Kiki's Bungalow -- need some opinions please

kiki22August 31, 2010

In the event I can afford to paint the outside, after the other work -- I'm having trouble deciding the colors. I am thinking of a light gray with white trim. Too boring?

Also, just in case I can afford to redo the kitchen (I am going to Lowe's Thursday night to talk about it), what do you recommend? I'm thinking of white cabinets because there is already too much wood in the room. Do I go with the usual granite, stainless steel? Or do something more in keeping with the age of the house? (Built 1928.) And I don't even know what that would be...

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P.S. The two trees in front of the porch/front door will be coming out -- along with that tall tree on the left in front of the window.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 12:43AM
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After our obsession with your home, I am almost honored you are asking about the kitchen. Wow, that kitchen looks really big compared to what I'd think would be in your lovely small home. Know you have posted it before, but just seems bigger now.

What is against the left wall of the dining room? My first thought would be to lose the long eating bar and extend kitchen along the wall. The sink is close enough to the wall so there wouldn't be a lot of plumbing to change, possibly just extending. Having those wonderful windows would really open up the whole area.

I love the link below. Strong believers in maintaining the original style. Hope it helps a bit. There was also a thread about kitchen trends and one that was brought up was free standing kitchen furniture. We didn't always have cupboards. The UK does this really well. I'm not a fan of Martha Stewart, but she has come out with an interesting kitchen style working with Home Depot. You will have to go through a dozen photos before seeing the kitchen. Here is the link from GW Kitchens:

As for the outside, the link below should also give you some color ideas. Look around your neighborhood and see colors that appeal. With this said, I would stay with original colors of the era. Even the color it is painted is great and perhaps find one close but a bit different. Gray wouldn't be my first choice. A look at different adobe colors? I lived in NM and can visualize them in my head. Original homes were painted with natural plants mixed in the adobe for color. Adobe isn't always red, it is basically earth of many colors. And you want that wonderful roof to stand out.

Thanks for letting us continue to be part of your adventure. You are so kind to let us ramble and push our visions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retrorenovation Kitchen

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 7:54AM
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What an adorable house! So much character and charm.

While I don't have color suggestions, here's what we did when we painted our last house. We went to the paint store and bought sample sizes (quarts at the time, but I think Benjamin Moore is offering more these days in samples, and some paint stores let you "rent" a can.) We forced ourselves to pick out 4 different base colors, even though we were "sure" one of the first three we picked out was THE one. Then we went home and painted a square foot section of each color in several different places.

Guess what? The color we least expected ended up being perfect. So perfect, that several homeowners in our neighborhood came up and asked for the colors because they wanted to do the same thing!

You'd be amazed how different color looks once you put it on your house, and changing at the last minute can be expensive. I would also start with your roof since that can't be changed. It looks closer to brown than gray, and unless there's some gray hues in it, I would stick with warmer colors.

What's fun about samples is you can go a little "crazy" with the color just for fun. Pick something you'd never ever think would work (but that funny side of you kinda likes), and try it on a sample. Why not? It's only a few dollars. You may end up surprised what you come up with!

As for your kitchen, those cabinets look like they might be in pretty good shape. Have you considered leaving them and updating everything else? You can cut waaaaay down on the cost, as cabinets are the most expensive part of a kitchen upgrade.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:13AM
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Thanks for helping me! Along the same wall as the stove, past the bar is the door to my bedroom. Behind the bar is the dining area. So I can't build the kitchen out without losing my dining area.

As far as the kitchen goes, I only have the one wall with the stove top, and the sink area. The opposite wall has the laundry. It's not a big space.

My biggest problem is the configuration. Right now it is set up with the oven -- then refrigerator -- then stove top. If I leave it the same, I wouldn't have to redo the cabinets.

However, I was really hoping for a stove/oven combination with a microwave overhead. But then do I keep the refrigerator next to it? Or separate it with a cabinet, which will put the refrigerator right up against the corner wall/door. Any changes from how it is currently set up will require the cabinets to be redone. So there is my quandary.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 1:51PM
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Yeah, I see what you mean. One thing to consider is that you can have a combination microwave/vent put in place of your vent. That's what we did in our house. So you could do that while still keeping your configuration/cabinets.

If it were me going full gusto, I'd probably keep the fridge where it is, convert the current stove to stove/oven combo. Where your oven is now could be a pantry (cabinets in the place where your oven is), or extra counter space. If you went the extra counter space route, might be nice to have a phone jack put there as a little mail station type place.

Designers on the shows always talk about traffic. I can't help but think you'll run into problems with people wanting to get in the kitchen while someone's got the fridge door open. Might be nicer keeping it to something where you haven't constantly got a door open.

Also, is that a higher countertop behind the sink? Have you considered lowering that to counter height so it's all one big slab? We had that in our last house and it was kinda nice. You could sit and chop veggies and slide the remnants into the sink from behind. It might open the space a bit more, too.

Just thoughts. I love this stuff. Wish I was a designer in another life, though I don't think I'd have as much fun if the pressure of being paid for it was on my shoulders!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Thank you for asking for opinions, oh the joy!

Okay, about the curb appeal, honestly I ADORE a grey and white scheme and it's most likely what we will end up using on our house, however on your place I really have to say I love the current scheme! The color is perfect for the stucco without looking too "pink" at all, very natural and earthy and cottage-y while standing out from its surroundings...of course pictures don't show exactly how it is in real life and if YOU aren't thrilled with it then by all means change it. :)

As for the kitchen, I am a big proponent of painting the cabinets if they are in good condition, configuration and you like the doors, or refacing them with new doors. Of course if the configuration isn't working for you you COULD consider reconfiguring the existing cabinets (we moved and flipped and mcgyvered ours :). If you do need to replace the cabs I would recommend IKEA kitchens...they may seem a little "cheapish" but they can save you TONS, have lots of options, planning software and do VERY well in consumer is definitely the way I would do it if we had to redo again. I love my butcher block countertops which are very reasonable (again Ikea), but if you want something a little more "forever" I think soapstone is's a little rustic, full of character, durable, and a beautiful color, it is also more stain-resistant than marble and less mainstream and cold than granite. If you wanted something less expensive, Menards and Lowes (Menards was a WAY cheaper quote for us, even though we didn't end up going with it) carry the new HD Wilsonart laminate countertops. Formica has a FX series as well. Some of them are identical to stone, with textures molded in, I would HIGHLY recommend them, I think they're beautiful.

I have to say layout is NOT my thing even a little bit, however on the kitchens forum there is a poster named beuhl (buehl?) who helped me a lot, if you posted with her in the title, she might be able to find you and help you out. She is a layout GENIUS...seriously

Again the great thing about these smaller kitchens is that you can get whatever material you want! Are you redoing the floor as well? It's all about using the space smarter, I would sit in the room and give it a LOT of thought before making decisions, small kitchens are SO easy to work in, you don't have to walk across huge expanses and they just function so large!

I'll post some pictures of our reno (after seeing our "before" hopefully you will be encouraged about your charming space!)

From house From house

From Stonegate Cottage From Stonegate Cottage

It's still a work in progress too but some day it'll be done :) It cost us $1,400 to do the whole thing, we did all the work ourselves though. Most of the savings just came from really thinking about how to reconfigure what we had instead of having to buy new...have fun with it and keep posting pictures!!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 3:33PM
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Hi Kiki,
I don't spend much time here, even though I have a small, old bungalow too (about 1700 sq ft). Your little bungalow is darling. I spend time over in the old house forum and kitchen forum mostly. I don't really have color suggestions for the outside, but I wanted to say that I can't picture white cabinets in your kitchen/dining space. With that warm wood paneling (which looks solid and good to me), I think white would just be too jarring a contrast. Painted cabinets, yes, but maybe a nice sagey grey/green. Or even a warmed up creamy yellow. There seems to be an Arts and Crafts feel to that space. I'd try to embrace that. Lighting choices can brighten up your space big time and you've got some great windows in the dining area.

Have you looked around the finished kitchen blog? There are kitchen pics from houses of all shapes and sizes there. You might get some inspiration. There are also posts over on the kitchens side about how to paint (or gel stain) your existing cabinets and get great results.

Enigmaquandry's kitchen transformation is a favorite of mine! So dramatically different for so little money!

By the way, my refrigerator is next to a doorway (our kitchen has four doors coming into it, so it was hard to avoid that!). It is next to the door to the dining room and while it occassionally does block someone who wants to walk through, it really isn't much of a problem. DH likes it there because people can pop in and get a drink from the fridge without disturbing the cook in the main prep and cook zones. So, I probably would put a cabinet between the stove and the fridge.

Good luck with it and hope that you can find a way to work on your kitchen. It is so rewarding! Cheers. Kim

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchens Blog

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 6:27PM
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The MS kitchen collection at Home Depot came to mind for me too, because there are so many painted finishes. They would help balace your lovely wood. Have you considered posting your dimensions on the kitchen forum? The folks over there love a great challenge, and they always seem to be able to come up with neat layouts for others.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 6:31PM
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Ahhh, here we go again!!!
The lovely Maravilla! AKA Kiki's Bungalow.

Well, the roofing is the most important thing to set the tone of the paint color. It is a reddish brown tile, and it is very important to the character of your home.

A paint color for the outside can be in the earth tones to be the happiest combo. I would stay away from gray on the outside. The street side exterior of the house can be a really rich ochre color, which is reminiscent of a Tuscan wall as well. Very Mediterranean. If you really really want to do some gray, then do a sort of lavenderish gray on the inside of the wall, away from the street, over there at either side which is by the driveway on one side, and that sweet little archway to the left of the house. Mexican colors love the powdery pale very light lavender, which ould give you your gray. Keep it subtle though.

Your roof color reminds me of Saltillo tiles, and those tiles always go with the earthy ochres and deep stained woods, and of course wrought iron that is heavy and dark.

For your kitchen I have some ideas to throw at you. Choose what you like, but think about the effect before you change everything.

I would not put curtains in the kitchen. I would get the wide plantation shutters in WHITE, I'd also do white counter tops. My favorite in that is the Silestone quartz, it is the perfect counter top. If you cannot afford it all at once, then do one side of the kitchen at a time. Maybe do the side which you know will stay configured the way you put it.

I would not paint the wood cabinets. I would change out the doors to some with glass panes, and then I'd paint the interior of the cabinets a really soft satin cream. It would look sort of yellow because of the warm wood tones. But your wood panelling, hmmm, I am almost ready to say leave it but have a satin low gloss varnish. With the white plantation shutters, the white cabinet interiors, and the white countertops, you'd be watering down the wood look.

I'd leave the wood until after everything else was done, to see if it was still too much, and only then, after much deliberation, would I do the next step of painting it.

Now about the arrangement of the stove and the fridge.
You know of course that you can buy a full range which is ONLY 24 INCHES WIDE? That is what I will do in myy kitchen.
Sometimes they are called APARTMENT STOVES. It will allow you to have more space, plus a full stove means it comes with the oven built into it.

Will you be getting a new fridge? If so, look for one of those tall things which are cabinet depth, and also they are somewhat narrower. If you cannot buy one now, I would allowcate the space for it and then know that moving your current fridge over a little closer to the doorway will only be a temporary matter. When it goes, you will be replacing it with the svelte streamlined version that fits your kitchen perfectly.

To go back to the smaller stove: It has the same number of burners as the 30 inch wide stoves, it just does not waste a lot of space with a loose layout. You can still put a microwave above it with the vent builtin. The mwave may be 30 inches wide, but that is no big problem.

Are you wanting to get stainless, white, or black appliances? And will you be replacing any lighting?

California bungalow style can also be very mod and Hollywoodish, or art deco.

I know you have a limited space in your living room, the public rooms of the house, and I wonder what you are planning for the dining room? I think I'd get a glass topped table and then acrylic chairs. See thru stuff.

What will you do to the floors of the kitchen? Are they in good condition? What are they made of?

And Kiki, what do you think of Casa Esperanza or Casa Buena Esperanza or Casa Buena Suerte, or MARAVILLA? Maravilla is the Marigold flower, so lovely and bright, and named for the Blessed Virgin. By the time you finish your redo projects, I bet you have made this house your OWN, and will think of it by a very special name.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 7:05PM
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Kiki, your two major questions are addressed by these two books. Here are their covers. Pictures worth 1000 words they say. Check your library first, but also they can be purchased from which is where I found the cover shots.

Inspiration comes wherever you find it.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:30AM
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Thanks Chris, your kitchen is beautiful!

Thanks Kim for the feedback and the link -- and thanks YoungGardener for the idea. I've got to draw a map with measurements for Lowes, so maybe I'll scan it in.

Thanks Moccasin for the book suggestions, I'm going to see if my Library has them.

Although my bungalow has a little Spanish style to the front, it's not original to the house, no Spanish tile on the roof -- and the inside has nothing Spanish. They may have added that on in 1937 when they added on to the back of the house. I need to write up a list of questions to ask the previous owner -- I'd love to know more about these things, and I want to ask if he has pictures from way back when. (His parents originally owned the house.)

I really appreciate all the names you came up with, you are very creative! But I don't really want to go with a Spanish name. I'm going to have to keep looking.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 1:40PM
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Oopsie -- it's Enigma's kitchen. I really like your cabinets!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Kiki, are the changes to make it appear Spanish part of the effort to unify the look of all the homes in that compound? If so, that might explain why they added that facade.

And I understand about the name selection. It is a very personal thing.

On a different note, but about naming things. There was a huge black-hulled gold trimmed sailing vessel at the Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans. It's name was Maria and pronounced MARIAH. It made a lot of sense when I found out the owner ran a mortuary business, with black hearses all traditionally tricked out in gold trim. Also traditionally, they were called BLACK MARIAHS. He named his vessel "Maria" the real spelling, and you had to know the facts to get the significance of the name. I've been fascinated with naming boats for a long time. I had a friend who ran a business making fire bricks and such, and when it made him rich, he named his boat GOLD BRICK. The meaning of that is someone who is kicked back not working hard, gold bricking, and that was his place to play....but also he made his gold through his brick business. (He was also one of the most GORGEOUS men I ever knew.)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 2:40PM
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No. Mine is the only bungalow with that addition. There are two spanish style homes, but they have the flat roofs and no archways. They are very cute and very spanish. There are several homes in my neighborhood that look like my bungalow without the addition. Several of those have been turned into larger homes. No one else in the neighborhood has the archway over the driveway.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 2:59PM
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Whatever was done in the past to your home did it well.
I was just over at Flowerlady's blog and followed to another one with a kitchen. Not suggesting the kitchen, but good example of color and really cute.

Just a thought and please don't feel that I am pushing anything. Have you considered dropping the bar to same level of counter? Then add an arched wall (really big arch from counter end to wall) there for adding some more storage above the arch? You would still have an open feeling.

I agree with being able to use your layout and adding a stove/oven/MW where the stove currently exists, using the oven area for a pantry.

I have a Samsung fridge, bottom freezer. It is just right for fitting into my space, the depth is same as the counters. Sounds small but has a great deal of room and the cost was under $800. It doesn't have handles on it (insets in doors to open) which also appears to give the kitchen more room. Both are why I chose this and it is offered in different finishes. Mine is stainless, but the painted stainless and like it much better as it is easier to clean. The rest of my appliances have a touch of stainless for some cohesiveness. This was one of my better buys.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smaller

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Here is the link to the painted kitchen. And example of something other than white. Plus there are a lot of little corners I love and how she has incorporated extra space on walls. The kitchen is quite large for us, but more possibilities of color for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: painted kitchen

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 7:53AM
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Thanks Emagineer! I will look into that refrigerator -- it looks great. And thanks for the link to that kitchen. I'm having a hard time seeing the color of the cabinets -- are they a light blue? It's a very pretty kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 12:38PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Hi, kiki, I second the warm color choices, but I just love earth-tones, inside and outside. I can see your cabinets painted cream or a nice mellow green.

emagineer, OH MY STARS--that BLOG!!! If you warmed up the colors, I could move right in there and never leave. Y'all stick around for a couple more years--my kitchen will look like that!!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 1:54PM
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emagineer, that blog is stunning! I'm SO glad you posted it! What is flowerlady's blog, I would really like to check that out.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 2:08PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

kiki, I noticed that if you click on the first pic on the blog, another kitchen tour comes up, with info on paint color,BM Summer Shower.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:04PM
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The colors looked like a very pale robin's egg blue, but other pics were a deeper turquoise.

Didn't see the BM paint colors. Thanks mamma.

My fridge is 6 years old and never any problems. It is quite large for me and only one person here. The price included an ice maker. Different storage options. I would say the color is more of a gray pearl than stainless as we envision. The depth surprised me and sits right on the edge of my counter.

Below is Flowerlady's blog. She has posted it before, so am sure she is okay with this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flowerlady Musings

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 9:00AM
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Here's an update. I've decided to keep the configuration the same for now because I don't really know what I want, I don't want to spend too much to remodel until I've lived in the house. So I am going to replace the countertops and the floor (vinyl flooring), and paint the cabinets. I think I agree with you all that a nice cream would like nice vs. a white.

I've picked out a countertop. It's Formica laminate, but it's very pretty, I think.

Also Emagineer -- I really love the refrigerator. I think a counter-depth refrigerator will be perfect and will not overpower the kitchen like a regular refrigerator would. And I'll have my old refrigerator in the garage if I need extra storage space.

Also, I see what you guys mean about making the countertop all one level, instead of the bar behind the sink. I'm just not sure the cabinets under the bar will allow for that -- but I'm going to look into it.

What do you think of the counter-top?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 11:37PM
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That is stunning! Is it really Formica?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:29AM
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i love those new formicas...they have a cool texture too :) I think you'll be happy with your decisions, it's a good idea to see how you use a kitchen before making major changes.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:49AM
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I love that formica and look forward to seeing how your kitchen comes out. I think it's better to live in your space too before doing a major remodeling. Then you can see how you are living with what you have, and seeing adjustments you might like to make.

Enjoy. You sure have a wonderful little place.

Have you decided on the outside color yet?


    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 1:38PM
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OH Counter is gorgeous!!! I think the cream will be lovely on the cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 2:11PM
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Fantastic counter top. And I'm so glad you decided on a counter depth fridge. I don't think you will ever regret that choice. Especially keeping the backup in the garage.

And to think you still have not moved into this little house. Are you planning to take a sleeping bag over just to be close to it? I'd be very tempted. :)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 3:21PM
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I have not decided on the outside paint color yet -- but I did order those books from the Library -- waiting for them to come in. Painting outside will probably be the last thing I do, so I have time to choose.

But I am excited to have found countertops I like, and to have made a decision on the kitchen. Every little step helps.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 3:48PM
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