Kitchen update - seeking opinions

MarinaGalNovember 18, 2012

Hi all,

We are updating a kitchen in a house we recently purchased. I am attaching some photos I took prior to closing, not great, but they give an idea of what we are working with. We are replacing floor (Marmoleum most likely), countertops (white quartz on the perimeter and most likely a gray on the kitchen island), lighting, cabinet hardware, sinks, and faucets. I am trying to create a more modern look. We are not changing the layout, which is functional and workable for us. The butler's pantry is directly off the kitchen - the main kitchen sink and the butler's pantry sink are along the same window wall.

I am trying to decide how to give the kitchen and the butler's pantry their own look, given that the cabinets are identical. I was originally planning to separate the spaces with different countertops - putting white quartz on the kitchen perimeter cabinets, and gray quartz on the island and butler's pantry. However, I think I prefer the white quartz in the butler's pantry as well, and definitely want it on the kitchen perimeter tops. I could change cabinet hardware and use a different sink and faucet style in the butler's pantry. Or, I could look at a different floor or painting/staining the butler's pantry cabinets. I have decided against painting the main kitchen cabinets, but I may paint the bank of cabinets against the back wall to match the wall color we ultimately select, thereby reducing the impact of all of the cherry stained wood. I think my head is just tired of thinking through the options at this point - so would welcome ideas and opinions.

(Undoubtedly, some of you will notice the lack of venting for the island rangetop. That took hours and hours of research, several technical consultations, and repeated visits to appliance stores to resolve - but we do have a plan for it!)


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I'd paint the island either black or white. Don't paint the butler's pantry area. I'd do the counters white with darker on the island, and used brushed nickel or chrome hardware.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:47PM
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the biggest gain would be window treatments, architectural wood beams on the ceiling and hardwood floors in main kitchen. I don't see marmoleum-the kitchen is high end and some of the exotic hardwoods with some beams at the ceiling would be fabulous. Marmoleum would be a contrast for the pantry that would work.I don't see any net gain pulling and replacing counters. Nice kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Other then needing to add venting, I really like your kitchen the way it is!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 6:56AM
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IMO, and it's prolly a personal quirk, the single thing that most dates the kitchen is the refrigerator. I'd look to replacing the doors on it. Stainless or glass doors or a combination.

Other than that, I would want some doors on the wall cabs in the butler's pantry. Lighter countertops would be nice. And, I would want to change the flooring. Not wood because I think there is such a thing as 'too much wood'. A stone look vinyl would be plenty OK with me. Easy to maintain, relatively inexpensive...easy to change out later when you get tired of it...and, since I have four-legged beasts, I like dog-friendly stuff. Purists are gonna roll over & die with a suggestion for vinyl flooring, though. :)

Oh, and before you commit to Marmoleum, search out a recent thread about Rhome's experience w/ Marmoleum.

Don't care for the two leveled island. With the addition of ventilation, a must have, it's going to get busy looking. One level would help minimize that BUT, with the cooker on the island, maybe leaving it as is would be the best thing.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:10AM
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We like modern as well, and I think you're definitely heading in the right direction! The quartz will make a huge difference, just make sure the white plays well with the reddish tone of those cabinets. It depends on the brightness of the white, and I'd also play with some light grays.

As for the marmoleum, I disagree with other posters that it isn't right for this space. I think it's a great product and would look great here in the right color...try to find one that is rather monotone. Rhome's issues with marmo were with click, which I think is kind of predictable...that product has channels that could (apparently do) allow seepage into the cork underneath. Kitchens are prone to spills. Maybe not the best combo. We have sheet and the dog's spills pool up on top until I wipe them up.

As for separating out the butler's pantry, there are a couple of great options. Backsplash? Or a very swell wallpaper? I'm no longer a fan of painted cabinet doors, as ours looked worse and worse over time, so I wouldn't do that. And those glass doors call for bottles of booze and decorative glassware...

Good luck! You have a lot to work with!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I disagree with ci lantro. A paneled fridge is always in style as it ijust part of the cabinetry and fades inot the back ground.
You are on the right track with chaning the counters and floors.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Thanks, everyone - great feedback....

gmp3 - I am planning on white countertops everywhere but the island where I plan to have gray. I will definitely use brushed nickel or chrome - more modern bar pulls most likely. I think that will help modernize the kitchen.

herbflavor - I agree that the ceiling needs more structure and presence. I have a lighting designer working on a plan which will involve a series of semi-flush mounts and I also plan to add a much more substantial ceiling moulding. I hadn't thought about adding beams b/c we have one oddly positioned beam that needs to stay in place (for now). And definitely window treatments!

debrak2008- thank you! The entire kitchen is about 18 years old, so in person it looks more dated than it looks in the photos - plus I really need to make it mine.

cilantro - I think the fridge does look dated, though I don't feel that way about all wood paneled fridges. However, I also don't hate it, and thought a good first step would be to change to more modern pulls. Plus there is a second smaller sub-zero that can't be seen in the photos I posted - it is also paneled and for some reason looks nicer given its immediate surroundings. So I will live with the paneling for now. As for the Marmoleum, I have researched it like crazy and had read Rhome's threads and as many other GW threads as I could find. I will only install sheet Marmoleum for that reason, and I will only use Marmoleum if I can find an excellent installer (I posted a separate thread about that a few days ago). I just saw some great looking vinyl in a higher end home, so your comments are well taken.

youngdeb - the white quartz I have in mind is Cambria Newport which is a warm white with a very subtle pattern. I am super excited about the prospect of warm white countertops and a great backsplash. The two contenders for the island top are Caesarstone Pebble and Cambria Devon - both lovely, soft grays. We are on the same wavelength. And yes on the Marmoleum - I am anxiously awaiting the samples I ordered. Papering the butler's pantry is a fabulous idea!!! That is right up my alley - and a perfect way to given the butler's pantry its own identity I am choosing paper for a powder room and bedroom next week, and will start looking. Thanks so much!

Ellendi - thanks for your comments and encouragement that I am on the right track!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Just wondering if you've made any changes? Would love to see photos if you did.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:45PM
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