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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with my kitchen

tschmoegJanuary 6, 2013
I bought my house a little over a year and a half ago. I am in my mid twenties and live in the Washington DC metro area. My style tends to be comtemporary/transitional. I want to change my kitchen- but not do a major renovation (i.e. I want to keep the existing cabinets, wall color, floors and counter). But I definetly need ideas on what type of backsplash and wall accents would work well in the space and finish the space. To me, light cabinets often times go with a country themed kitchen. But, that is definetly not what I want. I want something that is fresh/modern, fits my age but can grow with me, and is affordable.
I have been thinking about it since I bought the house; I just can't find/choose how to finish it and would love any suggestions!
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If you want fresh/modern, take down the window treatments. A really bright print on a Roman shade would change the feel of the space. I suggest that you incorporate the colors of the walls, the appliances, and the counter tops in such a shade.

Changing the cabinet hardware would also modernize the space.
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:56PM
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JMittman Designs
I agree, definitely ditch that window treatment--too fussy and traditional looking for the look you want. How about glass tile back splash, and industrial looking hardware. A new light fixture also.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:24AM
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would actually recommend going with a more modern/contemporary Drapery treatment. Its called Grommet Drapery I would suggest hanging it on a decorative rod about 6'' above the window and about 3'' wider then the window . The Gromment drapery can all stack to the right side and you wont lose any window once drapes are completely drawn.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:32AM
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JMittman Designs
If we are talking about a window treatment for the slider, keep in mind that a window this wide would require a center support for the rod. Functioning panels would not be able to draw all the way to the right unless they are on a traversing rod.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 6:48AM
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Thanks everyone- I love the idea of changing the window treatment! I really had not thought about doing that before.
For the backsplash: When I first bought the house I starting looking at local tile companies. I think that I was overwhelmed by the tiles, and not really able to picture any in my house. Over time I bought two different samples; but thought they were too pedestrian. With the current color scheme right now I think I am leaning towards something that is silver/gray in color or that is light tan, maybe. I did think about glass and loved the idea- but didn't find a really loved at the local stores. Although I think its about time I start re-looking again.
I also have to do something in the space on the wall on the side of the kitchen table. I was originally thinking about putting up a set of black and white city/industrial pictures I have, or maybe getting a piece of metal art/accents? But I guess it will depend on what I eventually get for the backsplash.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:01AM
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Good suggestions above. I would also look at replacing that ceiling fluorescent with pot lights.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Grace Reed
The wood, especially all the grain on the sides of your cabinets, does look country. If it's in the budget, now or later, Home Depot has a relatively inexpensive process called Enhance that darkens cabinets. I like the other suggestions made, too. Your kitchen and dining area are lovely!
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 2:01PM
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rustoleumtransformations.com could help you change those cabinets. My concern with your space is the fridge at the far end. You're lacking an efficient work triangle. How did it migrate that far away from the rest of the kitchen?
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:26PM
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Your cabinet style can be made to look modern. As said above, its the grain that is making them look country, not the light color. I don't think light cabinets are traditional at all unless they are white and of a certain style. Your cabinets look sort of Shaker which although traditional is a more modern, simple look. I'd try staining them darker if you like dark colors, but remember all those cabinets will eat light. You could paint those cabinets all white and put modern hardware on them and they would look modern. You could also do a color, or a darker color on the bottom and light color on the top. You could also stain the bottom dark and paint the top a light color. Change the light box out. Chose a modern fixture of some sort, or better yet, install pot lights. The fixture over the table also needs changing to a modern style. Going bold on color generally makes things look more modern even if our ancestors used more color than we do, especially Victorians who used a lot of purple.

What is your favorite color? Consider going bright with that color somewhere in the kitchen area.

Dark cabinets will make those white appliances stand out. I'd wouldn't do it personally unless I were ready to change them out to stainless or black.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Gradually change your appliances to stainless steel type when you need replacement. suggest using Mosaic tiles or subway tiles for back splash. Change the kitchen handles to trendy one will instant give the kitchen an uplift.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Susan Flowers
In the kitchen area...a custom blind in a rattan fibre....close to cab color (online about $40)....get rid of fluorescent fixture...replace with some type of directional lighting....glass tile backspash with linear tiles you can find for $10 a sq foot....maybe a stone/glass mix.....when finances afford I would replace appliances with stainless.....but that's long term
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:56PM
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For a more modern look, with your mention of silver - an option would be a stainless steel or stainless steel tile backsplash with stainless steel hardware, and Roman shades and drapes in more modern and simple lines and patterns.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Cheery Curtains
What about some nice drapes in modern style? Here are some drapes you may like. For more designs, welcome to my Houzz page.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 12:07AM
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Be very careful about using the latest hottest trend in your kitchen. When the trend changes most people will recognize that it is out of date and this devalues your house should you decide to sell. There is a significant expense to remodeling your kitchen in two or three years. Subway tiles, glass tiles and stainless steel back splashes have been popular for several years now.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:13AM
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Naperville Residence · More Info
The tile work on this is interesting.

Christopher hoover has done birch cabinets with a dark floor. It is very similar to your kitchen.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:19AM
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RoManTone Mosaic Tiles
For you kitchen, i suggest you put white glass mosaic tile onto the wall. Your floor and table top is black color, if not white color glass mosaic tile, your kitchen will be very dark. So I think white color glass mosaic tiles is best.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 5:21AM
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Your kitchen has a great layout! Right now it looks like you are doing a blue & brown color scheme. There are many great options with this color pallet. The first option is that you can purchase stains out there that require no sanding. This project would take several weekends to finish, but with them you can achieve rich espresso cabinets that match your table. Another option would be to paint the cabinets white for a more contemporary / transitional appeal. It is hard to tell what the rest of your home looks like to know what color would suit your cabinets best. In addition to that I would also purchase new hardware on ebay. It is cheaper than lowes or home depot and the quality is typically great. I would also remove the valance on the kitchen window and find something in the color scheme of your choice that can be repeated in your room. Some ideas are navy, yellow and white _or_ powder blue, dark brown/beige and mustard. Another option would be to add a round area rug below your kitchen table and find a white window valance with a stripe (pottery barn). And then finally the pictures. And possibly a nice looking plant or vase of flowers for the table. Attached are some inspiration ideas. I hope this helps!
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 5:57AM
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For the backsplash I would use subway tiles, or mosiac. I see that your counter tops look navy so I would be careful with the choice of backsplash. Nothing too busy with lots of color variation or many patterns.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:02AM
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I would suggest beige brown (not ivory) subway tiles. Or, the seaglass subway tiles in clear green for either white or espresso cabinets.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:03AM
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I would also add curtain valances to your sliding glass door in a solid neutral color. Overstock has some nice options.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:05AM
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Jayme H.
Agree with glass tiles for more contemporary look. Agree with changing the light, cabinet hardware, window treatments.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:30AM
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Jayme H.
And I think u could use an area rug under the table and maybe some runners
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:36AM
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Jayme H.
more ideas
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 6:51AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions! Some of you have suggested it may be easier if you knew what the rest of the house looked like- so I added the following pictures to my idea book:
Ideabook: My house · See Ideabook
. Also I wanted to clarify that one of the reasons I didn't want to do major renovations is that the previous house owners replaced all of the cabinet, electrical appliances, floor, etc within the last 7 years (so although I would have preferred stainless steel, it wouldn't be fiscally prudent to replace them anytime soon). Which is why I greatly appreciate all your ideas; which will definitely help me bring it up to a more modern/transitional look!
And yep, the counters are coriander in a dark blue with small silver/white flexs in them; I think it is Corian®Cobalt http://www2.dupont.com/THD_Corian/en_US/about/colors.html?src=thd_colors . The color mixture between the counter and the light cabinets is one of the reasons I am having such a hard time deciding what color accent to pick up and focus on for the backsplash etc. Thank you for all of your help!
    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 3:01PM
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