Non-Matching Kitchen Cabinets:
Brilliant or Tragic?

Good Questions

Q: My husband and I are planning to add on a peninsula to our kitchen (placement is outlined on the floor in painter's tape). The current design is to have floor-to-ceiling cabinets where the wine fridge is now and then have the rest of it as added counter space (with two stool seats facing into the kitchen). The previous owners left us a piece of matching granite which is the perfect size for the counter, so we plan to use that.
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I should admit that I really don't like our kitchen. The cabinets are shoddily done and an unfortunately blah veneer which we've been told numerous times we absolutely can't paint over, and the granite color isn't my thang (although it would be better with white cabinets). We are not in the market for a kitchen reno, though, so we're simply trying to make a small change which 1) won't cost a lot, 2) will help the kitchen feel more like a defined space, and 3) will give us some seating and a place for people to hover.

Here's the rub: we can't find these cabinets anywhere! The previous owner doesn't remember who custom did them and my thumbing through the yellow pages and cold-calling manufacturers has turned up nothing. So, we're stuck. Can we do something non-matching (and more to our taste) or would it scream "add-on"? Will the matching granite suffice to make the kitchen feel unified even if we go with different cabinets? What cabinets should we do — white, glass, open, etc?

Sent by MrsCalamari

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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