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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Desperate to inject some character into kitchen of 1920 Arts & Crafts Bungalow.

lesliejillthomasDecember 22, 2012
I have attached 4 views of this small kitchen in a home we recently purchased. The home is lovely in many ways but the kitchen needs help. I wonder about a farm sink, different backsplash and perhaps tile counters, reflective of the era. I can live with the cabinets. They are solid wood but should I have them painted? The flooring is cork. Thank you in advance. I can send other photos if helpful.
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Frank Webb's Bath and Lighting Center
I love the cabinets, I wouldn't paint them unless you have a professional do them, you will be forever touching up the chips, maybe a glaze would work nicely...I would get a new counter top and back splash and change the white pendant light fixtures out for something in a brushed nickel finish
1 Like    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 7:57AM
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I love the cabinets as well. They are very beautiful and appear to be in good condition. My first thought is to invest in solid stone countertops, such as granite or quartz. It will add value to your home, and they are extremely durable and will last for a long time. Your kitchen needs some contrast, so I would look for either a dark brown or charcoal tone. Once new countertops are in place, you can see if a new backsplash is in order or not. I would also change out your pendants to something with more personality in the same finish as your cabinet hardware. They will really help to set the style of your space.

Some photos for inspiration:
Modern kitchen with cooking island · More Info
Newton Residence · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:14AM
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Aesthetic Tile Imaging
I can provide options for a unique custom art tile backsplash that's easy to clean and will add your own personal touch. If you don't want to commit to a single art piece, you can instead make it free standing such that you can replace the art as seasons or attitudes change. If you move, you can take the art with you. Please see the examples on my Houzz profile page

Backsplash Art · More Info
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:25AM
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Have you checked out the book "Bungalow Kitchens"? It might be at your local library. Bungalow Colors and Bungalow Details are good references too.

I don't think the location and style of sink cabinet would lend itself to a farmhouse sink. A more colorful backsplash is a possibilitiy. It is small, but open and efficient and in good condition. Most people don't like tile countertops, but might be OK with nice tile, dark grout, perhaps expoxy grout, which doesn't stain but can look plasticy and not Craftsman at all. The website, Arts and Crafts homes may have some ideas for you too.

If you do replace countertops, I would get rounded corners for safety sake. Colorful rug, perhaps curtains or different shades on the pendants, maybe a different overhead might help as well. Unfortunately the current configuration doesn't really lend itself easily for a Craftsman makeover, but you could add a few touches if you wished.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Design Freedom, inc.
an Arts & Crafts look would be inspired by natural materials, and hand made textures and shapes. i agree with keeping the cabinets since they are well made (and show off the wood grain). how about replacing the light fixtures with period pieces (match the metal appliances, or break with them and go with an oil rubbed bronze or black metal)? more organic cabinet pulls and knobs in a matching metal (leaf or twig motifs, a single tile pull, the period style cup pull, etc). for the backsplash use smaller tiles in a mix of colors, textures (glass, metals and stones), mix of sizes (2x2 and smaller). i would stay away from a tile countertop due to cleaning and sanitary issues, but go with a natural looking material - recommend granite. perhaps continue the backsplash tile look on the raised breakfast counter. have fun!
image 1 from http://hamiltonsinkler.com/catalog/139/heritage
image 2 from http://rockymountainhardware.com/cabinet-hardware?view=article&layout=default&id=930&catid=113&Itemid=87
image 3 from http://rockymountainhardware.com/tile-gallery
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Aesthetic Tile Imaging
I would recommend epoxy grout. The product I've used is Spectralock by Laticrete and is sanded - available at Lowes. It is relatively easy to use and is stain resistant. The sanded finish does not appear plasticy to me.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:28AM
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I agree with what others have said.

Pendent lighting with some more personality. Maybe something in a red / orange to add a pop of color and recall an arts & crafts era mica lamp.

A new, darker counter top. Do not go with tile. We have a tile counter top on our island and can't wait to redo the kitchen and get rid of it. Houzz recently ran an article on tile as a counter top surface. Read the comments there to see what others think.

New backsplash -- maybe stainless steel?
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Butterfly Yao
The cabinets color is very nature and lovely. Just change the counter top with under mount sink which is easier to clean the sink edging, and update the back splash. Not a big project, but update these two parts will make you kitchen totally different looking. You don't like stone counter? You prefer tiles counter top? I feel tiles counter top are too many gaps.
    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:35AM
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