You’re absolutely right :) White would definitely be a good choice for your cabinets if the kitchen’s smaller!
Wow, I can definitely see how cherry wood and red together would overwhelm you guys! Those are 2 colours that definitely should not be put together in a home kitchen…If you want to save some money & time I definitely suggest to keep the cabinets as is and paint the walls with a neutral colour, that way it’s not as overwhelming.
In that picture the cherry wood is pretty dark and it definitely has more red tone in it. I guess it just kind of gives you an idea of how cherry wood would look with a lighter toned wall. I know there’s tiles there instead of just paint, but if you look at the light neutral tones in the tile it goes really well with the red tones of the cherry wood cabinets.
So all in all I’d say choose a sand tone colour for paint. Perhaps something like this: http://www.decorpad.com/photos/2010/05/18/6e55edd514f7.png
Don’t use egg white or else it will create a lot of contrast which can make the red of the cherry wood pop even more. And if you guys aren’t so crazy about the cherry wood maybe you can even take the cabinets down and paint over them. Painting the cabinets white always gives you good results :) And having white cabinets will definitely give you more colours to choose from for wall paint.
Good luck in your new home!
Do you mean natural light or light fixtures? So the space you want to decorate is only your own desk right?
If you have a large desk, I definitely suggest for you to personalize it in any way you can. Maybe even choose a colour scheme for your accessories like your pencil holder, lamp, picture frames, etc. If you have space, adding a small plant/flower arrangement is always nice. You can even put up some bright paintings on the wall if you’re permitted to/if your work desk is beside a wall. Here’s a pic to maybe give you some ideas:
Hope that helps!