Kitchen questions - so confused!

rosemarynjOctober 7, 2013

I am having knocked down two walls in my kitchen to make an open kitchen. I already have light maple cabinets that are 42 in that were put in 7 years ago. Now I am going to have new counters put in with Caesarstone Ocean foam - 6ft by 3.5 feet with Ogee edge and base will be 24 by 52in as I want to be able to put 6 back counter stools around it. My living dining room that it opens into has 18th Century Heritage Mahogany furniture. I hope this open area will look OK opening into this living dining room.? what do you think? The hard wood floor will all match with natural light color. I now need to buy lighting for over the island (actually seating area). Any suggestions as it will be right next to a large dining table in the 18th C Mohogany that has large brass chandelier with many candelabra bulbs. Any suggestions of what kind of lighting to put over island? I am not sleeping nights worrying about how all this will look as I really can't afford to replace all my living and dining room furniture. Also losing so much wall space as have to eliminate a pretty curio cabinet that I liked and server that in dining room that was on the wall that is being torn down. Please tell me this is all going to look well together.

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    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Hard to follow what you're describing without a drawing or pictures, but it's very difficult to have enough space at most kitchen islands to accommodate 6 barstools. Frankly, unless it's a party, I don't even want 6 people in my kitchen at the same time.

Each stool requires about 2' of space, for 6 stools 12ft, that is 144", to be able to place 6 stools at the counter if you're doing food prep on the other side of the island. You describe a top that is 72" long, and that will accommodate 3 stools with backs. You can force in a 4th depending on seat size, but it will looked cramped if the stools have backs.

As an example I have attached a picture of an island that is slightly smaller than an aircraft carrier with 5 stools positioned in front of it.

I can certainly understand you losing sleep. I recommend that you assemble a master plan, complete with layout and dimensions, so you know you can actually accomplish your goals.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 10:54AM
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I don't think an open kitchen goes with 18th Century style furniture, IMHO. It sounds like your house is decorated in a formal style. It's really hard to get an open kitchen to blend gracefully with that.

Why do you want to tear down the walls?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Two wood finishes (light and dark) in rooms open to one another, can be a challenge. Could you paint the kitchen cabinets a soft ivory color? A warm white would look good with the dark wood furniture and the floors. Maybe a more neutral counter top (is Ocean foam a light green/blue?) and think about bringing your darker, more traditional colors into the kitchen.

With mahogany and brass in the dining room, what about bringing some accents into the kitchen? Maybe the island could be mahogany and perimeter cabinets could be the warm white. You could use brass in the light fixtures or maybe an antique brass on the hardware (not quite so shiny). The counter tops would be beautiful in a granite or more subdued, neutral Ceasarstone. Possibly a marble or granite on the island?

If you plan for the kitchen to blend with the other finishes (now that the walls are down) you might even be able to include your pretty curio in the kitchen...possibly in an area by the dining room. I'd consider wrought iron, too...simple and elegant, maybe for the stools?

A few examples of warm white and dark wood, in the kitchen :) From Farmhouse plans

From [Farmhouse plans]( From [Farmhouse plans](
    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Beverly21 The island will have stools all around it - not really a work island - there will be a 10 in overhang with island cabinet under it. Maybe it is not called an island. So two counter ht. chairs on each side and one at each end.
rosylady - too late walls are now down and can't afford to replace the 18th C Mohoghany but as an added not it is a rather plain 18thC - not real ornate.
lavender_lass - very helpful suggestions. The cabinets are a rather light maple so I think they blend with brown wood in dining area. The island is already being made the same light maple - more whitish than golden maple. Maybe I should buy brown wood back stools??? what do you think? I went to a lighting store today and they suggested a chandelier over island similar to your second picture over table with antique brass and some crystals hanging - I think that may work and blend with shinier brass one over dining table. What do you think?
The Caesarstone is not green or blue more neutral like an eggshell with little dots - I can also change that as hasn't been cut. Contractor suggested Ocean foam, eggshell, Quartz reflections or Nougat. Any suggestions?
I really appreciate answers to my stress signals!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:04PM
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At least 15" is recommended knee space for counter height sitting. Also, this is no set size for a counter height stool so determine what size you need before you start looking.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Ok, walls are down:) Sarah Richardson did a great kitchen on her show Design Inc. It was a formal kitchen next to a rather open very formal dining room. The house was new, but built in a Georgian style. you may want to check that out online if you can find it.

For light fixtures, maybe brass? It's coming back in style. Also, does your dining room have window treatments, like curtains? Can you add curtains or fabric window treatments in your kitchen for a dressier look?

Also, can you display china or dishes in your kitchen, maybe in glass cabinets or a hutch? That can carry a more formal look into your kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:11PM
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