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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help for my kichen

kclaraFebruary 9, 2013
My 1978 kitchen is getting a facelift. The dark oak cabinets stay, the countertops will be replaced. Should I go with light or dark? The kitchen is relatively small.
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Your ideabooks show medium tone countertops which would look great with the cabinets. Are you planning to change the lighting fixtures?
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:52PM
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HI -- Oh boy -- time warp, huh ! Too bad you can't do new cabinets ,- they have such nice ones now . The door style you have now is always going to look dated . Maybe think about new doors at lest.. For counter tops it's best to go with a white solid surface and white subway tile backsplash . Then your accents etc. will be the added color. If you remove that little table extention that would help with the up dating . That can be replaced with a roll- a- round island with a maple cutting board top that has storage under , if you need it. Are you updating the lighting ? You should check and up grade the electrical before you do the up dates , a lot has improved since the 70's. You also never said if you are getting new appliances and their sizes has also changed since the 70's for fridges mostly and some stoves .If you don't use the desk area then have a pantry cabinet there instead . People don't really use them anymore because of cell phones and lap tops etc. Just wasted space , better to be a pantry . If the bulkheads are empty , they could be removed and then full height cabinet uppers would add a lot more storage . Where is your micro wave going to go and are you changing the flooring. Also - does this layout work for you ? See ,- maybe you might need more than just a facelift ! ! !
1 Like    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
When you replace the countertops, I would change the curved peninsula that projects out into the room. I would make it connect to the rest of the 36" countertop, at that same 36" level and I would give it a square end with a cabinet below it instead of its current square support. If there is space, I would add an overhang for counter ht. stools.

I wish you would consider painting your cabinets before you change countertops. With stained cabinets, I would select a light colored granite with movement in it, not the type with one kind of overall markings. With white cabinets, I would go for a mid-tone granite with movement.

It will also be important to change your lighting. But Rome wasn't built in a day so it doesn't have to happen all at the same time, though it's always nice if it can.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Ritz Carlton Baltimore · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:06PM
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I vote for light toned countertops if you're keeping the current tone of cabinet.

HOWEVER - if you should decide to change lighting, do that before you select your countertop. I see that you have fluorescent lighting and that will have a major impact on the way your counters look with the cabinets and floor.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Lighting fixtures will be changed. Yes, we are changing the curved peninsula and it will connect with the other 36 inch countertop. It will have a squared off end as you suggest. I would like to put cabinets below this squared off peninsula. What about putting saddle seat type barstools for seating on the inside and outside (1 each) of the peninsula? I would like them located not at the end of the peninsula but rather at beginning of the peninsula. Cabinets or drawers would then be located on the end of the peninsula. I would love to paint the cabinets or replace them. But my other half has a long love affair with oak and right now it is not in the picture. thanks for the picture. Would appreciate your input on the location of the stools that I suggested: I realize that the granite or quartz will have to be supported somehow with no cabinets where the stools will go. I just want a stool on the inside for working at the couter for long periods. thanks!
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:28PM
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If it had copper brown appliances it would look just like my neighbor's house growing up except they didn't have the desk...Lighten things up as much as possible. If you can paint the cabinets, it would make it more modern. Changing out the hardware will make a big difference. I assume you are removing the rounded peninsula? Take down the laminate backsplash and replace it with a nice glass small subway style mosaic tile in light neutrals. If you can, adding undercabinet lighting would make a nice addition. Do something to soften the lighting under the bulkhead, if you can,for a warmer feel. Looks like a fun project!
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Dejavu! Just painted the same cabinets in white - had light toned counter tops too, in excellent condition. Huge refreshing look with just paint and new hardware if you are on a dime budget like I was!
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Loose the drop down bar, change places with the stove and frig. if cabinets can be moved around without tearing them up. Paint the cabinets black for some drama and add new pulls either in silver or red, Put a microwave above the stove and center it on the wall and lose the desk, keep the stack of drawers and add a door to close in the desk (find one that will match as close as possible) and paint it all.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
kclara, on your peninsula, you can certainly have a barstool for yourself on the inside part, and I think you'll have space for two or more on the outside, without including the square end. You can have an overhang of perhaps 11 or so inches with no support. Ask your granite supplier what his recommendation is. Maybe dear Ironwood, another houzzer who is an expert at building details, will let us know. The cabinets you now have in that area will be replaced with cabinets under the peninsula and you'll need to store things there that are not frequently in demand.

If you are not planning on using the end of the peninsula for seating, you can build that peninsula out to 42" from the facing cabinets.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Yes, thanks, we are planning on extending the peninsula out to 42" from the facing cabinets; my husband had planned on this. Not sure that we will have room for two or more stools on the outside, but we are planning on at least one on the outside, opposite facing from the inside stool..........both stools will be able to completely slide under the bar. I will find an inside barstool most helpful as I grow older for food preparation at the bar. cabinets under the end of the penisula will be essential as we are putting in a dishwasher (along the wall next to the sink) and thus will be displacing the cabinets currently in that location. My grandmothers, both of whom raised and cooked for large families in very modest kitchens, are probably shaking their heads right now. And I am wondering if I will need to improve my cooking skills if I upgrade to a modern kitchen!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:32AM
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Randys Construction
would paint cabinets then deside on counter tops and do away with drop down!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:05AM
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Debi McCann
Open up the soffit above cabinets to paint a light color maybe light bars up there so you don't see the light bulbs, the chose your counter top. Light soft patterned granite and light mosiac backsplash.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:20AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I am not understanding why you would not have space for 2 or 3 stools on the outside of the peninsula. Won't the overhang continue to the wall? Wouldn't it look odd if it did not?
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Seriously, if you are preparing some changes in the kitchen for getting older, you might look at a few websites or books on universal design. I can tell you that many older people are comfortable getting into and out of a chair with a back, but not onto a high stool without a back. Try the backless stools if you think you want them, they can be returned for exchange if uncomfortable after you chop onions for 20 minutes.

Also, on the fluorescent lighting around the edges, if you want to keep such lighting, hiding the fixtures with a 3 or 4 inch wide piece of painted wood trim would be much more attractive. As we get older, we need at least twice as much light as younger people.

Other ideas: consider switching the doors on the fridge to the other side (it's easy) so that you can use the desk as a landing place. Most people never use their desks except to drop papers on and put their landline phones there. They do paperwork at the kitchen table, instead.

You might consider replacing the desk with a two-door pantry if you need the space for cans, bottles, etc.

You might also choose some new cabinet pulls that are higher contrast for the oak. These look fine but you may want a change.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:31AM
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We will certainly get new cabinet pulls. Also your point about the fluorescent lighting is right on.........this home was built by a (very conservative) retired couple in 1978. I'm sure she wanted plenty of lighting in her new house, hence the admittedly unsightly fluorescent lights. They get no points for style but I turn them on every day! And I did think about that..........we're planning on being here a long time and I want adequate lighting in the kitchen as I grow older. So we were going to ask our remodel guy about some creative and stylish ways to still have a lot of light in this kitchen. Carolyn, right now having an 11 inch overhang is not in our plans because I want plenty of room between the dining room table and the peninsula. I probably am not describing things too well, but the outside barstool will slide completely under the peninsula when not in use (facing the inside barstool) because the roughly 25 inch wide peninsula will not have cabinets where it adjoins the wall cabinets. Although we presently do not have a big kitchen/dining area, it has easy traffic flow (so to speak) and I want plenty of room to walk or push back a chair. Again..........looking to the future and not restricting space and foot traffic lanes too much. thanks! Kathy
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Now I better understand the problems. I didn't realize the peninsula was going to be so close to the dining room table and that you were not going to have cabinets under the peninsula. Usually there are cabinets underneath, doing double duty as extra storage and as support for the granite.

Most people don't realize that granite is quite easy to break if it doesn't have proper support. Your granite fabricator can place a steel plate underneath the peninsula area, but you'll also need to replace the square leg you have with a taller, sleeker leg. Mockett is a company that makes such legs and you could order one from them if your fabricator approves the size, etc It's a satin chrome 6" diameter leg, tho it also comes in 4" diameter and in chrome or black. Here's the link to it: https://www.designjournalmag.com/index.php/detail/924-furniture-components/36819-tl34?routeparam=products/detail/924-furniture-components/36819-tl34
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:02PM
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