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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with kitchen re-configuration

realtourNovember 12, 2012
Our plan as a quick fix without totally rehabbing the kitchen is to swing the cabinets that are hanging over the L counter up against the wall in the dining room. Your thoughts? Also, what are some ways to update these cabinets, again quickly, and inexpensively? I was thinking a dark stain and new hardware. Thanks!
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Inspired Interiors by Wendi, IIDA
I would remove the cabinets above the counter entirely, as it will really open up the space. I would then paint the remaining cabinets a charcoal grey and update the hardware to complement the stainless steel appliances. Or, if new countertops are in the budget, I would do just the opposite: paint the cabinets white and install charcoal countertops.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 12:54PM
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I am anxious to see what you end up doing with your kitchen. My kitchen is almost exactly the same set up.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:03PM
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You go first!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Paint or stain cabs, replace hardware and replace hinges to euro hidden if possible. Take the top cabs off on dining room side. Hang pendants over that counter, and remove the top little railing detail on top of cabinets entirely....that's where I would start.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:28PM
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The detail at the top is the first to go, and I like the euro hinges as well. Thanks!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:06PM
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So we are thinking about laminate countertops and backsplash, and painted cabs to hold us over for the first year or two. Any advice dealing with the laminates? Or any color scheme ideas since we will be replacing everything. Also keep in mind the dining room meets the living room. So the color will have to flow throughout the house.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Paint the cabinets white, gray countertops and matching gray paint in the living room. Navy, gray and white are a beautiful, crisp combination.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:11PM
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That's the combo I would love. I can't talk my wife into it. It doesn't match our 7 year old sofa love and love seat....
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Really? Ok, your sofa and love seat look white to me, sorry!
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:22PM
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What color is the existing back splash?

What about painting the bottom cabinets balck and the uppers white? Or the bottom cabinets red and the uppers creamy white?
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Haha, sorry, all the furniture is what was left from the previous owners.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:24PM
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The existing backsplash looks like a 40 year old brick laminate
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Moving the peninsula cabinets out of the way could work. It depends partly on how they were built. They look like very good quality stick built cabinets, not modular units. My guess is that they are birch with partial overlay doors. You may be able to get a finish carpenter in to remove some of the cabinetry and who can add a side wall panel where the cabinets will end abutting the dining room for a few hundred dollars. Extending them into the dining room without adding bottom cabinets is likely to look silly or make-do.

The screw holes in the black colonial hinges are unlikely to match any other style's, but perhaps there will be a plain H-hinge that fits. You might think about making them less obtrusive by spray painting them to match whatever cabinet finish you like. Or switch to copper finish colonial hinges and copper pulls. But I urge you to get an estimate for new stain grade birch cabinets of the same quality before you go painting or staining the ones you have. If you do paint, of course you can fill the holes and put in less emphatic hinges.

Congratulations on your new house. It's often a good idea to live in a place for a few months before making major changes.

You can reuse the sheer curtains, by the way, after removing the formal valances, assuming the latter are not to your taste. Check the label to see if they can just be run through the washer and dryer. Saves money for more pressing needs such as new lighting or new faucets.
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Do you live near an Ikea within 30 miles or so?
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:59PM
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By the way, after moving in, you may decide to keep the white countertops for a year or two while expenses settle down. A new tile or glass backsplash would be a good update without costing much. If the previous owners are the ones who had the brick installed, they may remember what is under the brick veneer and how it was attached.
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:01PM
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If you live near Ikea, you can change up your living room furniture so affordably...even in the traditional style you have. It's just a thought, because then you could paint your cabinets a warm white, and put in your gray/black laminate countertops....and it will fit right in with your living area. White subway tile backsplash with a warm gray grout will update the look, yet the darker grout will soften the look. Your current dining table and chairs will work with this too.

I used the same elements, although this was a brand new build and therefore new cabinets. Even so, I am thrilled with how the laminate countertops, 23 cents home depot/lowes subway tile, and Ikea slipcovered Ektorp sofa ($400 for the sofa!) end up looking so much nicer than what I paid for it all! The Ektorp comes in several different slipcover options (solid, stripe, floral, etc), in sofa, loveseat, chair, sectional, ottoman, etc. My overall style was beachy (it's a cottage), but that is due to accessories (rug, pillows, etc). You could easily use the same affordable elements and keep your more traditional style. I have the Ektorp sofas in my more traditional 'home' as well. Love that they are slipcovered and can be washed (3 kids :)

Btw....I LOVE my laminate. Surprised me how much I love it! I had wanted soapstone, but too pricey. I have granite at 'home', and I actually admire my laminate more! It is warmer than granite, I don't stress about anything too acidic being on it, I can accidntally drop something on it and it doesn't automatically shatter, and it was such a bargain! I made it slightly thinner than the traditional laminate thickness, and everyone thinks it is soapstone at first. You can see it in the photos below.
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:38PM
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Remove the top cabinets above the island and it will open it up. Removing the little trim off the top of the rest of the cabinets will update the room. That's a start! :)
    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 6:53PM
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If you are changing the laminate counter tops now I would start with that before anything else-find what is available in your area and price range and for your tastes first before re-doing the cabinets-cabinets you can stain, paint (I painted mine same style in a very deep wine and it looks great) If you are leaving the brick you may have enough dark color in the room-if it were my space I would compliment the color of the cabinents with the brick navy blue, deep orange, an olive green-you don't state if you like classy, fun, nuetral, country, french etc as far as style goes. The counter is a large focal though I do suggest starting there.Even before deciding on the backsplash. Cupboards are a time consuming task-even for just a yr or two 'fix' -think that part thru a bit and move a little slow there before deciding.Good luck and hve fun!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Inspired Interiors by Wendi, IIDA
@realtour, if that is the combo you really love, you could slipcover the sofas you inherited from the previous owners. Pottery Barn has some great, affordable options in charcoal gray:

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:30AM
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Hi---yes, definitely remove the cabs and upper trim. If you can incorporate them into the dining area-great...
I suggest painting the cabinets a soft white-or-soft white uppers and espresso bottom cabs, installing a laminate counter (warm color), and an interesting backsplash.
Wall color throughout kitchen/dining/living areas Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter...
Slipcovers for furniture-neutral rug, toss pillows, window panels/roman shades on all the windows.
I also suggest painting the brick the same color as the walls, then dry brushing it the soft white paint as the kitchen cabs. Paint all the wood trim throughout your home with the soft white too.
Pics for inspiration---backsplash, laminate, painted FP and color palette. Hope this is helpful. Good Luck!
Hollywood Chic Living Room · More Info
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:04AM
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Remove cabinets over counter. Hang micro over the stove. Use the taller cabinet boxes on stove wall. Get new doors with euro hinges; have a professional paint job in light neutral color. Professionals spray the new wood doors in their shops and bring them to your home already painted.Consider the quality of the backsplash. If quality is not to your standard, just remove and paint wall area. A good washable paint unites the room color and saves money. Add granite counter tops with the back edge. A back edge is necessary when not using tile. Most important to me was to have the inside of the bottom cabinets fitted with pull out fully extended drawers to hold items. The bottom pull out drawer should have a deeper lip than the top pull out.If you decide to change door styles, the same carpenter will fit the drawers. Adding a trash can pull out would be helpful too. Good luck.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:57AM
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Update. Pulled out the cabinets. Now we are planning for an entire kitchen remodel.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:14PM
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