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Should I paint my kitchen?? I would love your insight!
dreambee
February 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hello all!

I love Houzz and have received so much inspiration here for my new home which is a Manhattan Penthouse Condo that I bought for many reasons but what I have hated since I first laid eyes on is the kitchen! I gave myself one year to live in it and see if it would grow on me. It hasn't. It certainly has to do with my passion (or obsession maybe!?) of my entire home being light ivory, white and pastel colors. Very soft and light. Which this kitchen is not.
With the quote I got for putting in a new kitchen (well...another new kitchen given that the existing one was brand new as well when I got the place) which I initially intended to do this was not an option at the moment.
And then when browsing the internet it dawned on me, I could just paint the existing kitchen WHITE :-) !! And I could look into finding an inexpensive countertop (does that even exist?) and replace the tiles for peach or rose colored ones or just see through glass.
I have fallen in love with that idea and I can already see it being all light and soft! BUT I am worried that I would maybe ruin a brand new nice wood kitchen just because it is not my taste and that if I ever were to resell that would be a problem. Many friends really really like the existing kitchen but I would be so much happier with it being light and pleasing to my eye like the "rest" of the house. It is my home after all right?
I am attaching 2 pictures of the (I know, many will think, beautiful) kitchen and 2 pictures that show my home a little bit to give you an idea of what I like. Everything is still a work in progress and things such as wall paint, wall papers and more will still happen.
I would love your feedback and ideas! Maybe I am being a brat to this kitchen which certainly is not a bad one at all. Ah questions over questions...
If some of you will ask, I do not know if this will be my home for life or if I would resell it. My hope is that I will be very happy here and call this my home as long as it fits.
Thank you so so much for you input!
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maxiegirl1
No it is pretty like it is.
February 22, 2013 at 10:50am     
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lilion
It is really a lovely kitchen as-is. I'd love to have those cabinets in my house. You might try changing the backsplash to a solid creamy color that matches the lightest part of the counter. That might lighten it up enough that you don't mind the cabinet color. Light accessories, white or cream walls, add some under-cabinet lights to make the kitchen brighter, etc. You could paint the cabinets, but boy that would be a lot of work and a shame since they're already new and so lovely, especially if you are considering selling at some point. But in the end, it's your home and you should make it something you love.
February 22, 2013 at 11:20am     
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seharris79
I think it depends on how long you plan to stay in the home. If you're going to be there for 5 years or more, do what you want with the kitchen but keep in mind resale value. If you're going to be there less than 5 years, I wouldn't touch it.
I would also not go with a peach or rose backsplash should you choose to change it. That's a very specific design choice and not good for resale. A glass tile or maybe a marble or nice ceramic or porcelin tile in a netural color with some texture or veining. Good luck!
February 22, 2013 at 11:32am     
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nasmijati
Your kitchen is gorgeous, even though it is not your style.
I think white painted cabinets are going to be falling out of favor soon.
So, how can we make your kitchen more pleasing to your eye? I think I would replace the busy backsplash as suggested previously.
Also as already suggested, light paint on the walls, light color accessories, light color kitchen linens, light floor mat.
Put in "warm" LED light strips under the cabinets that can be dimmed.
February 22, 2013 at 11:36am     
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Dawn Nakaya_delk
The backsplash would be cheap to replace. It only takes 3-4 days to add in a backsplash. The counters are light enough. Maybe fix the lighting so it looks softer in there. Add some lighting under the cabinets.
February 22, 2013 at 11:50am     
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prettymom44
Paint them! You are never going to like it otherwise, and they have good bones. They will look fab painted. I even think you may like your countertop then too. It looks nice but I can't tell what other colors are in it. I would NOT do the peachy backsplash. I hear your sense of style all over that, but stick with subway tiles or a non-trendy glass. You can never go wrong with the classic look and then you can get funky with your paint color if you want to add the pastel in the room with that. It will be easier for you to change up the look and sell if need be. Just some thoughts. I would also cut-out some of the top cabinets and put class in them with some lighting. It will open it up even more :) Also, the current handles don't go with the backsplash. They need to be straight pulls. I have a similar issue with my kitchen and got the ebook from Maria Kilman's blog to help me understand undertones. It would be helpful for you if you are needing to pick out a white. http://www.mariakillam.com/2012/08/whats-an-undertone.html/
February 22, 2013 at 11:56am     
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dreambee
Thank you so so much everyone for your help!!! Of course!! I should have thought of the lighting and under cabinet lights!
@504199ab THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I LOVE your ideas!! I hadn't even consider to open some up to glass and light them! I am really grateful for your advice and I hear you on the tiles!

Of course I am taking in everyone else's opinions as well in terms of reselling. That I will be here for at least 5 years seems very realistic.

I want to include some images of white kitchens I have seen on houzz recently that I like just for the feel and ambience of them...

I am so excited about the comments and the ones coming! You are really helping me out a great deal!
February 22, 2013 at 12:05pm     
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
I like just about everything you're hearing here. In a nutshell, either bite the bullet and go for it with a complete new Kitchen, or tweak with backsplash changes. There appears to be a pass-through above the stove. By contrast with the Kitchen it looks really vacant. Either add some color to the adjoining space with so the view from the Kitchen is not as stark, and, or consider installing some grille work. This could be simple diamond patterned stainless, or a pierced screen. It would add some detail and interest.
February 22, 2013 at 12:09pm     
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Dawn Nakaya_delk
Beautiful pics! I think white is popular now and looks great! I have the same cabinets that you currently have, same appliances and black granite which is how my house came. A backsplash definitely makes a difference. If you can afford the marble counters that would be great. Maybe remove a couple of doors and have an open shelf. Add all white dishes.
February 22, 2013 at 12:12pm     
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Stoneshop
I agree with maxiegirl1 and think that you do have a beautiful kitchen.

However, this is YOUR home, so you should be able to do with it as you please. You just have to understand/expect that you are NOT going to get very much of a return on the money that you invest in these changes. If you are alright wih that, then do as you wish! My suggestion would be to paint your cabinets a nice ivory color that picks up on the lighter areas in your countertop. After doing so, see what you think about the countertops and backsplash tile. Judging from the photos, I think that the countertop may be able to stay.
February 22, 2013 at 12:20pm     
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ejglotfelty
Try changing the tile first to glass, and then add some glass doors or the stainless steel framed glass doors. You can also change the hardware to make them more modern. If you still do not like them then go for it.
February 22, 2013 at 12:33pm     
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Christopher Brack
Like the idea of open shelving, how about over the fridge? Could have it closer to the top of the fridge. Could display cookbooks. Love the idea of subway tiles. You can't go wrong. Under counter lighting would make a big difference. What is the lighting in general like in the kitchen. Could you do something with the over pass area with barn style lights or something. Is there much wall space for art work? Could you replace some panels with glass? Love the counter top. It prob cost loads so wouldn't touch it.
February 22, 2013 at 12:39pm     
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houseofhamblin
I think that white is a bit too bright but a nice cream colour as I have had done in my cottage kitchen would look nice..everybody loves it and I would keep the granite tops as they will blend in very well with the cream colour as you can see by the photos that I am attaching...have fun and good luck in what ever you decide...renovating is very exciting and rewarding and a change is as good as a holiday.
February 22, 2013 at 1:06pm     
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Jayme H.
A few ideas, I love white kitchens also
February 22, 2013 at 2:12pm     
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Jocelyn wishlist
I would paint the cabinets an Ivory and leave the back splash and counter alone.
February 22, 2013 at 2:51pm     
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rod handler
paint the cabinets. don't fear color.
February 22, 2013 at 3:02pm     
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sytarih
Do it...i did and love mine. You might like the counter and back splash after. I think an ivory would be nice, just prep them right.
February 22, 2013 at 3:12pm     
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alisalmartin
How about painting just the upper cabinets white? And, a subway tile backsplash? Everything else remains the same.
February 22, 2013 at 3:28pm     
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Bonnie
Your bedroom and dining room are gorgeous!!!!! Here are some ivory kitchens, which can be quite beautiful. I love white kitchens also. Win win. You could easily have the cabinets painted; the expensive part would be replacing the backsplash and granite. I have the same color cabinets and coloring for tile etc... and it is pretty but I totally get wanting the white or ivory. It is so much more restful on the eyes. Some ivory inspirations...

Traditional with a Twist
Salins Group: Charlotte, NC
Small Naples Florida condo kitchen
Buckhead Kitchen http://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary/Ivory-kitchens-
Oakville House
February 22, 2013 at 5:16pm   
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Bonnie
These cabinet doors are a similar style to yours but in ivory...


February 22, 2013 at 5:18pm     
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Christine
You can certainly paint them but to have it done professionally is not cheap but it may be worth it in the end. Bonnie just put pictures up of what you could do. My advice if you want to avoid the mess of painting on site is to find a carpenter who will route out the center panels on the uppers and replace it with a reed glass or some other decorative glass and then you can paper the backs of the cabs in a lighter colored paper in keeping with the rest of your home (this is something you can do on your own). and then just light the cabinets from the inside. Update the knobs. As for the lowers those you may want to paint. I think the backsplash is fine as are the countertops. If you "repurpose" them you may find they will still work with the redo on the kitchen. Good luck.
February 23, 2013 at 6:04am     
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feeny
Personally I would keep the kitchen as it is. The lovely natural wood finish is much more durable than any white painted cabinetry will be, and there is nothing about the style of the cabinetry that is out of date. So this isn't like so many the Houzz posters with builders-grade oak cabinets with arched tops, where the cabinetry really looks so dated that painting is the best option if full replacement or refacing isn't affordable. So, yes, I do feel it is a bit of a waste to paint your kitchen. OTOH, if you are truly unhappy with it and feel it is impeding your enjoyment and plans for the design of your condo as a whole, it isn't necessarily "wrong" to paint it white. It will look lovely either way. But don't expect the white finish to be quite as durable as what you have.
February 23, 2013 at 6:21am   
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Indah Juniarsih
it,s too dark
February 23, 2013 at 6:37am   
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mtabb715
Listen to your heart! Sure you want to think about resale but you still need to enjoy it for the next 5 years. Paint the cabinets! I would consider a soft white or ivory. And, I think that light painted cabinets have always had a fan base and always will. Try that first, then see if you still need to change out the backsplash or countertop. Agree that undercabinet lighting and more updated pulls will liven it up too.
February 23, 2013 at 7:13am     
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Prudential Yost & Little
White kitchens will never go out of style...white cabinets provide a blank canvas and the possibilities are endless. Whatever you decide to do (and I hope it will be paint, be sure to put under cabinet lighting so your counter tops will be well lighted. Plus it makes the kitchen look spectacular! This kitchen used to be brown...so much better in a soft white..
February 23, 2013 at 7:33am     
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sharpkl
Great picture resembling yours with same granite and soft white cabinets with glass.
February 23, 2013 at 7:52am     
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Carnik Residential Design
Hire a professional to paint the cabinets! You want them to have a smooth professional finish. Painting them is not as easy as you may think! Changing out the backsplash would help as well maybe to a very light tan glass tile?
February 23, 2013 at 8:10am     
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ldbernal
I would consider picking the lightest color in the countertop to paint the cabinets, maybe slighter, same hue, then go from there to replace the backslash. You & I have the same taste!
February 23, 2013 at 8:20am     
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J H
So many great ideas here! I would definitely keep countertop and use lightest color in for paint. I suggest painting the cabinets above and below the sink. Put your glass or open shelves here. Since these seem to "jut" out from the others, this could be made into a really pretty focal point. Maybe switch to a white/light color apron/farmhouse sink? I personally love the combo of paint and wood! As well, paint the existing open shelves.Can't see the flooring but make it white/light color to match. I agree with glass in cabinet doors with painted or papered backs and lighting, changing hardware, more open shelving - especially over fridge (painted white/light ivory), display white accessories, and change backsplash. Thanks for letting us join your fun!
0 seconds ago
February 23, 2013 at 8:57am   
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justmejoanne
I love your kitchen, but if you really hate it and plan to be there 5+ years, I would paint the cabinets ivory and keep the back splash and counter. It will look great. Under cabinet lights will help too.
February 23, 2013 at 9:06am     
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sheattri
I just transformed my sons kitchen with "Cabinet Tranformations" by Rustoleum. It is miraculous. Go to youtube and check it out. They have counter transformations too. Really amazing.
February 23, 2013 at 9:20am     
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jensie
Love the cabinets but the color makes the kitchen look small and crowded. Paint cabinets heirloom white with a glaze, change the hardware and backsplash and add lighting. I love your style - good luck - and show after pictures!
February 23, 2013 at 9:24am     
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mamaody
I just changed my kitchen and love the new look. I tore off wallpaper and textured and painted the walls, then refreshed my solid oak cabinets with new hardware and the backsplash was lighter, it made a lot of difference. I wouldn't paint cabinets, they show too much dirt and finger prints, but lightening the backsplash would be awesome. Maybe new hardware also.
February 23, 2013 at 9:33am   
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rita2802
Okay dreambee...a little advice from Tennessee. Your backsplash and countertops are at war. Take a deep breath and baby steps, then proceed. Change the backsplash first. I think you would like a subway tile. Plz, no stark white. Additionally, use grout that blends with the lightest color in your granite. By all means, add the suggested under cabinet lighting and feature a set of doors with glass and interior lighting. Not too much additional texture in the glass as your counter is busy. Time to analyze what you've done so far. I feel sure that you will paint your cabinets! Do have a professional for this job. Soft white - then paint your walls one shade deeper. It appears that your countertops may have color in them - perhaps some type of coral - not sure. Paint the ceiling a color to blend with these colors. This will enhance the wall color at different times of the day depending on the lights, sunshine, etc. New hardware will probably be next. You've come so far, so go all the way. Try to clear the countertops as much as possible and add fresh flowers in the pastels you favor. We haven spoken about your floors - hopefully they are as dark as the cabinets are now.
By the way - I love a white kitchen!
February 23, 2013 at 4:11pm     
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curacaoblue
I feel that cabinet painting is an option for low quality cabinets or old cabinets and people with low or no budget. In other words if your kitchen looks awful and you don't have any money to fix it then painting cabinets can only help the situation. If you have quality wood cabinets then painting them is not the most prudent option. You live in a penthouse Manhattan apt. Painted cabinets will look ridiculous and you will regret it. If you don't like them then wait until you have the budget to replace them properly. FWIW I think they look very nice.
February 23, 2013 at 4:20pm   
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Linda
As mentioned before, your countertop and backsplash are fighting each other. The backsplash is cheaper to change out, so I would start there. Once you commit to changing out the backsplash, I would take some light colored paint, if you have any, and just paint over the tiles.

No, the paint won't stick permanently, but it will give you a good idea as to whether that change will be significant enough, or whether you need to continue with either painting the cabinets or changing out the counter.

A good kitchen cabinet paint job will look like a factory finish, but you will probably have to find a painter who has the ability to spray the doors and drawer fronts. That may be quite expensive where you are, depending on the access to the building for taking them off site and bringing them back.

As with every remodel, it all depends on your budget
February 23, 2013 at 6:39pm     
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Cindy Quinton
Every time I walk into my newly remodeled kitchen, I smile and enjoy. I say paint the cabinets a clean creamy shade that complements the lightest colors in the granite and backsplash. That change alone will give you the cool pale pastel effect you desire. I wouldn't mess with the backsplash until you give the cabinet paint a moment to sink in. You may not feel the need to do more, but some options might be a similar shade of subway tile, or a mother of pearl glass tile.

I agree you should either really do it right or pay a pro though. I had estimates to have mine done, painted/glazed/new hardware, and it was over $6,000 in Oklahoma. So I bought a paint gun, great primer, great paint, and supplies for less than $1,000 and did it myself. But I have a very handy husband who assisted.
February 23, 2013 at 9:16pm     
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Marlene Oliphant Designs LLC
I would replace the backsplash with a light tumbled travertine tile. Then have some of your upper cabinet doors cut out in the center panel and replace with panels of opaque or receded glass. Add under cabinet lighting, and remove as much clutter from the counter as possible. Voila!
February 23, 2013 at 9:26pm     
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morsereb
The ideas here are great, but truly, you won't be happy until the overall feeling is the same as the rest of your home. I would get two quotes: one to get the cabinets professionally refinished (Home Depot now offers a refinishing, instead of refacing, option), and one to get the backsplash and counters redone. Go with whichever is cheaper. ;) Ivory cabinets would look lovely with the existing tile/counters, and white poured concrete or solid white granite with a tone on tone ivory/white glass tile backsplash would go a long way toward making your kitchen feel more airy if you keep the cabinets as-is. Good luck!
February 24, 2013 at 1:51am     
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Andrea Prasch
I love what Bonnie posted and would do a cream not a bright white. Its your home and both cream or the current color you have are great for resale. We did our kitchen in "French White" by Benjamin Moore and I love it and highly recommend for a warm white to match your backsplash.
February 24, 2013 at 1:59am   
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Andrea Prasch
PS I love ur bed where did you get it? I'm on the hunt for one!
February 24, 2013 at 2:00am     
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cms9323
I would change out backsplash ( i used a slight off white limestone in 3x10 tile in a subway pattern - modern but classic) add glass In some of uppers ( maybe some seeded glass) and change hardware (I don't care for all those little knobs). I would not paint brand new cabinets. I think the busy glass tile is really distracting and a brighter tile would change look.

Only paint if you can fine someone who can do it professionally and only does that or else it will look cheap.
February 24, 2013 at 2:25am   
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JAN MOYER
Paint them ivory! It's a far better choice, given the other materials in the kitchen. If you can find a local refinishing source who also paints, the single BEST way to do this is to send the doors and drawer faces out to be sprayed. They will use a long lasting acrylic finish, and you simply give them "your" ivory and they will match the formula. The face frames, and any portion immoveable, is painted by a local painter on site to match. The doors, and drawers are 99% of the finished look.... and it is WORTH the trouble. The refinisher will pick up, and re-install all.
February 24, 2013 at 4:47am     
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Tracy Mortenson
Beautiful. Nothing needs changing.
February 24, 2013 at 5:07am   
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Roseanne Colleran
Refacing is an option. Kitchen Solvers refaced mine. They place a veneer on the sides of the cabinets and replace the doors and drawers. It is not cheap, but much less than new cabinets. You can choose completely different door styles and hardware and make minor functional and design changes. I replaced the microwave cabinet and added molding and inside roller drawers to my wide cabinets. My new cabinet doors are a white painted finish. It's been 5 years now and they are still beautiful. Refacing has come a long way!

A quick fix would be to keep your countertops and ledges free of appliances and little decorations and instead display beautiful, big white pottery or china pieces. Areas for display are over the refrigerator and the microwave and on the ledge between the kitchen and dining room. A Le Creuset white dutch oven or teapot could be displayed on the stovetop.
February 24, 2013 at 5:26am   
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Laura Zielonko
given the size of your kitchen I would leave as is and add more lighting or lighten up the back splash. Personally I find the white/light kitchens appealing when they are very large and spacious, but on a smaller scale I think they look a little cheap and "contractor grade".
February 24, 2013 at 5:36am     
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vquinlan
Just a thought for you - in New Jersey is a place called Green Demolitions. They sell high end used and showroom kitchens at a fraction of original cost and all proceeds go to charity. It's hit or miss but worth a trip. From Manhattan it should be no more than 40 minutes. You would then need a carpenter (or someone very handy) to install it for you. It's possible that they would take your old kitchen (if it's in excellent condition) to sell and then you would also have a charitable write-off! I know several people who have bought kitchens through them and all have been VERY happy with the outcome. They are also nice people who are helpful with any questions you might have. Here's the link: http://greendemolitions.com/ Good luck!
February 24, 2013 at 6:01am     
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soberg
In Manhattan, condos tend to be high-style and highly designed with a lot of flair, often very modern. Your current kitchen is good quality and well done but rather bland and predictable. You've already done your duty by spending one year trying to like it and have not been successful. I like your sophisticated white and ivory idea with beautiful rose or peach glass backsplash. Tiles are the jewelry of the kitchen and the backsplash is the perfect place to get creative and find something truly special and stunning. With the right backsplash, you might even be able to keep your counter as it is quite pale and neutral in keeping with your vision. Review your lighting and make sure you have undercabinet LEDs to make the new backsplash sparkle plus adequate task and ambient lighting

So, I approve painting the cabinets. To protect your investment, make sure the painting is done right by a skilled contractor who degreases, sands, and takes all steps to assure perfect adhesion and coverage.
February 24, 2013 at 6:13am     
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melbourne1944
Please paint the cabinets . I did a whole kitchen by first wiping on a binding agent we have in Australia
called PSD I think,,,ask for the USA version ( binds the new paint) and I did three coats of semi gloss oil paint, waiting 24 hours between lightly sanded coats and the change was amazing. Also replace door handles and their positions. Old fashioned as they are. Could you consider a dull aluminium paint to match stove or doors in mix and match colour shades of colour you like ( not dark).
The tiles need replacing i think.
February 24, 2013 at 6:16am     
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Maryl Hershelman
Maybe remove a door or two....open storage and paint the insides....it's the color not the wood...this looks like one of those high end safe neutral color schemes....although the back splash is nice it's sooooo bland.
February 24, 2013 at 6:21am     
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nutty123
I think that painting the cabinets ivory or cream would make your kitchen look brighter and more spacious. The tiles will be toned down by pale cabinets. I don't think you will ever be happy with your kitchen unless you paint them!
February 24, 2013 at 7:02am     
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heartstone
I agree with changing the backsplash, improve lighting, etc. I love white or ivory cabinets too but also agree it seems a shame to paint new high quality wood cabinets. If not able to sell as previously suggested, is it possible to lighten them? Strip and put a more natural finish? I also like the idea of adding glass. Make sure to post pics with whatever you end up doing! Good luck!
February 24, 2013 at 7:05am     
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Susan Davison
I like the cabinets, but I think I'd like to see more lighting. Maybe take two cabinet doors and have glass panels installed, with dimmer lights installed inside. I would also remove all the nick nacks as they detract from the beautiful lines of the kitchen. I agree with the others, try changing/adding lighting before investing in more expensive options. Good luck.
February 24, 2013 at 7:24am     
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scotter
As a builder of high end homes I have run across this many times....Option 1. Very nice upper cabinets should stay, replace the backsplash as it does not tie the upper cabinets to the countertop. Get a few samples of the lighter tones of the counter top and lay it up on the cabinet top and decide which one looks best. Then go and buy a scrap piece of that counter top and have them cut it to the thickness of the back splash making 2" x 2" squares and secure them in a diamond pattern every 18 inches apart and about 6" up from counter top. This will pull everything together for you. Just one more thing, find a way to get rid of that bump out in the middle as it is draws attention to a mistake that could likely have been fixed another way. Option 2. is basically the same except replacing the Gialla countertop with a dark surface such as Chocolate Brown or even a Black variation such as Baltic Brown. Sorry the second is a more expensive look but if you are putting a lot of money and time in this project it will pay off when you go to sell it! Good Luck!
February 24, 2013 at 7:40am     
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joy1inchrist
Excellent and lovely ideas ... Wow!!! So, to glean the best of what I've read so far, this is what I'd do, if it were mine:

1. Paint only the upper cabinets a lovely soft white. Have two of them faced with glass to reveal your lovely white dishes and select crystal glassware.

2. Have lighting installed under these cabinets.

3. Choose a subtle peach-colored glass backsplash. There appears to be hints of peach in your counter. Try to match that shade. Your under counter light will beautifully illuminate your counter and backsplash ... dreamy!

4. Now accent with crystal - all knobs crystal - on the upper white cabinets and lower wood cabinets. On your counter, a generous crystal bowl with your favorite fruit. And wouldn't a crystal vase full of small pink roses be lovely? A nice set of 3 or 4 white glass canisters will complete the look.

5. Let's further enhance your classic white theme by choosing a pretty white (and washable!) throw rug.

Dreambee, you have a lovely home ... enjoy ALL of it!
February 24, 2013 at 8:07am     
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redesign-gallery
This kitchen belongs in a rental or in the suburbs. I would sell the complete base/wall cabinet/counter top as a package, scrape the back splash totally clean of those tile. Come back in with beveled glass front white cabinets with crystal or slightly colored glass knobs. Under counter lighting (very thin ones with wall switch) and never put throw rugs in a kitchen. Keep the appliances hidden.....too many things on counter top will get depressing. Lots of counter top options with decent pricing are available now. Great spot. Congrats!
February 24, 2013 at 8:25am     
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shyesha
I hope you decide to paint your kitchen! It almost seems like it doesn't belong in your home because everything else is so light and gorgeous It doesn't matter what your friends think of the dark wood - you are the one who has to live in your home! Yesterday I visited a friend who painted her kitchen cabinets white and I am definitely inspired to paint mine mine too. If you decide to change out the tiles in the backsplash, I think some seacolored glass would be lovely and it would totally compliment the rest of your house. Good luck with finding a new countertop - I think if you check out what's out there, you might be surprised to find something that's not too expensive - just because granite is trendy, doesn't mean you have to use it in your kitchen. I wish you the best of luck with your new place!!!
February 24, 2013 at 9:07am     
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vikki0730
First off...if you are not happy with the kitchen then that's that no matter if it is new or others like it. I am not sure if this is viable...can you sell the existing cabinets to make some money to go to new ones? This may be an option.
February 24, 2013 at 9:14am     
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decoenthusiaste
Someone earlier mentioned Cabinet Transfomations. Rustoleumtransformations.com has this product which gets little attention at Houzz but is often used for projects at HGTV. People there seem to be very pleased with the ease and results they're getting.
February 24, 2013 at 9:14am     
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JAN MOYER
Just a point here: A NYC condo is NOT a fun place to do "work"! I think when the cabs are painted a soft ivory, the rest will be soft enough to please the owner. To re-do a splash, is a drywall smoothing, tile cutting, grouting, dusty, mess. This isn't a place where a truck pulls up and parks in your driveway. Every single thing is more expensive, and a logistical challenge. So, either move out and re-do the entire kitchen to taste... or paint cabs IVORY which is the LEAST invasive. BTW........ someone who loves pastels and soft, iS going to leave behind a traditional style kitchen which an urban New Yorker would likely rip in any case. So...knowing most hip New Yorkers would go sleek and edgy... possibly invest as little as possible, and know that ivory paint will likely be such a brightening change, the counter and splash will be a neutral and bearable thing.The next will rip it almost certainly. Or not buy it at all. Hope that doesn't sound harsh.
February 24, 2013 at 9:20am     
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Miami Faux Finishes
This kitchen was very dark wood,we did a beautiful faux finish with a light glaze over light base coat and the result is stunning....this will give a new life to your. Kitchen that you do not really love,without having to change your cabinets.
Mimi
February 24, 2013 at 9:25am     
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Modern Age Designs, LLC
I would definitely paint the cabinets an off-white right in the middle of white and cream - gives you the soft look you're looking for. Remove doors to one or two cabinets and replace them with frosted glass. with lights in them and pastel wallpaper in the backs of those cabinets with lights that reflect that color through the glass. Subway tiles definitely in the same off-white as the cabinets. Definitely have under cabinet lighting. You can go with counter tops in Quartz. It will then reflect the airy feel in the rest of the space. And definitely do visit the link to Maria Killams link, one of the commenters posted.
February 24, 2013 at 9:47am   
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trishfrayne
I would agree - definitely paint the cabinets with a light distressed chalky white. I would use clear glass in a few of the cupboards rather than frosted- cupboard contents can be interesting no matter how eclectic the collection of their contents. I would paint the insides in a slightly different light colour too to create some contrast (not too much) as wall paper is so hard to remove once it's installed. One fun idea is to wall paper the insides of drawers and then paint over with a sealing glaze. Use something classic and timeless for this. I would redo the back splash as well with something less strong. Just a plain white ceramic tile would be an improvement and not so expensive - maybe use an elongated rectangular shape to make it a little more modern. Then introduce colour with tea towels and other bits and bobs that you can change when you get bored! Fixed colour can be so limiting. Under cabinet lighting is a must. It's impossible to work in a dark kitchen. A lighter granite with some colour movement in it would be a good idea. I would avoid a plain flat colour for the counter top - I would also avoid anything too dark. I also find granite really durable and if you care for it well it looks lovely for years. Sometimes adding in a single item like a dresser or a table in a colour you love can add quirky personality to your space. If you have room for this its worth considering. Good luck - what a fun project!!
February 24, 2013 at 10:15am     
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crozft
Painted cabinets (even when painted correctly) will eventually chip. I like your kitchen as is!!!
February 24, 2013 at 10:52am     
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Pat
I just had my cabinets painted white a week ago. I had chosen a light, white washed looked when we remodeled several years ago. I was never happy with that look. Love the new white look. I have grey Corian counter tops and I painted the island a charcoal color. Couldn't decide on a back splash material the first time around, so still just painted walls - a key lime-ish color (light yellow/green). I think I can find something I like for the back splash now. I was so bummed by the cabs I didn't love that I couldn't move forward. Just paint and make yourself happy.
February 24, 2013 at 10:55am     
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JAN MOYER
I do think the most important thing, is the OWNER has tried to like the kitchen... and doesn't. Not her thing is what I got from the intro! And no, done correctly, cabinets do not chip. Particularly in adult type space, which this seems to be?
February 24, 2013 at 10:55am     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
Give the cabinets some dimension- have your contractor router some design into the panels of the doors. Spray the cabinets an off white(BM white dove) and use some hardware to give it a wow factor- stainless. Replace the back splash tile with some glass tile to tie in with existing granite.Use a light color as a focal color to blend and soften the look.
February 24, 2013 at 11:21am   
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debracompton123
judging by what you do like ........i say you need to lighten and brighten your kitchen....blonde wood cabinets (on the order of you DR table ) and maybe aquamarine contempo tile backsplash :-)
February 24, 2013 at 11:23am     
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Lisa Nelson
What have you got to loose
You say you don't like the cabinets, paint them. If it doesn't work out, try taking the doors off and try the open cabinet style, you would of replaced them anyway. If it works out "yippee" and you saved a bit of money.
Do it !!
February 24, 2013 at 12:26pm     
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JWinteriors
I hear you loud and clear..this kitchen is not you no matter what any body says. You are blessed with good cabinets that you can work with. Have them sprayed your white color that you have been using throughout your penthouse. Keep your new tiled backsplash light..white or marble. Light it with under cabinet lights..recessed cans.(.inside cabinet lighting if you do cut out some panels and add glass). Paint walls your soft pastel. This is your cheap fix if you decide to sell...changing it to a neutral. Can't see the whole kitchen, add some Crystal to tie it to your dining room..knobs, light fixture, window treatment trim.
February 24, 2013 at 12:51pm     
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startess
Go for it. If you want a white kitchen then have it painted white.
February 24, 2013 at 1:17pm     
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Anne Pratt
First put in the under-cabinet lights. It makes a huge difference. Then I would go for white in a nice, plain backsplash, and white or ivory walls. You might love it!
February 24, 2013 at 4:13pm     
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vtlady52
I disagree with a lot of what was said here. I read somewhere that if you don't like the color of something in your home, change it. Don't put your wishes for your house on hold waiting for what you should or shouldn't do when you go to sell your home. It doesn't matter what colors everyone else likes. YOU are living there. If you would rather have white cabinets, then paint them. I would suggest almost the opposite of what others said. Hire an excellent painter to spray your cabinets white. Then, live with it for a couple months. I am betting that you will think the counter tops and back splash are okay. I think the dark cabinets are beautiful but it is not MY kitchen. Have faith in your choices, the rest of your space is gorgeous. Go for it!
February 24, 2013 at 6:01pm     
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Luz Perez
Hello,
I read your story and thought that maybe a real picture would help you decide which way to go. My blog is:
www.luypunto.blogspot.com
Last post is about this issue. Scroll down for the English version.
I write about interior design and tried out some white hue over your cabinets because I'm convinced that the solution is not as expensive as it looks, nor complicated.
It is hard to give you an exact paint reference as we cannot see the entire image, but I think this might help.
Good luck!!
February 24, 2013 at 6:03pm     
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Kimbra Saunders
I really like what @Luz Perez has done with your cabinets!! if you choose to paint them white, and do nothing else, it brightens the whole room!! love it! The way your kitchen is now is very similar to mine...and I like mine, but as many have said...your taste matters! and the outcome would still be beautiful!
February 24, 2013 at 6:09pm     
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Laurie Lurz
We had cherry cabinets, even a little darker than yours. We didn't get a lot of natural light in our kitchen so it was seemed very dark in general. We painted the cabinets white, replaced the hardware with nickel ones, and covered the walls with wainscoting-also painted white. We love it being so bright. You can color it up with your curtains and table linens and stuff on your counter. You also can put nice small tiles for the backsplash- Home Depot has some good deals on them now. It doesn't matter if it's in style or not - it's about what makes you happy.
February 24, 2013 at 6:13pm     
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designgirl32
Paint them!! I'm in the same boat. My last house had white cabinets and cream countertops, and we lived there for 11 years and I never got tired of it. Our new house has cherry cabinets with black granite counters, and after 3-1/2 years it still hasn't grown on me! Don't listen to the naysayers- just search Google Images for "Architectural Digest kitchen", and you'll see how many elite homes have white kitchens. It's not cheap-looking or going out of style!
February 24, 2013 at 6:38pm     
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yellowbootsinthegardentoday
Tape white paper to the cabinets and live with it for a while. They sell different shades of resume paper you could try.
February 24, 2013 at 7:15pm     
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yvesun
Wooden cabinets aren't for everyone, if you love the fresh clean lines that white cabinets offer like the pictures you've posted, then you've already answered your question. I would donate your current kitchen cabinets to Habitat for Humanity though, instead of painting them. If you are looking for inexpensive counters, instead of Laminate, then I suggest looking at Caesar Stone / Ice Stone. It's made of recycled glass and comes in an array of colours. I've attached a picture.
February 24, 2013 at 7:58pm   
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herbalmomma
PAINT! You will love it. I painted some nice oak cabinets and I love them now. White is classic, too. And as some have already said, just don't go with a bright white and you may want to do a little glazing. It's work, but it is a simple project, just do your research.
February 24, 2013 at 8:00pm     
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wantsideas
Not a professional. I think the counters, backsplash, cabinets and hardward clash. I commend you for trying to live with it for a year. Is the kitchen itself functional? If so, are the cabinets of a high quality? They appear to be but lighting can be deceiving. What is the square footage? Is it just the dark cabinets you don't like? If so, I would consider taking off some of the upper doors and replacing with glass fronts which is inexpensive. Still not loving it? I wouldn't tackle painting quality cabinets and suggest taking them to a pro and paying the price. I wouldn't want to do a DIY on quality wood. I hope you post an "after" when you do finish. Based on the pictures of your other rooms....you already know what you want but just need a gentle push.
February 24, 2013 at 9:47pm     
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Lexie Harrison
Yes, I think you should paint it or change the mosaic tiles, to lighten it up.
February 25, 2013 at 3:48am     
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cohoek
Would you consider putting glass panes against the wall instead of tiles? Everything is much to busy, maybe this is whats bothering you, too much going on....and nothing matches, I would maybe try the glass backsplash and a different countertop and then if i wasn't satisfied I'd have the kitchen painted by someone that garantees the paint wil stay on them...
February 25, 2013 at 5:14am     
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turner3477
Yes defently change, I know there are lots of you out there that would die putting a paint brush to this kitchen. I just moved 2 yrs ago and honestly My house is only 7yrs old and solid wood dark stained cupbords with the same tiles you have only different colour.The rest of the house has plenty of windows and light furnishings. The first month I was in I grabbed a Paint scrapper and a hammer and placed the scraper behind tiles and slowly taped the handle and eventually removed all the tiles. I then had a Glass splash back professionally installed. At least it waas livable, 2yrs later I still have my dark cupboards as I didn't want to rush. I have been getting as much advise as possible as to the best way to paint them, as changiing them is not an option. I just finished painting the outside red bricks around the house in a cream limewash Everyone told me I was made to do it. Those same people now love the new look. It has given the house character and softeness. My next project is to lightly sand, prime and paint the cupboards in a cream or Antique white. I agree with you a hundred percent. I've done up Antiques and furniture for myself for 30 yrs but never kitchen cupboards as they get a lot of ruff and tumble and need to do the job right. , so if you have never attempted doing so, please don't rush into it and visit every paint shop, books and internet as every one has different ideas as how to go about it. Start just lightly sanding while you do your homework.Will show mine when I finally do them later in the year, goodluck
February 25, 2013 at 5:20am     
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guitarchitect
An easy change that we are toying around with is removing the tile backsplash and going with a painted (semi-gloss) white beaded board backsplash and pastel blue or green pastel cabinets.
February 25, 2013 at 5:22am     
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andwhynot
No wonder you do not like it - compared to the other two beautiful rooms it does look very heavy - I would change backsplash and countertop to somewhere between white and ivory and cream and I am sure you will not need to change the rest. I think if you just paint the cupboards you would still be left with the heavy urban backsplash and countertop as they are definitely not your style from what I see in the other rooms.
The idea of replacing some wood with glas is also very clever.
Enjoy your lovely place and say hi to Manhattan for me.
February 25, 2013 at 6:04am     
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nikiboisen
I am with you on the white! I too love white woodwork and cabintry as it makes everything feel so much brighter and soothing. What if you paitned the top cabints white/cream and left the bottom as is giving you the light color you like but not having to go through all the trouble and cost of painting all the cabinets? And i agree with the back splash..too much, simple would be much better. If you look up 'white cabinets upper dark cabinets lower kitchen' on houzz you will see al kinds of examples...good luck!
February 25, 2013 at 6:21am     
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The Baker Design Group, International
Several factors need to be considered in making this decision. If you have the work done by professional painters the price of the job will be equivalent to the price of new door fronts. If you choose new door fronts, the exposed frame of the cabinet boxes becomes problematic. I have painted them in the past and not been very happy with the outcome. Your last choice is to replace all cabinets which can be extremely expensive. Another consideration is resale. I once worked on a Street of Dreams project that the builder insisted on white cabinets. White can take on a look of a medical facility if not handled properly. The show house took months to sell but we had 4 presales, with all buyers specifying wood finish cabinets.
February 25, 2013 at 9:57am   
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Liz Long Interiors
I completely agree with you that the kitchen needs updating. It does not fit the rest of your home at all. Personally, I think that finish for kitchen cabinets looks cheap. Your instincts are good and you obviously know what you like. I think a white kitchen will look fantastic and flow with the rest of your home. I would paint the cabinets white (it would be best to hire someone to paint them), get rid of the awful backsplash, and change out the counters (hard to tell in the pictures but white probably would not work with them), new hardware and lighting and you can have the kitchen of your dreams. It's difficult to tell in the pictures but that passthrough might work best if you install a multipaned window to seperate the space while allowing light throughout. Best of luck and great job on the rest of your home!
February 25, 2013 at 10:58am     
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robingillis
Hi, This is funny that I came onto this site recently and just came across your inquiry. I JUST finished painting my very old, extremely dark brown kitchen cabinets white and my husband is THRILLED with them. I love to paint and we lightly sanded them, two coats of primer and two coats of white paint. I understand your concern because your kitchen is new ours, like I said is very old. I was first looking at painting them as a temporary fix until we could afford to replace the cabinets but my husband says he doesn't think we need to spend all that money because they look so nice. In fact, I completed the cabinets about a week ago, when I returned home this morning at 7:15 the sun was coming in the kitchen window and it just looked so cheery and bright and much bigger. We replaced all the hardware and are getting granite quotes for counter tops and back splash. Good luck with our decision.
Robin
February 25, 2013 at 1:38pm     
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Sharon Nolan
I would definitely paint it, your the one that spends most of the time in the kitchen, don't worry about the resale, they can & will change it if they want. I agree its dark and dungy, I have the same problem and I am thinking of doing the same thing in my kitchen.

Your home should reflect your feelings not that of others....
February 25, 2013 at 3:15pm     
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dreambee
Wow wow wow thank you all so so much!!! I am moved by your generosity and inspiration!! The comments and help just kept coming and I now have such a pool of insight to draw from I appreciate it so much!
I have in the meantime come to find out that the building I bought the condo in violates codes and has some damage and faulty installations that a new building "shouldn't" (or do I live in fantasy land?) have and I am somewhat in shock while speaking to engineers, architects and lawyers in order to resolve this in the best possible way.
Even more so am I now holding to the idea of redoing the kitchen as a means to channel my energy into something happy and fulfilling. What a shock. I wonder how it could have passed inspections in the first place. Would I have known these things while buying I would have gotten another home. It's a lot to digest right now so I am sorry it took me a few days to respond and catch up. Hopefully it will turn out to be a lot less of an issue than what it currently sounds like or maybe even a blessing in disguise.
As for the wonderful help and suggestions, I will dare it! Paint the cabinets! Replace some uppers for a glass with lighting from the inside and put new hardware on in possibly crystal. Then I can see how the countertop agrees with me. I will get a quote for redoing the backsplash.
Gee I was so excited just a few days ago and now I am afraid and hopefully will feel better as soon as I hear facts from the professionals involved.
I will certainly show you photos and update you on what is going on!
About the bed, it is the leather tufted ivory headboard from Westelm and the bed spread and the amethyst pillow are west elm as well. The chandelier was a Christmas gift :-) and is from shopwildthings.com
Thank you so much for the compliments on my home! They mean a lot to me and especially now!
February 26, 2013 at 11:25am     
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dreambee
....and of course adding the under cabinet lighting and good kitchen lighting to warm it up!
February 26, 2013 at 11:26am     
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andwhynot
hey good luck and enjoy the work and do it well cause we will want to 'inspect'
February 26, 2013 at 12:03pm     
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jeniecegoellner
As someone who just bought a house a year ago.....please don't paint the cabinates yourself. The owners before us painted the cabinates white for resale value we were told. Problem is they did not prep the cabinates and just painted. The paint felt sticky and tacky to the touch. It ruined the fit of the doors and cleaning them without chipping off the paint was a disaster. If you aren't going to take the time to sand the cabinates, paint and fish properly or even use a professional, please do not do it. As everyone is saying, lightenting up the walls will add the much needed brightness you are looking for.
February 26, 2013 at 12:35pm     
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Bens Appliance Kitchens and Bath
Heed the advice of Jeniecegoeliner, if you absolutely must paint your cabinets have it done professionaly. If not done correctly will look bad and be prone to chipping. Factory finishes are baked on and very durable you really cannot reproduce that on your own. I would recommend a new backsplash maybe one not so busy as the current possibly a 3 x 6 in a natural stone, very classic. It looks like you could use more lighting so as suggested previously some undercabinet LED's would be great.
February 26, 2013 at 3:09pm     
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rubiaj
Try updating the hardware on the cabinetry. You would be surprised at how a simple cabinet 'accessory' changes the entire feel of the kitchen.
February 26, 2013 at 3:24pm     
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Ann Alderson
I am glad you are following your heart and getting rid of the brown! White cabinets are timeless and will never go out of style. I didn't read all of the comments, but you could consider "grounding" the bottom cabinets in a different, slightly darker color. A great one would be SW6171 Chatroom. I saw it featured in a magazine and it was gorgeous! Pulls instead of knobs would also be more pleasing. Above all, don't just "live with it" just because it's there. Make it yours!
February 26, 2013 at 3:54pm     
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frana12
I recently re-did most of my kitchen.My husband wanted to replace the cabinets ( they are soft white ).I love white cabinets so I kept them. I changed the counter top.to granite which looks very much like yours. I put up a backsplash of square tumble stone in the lighter shade of the counter, stainless appliances and a new floor made a wonderful change. Textured wall paint picked from a shade in the granite completed it. It is lovely and very warm.Follow your heart in what you love. Good luck. Oh, by the way , everyone loves it.
Doreen.
February 26, 2013 at 3:57pm     
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vtlady52
DreamBee, I am so sorry about your situation with the quality and maybe the building not meeting code. Hang in there! It will work out. Keep in mind that ultimately you could sue the builder and/or contractor for not meeting code. That is against the law.
I also agree with those who said that redoing the cupboards could be a disaster. However, if you are patient while doing the job (if you diy,) you can do this. You need to do the proper prep work, follow each and every step and relax. If you make a mistake on one, start over on it. Enjoy the process if you are doing it and ask pros for help. Go to DIY Network website and/or other websites like This Old House and look for instructions. Don't get discouraged. You can do this!
February 26, 2013 at 5:01pm     
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kimdegroot
You have to look at your kitchen every day, do what YOU love. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to paint those cabinets a soft white or even a cream color (cream would go beautifully with your countertops). But definately have them professionally painted, that will make a big difference. Enjoy and good luck!
February 26, 2013 at 5:18pm     
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sharpkl
Will you let us know what you decide? Either way it looks nice now but if you are not happy that is important.
February 27, 2013 at 3:50pm     
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turner3477
PLEASE LOOK AT NEW PRODUCT RUST-OLEUM CABINET TRANSFORMATION VIDEO. Wow I mentioned previous I want to do my statined cupbords to white also. I have been doing my homework for 2 yrs and this NEW product sounds great. Can't wait to start mine in the next few months. Good luck with all the problems
February 28, 2013 at 1:06pm   
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lauramortara
I used rust oleum cabinet transformations on an old bathroom vanity. It was relatively easy, though time consuming and a lot of open space is needed. It was a dark cabinet and I used the espresso color. It has held up well, almost a year, would be a tremendous amount of work for a kitchen.
March 1, 2013 at 4:29pm   
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Lkristine
Paint them white, you obviously like lighter colors and it would look beautiful with the rest of your home. White cabinets are a classic, IMO. They don't go in or out of style..........
March 1, 2013 at 4:37pm     
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Stephanie T
I have a kitchen that is your kitchen's long lost relative! While I am a transitional kinda girl - the dark tone is slowly fading from my interest. I say you change the backsplash to match the lightest color in that granite. Definitely put the under cabinet lighting as well and if you're gutsy enough, maybe change out the cabinets to some sort of frosted glass? Its NY chic.
Best of luck!
March 1, 2013 at 5:52pm     
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lisapg
Paint your cabinets and the live with the tile and the countertop for a while. Painting is cheap, and it will brighten the entire kitchen up. The existing tile and countertop will lighten up, and are very neutral- you can bring in your pops of pastel colors in a kettle, flour and sugar jars, and with all the money you save you can get fresh (pastel) flowers every week for the kitchen. Enjoy! you can always change more later....
March 3, 2013 at 5:47am     
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lafmor
Not sure if you'd be open to this, but you may want to change the cabinets to Maple or Birch by shopping for "used" materials. Often people buy homes (like you did) and although brand new, don't like their new kitchen and/or cabinets. They hire a contractor who removes the "used" ones (which have never been used) and they get sold. You might be able to afford to do a small remodel if you can purchase your materials at a fraction of the original cost. You'll be amazed at what's available. For resale value, I think most people like real wood even if the current trend is painting. Plus, you could also sell your outgoing cabinets to offset your costs. This way you won't be sacraficing beautiful wood cabinets for painted ones, you'd simply be exchanging them. Good luck! And I love your dining room ! (p.s. in California many people shop for items like this on Craigslist. My friends on the East Coast groan when I mention Craigslist due to past problems there. I've purchased a ton of wonderful items and building materials on Craigslist. Like anything else, you have to be careful.)
March 3, 2013 at 7:13am     
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karla930
As a Realtor for 26+ years, I'd have to say, for resale, keep your cabinets & work at lightning up from other angles. I will probably make some white cabinet people upset, but white is not a favorite, these days,. At least not in Texas. That being said, if you plan to stay a long time, and really hate those pretty cabinets, do what you want. Your home should be your tastes. I think I sometimes decorate my own home, with too much knowledge of "resale" haunting me. It's a pretty kitchen, and you've gotten some really good, low cost ideas, here.
March 3, 2013 at 9:05am     
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hhindman
I wouldn't paint them for resell reasons (and it is also very wasteful given there is nothing wrong with it :) . Maybe replace the doors on the top cupboards with glass doors/interior cabinet lighting, add some open shelving and make sure everything else is very light (backsplash, countertop, floor, etc.). Add the lighting and the bit of dark wood that's left will simply look like a beautiful accent rather than a wall of wood. The rest of your place uses lighter wood, so perhaps add a few pictures frames here and there with darker wood to pull from the kitchen/make everything blend. Wood doesn't need to be matchy matchy afterall!
March 3, 2013 at 9:56am     
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Amy Stanley
I would have the cabinets professionally painted- if done professionally it should not hurt your re-sale anymore then adding new cabinets would. I think once lightened the counters and back-splash will meet your color scheme. Beautiful home, I pray all the craziness works out!
March 3, 2013 at 10:10am     
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Ruth Helm
Are the cabinets, CHERRY, or Maple? with 5 piece picture frame detail$$$ do they match the rest of the wood work in condo?
Start with just new Upper Doors, Frosted glass, painted or something & STASH the ORIGINAL DOORS for RESALE VALUE. Someone ELSE might find value in them in 5 years.
I would change the back splash to something more solid and less busy for you, keep stone tops.
March 4, 2013 at 7:14am     
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cgough
Paint it! It's your space.... Live with what you love..... and be happy
March 4, 2013 at 11:40am     
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PamDesigns 3D
If the cabinets were dated or cheap looking I would definitely say "Paint them!". However, this is not the case. I think you've already made up your mind about wanting white. If you can, you should sell and buy something that either has white already or that you wouldn't feel guilty about painting. Next time -trust your gut.
March 4, 2013 at 11:47am   
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lafmor
Just curious - Have you made any decisions after all these suggestions?
Just remember: There's always a way! Just relax and do what your gut says.
March 4, 2013 at 1:00pm     
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dreambee
@Luz Perez thank you so much for your wonderful blogpost! I love what you did with the kitchen! It is a great visual to have to make this easier on me! THANK YOU!
March 4, 2013 at 6:13pm   
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dreambee
@Andrea Prasch Thank you so much! The bed is the ivory leather tufted headboard from WestElm and a white (dont remember the exact name anymore) bedframe also from westelm queen size. The bedspread and amethyst pillow are west elm as well. The chandelier is from shopwildthings.com where I have gotten lots of chandeliers from.
March 4, 2013 at 6:16pm   
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Barbara Griffith Designs
I would paint them because you are in Manhattan..this isn't suburbia..I think white, with the look you have in the entire condo, it will be an asset.
March 4, 2013 at 6:22pm     
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dreambee
I am sitting over websites choosing my under cabinet white LED lighting first. I want to get dimmable ones. That way I can have it on as a soft mood light by night. I am also looking for spots for the ceiling I can point to each cabinet and stove to light it up nicely. I emptied the countertop completely and will ass some of my newly grown herbs and plants on it.
Then I am looking at different knobs or pulls I find attractive.
This is what I am starting out with first.
I LOVE all your support and insights!
As soon as I hear definite from the lawyer about this situation with the building at the moment I an make a definite move.
I hope I will be brave enough to go for it and paint/hire someone to paint it.
I am about to have my whole duplex painted ....
I am also hearing those that say to leave it as is and light it up. So to make sure I cover all ends I am lighting it up nicely first. Paint the walls. chose pulls or knobs. And then.... if I, which I think I will, feel the same way I have been feeling for this year I will gather my courage and do this! I am keeping you posted!
I am thinking for a Manhattan Penthouse Condo the kitchen is so traditional anyways that if I were to at some point resell it the next person would redo it any which way whatever I chose to do.
My neighbors just put in a brand new kitchen...in white :-) and ooh it is so lovely and inspiring!! I should post more pictures of my home as it is now...
March 4, 2013 at 6:24pm     
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dreambee
Here are some more photos of the home. (The plants are last seasons and currently I have started new seeds indoors happily awaiting outdoor planting season in New York). What I am also very much looking forward to is the painting of the walls. I have not yet decided on the paints for it.
March 4, 2013 at 6:42pm     
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dreambee
some more photos of the overall....
March 4, 2013 at 6:47pm     
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dreambee
this year even my plants will be all light rose and light lavender in white to keep everything in the light pastel shades I find so appealing and calming...
March 4, 2013 at 6:53pm     
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dreambee
some more kitchen photos I took just now with my phone, it is dark outside and the lamp in the kitchen and hallway I do have has no bulb so I could't light it up more
March 4, 2013 at 7:01pm   
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Barbara Griffith Designs
Definitely white.
March 4, 2013 at 7:57pm     
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wantsideas
Love your outdoor space! It looks huge. I would imagine you spend April through October out there.
March 4, 2013 at 8:56pm   
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lafmor
Your home is lovely! You've perfected your outdoor space and your flowers are beautiful! No matter how you decide to lighten those cabinets, I can tell by what you've already done that it will be perfect. I think your decision to start out with lighting, etc, is great. I look forward to seeing how this turns out. Trust your instincts.
March 4, 2013 at 9:27pm     
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bevballew
These new pictures are dark. I would paint them. It is your home and you live there. I was going to suggest adding white marble or tumbled marble as a backsplash and white tumbled marble on the floor but now seeing how dark the kitchen really is.....paint them!!! You are in Manhattan. It fits with the rest of your place. The next buyer some day may want white or would gut the whole kitchen anyway. Go for it! Don't waste another minute. Paint your cabinets!
March 4, 2013 at 9:33pm   
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wantsideas
I just noticed from the new pictures that your wine rack, spices and mircrowave were hidden behind the closed door which I love. But in your new version, I would like to see the outlet hidden also. That big plug hanging down into the outlet distracts. They make outlets that go in the cabinet and also under so that it is not visable.
March 4, 2013 at 10:06pm   
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
I would NOT repaint your cabinets - because you are only reducing the life of the cabinetry in doing so. What I would do is replace your countertops and backsplash to lighten and brighten the space to better fit your love of white.

Some kitchens with this aesthetic -
David Vandervort Architects AIA

Union Park Penthouse Kitchen

2828 Greenwich unit kitchen

I think if you "make sense" of the dark cabinetry by streamlining the things that you can change to white - will also ground the space and make it earthier.

good Luck with your project -
March 4, 2013 at 10:45pm     
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chickinvic
I think you should paint the cabinets. I'm not in love with the current colour, and clearly you aren't either. I don't think they go with the rest of your apartment - they don't match your style.
March 5, 2013 at 12:30am     
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cgough
If you are brave and paint your cabinets. I think you might even like the counters and back splash.
March 5, 2013 at 6:43am     
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andwhynot
I still think that the problem is the backsplash and the countertop and even if you paint the cupboards you still have to change those 2 items so why not start with them, replace some doors with satined glass, replace the trellised glass with satined glass and voiĆ  you will have an urban chic kitchen. I find Marie Hebson 's suggestions very cool - European, Italian
March 5, 2013 at 7:25am     
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cchlopecki
Your cabinets are great. You could change your countertop as they seems to be too similar to the backsplash. also some long Stainless steel pulls pulls instead of knobs will give it a boost
March 5, 2013 at 7:28am   
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Stacey Rushing
I think it is your kitchen, you have tried to live with it and its not working. You can paint the cabinets a nice off white to a creamy color. You can either hire someone to spray them out (which I would suggest) or you can do it the hard way and remove all the doors and start to paint them out yourself. Once that is done your counter tops are beautiful and high end. The backsplash is horrible. I don't know why people keep putting those in. See if you can find a tile man to remove that and try a bisque subway tile. Then the only color will be one the counter tops and it will appear neutral and inviting. Remember its your space and if you don't fix it, it will never be what you want. Take the plunge and do it :)
March 5, 2013 at 7:47am     
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bevballew
I would start with replacing backsplash and tops. Then see what it looks like. Better to go through that construction before painting.
March 5, 2013 at 8:22am   
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Howdy, Are we still undecided????? FYI painting your cabinets is a bad idea unless you have a pro take the doors and drawers to a dust-free booth and do it properly. Then the cabinet rails and stiles will need to be done too. I had a client who insisted on this plan and so that's what we did. The Kitchen looked fresher for sure! We changed hardware, counter tops and backsplash. When it was all done she had sticker shock even though everything had been priced before she took the plunge.
She could have had a brand new Kitchen for the same cost!!!! There's a lot of labor involved with a facelift job and doing it yourself will be a mistake.
If you do decide to go for it, you'll have some options to consider which in the end will translate into a possible increase in value when the time comes to move on.
It's tough for me to see from your pictures but it looks as though you have the room to increase the utility of the penninsula. Can the stove be relocated? In most apartments in Manhattan the cooking is via electric. If so you should be able to relocate your stove easily.
If you cannot do a major reno then be sure you use a good painter. See what it might cost to take down the tall cabinet above the sink and instead, install a cabinet where your microwave and wine rack are. For fresh tile, white or cream is probably the easiest to find at a good price. If you want to have fun and splurgea little, Ann Sacks is on 58th St. between 3rd and 2nd Ave. They have some really gorgeous tile. One that I think of when I look at your pics, is a brand new tile which is actually antiqued mirror. Might be too blingy for you but would be awsome in your Kit.
Paint the uppers and leave the others as is. Install a wall paper or fresh paint on the ceiling. (Try "Cumulus" by Benny Moore). If you want to get really creative; install new counters in a light stone and run the stone around including the top of that wood cap. You can also have glass panels run from the knee walls up to the ceiling!!!! (Groovy huh?). I hope this is useful to you and I wish you luck with your beautiful new home!
*Pics attached; 1. Glass mosaic from Ann Sacks in Ecru. 2. Side view of two sided vanity/dresser with glass partition. 3. Detail of Glass partition w/two sided mirror and satin glass field.
March 5, 2013 at 8:45am   
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Grace Reed
More reinforcement to go with the decisions you've made. Do have them painted professionally! My hunch is that you won't be happy with less and it's so important to protect your investment. Someone else mentioned BM White Dove. Almost without exception, it's used on the custom, high end white kitchens that I've seen on Houzz. Kashmir White granite (in addition to others) is used (as a low maintenance substitute for marble). it's not an expensive granite. Anyway, I love your wonderful taste and can't wait to see it.
March 5, 2013 at 12:24pm     
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Grace Reed
Dreambee, I just looked at your White Kitchens IdeaBk. with 51 pics! Case closed!
March 5, 2013 at 12:27pm     
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irishgirl66
I think what you are not liking is the browns all seem to fight with one another- you have a lot going on in a very small space. Since you like the whites, you could easily remove the backsplash and replace it with a lighter less busy backsplash, such as some light travertine 3x3 squares. However, your kitchen is very pretty the way it is.
March 5, 2013 at 12:34pm     
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snickers5
Try keeping the backsplash but painting the walls a bright greenish blue. It also might give it a more modern look.
March 8, 2013 at 11:51am   
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kellyree
In my opinion, if you don't care for something no amount of tweaking the outskirts but leaving what you dislike will change your mind. If you can afford to change out the cabinets or paint them then that is all that matters. Life is short, take the happy & satisfied route! ;-)
March 9, 2013 at 1:59am     
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dreambee
@Grace Reed !!!!!!!! :-)
March 15, 2013 at 8:02am     
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dreambee
Update:

Hi All,

I am very excited to announce that I have now hired someone to take off the backsplash and replace it for something else. That's a good step nudging me along the path of courage to go with what I like :-)
I am very excited! ... and...nervous.

Now I am picking something I like for the backsplash. This will give me a first good step (together with the additional lighting) to encourage me. And who knows...perhaps... you never know... I may even like the brown wood kitchen then. Right now that doesn't seem realistic to me but anything is always possible.

I started to really like the look of painted white exposed brick (veneers in that case) and may even add some throughout my Condo. For the kitchen I am looking at so many different options. What I really like are the glass backsplashes, I assume that is a quite pricy option to have glass custom made for the space and since I am keeping this on the low price end (otherwise I would have put in an entirely new kitchen) I am now looking at white subway tile as an option. I am nt sure yet if I want something very glossy or matt.... options options.....
March 15, 2013 at 8:08am     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
Glass backsplash range from 4 to 25 dollars a square foot. Matte finish is what I would reccommend. Your not trying to make the backsplash a focal point. Use a soft pattern- not busy, you have that in the granite. Everything in your condo is soft white, so paint the cabinets and be done with it. I'll be your older brother saying its okay. You live in this place, why not have it the way you like it. I'm a contractor and to please you would be easy. The contractor will spray the door fronts at his shop and the amount of time he will spend in your place will be at a minimum.
March 15, 2013 at 8:27am     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
P.S. I'm to far away- Chicago area
March 15, 2013 at 8:33am   
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dylan7gig
no dont paint it
March 15, 2013 at 8:36am     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
Thats why they make vanilla and chocolate.
March 15, 2013 at 8:44am     
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DIAspoton
i haven't read all of the comments so i'm sure there's repetition.

glass fronts on the uppers with good inside lighting.

replace backsplash with glossy white tile. add under cabinet lighting.

you'll have a lighter, gorgeous kitchen wwithout spending a fortune.
March 15, 2013 at 8:50am     
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dreambee
@Ole Fredrickson @ Son "Everything in your condo is soft white, so paint the cabinets and be done with it. I'll be your older brother saying its okay. " !!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!! That's exactly what I need :-)))))
March 15, 2013 at 9:04am   
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Grace Reed
Dreambee, so glad my comments helped! Sometimes it helps to take small steps towards a big change. You're already doing that with the backsplash. You could get 3 quotes to paint the cabinets; it doesn't mean you have to do it. :-)
March 15, 2013 at 9:31am     
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Grace Reed
Also...it's not a look for everyone but you could start by having only the wall cabinets painted. My hunch is you'll tell them to keep going! (I see someone else suggested this too and posted pics).
March 15, 2013 at 9:40am     
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dreambee
Decisions decisions decisions.... TILES... after spending the weekend looking for the "right" tile I wondering weather a clear glass tile when installed is blueish or when painted on white in the back would be white? Anyone who has experience with that who could suggest something? Thank you all so so much for the great support!
March 18, 2013 at 9:58am   
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vtlady52
If you want it blue, you need to paint it blue. If it is clear, whatever the color of the mastic or thinset that you use will affect the color. If you use white on a clear tile (no color at all) it will appear white. I have seen huge plates of glass spray painted blue and then attached to the wall. The paint does not let the glue to show. Depends on what you want and the work you want to do.
March 18, 2013 at 11:56am     
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dreambee
Thank you so much! I would like for them to be white or off white! Very simple yet elegant.
March 18, 2013 at 1:16pm     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
White dove from BM or silver lining from Pratt . Both soft whites. Paint a 8.5 x 11 sheet of any color you like and tape it to the cabinet. It will look different at differents times of the day. Keep me abreast.
March 18, 2013 at 2:31pm     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
The contractor needs to mud the back of the tile and NOT use a notched trowel!
March 18, 2013 at 2:34pm     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
H.D. had some glass tile @ 5.00 dolllars a square foot that were in in the right color palate, that when with the off white cabinets would look outstanding!!!
March 18, 2013 at 2:50pm     
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rod handler
paint the cabinets! satin or flat. color. knobs could be worse, but they could be better too
April 10, 2013 at 3:21pm   
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
never flat- must have a sheen to repel finger print etc smudges
April 10, 2013 at 4:05pm   
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mmers
This may have been mentioned before but what about selling your kitchen cabinets, etc? and getting what you want. I personally love white/cream kitchens - haven't had wood as wood for probably 20 yr and I've not got tired of the white. I haven't read thru this whole thread so maybe you've already said this isn't possible in which case, I apologize. It's still going to cost you but it would be worth it if you can afford it. And your 'old' cabinetry and countertops wouldn't be going to the landfill.
April 10, 2013 at 4:14pm   
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duboisle
I like the cabinets but I would replace the hardware with something more substantial and modern. The long stainless handles would look nice.
April 10, 2013 at 8:08pm   
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Touch of Class Fine Finishing
This kitchen would look lovely a cream color or offwhite. It has to be sprayed in laquer of course. I have done manhattan projects and many nj with the same counterstyle. It would open up the kitchen and make it look larger. I sprayed two kitchens the exact same color and posted the pictures on my profile if you want to check out.
May 8, 2013 at 11:11am   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Your house is lovely. You like very pale creams and whites. So dark wood cabinets are throwing you off balance. Maybe paint walls a cream. You could replace granite with Carrera marble. With a soft gray and white. Glass backsplash. You could have cabinets sanded and stained white with a silver glaze. That would tie in your stainless you have now. Putting some glass on doors would lighten it up to. What is on floors? 18" ceramic tiles in white with a gray vein would help give you look you want. No peach, or rose not good in kitchen. Hang a small white crystal chandelier. For accent
May 8, 2013 at 11:22am     
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Ashley Malowaniuk
I see your dilemma... I wouldn't be opposed to painting the cabinets white considering the rest of your gorgeous place. However, keep in mind that as far as trends go, white will soon be out especially as far as cabinets go. Now it's not horrible to paint them since you can always sand them down and stain them again when you are sick of it.

If you plan on being in this place for a while, do whatever catches your fancy! You like white, so do white! However, if you plan on selling in the next say 5 - 10 years I wouldn't touch them just yet... You need to know what the trends are at the time you are planning to sell to get the best bang for your buck.

Good luck!
May 8, 2013 at 2:14pm   
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momof5x
The kitchen is nice and the cabinets are too but if it is not working for you, ayy life is short- go ahead and change it and enjoy your home. I see some of me in you! Light and bright areas spiritually make me feel happy, so I can see why after walking in the rest of the lightness of your home, why the kitchen would suddenly seem dark and enclosed. I have a feeling it might really be the enclosed area that is making it 'feel' dark.
May 8, 2013 at 2:37pm   
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sanjita7
If you must change (want a change badly) , then I would paint the wooden parts something lighter ,to match with the platform, may be whitish, cream. something like that. I am guessing that would give a sophisticated look.
June 5, 2013 at 2:46pm   
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irishgirl66
So now I am curious. It's been over a year. What did you end up doing?
December 1, 2013 at 10:08am     
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vtlady52
Yes, PLEASE, give us pictures. I am dying for an update!
December 1, 2013 at 12:23pm     
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orlielea
Love to see what you've done. By the way, you have a beautiful home...so elegant.
December 1, 2013 at 12:55pm     
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