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Need help updating kitchen
karen2nz
January 9, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Should I redo kitchen to get rid of peninsula? Kitchen is dark and would like it more open for entertaining. Please help.
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mmilos
I would not eliminate the peninsula. Your kitchen is open for entertaining. People can sit around and see you. The raised bar hides kitchen messes from the rest of the living space.

If you want to lighten up your kitchen, I would perhaps paint out the cabinetry white...

Do you have undercabinet lighting? If not, I would add that first.
January 9, 2013 at 11:17AM     
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Nancy Hehmann
If you need more light, I would get larger pendant lights Some of them are very striking now and would really add a wow factor.
January 9, 2013 at 11:22AM     
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mmilos
Also, I see you just have a ceiling fan without a light kit (or at least downlights)... Either replace it with a chandelier or pendant, or get a ceiling fan with a light kit.

Or put in more recessed cans in the ceiling.
January 9, 2013 at 11:28AM   
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karen2nz
The cabinets are cherry finish and match family room cabinet, see pic below. Do you think I should paint them too? Should I change the Granite?
January 9, 2013 at 11:31AM   
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mmilos
Extra lighting with recessed cans, undercabinet lighting, new pendants and a chandelier for the main kitchen (or ceiling fan with better light) will be the best (and cheapest) solution. Your house looks great.
January 9, 2013 at 11:34AM   
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stefaniem
My cabinets were dark and I just painted them a light gray...OMG changed the whole kitchen. On my Island they added more trim and dressed up the doors and did it in a distressed turquoise.... It now looks like a piece of furniture and I LOVE IT. If you dont want to change the whole look, just change Island or inside the doors. Replace fan with chandelier, and a couple more pendant lights.
January 9, 2013 at 11:41AM     
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karen2nz
I have a chandelier in the eat in area of the kitchen already, and alot of recessed lights. See below. I changed the pendants to smaller ones because the last pendants were to large. These pendants are a constant problem and keep burning out. I have replaced a couple and one is missing now from the ceiling. I usually have 4. So I have lots of lighting. Maybe it is just the barstools and kitchen table that are too dark. I would love to see a picture of your new kitchen! I changed the island to a distressed cream with butcher block top already, but I am still not loving my kitchen.
January 9, 2013 at 11:54AM   
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mmilos
^ But it looks like you only have accent lighting. The recessed cans should be placed in a consistent grid over the kitchen to supply bright, even general lighting. I would still replace the pendants and ceiling fan.

Do you have under cabinet lighting? You need that for task lighting.

EDIT:

I would:

1. Add under cabinet task lights.
2. Eliminate pendants and put a grid of evenly spaced recessed lights for more general lighting.
3. Replace fan with a chandelier similar in style to the chandelier over your dining table.
4. Add recessed lights to family room and breakfast nook.
5. Add some table or floor lamps to the family room.
January 9, 2013 at 12:00PM   
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PRO
Christine FREY
Moroccan pendant Lights like these attached
January 9, 2013 at 12:00PM   
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PRO
Christine FREY
Make it original and exotic your style is too classical !
January 9, 2013 at 12:02PM   
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David J. Design Inc.
I like your kitchen and I wouldn't redo it. What I might suggest is to paint the wood on the raised bar portion of your penninsula dark grey. I would then paint the small island you have in the same colour. I just find there is too much wood and this would make it more interesting. Perhaps more modern bar stools would be fun. Maybe do bar stools with stainless steel legs and black leather seats so everything isn't so matchy.
Then add some Zenon undercabinet strip lights and around 4 more halogen pot lights in the ceiing.
I would also do a more modern ceiling fan or (if possible) just get rid of the ceiling fan altogether and add more pot lights.
If you did paint the raised part of the penninsula I would definitely paint your wall unit.
I love your house by the way.
January 9, 2013 at 12:05PM     
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Christine FREY
To light the bar and make it the high point of this corner, I would put a Moroccan round pendant light
January 9, 2013 at 12:13PM   
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karen2nz
What do you think if I have cabinets painted white and peninsula painted a distressed gray? I like a barstool pictured below. Do you think it may look good? Also, since the family room cabinetry is all maple, what do you think if I change the front of the fireplace to stone and paint cabinets white?
January 9, 2013 at 12:22PM   
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nikitasmom
I agree with David J. Design tho I was only thinking of painting the inside panels of the bar a cream color. The difference in your pictures with the stove hood light on and off show the benefits of adding under cabinet lights. Maybe add a light inside the corner cabinet and remove door or replace the inset with glass/stained glass, would break up the heavy wood wall. Finally, they have energy saving led pot light retrofit kits which not only save energy but also the lights are suppose to last for years.
January 9, 2013 at 2:22PM   
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karen2nz
Thanks for everyones help. Does anyone think I should change the granite. It is Black Galaxy.
January 9, 2013 at 2:50PM   
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PRO
LM Designers
Black Galaxy is one of the expensive most desired granites. Leave it be, it looks great in your kitchen.
January 9, 2013 at 2:55PM   
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Judy M
I like the kitchen and think the lighting suggestions given are good ones, for me, the thing that sticks out as not fitting in is the island, too small, wrong color. I think a thick chunk of butcher block on thick legs would fit in better.
January 9, 2013 at 3:04PM     
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katelyndunkel
Your home is beautiful the way it is. But I think changing the granite to a light cream would drastically lighten it up. Along with changing the black bar stools, table and chairs to something lighter. And all the lighting suggestions mentioned earlier would be good too. Definitely put a chandelier above the island. And, a decorative hood above the stove would help give it more presence.
January 9, 2013 at 3:11PM   
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katelyndunkel
And I like your idea of putting stone on the fireplace. I'd put it from floor to ceiling, but would put a thick off-white mantel on it to tie it into the lighter colors in the kitchen. And don't paint the cabinets on either side of the fireplace, that way it will. Still also tie in with the kitchen cabinets.
January 9, 2013 at 3:15PM     
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the essentials inside
karen2nz -- Your house is beautiful!

Your kitchen & living room reminded me of the "Knot on Call" house by Blue Sky Building Company.
Knot On Call 1
Knot On Call 2

It is merely a coincidence (really!) that the pendants in the kitchen are part of the Alita collection, which we sell.

I agree w/the others - change the pendant lights & change out the chandelier over the kitchen table. It looks like it would go well in a bedroom maybe. If you're going to paint the peninsula I would paint the island the same color. (I would paint the island regardless). If it is in your budget, I'd also change the bar stools. I see they match the table but I think it might look better if they don't match. I don't think you should change the granite but changing the backsplash would make a big difference.

Good luck!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
January 9, 2013 at 3:35PM     
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karen2nz
I thought about just changing the granite, kitchen table and barstools to start. I am also going to have the fireplace redone with stone and leave cabinets on the sides alone. I like the idea of a thick off white mantle. So that is where I will begin. What do you think of a farmstyle table like the one below with those chairs, but on the ends have covered chairs? I agree I need to change the tile backsplash, some people say to leave the black galaxy, but I think it may be better in a light cream. Not sure about that yet. Thank you. I like those pendants too. :)
January 9, 2013 at 4:02PM   
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karen2nz
Please give me your honest opinion, do you think the farmtable is too country?
January 9, 2013 at 4:04PM   
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beeton2137
Removing Granite counters can damage your cabinets. So if you are not planning on replacing the cabinets I would not take a chance removing them, Plus like many have stated, this is one of the most expensive stones, & now is really hard to find with the true gold flecks that appear in yours.
January 9, 2013 at 4:09PM   
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Kelly Phan
I would paint your cabinets white. I think that would brighten up the room a bit and also to add more more lighting.
January 9, 2013 at 4:19PM   
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PRO
Futuro Futuro Kitchen Range Hoods
Don't get rid of the peninsula, but maybe lighten it up in color terms, as per the suggestions above.

More radical option: convert the peninsula to an island by cutting out the "connector" between the seating area and the wall cabinets (lower-right corner of 1st photo). This will visually lighten the presence of the peninsula, and create an option for traffic to flow around the island in any direction, instead of restricting it to only 1 direction.

Also, check out what a difference some well-placed lighting and mirrors can make - even a massive island can appear to "float" in space: http://www.futurofuturo.com/blog/2012/09/29/kitchen-design-case-study-contemporary-kitchen-with-zebra-wood-cabinetry/

Last but not least, a slim range hood would add a bit of visual impact as well as extra lighting right where you need it. Consider something like the Futuro Futuro Venice, Acqualina, or Streamline models (pics attached).
January 9, 2013 at 5:13PM   
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karen2nz
Yes, when I thought about getting rid of the peninsula, my first thought was to open up the wall. It is not weight bearing. Maybe I should have worded it differently because it is crowded for entertaining.
January 9, 2013 at 6:14PM   
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bpriebe
I like all of the ideas others have provided you with about lighting, but unlike many, I don't think you should paint the cupboards- and this is coming from a painted cupboard junkie! Your cupboards are really nice, and from your posts it seems like you like them too. Why change something you already love!? I would change out the counters (even though others are giving you grief about it). Even if they are expensive, it seems that you don't love them (and that's the important part). I guess I personally don't see how changing out expensive counters is any worse than painting over nice, high quality wood cupboards. Furthermore, the counters certainly are darkening, all the while adding the sense of much smaller, closed area. While you're at it, get rid of the black accents on the stools- a simple paint job there would do the trick. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it's something you're doing because you will love it, not because all of the other posters made you feel that it was what you should do. Best wishes on your project!
January 9, 2013 at 6:57PM     
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PRO
Designing Richmond
You're home is lovely, It sounds like you are just wanting a change... I agree with the above mentioned...Change the chairs!... Either paint them a different color - cream or sage... or replace all together. with a completely different style... This may give you the lift you are looking for without breaking the budget!

Lighting - if you switch out your current recessed light bulb to ones that are a flood... they are rounded to the outside of the can and not recessed inside so deeply. you will find they have more radiant light, and you may be just fine the way they are... task lighting is great too... as mentioned above the LED lights are super... get warm led light for your colors... Home Depot carries them now (finally) at the best price around- online only. With a nice tile job, under counter lighting really adds drama to a kitchen! Don't forget the dimmer... important feature.

Bookcases are the heavy place in the room...
I would have to rework them... I would take out the center, fireplace paneling, top and bottom... even the mantle and re-do with natural stone... creamy hues...and add a rough huen mantle shelf. It would transform that area... You have a natural earthy style... that's comfortable. This would add to that and give nice interest... Hire a local designer to help you choose the right stone veneers that will most enhance the space with color and texture... they would also help you get it done.

Good luck!
January 9, 2013 at 6:58PM   
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editorial
If you are wanting to take down walls, I would get an interior designer to help. But you could do a lot without taking down a wall. From your pictures, I see a lot of contrast. I looked through quickly and didn't notice if you had any inspiration pictures. It sounds like you would like a light kitchen so... since you have such nice cabinets, I would get the doors sprayed a creamy white and do the living room cabinetry as well . I can't tell what colour your walls are although they look like a white. The counters are a high contrast being in black which can still work. I like the idea that you have black repeated in your furniture but I find the furniture very heavy and a bit too country and matchy matchy. Switch to upholstered more traditional or transitional furniture in maybe textured pale blue damask type... I would look for a different chandelier with coordinating pendant lighting...If you are keeping the chandelier maybe paint it a creamy white and add creamy shades.... Then add some black somewhere else in the room... Maybe put up some unoperable roman blinds in a coordinating colour to the drapes in the adjacent living area and add a band of black ribbon. Or, if you can use dummy panels on your windows, use a matte black rod with rings. Also, you could add a rug, maybe sisal, with a black band around the edge... Remember to make the rug big enough to allow the chairs to be on the rug when pulled back. I would get rid of the island all together... it is too small and looks out of place. Once this is all done, find an accessory colour to add some interest...like a candlescape or fruit bowl for the table in a pretty colour. Don't forget to pick out new door pulls... They will be the jewellery and bling! Looking forward to seeing your completed project!
January 9, 2013 at 7:08PM   
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katelyndunkel
You could also do a decorative limestone hood or faux limestone hood to bring in more creamy/lighter colors in your kitchen and more texture.
January 9, 2013 at 8:34PM   
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thymeforfun
A lovely large home. I think you are finding your white island looking out-of-place. It should be much larger and not white...maybe a darker wood. Although your stools are very nice, with the kitchen table chairs makes your decor too matchy matchy and that is probably not appealing to your eye. I would switch out either your kitchen chairs or your bar chairs. Think gorgeous dark brown big tub wicker kitchen chairs from Pier 1.
January 9, 2013 at 8:58PM   
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karen2nz
This would be my other option to open up the wall. Do you like this idea, or still keep peninsula?
January 10, 2013 at 11:30AM     
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nikitasmom
I love that look. There are definite benefits to opening up that wall. If I had the budget I would do just that. It's funny isn't it how a room can look so great but turn out to be your least favorite due to functionality?
January 10, 2013 at 12:25PM     
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PRO
Eleek Inc.
We agree, changing the pendant lighting will go a long way toward a fresh look for your space... and is a lot cheaper than a new countertop! Also, less dominating barstool furniture would help bring out other, more subtle features of the room.
January 10, 2013 at 12:25PM     
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PRO
the essentials inside
Karen - Thought of this thread when I saw this pic - reminded me of your farmstyle table mention --



Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
January 22, 2013 at 6:37PM   
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