You Asked / Photos re Kitchen Remodel

amck2March 1, 2014

For those new or unfamiliar with my kitchen remodel help requests, here is the story. DH & I bought a nearly new spec home 12 yrs. ago from a realtor friend who was having a custom home built in the same neighborhood. The cabinets & appliances were all in place. We replaced Formica countertops w/ granite, added the island (which has a corner cab & pullout trash) and the Hubbardton Forge pendant (which I still love).
The Dacor dual fuel range was great for several years but has been nothing but trouble for the past 2. We stopped using it over a yr. ago & I've been managing w/ the Breville countertop & MaxBurton induction plate you'll see flanking my range. I will be getting an Electrolux induction range. Because we're replacing a freestanding w/ a slide-in it will involve some retrofitting.

For the sake of brevity I won't go into details, but the fridge needs to be replaced as well. Since we're doing this, we decided to bite the bullet & replace the 14yr OTR micro w/ a proper venting hood.

Here's where I could use your help/vision - I've decided to keep my maple cabinets. They would not have been my first choice, but they're in great shape & I think I can work w/ them. The corner lazy Susan has always gapped (as seen in a pic), and I'd like to replace that one. I would also like ideas on the best way I might retrofit the big pantry cab to accommodate a new microwave. I've received suggestions about rev-a-shelves to make the bottom cab space in it function better.

The big questions I have are whether or not I should try to add on to my cabinet tops to make them ceiling height. Open or glassed shelving with heavier crown detail? I am planning to paint the perimeter cabs a creamy white.

The floor plan is so open the kitchen is in view from my adjacent sunroom/seating area, the dining room & the living room.
That was one of the most appealing aspects of this home for us as empty nesters, but it also drives my choices as I want to maintain a cohesive look throughout. That is why I'm including shots of the connected rooms.

Currently, the kitchen, sunroom & LR are painted SW Dover White and these all need re painting. I'd welcome your opinion as to whether I should paint my cabs the same shade as my walls. The DR has recently been done in BM Philidelphia Cream. Love it in there, but too yellow for the main areas which get lots of sun. Would like to know your paint color suggestions.

I'm thinking of painting the island in the taupey shade of the accent table you'll see next to my LR love seat. And, for the counter stools.....?? I was thinking black, which goes w/ my granite & my black painted china cabinet in the DR (a custom piece which is my favorite item in my home).

So, please take a look and tell me if you think creamy cabs, taupe island & black counter stools is a good way to go Also, your thoughts on backsplash. Just tile above the range to the new hood? Or remove the 4" granite BS & take it all around. In either case, I'm inclined to go w/ something simple & subtle.

Thanks for any help you can offer. It's a little scary putting my home on view, but I understand how much easier it is to offer suggestions if there are pictures to go by.

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Your home is lovely-truly. Your living room rug is beautiful.
I love the SW Dover White in your adjoining rooms. I'd paint my cabinets the same or go a shade lighter. I'd go up to the ceiling with cabinets & crown. i'm not sure about glass. It would be nice to have glass somewhere but I don't care for the look of all glass upper uppers.
I'd consider painting your island in a color that contrasts more with your granite. Possibly a soft black to tie in with your dining room piece & your piano?
Cute pups!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:02AM
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I agree with Roma about the island. I think it would be better in a darker color. I think shoe scuff marks might show if it was too light or too dark. Right now, the cabinets, counter, chairs and island blend together as one.

You have a lot of light green with the bowls, rug, wicker, etc. Is that a possibility for the island? Maybe in a darker shade? Love the goldish and green bowls! I love your black or dark brown cabinet too.

Before painting the cabinets go online to one of the paint company websites. Download one of the pictures and play with the wall paint, then cabinet paint to see what it looks like. I used both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore sites, but my pictures kept going in upside down. I also used BHGs paint tool. The pictures downloaded correctly and it was easy to use, but they are very limited in paint color choices. Love the Dover White also. Peke

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:34AM
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I forgot to tell you how beautiful your floors are!

Also, we put our microwave in our pantry until we got the microwave drawer. It built up too much heat and moisture even though we left both doors open. We had 10" of room in the back and on both sides, and had about 6" on top.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:47AM
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I too love the idea of white perimeters and a darker green island. Use a green similar or a bit darker than the wicker in your sunroom. Use the same white as used on the doors in adjoining rooms. Just google "white kitchens with green island" and look at images. Plenty there to get a good idea. The green will go well with the granite and your floors. It's going to be lovely. Be sure to post your after photos!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 6:08AM
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robo (z6a)

Just FYI....Bosch is dropping a beautiful full depth slide in induction this Spring if you can wait. Looks tasty! But...might only be 30".

Here is a link that might be useful: Bosch new slide in

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:21AM
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Question...can't you just adjust the hinges on the corner cabinet to fix that gap? And I really couldn't get past the dogs.....oh my goodness are they cute! Are they labradoodles? But I do agree that the island cabinets need to be a dark color and contrast more with your granite.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:01AM
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Thank you for the responses. I am truly open to ideas and suggestions I may not have considered, so please chime in with any thoughts.

lcskaisgir, yes, the dogs are brother & sister labradoodles. I kept walking around looking for best angles to give helpful views of the layout. I think they sensed something was up and kept pretty close. You can see Riley playing lookout on the love seat.

My rugs, seasonal decor and art are the pops in my monochromatic scheme and is why I included shots so you could see that there are different woods (the walnut piano, my grandmother's cherry rocker) and different textures (the wicker in the SR and the jacquard fabric on the love seat & Cobbled Roman shades). I know my cabinets, stools, & floor woods are so similar, that they read "blah". So I wanted to show that my style, while very unfussy, is not as bland as my kitchen would indicate.

So please, share ideas about how you could visualize the space being updated and refreshed.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:03PM
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I love your soft, monochromatic color scheme with touches of black. I wouldn't stray too far from that. I don't think you need to go different or darker on the island since the chairs provide interest around the island. If you do use a different color than white, I'd pick a color from the rug. I don't see any green there, just a beautiful soft, silvery blue.

To bring the cabinets up to date with the rest of the house, I'd consider having the boxes painted and replacing the doors and drawer fronts with full overlay. Have you seen how Linelle transformed her kitchen for a few thousand dollars? The island needs to be brought out of the 80s/90s, and you can do that by adding the same style panels to the sides of the island and base molding around the seating sides. That's where I'd put my money. I don't think you need cabs to the ceiling to update it. I also don't think you need a more extensive crown, considering the size of your kitchen and home and the simple clean lines of your other furnishings. I think if you make those changes to the doors, drawers, and island, your kitchen will serve you for many years to come.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 12:49PM
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May_flower rules again!!

I just stopped in to say how much I like your rug and those adorable dogs.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 4:52PM
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may_flowers, thank you for suggesting an update to the island. I've been so fixated on the cabinets it hadn't occurred to me to do anything more to the island but paint it. I'm typing this from the island and realized I'm generally sitting here while mulling over the kitchen redo. Sometimes it takes fresh eyes looking from a different perspective to find solutions.

Now I'll have to take a close look at Linelle's.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:03PM
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I think that may_flowers is right on with the thought to update the island. Instead of panels though I wonder if adding some trim molding could give the same look at a fraction of the cost/time? Something worth considering.

I love the idea of having the island a different color. If you do go with black on the chairs I would not go too dark with the island.

Also I can't get over how perfectly your dogs go with your decor!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Your two Labradoodles are both so cute! My neighbor has a Labradoodle and he is a great family pet.

You are blessed with no soffit to have to pay to remove. I would paint the island a darker color to contrast. I know someone else on this kitchen site used SW Dover White for her cabinets and it looked very nice. I know Beekeeper's wife kept her partial overlay cabinets when she upgraded her kitchen before moving and it looked nice. I prefer full overlay but your cabinets are in great shape.

I would find a creamy off-white that goes with your granite to use. I would paint the walls a little bit darker. I wonder if BM Bone White would look nice which is a little darker or BM Monroe Beige.

I love your hardwood floors. You are blessed to have a window in the kitchen. I am in an interior townhouse so I have no window in my kitchen which is my only regret for not waiting for an end unit to come available as I love natural light.

I can't wait to see what changes you end up deciding to make.

This post was edited by lynn2006 on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 22:47

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:30PM
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Thank you for the thoughtful suggestions and good ideas. And thanks as well to those who noted positive aspects of my home. Lately I've focused on the things that are broken and "wrong" instead of my floors, the abundance of natural sunlight, the lovely views from my windows and the clean but cozy feel of this house that first made me want to live here. I was dreading this remodel, but you're making me see that this home deserves a lovely fully functioning kitchen and that with thoughtful planning I can get there without breaking the bank.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:41PM
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Linelle's Updated Kitchen Link is below. She used SW Antique White on the walls. I used BM Bone White on my walls as I liked the Pearl Finish. They formula's were so close and they look so similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Linelle's Updated Kitchen Link

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:54PM
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Here is the link to Beekeeper's Former Kitchen Before she moved where she painted the partial overlay cabinets BM Cloud White and they look wonderful. She has such an eye to how things go together and her new kitchen is even more beautiful in her new home. Notice she has a darker island.

I am not as talented as most on this forum but I try to help as much as I can with what I can do to show my appreciation for all the help and opinions the wonderful members give me on this forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beekeeper's Former Kitchen Before She Moved

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 11:04PM
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Good call by May_flowers on updating your island. I also agree you don't need a dark island, just some contrast, a green or blue would be pretty.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:09AM
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Pretty island! I like how they divided the trim a little differently. I think that color would look good with the bar stools and the gray specks in the granite. Not sure I would go quite that green, but my monitor color is a little off.

I use black as an accent color and I know a little of it goes a long way, so four black stools with high backs could conflict with the soft color scheme of the rest of the house. Then I would have to consider whether I wanted to paint the matching dining room chairs black.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:39AM
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If you chose not to go to the ceiling, you could add a larger crown & light rails for under cabinet lighting.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:15PM
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There has been talk here about painting the walls above cabinets the same color as the cabinets to minimize the gap rather than adding a row of cabs. That is certainly a possible solution.

I played with adding a row above, painting them all white, and putting color on the island. I don't like the green that ended on your island here (it is not nearly dark enough), but this may be useful to you anyway.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:19PM
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Thank you for the newest responses, links, and Bellsmom, for the photoshop work. My head is spinning with thoughts I'd like to bounce off you.

My first reaction to the mock up of my kitchen was how nice it would be to have some contrast in that area. My second was that adding cabinetry to the ceiling w/ my current configuration would be a lot of cabinet domination in that size space. This is where a picture on a page trumps an image I had in my head. If you look at the first 2 photos I posted and imagine both sides of the room with those cabs IMO, it is just too much for this house.

I thought if maybe the "new" top cabs had glass doors, maybe they wouldn't be as heavy looking, but I think even that would not be the best look.

Before seeing the photoshop pic I had been poring over Linelle and Beekeeper's remodels. They turned out beautifully and are great representations for the size of my home and the type of remodel I am going for. After seeing theirs, as much as I have been lusting for ceiling height cabs, I think mine suit the scale of my home as they are.

That brings me to the issue of whether I should remove any of my uppers. Beekeeper's layout is similar to mine. One of my first ideas was to take out the cab over my OTR micro & install a chimney hood. I talked myself out of that recently, deciding it was too trendy/modern looking for my home. But Beekeeper's kitchen doesn't come off that way to me at all. Would love to know what you think about the chimney hood idea.

Re the kitchen Romy718 posted - I just love the style of that island - the whole kitchen, actually. And was thinking about the color of the BS tiles.... I showed DH & he asked whether we should remove our run of uppers on the range wall and go for a similar look. Instead of the OTR cabs that are there have a mantel built for an OTR hood (perhaps simply styled like the one over my fireplace) and have just 2 cabinets flanking that on that wall. I'm thinking that could work. It seems it would tie in well with what you see looking across the room to the LR , have a more considered & less spec look & be in keeping with the style of the house.

Would love your thoughts on these proposals or any that you might think of.

This post was edited by amck on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 22:33

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:09PM
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I have a chimney hood, and you need to set your cabinets back at least two inches, so you couldn't do that with your current cabinets. My kitchen is transitional (Shaker with natural cherry and a quartz counter), and we used a chimney hood to break up the long expanse of wood. I picked the most traditional styled chimney hood I could find. The other look I liked was a pro-style canopy hood with a small cabinet over it. It wasn't in the budget because our "old" hood was only 3 years old and we were only replacing it for looks. I think a canopy hood and cabinet would cost less than the hood Bee used.

If you remove your uppers on the range wall, I would think about adding a cabinet to the left of your window. Now I see that that is a diagonal cabinet and it would open it up much more to replace it. Would one of your range wall cabinets fit beside the window?

I think you'll need to have someone draw up the mantle idea for you and see how the cabinets fit with the pantry on that wall and the stove not centered.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:02PM
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A good exhaust system is very important. The structure does not have to be intrusive. The beautiful big ones are decorative and work for many kitchens, but I didn't want that much of an accent point. I wanted the hood to disappear as much as possible into the cabinets. This is the way mine turned out.

The mechanics of the hood are hidden by the cabinet above it. You can find hoods that are not as high as mine (mine is about 6 inches) which really almost disappear.

By the way, I don't think cabs to the ceiling would be overwhelming in your space. However, the high cabs would really provide only storage for items you seldom access and might not be worth the cost if you are counting pennies.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:16PM
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may_flowers, can you tell me why my cabinets would need to be recessed by 2" for a chimney hood to work? The sales rep @ the appliance store never mentioned anything about that when we were going over my initial plan.

I am asking while thinking that the answer is obvious and I'm just not seeing it. Is it a case of form/function/code? Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 4:51PM
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I don't know if there's a code, but you never see the sides of the hood touching the cabinets. I never asked my KD why. It looks better though--mine is 2 1/2" and I think it looks a little crowded. 4" would have been better.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 5:16PM
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I've been looking online for rugs all day with no luck? Would you mind sharing where you found your beautiful rug? Thank you!!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:06PM
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may_flowers, I misread the post I asked you to explain. When you wrote "you need to set your cabinets back at least two inches, so you couldn't do that..." I took that to mean they had to be recessed, like set back somehow so the hood protruded more or something, lol.....thus my confusion. Now I get that you were referring to the sides of the hood to the sides of the cabinets. Of course, that makes perfect sense. Thank you for setting that straight for me.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:19PM
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Double post

This post was edited by amck on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 18:22

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:21PM
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berardmr, I wish I could offer a source to purchase my rug. Both my LR and DR rugs were ordered through 12 yrs ago. At that time Royal Palace rugs offered some beautiful wool & silk limited edition room size rugs through their site.

Before replying to you, I searched QVC, Royal Palace, eBay, Google, etc. to see if I could track down the rug for you. QVC still offers Royal Palace rugs, but none like mine. I'm sorry I could not help.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 9:52PM
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Bellsmom, I wanted to take a closer look at your kitchen before responding to your post. I'm glad I did because it cemented my resolve to end up with a kitchen that reflects my taste and is geared to how I use the space.

What became clear as a result of posting pictures of my home - which I was so reluctant to do, but has turned out to be important in helping me see it with fresher eyes - is that if anyone is in the main floor of my house, they are "in" my kitchen. I'm inclined to take more time and allocate more resources to getting it right than I was when I began.

Your kitchen is unique and so in keeping with your home. While my space is completely different, I hope to accomplish that. BTW, I love your glug jug collection!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:17AM
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Interesting thread regarding vent hood and distance to side of cabinets. Below a picture of a "pro hood" rather than a regular under cabinet hood. I think you'd have to figure out what height and protrusion would be optimal with your cabinets. Depending on how tall you are, a consideration is how far the hood sticks out to the front and "is in your face."

Contemporary Kitchen by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Inspired Interiors

I'd say, unless you need the extra storage, I'd just add a crown to your uppers. Love the idea of a soft blue or green for the island. Of course, a black would color coordinate with the doggies.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:52AM
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I think you have a minimalist style. My favorite part of your home is the simple fireplace and painting, along with your restrained hand in decorating the mantel. I love how you used just that one spot of red in the girl's coat and then repeated it in the twigs in the vases.

The soft colors and unadorned cabinets suit your home, so that's why I wouldn't start adding dark paint to the light woods. I kind of like that the kitchen is the only room that doesn't have any black. Maybe the island could be taupe and the chairs could be the soft gray-blue. I'm partial to the blue.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:12PM
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We have an alcove in our finished basement that DH plans to enclose for use as pantry space for canned goods, less used pots/pans and small appliances that now take up space in my cabinets. So I won't need all my cabinets plus additions to them. If I build up the present cabinets it would primarily be for looks. I'm on board doing that if it gives me the best look, but I'm still debating that.

Since the weekend after reviewing all replies, I'm ready to up the ante and am open to any ideas about removing some or all of the uppers and replacing or reconfiguring them.

That would open up more options for hood styles. I'm interested to know what you think would be the best style for this kitchen if I you begin with a blank space over the range. It seems that is the place to start the plans for this remodel. BTW, the hood can be vented outside directly behind the wall.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:45PM
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may_flowers, I was writing my last post before I read yours. You seem to have such a handle on what I like & what I'm trying to achieve that I don't want to discount any of your ideas.

I've also hesitated jumping on the idea of black for the island, or even the counter stools. First, because it's the most used spot in the house and would be prone to show scuffs and wear (I'm now blessed with little grands who love to sit here to watch or help me) and secondly, like you, I think it could be overpowering. The two big dark pieces I already have (upright piano & china cabinet) are at either end of the kitchen and, IMO, provide grounding.

I am completely on board with taupe, but wonder about blue. A couple people have mentioned blue but I can't see it working with the granite, which makes up a lot of visual real estate in the space. I don't know if my photo translated well, but it's Golden Leaf and is golden/taupey,moss/black. I see no hint of blue.

There are slate blue bands on my grandmother's yelloware bowl (on top of the micro) and a few subtle accents in my rugs & in my art print. Otherwise no blue anywhere in the house. I'm wondering if you think it works here, knowing it's not in the granite. I've reached out for help on this forum because I now there are "good eyes" that see combinations and have ideas I might never have come up with. So, I'm open to considering a way to incorporate blue.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 1:22PM
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I originally suggested the black & I totally agree that something softer would look prettier. When I posted that picture of the greenish island, I first did a Houzz search & then a google search both for green & blue islands. So many shades of both & many with granite similar to yours. I believe you could find the perfect soft green or blue to go with the rest of your furnishings. Or match your island to your cabinets & do the green or blue chairs.
I'm so glad you posted pictures of the rest of your home, which is truly lovely.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:10PM
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In the close-up pics of the granite and rug, I see some light gray. What you see as moss in the granite, I see as gray that I can push into reading gray blue-green or gray-blue with paint and accessories. However, the granite does look brown in the wide shot photos, and maybe it is too golden for blue. Notice though that on the gray island romy posted, the granite is brown.

My vanity granite has gray crystals (also cream and taupe), and I wanted a cool color palette with my dark cherry vanity and chrome hardware, so I used silvery blue for my wall color and rugs. I used BM Silver Mist, which was as far gray as I could go while still in the blue family. I did try the grayed blue-greens that are popular (SW Sea Salt and Rainwashed, etc.), but it looked like I used Colgate as my inspiration--too minty fresh for me!

I would look through paint samples in the grayed blues and blue-greens and taupes. If you have BM near you, ask to see their larger color swatches. They're about 6" x 8".

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 3:03PM
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I am new to this forum, but I just want to say thank you for the thoughtful responses by askers and answerers both. I am learning a whole lot and cannot wait to start picking brains about my remodel when the time comes!

amck, you home is absolutely serene, and it makes me want to get rid of (even more) stuff. Doe someone want to be my designer?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 6:02PM
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greenhaven, thank you for the kind words about my home.

Isn't this forum a treasure? I came upon it by chance while researching appliances for a lake place we built 7 yrs. ago. I regretted I hadn't found it sooner, but I still gleaned enough tips and info here to make my kitchen prettier and better functioning than it would have been without it.

I generally don't engage in online sites but this one is remarkable for its tone and civility. And there are so many talented and knowledgable people here! When I popped back for help with this remodel I was pleased to see some names still around from my build.

Building and remodeling aren't always fun or easy and this is a place where you can commiserate and get encouragement until the day you're able to post the finished space and we all celebrate.

I am not among the real gurus, but I will be around to offer help when I can. Welcome!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Thank you so much!

I love forum interactions, and have been a regular over at the Roses forum in the past, and am a member at a couple other forums. I jumped back on Roses after a recent move and found the Kitchens forum. Yay!

Anyway, I know I am not the only one grateful to those who are willing to share their knowledge, experiences and mistakes.

I'll be watching!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:24PM
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You wrote that pictures of others' kitchens ". . . . cemented my resolve to end up with a kitchen that reflects my taste and is geared to how I use the space. . . . (others kitchens are unique) and so in keeping with (their) homes. While my space is completely different, I hope to accomplish that." (Forgive me for changing a few words)

I think the opportunity to do this is what makes GW so valuable. I widened my understanding of options and choose carefully those that fit ME. For years I lived with my old cramped and ugly kitchen only because I could not imagine what would fit into our space. Then I found GW. GW and the great people here will also help you imagine yours. It sounds like you are on your way.

You will, as you say, think about how you use your kitchen and how you want it to fit into the rest of your home.

I tried one more time to show the white cabs to the ceiling. I felt that optical distortion made the cabs seem to loom, so I straightened them in this pic. Also, for a different idea, I made the island a darker natural wood. I also removed the OTR microwave and suggested a simple linear hood. But I do think a decorative hood might work for you.

As you said, your kitchen, like mine, is exposed to the rooms that surround it. You want that ambiance to flow smoothly into--and through--your kitchen. And as others have said, I look forward to the steps you will take along the way to your new kitchen and the great pleasures both creating it and using it will bring you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Bellsmom, thank you for taking the time to do this. My pups are ready for their walk, but I can't wait to get back, read through your post and study the picture!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:48AM
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Do you have about 12" above the cabinets? Subtract for crown and you have very little left for cabinets. Add 2" all around the door frame for stiles and rails. That leaves a peep hole for glass. All your cabinets are different widths, which is not ideal for a stacked cabinet look, even without using glass.

It's sounding like you might be leaning toward replacing your uppers to make a hood work. I'd go to the ceiling in that case. You could also make the cabinet to the right the same width as to the left and eliminate the corner cabinet. So that's three new wall cabinets and a fridge cab--not too terribly expensive, AND, they'd have factory finish! Extend the pantry to the ceiling and order new doors to match the uppers. Consider using white uppers and leaving the lowers stained maple, which works with your granite and everything else. Keep the island maple to match the lowers. Decide whether to paint the stools. The only other thing to paint is the pantry box.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Bellsmom, the first thing I saw, before reading your post was the reddish tone of the island. I've been sharing the ideas offered here w/ DH & he was surprised no one had suggested a muted red for it.

I change out the mantel art/pillows, etc. to go with the distinct 4 seasons we have here and one thing I realized is, except for summer, there's always a pop of red. That's one reason I like the neutral backdrop of the walls & big furniture pieces. I haven't tired of them and they don't seem out of time during any season.

One thing I see in the mock up is how happy I will be to no longer have the microwave as a focal point! But as I move through the process, I'm inclined to want fewer cabinets covering the walls. Especially if they were all white and went to the ceiling I think they would feel cold and stark in the winter months. I know my stained cabs & island are too matchy with the floors, but they do have a warm glow that doesn't read too cold in winter and I might miss that going white.

Thank you again for helping me visualize possibilities. I don't know how to produce images like that and they are very helpful as I try to process this.

mayflowers, I am veering toward replacing the uppers. If I hadn't installed the granite, I would probably replace them all. I'm guessing we'll be in this home for 10 yrs. Certainly enough time to warrant an update, but probably not cost effective to incur any debt for a complete gut - especially since so much is pretty good quality and in such good condition. DH keeps nudging me to do things right and not scrimp, but it goes against my nature to spend on my wants and not my needs. I still think I can come up with a plan that will be beautiful and reasonable, like Beekeeper's and Linelle's redos.

I don't want to do two toned with maple/white. It feels too patchy to me. I was thinking if I got new uppers they would have to be unfinished to be able to match the painted lowers. Now you have me wondering if I could:

- Take all the uppers off the range wall
- Get 2 new same-sized cabinets to flank the range
- Keep pantry/cabs current height but add a little heavier moulding
- Install up lights over the cabs
- Figure out hood style & plan for that re cabinet above
- Not sure about another cabinet to left of window.....
- Perimeter cabs top & bottom a creamy white.
- Add panel/trim to island and paint (taupey/green/grey-blue)
- Remove 4" granite BS & do a creamy subway tile BS around perimeter
- Counter stools ??

Am I heading in a good direction?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:30PM
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Sounds like a good plan. Time to go see a KD?

If you decide to use a chimney hood, I'd use cabs to the ceiling. I do not care for this look.

Farmhouse Kitchen by Minneapolis Design-Build Firms the gudhouse company

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:50PM
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may_flowers, I agree about the kitchen you posted above. I just looked @ Beekeeper's again, which I like. Do you think it works because of where the tile ends? The color band above it? Both? Or, to your eye, is it still off without ceiling height cabs?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Her hood barely has a chimney, and the hood is very boxy.

Her layout is so close to yours that you could easily duplicate the look, though she has a very "blingy" style. IMO, recessed paneled doors add much to the white painted look.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:52AM
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You know when they say, "Sleep on it?" Well, I woke up in the middle of the night with an epiphany. Through this process I keep getting pulled back to the kitchen Romy718 posted on 4/2 & Bee's.

Suddenly, 2 things seemed clear to me - both of those kitchens exude a feeling of warmth and they both have tile and color on the cabinet walls.

The photoshopping Bellsmom so generously did for me with white cabinets to the ceiling left me with the impression of "cold" and stark which doesn't match the soothing, muted tones people have remarked they liked about my home.

Since my house has few architectural elements, save for the fireplace, I don't think it would be overkill to do something very similar to Bee's. Instead of her dark brown, though, I'm thinking I could use the warm colors in Romy's pic. Maybe use a similar color as shown on the island and repeat it (or a shade lighter) over tile the way Bee used the brown band. I think it would enhance and personalize the kitchen space and soften the feel of white cabs.

If I'm not going to take cabs to the ceiling, I'm thinking it might be better to use their height (like Bee did) and incorporate it into a plan. The direction I was heading into originally was to try to trick the eye by having white cabs on white walls with up lights, which I now think would look a bit wanting.

I would love to know what you think. Hope you'll excuse the bouncing around of ideas. Before I purchase the hood and get cabinet quotes I'm trying to brainstorm all the possibilties.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:40AM
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I've always liked the look of stopping the tile under the hood and painting above the cabinets.

If I were to paint the walls, I think a more neutral and yellow undertoned green might work. I wouldn't quite go into olive, but you said the granite is mossy green, and to me that is an organic, herbal green with yellow or gray undertones, not blue. One of my favorite kitchens on Houzz, which I just looked through 20 pages and can't find, used BM Grant Beige on their walls. It's a beige with green undertones. This pic is the closest I could find. How would that work with your granite and other home colors? I think it's great with dark red and black.

Craftsman Kitchen by San Jose Architects & Designers JCA ARCHITECTS

This post was edited by may_flowers on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 11:07

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Here are 3 more visualizations of a thought.Quickies, so details are sloppy. Colors aren't planned--just going for ideas.

A thought: CAN you paint the kitchen walls without having to paint other rooms as well? Not sure to what extent walls continue from Kitchen to LR or DR or den. And the wall color you have works very well in other rooms. We are just thinking of white cabs and a way to warm their effect.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 11:52

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:33AM
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I'd love that shade or one close to it in my kitchen!

2 questions

In the pics I posted, the 4th from the bottom shows that my cabinets and the kitchen area ends with the fridge. There is a finish sheet of maple that encloses the fridge on the side. From that point it becomes the sunroom/seating area. There is a sliding door opening to a large deck across from the wicker sofa. Then the walls run around to the laundry room door, then into the LR area, etc.

What could I do to "end" the kitchen wall color and continue w/ off white walls throughout the rest of the space? Because I'd only want to do tiles & green paint over the cabinet space. Would I have a trim board going up to the ceiling on the outside of the fridge as a line of demarcation?

Second question

Could I/should I possibly consider a tile similar to Bee's, or do you think I should stick to a rectangular subway tile?

Appreciate any thoughts.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Which tiles? Someone else can help you more than I can. But I CAN mock it up when you pick a couple you might want.

Re: the line ending kitchen and beginning LR.

What if you run the cabinet above the fridge all the way up to the ceiling, case both sides of the fridge and paint them to match the cabinets, and call that the wall? Sorta like this:

And Hey, I gotta quit and get to work. But this is fun. Sorta like playing house when I was a kid.

Thanks for letting me play. You have a great space to work with.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:34PM
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Bellsmom, I was composing my post before seeing your recent mock ups and your question about the wall color issues. We were both on the same wavelength.

I like the 3rd photo best, I think because of the green tones. Seeing a more modern style tile with the chimney hood makes me go back to questioning if I can go with that type of hood. I think I would probably have to consider one with proportions more like Bee's, which I haven't priced (but I'm guessing is $$$).

Thank you, again. I need to head out but will examine more closely later.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:41PM
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I have a common wall between my kitchen and DR so I know there's no easy solution. I wouldn't add a trim board. I would try to get away with just painting the feature wall and the island the same or similar colors. This is where it might help to use a larger crown and put a cabinet to the left of the window to minimize the change in wall color. Use an L shaped cabinet that wraps around the corner--like Bee's, but I don't think diagonals are an updated look. Also notice how Bee brought her window treatment to the ceiling. I would use green in the fabric. So maybe that would be enough to fool the eye. I'm sure you'll get other suggestions.

Well, tile...ugh. I still haven't tiled. I have to say I hate when people imitate every other white kitchen on GW and Houzz, so that is why yours is so refreshing to me. I'd figure out the hood design and cabinet arrangement first.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:49PM
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I preface my suggestion with this caveat: My strength lies in kitchen lay-outs, not the design details. That said, here are a few ideas for you.

Keep your lower cabs, buy new, to-the-ceiling uppers painted in white to match the fireplace mantle. It would look something like this:

Traditional Kitchen by Minneapolis Architects & Designers Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd

Here's the same look with a darker counter than in the kitchen above:

Contemporary Kitchen by Hopkins Architects & Designers Kuhl Design Build LLC

Another view of the kitchen above, showing the wall color:

Contemporary Kitchen by Hopkins Architects & Designers Kuhl Design Build LLC

Another option is to keep all of your existing cabinets and span the distance between the top of the cabs and the ceiling with molding and paint all of it out in white. Here are two images to help you visualize this:

Traditional Kitchen by Glen Ellyn Kitchen & Bath Remodelers The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

Traditional Other

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Bellsmom, I don' t know whether I should take just the pantry and refrigerator cabs to ceiling height. That might be too visually jarring if I do a line with tile, a colored accent wall and shorter cabs. But it makes a good argument for bringing them ALL up to the ceiling to have the end pieces become my dividing color "walls."

The tiles I was referring to are the arabesque ones Bee used. If you are inclined, able and ever felt like doing it, I would love to see her hood and tiles photoshopped into my kitchen. If you could make the wall above them a soft khaki/taupe color and do the island in the same shade that would be my dream mock up. I say this with zero (make that minus zero) idea of what it takes to do that in terms of time and effort. So please feel free to pass entirely.

lisa_a, I appreciate the suggestions and photos. I haven't been leaning toward mixing the stained maple with white. I thought if I was going to bite the bullet and paint, I should do them all. However, I do like the warmth of the darker toned wood with white. The bottom 2 are some of the best examples I've seen of wood and crown added to reach ceiling height.

may_flowers and Bellsmom, you've both made statements about doing something different and personal. I know I could hire someone to parse this out and I could just write a check and get going instead of struggling and second guessing every aspect. But I prefer being home to most anywhere else, cook 6 days a week and spend a lot of time in this space with family. And while I'm not above taking ideas from others' kitchens, I don't want to have a copy of anyone else's, even though I've seen so many beautiful ones here.

An editor of one of the old design mags I've kept put it well. "What makes a kitchen memorable? The same thing that makes the people who cook in them memorable: a unique personality.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 5:04PM
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OK, don't know just what khaki taupe is, but here is an approximation. Don't have time to do the island tonight.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:09PM
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Bellsmom's most recent mockup Is really pretty. It would look lovely in your home. To me, your home looks cozy & very tastefully decorated with thoughtfully placed accessories & no clutter.
But it can't be that easy I have a couple of thoughts. How tall are your ceilings & what is the height of your upper cabinets? You don't care for the stacked cabinets in your kitchen & I agree with you. But it looks like your cabinets need a little more height. You could add a larger crown, something classic, not huge or ornate. Or, if you do replace your uppers, you could get a taller upper cabinet & then possibly go to the ceiling with crown. That would not look as overwhelming as the stacked cabinets. I'm not pushing you to go to the ceiling. I think you could get a beautiful look with just crown.
My concern is the rest of your home. I love the white walls your other rooms. Everything flows so well that unless you have a clear break with the adjoining room, I'm not sure I'd paint your kitchen a different color. Would going to the ceiling give you that break? If not, you could bring color in with your island & your backsplash.
i see the green in the closeup picture of the countertops & I love the green in your wicker furniture & your living room rug. If you decided to stay white in the kitchen, a green island & tile with a soft color palette in could add color.
I like the Bee's metal hood above but I also like this very similar painted hood in this picture that Mayflowers posted.
If you go to the ceiling, it would be worthwhile to consider other hood styles. I also like the one in pic #2 that Lisa posted. Or you could do a totally different style.
Backsplash will depend on your other decisions. If you paint your walls a color, the Arabesque would look beautiful. If you want color, a backsplash similar to the picture I posted on 3/2 (green island) would be pretty. Those look like crackle tile with color variation. I could see a soft crackle with a hint of green within the color variation. I have to disclose that I am "crackle crazy".
I'm excited for you. I see a beautiful kitchen in your future. And it could be that easy. Bellsmom's rendition with some crown could do it. You could find the perfect color of Arabesque tile to go with your granite & then choose your cabinet paint color based on the tile choice.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:47AM
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I'm out the door to take my Dad to the doctor & other appts., but I couldn't resist checking in before I left. Bellsmom, what a treat to discover the new picture. I appreciate it and thank you.

romy718, I quickly scanned your response but will read it closely while in the waiting room.

I dreaded getting into a remodel but thanks to all of you I'm energized and excited to put the puzzle pieces together till it's just right. It's like a fuzzy image in the distance that is coming into focus.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Caveat: I am not a designer. When I see mockups of cabs to the ceiling in your space it feels heavy and "looming" to me. The rest of your house is light and has plenty of "breathable space." Yes, I am totally making it up as I go, but it is how to best express myself.

That said, my personal opinion is that to have a crown and color above your cabinets will maintain the feel you have in the rest of your home.

FWIW, I also love the color in that craftsman kitchen posted by may_flowers then romy. It is VERY similar to the green I love and have used I multiple homes, Ace Heartland. My intention is to get it on my adjoining dining room walls as soon as I get the ugly wallpaper border scraped off. Seeing that kitchen I just referenced makes me totally re-think light cabs.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:06AM
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I don't like the arabesque with the light fixture and door style. Maybe it's because I associate those tiles too much with Bee's aesthetic, which is glitz and glamour. She used them in her new kitchen too, which is uber glamorous.

The mock-ups feel very white, so I like romy's suggestion of using a crackle tile that isn't so stark against the granite. Your granite photographs so brown that I'd hesitate to use a green tile.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:19AM
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I've a few minutes before I tackle a sorting job--old bills. Boring. This is fun.

Here is the island also green. I think it should contrast more--a darker green?

The overall effect is certainly soft and pretty, though. You need to thank Bee for the flowers on the counter. And sorry I accidentally erased your light fixture. Wasn't on purpose. I like it.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:34AM
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I have a minute between appointments and after reading new posts I 'd like to toss this idea out - What would you think of color for the cabs, instead of white? Such as the muted shade in May's 11:06 post from yesterday that many seem to like?

That, with a crackle cream tile? Then I could maintain the off white walls throughout and it wouldn't be so sterile looking.

Bellsmom, about my light fixture...I'm glad that you mentioned it got left out. It made me realize it might fight with a chimney style hood. I was liking Bee's kitchen in my kitchen without it, but I've had concerns about that style and the prominent light fixture so nearby is one reason why. Glad you made me think about it.

It would be really brave move for me to commit to color on the cabs, but I would consider it. I can see me ending up with quite a unique kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:38AM
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In real life white cabs will not look as white as they do in my quick PhotoShop images.
You might try draping white sheets over some of your cabs and squinting at them from a distance for a better (though of course not accurate) idea how light and shadow will actually tint them with color.

I think the cabs in May's 11:06 image may actually be a slightly tinted white.

Someday when I have time again to fiddle, I'll put the light back in. I don't think it will really cause a problem. Maybe from a certain angle (like the one from which you photographed the room), but not over all.

And if you choose a paint color, I'll put it on the cabs for you. Just post a sample or link.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Love the idea of painting your cabs a soft gray-green and keeping your walls a soft white. Here are more inspirational photos for you:

Traditional Kitchen by Cumming General Contractors Renew Properties

Traditional Kitchen by Cambridge Architects & Designers Frank Shirley Architects

Traditional Kitchen by Atlanta General Contractors Dresser Homes

Traditional Kitchen by Johns Creek Interior Designers & Decorators Janie K. Hirsch, ASID

Can't find the other kitchen with soft, serene green cabinets I'm thinking of. I'll post it if I turn it up later.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:31PM
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Below the picture is a link to an idea that was posted on another thread about how to raise your cabinets to the ceiling without buying new upper cabinets. With your uppers at ceiling level you would have so many other options for hoods.
I'm getting the sense the SS chimney hoods are not your 1st choice.
I like the idea of considering color for your cabinets.
You have lots of options & many pluses with your existing kitchen. Your cabinets are maple rather than oak so they will handle a painted finish beautifully (no oak grain showing through). You don't have arched upper cabinets so you don't have to worry about them looking dated.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to add height to upper cabinets

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:10PM
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I like the black hardware on this white kitchen. It could be your touch of black.
Also, this crackle backsplash adds interest & depth but is still neutral.
This kitchen would still look great even if the painted wall above the cabinets did not exist.
Edit: forgot to mention that I love the soft gray green inspiration pics that Lisa posted.

This post was edited by romy718 on Fri, Mar 7, 14 at 11:03

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Soft green island, red stools

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 8:01PM
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Green island, green backsplash. I think I prefer the neutral backsplash.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Bellsmom, I hadn't considered that the white in the photoshopping is so much brighter than any off-white I would choose for cabinets. I'm glad you mentioned that.

lisa_a, thank you for posting the inspiration shots. Something I noted in the 2nd one is that the counter stools are light wood, like mine, even though the island is deeper and the cabinets are painted. I thought mine simply wouldn't work with the changes I'm contemplating. And though I'm open to getting new ones, they will be hard to beat for comfort and practicality.

Also noted the use of color on the window trim on that one. A thought... if I did cream cabs & BS, maybe I could add the island color around the window, instead of having it on a wall.

romy718, I love the colors of the cabs and tile in the kitchen with the black hardware and will take a long look at the ideas for extending cabs. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:44PM
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DH & I sat down last night to discuss where I was heading with this remodel. I told him I'd concluded we should remove all the upper cabinets and get new ones that are ceiling height. Then build above the pantry cab and fridge to ceiling. Get factory finished doors to match new uppers and paint lower boxes. Pull doors off the pantry and retrofit to house MW. Just when I got to the part about the island...he said, "Let's look into just replacing the entire perimeter. Get the drawers you prefer over the current bottom cabinets and let's not try to make one thing out of another."

Okay. Well. My question now is should I begin with a new post with some of the pics above and ask for suggestions on a new perimeter plan? Or should I continue with this one?

I am still conflicted about going the route of "all new" because I like my granite countertop (w the 4" removed & a tile backsplash) and while I'm not attached to my cabinets, I still think it's a waste to lose that countertop. I can't think of a replacement I'd prefer, since we're definitely keeping the island.

My DD will likely be the recipient of my maple cabs to replace her painted oak. Might she be able to reuse my granite countertops in her small galley kitchen? Is that even worth the cost of the work of having them re fabricated?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:46AM
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What a great husband! You will love, love, love drawers. My most favorite thing about my kitchen.
Definitely post your perimeter plan for suggestions from the layout experts.
How nice that your daughter will be able to use your maple cabinets.
My brother used my old oak cabinets & is as thrilled with his new kitchen as I am with mine.
Does your daughter live in the area? People here have talked about having stone refabricated. Maybe whoever fabricates your new countertops will refabricate your old for her.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:24AM
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You will love having the drawers!
I agree with romy that you should start a new thread. You can link to this one in your first post, explaining that the game has changed.

Romy's comments about the granite were about what I would have said as well.

Happy planning!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:19AM
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I'm excited for you! Your DH sounds like mine--his motto has always been "Do it once and do it right". I was just as surprised as you to get a new kitchen. Ours was only 12 years old (and not nearly as nice as yours) with some functional flaws. The initial plan was to replace the tiled counters and change to a one-level peninsula. We priced a new counter, but we both decided it didn't make sense to put $3000 counters on basic oak cabinets. I thought the project had reached a standstill when he said, "Let's just put in a new kitchen."

I think you have a good lay-out on the sink wall. I would consider shortening the pantry--it looks as boxy and dominating as a fridge, being so close in size to one. My eye has always gone right to it, which you don't want. I think that will allow the range to be the focal point and show off your pretty new hood.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 12:12PM
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