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Decorating & Furniture/Mixing stained wood & painted wood

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Question
 We have a multi-level home. Whether you enter our home through the front door or through the family room ---the kitchen is visible. A few years ago, I began painting the windows, doors & woodwork in the dining room, hallway, bathrooms & bedrooms, white. I also painted the kitchen window & the kitchen door (to the outside), white. However, I left the kitchen cabinets, pantrys,desk & trim the dark oak stain. Funny, but I never questioned the wisdom of this before but now it seems to be a major issue with me. I have been exploring a couple of possibilities in the kitchen: stripping the dark oak stain & restaining light oak or painting everything in the kitchen white---however everything I have been reading says that either of these are not only very labor intensive but often difficult to achieve a professional looking job. Our kitchen cabinets were expensive 24 years ago. ( I am on a budget & cannot afford to hire a professional.) I have several questions: 1) is it alright to leave the kitchen window & kitchen door white? 2) Should the trim around the pantry doors & baseboards be white also? Or should I strip the kitchen window & door & restain them, so that everything in the kitchen is the same stain? (I plan to paint the wood in the family room white within the next year....3) does it matter if the kitchen is a "mix"? I am really beginning to doubt myself.  
 I hope you can understand question!? I would appreciate your expertise.
 Thank you  

Answer
Alot of new homes you visit will have all white trim around windows and doors and the cabinets will be stained and it isn't a problem. This is a question I see quite often. My townhouse has the same situation. I used a wallpaper that picks up the white of the trim, and I'm going to be painting the rest of the walls a deeper beige color. I like the look. You could paint the trim or restain it or paint the cabinets, but you are talking about alot of work. A deeper wall color could look good and pop the white trim, plus accessories to pull the room together. A painting or rug with all the colors can pull the room together. Glidden has a cd out for $6 at Home Depot, where you can put in your kitchen cabinet color and trim color and try out various wall colors. This is workable, it's just finding the right mix of colors, to pull it all together. Good luck

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Karen Timpone-Hockley

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I am a kitchen expert on Improvenet.com, Bob Villa.com and 27news.com. I answer questions on kitchen design, cabinet construction, countertops and their applications, wallpapering and paint questions. I am proficient in kitchen design, wallpapering, painting, and general decorating. You can find me on Improvenet.com by going to advice and resources, message boards, and experts. I answer questions on the message boards and you can view my answers there.

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I was a decorator and then became a kitchen designer. I was instrumental in opening 3 Lowe's kitchen departments, in St. Louis, Ohio, and Pa. and designed kitchens for Home Depot. In 2003, I gave a tool-time for women seminar, seminar at the Pa. Home Builder's Show on designing kitchens, and tv spots on home repair. I am now designing and opening a Kitchen Showroom for Kohl Building Products in Mechanicsburg, Pa. R>
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Improvenet.com article on painting kitchen cabinets

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