Where to start?

luvmylabs2January 12, 2014

Hi all, have been lurking for quite a while, but need some help. We are doing an addition and renovation starting in April so I really need to start making some kitchen and bathroom decisions(kichen first). But where to start? I have for Months saved pics from Houzz,been pouring through posts and have NOTHING picked. So we go yesterday and find a Cabinet Door and Color we loved, and then a floor we loved (looked great with the cabinet)... but then went to pick a counter,fell in love with a Cambria but the floor and the counter are too busy together. Sooo go to a plain cream floor (not a fan) or a plain counter (not a fan, well at least not paying for quartz with no pattern). I have not even started and want to give up. Which items did you start with and build from there? I feel lost!

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Do you have a design? That was our first step.

We met with a KD, explained this basic features we were looking for, brought her design here, had it ripped to shreds and redone (;)) and from there started picking colors and finishes.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:32PM
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We have the design (for the most part). Minor tweeks may occur with cabinet and appliance choices. But there again, I have looked at appliances, and chosen nothing! Seriously between the choices in all the categories, I really am just overwhelmed, Guess I just need to put a stake in the ground somewhere LOL.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:43PM
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Pick the element that has the least choices (probably countertop) first. Then the second least number of choices (flooring), all the way down to paint which has the most choices. (This is assuming white bathroom fixtures. If you want colored fixtures I would pick those first).

Which Cambria did you pick? Plain cream flooring may not be your only option. Also, lots of people pick quartz Intentionally because there are a lot of choices with saturated color but Not a lot of pattern. It's a different point of view.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Thanks! We liked the Cambria Buckingham so fairly patterned, which I think really limits my floor and backsplash options (ok I have not even gotten to backsplash). Bradhshaw also caught my eye. But I think you are confirming, start with the counter and build around it!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:53PM
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When we did our kitchen and 2 bathroom remodel, I first decided on the general look/feel I wanted for the rooms. Then, for each room I found something I loved and built the room around it. For the kitchen it was our backsplash tile, and I coordinated the cabinet colors, counter, flooring to go with it (yes, I know everyone says pick the backsplash last but I don't necessarily agree). For our hall bath it was the floor tile. For the master bath it was the vanity. I don't think it really matters what you pick first as long as you make sure that all the elements go together, and that you don't fall victim to having to "love" each and every element on its own. I never would have picked our kitchen counter, for example, as something I "loved' in and of itself (plain limestone colored Caesarstone) but it went perfectly with the other choices, so now I love it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:15PM
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I agree, it's probably not best to love everything. It is probably best to love One thing and choose the rest to support that choice that you love.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:28PM
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Now that is truly where I think I am going wrong, I want all the items I love individually to work together and they won't! So now pick one that gives me the best foundation for my look. Food for thought, thank you! Curious on that backsplash though ;-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Start with the floor plan and workflow - the layout - unless you already have that.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:08PM
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I think layout is fairly firm depending on appliances. I like the idea of picking my favorite thing and building from there. Now is it the floor or the counter, hmmmm, coin toss? LOL

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 8:43PM
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So let's talk kitchen floor. You mention a cream floor, so I'm thinking that means a tile floor. Is that what you want? What are the floors in adjacent areas? Tile floors are great if that's what you're sure you want, but there are other choices like wood, cork, Marmoleum, even vinyl. Not to mess you up, just checking to be sure you're making a positive choice, not just a default. I almost did a default sink because who cares about a sink? It's a sink. Turns out I care a lot, I just didn't know I did. Love my new sink.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 1:15AM
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You are not messing me up at all,never even heard of Marmoleum so that's another to check out. I had thought we would go tile because of the two large dogs. Kitchen connects to Mudroom (4 foot door) and open to Dining Room, all floors will be new. But I went to go check out products and absolutely fell in love with a slate like luxury Vinyl that you grout in - it's copper mountain by Armstrong. although they said more expensive than tile I really liked the thought if it being warmer than tile. But then I also fell in love with Cambria's Buckingham for Counter and the two really don't go well together. So I am torn, pick that counter and go with a more drab floor, or reverse that. I am not sure which I love more. I really don't think I can deal with a cream colored floor, it just isn't me but maybe I could deepen to another solid color and deal with it. Or keep the floor I love the look of, and pick a counter with very little or no pattern. I am in a bit of an "Analysis Paralysis" and driving myself crazy!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 8:28AM
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I would definitely not do a cream floor...it will show every speck....and be a nightmare with dogs. Can you do the deeper golden tones in the Buckingham or even the gray with maybe just a very subtle, mottled pattern? If you do a tile floor, then pick that last and get the counter you love...there are a zillion tile choices as opposed to counter choices. Personally, I would start with the cabinets and counters and work out from there and I think that is what most people do.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:18AM
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We picked our cabs and a cream, almost-solid quartz. I wanted a little more of an understated,contemporary look and didn't want to tire of my counters in five years. It took six months to find a porcelain tile that coordinated. Frustrating! I had been resisting movement in the tile, but that's what pulled it all together, along with finding the correct undertone in the tile. You may need to travel to a larger city to see all the ceramic tile possibilities. We live near Portland, which has an entire street of tile companies. The employees there really know their tile, so it was the breakthrough we needed.

We installed Armstrong Alterna LVT in our guest bath and I like it. I know it won't give you the years that ceramic tile will, especially with dogs. There's a very limited selection of LVT compared to ceramic tile.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:45AM
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The other piece of advice you will often get here (and from professionals both online and in "real life") is to pick only one "star of the show" between these major visual (area) elements like your counters, bs and floors. This is something I always have to remind myself when I get enamored with a bunch of pretty materials -- that I can't have a space filled with a bunch of items that all "shout", and that I need some "quiet" things as well..

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 1:53PM
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Thanks much. May_flowers, I really am a newbie, I sat here thinking what on earth is LTV (duh I get it now). Glad to hear you used Alterna, it is a consideration because Warmer but I do agree it will not stand up as well as tile. I hope I don't have a 6 month search, and in a tiny town in NH city access is not likely what most think of as a city! Gooster many are saying the same, I'm just struggling with what my star is, I guess it shouldn't be the floor ;-) , and like you I am enamored with many individual things, I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too! I like the analogy of needing some quiet things too!

A silly question, should I worry or think about what my dishes look like on the counter? I don't mean match them exactly, but I do worry if I will like them together (they are solid color but not white or cream). Am I being silly?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 3:02PM
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Have you found any pictures on Houzz or elsewhere that show either the floor or countertop that you love? That may give you some inspiration & help you decide which one you want to drive your other choices. Dishes? Depends on how much you love your dishes.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 4:55PM
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Tile is cold if you stand on it barefoot in winter, but who does that? I never understood that argument.

No reason flooring can't be one of the stars.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 5:22PM
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Ok I have to laugh, as I am NEVER barefoot in Winter, so not sure why "warmer" would matter either. I did like the thought though. I have started to look at tile in Grey or Golden tones as suggested (thanks). Haven't seen "it" yet at least online but might be the way to go.

Dishes - LOVE THEM, probably why it's in my head. We got rid of all our white Pfaltzgraff a few years back to bring in some color. They are not bold, but some are green, some a Tuscan Orange, and those that stay out like Canisters, butter dish, etc sit in brown Metal holders. They are really earthy, and I am totally in love with them. I should probably figure out how to post a pic but am terrified you will see them and convince me my counter choice is a clash ha ha.

Forgot to add I have Houzz pics, of the Countertop, actually with Cabinets very close to what we like. Love the look. Haven't found the exact floor yet though. I wol dbe curious to see it just to see what they picked for a countertop with it!

This post was edited by luvmylabs2 on Tue, Jan 14, 14 at 22:48

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:28PM
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This is Buckingham with a similarly toned and patterned floor as the Armstrong Copper Mountain. Copper Mountain is more teal though, isn't it? I think the patterns are too much. Note that it's just a small section of tile, so imagine it everywhere. How large will your kitchen be?

The deep blue-gray tile is really pretty though and would give you a cooler element with the copper of the counter and your orange accessories.

Traditional Basement by Minneapolis Kitchen & Bath Designers The Cabinet Store

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Sophie Wheeler

In your case, I think you start with finding a good Kitchen Designer to help you through the process. There are literally thousands of choices available these days, and unless you have the discipline to restrict your choices to the few that suit your space, you're going to be all over the place and nothing will match. Get some professional help. It's usually free with the purchase of your cabinets anyway. So, start there.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 11:08AM
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agree with hollysprings. If you're having trouble narrowing down the vast choices out there, then a designer can help pull it together for you. Start with showing him/her some of the elements you love. Share what you like about them and also what you don't like. It can be much less stressful with some pro help.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Thanks so much to all of you, very helpful. We do plan on working with two different KD's, both highly recommended, but we also want quotes from both places. I do however want to go in with a fairly firm idea of what I will not give up, and what I really don't want (for example in that one store they paired a beautiful cream floor with that counter and I loved it, but then thought it's so "not me" and so not practical for where we live and how we live!

May_flowers - THANK YOU for that pic. You are right not exact floor but close enough with "busy" that my eyes don't know where to go, so not a fan. It does however help immensely as I do see Grey as a possible floor choice. I really need visuals!

Stay tuned, I am sure I will have more questions as I muddle through!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 9:29PM
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We have recently wrapped up a kitchen renovation (my first and probably the only one I'll ever do!) and I found GardenWeb after we were well into the process. And I've learned so very much here, thanks to all.

Unlike nearly everyone else in the world, we didn't go with white (I'd had it for many years and I never want to clean white cabinets again!). So we have cherry cabs with a pecan finish and lovely lovely rather active granite in a color they call Namibian Gold or sometimes African Copper. In other words, VERY similar colors to the pic that May_flowers posted. And our floor is Marmoleum in the Caribbean color. We LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Tough sturdy neutral soft warm smooth. The Caribbean is a mottled yellow-ish creamy color with blue and other darker swirls in it, but it reads very neutral. (It matches the travertine in our master bath, which I love but clearly couldn't use in a kitchen. In fact, it matches incredibly well. I took some of the Marm to the slab yard when looking for granite, and was trying to explain to the guys there that the Caribbean Marm looked like travertine. They were very doubtful until I put it on the floor in their lobby, which had that shade of travertine, and by golly the Marm blended so well that it almost disappeared. They were shocked.)

Our mid-sized and very fast dogs (whippets) had to get used to sliding on it. But they don't scratch it up (and believe me that a 40-lb whippet hurtling across the room as fast as he can go will do some damage to a floor). It cleans like a dream. It is of course softer than tile.

I will post pics separately.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:19PM
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This is the kitchen in mid-renovation. Floor is down.

Here's the laundry, also in mid-reno. We used the click squares here in Caribbean and Sahara. The Caribbean comes across as though it is streaky here but I think it was because I edited the photo to reduce the glare from the window.

And (mostly) finished:

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Vanessamtp - beautiful! So many things to love about your space, the Granite, the lights are fabulous, corner sink etc. I wish I could fast forward and be where you are! Someone else above mentioned Marmoleum, had never heard of it but will check it out! Good to know on the dogs as my labs at full speed can also do some damage (hence why a wood floor is not an option). We are also bucking the white trend that seems so popular, seen some beautiful kitchens in it but it "just isn't us". I am going to try to post a pic of what we think we like for Cabinet and Cambria, coupled with the color they recommended. It looks great together(floor and counter), but I just can't do it, too light for me!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 9:28PM
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Pic of the Cabinet and Counter we like so far.

This post was edited by luvmylabs2 on Thu, Jan 16, 14 at 21:40

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 9:31PM
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If I was set on that countertop, I'd chose a more contemporary cabinet style. Your door sample is very traditional, and swirly quartz is very modern. I'd also choose flooring that is more cream or a warm gray like in the photo I posted. There's some white in the quartz, but it reads warmer. It's easy to make the mistake of looking too closely at the swirls and missing the undertones. Your eye will blend those swirls together in a completed kitchen.

That Armstrong tile looks like what we have in our guest bath. The drawback with using the LVT is there are fewer choices and it doesn't have the beauty of a ceramic-tiled floor. I think you just need to get yourself to a good tile shop and see the possibilities.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 2:28PM
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if you haven't posted your LO here yet, you might want to. If only to give everyone an idea of the flow of your kitchen to other parts of the house and how much of each (counter top, floor etc) you will have in your kitchen.

also, tile can be very jarring to your legs and back. My sister has tile on her entire 1st floor (includes her mstr bedroom). Her problems with her legs and back have increased considerably since moving into this house. That's been about 5 yrs now. It has totally taken tile out of the options for me. Even going over to her house for a few hours causes me back and leg pain.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 3:15PM
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