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Kitchen - refinish, reface, replace? And What about those Soffits?
starkster
February 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Just bought a home. Do not like the cabinets at all. Pink Washed, salmon(?) granite countertops, salmon backsplash - and those darn soffits. Ceilings are 8 foot, kitchen is square. The cabinets are in great shape and I think the layout is the best choice (unless you disagree). What is everyone's experience with refacing/refinishing? The soffits make the room look smaller, I realize, but are there any alternatives that would allow me to keep the soffits? (to save on the huge mess and expense)? The soffit also extends into the breakfast room area. Or if I remove soffits, any solution other than buying longer cabinets? Any help, comments, very much welcomed. If it's total redo - you won't hurt my feelings
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PRO
Southern Patina Interiors
As for refacing, I've done the research and read tons of articles and comments and have concluded that overall it's not a good investment/value for the price - which is not cheap. As you know, all renovations hinge on BUDGET. Whatever your budget allows, that's the direction you should take. As for suggestions, If you like the layout of the kitchen keep it. It looks like the island facing the dining table is quite deep and large, and to me it's rather imposing, considering you already have a center island. Suggestion:

1. Extend the cooktop island to include an eating area, thus removing the 2nd bulky island. This would open up the space quite a bit. You'll have a straight shot from the cooking area to the table - without walking around the island.

2. For the cabs, if you were to replace them, you could use a high/low arrangement to give you visual interest - designate one cabinet an open shelf-type cabinet to display colorful pottery, etc. Add two glass front cabs to break up all the wood. These options would have to be strategically placed in the layout so it makes sense and looks right.

3. Large bank of cabinets on the fridge wall. Perhaps there's a better way to frame this area, because it's a lot of cabs.

I would definitely get 2-3 estimates with layout/price and compare apples to apples. That's not always easy to do because each designer will give you a different cabinet line and prices vary, so you need to take your time and think it through. With 3 offers, you'll find the one that really works for you.

Cheers.
February 23, 2013 at 6:00am     
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PRO
A Kitchen That Works LLC
One thing that refacing does not do is improve functionality or storage.
February 23, 2013 at 6:03am     
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PRO
Norm Walters Construction Inc.
The only time refacing makes sense is if you have granite or quartz countertops installed and realize it makes your cabinets look worse than they did before. I don't know any fabricators that will remove those types of countertops and reinstall them over new cabinets becaue of the chance of breaking them.
February 23, 2013 at 6:13am     
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soberg
Your biggest problem is the pinkish color scheme, right? The soffits aren't actually a problem in my eye. And neither is the layout.

The easy solution for ugly color is PAINT! Ugly pink cabinets are silently pleading with you to paint them a more pleasing color. Also, you can change the backsplash to a color you like that goes with the granite. I can't see the granite too well but I suspect once the pink cabs and tiles are gone, the granite won't look as pinkish.

It's easy to let kitchen remods snowball but in your case, I think we can keep this contained. Then live with the result a few years and you can decide on a major overhaul if needed.
February 23, 2013 at 6:25am     
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starkster
My thought is to go with white cabinets, very light (white glass subway?) backsplash and clueless on the countertop. I will be replacing the countertops and backsplash so am not worried about them getting distroyed (although my hope is they can salvage them). The picture shows that that countertop has 2 different colors on the part in front of the breakfast room - that is from the camera.
February 23, 2013 at 6:28am   
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tennisanyone
Congrats on our new home. I have the same exact cabinets pickled maple and I love them. What I see in your kitchen is that they highlighted the "pinkness" with the backsplash and granite. My granite is more black, with dark burgendy. After 15 years of a pickled island too, I had a furniture refinisher make just my island a darker mahogony which picks up my granite on my island. I love it. There is a company called Nuance that refinishes cabinets too. My cabinets have a little more blue but really hard to tell so my paint color is blue/gray but if I attached a picture, the paint color will seem very green but in person I get alot of compliments on the paint choice. BM Kentucky Haze It is probably more expensive to do either, but if you like the layout and the cabinets are in good shape, I would change the backsplash and granite, leave the soffits and pick a paint color that is not in the pink family. Your eating area gets nice light and I would frame the window with drapes too. I also had a kitchen refaced l5 years ago and had to rip the whole thing out. Never again.
February 23, 2013 at 6:34am     
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starkster
Thank you everyone for taking the time to respond. I would love some more thoughts and ideas. If I decide to do a replace, I will remove the soffits, if possible. I think it will help make the kitchen look larger.
February 23, 2013 at 4:46pm   
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libradesigneye
I don't think you need new cabinets, I think you need an expert paint or refacing job on them. You have a good layout and good appliances. You can add more bells and whistles with your $ by working with them - undercounter lighting, inserts for organization like lazy susans, and so forth.

What are the other colors in your home? I would combine your favorite accent color (like muted robins egg blue that is antiqued to bring out the panel details) for the island, and paint / reface all the others in a warm creamy white (old white). New stone tops in a warm carmel neutral mid-tone to echo the beautiful wood floor and for not much $ you will be truly passionate about your kitchen.

These are nice enough door profiles and may be very high end wood. Painting (the right time of year, sending doors and drawers to the shop for perfect conditions / temperature / drying time / poly) should work on these like a charm. There is one advantage to refacing when you go white - you get scrubable melamine / can switch door profiles / instead of scrubbing painted wood when they get dirty.
February 23, 2013 at 5:21pm     
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smalley
First of all, I love your kitchen. It's nice and big and the layout seems to work.

We've refaced kitchen cabinets in two of our homes, but in both cases the original doors were plain (poorly painted) builder-grade doors. The cabinets now have crisp,white melamine on them and new doors and drawer fronts. One is a 5-piece style like yours and the other is a Shaker style (see Before and After pix). They're super easy to clean and maintain, which is great because both of the homes are rentals.

Since your cabinets appear to be high-end wood and have a timeless design, I would paint your cabinets an antique white and replace the stainless steel pulls with an antique bronze metal to match the warm tones in your granite and backsplash. Adding glass to some of your upper cabinets will help break up the solid wood and it's a pretty inexpensive fix.

If you were to replace the backsplash tiles, I would remove the 5-inch granite backsplash as well. Replace it with a white subway tile or a tile you absolutely love and that will put your stamp on your kitchen.

If you keep the soffits, I'd suggest changing out the recessed lighting trims from black to white so that they disappear and blend in like your white ceiling fan. The dark recessed lights were the first thing I noticed in your pictures. The trim kits cost about $10 at Home Depot.

I'm not an interior designer, just a homeowner also searching for ideas. I have a 5" dropped ceiling in my 1981 kitchen that holds four fluorescent light fixtures. Once it's removed, I'll also have to decide what to do with the new five-inch gap above my cabinets. I'm thinking of having it framed out with wood and molding to make it appear as though the cabinets go all the way to the new ceiling.

I do believe you should live in your new home for at least a year before you make any major changes.
Good luck. I can't wait to see what you do.
February 25, 2013 at 12:16pm     
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PRO
A Direct Distributor Corp
You can google a local finisher to come in and custom finish the cabinets IF you are happy with the layout and such. If you want to get rid of the soffit, you can do a stack molding with riser board. This will fill up the space from the top of the cabinets to the ceiling. (so dust and other things don't get collected up there). If you buy unfinished modling, the finisher can get it all to match together. But if you are thinking about just going out and buying new doors and drawers, it's almost always more cost effective to buy a brand new kitchen. The doors and drawers are the most expensive part, not the box. If you are on a budget, and who isn't these days, and are on Long Island check out A Direct. They are a wholesale cabinet/countertops/sink/faucet/hardware place in Patchogue.
February 25, 2013 at 12:24pm     
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PRO
Norm Walters Construction Inc.
smally, here is a photo of building the cabinets up to the ceiling and adding crown. It's just a mattter of building a box to attach the trims to, the flat piece is toe kick trim. As far as removing that soffit, there are probably wires running through it as the electricians do that to avoid having to drill through the top 2 x 4. It would also involve removing the wall cabinets and reinstalling them and reinsulating the attic if it is a one story and has blown in insulation. Just some helpful hints.
February 25, 2013 at 12:26pm     
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starkster
Norm Walters Construction - thank you for your ideas. Your picture and others who have shown crown is a wonderful way to change out the look of traditional soffits. Our soffets come out several inches from the cabinets with lights vs. being the same depth of the cabinets. There isn't any room to put the crown. The cabinet door comes right up to the soffit.
March 1, 2013 at 5:38pm   
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gossamerblade
I like the idea mentioned earlier of loosing the peninsula and extending the cooktop island. It would improve the flow to the eating area. If the cabinets are in good enough shape to handle a refacing, it would be a fairly easy job to replace the counter & backsplash.
March 1, 2013 at 5:52pm     
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luvrubies
I would lose the soffit...we custom built our home & I purposely did not want them in the kitchen. I have all of my antique kitchenware sitting up there, which I love. Your cabinets appear to be good quality, I would repaint & change the backsplash. I love the woods outside your dining room window! But it looks like you've got some poison oak or ivy growing up several!! I notice this because our home is in 10 acres of woods! It looks like your kitchen has good bones!
March 1, 2013 at 6:45pm     
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Lkristine
Without doing any extremely costly structural renovations, you have a beautiful kitchen. Possible consider updating the countertops to a quartz black color, galaxy ice would look beautiful. http://chicagoquartz.com/lg_viatera.html Update the backsplash to anything that doesn't have a pink undertone, for an example, but the choices depending on taste are endless........ vvvvhttp://www.trendyhomedeco.com/servlet/the-523/Metallic-Gray-Mint-Brown/Detail A new light fixture to replace the ceiling fan that blends all elements, http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Indoor-5-light-Antique-Bronze-White-Shade-Flush-Mount-Chandelier/5152198/product.html and a runner rug to blend all aspects, http://www.walmart.com/ip/Shaw-Living-Ming-Runner-Rug/16914112
March 1, 2013 at 7:19pm     
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Lkristine
Just to give you somewhat of a visual.......
March 1, 2013 at 7:20pm     
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starkster
Lkristine. I totally planned on taking down the fan, but never considered that type of chandelier. What a great idea. The visual is so helpful. Thank you so much.

Luvruies. The seller says its English ivy he planted himself. Lets hope he's not kidding. That would be a cruel joke.

Loves everyone's ideas. Thank you all. Any others surely welcome.
March 1, 2013 at 7:35pm   
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sjkingston
Lkristine's visual is wonderful. I agree with your original comment that the layout is great, as is the amount of storage in your kitchen. You have both an island and a peninsula. While peninsulas have been out of fashion for the last decade, they are coming back and they have advantages especially if you do a lot of cooking and entertaining. You have the best of both worlds, choose your countertop before selecting the ivory or white paint for your cabinets (which are great as they have square rather than dated arched tops). See Amaris Killams blog Color Me Happy for choosing the rig white to go with a countertop. And check references on the painter who does your cabinets. You want the hight quality paint and workmanship to ensure a long lasting finish.
March 1, 2013 at 7:43pm     
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Connie
like others have said - lose the peninsula. possibly extend the centre island.- alternatively i would move the cooktop and put it in the corner by the double wall oven ' gives you a total cooking zone, and would greatly imprpove the visuals of the roompaint the cupboards and the wall tiles. . use the soffits as a gallery, and hang with all your pretty decorative stuff.
March 1, 2013 at 7:48pm   
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starkster
Here is how it all ended up. Still need some art, etc.
January 5, 2014 at 4:29pm     
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tennisanyone
Beautiful, thanks for sharing.
January 5, 2014 at 4:54pm   
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