Decorating & Furniture/Knotty Pine paneling


My entire 240 sq.ft. rectangular kitchen is paneled in knotty pine, walls and ceiling.  I want to put in new cabinets and flooring.  What could I use. I want to stay away from it becoming too dark and too busy-looking.  I am considering a natural maple cabinet and dark wood floor.  Any suggestions? Please help.

I love knotty pine and the fact that you have it on walls is quite delightful. kitchens are my favorite rooms, the suggestions I offer will be based on creating a kitchen that will actually  become timeless.  The goal for every kitchen designer.  I recommend a two-tone kitchen with the neutral canvas being the knotty pine.

First...your cabinetry.  I can easily envision painted cabinetry in your kitchen.  Agains the knotty pine...a deep rich red, country reds that are red/wine in tone.  The second painted cabinet color can be...antique cream, a lighter tone that will help tie this gorgeous kitchen together.  This antique cream has a glazing on it that makes the cream look aged...almost beige when you look at the center panel, crevices and corners.

The cabinets should be distressed, that means have a rustic finish the looks a bit battered...not brand new. This costs more when you order cabinetry, but if you reuse old cabinets, a chain, hammer and knife are tools you can use at home!

Okay...use the red/wine painted cabinets on the wall or upper cabinets.  Use lots of open shelving not just cabinets on the wall!  This is important as it allows you to create openess in the room.  It also takes advantage of the knotty pine walls.  The open and unfitted kitchen design is one of today's most popular and favorite styles that is TIMELESS.

The base cabinets will be the antique cream colored cabinets.  Oven and Refrigerator panels can be the cream color.  Now you can even bring in a favorite antique furniture piece...a breakfront, a buffet which adds to the rich authenticity and creates history.  This kitchen should reflect what you love and your lifestyle.

Are you seeing your kitchen from my designer's view?  You can use any of your favorite colors, tones that already work with your accessories, china and stoneware.  Its your chance to have fun!

As for flooring, use a lighter tile color that complements the cream.  You can also have fun by installing a checkerboard tile floor design using the red/wine tile against a cream tile.  Or a black/cream tile combination to anchor the room and provide you an opportunity to bring in darker tones...cast iron accents, pots to hang, wall accents in cast iron and other cooking utensils.

Enjoy the creative freedom of re-designing a kitchen!  For every budget, you can have the most wonderful cooking space without limiting yourself on great design.  

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID  

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Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID


Whole house interior space planning and decorating; kitchen layout, and design trends; residential themed environments; selecting furnishings and accessories for your lifestyle.


12 years experience as an interior designer, FIDER graduate and business owner for 5 years. Speciality area: residential interior designer, NKBA certified kitchen designer, and home office designer


Homes of Color magazine, Las Vegas Life magazine, Tucson Home and Garden magazine.

B.A. Interior Design, Marymount University, Arlington, VA

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