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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help - kitchen doesn't match our style

Kerily McEvoyJanuary 2, 2013
We bought our dream home this summer and it had been flipped so everything is new. Good news, doesn't need much work. Bad news, I have to live with someone else's design choices. The worst is the kitchen. So sleek and modern when our style is more traditional or casual beach cottage. I would prefer not to replace the countertops (white ceasarstone). I would like to continue the HW floors into the kitchen (take some of the gloss out of the design). I am thinking of painting the cabinets but don't know if that will look nice since they are just flat cabinets. Thoughts?
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Please, please, please do not paint this beautiful kitchen. People would die to have a kitchen like this. If you want to preserve the value of your home try to live with it. You can make it suit your taste better by putting a roman shade on the window, your favorite things on the counter, hang a picture on the left wall, put down a nice rug...anything but painting the cabinets. Get stools that suit you. The dark cabinets go great with aqua, pink, beige, all very beachy colors. Consider it an almost blank canvas and make it yours. Pretty soon you will see your favorite things rather than a sleek, empty kitchen.
14 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Aja Mazin
Apparently, you bought the wrong house.
16 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Marcy Holmes
I think a lot of colors would work on these cabinets. And you live here so you should make it look how you want.

I'm not sure you're going to get a beachy, casual look, but you could tone down the super modern look.

White counters, wood floors, and stainless appliances are all fairly neutral so I'd look to the backsplash to narrow down the color options.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Gabberts Design Studio
Ditto to Aja. Why would you purchase a newly renovated home and change it again?
It's gorgeous, don't change a thing.
8 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:19PM
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if it doesn't match your style and you're not happy, you should change whatever elements you can. it's your home. Just have the work done professionally and understand it may cost some dough to get it done right. Perhaps you can replace just the door fronts (you can end up really disappointed with the paint job) to something more transitional/traditional and better detailing. You might also be reacting to the riot of stainless steel appliances though softening up the window (with a roman shade) and the floors could go a long way. Good luck!
9 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I will trade you my beachy home for your contemporary one. You literally have my dream kitchen and I am stuck with yours. Life is funny.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Hi---well there's going to be some work involved to get your "dream" kitchen, but it will be worth it. New wall color, wood floor continued into kitchen, cabs painted, and new backsplash. I'd suggest a soft muted blue/green for the walls, and a muted gray with blue undertone backsplash or glass, stone, and mother of pearl blend. Hope it's helpful-Good Luck!
kitchen and baths · More Info
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:28PM
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don't change those big ticket items, oh my! I suggest finding an accent color, using it for large rug in center and a valance or shade.That backsplash is very modern and cool.If you don't care for it,lovely as it is, I would consider redoing that one to something in more of a " timeless" classic style that would warm up the space. That would be a big step towards making it more of your style.You could consider refacing the uppers only and paint ,with something more classic/ transitional that works with lowers, to lose some of that dark, heavy modern feel. Best of luck! Lovely house! Live with it for a while before you plunge into it, i suggest. Don't be too impulsive.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:39PM
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I've lived with my ultra contemporary kitchen for 8 years. It was the previous owners dream, but I like you, prefer a beachy casual aesthetic. Luckily I also appreciate clean lines, but in the next year the over the top granite and sleek cabinet fronts will be no more. In the mean time I accessorized with beach colored pottery, I even put a few pottery trays along the backsplash to hide some of the granite. (Not the best design solution, but I was so tired of looking at this particular granite which is rather ugly and everywhere!) You're lucky in that you have nice neutral light colored countertops and the tile colors are quite pretty. I think you are on the right track with the floors and painting the cabinets, also the previously mentioned roman shade. I would try to track down a cabinet maker who has paint facilities in their workshop to remove the doors and paint offsite, as they will most likely do a better job. And I would compare the price of replacing the doors as it might not be that different than a well done paint job. There is a lot that goes into making a home purchase and in some areas of the country not much housing stock, while I didn't agree with some of the previous owners design choices I bought for location and floor plan knowing that with time I could change out the design choices, at least it wasn't a gilded rococo nightmare! ;)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Sue Ann Stevens
Oh the irony that many would kill for this kitchen.

Some options without making high dollar changes:

Choose new hardware. Cup pulls or birdcage handles look nice on black and may give it a more traditional look. Choose a warm colored paint--for the walls, don't paint the cabinets. Change the backsplash: use warm tones, stone and glass tiles. Pick up a color from the tiles for your paint.

Your window coverings can add a ton of traditional appeal. Roman shades when drawn up can add feminine "flounce". Your decor items on the counter, kitchen rug etc can add enough personality without feeling like you have to change the bones of this kitchen.
Colorful dishes in cabinets with glass doors, cookbooks on the counter, Kitchen-Aid mixer, canisters. All of these will effectively warm up your abode.
:-). Happy shopping.

SAVE the current hardware do you can put it back if you move/sell.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Oh I love the kitchen!!!!! Good luck...but I wouldnt change it!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:03AM
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May I suggest living with the kitchen for a year before doing anything? I'd hate to see you start tinkering with it, spoiling the quite beautiful design and potentially lowering the value of your new house, if it isn't absolutely necessary. This design isn't easily going to transform into a light beachy style, so if it were my house I'd live with the well done and coherent contemporary design until I could afford to transform it into an equally well done and coherent alternative.
8 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:06AM
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I would just extend the hardwood into the kitchen to help warm it up a bit.

A bit darker hardwood would be preferable.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Is it just me or doesn't anyone else feel dizzy looking at the backsplash? Paired with the floor it's way too busy...
I'm sorry, but I agree with the homeowner here---I'd redo this space. The only things I like are the counters, appliances, and floor-but am more in favor of having the wood continued into this space. Cabs are ok, but uppers would be much better if they were white. I don't know-I'm just not feeling it... :)
8 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:12AM
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feeny is right. Don't do much to it until you can do it just the way you want.
DUMICAN MOSEY Architects - Fillmore Street · More Info

In the meantime, keep going with your own style. You may be surprised. Also, try a large indoor/outdoor sisal rug on the kitchen floor. Look at Merida, Ballard Designs, etc.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:17AM
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I DO feel dizzy looking at the backsplash, Natalie, but I feel that way about ALL the high contrast glass mosaic back splashes that are so popular at the moment, regardless of flooring. That's why I'd prefer to see the entire style of the kitchen changed rather than isolated tinkering because I feel that the backsplash goes with the current design of the kitchen, even if (like Kerily) it isn't my personal preference in style.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:27AM
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kerily, have you seen this ideabook of a beachfront home?
Ideabook: Houzz Tour: Glossy, Black-and-White Beachfront Style · See Ideabook
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:31AM
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White uppers would give less contrast with the ceiling and would ease the "dizziness"... :) Wood floors would be less contrasting to the lower black cabs-found an example...
Paton Terrace Kitchen · More Info
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Wow Great Place
I agree with Natalie, that backsplash is screaming for attention, and is defining the space. (And making me a little dizzy)
I'd for sure run the hardwood into the kitchen, that will help, and then I'd tear out that backsplash and put in something you love, however I would hold off on painting the cabinets, as the new floor and backsplash may be all you need to help you "hate the kitchen less", perhaps even transition you to a point where you LIKE the kitchen.....new handles in a dark finish will help them disappear, as it may be hard to find handles spaced that size in a more traditional design.
Window coverings will also soften the space, as I think it is the hard lines and stark contrast that is making your traditional taste cringe!
Painting the cabinets should be the last resort, and I feel you may never get to that point once the other changes happen.
7 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:54AM
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I agree about the backsplash (even thought I don't hate it)...perhaps if you changed that to something more your style, then simply adding more decor (like a rug) that you prefer would change the room for you. I wouldn't paint the cabinets...they are beautiful.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Julie Hunt
I must say, I have major kitchen envy but if its not your style its not your style! Do you know what cabinet company was used? If so you may want to check into getting new cabinet fronts before you go though the time and expense of painting them. A different range hood and backsplash along with extending the hardwood could give the kitchen a whole new feel however I wouldn't try too hard to make the kitchen something its not without committing to a total overhaul otherwise you may run the risk of having a kitchen that looks like it is in the middle of a renovation.
Friends of ours just went from a very beachy Nantucket style home to a very modern home. My first thought was how is this going to work. We were at their house for New Years and my husband and I both felt her traditional beach décor looked great in their modern home and somehow blended well together. My point is give it sometime, get your stuff in there and stay with your normal décor, (within reason). Its okay to blend the two together as long as you keep some type of cohesion.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Personally, I wouldn't change a thing. I would also not paint this kitchen or bring the wood flooring into the kitchen. That would not change the style. If you are set on changing the style then you should do a complete remodel. That said, if you are determined to remodel there is someone, somewhere who would love to have this kitchen. Be sure they do not go unused. If you don't sell them, there are organizations that will take them as a donation which will give you a tax right-off.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Balfoort Architecture, Inc. · More Info
This kitchen may have some inspiration for you...
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Julie Hunt
Curious to find out your final conclusion, having a kitchen you just feel doesn't flow with your decorating vision can be such a bummer, after all the kitchen portrays the houses personality its where we spend most of our time and makes the most impression on our guests. (I have literally spent months deliberating over our kitchen remodel. After a year we are finally getting to the nitty gritty with a contractor.) Hang in there don't give up on making it your own. On the upside, regardless of what you would pick if you could start from scratch, you do have a truly beautiful kitchen that is something to be proud of. Keep us all updated.
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:52AM
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The backsplash is making me dizzy also. I would simplify it and extend the hardwood into the kitchen. As far as painting the cabinets...why don't you wait and see how the kitchen looks after you do those other changes?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Hi try hanging some white paper in front of the tiles to see if it makes any difference how you see your kitchen. I agree with you, I'd change the kitchen too. The colors are way too harsh, this has nothing to do with modern or traditional, theres just to much going om. It is very stark, cold even. I would start by looking at all the black kitchens on houzz for ideas how to make it more homey. Nothing wrong with a black modern kitchen.... its the rest..Beautiful wooden floors...
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:12AM
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I would white wash the cabinets, and add a sisal rug
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:14AM
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I agree that the backsplash is the biggest issue. I'd rip it out and put in something soothing and simple. Maybe just solid subway in a shade that you like. I think it is difficult to try to feel at home in someone elses' dream kitchen. You have to make it your own. Agree that the wood flooring would look good all that way through the kitchen. At least you can start with this ideas and move on from there. Best of luck on your lovely home.
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Changing the backsplash and perhaps adding the hardwood floor would give you more of the look you're after. The kitchen is stunning though, but the backsplash is a bit busy. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful home!
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Ana Pochat
Beautiful kitchen, but so beige titles and wall paint would get a more natural look
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I would start with the floors and backsplash as they are the biggest offenders. Way to shiny and busy if you want something more beachy. I think continuing the floors into the kitchen and swaping out the backsplash tile would be the place(s) to start. Definitely keep the coutners. A warmer, natural stone back splash tile or ceramic would help this space a lot. I wouldn't paint your cabinetry or replace it just yet. You can do this later if you still aren't satisfied. If you are going to paint it make sure you find the best painting professionals you can. There are pros out there that could paint all and do a very nice job.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:50PM
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There is a happy medium. Those are not expensive cabinets - you can tell by the glass doors.

For not too much $ wise, you can reface / new doors for upper cabinets in white in a simple style with a few uppers that have cottage framed glass doors to display your prettiest dishes. While open, paint out the inside of the uppers in your accent tone (aqua?), when you do hardwood bring it on in, change the backsplash tile to something that bridges the two aesthetics - a blue-green glass in a subway profile. Color goes cottage-y, material is beach glass but updated and fresh.

Shift the hardware to something classic in polished nickel to match the drilled hole distances / consider historic cup pulls if they fit the drawers.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Change the hardware. Maybe either a very dark wood floor or a white washed wood floor. What about white appliances and of course a window.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Cancork Floor Inc.
The previous owners put in ultra modern in kitchen, but contemporary+traditional in the rest of the house. Big clash. It feels like your cooking in a black/white cartoon while the rest of the world lives in colour!

I love each...when they are paired with each other in separate houses! Beautiful, edgy, modern...don't get me wrong! Amazing kitchen...but hard to live with if it isn't your style.

Floors and back splash! Redo then reassess. I think you can get away with a beach house feel with new kitchen flooring and a new back splash.

When I saw the other flooring, these cork floors (I'm only using cork as an example of a "floor" not as a sales pitch) together with the kitchen+hardwood.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:57PM
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Adrian Ramsay Design House
hey Sharon, it might be easier to replace the cab doors with something you like painting an already finished surface will cost the same as replacing and you will get a better result, are you in aust on the gold coast? if yes call me 0403 235 604 and i'm happy to give you some free advice cheers adrian
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:35PM
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I love this kitchen, you are so lucky.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:33AM
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Nani Garrison
I am doing a modern coastal theme at my own home. There is a lot of black in your kitchen. I would look at the space and think ok, I've got a 'classy/upscale' modern coastal. Just needs some softening. Add some sheer white fabric for window treatments to add a 'breezy' effect. White upper cabinets would help. I would not paint. At the end of the day, its paint. More susceptible to fingerprints, chipping, etc. Just change them out if you don't like them. And the backsplash was very expensive but its too much here. The mother of pearl or a nice blue toned glass would soften the look and add another touch of beach. Choose a beach color like coral or turquoise and add accents! Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Emerson Brothers, LLC. Home Remodeling
You may want to consider adding cabinet crown molding to give more of a traditional look. You may also want to add picture molding to the doors to give the appearance of raised panel doors and change out the cabinet hardware. if you contact they cabinet manufacturer you should be able to order the molding from them to match exactly. You could change out the glass doors and make it open shelving. You might also want to replace the backsplash with a marble subway tile.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:59AM
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What about refacing the boxes and replacing the doors- even if just on the uppers- and do a different color on top - white or creme..add a centerisland that is antigue or rough pine, etc.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:14AM
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You could replace the doors and get paneled ones. But the black looks great. Also to tone down the modern would be toget rid of the backsplash and change it or just leave the walls alone.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 5:56PM
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I would love to have a kitchen like this. Why did u buy the house if you didn't love the kitchen. Really beautiful!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:22PM
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You might want to add an island for seperate cooking area
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Laura Stermer
ok, I looked for some pictures, try the white paper idea o the back splash and then think about just doing a surface fix of bead board with temp placement, to remove upon resale. picture below. another photo with black cabinets and a blue accent wall, or maybe think of painting eat in kitchen/gathering room a soothing palette that matches the blues and greens you like. attached is also a black kitchen with wood floor, although not as light as your floor, and one photo with a rug and skinny island in a warm flavor of driftwood - ish.. lol

Lettered Cottage kitchen · More Info

Marchvale Kitchen · More Info

A.S.D. Interiors kitchen remodel · More Info

Alder Hill · More Info

do little things and let it settle in with your furnishings for awhile.. good luck
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:45PM
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I LOVE, LOVE that kitchen with the wood on the ceiling that 14th street posted. That would certainly cozy the space. I also think some sisal runners will help as well. At least those are smallish cost and won't break the bank. If you can bring in the wood floors I would do that. What about a beachy small island? I can't tell if there is space but something with a natural wood tome will hel;p ease all the black and that backsplash tile. However, I do think you should live in it for a time being if possible. I have two young kids and maple cabinets. I dream of an all white kitchen. It will wait til my kids are a bit older.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:53PM
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I agree you should wait. Add inexpensive rugs and white sheer drapery. To me it seems the closest to the cottage feeling is white cabinets and a wood ceiling and of course the backsplash. If nothing else I would get a different backsplash and a wood floor and then wait for a while before doing something with the cabinets.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Although a number of the pictures above had a similar backsplash as you so I would start with the floor and add the sheer drapery and change the hardware. Wait and enjoy for a while before you proceed forward.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:06PM
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I dont think you should paint them...I think the only thing I would do is change the backsplash to a nice white tile maybe that would lessen the glam your not into..
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Agree, DO NOT paint those cabinets. You will get closer to the look you want by simply changing the backsplash and perhaps putting in the hardwood floor you wanted.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Creatively Yours Custom Inc.
Lots of good advice that I agree with Kerily. Adding some softness and color to the room will make a huge difference. Fabric window treatments can be beachy in their color and style, such as linens. Another softening element would be to add throw rugs as mentioned. I would love to see a rich cobalt or sapphire blue as it bridges the style as it is to the style that you want for the kitchen. I see some wall in the cabinet area and then in around the island. Those 2 places are where I would consider painting in a warmer color such as a yellow.
And I do agree that the backsplashes have got to go,
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:02PM
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OMG, please live with this kitchen for a bit and then make a decision. Add a small rug in front of the sink. Add dish towels that bring in colors you want. Blues, pinks, deep mauve would look nice with these colors. Put a shade in the window. Maybe get counter items in matching colors that would add your taste more- like all red or blue or whatever.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:40AM
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well???? what did you do? i think i would have painted the ceiling and changed the back splash. you mentioned that you were replacing the floor. i think once your floor and the back splash were swapped out, you would see a different kitchen.
    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:41AM
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