WWYD to make this more of a transitional kitchen?

frugalnotstingyJuly 19, 2013

I apologize to everyone who have already replied to my other posts - I've posted questions about this a lot more than I wanted but I still don't have any direction. Just think of this as my SOS. :-)

Somebody suggested to do a WWYD without any pics of the tiles that I've picked out - just to start fresh.

My husband thinks it's silly (an understatement) to tear out and replace our very solid kitchen cabinets - those are here to stay.

Already in the to do list are:
1. Pain walls & trims
2. Install pendant lights over the peninsula
3. Remove popcorn ceiling
4. Under cabinet lighting.

I just got a new SS french door fridge & and Miele dw installed. Will be getting a new wall oven and microwave after I figure out what to do with the rest of the kitchen.

I was trying to avoid painting the cabinets but if that's what it will take, I will do that - just point me in the right direction.

Thanks again!

And this is the pendant light that's going in. I mentioned that I liked that when we were looking for lights and he surprised me with them. Too late to pick a different light now. LOL

This post was edited by frugalnotstingy on Fri, Jul 19, 13 at 16:26

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Sophie Wheeler

Traditional oak is never going to look transitional. I'd either gel stain those a dark java that is darker than the floors, or paint them a medium gray that is lighter than the floors.

And then I'd spend a good deal of money adding more lighting to the kitchen. You need more recessed. A BUNCH more. Some over the cabinet uplighting wouldn't go amiss either. Under cabinet is also a must. All on dimmers. As for the pendant, sorry, but your kitchen doesn't have high enough ceilings for it. You'll be looking around it or through it constantly if it's going on the peninsula. It won't provide enough light either. I'd put it over your table in a heartbeat though.

For the range, take out the cabinet above the range and put in a modern stainless chimney hood. So something simple and off white in glass for the backsplash to tie in with the granite.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 3:52PM
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I like wood cabinets, but with your beautiful granite (and that pendant!) I'd paint the cabinets a warm white.Then you could do the gray or a white backsplash tile. If you do paint the cabinets, I would NOT do the square tile. Think about getting more sparkle from some very pretty hardware. Knobs and pulls are the jewelry of the kitchen...and would really set off your pendant :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Nice lights. I do like them too.

If I had storage room elsewhere, or could create it, I'd remove the uppers, or almost all of them. Voila! Kitchen reborn in a new era. Then if I wanted, I might gel stain, but changing cabinet color is small potatoes compared to recreating the whole thing as an open, airy space that actually continues the feel of the living area beyond, or in your case even of that nice peninsula. Opening up the walls around kitchens was the first, and bigger, step in this evolution, and getting the upper cabinets that were left behind out of one's face is just another step, a luxury only those with kitchens with alternative storage potential can afford, of course.

After that, simply move serenely on without a backward glance by finishing the walls and decorating with very nice framed art--something almost no one thought belonged in the old golden oak kitchens. I remember plenty of cute prints of chickens, though, and restaurant calendars.

What you might do for stove venting and backsplash would strictly be style choices.

This kitchen's style might be way off, but it is similar in layout and would have looked terrific with walls, tile, and hood all the same color but wood finish cabinets below. The one little cabinet in the corner, painted to blend, doesn't spoil its openness.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 4:41PM
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I love the light, but I agree that it will be more of an obstacle than a desirable feature for a kitchen. I also agree that taking down the upper cabinets and painting what's left coulr really take this traditional kitchen into a modern direction. Add some open shelves in place of the cabinets. If you don't have the luxury of losing the storage, then take off the doors and paint the uppers and the walls the same color so they fade into each other and showcase the items on them. I'd do the wall cabinets, the backsplash, and the walls all monochromatic. For the backsplash, I'd see if I could find something maybe a tad iridescent or with some color variation. Subtle though. Maybe two shades of gray for the cabinets? Darker lower, and lighter upper? Or even a beautiful teal color like your wall is currently.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Ditto to everything that hollysprings said, and I favor painting the cabs a medium gray. Then the simple offwhite glass backsplash to tie in with your granite, a modern stainless hood, better lighting, and you're done.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 7:40PM
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Paint the cabs.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Thanks! I thought about putting a hood but it will be a big expense as there is ductwork right smack in the center of the cooktop and the basement is finished.

I'm browsing the web for paint colors right now. I think I'll start with the cabinets as there seem to be no going around that.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:46PM
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I would paint the cabs a soft white to brighten the space.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:01PM
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Make sure you read about painting oak cabs. There are some threads on here with closeup pictures of how it turns out. It looks good, but the grain may still be apparent.

My kitchen is definitely transitional, and I have raised panel stained cherry cabs. The smooth, swoopy, simple lines of the hardware, faucet, pendants, and hood keep it from being traditional, as does the granite BS. The glass tiles you looked at would be transitional.

I don't think you have to paint the cabs necessarily. I am prejudiced, though, because we had the cabs in our previous kitchen painted, and they were hard to keep up over 22 years. My husband kept touching them up and repainting them, which may have been part of the problem - by the end they had brush strokes on them. They chipped, the paint wore away around the knobs, and the almond color always needed washing. I understand that factory painted cabs are different, and if you do a really thorough job of painting, with all the attendant sanding, multiple layers, etc, they are great. But those painted cabs are why I got stained cherry this time. Painted cabs, white cabs, gray cabs - I love to look at them, but they are not the only way to have a transitional kitchen. Gel staining, maybe. But I think you could have a lovely transitional kitchen with those cabs, that pretty granite, the glass BS, and recessed lighting, with pendants and hardware that have a contemporary edge.

If you long for white or gray cabs, then go for it. But if you paint the cabs, choose the BS only after they are done.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:06PM
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I vote for keeping the oak cabinets as they are. The style looks good. Perhaps you could change a couple of the doors on the upper cabinets to glass or remove a couple and put in shelves. If you replace your hardware with something more contemporary, that would help a lot. Also, you could look into a different style of crown molding. I would maybe try a not too dark gel stain instead of painting. I think painted cabinets could be more work keeping them clean.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:24PM
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I LOVE white kitchens but have to say that many of the painted oak kitchens I've seen in real life still look like, well, painted oak cabinets with the grain showing through.
I'd probably gel stain and paint the back and side of the peninsula. Are they oak, too, or the kind of fake wood?

Or, I'd beef up the molding and change the hardware:

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:26PM
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