Help!! Kitchen(Cave) Remodel/Update on a BUDGET

NoaitallMarch 14, 2013

As a single mother of three, I recently purchased a Victorian home that needs significant updating.This picture is from the first week after I purchased the property. Please excuse all the cleaning supplies and bags of stripped wallpaper from the adjoining family room. The only difference from this picture and today is the purchase of a black side-by-side fridge. Continuing right of this picture, I have even more dark green laminate and dark cabinetry. It is almost never ending. :)
Usually, I'm able to find a color pallette and transform a room from drab to fab; however, my new kitchen has thrown me for a loop. As you can probably see in the picture, there are dark green laminate contertops and backsplash continuing up the wall.....not to mention the hideous wallpaper I will be stripping asap!! The laminate is in excellent condition and I would like to design my color pallette around it.
I do not have it in my budget to install new appliances to brighten up the dark cavelike appearance. I have already purchased new matte nickel drawer cup pulls and knobs and plan on spray painting the hinges. I've also recently purchased a Delta high arc stainless faucet to tie into the tiny bit of stainless I do have in the kitchen. I spend most of my time in this kitchen and I'm not afraid of color.......but what color should I paint these dark cabinets??
I love color and refuse to paint the cabinets white. I've thought butter yellow with a slightly darker shade of yellow on the walls....and painting the kitchen table bright orange and accenting with orange pieces. I don't want a totally retro feel. I am seeking a more modern approach with a traditional feel. I'm lost!!! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is another pic of the cabinetry and dark countertop/backsplash.....amidst the bounty of cleaning supplies and chemical peels I was utilizing throughout this old home. Also take notice of the wonderfully dated light fixture that needs to find a new home or the local landfill. The previous owners had lived here for 60+ years. Time for an update and much needed scrubbing, YES!!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

a thorough clean might yield a pleasant surprise with those cabs.A little 'birds eye' effect is showing through even before cleaning. Question would be in filling the holes from the odd placed handles....then see what you've got before painting it all. For their time they might be actually quite good in terms of the wood species used....I would try my best not to have to paint those. If I wanted to do one big DIY besides cleaning it would be lay a hardwood floor..get some friends to help-even if you redo the kitchen completely in 10 years, if you pick up some discounted wood and saved on labor it would be worth the enjoyment/just clean the cabinets extremely well.No yellow and orange-a nice white on the walls.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My Victorian house has a similar kitchen layout. It was renovated in the late 1970s, and we survived pretty well from the late 1980s until last month, when we replaced the cabinets, countertops, lighting, etc., and painted. We did make a number of changes over the years--most of them on this list of things you might like to try. Focus on what you can do now, and save for later. You might learn more from some old-house blogs, too.

1. Paint the cabinets. (We didn't do this, and ours looked amazingly good on the outside even in their last days, though the insides were horrible.) Cream, soft yellow, or a green sound nice. From friends' experience, hire a professional so the paint job lasts. You're lucky to have so much cabinet space.
2. Reposition and change the hardware.
3. Paint. After agonizing over a color choice in our north-facing room, we went with warm--BM Roasted Sesame Seed for two accent walls (the window wall and a little entryway formed by a pantry closet) and Navajo White for the rest) to complement our new light-stained maple cabinets. We love it. Though we survived with a painted backsplash, our area over the stove is very small. Check the panels sold at Ikea, which might work for you.
4. Get an estimate on new countertops. It might not be as costly as you think. Consider laminate (gasp) if you really need to stick to a budget.
5. Add an open shelf over the sink if your faucet height permits it. Use it to display some things you love and use.
6. Inside the cabinets, add some pull-out shelves or bins. They don't have to be high-end; Rubbermaid has some good, sturdy options.
7. Add plug-in under-cabinet lights. I don't see too many outlets, so you might get a prices on adding some. We were definitely not up to code until the recent remodeling. Is the chandelier your only overhead lighting?
8. Replace the floor if you can. We did this twice (first time was a bad mistake).
9. Figure out another place to put the microwave. You have tons of room over the stove for that type of microwave. We got one, but it's much bigger than we need and I'm not sure I like it--though we gained needed counter space.

Good luck, and enjoy your old house!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

DON'T DO ORANGE!!!!! The soft yellow tones you mention might work, but for a shot of complementary colour to bring in some life, you need to use reds or pinks with all that green.

Sorry, I don't really have an opinion on painting the cabs or not. But I'm so with you that white is too blahhh here.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I disagree with your yellow and orange idea, too, and I definitely don't think red or pink is what I would want in my kitchen. I live in a warm climate and red in my kitchen would make it too hot in there for eating.

I do love pink and khaki together in clothing, but I'm not sure I'd like it in a kitchen. I think the dark green you have can almost be a neutral if you keep the rest of the pallete in family - other green tones, even a light mossy green for the cabinets, would make the green kind of disappear. If you add a complementary color like red or orange (or even pink) you'll make the green look greener.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Call me crazy but I agree with herbflavor: Definitely get rid of the wallpaper, but then have a closer look at the cabinets. Clean them, maybe try some wood restore product. They could actually look pretty cool.
Remove the hardware and see if you could fill the holes relatively easily.
Look at the kitchen of the house below.

I wonder if you could remove the laminate backsplash, tile over it, or install beadboard over it.

Here is a link that might be useful: birds eye maple kitchen

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I'd be looking at a way to light up the under-cabinet area, even if it was with a string of Christmas lights (don't smirk, we've done this...) We screwed cuphooks to the underside of the upper cabinets and then strung the lights along those. Very inexpensive, and it came out quite cozy.

If you can't get the green backsplash to work for you, I'm wondering if it could be papered over with the beadboard wall paper that was used in the link below.

As far as colors go, I think I'd try to find a green that looks similar from a paint company and see what other colors come up that they recommend putting with it. Or, try to find some fabric that you like with the backsplash green in it and see what other colors are in there that you can pull out to accent the room. You can make it work. : )

Here is a link that might be useful: $500 makeover

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Scrub those cabinets and see how they turn out. As to yellows and reds...

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures I took of my finished kitchen...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the light fixture's yellow glass shade is probably contributing to the problem, so I would take it off and get a better read on the cabinets and countertops.
The next thing I would do is remove the wall paper. Where the wallpaper is in front of the window to the left of the sink, what is that, some kind of valance? Can it be removed, it is blocking sunlight.
Then remove the cabinet handles and give them a good cleaning with a degreasing product. In our last house they cleaned up and got about three shades lighter. You will need to thoroughly clean before painting anyway so this will not be wasted work. I have even had to scrap layers of built up grease off with a razor blade- ick.
I kind of like the green color of the Iaminate. The full splash makes it a bit intense but it is probably just a thin sheet of the laminate glued to the wall and may come down very easily. It could also be covered it like nosoccermom suggested. Two full height stainless backsplash panels can be gotten pretty cheap at HD or Lowes.
I don't know your storage needs, but you could remove all the uppers on the sink wall and the backsplash, You could do a small splash behind the sink to protect from water, it could be stainless, or tile, and then do open shelves on that wall.
If you do decide to paint the cabinets, think a soft grey-green would look nice. If you can remove the backsplash, I think I might go with a chocolate brown on the lowers and a light off white on the top.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Laughable's idea is great. On my monitor, the green comes close to BM Backwoods. (Hope the name is not a bad omen). They pair it with yellow, cream, or even gray.

Here is a link that might be useful: Green paint color

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To make it less depressing:

1 - paint that laminate backsplash, using a primer meant for plastics and Formica. One is "the Gripper"

2 - Remove that wallpaper from the soffits and paint them

3 - Scrub heck out of the cabinets and learn to love them.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

An alternative to localeater's suggestion to remove all the uppers on the sink wall and the backsplash--why not remove the doors on the uppers on the sink wall? Then paint the interior of the cabs a color contrasting to what you pick for the walls, maybe something a couple of shades darker.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sharimac had two threads in Kitchens on a similar problem: brightening a period kitchen with dark walls, ceiling, and cabinets.
She did a stunning DIY job with paint and elbow grease.

Here is a link the first of her threads. She links to the first second at near the end of the many posts that responded to her DIY tale.

I would urge you to remove wallpaper and paint walls and ceiling,and consider painting or, my preference, wallpapering and then painting the laminate backsplash as a temporary expedient.

Then scrub heck out of the cabinets and evaluate the possibility of gel staining or some other way to refinish them without painting them.
Sharimac just recently posted the result of using a textured wallpaper that looked like beaded paneling on their backsplash. Painted white as a temporary expedient, it looks stunning.

Anyway, here the link to Sharimac's first thread. Do look at her second thread where the latest results are shown.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to brighten a kitchen

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In her first post in this second thread Sharimac shows the use of painted textured wallpaper for a backsplash. That would be so easy and inexpensive to try. I think it would make a huge difference in your kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sharimac's 2nd post

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 20:32

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would keep the wood; bring it back to its original splender. Keep and clean the same hardware, if its brass that would be fantastic!!! Paint the walls a more vibrant modern green than the countertop (a green with a tad of yellow in it). Switch out the gold light for a mini crystal chandelier. You can find used ones in thrift stores, Craigslist, and even garage sales. I found the one over my office desk at a garage sale for $20, it just needed cleaning up. Add pink/purple accents in storage containers or other. You didnâÂÂt mention the floors but if you had to do something like an off white peel and stick for now and an off white ceilingâ¦all together it would look great and the cost minimal. You could then even add a little kitchen rug with yellows, greens, off whites, blacks and purples. Oh, and while you are at the thrifts and garage sales looking for your mini crystal chandelier start collecting brass and a few black picture frames of all sizes and shapes. Get the kids working on colorful art work to frame and hang.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Thu, Mar 14, 13 at 22:52

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

that's a nice mood board,terri. Noa: Do you live near a metropolitan area? think Craig's List...Before you start altering the kitchen,including the green counter and backsplash,I would calculate the cost of an Ikea would get base drawers and frameless and aren't you leaning white[?]. I think you'd get interest in this kitchen in it's original actually looks in very good shape after cleaning....[altho I don't see a closeup or an inside pic].you might get at least the money to do you live any where near SE Mich-I wouldn't mind thinking aout it.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:12AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Banquette as only dining area?
I apologize for starting a banquette thread again but...
Sexist or Fun?
Trouble from young feminists over this billboard.
Joseph Corlett, LLC
"Ledge" sinks and accessories -- do you use them?
I'm considering an undermount stainless sink that has...
Help with kitchen layout - main issue is where to put the ovens
I need to finalize my kitchen design so all feedback/suggestions...
White on White & other (mis) Matched Kitchens
I was at a friend's house, an artist, last week showing...
Carrie B
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™