Designing Around Existing Cherry Cabinets

SJMIMarch 11, 2014

We originally thought we would move our kitchen into an existing dining room, make our current kitchen a family/mud room, and make our current sun room a dining room. The more we investigated, the harder and more expensive that route looks.

So now we want to update our current kitchen by:
1. Replacing the island with a new island with micro drawer, but no sink and no ice maker, and add overhang for 3 small stools
2. Replace appliances (likely with SS)
3. Replace counter top with engineered stone
4. replace CARPET (who ever put carpet in a kitchen) with either wood or tile. We are leaning towards tile, and thinking we would do a nod to the history of our home (built 1927) by using hexagonal floor tiles.
5. Remove wall paper and paint walls and molding
6. Build a banquette in the breakfast nook (also looks to be 1920s appropriate
7. Add a subway tile back splash and re-tile existing decorative tile areas with a more 20s looking tile (yet to be determined)
8. Replace ceiling fan with new light fixture. Leave recessed can lights. Add under cabinet lights.
9. Change hardware

Here are some pics of the kitchen as it stands today:
View Of Kitchen from Butler's Pantry, nook at far end of picture

View From Breakfast nook

KITCHEN FROM BULTER'S PANTRY (pantry to stay, but get a face lift too)

So, are we crazy to keep these old cherry cabinets? They are all wood and in good shape but are probably 25 years old. Can we design something pretty around these?


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I think your cabinets are beautiful. A change of wall color, and especially flooring, will do wonders to spruce it up! Where is the fridge?

I like the look of your black appliances with the darker wood.

Is there any chance there's hardwood under the carpet?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:46PM
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I agree, if the layout works for you, I would keep the cabinets. I think changing the floor, wall and trim colors will make a huge difference.

Awesome sink in the butler's pantry.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:55PM
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I don't think you're crazy at all.

Maybe you'll get lucky and there's hardwood down there. Looks like an otherwise very nice kitchen that someone spent a lot of time and cash on.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 1:57PM
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Thanks! When thinking about doing the move the kitchen project we were designing a white kitchen, so cherry is just so far from that it's hard to wrap our heads around! And cherry seems to be less popular these days. Glad others think the cabinets are worth keeping. The cabinets are Wood Mode, which looks to be a good brand (higher end then what we would put in ourselves, although old.)

aankh, the fridge is on the far side of the double wall ovens. It's a paneled, built in sub zero. The fridge works fine, but the freezer is having issues. We may look at getting the SZ repaired instead of replacing. I never thought of using black appliances, SS just seems like the "thing" to do. I think the black does look good with cherry though...hmmm even more savings as I actually like our dishwasher, it fits a lot of dishes!

The cook top is another story, it appears to be an old commercial unit. 6 very powerful burners. But the pilot doesn't work, so we light it with a BBQ lighter (and we have kids in the house!)

The flooring is hard to determine. My guess is there's at least one layer of very old linoleum (asbestos concerns, I think) under the carpet and possibly glued right to the bottom layer. The rest of the house has beautiful hard wood so I guess it's possible. The kitchen was originally built as a servant's area, and as such is in the back of the house and not very big compared to other rooms. 12x14 not including the small nook and Butler's Pantry.

Ineffable space, we love the look of the German sink in the Butler's pantry, although it's not useful really. We would keep it anyway when we refresh.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:03PM
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You can definitely design around those! Cherry will look good cleaned up, or painted, depends on what you want.

The first thing to do is get rid of the wall paper, carpet, and prime the molding white. There is too much 80's going on right now.

that butlers pantry is great, too!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Wow! I wish I had that problem -- gorgeous cherry cabinets as a basis from which to begin! They are beautiful. You've got great ideas and they will make this kitchen into a showplace! Keep the photos coming as you move through the process.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:52PM
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SMJI...just one comment in reference to this...

"And cherry seems to be less popular these days."

I am expecting a delivery on Friday...3 pallets containing 1,700 lbs worth of clear finish cherry RTA cabinets from Barker Cabinets!!! Can you tell I am excited!!!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:53PM
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What a cool kitchen! I would love to be able to work with a kitchen like that.

I have black appliances with cherry cabinets and like the look, so you have the option of black or SS.

Since you already have the plumbing in place, maybe have a sink and MW in the island.

What is under the carpet?

Love the crown moulding.

I actually love the butlers pantry as is.

Can you show photos of the rest of your house. It looks so interesting!

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 16:01

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:55PM
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I really love your pantry, the sink, the cabinets, the molding in your kitchen, the glass cabinets.
Are those tiles on the hood or wall paper?
And, no, I've never seen carpet in a kitchen! Maybe marmoleum or linoleum would be appropriate?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:22PM
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dcward89 - 1,700 lbs ...sounds like a LOT of cabinets! Enjoy!

Yes, the kitchen is poster child 80s, and we hope to make it into a more classic look with a nod to the 20s.

debrak2008- Thanks! it's so great to get a positive response to working with what we already have! We are lucky. In the Butler's Pantry we plan on simply changing the 80s lights to a chandelier, refinishing the butcher block counters (and making them a bit darker), touching up the cabinet paint, new hardware, and of course new floors with kitchen.

I am adding a few more pics of the house, it's a 1927 French inspired Tudor Revival, so it has a bit of an identity crisis. We love it because of its original woodwork, beams, plaster, wrought iron, and tile. We really want to make the kitchen look like it fits better with the rest of the details.
Foyer with Living Room on right

Sun room



Jack and Jill bathroom


    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:22PM
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Stunning! Thanks so much for sharing!

I love the fireplace in the basement. What's the flooring there?

I can imagine the library full of books - though it doesn't seem like modern books would be quite appropriate in such a classic space. Do you happen to have a vast collection of old books? Oh, and that fireplace is gorgeous too!

The sun room - I could live in the sun room.

And of course the entry and living room - just beautiful. I see what you mean about the beams. And I'm guessing that the photos don't begin to do it justice!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:35PM
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I love a well done white kitchen. That said, I would vote to keep and work with your present cabinets. There is a rich glow to that wood tone that seems to suit your home. The butler's pantry is such a great space!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Your house is awesome!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:26PM
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Thanks so much! I really appreciate the feedback!

We do have lots of books, mostly modern though. Have picked up some older leather bound classics just cause the library needs them!

The basement floors are terrazzo, original and in good shape.

The way the materials hold up is what really inspires me to try and keep true to them, and rescue the kitchen from the 80s.

Had not thought of linoleum or marmoleum, Not sure how future buyers would respond to a material like that, historically appropriate, but not used much these days?

That said, my better half is really leaning towards "historical" tile for flooring. Not necessarily these colors/patterns, but general feel. He's really liking the borders of these types of tile. I am leaning towards wood, seems easier and safer. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:15PM
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Cabinets are beautiful! I'd paint the walls and trim, add a nice tile, and get nice soapstone countertops. Or maybe marble on the island. That kitchen is begging for marble even if its not so practical. And definitely some period- inspired lighting and hardware like cup pulls. FWIW i like the black appliances too.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Your house is stunning. In your situation, I'd be tempted to leave the lower cabinets as is and paint the upper cabinets white, the same shade as the soffets and crown moulding as right now it looks very choppy. Love the butler's pantry too and your idea for the banquette. I've seen the hex tiles more in vintage bathrooms than the kitchen. I agree with the recommendation to do marmoleum or hardwood.

I redid my kitchen about 6-years-ago and put in natural cherry cabinets, hardwood floors and SS appliances. While it's not the current fad, I don't think it's passe either. Cherry is a lovely wood and looks like your cabinets are well made, especially with all of the lower drawers, which is one of the reasons I think for replacing cabinets. Perhaps you could upgrade the drawer glides to blum?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 7:43PM
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My sister has natural cherry cabinets. She so wants to paint her kitchen, but what is a good paint color with cherry cabs? SJMI, what color are you thinking? Anybody got any paint color ideas with these cabs?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:42PM
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Cool house. I vote to keep the cabs as well and bet you have wood user all those layers of flooring. We did 4 layers down - got to the original oak floors in the house. Ours was built in 1920. We just also had custom floor to ceiling natural cherry cabs put in. The kitchen now feels like it always belonged. What a fun project you have.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:58PM
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Something I can't understand is why someone would purchase such a beautiful, architecturally classified home, then worry about what was "in" or "trendy" in their kitchen?

You have a classical house. Why not simply do something beautiful vs. worrying about every fad that's going to whip by you. Those cabinets are fabulous. They are standing the test of time in their dignity and beauty. Your HOME is fabulous.

Something :not used much these days" HUH!? "I am leaning towards wood, seems easier and safer." What is safer? That what? Are you moving? Are you flipping your home? Why did you buy a historic home just to war with yourself about its value and beauty?

Getting rid of the cabs because something else is "in"? is nutzo IMHO. But opinions are like elbows...
Also going with SS appliances because they're "the trend." For goodness sake, either fix yourself a darned modern, trendy kitchen that will be out of fashion in 2 years (and you can start worrying about that again) and be done with it, or look hard at the gems you actually have and restore, revive, refresh, and remember why you bought the house.

Lake girl, what color are your sister's cherry cabs. There isn't just ONE color of cherry! I have dark red, almost gray, gorgeous natural, which is in between the two, browner cherry, etc.

SMJI, just what are you looking to hear? I think if you looked around your own home, you'd see that trends are detrimental to the tradition and style of your home.

I also think your cabinets, space, pantry, and whole home is something others would cut off their left ... arm for. I hope you actually see the value of maintaining -- and sure, improving -- your incredible home.

End rant.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:27PM
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I wouldn't TOUCH those cabinets, they are gorgeous and go so well with the rest of the house. If you were to change them, when you decided to sell someone would probably walk through the house and think the same thing you do right now about the kitchen not matching the rest of the house.

Some paint, flooring, new hardware, etc will turn that from a huh kitchen to a WOW kitchen IMHO.

Also, if you decide you don't want that house any more, I'll gladly take it off your hands, I'm in love!!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:10AM
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When I was scrolling through the pictures of your home (the rooms look huge), I thought for sure it was going to say "Ballroom" under the basement picture. Beautiful home.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:24AM
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I think you have one of the most beautiful homes I've seen on GW. And agree with the others that those cherry cabs do not look dated but like fabulous classics. This idea would probably not work out functionally, but what about removing the cabinets on either side of the sink, and replace with windows, to bring more natural light into your kitchen? I would install the same type of steel casements that are in the pantry. Absolutely cannot wait to see the After pictures for this update.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:00AM
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If you do as suggested above, which would be lovely and in keeping with your home, PLEASE don't discard any cabinets you take down! They're so perfect with your woodwork and home it would be horribly sad not to find another place in your home to use them. Even if it's the garage.

Which should be a 1 car, with a drive that has to tire track concrete paths into it. Actually, with the 1920s gem you have, might even be attached and ready for 2 cars.

OK. Just saw two things after I sat still. Definitely get rid of that awful ceiling fan. Please, please don't paint that molding? Unless it doesn't match the other woodwork in the home.

Really, do you realize what an amazing home you have?
And what type of photography/er are you using? They all look so perfect, the pictures look like computer renderings.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:12AM
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What a stunning home! And so much to love in your kitchen.

Flooring choice will be pretty critical. What about traditional linoleum (Marmoleum) black and white checkered? It would look great with the black appliances and allow the cherry wood to be the colour in the room.

Or a tile pattern like this:

I wouldn't do wood floors - I see wood fighting with your cabinets. Though I love the hex tile inspiration photo you posted, they are strongly associated with bathrooms in my mind.

So cool to honour what you have. And so cool that someone installed something worth honouring - they go together.

Here is a link that might be useful: More 1920s Kitchens

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:48AM
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Your home is absolutely beautiful. I love the richness of the wood in your kitchen and would not touch those cabinets with a paint brush. They are far too beautiful to hide under a coat of paint.

Love the look of traditional linoleum in the kitchen. I think you'd have too much wood fighting each other if you went with a wood floor.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:30AM
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WOW...your home is like the perfect rendition of my dream home. I love every room you posted. That library almost brings tears to my eyes and I can just see myself wandering in to choose a book and then spending a long, quiet day reading in that sunroom. It's really beautiful and classic and I would definitely NOT change out those cherry cabinets. I agree with others who said that changing out the flooring and counters, removing wallpaper and painting will make a huge difference. I hope you enjoy every moment that you have the privilege of living in this beautiful home!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:39AM
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I think the OP could benefit from more specific ideas (not that I have any good ones right now). She needs paint color names (I mean I need paint color names:). I think everyone agrees that's it's beautiful and she should keep the cabinets:)
CEF - my sister's cherry cabs are very similar to these. I would say they are a warm color, but I can't come up with a paint color for the walls for the life of me, except maybe sage.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:56AM
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The pictures look great - it looks like it's really high quality construction. It reminds me of Jesse's parents place on Breaking Bad.

Tile would probably go pretty well in the kitchen, especially something with an older look and nice border like this

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:00AM
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Thank you!

CEFreeman, thanks for the "rant." We agree with you that the original beauty of the house needs to be restored. We fell in love with our house because of these elements, and passed up many newer, more modern homes. We are not house flippers, but it's very possible we will live here a decade (until the kiddos fly the coop) and then move. Our goal is to preserve the beauty of the home while creating a classic kitchen that we enjoy and that stands the test of time. Hopefully we will avoid the mistakes of the day, thanks in part to the helpful feedback here.

Fesity68- I like the black and white checkerboard flooring idea. I do see that wood might compete. Also, the Butler's pantry is attached to the foyer and the dining room that both have original wood floors that I do not think we could match perfectly. I do still like the vintage tile, but hear the concerns that it looks more bathroom than kitchen. Will really have to look at linoleum, have not done that.

As far as paint colors, we are far from having that figured out. I am imaging at this point light counters. The room is a bit dark, so think lighter is better.

I love the idea of marble on the island, but know we would have to accept its limitations and patina.

I have some pictures here of the next keep or not question. They are of the tile that is on the range hood and on the wall opposite the range. Not sure what the tiled area was designed for, but the tiles are pretty, but we cover them up now with a make shift bulletin board (excuse the mess) When we renovate we will move the bulletin board area...So, thoughts on keeping these tiles?

These pics are cell phone, so not as good as the professional real estate pics we've been using, my apologies!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:57AM
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Have you considered looking to see if those are historical?
I know nothing about that type of art, but tile art is quite collectable.
I think it is a nice touch in the kitchen, but for my own tastes, it's a bit too country. Funny.
Doesn't seem to go with the rest of the pictures to me.

If you're so concerned about creating a classic kitchen -- which you already have, why are you so concerned about "in" or "trendy" or "safe." I repeat, what the heck is "safe"?

I heard something funny (ignorant, considering the source) on one of the DIY shows. The host was emphasizing to the home owners that they were "installing Natural linoleum." huh?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Do those tiles fit with your overall vision for the room? If not maybe you coud replace them with something more appropriate and keep the concept going. Its a period home, so subway tiles, chrome and porcelain seem appropriate. How about silestone for countertops. The Lyra pattern looks like marble but is more durable. On the big orange website, if you look at the color choices they show it with simar colored cabinets and smokey blue walls... Very attractive.

@Lake_girl...what types of colors are you looking for? Seems like sage, blue, griege, or tan could work depending on thr shade, but i guess you never know until you see it in your own light. Have you looked at BM's bistorical colors or SW's HGTV palettes in traditional twist or liveable luxe. Those might be good starting points.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:39AM
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Well, compared to vinyl flooring linoleum is extremely "natural", being pretty much polymerized linseed oil and sawdust. It would also be a very appropriate flooring choice for a 1920's kitchen, especially if done with an inlaid pattern. There's much to be said for it.

Definitely keep the cherry cabinets, they will still be classy after the next 10 generations of kitchen fads come and go. We jut bought beautiful cherry cabinets from someone with more money than sense who was replacing them with a sterile and ugly (but fashionable) white kitchen. I was able to make the few odd pieces we needed to make everything fit perfectly.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Are all the herb names in French on the tiles?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:03PM
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Fluffeebisklits, we will check silestone and we will have to consider the reality of a well used kitchen with kids and marble. Thanks for pointing me to an example picture! Definitely will be using subway tiles.

Nosoccermom, the herb names are all in French. The house does have some French elements, in particular the exterior. Not sure if that had to do with the tile choice or not.

CEFreeman, not sure about historical, I am guessing they were part of the 80s renovations, but they do look painted and they are beautiful, if not our taste/vision. To me safe just means not doing something SO out of the realm of what is expected that it is off-putting. Thanks for your feedback on this, definitely has helped me to clarify what we want to do.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:29PM
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I am in love with your butlers pantry. Those cabinets with the paisley wallaper is amazing. Your whole house is amazing and you are lucky to find it.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:57PM
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I just saw a bathroom on Houzz with cherry cabs and the walls were painter SW Enigma. It looked stunning together.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 5:33PM
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I recommend doing what I am doing in my own kitchen:

1. change flooring
2. change counters
3. pick wall colour

Flooring and counters are huge, costly commitments. I would pick paint colour *last* to work with whatever you end up with. I would definitely recommend looking at Farrow and Ball's colours. They are limited in number and historically derived. Even if you don't use their formulation, which is expensive, you can still match their colour.

I have wonderful associations with black and white checkered linoleum tiles in the kitchen. A family friend had a wonderful Victorian home when I was growing up and her kitchen had that type of flooring. Linoleum is very practical - we have it in high traffic areas in our common room in our housing complex. You just get it waxed and buffed once a year. It also feels soft and warm underfoot.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:15AM
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My counters will be River White granite. It could never be mistaken for marble, but it is faintly reminiscent of it:

I also think soapstone would be a good choice, though dark.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:18AM
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Black and white flooring + cherry inspiration - I don't love everything about these photos, but I think the two elements look great together!

With black and white flooring, I would probably stick with white walls.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:27AM
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I would keep the tiles if you love them, otherwise I don't think you have any obligation to keep them. It's your home to enjoy.

edited to add: the tiles would probably look cute with white walls so you may want to wait to figure out whether you want to keep them?

This post was edited by feisty68 on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 1:32

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:29AM
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I would get some custom panelling to handle the area between the upper cabinets and the crown molding - as described in the article below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Can't Rip Out Your Kitchen's Furr Downs? Do This

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:31AM
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Another flooring idea that is less dramatic than black and white, adds light, and complements cherry (IMO). I would use marble-look porcelain tiles or something practical -

edited to add: I would not do marble or granite counters if I did a floor like this.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 2:07

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:46AM
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I agree with most everyone else-your cabinets are beautiful and they fit the look of your house. I would change the flooring, wall color and moldings to up-date the look.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 2:03AM
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White sheer curtains would be a very nice addition to the window.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 2:13AM
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I love your cherry cabinets. I would not paint them, cherry is a classic look and it seems to me that I am seeing a lot of cherry kitchens these days. Your house has so much character, I agree with everyone about keeping that, not trying to change to a more modern look. I think the ideas posted for a black and white tile floor would look great. However, I do agree that linoleum, although completely fitting with a 1920's kitchen, is not something a prospective buyer would want. And I think linoleum requires waxing, and stripping the wax, etc. If it were me, I would look at ceramic or stone tiles in a black and white pattern, its the best of both worlds. After all, in a true 1920's kitchen the counters were also linoleum back then, weren't they? But I am sure you don't want linoleum counters today. Kitchens back in the day were made to be functional only, nothing fancy because dining was done in the formal dining room. But today kitchens are for so much more than just cooking, often, its the social center of a home. So, you are trying to blend the original style with the convenience and beauty of today's kitchen. I am not expert, far from it, most of my decorating remodeling ideas come from here, or Houzz, so many great ideas. But I would leave the cabinets, maybe give them a coat of poly if they need it. Change the floors, and counters (soapstone is another great idea as someone suggested, but a light counter would brighten it up quite a bit too) I'd paint the blue moldings a light color, paint the walls a light color and maybe get some great retro looking lighting, I think that would make it look amazing.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Thanks! Such great ideas and pictures, really appreciate.

Fesity68, that link to dealing with the soffits is really helpful, had not considered that at all! I know they chop things up, but I also know ours contain some electrical and some plumbing. Not something we want to mess with, but the unified look as if part of the cabinets is very appealing.

I am feeling like the floors will be the most difficult part. While striking, the black and white would also have to continue through the Butler's Pantry, and if we want to keep it's current look with the paisley and painted original cabinets the floor would probably be too much. I am leaning towards something lighter, like the marble look tiles.

A goal of mine is making the space lighter and brighter. I think a lighter feel will go a long way to making the room seem bigger and less secluded. It won't change the location of the kitchen, but quite honestly we have grown to like the kitchen as more of a utilitarian spot than central entertaining zone, We have other spots we enjoy to eat larger dinners and entertain. At least we are not wasting our formal dining room!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Maybe the checkerboard doesnt have to be black and white. This is Mohawk Cardenas Crema and Bianco. You cant really tell from this pic, but the cabinets are cherry.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 12:20PM
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Yes, I think that cladding the soffits with cherry paneling to match the cabinets would make a huge difference in improving the kitchen. Then I would probably paint the moldings white at that point, if you're doing white walls.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Like Fluffee, I think you could give a nod to the past without the checkers being so dramatic:

Painted wood floor, as above, is another option to consider.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:02PM
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SJMI - Do you ever see Sayde's kitchen on gardenweb? It was a tudor style period home that was just beautiful. I'm not sure the cabinets were cherry, but a similar color. She had marble countertops and checkered floors. I know if you google Sayde gardenweb, you'll be able to find it. Check it out and let me know what you think.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:44PM
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Stunning house! I am very glad you decided not to replace or paint the cabinets! (I might stain or paint the library, however.) It looks like the overall layout of the kitchen is great, and I like the butler's pantry as well. It should look impressive after the touch-ups you mentioned. Have you considered having your white cabinets in the butler's pantry?

I wouldn't keep the wall tile you currently have since it, along with the teal crown molding look dated rather than classic like the rest of the house. I think I would plan to paint the ceiling, the crown molding and the small wall space above the cabinets the same color. The stunning cabinets and the high ceilings will let that area just be background. The other thing that jumped out at me as needing replacing was the can lighting in the nook.

Here's our black and white tile kitchen floor, though our cabinets aren't cherry. It suits our 1860 farmhouse, and the 12" slightly textured ceramic tiles are practical since this room is the daily main entry. I think it would work if you were willing to reconsider keeping the paisley in the butler's pantry, but it also might work even with the paisley. If you decide not on this type of tile, I might well go with a single color of square or rectanglar tile or a slightly larger hexagonal than pictured above or basket weave tile. I think keeping the floor clean will be easier with larger tiles, however.

We have been pleased with old-style linoleum in our upstairs bath, where it mostly gets barefoot traffic, but I am not sure that it would hold up to kitchen use well. If someone had gravel stuck in shoe treads or a knife was dropped, I am not sure that the nicks and dents would be as easy to keep clean.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 2:06PM
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nhbabs, wonderful floor! so practical too!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Wow, such great photos! I love all the different variations on the checkerboard floor look. By the way, I absolutely love that Butler's pantry! How great to have that! As for those wall tiles, for my personal taste, I think I would take them out. Not sure what you could put in their place but I am sure others here have some great ideas.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 3:16PM
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I think this might be Sayde's kitchen:


In the OP's kitchen I would do larger tiles and narrower grout lines.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 4:07PM
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I really like the subtle checkerboard and imagine it could be done in a variety of materials. Painted wood is one I have never seen, but it looks really good!

nhbabs- your floor/cabinet combination is really beautiful! Funny, re the library, when we first looked at the house we were all about staining it, but like the paisley butler's pantry walls, somehow the green has grown on us. We had thought about painting butler's pantry cabinets white. Somehow the whole look of the pantry has grown on us, minus the 80s lighting.

Lake_Girl thanks for suggesting Sayde's kitchen and feisty68 thanks for the direct picture. WOW, that is a really well done space! I love the floor, the pulls, the island, it's just gorgeous. I have never had a kitchen floor that is tile, but several bathrooms here are original and the grout is NOT easy to keep clean. Larger tile might also give an appearance of a larger room?

Think it's time to take a trip to the tile stores...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Honestly, my former kitchen tile was pretty easy to maintain. They did a great job of installing it. The grout was dark grey (AKA dirt coloured) and properly sealed, so staining was never an issue. I didn't often have to scrub the grout lines because they didn't seem to hold residues much. Installation is quite a factor in cleanability IMO. Larger tile would be easier to keep clean and it would also suit the scale of the space.

I also love the butler pantry and library as they are :) . Painted wood is very traditional and pretty.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 5:37PM
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This may seem totally obvious, but I'm throwing this out:

Grout should not be white. Floor Grout.
I have a color called 'Mocha' in my MBR and it worked for my mudroom, too. I don't even see it's there.

Another way to avoid dirty grout lines is to have tiles applied exactly next to each other. Something in my head says those wouldn't be as strong, without the grout hold all around them. I might be over thinking that, though.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 6:00PM
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