Help me update my kitchen please!!

mexicobrideFebruary 1, 2013

Hi! I am new here, and would really love some advice.
We have lived in this house for 6 months now. We made the big big mistake of making a few updates to the kitchen before moving in and having a solid plan. We put in granite and a back splash. We picked the granite based on the current builder grade cabinets that are maple stained cherry. While I do still like the he granite, I should have had a better overall plan for updating the kitchen. Now that we have lived int he house for a little while, I am struggling with how dated the new counter tops have made the floor and cabinets look. While it doesn't look like it in these pictures they are both very worn and faded.
While I do not have the money to update the entire kitchen now, I need some ideas to phase a plan in the future, please help!! At this point the granite will stay as is, what else could I do to update the dark and heavy look of this kitchen??

I hope I do these pictures right, if not I will try to fix them.

Granite

Floor

I love the look of this kitchen, could this be achieved?

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herbflavor

have you called for a refacing quote? floors can be redone quite easily....focus on the cabinets for the time being. how about retrofitting some drawers in-I think refacing people might be able to do that also. Is the layout alright with you?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:56PM
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dennisforman

I actually like your granite. It goes well with both modern or rustic. Are you trying to achieve a more modern look or a rustic look? I am not liking the floor tiles too much. If I were you, the first thing on my remodeling list would be to replace the floor with dark wood flooring.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:57PM
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nosoccermom

Paint the cabinets white or at least the uppers. You could gel stain the lowers in a dark espresso. Gel stain goes on a lot easier than paint. You could start with your island to see how you like it.
Is your floor ceramic tile? If yes, that may be quite a mess to remove, but, yes, hardwood floor would be very nice.
Get rid of the blind and add some better lighting.
Two-tone kitchen below (but different countertop color).

Here is a link that might be useful: white uppers/dark lowers

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:31PM
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mexicobride

Sorry my phone posted before I finished my response. I would say we are more transitional, a little traditional but clean lines. I have not gotten a refacing quote yet, I was afraid it would be too expensive.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:33PM
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Angie_DIY

The fact that your cabs are maple means that the prep work for painting, while still exacting, is not as bad as if the cabs were oak (or another wood with a prominent grain). So, yes, it is feasible to think about painting. (It should be done "right," however, and I am not in a position to advise you how to do that.)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 3:07PM
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mexicobride

The floors are a real eyesore, so wood would be more preferable. The same tile that is on the floors was also on the counters, which is why were here so quick to install granite before moving in with two small kids.
I have tried the gel stain in my laundry room, while I do love the java color, the poly required as a top coat was way too shiny and not hard enough for a kitchen. Which is why I wanted to try the paint route. I would have the doors contracted out for coating, but I wasn't even sure if it would look good to do a creamy color in the kitchen since there are so many cabinets. I do love the idea of two tone cabinets, but the wall with the double oven is hard to decide where to start the dark and start the white. Thanks for all the comments so far!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 4:43PM
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ellendi

I think your kitchen looks fine. I would paint the island a cream and redo the floors for now.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:40PM
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marti8a

I don't think your floors are an eyesore at all. In fact, they look a lot like the tile I just put in.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:12PM
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mexicobride

marti8a- I think it is just my personal preference. I am not a big fan of green, and I had wood floors in my last house so I am not used to scrubbing food from my kids out of the grout lines :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:47PM
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nosoccermom

When you used gel stain, did you use General Finishes? I used it in my bathroom and also in a very small kitchen. In the bathroom I used a matte top coat. It's not shiny at all and actually very hard. In the kitchen I didn't even use the top coat; however, it had been painted before, so I just slapped the gel stain over the dark paint.

Another option is to revitalize your lowers and go with lighter uppers. Either way, you'd just do the cab above the double oven light and leave the black ovens.

Here is a link that might be useful: white upper/cherry lower

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:52PM
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mexicobride

nonsoccermom- I did use General Finishes in Java. I used the gel stain top coat during one try, then I tried the Satin Waterborne Poly, they were both pretty but pretty shiny.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:52PM
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julieboulangerie

Maybe I have weird taste, but I actually like your kitchen as-is. If you really want new flooring, you could do that, but really, I like something durable that I don't have to worry about in the kitchen.

The only other thing I would change is to get rid of the over-the-range microwave and replace it with a hood.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:55PM
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rovo

I think you already have a good start as the kitchen looks fine as is. But if you want to achieve a similar look to your inspiration photo, I think you could absolutely do so. Paint cabs white, paint island dark or espresso gel stain, and put in wood flooring. Simple, right?:)

Don't be afraid of painting cabinets. Just finished doing ours (63 cabs total) and could not be happier with the look. Not difficult, just time consuming with little ones around. Looking forward to seeing what you do!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:59PM
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mexicobride

Thanks Rovo, I looked up your kitchen and you did an amazing job!! You give me hope!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:51AM
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mexicobride

Rovo, do you have a post on your painting process and what type of paint you used?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:58AM
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debrak_2008

I'm another who likes your kitchen. I would work with what you have without painting the cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:06AM
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nosoccermom

Love your laundry room, but have to agree that it's shiny. What about trying to revitalize your cabinets with something like Restore-a-Finish? That may even tone down the red a bit.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:47PM
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rovo

Sorry, mexicobride, I just now saw that you had responded! Thanks for the kind words; hopefully it's not too late to answer your question :)

I didn't post my painting process, but used essentially the one blogged on Young House Love (linked below) with a couple of minor exceptions. I did only sand and skipped the extra deglosser/sander step as I thought it was overkill, and only used one coat of Zissner oil based primer for the same reason. Also, I did not wait a week before reinstalling the doors, and haven't seen any negative effects from that so far.

Have you decided to paint your cabs? Keep us posted!

Here is a link that might be useful: Painting cabs how-to on Young House Love blog

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:34PM
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robo (z6a)

Question for you: how do you feel about that floor tile in the laundry room? To me it goes a lot better in there now that the cabinet is a more neutral color. In your kitchen you have yellowy granite, yellowy/green floors, neutral tan backsplash and reddish cabinets so your colors are kind of fighting with each other right now. I have a feeling those cabinets are never going to look "right" with the granite unless the granite is a lot more reddish in person.

Love your inspiration kitchen and think that look could definitely be achieved. If you're not ready to gut, painting the cabs is probably your best option. You could just sort of hide the floors with a couple of rugs until you're ready for the big redo. Or you could hide the floors with laminate floating floor as a temp fix...but would it start to look cruddy soon because of water?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:48PM
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mexicobride

Rovo- thanks for the information. I think painting our cabinets is the direction I would like to go, but we are waiting until late summer. We are working on building a garden soon.
Robotropolis- I do like the floor better in laundry room now that the cabinets are painted. We hope to swap out the floor in the kitchen and paint the cabinets this summer, thanks for the good feedback! I will keep everyone posted.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 2:49PM
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texasgal47

I'm another vote for your cabinets, as is. There is a wonderful product to restore stained cabinets without stripping that is called Restore-A-Finish. I used it on my house two years ago that I was preparing for resale. That miracle product was used on my kitchen cabinets and the front doors. The neighbors couldn't believe the difference, that tired, scratched cabinets could look like new. I also think you have a crying need for more lighting to brighten up your kitchen. Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:44PM
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texasgal47

I'm another vote for your cabinets, as is. There is a wonderful product to restore stained cabinets without stripping that is called Restore-A-Finish. I used it on my house two years ago that I was preparing for resale. That miracle product was used on my kitchen cabinets and the front doors. The neighbors couldn't believe the difference, that tired, scratched cabinets could look like new. I also think you have a crying need for more lighting to brighten up your kitchen. Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:49PM
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dilly_ny

I really like your kitchen, but if you want a change, I would add more lights and paint the island a cream cream as suggested above by Ellendi.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:39AM
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