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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help redesigning kitchen and living room

patricia312November 17, 2012
We are buying a house and plan to redesign kitchen before moving in. We want to make it a Tuscan style and plan to install wood flooring throughout the house. We plan to remove the L island and enlarge the free standing island and make seating around two sides of it. We would like to replace the upper cabinets but leave the lower cabinets in place but not sure best way to redesign them - either paint a darker color or light color and add 'aging' to corners. For the living room we are contemplating either staining the posts and ceiling darker or installing a faux square facing - not sure what would be best. Also, for the Keva fireplace we want to either paint it or put the stacked stone on lower half. We are looking ways to do this on a budget. Your ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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Have you considered leaving the upper cabinets and adding more on top of the existing ones and add molding to the ceiling? Makes the ceiling look taller and still provides you with lots of storage space. I agree, would get rid of the "L" extension and make a huge island! The big look now is painting your cabinets one color and make your island a darker color. Paint and glaze can transform a room!

For your main room, I would not make that ceiling dark or it will make your ceiling feel really low! Consider painting the boards the same color as your walls (or even lighter) and stain the beams (nice walnut color). What if you faux the fireplace? Do the middle and bottom section one color and then a different color on top. Again, glaze or metallics ~ will add texture! Keep your walls light so you have a nice contrast! Hope that helps!
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:59PM
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And if you're not partial to the beam look, take them down and paint the ceiling . . . .or paint all of it!! the beams have more of a mountain feel than tuscan.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Leslie Haney
what is existing looks quite southwestern inspired to me. To go Tuscan, you'll need to add warmth and darken up. Are you considering rod iron? For the fireplace, certainly cover the surround with rustic stone. (that is a DIY) Paint and glaze will go a long way with your spaces. Like your idea of eliminating the L and going with an enlarged island - that will certainly make it up to date and more useable. An idea for the upper kitchen cabinets. Take full advantage of the ceiling height and at least stagger the height of each upper unit. Add drama to the cabinet above the stove. If you can ditch the electric range and get a semi-pro line gas or duel fuel unit. Counter-top? What's your thought there? Stone? Backsplash? I also see a really fun handing rustic (rod iron)chandelier over the larger island.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Leslie Haney
that should read "hanging" not handing. ooops
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Grace Reed
Hi Trisha. I'm a kitchen designer at Home Depot and have several suggestions. 1st, don't do anything in the kitchen before finding a good kitchen designer! I'd start by designing with a blank slate. Find the best layout & storage. Then see where/if your existing cabinets can be used. 2nd, be open to replacing them all. It sounds like you're going to re-do everything...except replace a couple base cabinets (which look like basic builder grade). They are the most important! Get good drawers and lots of storage options. If you can't replace everything, do the wall cabinets later or reuse the ones you have. 3rd, take your time. I find that kitchens "evolve" as you work with them. Right now, the appearance is what you're focused on. But, don't sacrifice the function for a more expensive door, for example. As far as the layout... Yes, remove the peninsula & enlarge the island. Move the fridge across from the sink, if at all possible and flank it with tall storage. Speaking of "tall". Create the appearance of cabinets to the ceiling without putting cabinets there unless you really need the storage and don't mind having a ladder nearby! You can check out my Idea Books if you'd like. I have one for "To the Ceiling". Grace
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:21AM
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Susan Jablon Mosaics
Hi patricia312!
As far as the cabinets are concerned, I would say either do white paint with a glaze for an aged look, or a dark mahogany stain, depending on whether you like the look of wood grain or not. The beams on the ceiling are so beautiful, but for a Tuscan inspired room they should be a dark wood color. It looks like there isn't an existing backsplash in your kitchen, and that should be something you consider as part of your overall design. A backsplash can really add something special and unique to this great room. For dark wood cabinets, you could go with a lighter color tile, maybe even stone or marble tile to create that Tuscan feel. With white/aged cabinets, you could go with a really rich, warm color. Below are some ideas!
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:36AM
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
I would advise you to replace all the kitchen cabinets. The existing cabinet construction, 3/4 overlay with exposed hinges, is a very dated look and may give the appearance that something was overlooked when the are topped by new shiny countertops and back splashes. Additionally, using the existing cabinetry means there may be little room for improvement with regards to functionality of the cabinets themselves and/or the organization of the kitchen. Removing the peninsula and existing island in favor of one larger island with ceiling is an excellent idea.
As for the living room, cladding the fireplace with tile with a Tuscan mottif is an easy do. However when it comes to the paint and finishing the posts and beams, I would suggest that you live in the house through the winter and into the spring so you have a better sense of the natural light which can significant impact your color/hue choices.
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Dura Supreme Cabinetry
This Mountain Resort style would work perfect in your space. I'd go with darker distresses cabinetry then stain only the Ceiling beams to match the cabinetry will help add character and tie in the darker wood color. Leaving the rest of the ceiling unstained will help keep consistency throughout the rest of your home. Have the island cabinetry match the original ceiling finish will also keep a consistent flow and tie in the ceiling with the kitchen. I would also stone the fireplace and frame it in with a wood mantel that matches the cabinetry and ceiling.
Mountain Resort Kitchen · More Info

Mountain Resort Kitchen · More Info

Here’s an example of a similar wood color combination.
Mix it Up - Rustic Country · More Info

Mix it Up - Rustic Country · More Info

Here are a few ceiling examples where the beams are darker than the rest of the ceiling wood work.
Portola Valley · More Info

Gabriel Builders · More Info

Here’s a quick mockup to help illustrate the fireplace and ceiling idea…
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:30AM
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