Teal kitchen challenge!

baunleeMay 2, 2013

Think of it as a challenge!!��"There’s tile, there’s outdated appliances, there’s teal (and not in a good way), PINK walls…I don’t think things could get much worse if I tried.
The good news, things could not get much worse! In a way this can be a little bit liberating because I know I only have room for improvement.
What should I do about the tile?
Here are some photos that have been my inspiration..

As you can see from the photos below, the kitchen is a really small space (and an old person used to live there). I want to think of some ways that I can maximize the flow but I am also open to the idea of opening up the wall a little bit as you can see flow into the living room is awkward and narrow. Still have to see if this can be done as far as the house support structure.
The living room layout is long and seems awkward to me
I know this space is nothing great right now but this house fit all of our other requirements which were more important such as a big yard and being close to both our work locations (not an easy task) plus this house was also close to my mom’s who is dying
I’m hoping I can make a few quick changes to this kitchen until other more pressing rooms are finished. I just think I will lose my mind with the current set up and I want something fairly quick and easy. I like open shelving and reclaimed woods. I think I will follow CelticMoon’s approach to the cabinet stain. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0112173522421.html

What do you think about the flow into the living room & a way to maybe fix how narrow the living room is??

I look forward to your feedback,
Any and all suggestions are appreciated

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Congrats on your new home!

I know things tend to look better in photos than IRL, but I think your kitchen has some really cool elements that would be a shame to get rid of. It is such a time capsule!!

If I were looking to spruce it up on a budget I would:
Take down the scalloped valance
New countertop material (laminate? butcher block?)
New flooring (Marmoleum?)
Save the cabinets, but get new pulls.

I wouldn't knock down or open up any walls--those arched doorways fit the house nicely. I'm an old house lover though, and don't think every house works best with "open concept."

The tile is wonderful--it seems like you could embrace it and make it a cool element. Of course it doesn't fit into the rustic/vintage/industrial look you love, but you could pull off retro-vintage....

I wonder where the unicorn ended up??!! Wow.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Is the tile in good shape? Is that black and teal? I agree that a retro look would be awesome. If you painted the walls a different color and the cabinets white, it would be really pretty. Marmoleum comes in squares and you could do a really interesting pattern on the floor. It's a pretty big kitchen. Do you really need that wall oven? It makes the stove area look tight and crowded. What if you made the stovetop area a cut out for a range and take out the wall oven? Then you could have a longer run of counter top space. Also, if you take out that awkward peninsula next to the frig you would open up the middle of the kitchen and have room for a rolling island cart. It might be best to wait on opening up the walls until you're really re-doing the kitchen. Then you can completely plan exactly how everything needs to be. Taking down a wall is not just a quick fix.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I agree. I like the teal tiles with black. Paint the cabinets and get new knobs. I have never seen an oven that close to a stovetop. Maybe you could put a wall cabinet beside the refrigerator and move the oven there. Put a new laminate top on. Laminating a counter is easy and relatively cheap. Remove the scalloped trim pieces that tell the age of the kitchen. New light fixtures maybe. You might want to design an island too. You could always use the same one when you remodel.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 11:35PM
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I would definitely stain the cabinets dark or paint them white and add new updated hardware. I have the same scalloped edge on my overhang over the sink and I want mine removed also to update the kitchen. I would put the laminate over the counters to update the counters for now. If the budget allows, I will try to have the appliances match. The size of the kitchen is very nice. I love the arched entrance ways!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 12:19AM
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That really seems like a nice old house, from yet another "old house" person here. I also imagine that kitchen looks better on the screen than in person, and, yes, I'd want to keep the tile. So much for THAT. :) Here are some notions:

KITCHEN: Thank goodness for your second-from-last inspiration picture. Before I ever came to your kitchen, I was already afraid you might be doomed to an unrequited love affair with 12' ceilings.

So--the tile goes. You don't mention budget, but if you can afford it at all how about tearing it all out, and the upper cabinets and the soffit*, and finishing the walls and ceiling with plaster? That's where I'd put my initial investment. Does hat house already have it in most areas? Of not, plaster would be a very appropriate upgrade for an older home anyway.

Painted drywall could never look like those pictures when you're in the rooms; you use that when you want to look like an American tract house (and, no, I'm not belittling them--many millions live in unheard-of comfort in these nice homes).

Plaster is a fairly substantial initial investment but would be a strong, very important move toward the earthy, organic look you so clearly love, and this change would probably make you quite happy. Well worth the investment and well worth waiting on other stuff. The plasterer could always come back to do additional work over time (move a doorway, call the plasterer in for a couple of hours, etc.)

*Soffit: If it can't all come out, it can be restyled, the curves removed. If one side had to stay, I'd almost certainly keep it around all four walls.The center area could be "open" to old floor joists and boards from the floor above. Or? Or? Just plaster for now.

Gel stain your lowers.
Put up some lowish, reachable shelves of weathered-toned reclaimed wood.

Remove the built-in dining counter.
Slide the refrigerator down the wall a bit and maybe set a small cabinet on the kitchen side, finished as your whim suggests.

Set the dining table in the middle of the room.
Buy a nice old sideboard off Craig's List, finish it in a warmish light gray like so many of your pictures, and set it on the end wall where the table is now.

Do the floor when you can if removing the counter doesn't force it earlier.

LIVING ROOM: It doesn't have the best proportions, but I also suspect opening it up to the kitchen wouldn't benefit either room. Later if you chose you could widen the doorway to a more gracious width, 5' perhaps, but it could wait for now. Live with it for a while? Know just where you're going to want wall space in both rooms?

You'll find many beautifully decorated rooms like yours in glossy magazines (not so many on Houzz because that's very heavily pictures from fairly new homes decorated from furniture stores in the last decade). A friend in Oregon has a living room stretching across the entire from of her 90-year-old bungalow, and of all the living rooms I've ever seen personally, it's one of my very favorites. Architecture is very similar to yours, and there are three seating/function areas in it, with nice room to walk between, to the windows to look out, etc. She has upholstered sitting areas at both ends--TV, books and fireplace at one end, more books and writing table included at the other end with the even-better view. Dining is the middle group and fully integrated with the rest, designed as just another way of sitting and relaxing. That is, the dining chairs are upholstered so they don't have that hard, different-scale look typical wood dining furniture can have next to living room stuff. I'm not a great describer, but this is a room I could be snowed happily in for a few weeks.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:44AM
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Gosh, I love that tile!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Marmoleum!! That’s what it’s called! I just couldn’t remember anything when I went to do the search!

I don't think I will get rid of any walls for now and I'm not gunna make any commitments but I think a few of you might be changing my view of the tile.

If i was to keep it what way could I do the retro look? what color on the walls?

rosie my Dh used to be a stone mason in vermont he has plastered many a hotel so im sure this lil old kitchen wouldnt be any old thing but I'm confused how the plastering would help?

and yes the trim around the tiles is black! haha

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:49AM
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@shanghaimom what color do you think for the wall.
I love all your suggestions

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Are the cabinets functional?

Don't paint that beautiful wood!

I would focus on updating the appliances and lighting, getting a new sink and new countertop. Work with that retro feel of the house!

You can get rid of the peninsula section and have your fridge look more "built in." Make that your wall of open shelving and fill it with fiestaware in colors from the '50s.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:03AM
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White. Not a stark white, but white. The tile has plenty of color! BM Dove Wing is nice-a shade darker than White Dove.

If you can remove the peninsula without having a huge scar in the tile work, you would then have plenty of space for a homey table in the center of that space.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Baunlee, most of those kitchens are very high end and very likely have been plastered as part of achieving their organic look. They're only inspirations, though. If the look you have in your mind can be achieved with drywall, by all means go that way.

In any case, I suggested that because I thought you hated the tile and removing it would create an immediate need to do something with the walls. Your existing kitchen does have its own special look worth preserving. I'd be trying to build on that tile myself, so if it inspires you to do a complete 180 (maybe 360 + 180?) from organic/industrial/European to midcentury suburbia--terrific. You have a wonderful start to build on.

I have a bunch of looks I love, as evidenced by my multiple-personality decor, but my final looks are always...eclectic to put a nice word on it. Starting out very slow as you figure out what you want makes really good sense here. Go gel those cabinets.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:32AM
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What about staining the cabinets a dark grey or even painting them black? I think it would look so great with that tile and crisp white walls. Marmoleum for the floor, for sure. I even like the counters, although I think a stone would make them look a lot more updated.

Good Luck! Great house!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:16PM
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If it were mine....without knowing more details...

I would replace the built in cooktop and ovens with a free standing range due to limited counter space by the cooktop. See about retrofitting some of those cabinets around it.

Softten the corners of the soffits to match the arches. Replace the floor with a real lino. Replace counter with laminate. Paint the walls.

I think the challenge/key will be finding a flooring and counter, and wall paint that will make the tile pop and bring everything together.

I really like the tile.

This post was edited by debrak_2008 on Fri, May 3, 13 at 15:43

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:32PM
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Wow, they went crazy with that tile! Maybe keep it as a backsplash, but yank the rest and make them painted walls. Then the tile won't dominate the room so much.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Gpraceman, believe it or not, that's just an rather upscale look for earlier eras. My MIL had lots of tile AND a list of instructions for her cook that included wiping down the entire kitchen every day. I still have that around somewhere. The furs and white gloves she wore to go out with the girls while this was going on are long gone.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:31PM
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I think it would be best to keep all of the tile. Only keeping the back splash tile will completely destroy the vintage look. Then I think it really would look dated and in a bad way.

I would also start with the suggestions above with removing the wall oven, putting in a range-maybe one with a double oven, and put in so.e pretty Marmoleum.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:51PM
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Narrow LR--I have one of those...the key seems to be to set it up more as 2 smaller rooms than as one. Which is kinda what it looks like in that pic, but they've got WAY too many different chairs in there.

Kitchen...well, I'd lose the useless peninsula w/ seating & maybe do a banquet or something for the table--those chairs against the wall look pretty nonfunctional. And change the paint color, not sure what would complement the tile happily. We have similar tile in our kid b-room (probably same vintage!) and went for a strong color on the wall for sort of a "Sea" feel. That way the tile doesn't stand out as much--it all kinda blends. But the bathroom is alot smaller than that kitchen! But white walls made the tile stand out ridiculously.

I also wouldn't lose all the wood cabs, can't tell for sure but they look like fairly nice wood. The knobs are offputting to me--I'd hate something in the middle like that.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 4:57PM
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I'd say to keep the tile. Clean the cabinets. Embrace the teal.
What's the round hardware on the upper cabinets?

Here is a link that might be useful: retro kitchens

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:11PM
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I love the tile. You can do something in your kitchen that I absolutely wanted, but couldn't do because it doesn't fit the style of our house. A vintage, or vintage look stove. It would be so perfect with your tile. Look at the link below, imagine the stove gone, and it replaced by one of these beauties with a really cool marloleum floor and some fiestaware dishes displayed. I occasionally see them on Craig's List here for much less.

You can even get some really funky cool vintage look fridges.

Probably what you're trying to get away from, but something to think about at least...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool vintage stoves

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:41PM
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I think marmoleum is not in the budget but hopefully some other changes will be easier to make..I cringe thinking of fiestaware because its all my mom ever used growing up haha

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 6:28PM
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I agree to embrace the tile and see what you can do to complement it. Also, for what it's worth, the light in the corner of the kitchen looks very similar to the one in your first inspiration pic, and I seem to recall many folks looking for that type of light in the last year or two. So, you may want to keep it - even if you don't want it in the kitchen. Or hold an auction here on GW, lol!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Yes, Yes! Jansin has it! Use a vintage (or vintage-look) range. Get rid of the the oven to open up the space (although I don't know what you do about replacing the tile behind the oven.) And use a vintage-look fridge from Elmira/Northstar or Smeg or Big Chill.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:11AM
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The wood is pretty, but I think they need painted either white or cream colored. I also can see an ocean or seaside theme
new hardware for sure.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:55AM
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I quite like your kitchen...except for the cooking area. I agree with debrak_2008 that you should make it a priority to replace the wall oven and cooktop with a range. Reclaiming some counter space next to the range will make your life so much better from a layout perspective.

Like many others, I love the vintage tile. I think white walls would probably be easiest on modern eyes (although part of me keeps thinking yellow, it would be a bit Easter-eggy). So white wall, teal and black tile... I like the wood cabinets, and think they would look great with a bit of cleaning. As a second choice, I liked the idea of gel staining them gray, which I think would work nicely with the teal and black. Formica counter in White Ellipse or Endless Graytone. Or, if the rest of the counter is in okay condition, you could just put in a stretch of stainless or butcher block near the stove until you do a full-on remodel.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 1:35AM
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Because I was interested in your problem...

I couldn't find a good pic to use for the tile, so you get a solid color instead, and solid gray stands in for the cabinets. Counter image is Formica White Ellipse. The floor is in a driftwood color (the image is of vinyl flooring), and the table is cerused oak. With the table, I was thinking that you take out the peninsula, lose the breakfast nook, and instead go with a central dining table that serves for both dining and prep.

I managed to get a little bit of rustic in there with the midcentury.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 3:46PM
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There was a fabulous kitchen posted at some point that featured a turquoise and gray color scheme. If I can find it I'll post it, and perhaps others might remember whose kitchen it is?

It had an induction cooktop and modern in style cabinets

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 5:05PM
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What a great time capsule kitchen! Are the trim tiles maroon? I agree with a soft white paint for the walls, or even a very pale yellow.

Cleaning the cabinets and spray painting or replacing the hardware would make a world of difference.

For some great vintage kitchen ideas, check out this website:

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Turquoise and gray and pink and gray were both quite popular color schemes for a period in, what, the 50s? Bringing in gray with paint (as opposed to weathered wood) should reinforce a retro midcentury look.

Your current circumstances combined with the special elements in this kitchen give you a great opportunity to experiment and try out different looks. Far better for that than a big budget and plenty of time that might lead to premature decisions. Wouldn't it be fun if you fell in love with the style of this kitchen (also)? Although not many people are doing midcentury, as posts show, a lot of people like it enough to want to see nice versions preserved.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 4:51PM
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Holly- Kay

Oh I love your kitchen! Love the tile! Three colors, black, white, and turquoise. Any wall not tiled I would paint a crisp white, use the same white for the cabs as they would be set off by the beautiful tile. I would use a black and white checkerboard floor and for the counter top a black formica with a rough slate like finish. I would also try to use vintage appliances and a neat retro table and chair set. Hmmmm I don't remember if they did sets in black and white..... but I am pretty sure they did.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Congratulations! I like your kitchen... it has potential. I think that tile would look really fun with white cabinets. I'd vote for changing the floorings to wood or something darker.

You have my sympathy regarding your mother but I'm happy you found a home so you can be close to her.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 10:28PM
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How about laminate in a retro pattern? White or gray cabinets and black and white checkerboard floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: domino laminate

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 11:32PM
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I don't know why but i just HATE checkerboard floor haha so many people have suggested it- it's making me wish I had a different design aesthetic but oh well I guess I will just do a modern version of retro since the typical retro (checkerboard/fiestaware) style type isn't really clicking with me. Hm :(

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Baunlee, definitely time to go look at a bunch of pictures and start educating yourself.

The "typical retro (checkerboard/fiestaware) style" you're imagining is not. Those are just a couple of simple elements that are now--by some apparently--considered design cliches found everywhere in that era. No. Just as not everyone decorating over the past 30 years chose white cabinets and white subway tile, or ever wanted anything like that, midcentury style played out in a variety of ways. Most people didn't own even a single piece of Fiestaware, and lots undoubtedly didn't like checkerboard--just like you. Linoleum, only one flooring, was sold as sheet and tiles and leant itself to lots of patterns.

Now, a nice old kitchen that's one of only two I remember had what I recall as a soft corn-yellow linoleum floor and white painted cabinets that must have been built in place running around a big sunny room. This may just be why I like both today. I'd love to have the kitchen I remember.

Of course, the biggest part of YOUR education needs to be figuring out what you really like. You came here wishing for a dramatically different look and thinking people would dislike the aged surfaces of your kitchen, then were clearly influenced by those who said they liked them and felt YOU should have a retro kitchen.

I thought maybe you were looking with newly appreciative eyes at the possibilities. Now, in spite of what's actually in your kitchen (neither checkers or Fiesta) you're ignoring that big clue and instead choosing to associate midcentury with elements you strongly dislike. Strong flashing warning lights for me here.

BTW, IF you actually like that tile, some kind of dynamite fusion look is just waiting to happen there. In checking out upper scale midcentury kitchens (probably in old magazine stacks in libraries) you will find stainless steel counters. If you look at old European kitchens, you'll find the kinds of walls and ceilings your pictures show WITH extensive tile work. But--if you don't like it, what does what anyone else likes matter? No one else is going to be in there every day.

Do you have a Pinterest account? Maybe you could just starting pinning everything and anything you like, forgetting what's actually doable. After a while, some real patterns will leap out at you. Unfortunately, pix on line are heavily from our current era, and a greater depth of possibilities will require a little more effort to uncover.

Have fun.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:26PM
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rosie thanks for some of your suggestions! I'm actually aware about that.. The reason I would keep the tile is not because of being wishy washy about my preferences as you say I was swayed by others opinions but because as I said in the original post, that there are other pressing matters of the home to be dealt with first so it is very likely I would not get to removing the tile. Anyways I think it is a good thing to be influenced by the opinions of others in some ways (not the whole feel of the kitchen). Sometimes disagreeing might set of a firestorm but since a few people suggested it I thought I would steer them away from that suggestion.I hope u would know what I mean, maybe not. Anyways I was just mentioning I do not like black and white tile because many people suggested it. I don't think it's necessary in a retro cool vibe though

This post was edited by baunlee on Fri, May 31, 13 at 14:47

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:23PM
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HEY guys thanks for all of your help!!

Cawaps I like your idea of a central dining table and I agree that the peninsula needs to go! Hopefully there will be enough room once it is gone. I also agree a butcher block would be great.

Susie I like your idea of maybe using a wood flooring but overall I think I’m going to go with a gelstain for the cabinets because once they are white it is kind of hard to change your mind. If I don’t like the dark I can always switch back.

A few more things...
I have been having a hard time picking a white color for the kitchen ceiling. Right now it is pink as are the walls.

Do you guys just use like a bone white or any kind of special shade. Lemme know your thoughts on ceiling color.

Also in the closing yesterday I got a few better photos of the tile. I think it is interesting the way there is like a cream swirl, almost iridescent feature to it.

**Also I noticed that the tile is not actually black but almost like a chocolate color.**

Do you think I should do white walls and white ceiling in the same color??

Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:01PM
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debrak_2008 6 , what color walls do you think would make the tile pop

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:04PM
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I'm sorry I don't have suggestions for a specific white, but I am happy you came back. I know others will chime in because there are not a lot of people on here keeping their kitchens somewhat original (for whatever reason).

I do really like that tile, and I'm hoping once someone suggests a great paint color for you it will be easy to live with.

I also really love the farmhouse table idea and gel staining the cabs a darker color. I think your kitchen can become a new version of the great farmhouse kitchens you posted earlier.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:18PM
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Welcome and congratulations on your new home! Actually, I rather like your vintage kitchen as well. And it actually looks quite spacious to me. I absolutely agree that the cooking area look awkward. And I love the idea of using Big Chill or other vintage-style appliances. While I love some vintage floors, it looks like yours may have yellowed over time and maybe could use a replacement? I also really like the arched doorways. I think it would be sad to lose them. If you do open up a wall, I hope you'll put in an arched opening in keeping with the house. It looks to me like your living room isn't that narrow. Rather, it looks long enough to fit a dining room on one end and a living room on the other.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:38PM
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Just found out last night that those tiles are plastic!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:40AM
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My parents have plastic MOP 4x4 tiles in their bathrooms that are original to the house (1963). I think they still look pretty nice. They did remove them in the downstairs bathroom, and it still took off parts of drywall.

Sorry but removing them.will probably be like real tile, and you will be repairing or replacing drywall.

This post was edited by IowaCommute on Sat, Jun 1, 13 at 9:03

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:59AM
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I would remove the tile. If it had been a solid color and ceramic I might have thought differently.

I would also consider if you really want to gel satin the cabinets, looking at your inspiration pics only one has really dark, and then one other with stained semi dark. The others all appear painted.

For a ceiling color I would just use sherwin Williams ceiling white.

I would also look at the inspiration pics and decide out of each one what it is you like about it and then consider all of those items and see what could work in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 9:20AM
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baunlee - in the house we were in before, the tiles you have in the kitchen were the tiles we had in the bathroom - same blue. Our accent tiles were black though. And yes, they are a "plastic tile". We embraced the retro and grew to love it actually. Of the colors that were out there (blue, pink, yellow, and green that I know of), you won the lottery - I think the blue is the prettiest by far.

I think that you can embrace the retro with the tiles and do things to update the kitchen. You're not really going to wind up with a kitchen like your inspiration photos without a TON of time, money, and effort...money being the key in that one.

From a distance, the cabinets appear to be in good shape, so that's a plus also. The hardware on them is a bit unfortunate (we have the "center knobs" in our current kitchen - don't know why that was ever something that people thought was a good idea!) The bad thing about getting rid of those is that you're going to have a hole that you have to deal with. So, if you are keeping the cabinets natural wood, you'll have an issue. If you decide to paint them, you can use some wood filler and eliminate the holes...so you may need to paint. Some were suggesting grey when thought that the accent tile was black, not brown...obviously, grey would be a little more difficult. And grey seems to be kind of a bit of a current trend right now - I'm not sure that I would try to do that. In this case, I think that white cabinets and white walls is probably your best bet.

You definitely don't have to do checkerboard flooring if you don't like it!

I think that you've got the opportunity to have a fun, retro kitchen until you are ready to put in the money for your dream kitchen. Start looking at the different things that are out there in photos to get ideas of that style of things that you like. BTW, I like your inspiration images at the top too and in a perfect world, that's what we would be doing. But, reality is that we're doing a kitchen that is radically different from that...and we'll love it too!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Those cabinets are gorgeous and certainly worth the work to re-stain. I would love to see a close-up of that hardware too. Is there tile behind the oven area? If it were me I would hire a carpenter to remove the ovens, take out that whole range top, below and above range cabinets. Put in a slide-in range and cool hood. Re-purpose the doors and cabinets that were removed and use to adjust areas where the ovens were and possibly also add a matching refrigerator wood surround with upper cabinets above. Some matching shallow open wall shelves on area wall by the snack bar would tie it all in nicely. I would not touch the tile if it’s in good shape. If there is no tile behind the ovens I would remove enough tile from another part of the room to fix. There are lots more I would do with flooring and countertops but I would start with the above. You are lucky in that you have some very nifty items to work with. Get things arranged to your liking first and then re-visit the color and decorating.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 12:29PM
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Well, congrats on getting off the mid-century conservation hook. The immediate adoration out here was based on the assumption that this was good-quality solid-color ceramic, not swirly plastic.

So, that's nice in that respect, and great to hear you're moving ahead slowly. I think you may just love having a family table in the middle. In the meantime, I hope you do have fun with what you have, as long your long-term planning moves steadily toward something that's really "you."

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 1:19PM
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Below is a link on plastic tiles with some interesting info.

How old is the house, i.e. are they original or a renovation in the 50s?

Here is a link that might be useful: 1950s plastic tile

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 5:38PM
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I could be wrong but I am getting the vibe that you don't have a lot of time (time with Mom is WAY more important than any of this) nor money. But I know what it is like to want to see changes, it gets your mind off of the other things for a while. Everyone has offered many wonderful suggestions, but once you start taking down penisulas or wall ovens, other problems can be created ~ as in what do you put where the wall oven was, new cabs, countertop etc., money, money, etc..

I think it would behoove you to make a money and time schedule. Maybe something like Step 1, what would I do with my first $250. It may simply be to remove the scalloped piece over the sink and buy a nice cloth valence (or whatever) to bring some color there... teal perhaps.

Step 2 - those handles may just need a good cleaning and repositioning to the corners. If they can't be salvaged, this forum is THE place for referrals for good buys on handles and knobs. That may not appeal to you, but just a suggestion as to an inexpensive project that might make you see immediate changes for small amounts of dough.

As appealing as those Elmira fridges are, they are far from inexpensive. Plenty of other ways to freshen up the space, a little at a time.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 10:22PM
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I did notice that one of your inspiration pics has teal and salmon. I did like the teal color(although not with the brown trim) but less so now that I've seen the swirls. I vaguely remember seeing this tile somewhere in my life.
Painting the walls will make a huge difference.

I've been looking at Martha Stewart paints (at home depot) for color ideas and think that she has some great colors (blues, blue-green-grays etc and whites, color coded for coordination too) that would work with the tile. Definitely get rid of that pink!

Another option might be to paint the tiles. There are paints formulated to adhere to plastic. I would be incline to do that for a quick fix if it were my kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 11:01PM
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From what I've read, removing these tiles is a HUGE pain, mainly because of the adhesive, frequently involving taking down the wall with it. If you can't live with the tiles, maybe look into putting beadboard or wood batten or shingles over it.
Do you know what the walls are made of?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 12:12PM
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For a fast-ish fix you could have a woodworker/cabinet maker come in and re-configure your cabinets utilizing much of what you have. Take some of the plastic tile from that little hall and put in areas near the wall ovens if there is no tile back there. Then, go out and buy some cool new appliances. Have your counters resurfaced with nice Formica or other top, maybe stainless in parts. Down the road you could re-stain the cabinets and decide if you cannot live with the back splash. Take out the snackbar counter and put frig there. Put cabinets where the frig was. I took the hint of a touch of industrial (chair) and a touch of vintage rustic (your above inspiration pictures) by leaving the cabinets as is for now as far as stain or paint goes. I would try to bring back close to the original glory of the cabinet knobs by some serious polishing/cleaning.
Pretend the range is stainless or brown and NOT White.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Sun, Jun 2, 13 at 22:50

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 4:54PM
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What did you decide on?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Sorry no color ideas but I like what jterrilynn posted.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Me, too (liking what jterrilynn posted). The rug really changes up the space.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Hey guys, Just wanted to update:

so far I have painted the kitchen and replaced the ovens with a stainless steel gas range. I also purchased a SS dishwasher because I don't have enough patience to do them by hand.

I will be putting granite where the insert oven was to use as a cutting board.

The color, not sure if I love it - but anything is better than pink.

Next project here I'm guessing will be the floor but that's up to the boss so we'll see :)

tile removal is in future (before we resell in a few years) just not anytime soon.

**At this point I'm just looking for some ideas on what colors might be complementary or contrasting to the aqua, and plumish brown (for decor ideas). Maybe a coral(ish) not sure! the brownish purple is making it hard for me to pick. Any ideas?

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    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 9:32AM
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delete due to double post

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 11:02

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Hi, I would look at Behr 490E -3 Celtic gray, its a gray/green w/ touch of blue, a mid to light tone or look at the lighter yet shades on the same chit. The lightest is glimmer 490E-1 and that maybe the best for your room. It will even things out nicely and you could then add a bit of eggplant or red accessories.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 11:00

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Nice improvement. Funny how much impact small changes can bring.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 8:44PM
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I'd try a lighter shade of the same brownish tile trim color, but one that has some blue/green in it. I can't think of a color, and I hate all beiges and browns, but in this case, I think it could work. A paler shade of the turquoise might work also, but you'd have to test it out. I usually tape up about 40 of those little paint samples, and look at them in all different lights. After a while, the correct colors start to jump out at you. The white definitely does not work, but it's better than ghastly pink!

I would not remove that valence! I love those curved valences! We had one in the house I grew up in, and I miss it. BTW, I love your kitchen, plastic tiles, metal-edged formica and all! I think it's great! I'd never pull out those cabinets, but the round pulls would have to go! They are just bad, period.

I love the arched doorways and hardwood floors too. Your house looks really charming and loaded with potential!

I'm wondering if you can put a wash over those cabinets? It might give you that rustic, but modern look in a lot of your inspiration photos. Have you considered milk paint? With some new nickel pulls that would give you a lighter feel to the room, but you could still see the wood grain and it would feel updated/vintage. There may be a milk paint color that looks good with your tile.

Can you move the fridge to the wall where the table is? The fridge seems too close to the range, so I wonder if it would work on the other side of the room. Did you take out the peninsula? Could you turn it into an island? It has an eating area, and I just love that metal-edged formica and those shelves, although it's a bit skinny for an island. OR maybe get rid of it, and find a nice old table to use as an island.

Here is a link that might be useful: milk paint

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Can you show us a close-up of the cabinet knobs?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I like the beige tone in this inspiration piece

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Oh I love all these color options! I wish I would have thought of some teal options, but I've always dreamed of having my yellow kitchen!

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen remodel jonesboro arkansas

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 1:56AM
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When you said you're putting in granite on the counter to use as a cutting board, do you mean it will be a place where you'll use your cutting board? That would work. But cutting right on granite ruins knives. If you want to cut right on the counter, you can have butcher block put in. I have a Boos cutting board built in next to my cooktop, and I love it. It had to be sanded or cut or something to match the thickness of the counter before it was installed.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 3:38PM
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What a great, handsome place to chop that onion, Ginny. I just bet you love it. :)

Baunlee, I think I'd try ignoring that brownish-purple. I'm guessing it was supposed to be maroonish long ago, but in any case it functions as contrast, so leave it at that if possible? If it refused to be ignored, paint it.

In any case, you could then concentrate on colors you would enjoy with that aqua/turquoise. Beige? Yellow? Coral? I'm an orange with blue person myself.

I just realized. If that were my challenge, I like Persian and other Middle Eastern rugs, which often come in rusty wine reds and golds with light blues in the design, and I might try using one as an organizing principle in the room. Just for instance, I might try

1. A rusty red-based, heavily patterned wool Persian rug under the dining table, rather large for impact. I'd want it to define the room, not the tile. They're extremely durable, and those complex patterns are a big reason why they can be used for generations and look good right up until they finally wear out.
2. A soft muted gold, or muted straw color, or golden-orangish yellow on the walls--a color that harmonized prettily with the cabinets but was quiet enough not to do a big wow! blue-yellow excitement thing with the tile. It would be as close to the same saturation and value (i.e., neither brighter or duller or lighter or darker) as the tile as I could bring it without the wow.This way it wouldn't add light-dark contrast in addition to its color contrast. They would blend together in a warm but calm way.
3. While I figured out what I wanted to do with that nice recessed ceiling, I'd cover it all with the same color mixed with some white on the ceiling--in a gloss if the ceiling were smooth enough.
4. Your picture is gone so I can't check it for ideas, but I'm sure I would use more of the same soft pale yellow often above the floor level to avoid too frequent color changes. Also, I'd keep the upper areas mostly light and keep the darker, vibrant color of the rug mostly on the floor. Such as curtains with the background similar to the wall color. Then smaller accents of the red here and there, and of course the aqua that's already here and there. :)

Then, being me, I'd probably paint the walls, cabinets, woodwork, everything, all cream, leave the rug and hang antique blue plates on the walls, but only after a year or so had gone by and I was finally in the mood to do it. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 8:08PM
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I would think that the cabinets were probably built-in place and cannot be reconfigured. OP, would you please clarify this.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:57AM
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