Only Her Stylist Carpenter Knows For Sure

So I'm tired of my kitchen cabinets. They look old and dated, and they desperately need a makeover. I'd rip them out completely and just put all new cabinets in, but unfortunately I haven't found anyone giving away kitchen cabinets for free, so I suppose I'll just have to work with what I have. (Plus it isn't like there's really anything structurally wrong with the ones I have...they just need a new dye job). So I think I'm going to restain them and maybe change out the hardware. The simplest thing to do, of course, would be to just restain them the same color that they are now. Just cover up the grey so that they won't look quite their age. That way any boo-boo spots won't be noticeable, and they won't come out some weird strange color (remind me to tell you about the time I stained my back deck), and they'll still match the "eyebrows" of the rest of my kitchen. Easy peasy.


But the color of my kitchen cabinets are boring! They're this yellow-y oak color that I swear every early 90's contractor put in every early 90's house and it just screams Update me! Update me! And if I'm going to go through all the trouble, why not get a color I really like? (Like cherry. I've always wanted cherry cabinets.) And while maybe cherry would be too dark with my dark blue tile and my dark blue walls, perhaps a strawberry blond would work instead?

On the other hand though, if I start mixing cherry stain over yellow oak cabinets, am I just going to end up with orange? Because despite living in Big Orange Country, orange cabinets would not be cool. And even if I get a color that's more red that yellow without being orange, is it just going to look like faded knock-off cherry? (Kinda like when you were in college and you and your pals had the bright idea to dye your hair with kool-aid. Does that ever work out for anybody?) I really really don't want kool-aid cabinets.

So what's a girl to do? Ideally it'd be best just to have naturally cherry cabinets, but so few of us are lucky enough to be born with beautiful cabinetry. The next best thing would be to have a professional cabinetry stylist do it, but optional cabinet makeovers are just not in the budget right now. Which leaves the take home, do-it-yourself dye job, which frankly could turn out looking great or looking hideous.

I think I'll go look at some gel stains later know, get a feel for what's available. Check out the home and garden mags to see what the cabinets to the stars are sporting this season, and maybe see if I can find a color that I like.

I'll keep you posted on what I decide for my new look. And ya'll feel free to weigh in also, especially if you've ever done a home cabinet makeover. Or if you haven't. Or if, you know, you have kitchen cabinets at all. I'm a flurry of highlight vs lowlight (vs undercabinet light) indecision, and a girl needs her gal pals to tell her what would look best with her coloring.