered if you mixed them up…

  • I have to vote for the gray/navy!!! Sounds like a perfect space for it.

  • For kitchens light is still my favorite, but to give the schoolroom a library feel, dark would look great!

    • I say go with the dark. You have boys, right? I think little boys would love it and it looks sophisticated for adults. Little girls would love it with their frilly artwork on the wall, too.

  • As the girl who lived in a kitchen with a black island for years- I loved the black. It was beautiful. It also showed fingerprints and aged pretty poorly. Just my opinion. If little hands are going to be on those cabinets a lot, I’d probably go with something lighter that will hide those pesky fingerprints. :)

  • Are you going to have a giant chalkboard or a giant whiteboard in the room? (I would if I were building a schoolroom!) If so, I’d say go with the ivory with a black chalkboard or the gray/navy with a whiteboard. Aside from that, I’d go with whatever shows dirt the least and/or is easiest to clean, but that’s because I tend to like what’s most practical.

    Most of all, Miss Darlene, I’d say go for whatever makes your heart sing–because you need to LIVE WITH BEAUTY! :)

  • I love them both but I think the gray/navy will be beautiful in your new school room. I can’t wait to see it all come together.

  • I vote for the gray/navy. Since you have the ivory everywhere else, I agree with others that this is a chance to change it up a bit. I would look at the light after the door is in and let that determine the flooring unless you have that predetermined. If it’s a space you can be inspired in…go for it. Have fun!

  • I am contemplating the same thing in my kitchen. I vote for dark base cabinets and ivory uppers. Love your plans.
    Xo Nancy

  • Boys + school = DARK! :)

  • I’m with Nancy. Light uppers and gray/navy lower cabinets. I’m wanting to do this in my kitchen too. I want lighter upper cabinets because I think it will make the room look taller and bigger. I love those gray/blues! Let us know which colors you might actually consider using to get that grey/blue.

  • I vote French Ivory.

  • If it’s not too late to vote? I lean toward the dark cabinets – as much as I usually prefer lighter colors. It has a classy, elegant feel, but a bit practical too? Just because you asked…

    I can hardly wait to see your project unfold!

  • Navy/Gray all the way! :)

  • I’m late, but I finally had time to thoughtfully answer. After reading through all the other comments and looking back at your drawings, I say grey-navy. I thought about agreeing with the commenter who said dark on the lower and light on the upper, but according to the drawings, you don’t really have much in the way of upper cabinet doors, so I don’t think a dark color is going to feel heavy or even be too much to keep up with fingerprint-wise. Go for it!

  • Oooo, hard decision!!! I think dark would be a fun change and foil for all the school stuff. Whatever you decide will be beautiful!

  • Love the kitchen with the green accents!

  • I’m traditional but chose to go more modern and whimsical for my basement. Let this area be a fun contrast to the rest of your home!

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