Freshen up this kitchen..

terri_pacnwMarch 28, 2014

This is my soon to be new kitchen. I want to freshen it up a bit. With buying this house, I can not do a lot $ wise just yet. In 3-4 years probably. My thoughts are: Take the cabinet run over the bar out and open it up.
I do not like the router design on the fronts, could we use small trim and "cover" it? The cabinets could use a fresh coat of paint.
That wood look laminate it awful. But I'll have to live with it a while. I would like to put up a back splash but, thinking ahead, is there something tile wise that I could put up, that would accept solid surface at a later date?
Or should I just put up a paint color and live with that until new counters?

That is the front door on the other side of the fridge.
My brother will hopefully help open that area across from the fridge. Currently a coat closet (right across from the front door) and on the back side of that is "the pantry".
Moving the fridge to where that wall/closets currently are would allow me to put some counter on the left side of the sink, and in turn create a landing area just in side the front door.

These are listing photos, I'll be there Tuesday am, for the home inspection and take more photos.

Within the first year, we'll replace the range with a gas one.
Not a lot of counter space for a microwave, so will probably do a microhood ASAP. (I have teen boys, MW is a necessity.) lol

Do you have some ideas?

This is the colors of my current kitchen. This was right after the counter tops were installed. There is now a glass tile backsplash.(that took about 3 years to decide.) But we like color. :)

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If you were close to me I would offer to not only remove that countertop but pay you for it. My mom loves that stuff and she can't find it anywhere anymore (for good reason). She actually WANTS to use that in her new kitchen.

As far as cheap updates, the cheapest would be to simply paint the walls and/or cabinets and switch out handles.

If it were me and I were planning a full reno later on, I wouldn't want to sink any major cash into making it more aesthetically pleasing now.

I do agree that removing the run of cabinets over the bar area would open it up and give a better feel to the area, the only question is can you afford to lose that storage right now?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:09AM
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What a light, bright kitchen! I agree that removing the upper peninsula cabinets would open it up, we did that years ago in a home and were kicking ourselves for not doing it sooner! Since a renovation is in your near future, for immediate fixes, I would remove the peninsula wall cabinets, paint and add your accessories and save my money for the big job!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:07AM
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I'd put the money into some beautiful post-renovation accessories and NOT put any into the present kitchen, given the timeline. A quality knife set and butcherblock cutting board, colorful stand mixer, beautiful fruit bowl, etc. There's nothing flaming objectionable about this kitchen as it is, and any money you spend now removes from what you need when you REALLY fix it up, unless it's for items you can translate into the future post-renovation kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:25AM
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You know, it's really not that bad. I understand that it's not your design aesthetic (it's not mine either), but it looks like a bright, cheery kitchen. Just a little sterile right now.

I know this isn't really what you want to hear, but personally, I would save my money and wait until you can do the remodel you want.

Do a few small things that are inexpensive - a colorful coat of paint and perhaps change out the hardware.

If you don't need the storage, you could perhaps take down the uppers in the peninsula...but I'd only do that if you are absolutely sure that you don't need the storage space. If it were me, I'd probably keep them as you don't have a lot of upper storage without it and that might be a challenge.

I'd be inclined to hold on purchasing appliances too if you can (that is to say that the appliances in there are still working) - when you redo your kitchen, you may not want to be locked into a range, you might decide on a layout with a cooktop and separate oven. Also, I know that you mentioned gas, but you may also want to check into the induction form of cooking. So far, I'm really enjoying my induction cooktop and you'll find reading on here that those of us who have them, really like them a lot. Many of us induction users are former gas cookers.

Also, you'll find that the vast majority of us highly suggest against microhoods. I understand that you feel that it may be a space type of issue right now, but I wouldn't get a microhood unless you are comfortable with tossing it when you remodel. If it were me in that kitchen, I would put a MW in the corner area over closer to the sink where the fruit dish is sitting. Personally, I never use a corner as a prep area, so that's a place that would work for a counter MW. Again, you may change your mind to a built-in or a micro drawer when you do your remodel. Honestly, you seem to have a fairly good amount of counter space, so putting the MW on the corner there is probably not going to be bad at all.

Stick around here - read up on's a wealth of knowledge. Start making your full remodel plans. I'll bet you that your kitchen that you would do if you were to rip it all out today will be a vastly different kitchen after hanging out on Gardenweb and do it in a few years.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:33AM
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I would absolutely NOT do anything to this kitchen except paint and change hardware. A micro hood is a waste of money unless you don't cook or don't care about grease in the kitchen. Just. Live with the microwave on the counter or install one under a top cabinet. And unless the current range doesn't work, why lock yourself into a new appliance (range) that might not be what you want later on? Who knows, maybe a cooktop or range top combined with wall ovens will be what you want. Then you will be locked in.

I really do sympathize with the urge to freshen up a new space but three years goes really quickly. A year or two before I redid my kitchen last year, I replaced all the hardware and got a new Hansgrohe faucet. When I ripped the kitchen out, I hated to just give this new stuff away but that's what I did because it wasn't what I wanted in the new kitchen.

I would really try very hard to resist the urge and instead, start a long, very slow planning process for a new kitchen. Get yourself educated, live in the new space and see how it can be improved. The time will pass before you know it and you won't throw money away.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 8:19AM
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Funny, when I was reading the original post, it sounded like an awful kitchen, but then scrolling down to the photos, its not that bad at all. I agree with the other posts, don't sink money in to it if you plan on replacing it in a few years. Don't do the backsplash because you'll probably have to rip it out when you do remodel. Yes to removing the upper peninsula cabinets, if you can afford to lose the storage space. You can look at HD for trim if you really want to add trim to the doors, not sure how that would work since it looks like the corners of the grooving on your doors are rounded, not square. If it was my kitchen, I'd just paint cabinets, paint the walls and call it good for now.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 8:25AM
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I wouldn't hesitate replacing the range with a gas range now. We had a cheap electric coil range, which we replaced three years before the remodel. I enjoyed cooking and produced better meals after we bought the new range, so it was well worth it.

Is that a Kohler Forte faucet? Notorious leaker! Ours lasted only a few years before it started leaking at the handle when in certain positions. Kohler will send replacement parts to fix it, but it leaks again within a year.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Another vote to paint and maybe replace handles with updated but inexpensive something else and leave the rest alone until you decide the real redo.

I'd probably also leave those dangling peninsula cabs until I made sure that I didn't need them for storage. If I could make it work not putting anything in them, then down they could come.

That looks like a totally workable kitchen for now and if you can, it's always a good idea to live in a place for awhile before big decisions anyway.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 10:55AM
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If you want an inexpensive backsplash, bead board could be a temporary fix. Not your your style lends itself to cottage, but could be a consideration.

I'm in agreement with the other folks who have weighed in. I happen to think it is a pretty kitchen. And the light is great. Keep MV on counter in corner.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Paint the kitchen walls a fun color and change the light fixture. If possible remove the upper cabinets over the peninsula.

Or some inexpensive off-the-wall backsplashes

maps, wrapping paper, etc....

vinyl tablecloth

More ideas below
recipes on burplap

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY budget backsplash ideas

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:36AM
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I agree with the others that your kitchen is just fine and attractive for now and quite nice as is. Your former kitchen is very pretty and jazzy. You can make this one reflect your style now even though you are planning a remodel in the future. For now, I would paint the walls and accessorize, keep the appliances if they work, perhaps freshen the cabinets with a coat of paint only if needed., select or make a window treatment. Changing hardware can be expensive although Target has some that I have used that have held up and look just as good as pricier choices if you choose something simple. I agree that putting a small inexpensive microwave in the corner is just right for the needs of teenage boys, so no microwave hood. They are big and pricey anyway. Why spend the money? I see your wanting to open the space by removing the uppers, but a consideration besides the need for storage is the ceiling. If your ceiling is textured, it may not be textured under the cabinets. So bottom line- keep tabs on how much money you are saving by not doing "unnecessary for now" changes and use for it for the real remodel. It may just buy you some extras or enable you to do the project sooner. It is so exciting to have a new space to create. Congratulations on your new home.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:06PM
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Thank you all for your comments. My husband appreciates it. Lol.saves him money.

I will have him put a pendant over the sink. The main light is a huge recessed fluorescent. So we'll have to see what our options are with that one.

Great options on the back splash.

I will be back to study all comments.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:21PM
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There was a smaller fridge at some point with upper cabinet, you can see a line on the ceiling over the fridge. I will have to look closer at that space to see if the texture is different.

I am pretty sure I can live with out the uppers over the peninsula. When I move in I'll try to find places for everything and avoid those. They are actually to high for me to use all but the lower shelf without a step stool or a teenage boy.(they are very good for reaching things!)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:27AM
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Just a note: If you remove the upper peninsula cabinets, you will have a much more pronounced transition on your ceiling between the smooth and the popcorn textures. Right now your run of uppers camoflages that difference well. Something to take into consideration.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:08AM
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I agree that with a major renovation in the near future, you should make only inexpensive changes to this kitchen.

One thing about the cabinet doors--friends of mine had cabinet doors they really, really didn't like, and no budget to do anything about them for years. The inside of the doors was very flat and plain. They removed the doors and re-hung them so that the inside became the outside.

It won't work for all cabinet doors--depends on several factors--but it's worth looking at the doors to see if it is possible.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:50AM
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Camlan, great idea..will check that out.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 2:36PM
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