Help us sell this kitchen please

undercoverangelSeptember 1, 2013

Hello all,

My parents who are seniors are selling their house. The kitchen seems to be hurting them because the rest of the house is pretty updated. The house was built in 1994 and the other rooms look good. It's the kitchen we need help with.

They don't want to deal with painting the cabinets because of all of the glass in front. They do want to paint the kitchen itself and replace the countertops with a nice, high grade laminate like Wilsonart.

Any suggestions for paint color and countertop combination when listing a house for sale? We were thinking a nice cream color on the wall or maybe some type of light tan with a green undertone. The counters we aren't sure.

Suggestions are great and pictures are even better!
Thank you! :)

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Another view

This post was edited by LonelyGoatherd on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 14:27

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:23PM
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And another view

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Yes, a lighter, brighter paint color would be a big help. What's the flooring like? I can't tell what it is or what color it is from the picture, but if that's staying, it will affect the color choices for the rest of the room.

You might also consider a few relatively inexpensive fixes.

I'd replace the ceiling fan, either with an updated light fixture, or if there absolutely has to be a ceiling fan, one that blends in more with the ceiling, say one with white fan blades.

Updating the "boob" light over the sink would also help. I'd coordinate the two lights so they look as if they were intentionally placed there, not just two random lights that got stuck on the ceiling.

Many people remove those scalloped wooden valences over the kitchen sinks to update a kitchen. I can't tell from the picture if that would be easy to do or not.

Might also be a good idea to update the cabinet hardware with new knobs and pulls. These appear to be brass, and that's not on the top of a lot of lists right now.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:29PM
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I would paint a light color to bring more light in, replace the hardware, remove the brick brack on top of the cabinets and maybe replace with crown, remove the valance over the sink and put a pretty pendant there, possibly a simple arched valance. A lot of people object to the textured ceilings these days. Some say it's not hard to remove but it has to be pretty messy.

If the fan is not needed that much, I'd replace with a light fixture.

I wouldn't replace the counters unless they are in bad shape.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:33PM
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If I were buying their house, I would want the red and pink paint gone, but I wouldn't necessarily like a tan color either, or the knobs/pulls you think will update it. I think I would rather have some dollar give-back amount so that I could replace the obvious things with stuff I would prefer, not an intermediate step that I still don't like.

If nothing else, get rid of the red and pink, but light and neutral.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:35PM
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These are all great suggestions! I hadn't thought of the hardware being so dated. What hardware would look good with these cabinets?

Linelle I see what you are saying about an intermediate step and doing a dollar give back amount but unfortunately they tried that and it's just not working. They have had feedback from buyers and people really do just want to move into a house. The money back for updates just wasn't appealing to anyone. So I think we do need more modern but neutral updates and just hope that it appeals to someone more than this does.

The floors are a medium toned hardwood. They are in great shape. They are actually a bit lighter than this picture shows.

Also, believe it or not, the bottom part of the wall isn't as pink as the photo shows. It's more of a darker mauvey red. In real life the bottom part looks more like the top part and the top part looks more red. The photos make it look so much worse which is a big part of the problem since people house hunt online. Still even in person, we know those colors need to go.

I was thinking something like Benjamin Moore's Rich Cream or maybe Lennox tan? Something neutral that will make the room look bigger.

Hadn't thought of the ceiling fan! You guys are so right. That needs to go!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:45PM
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light soft gray on walls-with oak and white trim will give a fresh crisp effect. Replace 2 ceiling fixtures in kitchen and get new stainless dishwasher.Leave counters as is......the kitchen will be redone at some point by new occupants. Do you have an area rug for under the table-add runner on table...that area can be staged....for little effort in that regards will make the whole space look quite inviting.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:51PM
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You might be able to get a ss cover for the d/w. There is some sort of a fix for that though I can't remember exactly how it works.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 2:53PM
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We recently used the ss 'skin' for our dishwasher before we sold. It worked but it was tricky and not a perfect installation. Worth a shot for sure though - very inexpensive fix! House sold and no one ever mentioned it.

FWIW I had a wheat/tan color in our oak kitchen and it was okay but not great. I'd have chosen differently next time for sure. It just didn't turn out how I pictured with the oak, felt it kind of clashed in a quiet way.

Good luck! The cabinets look like they are in great shape.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Good point about the dishwasher. So maybe we need to focus more on hardware and lighting than the countertops. They are in good shape, just so dated. But I think you are right that it's the other things that make the kitchen look bad, not the counter tops.

So if we do paint, hardware, lighting and get a skin for the dishwasher that should help. I'm going to ask about the trim above the cabinets and how hard that is to take down. And I agree the part connecting the cabinets over the sink needs to go too.

So any suggestions on paint colors? My parents do have a lot of greige paint through the rest of the house. I'm just clueless on the kitchen. I don't know how to match the oak cabinets other than going with a cream or tan. We want it neutral but not blah if that makes sense.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:09PM
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This post was edited by LonelyGoatherd on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 15:14

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:10PM
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We swapped out our hardware from brass to nickel. ORB would look nice with oak also.

I am sorry I can't help with paint, that is a challenge for me. There are others on here that are great with that sort of thing.

I would attach a pic of ours but see the ones I have don't show much of the paint (we have moved so I can't take another)!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:22PM
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I like that you have glass uppers. Check out the easy oak kitchen update below -- no painting involved.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to update kitchen with oak cabinets

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:28PM
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The #2 thing that's inducing buyers to recoil from that kitchen behind the #1 dried blood paint is the spindle rail molding on top of the cabinets. Just painting, and removing that molding will go a long way towards making the kitchen livable for most people. The knobs and counters would be tertiary to those issues. I'd stop and re-evaluate what it looks with those two things corrected.

I'd suggest a neutral khaki with green overtones, like Behr Mochachino or SW Sawdust.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:41PM
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I like BM Cameo white with oak cabinets. hint of color. I think the paint is biggest issue, followed by light/fan, then the molding.

I could see leaving out some sample hardware, and offfering to install their choice. Hardware is so individual.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:54PM
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The things that jumped out at me are mostly what others noticed too: the paint color, the light and fan, the ceiling, the spindle railing and valance, the pulls. And I would encourage them to remove the clock with the cord hanging down and looping up to an outlet that's not nearby enough. If they must have a clock there, use one that is battery operated.

I think your neutral paint colors sound nice.

It's worth getting a quote on having the cabinets professionally painted if people in their area expect move-in ready (but not until other changes so you can see if how it looks.) Consider that cost versus the cost of remaining in the house while approaching the winter months, and see if it's worth it.

For houses in this home's price range (or slightly above) - what are the countertops? It might help to find some pictures of kitchens in homes on the market nearby that are in this range so they know what expectations are.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 3:56PM
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"dried blood paint"!! Made my day!

GreenDesigns - If you would, hop on over to "Apples to Oranges: KD's, framed/frameless, Shiloh/Diamond?" and weigh in on the general relative cost of framed vs frameless question. jakuvall did and I wonder if your experience is the same.

LonelyGoatherd - I think I would also lose the chair rail when you paint. Mostly I like chair rails, but no so much in this space. For new hardware, you don't have to spend a bunch to find something nice. After you paint, go down to the local Big Box or other hardware store and purchase a couple of likely contenders to bring home and try out. You can always return the rejects, but choosing when you're actually looking at the cabinetry works better.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 4:07PM
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You've gotten great suggestions here. This small one may be obvious: I'd paint the trim under the cabinets a darker color so that it recedes instead of pops forward. I'm not sure how this is normally done with wood cabinets. Maybe on the back of the peninsula it could be replaced with whatever the baseboard is?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 4:29PM
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What is the over-all style of the house? It's hard to decide about things like the chair rail and the pulls, without knowing how they will all work with the house as a whole.

If you are stuck on paint colors, I'd suggest posting over on the Home Decorating forum and asking for paint advice there.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:06PM
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I wouldn't put any "color" on the walls if you are painting for a sale. Just go with a creamy white. Seconded (thirded) on the light fixtures, fan, spindle railing and valance over the sink. Wouldn't bother removing the chair rail - you might end up re-mudding drywall joints behind it which would be a lot of extra work.

A potentially easy update for the back of the peninsula would be a couple of ready-made wood brackets and some "beadboard" panel (comes in 1/4" MDF). More extensive would be the same beadboard panel below the chair rail instead of paint. Both those, however, are a specific "style" so might attract some buyers and put off others.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:29PM
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Just paint the walls and price the house accordingly. Honestly, I would not do more.
Other than being dated, this kitchen is in great shape. A potential buyer can move right in and have plenty of time to decide what they want to do.
Those who want an updated kitchen on their must have list will not be a candidate for this house.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 5:38PM
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I agree with all the suggestions above.

Remove spindle, remove valance, add crown. replace dishwasher or at least front (you can get a SS dw at home depot or sears for a few hundred). Put counters like these ones from lowes and ORB handles and lighting. I would paint a warm taupe from the counters. Depending on the neighborhood I might look into inexpensive granite in tan/black/taupe like Santa Cecelia or new Venetian Gold. Go to local granite fabricators, not home dept for a price, and get 3-4 quotes. Most buyers have no imagination. they need to see a kitchen they can live with even if they plan to remodel. The home looks like a nice home, but in a moderate price point, most people do not walk into a home planning to spend additional money.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 6:23PM
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This is just me...I'd keep everything exactly as you have it, except the paint. Paint the top half of the walls white (you have to tie in the doors and trim) and the bottom half (below chair rail) a soft, leaf green. That's green with just a little bit of will look great with the wood.

Take out all the personal decorations...the cross, the dog, etc. People want to picture themselves in this kitchen. Go with something safe...plants! Hang a couple of pictures of plants (not flowers) on the walls, add a few silk plants above the upper cabinets (look like philodendrons) and put a plant on the table. The green will make the room feel like the outdoors and summery. My mom did something similar and sold her house right away. Hope this helps :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Paint will go a long way....take a look at BM Bleeker undertones to complement the oak cabs, but you will have to play with samples to see what works in your light. All the fixes mentioned are inexpensive ones using Lowes/HD....simple pendent light over sink and coordinating fixture to replace fan...updated knobs, pulls---probably do-able for $200 or less. Plus removing the rail over the cabinets and if possible the scalloped valance over the sink. After doing these, see what the feedback is....if people are complaining about the counters then look into a neutral Level 1 granite instead of laminate.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Have staged a number of homes, and agree with Lavender Lass about removing the cross, dog, etc. What is the black pot-bellied thing? Is it decorative?. I would remove. Can you borrow a couple attractive stools (airy lightweight) for under the overhang, as it looks odd to have that over hang hanging over nothing.
Remove more 'counter clutter' including candle, hanging cord, bread/recipe box, dishsoap bottle, red vase, and are there two coffee makers? I would consider removing it/them to make the area more spacious.
Box up small tiny clutter items behind the glass doors. Agree with greenery, white fan, replace the boob lights, and remove the scallop trim and gallery. Yes to simpler brushed nickel or similar, etc. hardware. And of course, the wall color!!! The white door "pops" disconcertingly from the deep walls, and that rich color serves to emphasize the now dated narrow back splash. With a color similar in tone to the counters, that difference will recede. Post after pictures!! BTW, I can see how at one time, your parents must have been thrilled with the then snazzy look!

This post was edited by peegee on Sun, Sep 1, 13 at 21:09

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:15PM
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I agree, that wall color has to go but I'm not sure what other changes are necessary.

Do your parents have a realtor helping with the sale? A realtor will know what prospective buyers expect and want in a home of that age in that neighborhood. He or she will advise them how to spend their updating dollars and what they can leave alone so that your parents get the best return possible.

The realtor my brother and I engaged to sell our parents' house earlier this year had great advice about what we needed to do (replace 20+ year old appliances, paint) and what we could leave alone (everything else, including white laminate counters, single row of 4x4 white tile backsplash, vinyl floor, etc, all same age as everything else but in very good shape). I knew we'd have to replace the appliances (oven didn't work and couldn't be repaired) but I thought we might also need to replace the counters and redo the backsplash. So glad I asked her before spending more money. We would never have recouped that expense, plus it wasn't necessary.

The house sold *before* it hit the market and for more than asking price (I counted my lucky stars many times over). Granted we found the right buyers right off but there were buyers lined up if that deal fell through. I give credit to our realtor. She was fantastic, going above and beyond with prepping the house for sale. She went with me to choose appliances (kept my TKO-ness in line) and new ceiling fixtures for several rooms. I don't know if she's the rule or exception but we were glad we worked with her. I hope your folks are as fortunate.

btw, the new owners hired the painter we used to paint the kitchen cabinets. These weren't the usual orange-y red oak cabinets of that period (built in '92). My folks had upgraded to white oak cabs. They were gorgeous! But the new owners wanted painted cabs so the upgraded cabinets made absolutely no difference in the sale. I gasped when I heard what they wanted to do (the painter is a good friend of my brother's and was a good friend of our dad's) but it's their house now so they get to do what they want. Anyhoo, the moral of the story is that trying to predict what new owners will find desirable or objectionable is an exercise in madness. I don't know about you but I'm crazy enough already. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Agree with most suggestions above. Can you borrow a light colored table and chairs for the eating area? The black wood ones look very dark and forbidding, not inviting. Yes, remove all items from countertops, all personal items from the room, get rid of the railing atop the cabinets -- that caught my eye before the color did. Remove the valence if you can, but leave it if you can't. I'd like a light sage green (can't think of a color right now) with satin nickel pulls and light fixtures. SS dishwasher (a few hundred dollars), light area rugs will highlight the nice floors. The countertops, hmmm. I don't think spending thousands on granite will pay off. It really depends what's available in the area. If every house has granite, then you'll need granite. But I'd go with a lighter or darker granite (or laminate), not a medium shade that would sort of "match" the cabinets. The lighter one will lighten the room, and the darker one will provide a nice contrast to the cabinets, but a matchy one will muddy the room, imho.

FWIW, I changed the pulls in my kitchen and the difference was dramatic. My DH asked me if I'd painted the room! He didn't realize what I'd changed, but he knew it looked much better. There are so many pulls in a kitchen that it really makes a difference in the overall look of the room if you have the right ones. The ones in your mom's kitchen are very dated, and it's a small expense to replace them.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:58PM
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oh my gosh you guys are so awesome! I can't thank you enough for these suggestions!

This is such great advice really. I'm making notes on everything you all have said.

gmp3 that is fantastic! I can so see the potential of this kitchen now! How did you do that? I'm so not computer savvy I'd have no idea how to do something like that.

I'm going to show my parents all of this. To answer some questions, the house was actually built in 1997, not 94 like I thought. It's a ranch house about 1600 square feet, very well taken care of. My parents' style is pretty traditional with a little bit of modern. Not country at all but not super modern.

I'm definitely going to tell them to hold off on counter tops for now. I think with the other changes, we'll be good to go. Though gmp3's mock photo really shows how much nicer countertops would be. Should we have to do them, that color you show is perfect. I love it.

thank you again so much! I can't believe I didn't notice the spindle above the cabinets. Now that's all I see when I look at the picture, lol.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:06PM
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oh and yes they need to get rid of the personal things in there too. The pot belly stove is just decorative. They can easily move it.

My cousin is an agent and helping them sell the house. She had suggested new paint and counter tops. But I can see that the other small changes will help so much more. Then counter tops can come later if necessary.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Agree with much of the above, but would also add "staging" the interior of the glass cabinets. Although they are neat and not cluttered, that much glass would be a concern to me. Make it look like the "California closets" ads which show the beautifully organized closets -- even though there are only about 12 pieces of clothing in them!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:53PM
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If you decide to get new knob/pulls, check out ebay. We bought some that were around $1 each. Just make sure they are the right size to fit the existing holes. I'd definitely paint, take off the trim over top of cabs, and check on that SS dishwasher panel to match other appliances. You have a great kitchen to work with.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Hey! This looks like my kitchen! Same era, anyway.

Replace the hardware-- definitely do it within a reasonable budget of a $100-$150. I used Liberty "Venue" from Home Depot- it's oil rubbed bronze and they look like a strap. One of the best decisions I made. If the hinges are dirty or tarnished brass, just leave them alone. They'll match well enough.

I am wondering if you could remove the raised "bar" and just create extra counter space if you are set on replacing the counter tops. Not sure if you have any electrical in there now that would complicate that-- didn't see any in the photo.

I was trying out creams and tans forever (SW Whole Wheat, Believable Buff, Ivoire; BM Consentino Chardonnay, Lennox Tan, the list goes on). I finally went to a color consultant and she suggested the following with my oak cabinets, all Benjamin Moore: Clarksville Gray, Pashmina, Bennington Gray, and Meditation. They all had a green-ish but not too green look and I finally went with Bennington Gray-- it's not gray, but it looks great. I decided to do an accent of BM Barrista, you can see both in this photo.

I agree with trying to paint or change the trim at the bottom of the cabinets to match, or try to get it to match the floor. White seems a little too stark.

Optional, but consider:
Replace the dishwasher
Remove the little spindle thingies on top of the cabinets.
I can't see the faucet/sink combo- is it clean and is the faucet somewhat new?

Here is a link that might be useful: Liberty Venue Pulls

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 11:45PM
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The suggestions by lavender_lass sound good, especially regarding how to paint the walls to bring in the white of the doors and trim. To reinforce what other posters have written:

1. Declutter--Your parents have made an obvious effort to stage the house. I like the black in their kitchen table and in the light fixture over the table. However, suggest removing ALL accessories from the kitchen & BF area, including all wall hangings. If possible hide the coffee pot when not in use. The goal is to make the kitchen look as large as possible. Yes to removing any tiny things from the wall cabinets as another GWebber suggested. Then add a few new accessories back that will appeal to a buyer in her 30's. The suggestion to use pictures of geen plants (no flowers) and stage with a few plants sounds great.

2. Use Howard's Restore-A-Finish for oak cabinets to make them look like new. This can be purchased at any Lowes, HD, or Ace Hardware. First you wash the outside of the cabinets if they need cleaning, apply the product, then wipe it off. You might price out what new crown molding would cost but would probably just put some plants on top. Leave the counters alone unless your realtor says most sellers in your neighborhood are upgrading. Change the knobs to black or ORB.

3. Besides the paint, put your money into lighting. After removing the ceiling fan, I would have four recessed cans installed in the ceiling and one over the sink. This is a pricier way to go but will give your kitchen a higher end look. Also, my DIL suggests putting flat puck lights that you tap to turn on or off (battery operated) for under cabinet lighting to give the kitchen an updated look for minimal expense. These lights are found at the big box stores.

4. Paint foamboard, or wallpaper over foamboard, the same color, or a darker shade, than your new wall color and install in the back of the wall cabinets with glass doors. This should make the kitchen look lighter and larger.

5. You can purchase a heavy type of contact paper that looks like ss to upgrade the look of your dishwasher. Design of a Dime used this trick frequently. I believe that is the product other posters are referring to here.

Please post the "updated" kitchen when you're finished.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 12:10AM
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1) Paint the walls some neutral color
2) remove the trim and valance
3) replace the lighting fixtures and cabinet hardware with matching lighting and hardware, maybe nickel

The cabinets are nice quality with glass doors.
I can't see the details about the countertop.
The house looks nice with really bold paint colors that look dated.

After you paint, you can see if it is necessary to do anything else.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Three years ago, knowing we would be selling, I redid a kitchen that was far worse than your folks'. The b&a, with photos and details in on the link. I'm an ID and brought it in exactly on budget.

You've had a ton of suggestions. The best one I received was from a colleague who advised to do the least amount of work because the new owner would likely rip out the kitchen anyway. I followed that advice, which proved to be true.

I feel your parents kitchen could be dramatically improved for less than $1000 and with no major construction. What can/should be done really depends on the budget and the assessment of gain that an updated kitchen would bring to the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Old New Kitchen

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:11AM
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You have a lot of great ideas from those above. About the paint - one of the issues with all that red paint is that red is not easy to cover - I would not want to tackle that job! So, getting rid of the red will be a big plus...but it's not as simple as just painting over it.

Hopefully now that I've brought this up, others will chime in to tell you how to do it - I have a vague idea, but I'd rather those who know for certain tell you the process!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Wouldn't a good quality primer take care of the red? I haven't used it, but one of the big box stores was promoting that a lot, a few months back...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Here's another idea to throw into the mix. It seems very popular these days to have two-toned kitchens with different color wall vs base cabinets. You could leave all the wall cabs (esp glass) in the oak, and paint just the lowers a low-sheen black.

Paint all the walls creamy white. Really try to lose the spindle rail on top of the uppers, but if you can't then paint it black and install a black strip of something behind it to make it appear more solid, perhaps with a small strip of battery powered lighting tucked in there for drama.

Swap the knobs and pulls for something nickel or chrome, (Ikea has some modern but budget choices), swap the lights, and if the budget allows, add some mirrors in the back of the glass uppers to give a more modern vibe. Only if none of that gets a sale would I consider the counters.

They may be sad to leave their cozy home and I wish them well!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 7:24PM
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I had the exact mauve walls in the 90's. they were even lacquered--gives me the shivers just to think about it. Those same walls are now white. Benjamin Moore primer and paint. Nothing complicated. Worked great.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 8:08PM
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I showed my parents every reply here. They are so grateful for all of the feedback. I'm going to help them as much as I can but I live 10 hours away so a lot of my help has to be from afar. My dad is going to start painting this week. He's going to get a good primer for the wall first so hopefully after that 2 coats of paint should work.

They are going to remove all of the stuff mentioned off the walls and counter. They will have only a bowl of fruit on the counter and some plants. They are getting two barstools to put at the counter also.

They were going to replace the hardware but as mentioned here, it's so hard to know what the new owners will want. So for now they are going to just cover up that brass. They are going to remove the handles, spray them with oil rubbed bronze spray paint and put them back on. Just being a different color should help.

For the walls they are deciding between Benjamin Moore rich cream or BMs Crisp Khaki.

They are taking the spindles and valance down.

They are getting a stainless steel cover for the dishwasher but my mom was concerned about finding one that fits right. I'm going to help them.

They are also going to replace the light and the fan. I was thinking of maybe doing a pendant light over the sink like this

or this

but I'm not sure.

I will definitely show you updated pictures when they are done! We owe you all that much for all of the great input!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Smiling that is a good idea about painting the lower cabinets. That would look good. That is something we can definitely consider. I've personally always liked the look!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 9:25PM
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I agree w/ the consensus of others who suggested painting and updating existing light fixtures and cab hardware (I like your parents' plan to just paint the existing hardware--economical and will look fine).

However-- I would caution you about painting the cabs. That can be a time consuming, labor intensive process, and would, at a minimum, incur costs for prep supplies (i.e. cleaning supplies, sandpaper, brushes), primer, and paint. And in a worst case scenario, what if the buyers actually love stained cabs--and now half of them are painted :-o Or, what if they love painted cabs, but they don't like the color you choose... Just sounds like it could be a lot of extra work w/out any real gain, especially since it looks like the cabinets are in great shape.

Just my $0.02 :-)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Check out for pendants.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Don't paint the lower cabinets! It is a nice look, but there are a lot of people that don't like it. And it is definitely too much work for cabinets in good condition to start.
Don't change the counters! I would run screaming from busy laminate; the white, although out of style, is much easier on the eye and won't distract from the great floors and cabinets.

If you still need a paint suggestion, I have had very good luck in selling 2 homes painted in Glidden Navajo White (have it mixed at SW or BM for a better quality). It is a soothing warm green-white that makes a nice backdrop. I've used it in rooms with all sorts of different light to medium woods and had it work. I certainly wouldn't choose any color that is darker than that. I would paint the chair rail the same color as the walls.

I second using the restore-a-finish or something similar. Make sure every inch is sparkling clean! Don't forget the interior AND exteriors of the windows.

Your dishwasher looks pretty similar to mine: if it is, the white front is changeable with pieces that slide into the trim. If you still have the owner's manual it should show how.

I think that your table and chairs are attractive and should look nice with the darker hardware. They seem a little small for the space though under that big expanse of wall; is there a leaf that can go into the table? It might look larger once the wall are lighter, though.

The picture above the table also seems lost in that space. Can you borrow, buy or create a larger painting/print, or better yet, a grouping? Maybe find a large calendar with nice photos (birds, flowers, botanical) that you can frame inexpensively to make a larger grouping over the table. Or check out Target, Pier 1, World Market, even ebay for inexpensive prints (even paintings can be very cheap on ebay!)

Can you find a pair of something like a plant stand or pot rack, (not too big, don't want to make the space seem limited), to tuck into the corners on that wall? to frame the table and give that space a more finished look. Maybe even a pair of floor lamps? That is all I can suggest for staging.

The rest of your plans sound perfect. Resist the impulse to do more -- keep it simple -- people like simple!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 2:12PM
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raee these are all great suggestions! I never noticed the picture above the table being too small but you are right. I'm going to ask my mom about the leaf in the table. I'm also going to send her this post with your other suggestions.

They actually were looking a soft green paint for the wall because we noticed how nice green looks against oak cabinets. But we wanted a super soft, muted greenish tan. So far my mom is liking the Behr's Green Tea a lot. I also liked BM's Saybrook sage. I will look at the Navajo White for sure because it sound very pretty and like what we are looking for.

My dad has started with priming and it's proving to be a daunting take covering up the red. I will definitely update here when their kitchen is done. I'm so excited to see the final result. It's going to be amazing.
Thank you!

This post was edited by LonelyGoatherd on Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 21:51

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Please, not green. I like green and have chosen it for myself from time to time, but I've never liked a green that was chosen by someone else. Keep it simple, neutral and light. Light gray, or the Navaho white paint, new fan and light, remove spindle rail. I don't hate the hardware, but could never see past that paint, so I'd love to see pictures when it is all gone.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:15PM
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A few very inexpensive suggestions. New hardware always updates cabinets, bronze hardware looks very nice with oak. If you change out the hardware, you might want to also change the faucet to match. Being that your parents have a chair rail up in the kitchen dining area, maybe paint the bottom half two shades darker than the top half, blues, grays & soft greens go well with oak, they are complimentary colors for oak cabinetry & also look so nice with white doors & trims. I would take down the trim work on the top of the cabinets, also the valance above the sink, unless you like a more country look for the kitchen, some people love that look and maybe find a nice roman shade to put on the window. Replace the fan & light, someone mentioned a pendent light, that would look nice, or if you had a bit more wiggle room in the budget, maybe some recessed can lights in the ceiling? The floor is beautiful, I wouldn't change that & as far as the counters, if you wanted to, they make LOTS of laminate countertops that look just like marble/granite, but, I'd keep it a neutral color. Honestly, the counters could stay #1 they're white, so it's very easy to put anything with them and # it could run you more money than you'd like to spend, even for some laminates & the future home owners might want to change it anyway, so, I'd keep it unless you really want to change it. if you do some of these things, you'll be amazed at how much different your kitchen will look. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:38PM
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Another Example :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:40PM
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I would remove the trim at the top or side of the dishwasher door (it is removable somewhere, just differs from brand to brand) and see if you might be lucky and find different colored panels behind the white one. Years ago, we bought a used house with a d/w that looked a bit like that one and were pleasantly surprised to find that the "flip side" of the white panels were almond and there was another panel behind each (large front panel and lower little one) that was black on one side and s/s on the other. Maybe your folks will luck out! If not, and the panels are easily removable, I would see about painting them black (with inexpensive appliance paint) since that would at least match the side color of the fridge and stove.

My initial thought on the hardware is either paint them satin black or brushed nickel. Presuming the faucet is nickel or chrome, introducing ORB in a kitchen that already has black and s/s seems like too much to me. I found some great "packs of 25" matching satin nickel hardware on Craig's List that worked great for a flip I helped a friend with and worked out to under $2 each which might be easier than painting them.

I wouldn't replace the counters, at least not with laminate. I agree with another poster that if the house doesn't sell after painting and better staging, go with a neutral level 1 granite. Often, deals are out there for installed level 1 at $29 s/f which is not a whole lot more than a good "granite look" laminate. I, for one, do not like laminate counters at all, so if I bought that house I'd rip them out no matter what. I'm not careful enough with hot pans and such to go back to laminate.

Perhaps a roman shade over the window with an inexpensive round table cloth to coordinate (I just got a great one for $9 at Walmart) to tie the rooms together. On light fixtures, maybe try to coordinate with the milky glass in the fixture above the table (I can't tell what metal color that is).

I agree with removing most of the decorative stuff, but I wouldn't remove it all. You want it to feel lived in, not lifeless.

Just some more thoughts... your head must be spinning! Looking forward to the reveal.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:07AM
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I saw a pair of small cabinets in this last week's Lowes ad that might be just the sort of thing for the dining room. Lowe's showed them flanking the vanity. There were about $125 each. Something similar to this anyway, these might be too "bathroom" in real life with their tops.

Every paint company has their version of "Navajo White" by the way. Some are more yellow, some are even pinkish, but I have the Glidden version in one of my bedrooms now and it is a soft pale green (yes I think there are tan undertones). It is more green in real life that it looks on the web.

Here is a link that might be useful: something like this?

This post was edited by raee on Fri, Sep 6, 13 at 12:05

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Just curious - how did it turn out?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 9:16AM
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We just remodeled our kitchen. Our cabinets are over 30 years old. But everyone thinks they are new. We changed the hardware, Added new black granite counter tops. It made our kitchen pop. Change the wall colors. Take off the trim on top of cabinets. Sand and paint the cabinets. Make the bar bigger by adding a granite counter top that hangs over the area for eating area. Add bar stools. Have the rest of the counter tops hang over the cabinets. Not Even with the cabinets. Change the lighting in that area. When we put the black counter top in our kitchen, it made the cabinets pop. and look so beautiful. We love our kitchen so much now.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 1:32PM
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Replace the boob light over the sink with one of these. It looks like a nice recessed lamp, but actually it fits right into the small electrical box that's already above the existing lamp fixture - thanks to the small size of LEDs it takes up almost no depth and doesn't need a traditional "can" to fit into. It's also bright and uses only 12 watts. Advertising "LED lighting" helps make your kitchen sound modern.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 2:32PM
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