X-post; Choosing finishes for Unfitted kitchen

mtnrdredux_gwOctober 2, 2013

I think I am pretty set on my layout. By way of background:

We expect to eat most lunches and dinners in the dining room, which has a china closet and a buffet with storage, oh, and the ocean view!

I also have a pantry for storage, in addition to the built ins in the butler's pantry and the built in china closet in the kitchen. The two windows you see along the appliance wall will probably be replaced with slightly larger ones (and, in the case of the sink area, higher windows, too)

My real question are in re finishes. I'd love input.

Here is rough draft moodboard: (the sink and appliances are definites, and the built-ins stay, and, I am trying to keep the wood trim and doors)

Here is a layout:

Here are my questions (see numbers in green on the layout)

FINISH QUESTION 1. This area has a sink with drainboard, a small amount of formica counter, and sits on white metal cabinets and an old dishwasher. (this is how it looks now)

I want to rip out the lower portion, and put a pull out trash on the left, sink in middle, and dishdrawer to the right.

I can't and don't want to match the other cabinetry in the "L" of the Butler's pantry? What should the new lower cabs look like, and what countertop?

FINISH QUESTION 2. This is designed to be about 4 feet of uninterrupted work space (coffee maker, toaster and microwave go in the existing pantry "L"). I was thinking of a Boos island piece, but we have a trusted carpenter who can do something totally custom.

So something like this island below, BUT, painted off white (we have so much wood already), and topped with marble or stainless. I don't care about marble durability as this would be a remnant size and so not crazy to replace.

FINISH QUESTION 3. This is the spot for our (second) FP Tall dishdrawer ( a first one is in the BP). It needs to be placed in a cabinet and the cabinet needs a surface. I think this (smaller) surface should be a nice, very thick slab of butcher block. For cutting veggies and fruit, you are right next to my double drainboard sink. But what should the cabinet itself look like.

Thanks in advance for your input and ideas!

FWIW, here are some before pictures of the kitchen and bulter's pantry.

You can't see it, but this is the "L" of the Butler's pantry. Uppers to one side are glass, others are open shelves. Counters are same wood as lower cabs.

Everything to be gutted and probably new windows here.

I have not decided about the table yet...

PS here is a better fabric photo, but this is not very important at this juncture of course!

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To not compete with the awesome built-ins but still coordinate, I'd go white shaker doors with slab drawer fronts. I'm not crazy about marmoleum (especially if multiple colors or mottled) and the retro appliances (especially in colors), and I don't really envision marble going with all of that. It seems like too many colors, textures, and patterns. I think I'd be more inclined to do a simple cork floor or maybe painted hardwood if you're opposed to regular hardwood. I'm not sure about the rest, but the layout seems fine so long as the range isn't butting up against the right wall. You'll need space on either side.

Maybe I'd like the marmoleum more if it were a diagonally laid black and white pattern. But I'd still go away from yellow appliances and stick with stainless. I know, I'm no fun.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Thanks, Kevin. Hmm, I love cork, not a bad idea. You can't tell from the moodboard but I was planning on painting the wood floor, diamond pattern. I am thinking probably gray as I am worried b/w is too strong esp with the appliances.

I am usually all about white but I really like the appliances ... the color is soft, id call it "vanilla pudding"

Thanks for the cabinet input, I do think white is the way to go to.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Sorry, I can't help you with this. While I'm sure the finished product will be envy worthy, I'm too much form follows function to ever opt for unfitted. I worked in the kitchen at the old house which had literally one cabinet to ever opt for that style. I think my MIL and her mother were miracle workers to generate the huge meals that they did out of that mini, inefficient space!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 6:39PM
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I have thought through the ergonomics and I am pretty sure it'll work just fine --- but I hear you.

I think no one likes my unfitted kitchen, boo hoo. But I was actually asking about finishes, buried deep in my excessive prose, not layout.

How about the Butler's pantry in the first shot? What style cabinet? What countertop?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Have you looked at the David T Smith website I suggested in your first unfitted thread? Not just in the Gallery, but in "Kitchen Styles." Look at the "Cottage Kitchen." In the Gallery, there are a couple of kitchens that have the soft colors with wood that you're showing on this thread. Not the rustic look kitchens, but his unfitted, mixed color kitchen can provide visuals - food for thought.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Oh, mtnrd, I love your unfitted kitchen! Please don't be discouraged.

1. I think simple off-white shaker cabinets would look great (just which off-white is probably a whole separate post) in the BP. A very soft grey may also work with the grey in the floor.

2. Marble may be too cold a look with your warm wood tones, although it would look great with the blue fabric. I am having a hard time imagining it with the yellow walls - I think the woodwork will look quite different once the walls and floors are painted. I am leaning toward the stainless because it should work well with the grey on the floor and the fabric too.

3. How unfitted do you want to go? What about a warm grey-green cabinet? Maybe FB Green Smoke or Green Blue? You have blue in your fabric, and yellow in the appliances. Green is the natural middle ground.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Thank you.

I think by unfitted, I mean more like this image, then what Allison posted. In looking at the David T Smith stuff, i realize my CT kitchen is unfitted ... furniture legs, different doors styles, mix of painted and stained, etc.

1. I suppose I should copy the door of the built in (shaker I think).

2. I am really leaning toward stainless on the worktable/island like piece, and thick butcherblock on top of the D/w to the right of the double drainboard sink. Otherwise maybe Corian witch hazel?

3. In the BP, since the L is all wood, I am not sure if white under the sink would be too jarring. Grey might be nice. Esp since, when the door swings in, it will be visible from the DR. Would you paint the trim and shelves and dish rack too? or jettison them ? or?

Random Q -- Can i paint the (clunky, uninteresting and maybe not original)trim the same off white as the walls, if I keep the doors and the built ins stained as they are, do you think?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Over on the kitchens side, lavender lass posted this picture and it reminded me of your kitchen. The black and white marmoleum and the lovely kitchen table which I really love :)

vintagey unfitted Kitchen with B&W floor and kitchen table

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 12:18AM
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I like the layout idea but would opt for soft yellow cabinetry about the color of the appliances and the cabs you have now-- which I love, btw! It wouldn't be too much yellow if you get rid of the too bold yellow wall. For countertops I think something plain like stainless or gray veined white marble. Normally I would say wood but you have enough of it already.

I think yellow and white and wood and a diff counter material is a lot for a kitchen, unfitted or not. If you don't like the idea of yellow cabinets -- and I would do open shelving only where needed on the upper walls or nothing---- you could do a soft gray and repeat that color in your gray and white checkerboard floor--- or better yet, your gray and soft yellow and white checkerboard or gingham floor.

1. Like the proposed sink. For cabinetry you could either do a shaker front or just a plain front, which would look more like the style of your appliances. Yellow cabs similar to appliances and cabs already there, or light gray.

2. Island: stainless top, off white or soft gray finish. Or stainless top, white apron and drawers below top, gray legs and bottom slat shelf.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:44AM
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Mtnrdredux - I have attached a link of a kitchen with a soft yellow range that is similar in color to your moodboard. The entire site is pretty amazing I think!! Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:10AM
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I like your plans for an unfitted kitchen and am greatly enjoying watching them develop.
I have a minor suggestion for you to consider - put wheels on the back legs of the 'work space' to make it easy to take out and clean behind it.
I like the varying textures in the picture you posted on Fri, Oct 4, 13 at 10:53. Nothing really matches - except for the finish color on the fronts of the painted pieces. I'm not sure why the doors on the cabinet for the dishwasher would need to match the doors on the built in cabinet.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 12:52PM
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Someone will probably try to shoot me for suggesting this but ... what about an old "possum belly" baking center like the one I'm attaching, except with the upper tier removed, the whole thing painted in your soft white and with a marble top? I am in love with the rest of your finishes.

Here is a link that might be useful: possum belly baker

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 5:05AM
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edeevee - I love that "possum belly" baking center! I have seen similar items, but never heard it called a possum belly before - love it!!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Edeevee, that is so pretty. Reminds me a bit of a Hoosier. I think the height will be too high for the windows. Plus, it has less utility then the one from the famous "Mousehole" kitchen that I'd posted. I think I want one exactly like that -- might just have it built.

Orcas, Good point! Maybe they should emphatically NOT match. And yes, we have casters on one of our kitchen islands here in CT, and they are great.

Lovetowalk, Ahh, this is so lovely! Funny i bookmarked that same photo 3 years ago, when I was doing my current kitchen. I especially loved the delicate spindles in the platerack ... which I didn't end up doing after all.

Thanks for all of your finish ideas. I like the idea of picking up the grey from the floor for the cabinet or "island". That would be nice. Especially in the BP where i think white would be too start a contrast. Now, on to try 50 shades of gray. I am pretty sure I am going stainless steel for the island counter. I also think I will paint the trim --- it is not particularly fine woodwork, it is the 5 panel doors that I really like and did not want to paint. But I have been looking online and I think it'll work fine to leave the doors and paint all the trim.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I don't know if you have seen it but there is a true vintage buttercream yellow refrigerator for sale on Ebay. I can't recall the brand but appears to be in good condition and not much smaller than the Smeg. I am not sure if you are still interested in that color for your fridge, but if you didn't want it for your primary one it could be cool as a back up. I can picture it on a back porch or in the BP with glass bottled Cokes in it (which are about to no longer be made if not already), or root beers, etc.

It is in Manhattan for $999.00. I will try to link it shortly.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 9:08PM
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