Kitchen/Bath Remodel - Cabinets/Countertops that are "Timeless"

yorkiemikiSeptember 14, 2013

Hi gang,

I'm about to remodel my kitchen. I'm trying to figure out if I want to keep the old 1950s cabinets or go with something newer or more "modern".

I think to save money I'll hire people separately, like electric, plumbing, Floors, countertops and try to do as much stuff as I can myself.

Anyways any tips on saving money buy making the remodel nice would help or any pics that you recommend ;)

Also I was wondering about countertops/ cabinets. It seems like all white cabinets were out of style in the early 2000s and all dark cabinets were kind of "in" in the past 5 years. But now it seems like white cabinets with a dark counter is more "in" currently.

Would you say this is sort of a "trend"? What color combinations or styles will be "timeless"

It also seems like granite counters are out and quartz or manufactured natural solid materials are more "in"? Am I correct on this or is this not true?

Do you think that there are certain materials that are truly timeless?

Material options for counters: Naturals--soapstone, marble, granite, slate OR "man made"-- caesarstone, quartz, silestone. I'm in Los Angeles and it seems that granite is a lot cheaper then quartz or manufactured cesarstone options?

Do you think any of the materials could go out of style in a few years or granite might "return"?

I like granites that have lots of veins in them and are different from the cookie cutter spotted types that u see in every kitchen in Los Angeles. I also like dark and light beige/ white quartz but I wonder if quartz could go out of style?

Any other ideas?

Also does it save money to go with the pre-made cabinets from Home Depot/Lowes. Like the 'Hampton Bay' ones or is it just as cheap to order from a custom cabinet place.

Any resources, pics info or advice would be appreciated greatly!

Thanks so much!

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Honestly, I wouldn't worry so much about what's in style and what's and instead get the cabinets, counters, etc that you like and that fit your budget.

Like most things in get what you pay the shelf cabinets from Lowes/HD will of course be less expensive but most likely wont hold up as well or be as well contructed as semi or custom cabinets.

My guess is that your 60 year old cabinets have seen better days. And they will look worse surrounded by all new materials.

And are you happy with the current layout? You have your work cut out for you and need to do a lot of research and shopping to learn as much as you can about all of the options/materials, etc before diving in.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 1:16AM
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Something you like (and have always liked) is the closest you'll get to timeless, IMHO :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Ditto on the timeless. Right now we are thinking of the kitchens of the early last century (ie slate or soapstone or dark counters, wooden or linoleum floors etc) as timeless -- and they are, to my eye anyway-- but there was a good chunk of the last century when that design aesthetic just looked *old* to people.

So, go with what you like since there will be no predicting of trends in ten years! Who knows, even harvest gold and avocado might come back, or pink and black tile!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 9:45PM
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I am a bit of a rebel in that if it is the latest thing I don't want it. If it was never "in" can it go "out"? lol

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 10:52PM
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White cabinets are timeless. They have been around for centuries. If your cabinets are in good condition but ugly, you can always have them restored, either painted or stained. Well made cabinets, when properly restored, will look as new as the decor you surround them with. Painted cabinets are back in style. As for countertops, granite is timeless. It has been around for ages and ages. Some of the granite countertops in Europe are over 500 years old! Talk about timeless!
Does the layout work for you? This is probably the biggest decision you can make. It will determine the look, where you can use your existing cabinets, and the functionality of your kitchen/bathroom.
It sounds like you prefer exotic granites. Their look tends to come in and go out, but they always return. Depending on the look you are going for, choose an exotic, with neutral shades. That way when the next owner comes in they don't have to either replace the orange or blue countertops, they can just use their existing decor to fit in with your countertops.
Alaskan White, one of my favorites is a gorgeous stone, white background with dark brown spots and darker veining. It will give you the white which is always "in" and brown as a grounding facet. Most wood furniture is brown.
There are so many different kinds of granites out there. Just go online to a supplier and investigate what they keep in stock. You won't be able to buy directly from them, they can only sell to fabricators, but you can see them up close. This aspect of kitchen/bath remodeling is time consuming, but the rewards are that each and every day you see what you have chosen and a smile reaches your face.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Trends come and go, but I think in general, functionality in a kitchen is more important than anything else. You can't go wrong with lots of neutral colors, so you can always change up the accessories to give it a different feel. I think white cabinets and a neutral countertop a few shades darker give the space a nice airy feel.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 5:08PM
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Thanks everyone and Ror I love the Alaskan white, thats something I'd like to put in my kitchen.

I've spent the past few weeks looking at magazines etc.

I've never done a major kitchen remodel. I got a bunch of quotes from contractors, but I think I want to try to do work myself as much as possible (like demo, tile, possibly hanging countertops?) then sub out electrical, plumbing, countertop fabrication etc whatever is needed to save money.

As far as cabinets, I like the 'Shaker' style and think it's modern in some ways but also very classic. I found some company Cabinets To Go which has them pretty cheap from china, but they're all wood/ plywood siding. Has anyone heardd of them or recommend them for someone with a budget? Also any other recommendations? This Cabinets to Go place was cheaper than Home Depot and also home depot just had pressed wood siding for similar model cabinets.

I was wondering how easy this would be for someone with intermediate experience to hang cabinets?

Also would it be a good idea to re-drywall or re-plumbing uderneath the cabinets first since I'll be removing all the old cabinets?

Some contractors recommended re-drywall, replumbing, rewiring underneath the cabinets while others said it isn't necessary.

Also do you have recommendations for where to get cabinets, and COUNTERTOPS. I"m thinking of doing granite, and was thinking about going to granite yards and checking out slabs. Are there any tips as to what thickness I should go for? Do big box stores like home depot have good pricing for granite?

Any other recommendations are appreciated

You were right Joanie that its tons of work and decisions

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:12AM
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Before you start worrying about finishes ... Does the kitchen layout work for you?

Nothing says "dated" like a teensy 1-butt kitchen with a poor layout. Now is the time to decide whether appliances are in the right spot, whether walls can or need to be moved or removed.

Then, when you have a layout that works as well as the space and budget allows, evaluate what's in good enough condition to keep and what must go.

Than, and only then, worry about the looks.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:29PM
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We are just finishing a kitchen reno in our old house (1870) and wanted a classic/timeless look that would suit the age of the house for years to come.
We opted for Shaker cabinets which I think are classic because of their simplicity. The base cabinets are black, the uppers white with some glass doors.
For for the countertop we decided on thick maple butcher block. I think most stone/quartz countertops, although beautiful, look "modern" and may one day look dated, but maybe that's just me.
There are also many beautiful glass mosaic backsplashes out there but again, I worried that they will one day look a bit dated so we are installing beadboard.
Good luck with your reno!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:43PM
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I'm in LA also and got quotes from Pico Cabinets for custom cabinets and then Home Despot and Lowes and was shocked that there was not a huge difference in price between custom and their pre-fab and semi-custom. To save money we are going with Ikea, which seems well reviewed, and putting more money into appliances and countertops. I agree with people who say you need to go with what pleases you. It's what you'll be seeing every morning when you stumble out of bed. Sets the mood for the day.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Cool thanks guys I think I'm going to go with a "Shaker" style either expresso dark or white/offwhite.

Also for counter I like the higher grade granites. Does anyone have recommendations on where to shop for these or what they should cost?

Also has anyone heard of "Cabinets to Go" ? Supposedly they're solid wood/ plywood base but made in China. They seem to have the best prices but I was wondering about quality?

I plan on having a contractor remove a wall to open up the space to living area and having a little area to eat with the counter extending over the cabinets where the wall is opened.

Any other tips for remodeling would be helpful? I'm doing a lot of the work myself and hopefully will be able to go for higher grade materials for counter and appliances by saving on labor and cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 2:44AM
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Well, for granite/quartz etc pricing, I would say first narrow down to stones that you like -- go see them at the yards on your own-- then "let your fingers do the walking" (remember that ad for the yellow pages?). Start calling or emailing fabricators. Pricing for the same stone, from the same yard, varies wildly (like $20-30 per square foot!) from fabricator to fabricator. Plus ask if and how much they charge you to make the sink cut out, edges, etc. One may have a lower sq.ft. charge but add on a charge for every aspect of the install. I have found that, in my area, HD and Lowes are not the least expensive but not the most -- sort of the low middle.

Have you tried doing a Bing or Google search for Cabinets to Go Reviews?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Would you be willing to post a layout? Or are you completely satisfied with the way the kitchen functions now? You mentioned taking down a wall - will you be putting in an island or peninsula?

As others said, getting the function right is the first step - appearance and finishes come later.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:05AM
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You are right that the layout is most important.

Right now it is a small condo with a flow through kitchen with walls on both sides. One wall which is adjacent to the neighbor has the sink microwave etc. The wall which is adjacent to living room has the Fridge, Stove and the wall which I want to remove partially just up to where the fridge currently is.

I would also take out the oven and instead leave that as more counterspace. Where I open the wall there will be no upper cabinets but I'll have a hanging exhaust.

I'm totally open to any suggestions as I haven't done this before. i just figured that an open layout with the wall would be beneficial.

I attached some pictures

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:48AM
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I'm not sure how to post multiple pics to one post

Here's a pic from dining room as you can see this kitchen flows towards bath. The right side is adjacent to neighbor, left side adjacent to living room, where I want to remove most of wall up to fridge, also I want to extend counter top out towrds living room to make a sort of eating area

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:50AM
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these photos make the fridge look even smaller than it is but I believe its about 9 feet long....I need to get exact measurements later.

I was also going to extend cabinets 18 inches into dining room

Also the oven on this left side will be lowered to allow more counter space. No upper cabinets on left side so it makes it almost like an "island" with stove top (but really it's more of a peninsula butting from the fridge not a true island)

This post was edited by yorkiemiki on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 1:56

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:51AM
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taken from hallway to bathroo looking towards dining area

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:53AM
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