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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma


Lightfoot HomesDecember 10, 2012
6 Year old Kitchen abit scuffed up and Fading Colour

My Plan -

Reface Cabinets Etc. to a darker shade
Make Island larger with more seating
New Granite Counters
Move Island Stovetop to an Outside wall with large exhaust Hood Fan
Change cooktop to a gas cooktop
pot filler
new backsplash
Move Microwave to Island

What would you guys do?
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Granite Transformations
I like the idea of going with a darker shade for the cabinets, maybe going with something black. I'd paint your kitchen to give it some more color, right now it's lacking warmth.

I also like the idea of picking granite countertops and a new backsplash. I'd suggest a mosaic tile for the backsplash, we have several you can see here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/products/mosaic-tiles/colors/

The idea of increasing the size of the island I like, but I don't know about the idea of moving the microwave there. What about getting a new gas oven and putting it below it's current position? You could install a microwave with a vent/fan above it and get a larger wall cabinet were the microwave currently is.

However, I do like your idea, I'm just wondering how practical a microwave located on the oven is going to be.

Good luck!
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:42AM
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My opinion is that you need some lighter colors in the kitchen. The cabinets you have now are very dark and the floor is on the dark side. Since you want to move the cooktop to the exterior wall, adding a pot filler, and installing a vent hood, there will be a lot of work going on there. The entire configuration of that wall will change while running gas, electrical, and water to that location. You may end up with all new cabinets to make it function properly. You will need to work in refacing with new cabinets or just change everything.

I would provide some color and brightness to the room. I like the larger island and I would get some color by installing a cream color cabinet with a darker glaze to complement the darker cabinets on the walls. I like the installation of an oven in the tall cabinet with a microwave above it. That with the cooktop next to it will save you some steps.

Granite and Quartz can bring in some nice colors while enhancing the island. A tile splash can add some color with maybe a tumbled stone or a Subway tile.

Good luck with your project and I hope it works out to your satisfaction.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Light In Art
I would reface the cabinetry to a lighter shade because right now the room looks a little dark because of the dark flooring and the dark cabinetry. I think making the island bigger with more seating is a great idea, you definitely have the space for that, you can even put a beautiful lighting fixture over the island either going modern like this white Galaxy Pendant, or bringing in some color like this Autumn Leaves fixture.

You can find the fixtures are www.lightinart.com
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Superior Custom Cabinets
With the extent of the changes you are talking about I suspect refacing will be more expensive then starting over with new cabinets. It would be worth your time to get bids for both.
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
After only 6 years, I find it terribly wasteful to be thinking about refacing or replacing the cabinets. If they are scuffed and fading, I suggest painting them. You could possibly increase the size of your
island by just changing your countertop to extend in two directions, if there is space. If your kitchen is looking dark, then you could improve the lighting over the island, and select a light color for the cabinets.

I'm not in favor of pot fillers. Yes, they fill the pot. But once you have boiled your pasta in the pot, you will have to carry it to the sink to drain it. If you are handicapped, it could be a benefit if there is someone around to carry the pot to the sink for you.

If you do a lot of frying, a large exhaust fan can be useful.
6 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:23PM
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I agree with Carolyn about the waste of redoing six-year old cabinets. My kitchen cabinets are 50 years old and still going strong. Yes, the original owners choose great quality. However, my great painter-woodwork restorer spent a week with my cabinets and they look great--not new, but great. They go with the age of the house, polished brass doorknobs and all!
4 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I would increase the size of the island, so that there is room for all of the stools without being crowded. I would also add lights over the island.
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Lightfoot Homes
Thanks for the input...

The Upper Cabinets are in fine shape but the Lower Cabs have Moisture damage around the Dish Washer and Sink Areas...Maybe the Lowers a Dull White with Refaced Black Uppers..
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:25PM
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A different light over the sink, maybe a small chandalier.
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:26PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
If the upper cabinets are in fine shape, why would you reface the uppers? I would not put black uppers with white lower cabinets. I would prefer to have the black on the bottom because otherwise I think the black on top would look too heavy over white lower cabs.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You definitely have a good reason for a pot filler and you don't sound at all lazy to me.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:46PM
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Aegean Designing Whims
I actually like your kitchen on the dark side. In fact, I'd consider painting the cabinets black, but do the uppers and lowers if you want to be dramatic. I thought about black when we repainted our kitchen cabinets, but opted for grey with marble tops (marble isn't practical, but I don't cook!).

I'd definitely make the island larger, and make it a different color than the what you ultimately decide to do with the cabinets.

I also like the idea of a cream color with glazing, which a good painter can do for you. It depends on what woods you have in the rest of the house.

Have someone come out and tell you if you need refacing, or what your options are. And everything depends on how much your budget is whether you reface or paint.

1 Like    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:25PM
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like it
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Lightfoot homes, this is a lovely kitchen but without seeing it in person it's difficult to assess its condition and surface materials. The present island is definitely too small to seat four comfortably, but I would be concerned about obstructing the traffic flow and clearance for the refrigerator if the island is enlarged.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:15AM
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Jason Ball Interiors, LLC
Kitchen design is one of the trickiest tasks for interior designers, but also one of the most fun. There are a couple of changes I would make in this plan to make it super successful.

Lighting: From what I can tell there only appears to be the center track light and the the light over the sink, and some type of light under the cabinet and maybe an accent light above the uppers. If that's the case, consider adding some additional lighting. Given that you want to keep the kitchen on the darker side, the light will help counter that. Plus it just makes it more functional.

Cabinetry changes: As to the potential layout changes, the second poster is correct that changing the configuration on the oven wall could end up being more costly than just getting new cabinetry. However, if the new configuration is more functional for you and fits the way you live in the kitchen, then go for it.

Island size: I agree with the other posters about increasing the size of the island. But, what if you made it deeper rather than wider and added some seating on the side? The seating would be an L-shaped arrangement. Not knowing the dimensions of the kitchen, just be sure to keep at least 42" of path way all the way around the island.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:43AM
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I really love your kitchen. I would lighten it up. I think that is the consensus here. I don't think you need to get rid of the island, just put a larger top on it to seat more people. Maybe some more lighting would be good too. Good luck and Merry Christmas!
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:45AM
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I do like a darker kitchen, be careful with not getting enough light though. Are you considering more light fixtures? And if you're going to redo the backsplash, go for something light and neutral, that way it opens up the kitchen and also, gives you more light.

If you're looking for some design ideas, we have a fairly large showroom to get inspiration from at
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I agree a larger island would be nice and perhaps more in proportion to the space. You may be able to add cabinetry to existing island unit to expand island. Also, there are some granite stores and salvage yards that would be happy to buy your granite from you so that it can be used somewhere else. Check out local shops in your area.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Back to the kitchen!!!!! The tipping point when it is better to reface or go with new cabinets lies in the counter top. Typically when the counter top is changed refacing becomes less economically viable. With all the proposed changes to the layout new cabinets are a better choice. At that point lighter against the wall and a darker island would be my choice. Better lighting would make the kitchen warmer and more enjoyable. Why someone may want to cook in the new kitchen.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:00AM
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@Oak Designer... what about just painting the cabinets a darker color? Have you seen that done?
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:06AM
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I have done many kitchens with paint most are light but once in a while I have seen darker but if there is not enough light it feels gloomy. From this photo there are only two small windows by a corner sink and the room appears to have some walls around it, note the angle corners at the opening. The kitchen feels dark and uninviting. Dark cabinets look very nice but with this kitchen and the lack of natural light a lot more lighting will need to be provided to make it more inviting and warm.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:21AM
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I would start by painting my walls white - enough to be able to see the potential and open up options. Once you do that, you will have a fresh look at it. Plus the lighting as many have mentioned is key! I have seen kitchens like yours with a painted island. Perhaps all you really need is a fresh island look and function, new paint and lighting. Once I painted my walls white and changed my bulbs, the entire room changed, my mood changed and more options opened up in my own mind. Definitely too much wood in the same color incl chairs. But your kitchen is very nice.
    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:16AM
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lightfoot homes, who is the manufacturer of your cabinets? Are they solid wood?
    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:00AM
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