Choosing Range and Cabinet Colors

Guys, this is so much harder than I thought. One of my favorite things about fancy ranges is their gorgeous colors. But to choose the right range color, you also have to know it will work with your floor color, your backsplash, your cabinets… And given that the range will be the star of the show, part of me says just place my order already, and build the rest of the kitchen around it! But the other, more responsible part of me says choose carefully …

We’re dealing with a LOT of paint and wood colors in this room (island, cabinets, extensive woodwork, hood, beams), so in a way adding a colorful range is kind of burdensome.  Stainless would make things very simple.

Now, one thing I’m admittedly a little bummed about is that no matter how many times I go around it, the colors I’m loving the most are black or cream. Lacanche has so many gorgeous colors, from orange to red to light blue … and I 100% thought I was going to want their British racing green range. This bad boy:


Then I got the color sample. It just has too much yellow in it to work with our house. With our pine floors in the keeping room, the lack of natural light in the kitchen and wood overhead beams, it skewed 1980s. Not in a good way. Maybe it’s why I can’t find many examples of this color actually used in kitchens?  This was a real bummer, but I moved on to my samples of Lachance’s black, white, grays, blues and cream.

My number two choice prior to getting the samples was their light blue (Faience), pictured here:


I had imagined this range with white or cream cabinets, as in the photo. But once I had the color sample and paint samples in my kitchen, it just all looked too ‘precious’ and a little bit country cottage. There’s nothing wrong with country, but as it turns out, I’m not a pastel kind of girl. I like my colors moody and muddy and … British, basically, but apparently not British racing green.

As I’ve previously written about, I’m obsessed with the idea of green cabinets.  To that end, I painted fifteen different green paints on 3’x2’ poster board, and propped them up around the kitchen with eight different tile samples, and all the little Lacanche enameled colors, which are sent to you as 3”x3” squares. For good measure, I also did some white and blue samples in ‘known quantity’ colors I’ve used and loved before for comparison’s sake.

After that, I’ve narrowed cabinets down to two color options. First, Farrow & Ball’s Green Smoke, a lovely moody green that is on the lighter side of the options I was considering, and second, Benjamin Moore’s Goodwin Green, which is from their Colonial Williamsburg historical collection (obviously a selling point to me since we’re in a home contemporary with Colonial Williamsburg).

Here’s a kitchen done in Green Smoke by designer Bradley Odom:

I couldn’t find any good examples of Goodwin Green being used, and absolutely no kitchens.  Which I’ll admit makes me nervous.

No matter how I tried, the Lacanche range colors I liked best with the greens are either matte black, or ivory, which is their creamy white.

To give myself (and the husband, the other interested party here) the ability to visualize our choices, I mocked up these kinda hairy boards.  They’re not exactly perfectly cropped, but they DO exactly combine what I wanted to see.  Here are these cabinet colors paired with different counter, backsplash and most importantly, RANGE options!

Above, we have white quartzite counters, green hex backsplash tile from Cle Tile, Green smoke cabinets, Lacanche ivory range, and for context, Farrow and Ball Shaded white woodwork and reclaimed hickory flooring.  I love that it’s light, bright, has a nice contrast between cabinets and statement range, mixes greens, and I dream of the reflective, varied tile looking as good as this Devol kitchen that mixes greens as well:


Next up:

This is the same as option #1, but subs in a matte black range.  This also is a beautiful option, but ultimately with light counters I like the lighter range in option #1.

Moving on to dark counters:

Here the quartzite counters and green tile backsplash have been replaced by soapstone counters and a soapstone tile backsplash (though of course I could do a soapstone slab backsplash instead).  While a helpful comparison, I don’t like the cream range with the dark counters.

Now to sub in the black range:

Yep, I like this much better than #3.  If I’m going with the soapstone, I’m liking the black range.

Moving on, we’ll look at options with darker green paint.  Note that I’m not sure what green is used on the cabinets below, but on my screen and in my kitchen, this is pretty darn close to how Goodwin Green looks:

Dark green cabinets, ivory range and soapstone combo.  This is okay, but confirms to me that I don’t like the ivory range with dark counters.

Yep, the black range suits the dark green cabinets and soapstone counters really well.

Here’s the dark green cabinets and ivory Lacanche with quartzite counters and green tile backsplash.  Again, light counters & light range combo = a winner.

SO after SEVEN comparisons (which I post here so flippantly with like two words of comment even though each took me about 20 minutes to do … aaaarrrrgh!), what have I decided?

Well, kinda absolutely nothing?  And I’m still not sure what to order, even though the range has a SIX MONTH lead time???  Put in a positive way, I can’t go wrong, because with the cream range, I’m all about option #1 or #7, and with the black range, I’m loving #4 and #6.

There are a couple other things to consider.  For one, the matte black is not considered a ‘premium’ finish, so it’s less expensive.  Additionally, the matte black is just that – matte.  After having a shiny enameled black AGA, I know it is possible to scratch enamel, and once it isn’t glossy, it’s really obvious.  In contrast, the ivory is glossy, and light, and therefore higher maintenance.

Additionally, quartzite is beautiful, but is pricey and in demand, and it may be hard to find a piece as beautiful as I’d like.  It also tends to be gray, and I don’t want it clashing with the ivory.

So what’s the hesitation?  Well, I think the ivory range looks like a beautiful piece of jewelry, so I’m loath to give up on it.  Also, our kitchen right now has dark cabinets, soapstone counters and a black range.  And it is dark in there.  The idea of lightening everything up really appeals.  The lighter green, the lighter range, the lighter counters – basically, option #1 would create a brighter kitchen, which sounds pretty darn nice right now in mid-winter New England.

Sooooo … please help!!! What do you like, and what would you do?