Push me- with updates so it's less 90s/country

hilltop_gwOctober 27, 2012

I dream of doing something different with my kitchen so it's less "country" but I do live in the country and the reality of the work is overwhelming . Everything in the house is oak (typical for our area) so I'd love suggestions on the easiest/least expensive to best changes to update it. Here are some things I've considered:

  • Redoing island with Rustoleum's cabinet transformation in pure white w/ glaze or Gel stain in Java. I consider doing all the cabinets but that would be a lot of work. (I'm afraid the Java would be too dark to do on all). When painting or gel staining cabinets do you do all of the cabinet interiors as well?

  • Replace the wooden "frame" by light fixture with medallion (hole was cut in wrong place during build and this was builders fix to cover it up)

  • Change out the light fixture with?

  • Repaint the orange walls with what color to tone down the oak?

  • Replace the teapots in soffit area with?

  • Change out the corner stained glass (has brass caning) to a different style- suggestions?

    The oak floors and Corian Tumbleweed counters and wall tile will stay. We won't be moving so this is it.

    I'm shopping for a new table/chairs and credenza today.

I love the cleaner lines of this set from Macy's but it's too big for my area.

Macy's Scottsdale Collection

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I would fix the dry wall in the ceiling so I didn't need a frame or a medallion.
I would replace the fixture over the island with something more contemporary.
Your cabinets are nice and of good quality. The island seems like it is not as high of a construction level. I think you could add some panels to it to beef it up. You could get unfinished panels from Scherrs or Barker, some chunky legs might be cool too. If you decide to paint it I might think about black, it would look nice with your light countertop as would a gel stain in Java(I have not heard good things about the Rustoleum products durability). You do not need to do the interiors unless they have glass doors.
Speaking of glass doors, I can't see the corner cabinet well, but from your comment, I assume that what you dislike about it is the brass. At your local craft store they will have something you can rub on or use a tiny brush to change the color, you could make it look leaded. Can't remember what it is called, but when I have used it came in a tiny jar(like model paint) but I rubbed on with my fingertips, it was pasty in consistency.
A bigger change, which would consider some thought about space needs would be to remove the cabinet over the stove and maybe the two narrow flanking cupboards and get a wall mount chimney hood.
I would get rid of the orange spice paint color, though I love that color, for something lighter to tie in to your light backsplash and countertop. Something light with undertones from those items, which I cna't pinpoint from your photo.
Your teapots are cute. If you love them keep them, but get them up higher and vary the heights they are displayed at.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 10:32AM
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laura mcleod

What a wonderful open space! Love your floors. You have so great things to work with - these types of changes are so personal, but IF it were me and I wanted to take the country vibe down a notch, here is what I would probably do:

Remove the teapots on the sofits and not replace them with anything. Clean and open up there.

I would take off the corner cabinet door and just that cab leave open - probably paint the interior of the cabinet a warm white to show off what is on display.

I would have someone patch and fix the ceiling and hang 2 casual black lanterns over the peninsula

I would introduce some painted surfaces to break up the wood - and your idea of changing the island is a great one. I'd be tempted to paint the island black to bring a little sleekness to the space. If not black then creamy white, but I would go for crisp and painted (No glaze) - again personal preference

Also, I would introduce some high quality rugs into the space - either a simple jute or some wonderful orientals to break up the wood.

I would also change out the island seating (again personal preference) and would go for something boxier with cleaner lines (maybe the Marcello counter stool from Ballard in that black Arden pattern that is so crisp)

I would be tempted to take off one set up upper doors and leaving a set of cabs open (maybe over the DW if that is where I kept my dishes) - paint the interior creamy white and showing off some dishes (again to break up the wood).

I am not sure about the paint color esp with the backsplash - maybe just a warm white (one of my favs is SW Honied White) but here are some amazing paint experts on GW that will give great advice on that. :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 10:33AM
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You are lucky to have such a nice space already! The floor is pretty, your window and view are great, and you have tons of countertop real estate.
I agree with much of what's been mentioned. The ceiling must be repaired. That was not an OK fix to start with. The eye immediately goes there. Once that's done with a fixture you really like (choices are endless) the difference will amaze you. I also agree, your cabinets look nice, and it is probably the recessed arch on your doors that makes it feel '90s. That in and of itself would not bother me enough to deal with. You could take off a few and see how that feels to you. However, the island looks like it dropped in from another kitchen. It doesn't seem to "go" in the space. I'd either dress it up as mentioned or go with a new one if it's in the budget, probably one with beefy legs, maybe shelving on an end and a large butcherblock top. New stools would also fit the space better than your current island chairs.

If you still like the teapots, keep them, but I would lighten the wall paint color to provide more contrast to the cabinetry and your display items.

Overall, you have a relatively easy probject that shouldn't be very time consuming. Again, you are lucky to be starting with such a nice kitchen. Good luck and be sure to post pictures of the after!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:20AM
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I really appreciate the comments!
You're right about the island not being high quality. I think I'll go ahead and paint that as a starter. I can always recoat it if we mar it up. I'll see what I can find to "beef it up" when I go shopping today. I'd thought about beadboard, but that just adds to the country feel. Thanks for the suggestion of Scherr's and Barkers - never heard of them so I checked out their website.

And I've got some Divine White paint on hand that seems to blend with the counter. I've all day tomorrow with hubby gone so maybe I'll jump right into it.

While I do like the teapots, they've been there for years. And they do get dusty!

I'm ready for clean lines and a change! And yes some sleekness! I'd contemplated taking off cabinet doors or even entire cabinets--my husband will probably think I'm losing it if I actually do it!
Keep pushing!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Altho I think espresso/dark cabinets will scream 2010s, I don't think you'd need to worry about darkness.

You have such a bright open space! Remember that any change is going to seem overwhelming, particularly after so long.

Paint, first, is your friend. Sometimes just changing the colors can negate the need for huge, expensive overhauls.

Fancy up your island. That corner cab thing about removing the door (or glassing it) would be a perfect place to display those pretty tea pots where they wouldn't get so dusty.

You have so many options! :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 1:27PM
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You have a beautiful kitchen as it is and it really doesn't need much. I think either green or blue walls wold look great, or even a medium toned beige. I agree about the oak around the light figure looks odd. You could try painting it the ceiling color and see how that looks. If it doesn't look good, have the ceiling fixed.

You could also spray paint the light figure. My daughter had a shiny brass figure in her dining room that she spray painted glossy white and it turned out wonderfully! Black might also look good.

Take down the teapots and live with the bare for a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:20PM
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You could try to paint paint the oak frame in the ceiling the same color as the ceiling to see if it blends in

It's hard to see your cabinet hardware but you might think about changing the color or style.

A light green paint color would look great and freshen things up. Here is a photo from a cabinet website.

Is there a cabinet hanging from the ceiling in the far left of the photo? I would consider pulling that down.

I think just a few tweaks will make a big difference.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Your island looks like it is just parked there. I agree with beefing it up--or at least getting some good floor trim to trim it out at the base.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:21PM
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You could try to paint paint the oak frame the same color as the ceiling to see if it blends in

It's hard to see your cabinet hardware but you might think about changing the color or style.

A light green paint color would look great and freshen things up. Here is a photo from a cabinet website.

Is there a cabinet hanging from the ceiling in the far left of the photo? I would consider pulling that down. You have plenty of other cabinet space.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Updating the island with some molding, beadboard, paint, etc will make a huge difference. Beadboard does not always read country. I like the makeover in the attached link. Just for ideas!

Here is a link that might be useful: Island makeover

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Nice kitchen.

If I could, I would really redo the island....get rid of it entirely and replace it with something that is even beefier. You have room for a larger one. I'd put a granite top on it with an overhang and legs to really make it the important statement piece it could be for your kitchen, and put all the chairs on the same side. Make it one height, counter height.

I agree about getting the ceiling fixed and I'd replace the fixtures with 2 over the new island...I love art glass to add sparkle, and coordinate with the glass-fronted corner cab. Make sure they are hung at the right height (the one that's there is too high). Get something more contemporary...

I think localeater was thinking of rub 'n' buff to change the color of the brass caming on the corner cabinet.

If you decide to paint the wall, then you might want to paint out the window trim as well...otherwise it will really stand out...right now it blends in with the wall color.

I agree about area rugs as well to add more color to the floor...maybe pick a color from the rug to put on the wall.

Rug from overstock.com (polypropylene for cleanability) Green Ushak

Paint color: BM Central Park

Teapots should just go, especially the chickens as they scream country.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 4:41PM
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If you really want to "modernize" the space, then get new doors that don't have the arch and that you or a local cabinet person can finish to match the boxes (or gel stain the boxes to match the new doors). You can then do applied doors on the side of the cabinets, and order additional cabinets to go on top of the existing cabinets. Then add molding so that there is no gap between the cabinets and the ceiling. Order some oak paneling for the refrigerator sides to panel in the refrigerator when you are ordering the cabinet doors.

For the island, do the same with ordering new doors, but for the finish, choose a different color, and maybe do it in a paint, like a red or blue with a glaze. Pull a color out of the stained glass in the corner. I would also investigate having a stained glass artist replace the plain glass in the spiderweb window above the sink with art glass to echo the stained glass, and do art glass pendants above the island.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:44PM
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That island doesn't look horribly large, you could make a big shift in looks just by beefing it up as mentioned and adding some granite. Visit a local granite yard and bring your island measurements. Ask to see some remnants that would work for that size. They should have some to look at, and it should be very reasonable. You could even pick something wild or expensive, but because of the size it will still end up pretty reasonable. Or ask for marble or other material if you prefer.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:53PM
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I really like your space! You have a lot of really good things to work with in such a large open floorplan.

I agree on a sagey green for the walls. It really complements the tones of oak.

I would either put beadboard on the island and paint/stain it, or else maybe consider a larger island if it's in the budget.

Pendants over the island would look fabulous. Yes, the ceiling needs to be repaired.

A beautiful long runner with some green in it in front of the sink would really warm up the space.

Maybe a glass shop could make you a new/more modern corner cabinet door? That should not be expensive, probably $100.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 10:49PM
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To update your island, maybe some legs? Check out the samples on this site, I ordered 2 sets of corbels from them and have been very pleased.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:16PM
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