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Need suggestions for the kitchen
November 18, 2012
Trying to finalize window valances, table/chairs and barstools in kitchen as we just finished family room. Valance over big window wilI Schumacher Westbourne Grove in Mineral. Do I need a valance over the kitchen sink too? Wooded lot so privacy is not an issue. Next, we would like to lighten up the furniture in the kitchen as everything is so dark!! The floors are brazillian cherry yet I don't want to put a rug under the table due to kids!! Suggestions on style and color? Bar stools -- should I go with an upholstered stool or just something simpler? I know I need some color on that side of the kitchen . . . please help!! Kitchen opens up into family room thus I've included those pictures too.
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Very pretty, looks similar to what I did in my old house. Go to lowes and look at their waverly line, they have some nice/more elegant (and inexpensive) patterns and you should find something to go with the existing valance, if not you could change them all out with the Waverly line for under a hundred bucks. I think you need simple stools unless you can find 2 that match your chairs and really you don't have much room there for a stool w/back.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:16AM
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Sorry -- to clarify, that green valance is an outside awning for the deck. It is only up 4 months of the year.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:19AM
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Monique Jacqueline Design

So, here are some thoughts, answering your questions!

Kitchen window, you could do an inside mounted roman, with a small fold depth. It would provide a bit of colour and would tie the two spaces together. It would be a beautiful addition.

Next, table style, do you like the tressle type style that I have linked below? This could be a beautiful addition. You can add two benches and two captain chairs accordingly.

Barstools, I would keep them backless for anything more than 2. What is the width of your island? Is it 54" wide? Are you thinking 2 or 3 stools? Two stools, you could have back on them. Once your dining set is determined, then we can choose the barstools. At that point, we know what style we are tying into.
I hope that this makes sense!

Should you want to discuss in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:43AM
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The island is 59" wide and I am only considering 2 barstools -- not three.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:58AM
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kids0709, you have a wonderful space to work with, lucky you! Here are a few thoughts.My first thought was kitchen was all so much of same wood, with tomes blending into wood floor tones. I would consider painting the island a cream color, picking up a color in the stone. For an inexpensive fix to eat in area, you could paint the chairs in the same light color and have them be a contrast as well. Yes, some color needed. I would add a valance over sink simply for color, to match the colors going on in eat in area. I have always laminated fabrics that i use for barstools where children are involved. It helps with comfort, color and it practical as well.Could do same for chairs in eat in. Some brightly colored placemats on table will help a lot as well. Hope that helps a bit, best of luck to you! Oh and please remove that green plant over cabinet. A dust collector and dates the look:))
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:59AM
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Love honesty!! Thank you sharleeg! Consider plant removed.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:24AM
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I love your wood. I had a Brazilian cherry floor in my last kitchen and used 2'x3' natural colored cotton area rugs in front of the stove and sink. They can be thrown into the laundry, break up the wood, and provide cushioning for standing long periods of time.

You are fortunate not to have to worry about privacy. With that in mind, I would leave the kitchen window and dining windows as they are -- no valances. They always look fussy to me. And yes, lose the plant!

You mentioned you didn't want to put a rug under the table because of the kids. Don't the chairs wear the floor? An inexpensive oriental rug (check Overstock.com) with lots of color and pattern would camouflage spots, protect your floor, and cut down on noise as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Your kitchen and living area look to me like they could almost be from two different homes. Your kitchen is extremely traditional, with deep warm tones, curved wood details, and ornate chandelier. Your living room, while traditional with your seating style, reads more transitional due to the tailored cooler tones of your lamps, window treatments, dark wood and cream fabrics .
As you contemplate what to do with your kitchen windows/ways to add color to your kitchen, I would focus on things that would also help those two rooms transition better between each other.

-Valences in off-white / linen that have clean look
-2 Cream rugs to be put down infront of two perimeter sides (brighten/break up the floor the floor), or paint Island cream (rugs are cheaper to try first)
-Wood counterstools that are black or espresso
-Change the chandelier. This is element is what is most different from style of living room. Adding something with a linen shade, black or ORB hardware, clean lines
-Can't see your hardware so well, make sure it is black or ORB
-Change out cans above island for 2 mini pendants
-Change out can above sink to mini pendant (not absolutely necessary if adding pendants to island)
-If you can swing it, I would change the table/chaairs, or at least change the chairs out for some ladderback (or other square back), could be in black or espresso.
-Keep area on top of cabinets clear, remove the plant and put it someplace else if it is real
-Remove things from your refrigerator and as much clutter as possible. I know this is a hard one (I have three kids ;), but it will help make things feel more clean-lined like your living room.
--Put a picture up somewhere in the room (replace piece over the door?) with something that has a black/espresso frame and pulls a lot of linen, warm tones AND the blue (just a tiny bit) from the living room.

First photo shows lighting example
Second photo shows valance and table and/or chair examples

These are all just suggestions to consider. You still have a very lovely home even if you didn't do any of them!

1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:40AM
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ccwatters great comments. You've hit the nail on the head as I'm trying to tone down the very traditional ktichen and bring it a bit more transitional as I've chosen for the family room. Most likely I was going with the Schumacher Westbourne Grove valance (see image) and was thinking that we'd replace the current chairs with double crossback chairs in distressed ivory to give it the square back like you mentioned. But what color would I refinish the table? Two tone with darker top and ivory bottom? All one color?? And you'd recommend the dark stool as opposed to an ivory stool? All the hardware is ORB and I go back and forth on the chandelier. Replace or not? I have been considering pendants for the island too.
    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:40PM
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My thought was to pull the living room elements into the kitchen by adding a good amount of cream and dark brown/black (I can't tell what you have on those tables in your living room), and then a tiny bit of the blue color from your lampshades.

I feel that some black/brown is needed in your kitchen. I would personally do that with your table/chairs and counterstools. You can put some cream color chairpads on you kitchen-table chairs to add additional cream elements (besides the valances, lighting and rugs), but I would keep the counterstools simple/unadorned.
You could go with cream if you prefer it, but look at the photos below to get an idea....I suggest doing a split screen on your computer (opening an additional window with this thread) so you can see what the different tables look like right next to your space.
I just think the dark table/chairs/barstools bring more balance / ground the kitchen a bit better, while blending in. I think they bring a more transitional look where the cream leans a bit more country in a space already so traditional. And you definitiely don't want to do distressed in this instance either.
You could paint your current table legs/apron while leaving the top the way it is for now to see if that will do the trick. You can always paint the top if you're still not convinced.
If you are willing to paint, check out Craigslist and see what is currentlly being offered for kitchen / dining tables / chairs as I think the simplicity of a pedestal table (see below) would be worth considering. if you go with the drum shades (on chandelier / pendants), you could also choose a rectangular table. You could add a long cream table runner to match your chair pads (maybe even include some of your other needed colors here)
Speaking of colors.....I hesitated to mention this the first time, but I wounder what changing your yellow walls to a neutral like BM Revere Pewter (first color swatch below) would do. I think a soft neutral will help tone down some of the warmth in the cabinets/floor, read more transitional. If the Revere Pewter is too gray of a tan, look at the BM Fairway Oaks in the next photo. The last photo is another tan neutral I think could work, but I actually wanted to point out the picture on the wall. These "colors" are what you should look for in your own print, but with a dark frame.

Btw, I didn't see a link to your valances.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:10PM
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hi kids. Checked on that Schumacher.. says it's discontinued? Anyway, it is so different from your other adjacent room with creams and blues, it's very orange red and green, very vivid colors.Are you planning on keeping LR as is? I would recommend staying in the same ( basic) color palette. so it flows well. or maybe a different color brought in, but not completely different in feeling and color as these two are. I do like that you are considering more transitional though. The lighting and door hardware,and some new, straighter chairs, not so country will help. Maybe you can find a pattern you like with blues and creams,, or creams, maybe with a hint of blue, even a border to tie in the 2 spaces. Perhaps the walls could go more taupe to off white or even a hint of gray..A large drum style shade. Bringing in navy can help make it feel more sophisticated too.Rugs and possibly painting that island will do wonders. Those turned legs on table and chairs very country traditional. Best of luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:14PM
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sharleeg : the fabric is Schumacher Westbourne Mineral Grove. http://www.fschumacher.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?sku=1326002 Maybe you had looked up the wrong one? I was thinking that this flowed nicely from the family room to the kitchen. Right now the walls are BM Camelback 1103 and the family room is BM Believable Buff. We just got the family room painted yet I was hoping to keep the kitchen color and lighten it up with the curtains and wood. But now I'm confused if I should go darker table/chairs as opposed to ivory . . . I keep losing sleep over this!!
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Re-assess what you are trying to accomplish.
If you want to brighten up the kitchen, going with lighter table/chairs and barstools can help accomplish this (as well as the other suggestions of valences, rugs, lighting). This may, however, lend a more country tone to your already traditional kitchen.
If you also want to tie the two rooms together better in both color AND style, I would take a longer look at going with the dark table/chairs and barstools. With the addition of cream-toned rugs, valences, chairpads, picture and lighting, I think you can have the best of both worlds with this option.
If you can't visualize this in person or with your posted pics and insoiration pics, try things out in the space. Purchase some cream-tone rugs for perimeter from Homegoods (or even Target), a cream chair pad, and both dark and cream barstools (2 of each). These things are portable and can easily give you some real-life perspective on what will look best for what you are trying to accomplish:

Remove your current table/chairs, put rugs in place (between perimeter and island), and place a barstool by your counter and one where your table used to be (using same color). When you put the black set of stools in place, add the chairpad to the stool in the dining area. The lightness of each pad on each chair will add to your mission of lightening things up. See which you like best, and look at them in split screen with your kitchen AND your living area.

I posted examples of each wood tone. I also posted a pic of your valence material. It is very pretty, gorgeous colors. This will look more country in your kitchen, however, if you don't change out your chandelier to a more tailored one. It may also read more country with a cream table, but tailored light fixtures will help.

I coildn't find Believable Buff, but the Camelback definitely has a very warm tone to it.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Sorry, those are small pictures. Go to the Pottery Barn website to see larger photos of the tables
1 Like    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:46AM
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ccwaters : fantastic! Surprisingly I woke up this morning and put a dark espresso colored chair (from my office) at the kitchen table and really liked it. I didn't notice how it would help tie in the family room furniture. I've attached a picture of the other piece of furniture in the family room -- espresso colored!!! I definitely want to steer clear of ANY country look. I didn't consider cream rugs. What do you mean "perimeter?" Where are you saying to put those rugs? I was thinking of a light colored one at the back door (to the left of the window behind the kitchen table) and one in front of the kitchen sink. I am CONSTANTLY buying and returning so that wouldn't be a problem to try everything out. Oddly enough, I'm headed to PB now to look at different colored lamp shades for the family room. I'm not sure I"m sold on the blue ones. Should I just go with more ivory? They look really pretty but I don't know if I'm getting too "matchy, matchy."
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:31AM
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The wall cabinet to the right of the sink feels unconnected to the rest of the kitchen. You should consider adding a larger raise panel arched valance in the same finish as the cabinets. That will anchor the cabinet to the rest of the kitchen. You could set the valance back an inch or two from the front of the cabinet to create a better detail. The crown moulding will need to be rework to include the new valance.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:08PM
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I don't mind the blue / don't think they look too matchy. If you end up swapping them out for ivory, put a blue pillow (more prominent in the blue color than the ones you have now) on the loveseat.

Also, after seeing your stairway, I would stain / glaze the banister a deeper brown to pick up your darker wood tones. This is a very clean / updated look, and your banister (which looks very traditional right now) is perfect for it. I see you have a second staircase, so a dark banister would help unify your overall style throughout the house. I also might move your entertainment center to the right about 6-12 inches ( if you can still watch tv) and see what your vase looks like on the left side of it. Lastly, I would add just a few branches of warmer colored twigs mixed in your vase to bring some of the cherry color up the wall a bit, further pulling the two rooms together more.

A rug in front of your kitchen door is fine, and actually very functional. Just make sure the door can clear it. Before seeing the door, my suggestion was for you to put rugs in between your perimeter cabinets (those cabinets that form the 'L' of your kitchen) and your island. This was less for function, and more for covering some of the floor / bringing some brightness into your kitchen.

Also, the suggestion by KBDesign makes sense. Seeing as you are trying to lighten the space / tie the two rooms together, however, I would first see if the valance you end up choosing ties those two cabinets together. Just a little bit of a dark color in the fabric may be enough without being as powerful as a wooden valance. I think that may do the trick!

1 Like    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:34PM
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cc waters : quite the 24 hours it has been. Been back and forth to PB. Keeping the blue shades after bringing home and trying the ivory and bisque colored shades. Didn't like either so sticking with my original like. Nixing the ivory colored chairs. Thinking espresso is going to be the choice and hope to mix in an ivory geometric rug at the door and perimter. Now here's the kicker: after thinking that I was all set on the Schumacher fabric, I'm now wondering if there is barely enough blue in it to actually pull the two rooms together. Where else am i going to get that blue?? So I'm back to the drawing board and wondering what you may think of either of these Stout fabrics: http://www.estout.com/details.asp?sku=TORR-2 or this one: http://www.estout.com/details.asp?sku=EAGO-4. If the links don't work it is Stout Torrington 2 Seagreen and Stout Eagon Seascape. The kitchen wall is http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/camelback
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:21PM
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cc waters : also, what is the thought on moving the sticks to the other side of the TV? Interesting and will consider it. Would you put anything in its place? Clarify the "warmer colored twigs" comment -- do you mean stems with flowers in a reddish color? Honestly, you are probably laughing right now!
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Ivory pads on the dark chairs will be nice too.
As far as your valence pattern is concerned, the one you selected will definitely give you a bigger punch of your blue. It may have a harder time, however, looking 'grounded' to anything else in the kitchen. The other valence fabric would not have necessarily been my first choice either, but it had some cream in it to tie it in with your cream rugs, lights, etc. But as you know, the best way to decide on something like this would be to order a sample swatch and actiually put it up where you want it... and pay extra for a larger sample.
Another one that you may want to consider is: http://www.estout.com/details.asp?sku=KODI-2
I attached a picture below.
I like it because it ties into the cream and blue, your wall color AND your cabinet color. I think it will tie things better, if you like it. I also actually prefer the design for what you are trying to accomplish as it is more transitional than the other pattern, which is beautiful, but more French country in your already-traditional space. The only question is if it can pull enough of the blue in for your liking. Again, I would get a sample of this as well.

Adding artwork, as mentioned before, will help bring in blue as well.

My thought on moving your vase was due to the entertainment center looking like it needed to be centered more, as the diminishing wall area (due to stairs on the left of it) makes it look out of place. It doesn't look grounded.Moving the vase to the left could help balance things on the wall, though you will not know until you actually try it out. My thoughts on warmer branches are to tie the red of your floor into the room a bit. The room is filled with cooler tones, except for the floor. Adding just a few branches (or berries if it is for the holidays) to your existing branches, wil help give a tiny splash of warmth to the room, which is all it really needs.
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:41PM
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cc waters : LOL! Did you really just suggest a fabric that was $95 per yard? The Schumacher fabric was already pushing it!!! Any other suggestions that aren't out of the "Expensive Embroidery" collection? =) But I really did like the design! You're good! I'd love to get some geometric in there! Swatches for both that I suggested have been ordered already -- larger sizes for the purpose of having them hang for a while. (As I did with the Schumacher fabric.) And last question for the twigs: when you say "adding just a few branches" do you mean something with flowers on it? I have branches/twigs in there already . . . I'm all over the berries for the holidays but need clarification on the other 11 months of the year.
    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:45PM
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I suggested a fabric I thought would better tie your rooms together in both color and style. Sorry, I have no idea what your budget is, as my comments have been casual / you aren't one of my customers who has discussed budget with me, but just trying to help.
You can definitely choose whatever fabric fits your style and budget. If it is over budget and you like it, you can decide if it's a splurge that's worth it, or if it is something you would rather draw inspiration from.
My suggestion was about adding a few more branches/twigs, not flowers. I put some branches like the ones you have in a friend's house, but they were cherry-wood red. Adding just a few 'to' your already-existing branches/twigs will pull just a subtle bit of the red from your floor. Again, something to try in the actual space to see if you like it. Virtual design can be a great starting point, but seeing it in the actual space will be the true testament to whether it works or not, as you saw in adding dark wood (as opposed to the cream wood) in your kitchen.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:19PM
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ccwaters oh don't be sorry!! Truly have appreciated all of your feedback. I was just giving you a hard time. Question regarding my blue fabric choice that would give me the bigger punch of blue . . . thinking about it last night -- maybe I don't need as drastic a blue in the kitchen and should stick with the Schumacher with a hint of blue? Does it matter if the Schumacher has more of a blue as opposed to a seafoam blue in the family room? This was another fabric I was thinking about : http://www.decoratorsbest.com/prod-BIGWIG_1_SEAGLASS-266999.aspx It has more open space in the background (not as tight) and wondering if I piped it in another color if that would help it stand out a bit against the BM Camelback paint. At night, it seems that this fabric blends in with the wall color too much. As for the TV stand, it is positioned there so it is directly across from the sofa which sits center on the window. Maybe we will move it down and see if that isn't a problem. I do think I would need something to fill that space though. A bench or armless chair? Nothing? I also have an eterge (sp?) that is the same color as the hardwood floors! I was thinking of refinishing that and putting it in the corner behind the mercury base lamp in the family room. Should I do that in espresso too? Good location for it? Also, where would you recommend a frame collage for family photos? Would that work on the wall to the right of the fireplace? Use all espresso colored frames with mats? I guess I should bring color to the wall going up the back staircase, huh? Originally I was thinking three of these scrolled pieces but wonder if paintings/artwork would be better suited. Any suggestions there? And thanks for the twig clarification. Will put that on the Home Goods shopping list!
    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:10AM
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FYI the eterge I am referring to is pictured above in the original family room.
    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:11AM
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I would leave your family room as is, but try out the tv/stand moved to the right, vase/branches moved to the left, adding some warm branches. This would help balance things on that wall. You may not need to add anything more, but you won't know until you take the first step.

Whichever valence fabric you go with in kitchen, remember that anything traditional (like those you have asked about) will help less with pulling your rooms together, compared to one that is still soft, yet more linear in design (like the one I suggested)

Tackle your kitchen first, then worry about your stairway artwork. One thing at a time, because it can change the way you feel about surrounding spaces as well.
    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:55AM
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