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Never seen a kitchen quite like this one before! Need help!
kellychipley
May 27, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We have just purchased this 15 year old home and I am uncertain as to the direction to take! We want to replace the counters with granite (new design?), new backsplash, new stainless steel applicances, paint or restain cabinets ~ but there is so many against that one wall! Paint the walls plus any lighting. Then trying to decide if I add a breakfast table and/or comfortable seating? Here's the pictures, let me know what you think because I have been looking at this kitchen for many many weeks and I just don't know! THANK YOU!!
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shead
Do you know if the hardwood is installed beneath the l-shaped island?

Also, if you reconfigured the island, would it be in your budget to fill in and refinish the floors, if needed?

Lastly, would you use the open space with the windows as a breakfast nook/dining room or could you create a cozy little living space, if you confined your family seating to the area near the island?
0 Likes   May 27, 2012 at 1:58PM
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kellychipley
I don't know ~ I removed one drawer and couldn't tell; I am assuming yes. We could refinish the flooring. I really don't know how I would use the space. I currently own a round breakfast table that could be used and no other furniture for this space.

I am not a designer therefore I am just at a loss.
0 Likes   May 27, 2012 at 2:05PM
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shead
If the flooring is underneath and you can handle refinishing the flooring, if needed, I'd reface the current oak cabinets. You could paint them, but oak is so grainy that you will still see a lot of grain through the paint. This may or may not appeal to you.

I'd also see how expensive it would be to do away with this ackwardly shaped kitchen island and have a new island constructed (probably rectangular).

Another idea is to lose the overhang for barstools (which frees up tons of counterspace) and then create a banquette seating area like the one shown in the photo on this page:
http://www.elledecor.com/home-remodeling/articles/design-basics-kitchen-islands

Then you could use the open area as a small gathering room.

Definitely change the paint color to something more calming and I'd love to see the windows without the outdated valances.

Good luck!!
3 Likes   May 27, 2012 at 2:21PM
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PRO
Chroma Design
First check the opening of the built in ovens. The display part above the top oven looks tall. My concern is finding replacement ovens that will fit the opening precisely. It could be retro fitted but staining the cabinets will not hide the retrofit or applying molding to cover any gap will not look very nice. Restaining cabinets is not an easy job since you must first remove the urethane coating to get at the grain.

Paint is, I think, better anyway. Head9806 was correct to advise you about painted oak grain. I personally do not care for cathedral arched doors. Have you considered refacing your cabinets? You should look for your ovens now just to get sizes so if you can't get the exact size, you can address it if you were to reface or address it by reconfiguring that wall of cabinets that you already feel are too large.

Have you considered hiring a designer for advise?
1 Like   May 27, 2012 at 2:47PM
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Chroma Design
Forgot to mention.... Same size consideration for refridgerator. Make sure what you buy will fit the space in an appropriate manner.
0 Likes   May 27, 2012 at 2:49PM
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shead
After looking at this some more, I'm wondering about if you were to move the refrigerator to beside the ovens. That would break up the massiveness of that wall of cabinets and you might gain some useful counterspace near the stove. I agree with Chroma Design about the cathedral arches, which are outdated at this point. If you were to reface, I definitely go with a different style. Also, with refacing you could more easily rearrange, add, and/or delete cabinets.
1 Like   May 27, 2012 at 3:21PM
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kellychipley
Thank you for your advice! It has helped tremendously! First ~ need a designer!
1 Like   May 29, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Chroma Design
It's a wise investment and could prevent you from costly mistakes. Good luck and keep us posted. Be glad to field some of your questions.
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 4:26PM
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karen paul interiors
I was looking through your idea book and there is a picture of banquette seating. If you were to cut down the height of the upholstered back so it is flush with the height of your kitchen counter and have the banquette configured into the "L", I believe you will enjoy duplicating that look. The fabric back can be "protected" very easily, and I like the use of a vinyl or something washable (as shown) for your seats.

I also noticed you featured any number of kitchens with black in them. If you were to paint your island in a very low sheen black with a grayed down primer coat first, that could look quite handsome. Ralph Lauren used to have a Surry Black which was what I used many years ago when I painted my open grain oak cabinets. The low sheen and a black that is not dead center black can be very acceptable.

Additionally, I noted you were showing several pictures with white cabinets. Your current cabinets could easily be refaced in white.

I don't know if this will kick start any ideas for you, but along with the other wonderful ideas offered, you may have a really excellent jumping off point when you employ the services of a designer. The more you know about what you want, the more successful you project will be. It is up to the designer to take care of the details. Good luck!
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 6:47PM
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karen paul interiors
I meant to post your banquette. Sorry! :)
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 6:48PM
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lefty47
HI -- That was a very exspensive kitchen in the day. If the flooring is under the island then think about removing it and refinishing the floors. Get a cabinet company to replace the doors for something more to your style. Preparing the doors for painting and getting them sprayed will cost more.Have the fridge moved to the wall where the wall ovens are.I would have the fridge first then the wall ovens . If you are getting new appliances - the new ones are not the same sizes as before so your cabinets may have to be adjusted. It might be cheaper to just do a whole new kitchen and it looks like it needs a better layout anyway. You will have to do the numbers. Sometimes the cost of trying to update an outdated kitchen turns out to be more than a new one . Get a kitchen designer or two in to give you some ideas - then you will know what to do.The room is large enough for a nice kitchen with an eating area and a familyroom. I used to do kitchens and that's the best advice I can give you. I hope that helps you. PS : Don't forget to donate the cabinets to Habitat if you get a new kitchen.
4 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Graf Developments
Kelly, what part of the country are you in?
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 7:20PM
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gigibaby
Hi Kelly,
If you're sure you need a designer, try contacting some of the professionals at this site. But you can't go wrong be lsitening to the advice evryone here gives you. This site can give you a lot of great ideas, advice, and put you in contact with the right peope to help you. Good luck.
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 7:34PM
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kellychipley
Thanks everyone for your comments! I haven't received any quotes for any work because I've been stuck at the design phase. I'm not even really sure what color cabinets I do want. I've had several friends give me their opinions and most of them have said exactly what you have said. One person did say extend the counter out on the opposite side of where the overhang is now and have bar stools facing the counters (for conversation for the ones cooking, etc.) Yet no one idea has been "that's it!". And maybe the L shape counter is throwing me all off.

Also we plan to move in 2-4 years therefore we want to be the most cost effective as possible. This will be our 6th home and we buy every 2-4 years so that with the next home we will be debt free! And this is the first home that I've been unsure about!

Thanks! Kelly
ps. We live in SC and I've attached a picture of our current kitchen which I love and copied from a magazine for the most part. But this time I'm thinking my taste has changed to a little more contemporary yet I need to think about resale! So my dilemma continues :)
2 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Becca Bouligny
Your current kitchen is lovely. If you are going to move in a few years, I would go with the most affordable option for sure. I think building bench seating on the back side of the island would be very functional for you (and you could incorporate your round table), and very attractive to a buyer in the future--offering flexible space where the current dining area lies. Painting the cabinets or new doors...not sure which is cheaper. But did you consider replacing the cabinet doors with glass to open it up a little?
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 8:31PM
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AJD Interiors
Hello,

This is a huge job; even though you are bound to get some wonderful ideas and advice on this site, I strongly encourage you to hire a professional in your area to help you plan the space. Gather your pictures, color ideas, style preferences and such for a couple of weeks and then head to a kitchen/ bath showroom, where a certified pro can help with everything!
Good luck- it's really a great space, and will look beautiful when complete!
3 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 8:41PM
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mmmmk
Wow that is a huge space. I would tend to put a wall up somewhere. but I am not a kitchen diesigner and I hate big open spaces as you get less usable space. Unless the rest of the house is huge ?
0 Likes   May 29, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Dennis Gehman
The fact the the island and other base / tall cabinets have shoe / quarter round molding around the bottom tells me that the hardwood floor does NOT run under the island.

I suggest that you interview design build Kitchen people. Ask for references, check them out good. Find someone you feel really comfortable with personality wise who has shown you pictures of projects they've done that you really like. Talk about budget up front, pay them for their design services and get the Kitchen you really want.

Oak can look nice but your current Kitchen simply has too much with oak cabinets and floor.

Dennis D. Gehman, CR, CLC, CKBR, CAPS, GAC
President
Gehman Design Remodeling
PA297
355 Main Street
Harleysville, PA 19438
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 4:31AM
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label67
I can tell you that refacing is most expansive then having new kitchen cabinets
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 4:45AM
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Dennis Gehman
It all depends on the cabinet quality as to whether or not refacing is more expensive. Refacing leaves you with the same layout, door and drawer openings. New cabinets allow you to start over. Generally speaking if people want to reface as well as change more than 2 - 3 cabinets it becomes just as cost effective to get new cabinets.

Patching in the hardwood flooring wouldn't be hard for a professional to do

Dennis D. Gehman, CR, CLC, CKBR, CAPS, GAC
President
Gehman Design Remodeling
PA297
355 Main Street
Harleysville, PA 19438
3 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 4:56AM
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zivie
Congratulations on your new space. The bones are great it just had a heavy hand in everything. First rip those curtains off!!! and as you know color will tone everything down.
If budget is an issue, and when isn't it, try taking the cathedral cab door off and see what the back side is. it usually is the same wood and flat. If that is the case just turn and reattach. If you are thinking of keeping the island paint it a slightly darker color to make it fade to the back.
The idea of making the gigantic island a banquet is a good one, but I would only do one side or you will have the same gigantic issue again.

Finally....The best money spent will be with a designer. Ask your friends and mothers friends (only of homes you like) and check a few out.

Remember this is good problem and enjoy and have fun!
PS check out Pinterest my new favorite site with wonderful ideas.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 5:09AM
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thickskin
I love your kitchen, especially the wall of cabinets. my only concern is the placement of the wall oven.maybe if you paint the base cabinets the color of the red walls to break up the space it will add more interest, not every kitchen island need barstools.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 5:09AM
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EB Colgan
If you're concerned about the bank of pantry cabinets, try replacing some of the doors with glass - will brighten up the kitchen and give that wall some interest
1 Like   May 30, 2012 at 5:26AM
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blond477
I hope the curtains are coming down. They look so strange how they're hung.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 5:49AM
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kellychipley
The curtains and wall color will DEFINITELY be changing :)
1 Like   May 30, 2012 at 5:54AM
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Gabberts Design Studio
Where are you located? This is such a large project, I would suggest hiring an Interior Designer who can help tie it all together so you are truly happy with the final product. There are a lot of great ideas posted here, which can be overwhelming. We would love to help if we can!
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 5:59AM
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muskokascp
That is a huge space and can be a lovely new kitchen with the right design! I highly recommend visiting the kitchen forum at gardenweb.com. There you will find some great design people and tons of suggestions and layout help!
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 6:12AM
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rdonal
One easy way (and not so expensive) to offset some of that wall of oak cabinetry is to replace a few select upper doors with glass fronted doors and to leave a few doors off completely. Add some interior lighting and you will have a whole new look for a small price.

As for the island....once you find out if new appliances will fit and where you want to place them.....I would re-purpose the cabinetry and take the island out completely. The space will lend itself to some new positioning, making flow and usefulness much more appropriate for your needs. If you choose to add a new island to separate the space, I would style it as a floating unit with a practical stone counter like a solid colored, contemporary granite (looks like soapstone or bluestone) or maybe marble for prep work, some under counter storage, and other nice details. Make this island a solid colored base....maybe black or a nice sage.....to compliment the room but to contrast and set it apart from that wall of oak.

I think once you remove that massive island that cuts off the whole space, you and your designer will be able to envision things much better. A flooring expert that is experienced with patching hardwood floors is a great person to fill in any of the flooring that will be disrupted by removing the island. That might be a bit pricey, but it will be far less expensive than having the entire floor redone. Make sure he's a reputable, experienced flooring guy. Someone who specializes in restoration of old houses might be the best one for the job.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 6:16AM
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TXMamaCat
I LOVE this kitchen! What a nice change from the everyday! I covet the wall of cabinets and the windows! But yes, changes are needed! First, I hope by this time the valances are down. And if nothing else, paint the walls white while you decide what color to go with but get RID of that dark paint! If this were my kitchen I'd go with shaker style cabinet doors, change the doors on the wall of cabinets to a floor to ceiling height, with frosted glass inserts. (Gosh I would love to have that much storage space!!) I like the idea of the banquette and while I think the idea of counter-height backs is a nice look, I might make the backs about 4-6 inches higher than the counter to create a backsplash, especially at the sink. On the counter side you could do a row of decorative tiles on the backsplash, possibly 4" glass tiles in colors to coordinate with the kitchen color. Definitely cut back the counter overhang; it makes the cabinets underneath hard to reach anyway. I would turn those cabinets into open shelving, to store large serving pieces or small appliances when not in use.

Open up those windows! Do you have a view? Can't tell how big it is, den/family room size or just oversized kitchen? Make it a place with seating, for friends to gather while you're cooking, play area for the kids.

This is all just my humble opinion. I'm not a designer or an architect; I would just love to have this kitchen!
1 Like   May 30, 2012 at 6:38AM
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rdonal
Also: it appears that those cabinets were very well made. They can easily be re-used in a new configuration that will allow the kitchen to function much better. Moving part of the island cabinetry flush against the left side wall will also allow you to keep the sink in the same place. Some can also be used as a banquet in the dining space. Moving plumbing would be an added expense. The photo for a new layout that was provided above is a great option and allows the sink to remain where the plumbing exists. The color change for the lower cabinets instantly upgrades the cabinetry as well.

This room has lots of potential. A kitchen designer can help with the new layout, re-positioning the base cabinets. I would keep the wall of cabinets and eliminate the uppers that are next to the fridge.That allows you to tile a backsplash and add open shelving where they used to be. That and adding some great lighting will instantly update this space.

Another simple "fix", like changing the hardware can make a big difference in updating while you figure out the rest of the remodeling plan.

Yes...those curtains MUST come down. I would also add that changing the color of the room to something more neutral....or earthy....will definitely change the tone of the room. Some soft, woven, light colored roman shades will not only allow the light in but will give the room some texture and class. I see this space as a great spot for family gathering. Don't try to fill it all at once. Let it evolve and tell your story.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 6:44AM
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suedee
Lots of great feedback and ideas! My kitchen sink set up is similar to yours and creates a problem I did not anticipate. The combination of undermount sink and granite with no backsplash means water pooling on the counter and sometimes running over the edge. IMHO, built-in seating + round table on the flip side of the island is a great idea--I think that could nicely bridge kitchen and adjoining room. But, if you go with that, you'll definitely need strategy for sink splish-splash! I've had several kitchens & experienced all sorts of countertop material. My favorite? Quartz. Quartz goes well with contemporary. Rdonal's suggestion re: breaking up wall of cabinets with glass & open shelving would look nice when viewed from family room.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 7:14AM
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waltergagliano
Yikes that Island is the biggest problem I would get rid of the l and have just the side with the sink. ypou could reuse the cabinets and make it double deep or use them in the garage or basement and have stools
I would paint the island to give it a furniture look and dossibly hang a dramatic island ( pool table size) fixture over it.
2 types of stone woulf also update the look mix an almost solid on the stove area with a boldly grained one on the island.
I don't mind the wall of pantry cabinets
Good luck
Walter
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 7:33AM
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angela428
You may be amazed, but I personally think this kitchen is quite fine. It may need new doors depending upon the style you want, and forgive the words, but go local if you are only going to be there a few years.
Home Depot. Lowes, they have contemporary doors and traditional. If you were to change all this cabinet work it would be thousands. Use the funds wisely.

Increase the value of your home, by opening the back wall to go outside with either french doors, or sliding doors, the new ones that open all the way.
And extend your cooking and party time outside with an outside kitchen bar b que.
station built with small fridge for drinks, and an ice maker etc. A table and seating will add some fun and a wood fire pit.

Back in the kitchen, I would get rid of all the blinds and the curtain poof. Simple hunter douglas top down bottom up thermals are great and would be beautiful and simple. great soft colors.

In the center I would have a custom built multi grain woods french long country table, and you can call in the family to distress it yourself. chains, axes, etc. all frustration gone on the table destress.
chairs would all be different and maybe you pick 6 and each person picks their chair and fabric, you might pick 4 colors to rotate. make it unique and different.

Moving up to the island, it seems to me something was on this other side there is a duplex, so I would let the granite overhang on this side, it is simple and will add seating that spins and is fun. Look at Steelcase Bombe seating. Or gordon international, they have fun seating.

I would take this entire counter and pick a wild granite in a light color with tons of movement and do both ends to the floor as well as the top.8" overhang on the out side area.
The the top of the island I would add another sink, and single hole cut out for dropping chopped food into garbage cans beneath, I would also add a cook top so you can talk to everyone who is coming and going.
I would put a beautiful pot hanger or great hanging lamps over this island. you will need several it is long.
If you call the Mansion Hotel in Savannah, Ga. I was just there they have some hand blown custom beautiful one of a kind colorful hanging lamps from 250 up. 3 to 5 of these depending on size would do it and they are not only beautiful, but not found in every starbucks or store in the world.
you wll be unique.

Reface your cabinets and change the top cabinets to have glass fronts.
Change your appliances to stainless, add a fridge and make the door glass, and a separate freezer. Very in these days. One full refrigerator, one full freezer sub zero.
Floor,
I might pull some of the floor up in the kitchen running area as I call it fridge stoves
cooktop sink and put in a tile to co ordinate with the granite.

The subway and white top I know have to go, but you will be surpirsed subway tile is hot right now. Think about this if you change the fronts to glass and the other fronts to a high gloss contemporary.

The island could be stained a dark mahogany and the pulls change. This gives you an opportunity for the long wall with the acrylic cabinets to be in white or beige, stainless appliances and a great stone floor in that area.

I think you have save a ton by refacing and re using,
Money spent on opening that wall will give you a huge return on investment, if I was in that kitchen i would want to be outside the back to bar b que.

Review.
Espresso/Coffee Maker built in.
TV/Home Center Computer unit built in - shopping reminders on screen etc.

Wrap left and right end panels and top in granite, a wild granite you could do with lots of movement since the rest of the room is the same same same.
Glass doors, or pull out all top doors and do beige vertical doors that push up and has internal workings that pull the dishes down. Money not well spent doing that.

Make the island fun, you have the cooking station with the cooktop, the sink, lose the white faucet, add a second sink for another person to be doing something with you.
Smaller veg sink.

Open area review.
we have the french long table in center with side tables.
or I should give an option.
you could have a table lengthwise towards the back wall to come in from both directions to serve dinner and a sofa and chairs facing the kitchen. Not nuts about this one needs more work.

OPEN THE BACK WALL TO GO OUTSIDE FIRST THING I WOULD DO. i BET IF YOU ASK YOU AGENT YOU WILL GET A HUGE ROI NUMBER.

What you think is not great is really super, just put some imagination at work here.
You have it all, it just needs a sprucing up.

by the way subway tiles are back big time big size 6" x 20" in glass and all sorts of colors and trims.
check out stone slabs www.akdo.com and find one that works on your counter to wrap it, that would be a great start. also, check out their discontinued. since you need a few slabs you might be able to mix and match sides color a top b.

next, change the cabinets over the subway to have glass fronts. Simple and great glass available.

ON the long wall change the cabinet fronts, these can be a completely different color.
You can have Chocolate Brown Gloss Contemporary Cabinet fronts, or White Traditional with all the trims on the top, your choice. These could be beige, take a look at Rutt or Plain and Fancy to get some ideas.
Look at Bulthaup they have some interesting items. don't freak we are in contemporary and stunning. just different.

I think once you wrap the top, (8000) change the faucet add a sink, cook top, change the big wall of cabinets to a new color, change the doors over the subway to have all glass fronts, get rid of the subway and pick a quiet stone for this section. (7,000)
Don't fight the island, let the island stand out.
Hang a great pot rack and get some stunning pots to hang. NOTHING worse than beautiful pot rack and dented old pans. Or, find a frame you love and make your own pot rack. it is not that hard.


Enjoy this space, it is great.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 7:55AM
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Vicki Jackson
It is a very unique layout. I would love to know if the orignal owner had taken down walls and how it was used with previous owners!
I think I would treat the bank of cabinets with a different color! Perhaps painting them an acceant color AQUA!! assuming those walls got repainted.

I agree that a designer will need to help you with redesign. Will you be using the attached room as a family tv space or using all of it for dining.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 8:01AM
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angela428
Hi Label 67 refacing I do not believe is more expensive then new. New cabinets run from 633 to 1300 without your designer discount. Refacing is a door, hinges, and some staining.
You will not have to re do the drywall when you pull down the cabinets the electrical the plumbing the mess on the floor. I have never received a quote side by side that is less. how did you achieve this?
I am so curious. Please tell me so I may learn I am being quite sincere. thank you
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 8:08AM
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rdonal
suedee: Lots of good ideas.....but wow! The expense!! Might as well start from scratch. Designer lights, sub-zero fridge, fancy granite, custom table, Hunter Douglas window treatments (which probably will be custom), new french doors, outside entertaining area.....gee. All lovely ideas but lots of time and investment. Wonder if the new owners plan to stay, DIY, have a large or small budget....I'd start simple.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 8:43AM
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rdonal
Interesting....there isn't a cooktop in this kitchen....or am I missing it?
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 8:45AM
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rdonal
suedee: I also thought about knocking out that wall between the back cabinets and the island to go outside. Wondered if there is a room on the other side or the outdoors. I was trying to keep this simple....Good idea tho.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Shannon Ggem ASID
One aspect that is likely bothering your eye about the cabinets is that they are a style called overlay. See how the doors and drawers sit proud of the face frame?

The style has been full european overlay (or full overlay) or flush inset. This subtle difference to the eye is huge to the subconscious.

I would pull it all out and start again with custom cabinets in a painted finish and a fresh layout that makes sense for you. Often kitchen remodels pay for themselves upon resale, and you get to enjoy them in the meantime! A fresh design forward kitchen means a alot to buyers.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Mona Ives
Those arch-top doors are bugging me because they look dated. If you can afford to, re-face the cabinets! It's much cheaper than a full kitchen remodel and you can change door style and color. If that's not in the budget, I'd paint them white. A nice warm countertop like Santa Cecelia light would be beautiful here for a transitional/traditional look (if you keep the cabinet style) and a simple subway backsplash would be lovely. Change your faucets to chrome or brushed nickel as well as your hardware. I'd say a nice cozy eating/dining area with some upholstered chairs would be nice and more practical wood or metal bar stools.Refacing is cheaper - I had two quotes done for a similar sized kitchen where they had builders' white cabinets. To remodel was 30K+ and to reface was just 11K. Try that difference on for size. And the new cabinet doors are going to be solid cherry with hand glazed finish details. A simpler door style would even have cost them less. Just find a good company in your area because not all refacers are alike.

Repaint depending on the new color of the cabinets. In your eating area, hang drapes from the top of the transoms - those valances are chopping up the windows. If you don't need all those blinds for privacy - take them down! If you do, try something homier like a woven wood shade. Definitely hang a chandelier instead of the fan.

If your taste is more contemporary - reface so you can change the style of doors, or perhaps just order new top cabinet doors (where you have the arches) and paint the rest all to match (white). If your taste is transitional/traditional and you think you can live with the arches, just paint everything and modernize all the other finishes.

Hope I've been helpful :)
1 Like   May 30, 2012 at 9:14AM
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angela428
Who is suedee, not me? But, I think you were addressing my suggestions. I am sorry you disagree, but that is life and why we have forums to exchange ideas. And, to assist clients.
Yes, I put down top of the line products, not so much as to purchase, but a guideline to style.
The customer is the one who decides what they want to spend and on what. You just simply take their information and input it and return with a starting point.

Since we are in a forum, I disagree that this would be more costly, there are items to keep, items to change out, items mentioned for style, suggestions for a yes or no. Many options to think about how to use the room.
Such as Hunter Douglas top down bottom up are great and cost about 400 a window. they have a thermal web material and if you are in a cold region will help to keep the heat in the house as we use up north in the cold area of New York. This couple with a heated floor helps save on our oil bill.
But, you can also buy something similar at Bed Bath and Beyond now it is a look, not a question of just money.

French table. Two ways, you can purchase an old park long bench, strip, seal and beat it to distress, purchase chairs at yard sales, re upholster and you have the same look. Use Martha Stewart Crackle paint and it looks great also. It is so much fun our industry lets just enjoy having a forum to offer suggestions.

Sub zero, there are many glass fridges for sale now and many can be found in restaurant supply re sale for not a huge amount of money. The market is flooded right not with so many businesses out of business. You can probably find a viking like I just did 16000 btu with hood whoosh strong hood, probably pulls the air out of the room at least the hot air. Anyway it is 6 burner and griddle in center with one big oven and one little oven for warming. Great buy at store for restaurant equipment, almost never used. They also had a ton of fridges.

Lighting that is special and art at the same time is always and investment or they can get sent a photo from the store and find their own on line at www.bellacor.com the home of all lighting for not a lot of money.

And just for information in the forum, I have an island quite large with a sink and no splish splash it may be the height of your faucet. You can not have a high arc, I have a simple Belle Epogue which reaches down a little more than up in an Arc similar to the new Moen one that is out. And, it has three different settings, rain, stronger rain and simple water spout. You might try adding the Brita filter and use these settings to help stop your water problem.
Or change the faucet it may be too high from the sink.
Second, quartz is a very soft stone and one of the few stones not suggested for counter tops, I would be very careful with quartz, I have used it quite a lot in corporate fields. It is also one of the most expensive stones to purchase, I could not afford it for my home and I would no use in kitchen was going to use in bathroom as tile for shower. However, there is silestone which mixes quartz in and that may be what you have that is also expensive. So, let's be careful when you throw expensive out there.
Life is full of choices some good some bad, but the ability to have and give choices is the best part. You get to pick what you like and throw away what you do not like.

I hope this kitchen turns out gorgeous and I also hope they put the money in opening the wall, I think it will increase the value more in the house than anywhere else right now.
thank you for reading this and Namaste.
COConsultants
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 9:29AM
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rdonal
Sorry....angela428. No issues with your suggestions...they were all wonderful. Just pricey. And yes....the customer has the final say. No slight intended.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 9:45AM
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chigh
Re: Moving the fridge next to the wall oven. Generally not a good idea for two reasons. Ovens generate heat. Refrigerators cool. The fridge will have to work overtime if it's right next to the oven. Also, keep your work triangle in mind. Sink, refrigerator, cooktop. These should be within close proximity so you don't have to walk back and forth across the kitchen while you're working. Refacing is cheaper than replacing, but new cabinets may not cost that much more and you get the benefit of choosing which type of cabinet, rollouts, soft-close doors and drawers, etc. you want. If the interior of the existing cabinets is shabby and worn, shelves warped, etc., it might be worth it to get new ones. But of course there's the money issue. I think new cabinet doors are definitely in order. Good luck!
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Diane Fairburn
I would suggest routing out the raised panel of the two upper cabinet and put textured or beveled glass in them, it breaks up all that wood.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 10:57AM
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resale
for the island, i would add a bar height counter and replace the raised panel back with beadboard for a more modern look
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Diane Fairburn
Here's a few pictures adding glass and interior lighting to the cabinets.
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
If your goal is to redo this kitchen on a modest budget and for resale, I have a few comments. First of all, my very first inclination was to do what so many others have recommended: do banquette seating on the inside of the "L" with a round table and chairs. This will be functional, charming and attractive to buyers when you're ready to sell. Doing this will take an awkward island - as well as theawkward space it creates - and turn it into a HUGE attribute. The rest of the room can then be used as a sitting area - another huge plus. I highly, highly doubt that you have hardwood under the island, so piecing in/replacing the hardwood could be a large and expensive job (which would only be an expense - and not a visible improvement - as far as resale). The wall ovens look like older JennAir - make sure you measure to ascertain whether they are 27" or 30" for replacement. Also, measure carefully for the refrigerator - this is where you will find the greatest variance in size, and you will probably want to get a counter depth, or as close to that as possible. As far as finish, paint will give you a lot more options than stain, will be much simpler to apply (although this is a big job!), will get rid of the oak and brighten the room. Benjamin Moore has a product called Cabinet Coat - you can get it in any BM color and it is primer and paint all in one and gives a fabulous finish. The cathedral style doors are quite dated and I would consider replacing these. They only occur on the upper cabinets, however, so that should not be a big expense. Based on your current kitchen (which is lovely), I would paint the perimeter cabinets a cream and the island black or another very deep color. Replace the pulls with simple st.st. or satin nickle. Adding the new counters and backsplash you mentioned, along with a new paint color, and you will have a fresh, beautiful and appealing kitchen without spending huge amounts of money.
2 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Project Partners Design
Interesting dilemma. Whomever designed this kitchen previously did it in such a way as to make the family room the most important part of the space. By wrapping the kitchen around the family room, it becomes less important.

You need to decide how you want to treat the kitchen. If you want to continue the approach where the kitchen is second to the family room, then you can take steps to change bits and pieces. If you want the kitchen to be the more important part of the room, then it needs to be remodeled.

Live in the house for a little while and get a feel for what you want and how you want to use the room. Try to avoid rushing in with short term solutions that won't make you happy in the long run.
2 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:11AM
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rija1
I couldn't agree more with Dennis Gehman's comments. When we bought our home the best advice I was given was to STOP! Live in the space for at least a year and familiarize yourself with it. You have a large space and it can get very expensive. I lived with my kitchen long enough to discover that some things that I originally disliked about it turned out great once I understood the kitchen better. A good designer can be invaluable, and sometimes it's a relatively simple matter of educating you on how to make that particular layout function best. Oak can be beautiful and have different looks. The grain can be enhanced and pronounced or it can recede into the background and almost disappear. It all depends on a professional's choice of how to finish the wood according to your taste. If you want a painted finish a pro can also show you how they can fill the wood so the grain doesn't show through the paint. I would advise against painting the cabs yourself as it's money well spent to pay a pro to do it. You'd scream and tear your hair out if you spent an absolute fortune only to discover that learning the layout, refinishing the cabs, and a different shaped table was all it took to fall in love with your kitchen. Good luck!
2 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:23AM
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suedee
Hi rdonal, I do think you confused me with angela428...my suggestions, advice were pretty $mall in context of this forum :-)

Thanks angela428 for faucet feedback. I'll look into your suggestion on faucets. My reference to Quartz is to the Silestone variety. We installed that in a kitchen slated for quick resale--the cost was = to or better than granite and for sure that kitchen sold the house in record time in the real estate pit of 2009.

Good luck Kelly--since you said you'll sell this house in 2 or 3 years, I think mostly cosmetic changes will serve you well!
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:42AM
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fitzgfny
It is functional as is until you really know what you want. I agree with other comments to live in it and see how the area flows with your lifestyle. Paint the dark red a color you like. I would create an eating area in the ell corner of the island. There is great view from there. Use a table that has hidden leafs in case you need to expand the seating for certain occasions and chairs, not benches. The built in benches are too inflexible if you need to move furniture to accommodate larger crowds for buffets, cocktails, etc. Plus, built in benches are very cumbersome for people to get in and out of - like climbing over each other in restaurant booths or church pews.
Wall ovens - personally a counter on each side of one is a no brainer but you never see that. Don't box in the fridge - sizes are never the same when replacement time comes around. The wall cabinets could be a godsend for storage. Maybe glass on the upper 3rd of doors and some built in lighting there.
If you do feel you need to do something with the counter before a major remodel - I would have the overhang (it looks like a headbanger if you need to get under and into the cabinets) professionally trimmed off and the edge rounded off (demi lune?). The rounded edge makes banging your hip a little less painful.
Again, try living with the current setup for awhile and keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas for redoing. Even a modest kitchen remodel is not cheap and the average person has to live with it for at least the next 20 years. Good luck
0 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Paula Jones
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1126329481373.20271.1321258008&type=3&l=70b2611b79 That is a link to my oak kitchen that I painted and glazed, before and after shots. I love painted oak, the grain looks fabulous with asphaltum glaze that I buy at any Lowe's to around $10. I do think it with some water, apply with a small brush and rub with a damp T-shirt. Hardware came from Lowe's and I got the Uba Tuba granite for $29 SF. My friends have copied me and they love their's, too.
6 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Wow, Paula - fabulous job! That should inspire a lot of people!
2 Likes   May 30, 2012 at 6:21PM
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wasacampbell
We are currently renovating an old home with a large kitchen with the oak cabinets similar to yours but without the arch. It is amazing how much simply changing wall color and counter top/backsplash will change the look. The white counters and red walls in your kitchen really distract from the good bones. I really disliked our oak cabinets because they really looked orange and dated against the previous owner's pink walls (really bad). However, we did not want to rip out the cabinets that are in good shape and were expensive custom made for this kitchen as yours appear to be. Once I took a door off and brought it into our warm neutral toned home it looked totally different and really lovely. Our flooring guy suggested using Old English on the cabinets and existing oak floors to clean them up. I found that the dark color Old English is very subtle and just warms up the oak but doesn't change the color. We are replacing our island(darker stained quarter-sawn oak) for some contrast to all the light oak and a couple of the wall cabinets to match the lighter oak to accomodate our cooktop/ovens but other than that we will paint the walls in a warm color and add new granite. We are also adding pendants over the island which will also cozy up the space. I also think that you should live in the space a while before making major changes. Paint and add new counter tops for sure!!
0 Likes   May 31, 2012 at 7:48AM
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Thomas Fend, Licensed Architect
I would remove the "L" shape island. This island closes down the work area in the kitchen and in addition it does not look good at all.
I would replace it with a wider island, 3'-0" to 4"-0" wide, that is set on a 45 degree angle to the kitchen walls. With the wider island you can use it for seating if that is of interest.
1 Like   May 31, 2012 at 8:38AM
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Shannon Ggem ASID
here is an L shaped island (I think?) that looks gorgeous!
0 Likes   June 1, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Mint Design
Way to much heavy wood here for my taste, and apparently for yours, too. As for colors, for resale I suggest white with grey and yellow accents. I would do the cabinets in white, the walls in a light/medium grey, however I would do the island base in a dark grey. If it is in your budget, I suggest refacing the long wall of cabinets and all the upper cabinets with glass paneled doors. For the cabinets that will contain things you do not want to show, shirr a yellow and white large check fabric on a shirr rod behind the glass. If you do not care for the fabric behind glass on the lowers along the long wall I suggest replacing the glass there with mirror. I generally advise against painting oak because of the grain problem but I must say I am quite impressed with what Paula did. If you can get the same results I suggest you paint the lowers on the cooktop wall and the bar area white and the island base dark grey. As for L shaped island....there are several options....first I would top whatever you do with Carrera marble since it is timeless and it looks great with stainless steel and with grey....be sure to have it sealed and reseal once a year yourself. You can replace the lowers under the non sink side with legs making a table, allowing you to use the window area for cozy seating. However, for resale, kitchen storage sells so consider cutting the L and flipping it to back the sink creating a rectangular island. You then have the option of retaining the overhang for counter eating or removing it and using your breakfast table in the window area. ( the banquette idea is also a worthy one). I would consider updating the faucet and hardware with pewter, antiqued or brushed nickel and consider touch latch interior hardware on the backside of the island. I would consider LED lighting under the uppers and ceiling fixtures over the island as well as a lamp or two, getting rid of most if not all the recessed lighting. Do lighting inside your exposed glass cabinets, either vertical or horizontal tubular lighting behind baffles or in the top of the cabinet if using glass shelves. As for back and sidesplashes I recommend mirror....easy to clean, inexpensive, contemporary yet traditional appearance. I suggest moving your microwave behind a cabinet door and installing a stainless range hood with really good built-in lighting. If you can swing it replace the cooktop with a range and replace one wall oven with a cabinet for the microwave. Someone suggested purchasing used restaurant equipment; great idea but restaurant grade ranges are illegal in many areas and not everyone wants the contents of their refrigerator on display. If there is no wine cooler in the bar area, I suggest adding one. On the ceiling I recommend a silvery reflective wallpaper....not shiny, just muted reflection....goes with the white and the grey and visually raises the space. Hang art, decorative plates, copper pots, whatever suits you on the wall adjacent to the range wall. Again, if it is in the budget, consider adding either French doors or swinging doors on either side of the long cabinet wall.and consider mirrored panels instead of glass if you go for French. Consider yellow/white toile Roman or swag shades on the windows....or grey and white to be more contemporary. As for the floor, I would strip and pickle it . If you planned to be in the house for a long time I would agree with those who say live in it a year or so before doing anything; since you plan to sell fairly soon I suggest you remodel now and enjoy it till you sell. I grew up in South Carolina and have done several homes there. For resale there I think you are better off going traditional with a contemporary edge. Where are you in SC?
0 Likes   June 2, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Mint Design
will try to attach light fixture again....from Visual Comfort
0 Likes   June 2, 2012 at 10:50PM
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creeser
I'm going to make a general suggestion from a different view point. As an ex-realtor and in SC, as well. Different areas have their own styles and if you are definitely looking to re-sell in a few years, don't follow a trend. It will be out of style by the time you're ready to sell and buyers will look at your kitchen, like you're looking at this one. Elegance seems to always sell here in SC. I wouldn't worry too much about wall color as you'd have to repaint before selling anyway. Pick what you like, but just please paint over that hideous red. Oh.. and don't overspend for your neighborhood.
1 Like   June 3, 2012 at 6:14AM
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rija1
I'm just chiming in here to say I did some google image searches. The only results that gave me anything even remotely like yours was round or circular kitchens.. .
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 12:16PM
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sharleeg
that L shape has got to go! It is awkward and not condusive to a good work triangle. Hard to access from some areas as well. Throw it all out and start fresh. No L shape, just an island with breakfast bar. Also reface the cabs, not paint. Too hard to paint oak and have it look good and oak looks so dated as well as the arch style.It is a large space so def go for two finishes here. One light and one dark and a simple cab face, such as Shaker which gos with any design.. you can make it go more traditional or more contemporary as you wish with other elements in room.
I am with Mona Ives on all her comments as well!
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 12:55PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
is there a budget for this project? Really a shame everthing seems to be in nice condition.....just a bit odd in its arrangement. To be aware of cost I'd just redo the l-shape into an island that would be retangular. I would never assume there is wood flooring under any cabinets....!
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 1:04PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
is there a budget for this project? Really a shame everthing seems to be in nice condition.....just a bit odd in its arrangement. To be aware of cost I'd just redo the l-shape into an island that would be retangular. I would never assume there is wood flooring under any cabinets....!
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 1:04PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
is there a budget for this project? Really a shame everthing seems to be in nice condition.....just a bit odd in its arrangement. To be aware of cost I'd just redo the l-shape into an island that would be retangular. I would never assume there is wood flooring under any cabinets....!
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 1:04PM
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rija1
"Throw it all out and start fresh" was one persons suggestion. In that large a space, with today's economy, that's not likely to happen for most of us. Since you plan on selling in a few years, and the home is only 15 years old, perhaps you could still find the builder and see if the layout was done by them, and for what reason. Maybe it was done to maximize the cooks tv viewing access via the family room while still facing their guests. The layout reminds me of the control bridge on the Enterprise in Star Trek. Could it be a possibly be a layout used in professional kitchens? There had to be a reason why it was done. I'm not trying to be flip, just at a loss for words or ideas. I think I'd focus on making it look as nice as possible within reason, until you sell it in a few years.
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 4:08PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
agreeing with the above
it really could work well for two cooking together and dividing up the work space. It would be nice though to gain more dept on the side not containing the sink. might add an eating area at bar height

Any major reworking that will improve the layout will cost tens of thousands and likely never be reclaimed at the time of selling
0 Likes   June 3, 2012 at 4:18PM
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kellychipley
Thank you for all of your comments! Your ideas has inspired me but then I get another suggestion and it keeps evolving! One day I want to build a banquette another day extend the center island. The function of the kitchen works well...unbelievably. I am going to add glass doors at the top. Either paint a light gray or light lime green on the walls. Add pendant lighting. Change all hardware to silver. Haven't decided on cabinets. New curtains. Remove microwave and get double ovens with microwave combination. Add hood to above stove. I've checked all measurements. Havent decided on granite and backsplash. I am meeting with a designer soon...still gathering photos of things i love. The previous owners had a sectional sofa behind the L shape island. Excellent idea about asking the builder, I will look into that.

Thank you immensely for all of your beautiful wonderful ideas!

I am looking forward to a final design that's for sure!! Then I can move on to other areas in the house, equally large but not as challenging!

And I live between Greenville and Spartanburg SC.

Thanks!!!! Kelly
0 Likes   June 4, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Mint Design
Kelly, my family is from Charleston way back but I grew up in Anderson.....small world! I suggest you do carrera marble or white fantasy quartzite (much less maintenance). Granite was way overdone and it will date your kitchen.....The carrera is timeless but much the quartzite looks very similar and is harder, less porous and will not etch if you get acidic foods on it. By silver hardware, you mean like a satin nickel? The decisions you have made sound great and I do hope you will post the after photos!
I am going to be in Anderson for my mom's birthday probably next weekend and part of the following week. Hope you will have some good weather!
0 Likes   June 4, 2012 at 7:58PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
fresh idea......what would you think of using the L-shape of the work space for a banquet.

build in seating with backs and utilize this space for the eating area and the balance of the space could be used for family room....sofa/chairs/etc

?
1 Like   June 4, 2012 at 9:02PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
forgot to mention ...add a round dining table
1 Like   June 4, 2012 at 9:03PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
forgot to mention ...add a round dining table
0 Likes   June 4, 2012 at 9:03PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
forgot to mention ...add a round dining table
0 Likes   June 4, 2012 at 9:03PM
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kellychipley
Awesome designers with personality! Love it! Round or rectangle glass top table?

I'm having a difficult time with the banquette due to having lack of conversation with the cook(s). Although I love the look it would offer to the entire space!
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:34AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
the cook should be completed with their efforts at dinner time and to what a benefit to not have the kitchen exposed to those seated at the banquette....why would anyone be seated at the banquette while the cook was cooking? Any point can be argued
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:56AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
just read you are meeting with a designer soon ....I find that interesting. Why have you asked for comments here when you have a designer heaing your way? I feel you owe us that?
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 6:05AM
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feeny
Gary, she didn't start out planning to consult a designer. She posted the question and then, based on people's responses, realized the job might be difficult enough that she needed to consult one. See the series of comments in first quarter for this exchange. But let me also say that I don't think there is anything wrong with getting a range of ideas from different people, both professionals and amateurs, and thinking out the problems of the space before consulting with a designer. It allows you time to percolate over different configurations and to identify personal preferences, which can only help the final design process.
6 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 6:22AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
amazing what one finds if one reads all the responses

but to your point she did say she was unable to stay focused on one direction of thought, and I believe that comes from not having needs and wants defined prior to looking for a solution.

I too am open for kicking things around.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 6:32AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
amazing what one finds if one reads all the responses

but to your point she did say she was unable to stay focused on one direction of thought, and I believe that comes from not having needs and wants defined prior to looking for a solution.

I too am open for kicking things around.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 6:32AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
amazing what one finds if one reads all the responses

but to your point she did say she was unable to stay focused on one direction of thought, and I believe that comes from not having needs and wants defined prior to looking for a solution.

I too am open for kicking things around.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 6:32AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
I agree Sharleeg...this is a site for input. Not for scolding and punishing.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 12:15PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
I agree Sharleeg...this is a site for input. Not for scolding and punishing.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 12:15PM
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karen paul interiors
This is a really long thread so I don't know if this has been suggested. I'm wondering if the original plan was to have bar stools on the overhang side by the bank of cabinets and a banquette on the "L" side. This takes care of the cook not being lonely and allows for others to visit close by. Just a thought. Also, did you get anything resolved on the treatment of the bank of cabinets?
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Mona Ives
I just want to throw in there that I agree sometimes people just kick around ideas on this site... and that's wonderful for home owners who want to cover all the angles. But there is no substitute for hiring a professional in your home. And as designers it's impossible to do our jobs if our own clients don't trust us. I really don't like the threads (I"M NOT REFERRING TO THIS THREAD AT ALL) where people say "my designer said this, what do you think?" because we are looking at a few pics on a monitor and we are giving our opinions based on that. We all know that's not thorough, but we help out because we love design. But I have to say honestly if you don't trust your designer, don't come on Houzz for a second, third or hundreth opinion. Tell your designer you disagree and then do what you want (it's your house), or fire them if you don't trust them. I had a client insist on doing solid hard wood in his basement, even though I explained engineered was the right choice. I simply said - I've given you all the information you need, and if it's your final decision. If you want to do it in spite of that, then ok. It was very cordial and professional. If you disagree w/ your designer, just tell him or her you disagree.

Don't hire someone who you are just not going to jive with. It's not fair to good designers to have their every move questioned with ammunition from designers all over the country, especially those who have never set foot in your house. If you have hired a designer and want to explore other ideas, just tell him or her. I'm not sure I like this design completely. Can we explore other ideas? Sorry if that was off topic but I just felt the need.
3 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 3:25PM
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AJD Interiors
well said, Mona. and so true!
1 Like   June 5, 2012 at 4:31PM
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kellychipley
Boy oh boy when I just wanted help with a kitchen that I had no idea which direction to take with no experience of what to think of and what would be the best choice.

I thought that with posting my pictures there would be one "right" choice, and someone could tell me what that choice was without hiring anyone.

After everyone's suggestions I thought it best that I hire a professional due to the many options because I do want to make the right choice.

I can't start the job until those decisions have been made, well at least I can't because I need to "see" the whole picture.

And I have yet to hire that professional because I've never hired a professional interior designer before, so just thinking about that is overwhelming because all of you have given so many different options so will they also give different opinions?

But when I do make that phone call I want to know what I like and what I don't like, because at this point my tastes are even changing from the traditional to the comtempory. I would think I would need to give some direction, but maybe not.

Ideally, I thought someone would come up with "it" and then I would start demolishing!
1 Like   June 5, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Kelly, hire either a kitchen designer (best bet) or someone who at least has A LOT of experience with kitchens. You want to make sure that you are presented with not only the best design choices, but also the best economic choices for your situation and possible resale in the next few years. Only someone with excellent experience in kitchen planning and products can give you that advice.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:12PM
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kellychipley
Karen ==> Nothing is resolved on cabintry. We can change the cabinet doors on the top with glass, but we don't want the expense of removing the cabinets. Preferable painting because of the expense of refacing but that is an option if it is the best. Another option my husband likes best is just leaving them oak (I don't like the color at all and want to change it).

I'm trying to remember that this is strickly resale and I will be living here for at least 2 years so this would not be a dream kitchen.

I like the idea of painting the center island a darker color then the rest that someone had suggestion, but before I do that I need to see the bigger picture...
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Kelly: I think that the oak dates the cabinets and is the "builder special". Assuming the rest of the house is as quality as the kitchen looks (even though dated), the kitchen is where you can get the most bang for your buck in resale. As I posted before, please take a look at the Benjamin Moore Cabinetcoat product - no priming, and it is self-leveling; overall, a really, really nice finish. Painting cabinets is a big pain, but for just a gallon or two and some supplies, it will update the house exponentially. I would still do the perimeter in a light color (white, cream) and the island in a dark color. I also think - I know I'm repeating myself - that turning the inside of the "L" into a banquette with a round table would be simple, cost-effective and very custom-looking. Use a large drumshade light fixture (stripes, maybe?) over a round table with 2 or 3 matching chairs, and I think that you will have the WOW factor you want, both to live in the house and to sell the house. I am a kitchen designer in Michigan, and I find the move now is towards a very clean traditional look (kind of "farmhouse") or traditional with a definite contemporary edge in hardware, fixtures, etc. Hope this helps :-)
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:22PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
one could have a 'wash' applied over the oak wood. It may be neccessary to remove the clear coat final finish first though... What this wash would be is a semi-transparent material that would be 'washed' over the cabinets to soften the wood tone and bring in another tone.
If the island is to be a color say white, then a whitish wash could be added to the back cabinets
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:31PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
one could have a 'wash' applied over the oak wood. It may be neccessary to remove the clear coat final finish first though... What this wash would be is a semi-transparent material that would be 'washed' over the cabinets to soften the wood tone and bring in another tone.
If the island is to be a color say white, then a whitish wash could be added to the back cabinets
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:31PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
one could have a 'wash' applied over the oak wood. It may be neccessary to remove the clear coat final finish first though... What this wash would be is a semi-transparent material that would be 'washed' over the cabinets to soften the wood tone and bring in another tone.
If the island is to be a color say white, then a whitish wash could be added to the back cabinets
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 5:31PM
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karen paul interiors
The wonderful aspect of Houzz is that a homeowner can ask questions and get some guidance, and all the while no one has the complete picture of what it really looks like, what the budget is, what the wants and needs are, etc. So, if I were a homeowner and was in the midst of a big remodel I would want to explore every aspect of what can or cannot be done, what works, what doesn't work, and all the while, understand that the contributors are at a great disadvantage. Of course, some homeowners may not understand the disadvantage aspect. As for hiring a designer after having received so much advice from so many people, it often times occurs to a homeowner that he or she is in way over their heads and it is time to bite the bullet and spend the money on a designer. What I think Mona is referring to is questioning the designer a homeowner has already hired. It's no different than a rocky relationship in a marriage. When someone doesn't understand how it works or what the options are and they feel very disadvantaged through lack of knowledge.

I've been a very short while on Houzz and what I find most appealing is to brainstorm with other designers and to hear from naturally talented non-designers. The collaboration is everything in finding a solution that everyone can land on simultaneously, which becomes the driver for a homeowner who is reluctant.

When a seed has been sown and to watch it grow into something we each could not have imagined individually is truly a process of miracles. That's why we are all here. To contribute to something individually and watch it evolve into something we could not have imagined on our own is quite something to behold.

I feel honored to be among so much talent AND to hear from so many people who have an opinion and want to express it. Every piece of input creates the seed for intelligent discourse and gives was to the final arrival of a solution that makes sense. I'm enjoying every minute. What a great opportunity for everyone.
1 Like   June 5, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Mint Design
Karen, it's not worth stressing; you can simply substitute the panels you want to change with glass, with or without a grid to minimize the cost. That, changing the cabinets to white, adding paneled or stainless appliances, changing the colors of the walls, some updated window treatments and a banquette are all pretty low cost options and will pay off when you sell as well as give you a more attractive kitchen while you are there. Take a deep breath and enjoy the process; it will be good practice for your permanent home. Enjoy! :)
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 6:21PM
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karen paul interiors
Kelly, I have to tell you, if I were in your shoes and was looking at a mere two years before resale I would be very careful with my money and I would try to understand resale value and what I could do to dial into that without distraction. The big aspect of your kitchen (for me) is the vacant space where most of us have agreed there could be a banquette with a round table. That is such a huge space and to ask a prospective homeowner to figure out what can be done there is asking a lot. If you put a couple of bar stools on the other side and a banquette with table on the "L" side, prospects will look at that and understand what was intended. That they may have other ideas is very OK, but at least you must have a solution in place for them to have an opinion. I'm not opposed to the little bit of red walls. People can look at that an imagine neutral, very easily. It's just not a big job to repaint what little there is. It's when people see the elephant in the room and when it feels overwhelming they decide to "pass" because of all the work involved. I also would get a really exceptional realtor in there who knows your neighborhood. Give her/him the input you have had and let her/him give you advice and feedback. I wish you the very best.
1 Like   June 5, 2012 at 6:37PM
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laurasmom
Several respondents have advised using Cabinet Coat for painting the oak cabinets in this kitchen. I painted my oak cabinets 3 years ago, using white Cabinet Coat. Two coats of primer as advised by the Benj. Moore store person, and two to three coats of the paint. The grain shows if you hold your tilt your head and catch the light just right. Apart from that, I am happy with the quality of the paint; it cleans easily and after 3 years there are only a couple of chips that need touching up. I have read that applying a Bondo product called glazing putty before priming and painting will fill the grain and yield a good finish, but I haven't tried this myself.
1 Like   June 5, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Mint Design
I heard the same thing about Bondo, but also have not tried it....
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Kathryn Peltier Design
The Benjamin Moore dealer from whom I bought the Cabinetcoat suggested Bondo for filling holes (I am replacing hardware). I found it difficult to work with to fill holes because it was more liquid than wood filler and would actually run through the other side of the hole. I ended up just using wood filler. Bondo would work much better on a flat surface, I think, but it is really a mess when it's sanded. Because the Cabinetcoat is self-leveling, if Kelly is thinking of using it, I would take one of the panels from the upper cabinets which she will replace with glass and try just painting it with 2 coats or so first. Yes, it would be a $50+ investment (I don't know if you can get it in less than a gallon size) but I think this acrylic paint might fill the woodgrain well enough by itself. Larausmom said she used it on oak, and it looks good, but the grain may be different in Kelly's kitchen, or she might just have a different level of acceptance on the grain showing.
0 Likes   June 5, 2012 at 8:46PM
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creeser
Kelly, try going to royswoodproducts.com . We use them all the time. They have a every style of cabinet door you can imagine and are good quality. If you see a door you like, you can measure the cabinet doors you have, call them and get a price on replacing them with a style you like better. There is a variety of glass front cabinets as well. They can give you that over the phone so you'd know if it fell in your budget. They also have some client photos that may inspire. Roy's is located about 3 hours from you in Lugoff on the opposite side of Columbia from you.
0 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 3:36AM
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creeser
When we were looking at house plans, the kitchen on this one I loved. The layout is a little like your's, so I thought I'd share the photo just to toss in an idea. And to give all the proper credits from where the photo came from. The house plan and photos are under architecturalhouseplans.com and the architect is Jon Rentfrow. No designer listed.
0 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 5:59AM
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Mona Ives
Kelly - I know exactly how you feel - you just want a quick and direct answer to your questions - and wow you've gotten a ton of input - ALL of it good in my opinion. But there's so many aspects to the kitchen that need addressing, there aren't any quick answers.

I agree with previous responder (Karen I think) that Houzz is fantastic for professional, intelligent discourse, even if it's slightly disadvantaged. I think that when I meet potential clients who are just starting a project - there are two flavors. 1) The client who knows what they like and has a very good handle on the function they desire, the look and the feel of the final product and 2) the client who is overwhelmed by all the options, possibilities and choices at their disposal. The second type I believe is you. And these are the clients who are the most fun to work with, because they come into the project open minded.

It is indeed helpful to explore all the possibilities (if you haven't thought of them) first. This thread has given you tons of ideas about what you can and can't do. I would think in the case where you have limited resources (budget) and tons of options - even just a single consultation from a kitchen designer (look for someone who has CKD after their name) or someone who has a lot of kitchens you like in their portfolio. Be very clear with anyone you talk to - let them know as closely as possible what your goals are and also be as forthcoming as possible about your budget. If someone acts like they can't be bothered with a project like that, don't even waste another minute on them. You're looking for the designer that enjoys and excels at sprucing up existing kitchens. They are out there. I personally do more of that than I do from-scratch kitchen renovations/installations.

I stick to my suggestion that you bring someone in who can walk around your whole house, look at what you own, discuss your style with you, evaluate your neighborhood and potential resale value, and provide you the best possible suggestions for your space and personal needs. And I'm really hopeful that you'll create something amazing!
0 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 3:36PM
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rija1
An island breakfast nook/area photo showing a banquette solution. I found it online on a website called Elle Decor.
5 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 6:38PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
perfect...that's the solution.. 100% correct....in my opinion
0 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Mint Design
exactly! inexpensive and attractive.... and you can put drawers in the bench for games, placemats whatever....no one ever had too much storage space in a kitchen or family room!
0 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 8:48PM
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rija1
Cresser's photo posted above mine led me to the architect's website. One of his home plans showed a similar configuration that he entitled "breakfast area" on the plans. You (Gary FInley) mentioned banquette and Cresser had the architect's name and the photo, and I enjoy computer research. I don't know about design, but I know what I like, and now I'd love to have this kitchen layout.. A spot like that just begs you to sit down and sip a hot beverage on a cold & rainy winter's night, or....or...lol
0 Likes   June 6, 2012 at 9:42PM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
the space seems odd, until one sees how the space was likly intended to be used, then it all comes together
0 Likes   June 7, 2012 at 6:10AM
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GARY FINLEY, ASID
the space seems odd, until one sees how the space was likly intended to be used, then it all comes together
0 Likes   June 7, 2012 at 6:10AM
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rija1
I also have an 'odd space' in my home, and now I know to dig a little deeper for an/the answer. Thanks for the lesson!
0 Likes   June 8, 2012 at 1:46PM
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kellychipley
Thank you to each one of you for your comments & suggestions because I have learned quite a bit!! I have greatly appreciated every post because this kitchen was overwhelming and no longer due to all your input! I will combine several of your suggestions and I will post pictures after completion! Thank you riija for the picture of the banquette, I can't believe you found a picture exactly like the space!!! And Gary, it seems like it will all come together....finally.....without having the expense of ripping out the island! The fun FINALLY begins (I was stressing over it.....)! THANK YOU!!!
0 Likes   June 10, 2012 at 6:07PM
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valegrl
I agree with the previous post regarding adding a banquette on the back side of the island. Add a small round table and a chair or two around that for a small breakfast nook. You obviously would still have room for a dining table near the windows. You don't have a window with natural light in the kitchen work area, so I would consider going with a light wall color. First and foremost, you must decide how you want the entire space to function. Do you need a breakfast nook, as I suggested along with a dining table or would the area near the windows be better suited to use as a small seating area for guests to be near the cook while she's busy in the kitchen. Regarding the wall of cabinets, as suggested by other posts, glass inserts would glam up that area, the overhanging counter needs to go or be moved to the opposite side of the counter if you prefer counter seating as opposed to a banquette. You have so many options! If you're feeling overwhelmed, do consider consulting a kitchen designer who will be able to guide you in making it the kitchen that works for you. You have a GREAT space but must consider it's use, then decide on the look you like and go for it! Lucky you!
0 Likes   June 15, 2012 at 1:40PM
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kellychipley
Hi Guys! Update ~ the kitchen is underway! I am finally excited about it! Will post pictures after completion! A Huge THANKS to all of you for all of your fantastic & perfect advice!

I also moved on to the exterior, we needed new windows and front door because of wood rot. I posted in another discussion under windows & door. I would LOVE it if you guys were able to go to "my page" and clicked under the 2nd dicussion and let me know what you think! I also thought about adding a covered area the same size as the porch on the front with columns to add character...

Have a GREAT day! Kelly
0 Likes   July 1, 2012 at 4:03AM
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John
The "L" shaped counter top is good because it allows people to actually converse w/o having to always look behind or in front of the person beside them to talk to one down. Don't change that. The problem I see is that the appliances are not all behind the bar, on the cook's side. I took down a wall in our foreclosure home that we are fixing up and ended up with an L bar, counter. I like it. Now I put and island for the cook top on the inside of the L.
0 Likes   July 1, 2012 at 4:24AM
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selawela
Wow! Just read all the comments! Fantastic opinions and ideas! Kelly, any pictures of the kitchen yet?
0 Likes   July 29, 2012 at 10:26PM
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PoshHaus
Any after photos yet?
0 Likes   August 1, 2012 at 2:14PM
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solraven
The L-shaped counter layout reminds me of the kitchen on The Brady Bunch. Except, The Brady Bunch, w/ their architect father, didn't have anything close to a working triangle. Your triangle is perfect; I even like that the ovens are off to the side.
0 Likes   August 1, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Emily Hurley
Just came across this thread again. I'd LOVE to see how the kitchen turne out!
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 1:03PM
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