The white kitchen that won't

ncamyNovember 18, 2008

This is a followup to an earlier post about my all white kitchen. I had posted that several of the prospective buyers have said that they didn't like the house because of the white kitchen even though it is twice as big and has way more "perks" than other kitchens in the neighborhood. I don't know how to link to the previous thread, maybe someone else can do that. Sorry for the delay in posting pictures, but I had to wait until I got a chance to go back to the house we are selling since we have already moved. Here are some pictures:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the kitchen is lovely - I think they are only referring to white appliances - if you swapped those out with stainless steel I bet they'd be beating down your door.... just my thoughts (take them or leave them!) :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been wondering about this kitchen!

I'm no expert, but I have a hard time believing that kitchen is keeping the house from selling. It is pretty nice!

Getting that border down and changing the wall color would help a lot. New knobs and pulls would be another relatively inexpensive fix. If you want to invest more, I'd redo the backsplash. But overall, that is a darn nice kitchen IMO.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your former kitchen is quite nice, but it is definitely white on white on white. If you changed out the hardware and the faucets, there might be some more zing to the space. You can get contractor packs of brushed nickel knobs at HD for very little $. Unfortunately with this down market, you might just have to wait for the right buyer.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 4:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am admittedly not a huge fan of white kitchens though I can appreciate their appeal. I don't know how much if any $$ or change you'd want to put into this kitchen. It depends on how desperate you are to sell. For a major change; I'd look at some prefab granite counter tops and warmer backsplash. But truthfully, you have a lovely space and anyone can see that. I think it would be extremely rare for a buyer to walk into any kitchen and love all the choices the prior owner made as their own. Maybe I'm not the norm since I hang out here so much! Every kitchen I walk into; even a friends/family home where I'm visiting; I eyeball everything and redesign it in my head.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is crazy! I believe its so clean looking & fresh and lots of moving space. Wow! (Stainless would stand out too much: my opinion) the white appliances blend well. Honestly: I don't like the blue 2x2's decos on the splash, but that is no big deal! So easy to replace those. Maybe they don't like the strip across the ceiling area: but that is so easy to change as well. White could intimidate some people! Make a person have to be very neat! LOL!
Be positive: the right person will buy your house.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you want to change anything?

It could be the lighting, but some pics the cabs look yellow and not white. I would consider painting the walls. A softer color, but with better contrast to the cabinets. Maybe a khaki type color.

Changing the cabinet knobs and faucets would also be an inexpensive way to bring in some contrast.

This is just my opinion, but consider removing one of the bar stools, and spread the other three out, so it feels a little more open in that area.

The kitchen wouldn't keep me from buying the house. But, like most of this forum, I have no problem seeing what a room could look like. If I did buy the house, the first things I would do is paint the kitchen, change the counters, back splash and faucets. Picking colors to soften up the room. Yellow is a love it or hate it color. I like yellow, but as accessories, not walls.

Between the mostly white and the multiple hard angles, the room may seem cold to some people.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't think the white kitchen is holding back the customer. I think the wall color, the border and the fact that there are white sinks and faucets and a white countertop make it look like a clean room. I personally love white kitchens but I think if you wanted to change it, I would add a warmer countertop, a more neutral wall color, some oil rubbed bronze knobs, faucet and a stainless sink you should be in business. I would not touch the appliances!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a nice kitchen with lots of valuable assets (cabinets, beautiful backsplash, lots of room), but if you want it to appeal to the "generic masses" this is what I'd suggest. Although your area may have a specific type of buyer so it may not apply...

- Remove the wallpaper border.
- Paint your wall colour to a warm neutral.
- Change the hardware to inexpensive chrome knobs.
- Consider changing the appliances to stainless steel.
- Consider changing the faucet to stainless steel.
- Consider adding some dark wood elements for contrast, similar to the bar stools. This could be a dark walnut cutting board, maybe a bamboo roman shade on the window, etc.

I don't think the white kitchen is what's holding buyers back, I think it's the fact that it looks outdated. My humble two cents of course! I like the way you put in blue accessories to match the blue diamond tiles in the backsplash.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That kitchen is quite beautiful-those cabinets appear to be of good quality.

My opinion/thought on it- it is too much white. Are you willing to change out the countertops? A good quality laminate (WilsonArt' high def?) or granite overlay? Give it some warmth. The white counter may be presenting itself as a "possible hard to keep clean surface (stains, etc).

How about adding some elements (towels,vases) in corners to give it some warmth/color?

I wish you well, your kitchen is beautiful and do remember it is the market and the time of year (home sales always slow down around the holidays).

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with many of the other posters. If you wanted to make some changes, the backsplash could be more organic--how about some sort of stone? I'm not a fan of yellow, either, although it's bright and cheery and perfect for some kitchens. Changing the hardware could be an inexpensive fix, along with the backsplash (if you're lucky enough to have a Floor and Decor nearby, they have tumbled marble and slate for $2-$5 a square foot).

It's a very nice kitchen--the white is a canvas to which you add color and flourish.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a white kitchen lover, and when we redid our kitchen earlier this year that's exactly what we did (painted white cabs, white marble oountertops / backsplash). But it's broken up a bit with the grey veins of the countertop / backsplash, a black island with a butcherblock countertop, stainless sink & faucet, stainless wall ovens / cooktop / microwave. And even still, our kitchen can read as a little austere and cold.

I think your first line(s) of action should be to replace the (white) knobs with knobs of a different material, ORB or chrome or stainless / brushed nickel (as previous smart posters already suggested). I also think you need some greenery in there, which I know will be hard as you are no longer living near enough to maintain it. Get some really good-quality faux (Ballard Designs has some excellent topiaries, Fiori Belli has some wonderful and inexpensive florals, and Artificial Plants and Trees is another terrific online source -- I know about these all first-hand because our devilish cats won't let us have living greenery in the house!) and put it on your countertop.

I'd also second removing the wallpaper border; the yellow you have is a lovely color, and I think more of that warm, buttery color will go a long way (in addition to changing the knobs).

If your budget permits (and I'm just shooting blind here), I'd also love to see your big overhead light replaced with a chandelier. (The breakfast nook chandelier and lamp you have in the kitchen really warm up the spaces.) Also, again if budget permits, I think replacing the sinks / faucets with stainless (or at least replacing just the faucets in a stainless or chrome finish, which you can pick up really inexpensively) could go a long way in breaking up the white.

Your kitchen is lovely, and I think with just a little time and money you can break up the whiteness and help potential buyers see your kitchen for the great space it is!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Personally, I love the yellow. The border could go. I suppose neutral light browns are trendy and I am dreadfully sick of them but if that's what it would take...bleh. It's amazing what people expect when buying a used house.

I'd prefer contrasting hardware too. But really, is anything selling right now?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't see why this kitchen would deter buyers. I would happily buy a house that included that space. Too bad I'm completely broke from my own remodel! Then again I wasn't deterred from buying a house with a 40 year old claustrophically small kitchen with the original appliances--so maybe I'm not a very good judge of the average buyer's opinion.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's quite pretty...I think I agree with others that stainless appliances would certainly add zing...but I wouldn't spend my money there. I'd change the white faucets to nickel or chrome, and get matching finish (inexpensive) cabinet hardware. It will give youu a little shine. If you have the time to lose the border and repaint in a browner shade of wheat or khaki I think that would work with your blue accents very nicely. There are some true decorating savants over on the home decorating forum--try posting the photos there--I've seen some amazing transformations in preparation for selling over there...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To me:

Border is very dated and stands out too much. I'm not a fan of the very bright yellow walls either, and think there are those who would like it, but fewer than those who would like something more elegant and subdued. Still could be gold, just not bright pastel.

I think the white knobs and white faucet make the kitchen look 'plasticky' and again, dated. Changing those would be quick, relatively inexpensive and would make a huge difference.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It wouldn't stop me from buying your house, I think it's a nice looking kitchen.

The problem with making changes is that everyone likes different things. Some people will like the yellow paint, some will not. Some like the white appliances, some would want stainless. A lot of people might not like the white countertop, but countertops are such a personal choice. Whatever you pick out, some people wouldn't like.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it is nice... I agree that removing the wallpaper border will help matters.... it makes it look a bit dated. Otherwise, though, I think it looks good. Good luck selling your home.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The one thing that would deter me is the cooktop in the island with no hood system. Even though people say they rarely, if ever, fry anything there is still a lot of odor,heat and carbon monoxide from the cooktop going into the kitchen and surrounding rooms.
Do you ever saute onions/garlic to make a sauce for pasta or cook sausage or bacon? I realize installing a hood is probably not an option but it may be a drawback for a family that cooks frequently.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would remove the wallpaper boarder and repaint the kitchen a neutral color like BM Monroe Bisque. I love the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all of the quick feedback!! To clarify a couple of things: the border around the top is not wallpaper; it is hand-painted (to match a large pottery bowl displayed in the china cabinet in the breakfast area.) So I guess you could say that it's kinda personal, but very easy to paint over. I will tell you that the border "warmed up" the kitchen quite a bit. It truly was stark and colorless without it. Also the cooktop does have a vented exhaust fan. It pops up behind the stove when in use and is vented to the outside. I've thought and thought about changing the 85 knobs, but I'm afraid that one thing would lead to another. You know how that goes don't you? If we change the knobs, then we'd want to change the faucets, which would prompt changing the sinks and consequently the drains and stoppers, etc. Redoing the countertops is totally out of the question, because of the cost and size of the job. The Corian is very easy to care for by the way. My thoughts are to negotiate an allowance if we ever get anyone who is interested, like a $10,000 kickback. Although that wouldn't be enough to replace the appliances, countertops, or cabinets, someone could use it to repaint to their liking, replace the hardware if they want, install a new backsplash or change out the lighting.

I have to agree with some of you that it really isn't the kitchen that's keeping buyers away. Nothing is selling in the neighborhood and the economy of the banking business in Charlotte really isn't helping. I just think it's kind of cheap that people will leave a comment such as, "Didn't like the white kitchen_too dated" when I know it's way beyond the prefab cabinets and laminate countertops in the rest of the neighborhood. I think the "white kitchen" comment is just an excuse. Is it dated? Well probably yes. It is obvious that it's not brand new. It doesn't embody every current fad that is pictured on TV. It doesn't have stainless appliances, pendant lighting, stone counters and wood stained cabinets, but I do think that it is classic. And it certainly is a blank slate for anyone to personalize.

Someday the right buyer will come along.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'll echo what others have said about the border - to me, that stands out more than anything else as dating the kitchen and limiting the appeal.

And the white on white on white is a bit much, but I think a quick & inexpensive fix for that is simply to replace the white knobs with stainless.

Although I like yellow, (& yellow is a proven seller color for kitchens) that yellow is a bit bright for the bright white - a more neutral color would probably be more appealing to more people.

Those 3 fixes, I think, would be the easiest & least expensive ones that would give you the most bang for the buck, & help appeal to more people who don't have the kind of vision that many here have ;-)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Though I think that kitchen is really lovely, I believe just swapping out the hardware to ORB or brushed nickel (including the two faucets) would make all the difference in the world. (If you felt so inclined, you could remove the border, and it wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings. ;^) )

That would be the easiest change, and you can find contractor packs of knobs and nice, yet affordable, faucets at any of the big box stores. When we changed the hardware on our standard 80's oak cabinets a few years ago, people thought we bought new cabinets. Something that simple can totally transform the look.

I love the space and your cupboards look really nice, and talk about counterspace- whoa Nellie! That kitchen has plenty!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think your kitchen is pretty and looks very clean. What I like about it is that it is personal, not your typical maple cab/Tropical Brown counter/SS appliances kitchen. BUT--that's what buyers want right now, esp in this market--and in NC. I should know, we recently sold our house in Greensboro and the buyers were very picky! Potential buyers would nit-pick at anything. I too, had yellow walls and white appliances, but maple cabs, Bianco Sardo granite counters and a tumbled marble backsplash--with blue glass accents, so I am biased! It also complimented all of my Italian pottery.

I agree with what fori said above about the neutrals being too trendy, but again, buyers want that.

So--you just have to choose if you want to do all of that to your kitchen, or drop the price. I personally would not give any "kickbacks" because it makes buyers think something is wrong with your house. Lowering the price (esp in this market) will just make them think it was overpriced to begin with, not that something is wrong with the house. Just keep it clean and the right buyer will come along if it is at the right price--someone who loves the kitchen or someone who doesn't mind it and would be excited about doing a kitchen remodel in a couple of years.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've staged and sold many homes, so take this for what it might be worth.

First, all white faucets and knobs MUST GO! They are very dated. As is the wallpaper's killing the kitchen.

Because I stage for the lowest cost possible, I wouldn't change out your backsplash, but I would change out the fridge. It's too much of a big white box. Stainless would help that a lot.

I'd do the knobs and faucets in a brushed nickle or stainless finish. Simple and a cheap fix.

The little dresser is cute, but it screams to a buyer "Not enough storage so they had to add this" it's constricting the flow in the room and really needs to go.

On that wall, hang 3 pictures in dark frames, stacked on each other, something sort of old fashioned and neutral (no family).

Clear the island. If you want anything there, make it cooking related, ie a beautiful copper frying pan on the stove top.

The clock is dated...get rid of it or replace it with something more current.

The blue bowl looks dated to me as well....or just the wrong style for your kitchen. I'd put in some nice blue pottery mixing bowls.

The center light should be a top priority. It's severely dated and brings the entire kitchen down. It needs to come down and be replaced with a chandelier. If the fitting for the electricty isn't in the right place (centered on the island) than hang with a long cord and a hook to catch center if you can't afford to move it. That would look far better than what you have now.

Get rid of the second paper towel holder by the small sink. It's just clutter.

If those door knobs are gold....sorry but that isn't a good can keep them if you must, but at least in the kitchen I'd change them to either a silver tone or ORB. Old brass has been out for some time, and yet while it can be used with success, it can't be mixed into a dated kitchen without hurting your pocket book. You could also replace just those ones (that you see in the kitchen) with white flowers!! and that would be pretty.

No dead flowers or fake plants in a staged home!!

The blue towel by the sink has a "used dirty towel" look. Buy inexpensive white and blue linen ones and lay one near each sink, folded and ironed nicely.

The blue accessories are too spread out. I'd get rid of the bowl frankly, but if you feel the need to keep it, put it, the salt and pepper and the blue bottle in a triangle type arrangement in the opposite corner from the canisters.

The canisters need to be lined up on a wall, blocking a couple of blue dots wouldn't hurt.

I have difficulty with the window coverings in the dining area. They appear to have no relation to the blue and yellow kitchen. I would change them out to a simple toile in a yellowed cream with blue or any other simple fabric in yellow and blue. Even a nice check since we're making you take your checkered border down :oP

I can't see what is on the table. Bring some blue over there in the form of placemats and a nice simple table setting with white and blue accents so the white and blue carries to the table.

I personally wouldn't paint the room beige. First there's no need, the yellow is not offensive and looks good with the cabinets. And because it will save cost to not paint it. You will need to prime and paint one coat over the entire wall after you remove the border most likely for a clean finish (prime under the border, paint that area, feathering down with the yellow, then your second yellow coat should cover the entire wall.

The white kitchen isn't killing your house's the blue border and a bit of dating...easy fix :o) I've done it many times!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Almost everyone above has mentioned the border, and my eye kept being drawn to it while I was trying to take in other aspects of the room. I think that's the one thing that most dates the kitchen. It's possible that before buyers can really appreciate all the positives, the first impression of "Dated Kitchen, Dated Kitchen.." is stuck in their heads.

I think you would get the most from your dollar by stripping the border and painting the walls a neutral khaki shade as others have suggested. Before investing more money in this market, I would try doing just doing that.

BTW, as mentioned above, your kitchen looks clean,spacious and open. If we weren't in this unusually tight buyer's market, I don't think your kitchen would be a liability unless someone was set on a kitchen in the professional high-end range.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with changing knobs and faucets.

I doubt the yellow is as yellow as it appears here ... I've photographed a few yellow walls that turn terribly bright on the monitor.

It's a great kitchen ... someone will like it. I too am tired of the all-brown kitchens that are everywhere, but what do you do? If that's the trend, that's the trend.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

White and black surfaces show dirt really well.

I would avoid that kitchen foe all the cleaning it is going to take to keep it looking clean.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I still really think repainting the kitchen a little bit deeper neutral (a deeper color that has the gold/yellow in it without being such a bright yellow like Monroe Bisque or Blonde) or just repainting it the same color without the boarder would do wonders to the kitchen. The yellow is beautiful but reflects on the white cabinets making them appear to be tinged yellow and I have been to many open houses with bright yellow walls and I have heard negative comments despite how pretty the walls were to me.

I would add wooden painted fruit or ceramic fruit with a lot of color to the blue bowl. I would also maybe a small blue rug before the sink to add in more of the blue color. Maybe add a salt and pepper shaker holder in a blue color on top of the middle isle. If you made these small inexpensive changes, the kitchen would look so much nicer to me and I would love it since I love the bright happy white of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the yellow walls and the white appliances and I know that I'm in the minority in the SS rage of this decade. I fear Stainless Steel appliances are going to scream '00 some day and we'll be on to something else. I wouldn't replace the appliances in this house. It's just too big an expense for a house up for sale. I'd like to see some chrome knobs and faucets and call it a day. I like the little cabinet with the light because it gives the kitchen a welcoming feeling. Sorry the house is not selling, but there is a buyer out there for this house if this darn economy would just turn around. My wishes for a sale soon!!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is really a no brainer for me. Buyers, for the most part, are stupid LOL...They can't see past the obvious.

#1. Repaint to a taupe color
#2. Change the knobs. You do NOT have to change the sink. It does NOT all have to be matchy.
#3. Invest a few hundred bucks in a new stainless fridge and cooktop ... you'll save $ in the long run when the kitchen sells....
#4. If you REALLY want to go crazy, you can put a nice dark wood or dark granite on the island.

This will totally sell.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Others have said the same sort of thing but really, the kitchen is lovely and clean and so spacious and I do not believe it would deter a serious buyer. I wonder how many perscpective buyers said it was the kitchen and then went on to buy another house of similar value/location? The market is terrible. I remember your earlier post, but don't remember how long your house has been on the market.

I'm not a huge fan of white kitchens, but it is so nice, I would be happy to move in and then take my time making changes slowly. AND, I would be thrilled that it wouldn't be too expensive to make those changes.

As someone else asked, do you WANT to make any changes, belieiving they may help sell the house? If so, I would get rid of the border first. You could just paint above the blue line (which would be ok to keep, imo, if you aren't up for painting the walls) to match the walls. 2nd priority would be to change out the hardware. It really is too white on white....I would do ORB and go with a combo of knobs and pulls instead of all knobs, if possible. Maybe just the top in knobs. Next in priority (don't you love the way I'm categorizing this?) would be to change the yellow. I'd go for a medium toned taupe or khaki, to contrast with the cabs.

I would not go further than that for a sale....other than possibly some greenery and colorful accessories...maybe a throw rug or two. There is nothing wrong with white appliances, and I don't think you should go thru such an expense.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I were the buyer, I would want the knobs changed to brushed nickel, and brushed nickel or stainless faucets. And no border. Just do that, and I believe it will be a huge change. HTH

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I kind of like the border and it's just paint. However, most people here seem to really dislike it. I would love to see the kitchen photoshopped without it and see how it looks.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

1. Knobs
2. Faucets
Then turn your attention to warming it up with some with different accessories. Put away the white canisters and white paper towels. Other little details that wouldn't cost any money would be to remove one of the barstools (too crowded), take down the clock, and raise the artwork that is above the wooden table by a few inches.
But really..... knobs and faucets!!!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I'm not a big fan of white cabinets but your kitchen wouldn't stop me from buying the house. I'm not into fixing up a house either - I like a turn key situation. But your kitchen appears to be nice quality and I can easily see how I could make it appealing to me without changing the cabinets and I don't even like white cabinets.

I think the fact people are saying they don't care for the white kitchen is just commentary - not a reason they're not buying the house. Realtor probably asks them what they think and they say, well I don't really care for the white kitchen. Not, I'd buy the house if it didn't have a white kitchen.

I can't tell from your earlier replies if you really want to do something to make it more appealing or not - it sounds like you kind of want to continue as is. If I were going to do something - and keep it to a minimum I would:

Paint a more current, appealing color and get rid of the border

Change out the cabinet hardware and the faucets.

Get rid of that little dresser thing with the lamp

Add a few other "accessories" to give it a little more color and visual interest.

That would go a long way in giving it a more up to date look without the expense of counters and appliances. It's pretty easy to envision new counters and appliances - even I've been able to do that when I've looked at homes recently - and like I say, I like turnkey.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You know, I have all silver toned hardware and faucets but white appliances. They mix quite nicely. If you don't want to spend, I hear that. Then just change those things (very cheap)and paint,something more neutral with depth to give the contrast. Your cabinets are beautiful. The corian is very practical. Keep your blue accents. The rest of the things are expensive and certainly are not a sell must. But I believe that your cabinets could really look very "now" with those tiny adjustments. I dont think the money back thing ever works. Most people can't see past their first impressions. Besides, you'll lose more that way.
Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you have a lovely kitchen, disregard those comments from people who are looking at real estate. For a house showing, how about setting the bar with blue placemats, and your dishes to warm things up? Also would you consider painting the inside of the glass cabinet (back wall) the same blue that is on the hand-painted border. That might add a little spice. Also swap out the white canister set with something in a pottery with blue and yellow. Some some thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your kitchen is in very good condition but it appears dated. Your decorating style is very personal. I would venture to guess that your bathrooms, some of your paint colors, some of your window treatments and some of your lighting have the same issues as your kitchen. Great condition but dated with some very personal decorating choices. Everyone is allowed to decorate their house however they like. But, when it comes time to sell, unless your house looks like Pottery Barn photo, people are going to have issues. People may be telling you that the kitchen is a deal breaker, but I suspect it might be a little more than that. You might benefit from a stager or a decorating obsessed friend going through your house and neutralizing things a bit.

You've gotten some good advice about your kitchen but I think you might have to start looking at some other rooms too.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oooooh I too would like to see it photoshopped! Any takers? (I'm glad someone finally noticed that I wrote that it's painted and NOT A WALLPAPER BORDER!) For what it's worth the yellow is very neutral and gold tone. I don't remember what it was called but it wasn't anywhere near the "sunny" yellows, it was with the goldish tones.

The suggestions I like most so far are to change the knobs and maybe just maybe paint. If we must paint over the border, then we must paint a dark color. With the yellow by itself against the trim it just all washes away. It really needed the painted border to add dimension to such a large space. If we paint then it might also be possible to change out the accent tile to something brownish to go with the new wall color.

We will not change the appliances. They are practically new and can't be replaced for "a few hundred bucks," unfortunately not even for a few thousand dollars. We would have 7 appliances to replace for anyone who's counting.

As far as the light...I have been thinking about that as well. But then again why change to an incandescent light fixture when those are soon to be unavailable? I know it sounds weird but in all of the houses we've built, we've tried to use florescent lights where we could.

Again thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's very cute. I like white, too, and feel the neutrals are just overdone.

I am not an agent or stager, but I do agree that you should try the brushed nickel cabinet knobs and the faucets.

Good luck! Hopefully, someday we'll finish our white kitchen. If we were in the market for a different home, I'd come look at it, LOL. But, we must stay put for now.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 10:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't do a thing.

It's not the kitchen.

It's the market.

Changing anything in the kitchen will only cost you needless expense and do nothing to improve the home's ability to sell....or get you your money back.

There are just too many homes on the market right now and buyers can afford to be finicky and picky.

If you really want to sell the house, then drop the price.

Don't put another nickle into it...not even for paint and knobs or faucets.

Because once you'll have the same complainsts from others who wished you had left the kitchen alone.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 10:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

White overkill. If I were trying to sell it, I would change the counters to a dark color and use a neutral tile backsplash. Kenneth

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you got very good advice from Igloochic and I would second her advice in particular the free staging aspects such as reworking your accessories (cannisters and the like). The items in the corner glass upper cabinets look a little random... perhaps clear them out and just put in a few show-y pieces of pottery.

I also think the curtain above the dining room slider is completely unrelated to everything else. I'd just remove it all together.

Neaten up your cookbooks.

Changing out the knobs is very short money and would do A LOT for the kitchen.

I would also change out the faucet and call it a day (after painting over the border... while the yellow is not my favorite, I wouldn't put the effort into completely changing out the color... painting would take a lot of effort (or $$) and I don't think would net what the other fixes would.

Below is a knob on clearance at Rejuvenations for 99 cents (polished nickel... maybe not ideal but with a little sleuthing you can find something nice and affordable and it will make a HUGE difference in this kitchen).

Here is a link that might be useful: polished nickel knob

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like blue but for some reason it isn't trendy now in kitchens. If you do decide to redo the blue accent tiles in the backsplash, it is possible to just paint them rather then remove them.

It's funny what people consider dated. Your kitchen looks very classic to me and I bet it looks better then 90% of the kitchens out there.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would not repaint. However, I find that my eye is drawn toward the border because of the lack of contrast on the cabinets and counter. I do like the border and think the walls would be boring without it.

If that was my kitchen, I would change the knobs (value packs from Home Depot as others have said), faucets, and curtains (to something more closely related to the border), place a few more items on the counters to break up the whiteness a bit, and then take pictures from the same angles and compare.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a pretty kitchen. I personally love yellow, especially that golden yellow you have on the walls. I do not think yellow is outdated, and I think that color works well with your hardwood floors.

Automatically, I do notice that there is such an expanse of white with the appliances, knobs, sink, and faucet. White is very clean and timeless, but for most people, it appears sterile. People really do want stainless steel appliances, and you would get your money back if you replaced them. That is a major reason people might not like your nice kitchen. Granite is almost required in the resale market, now. It's even going into modestly priced new homes. If you replaced the appliances, sink, knobs and faucet, a lot of people could probably accept the white cabinets knowing they would then just replace the counter tops with granite.

Here are a few suggestions that will make a difference, but will cost lots less money.
1. Replace the sink with a stainless steel one and replace the faucet with a traditional looking faucet in pewter, polished nickel, or brushed nickel.
2. Replace the knobs with pewter, polished nickel, or brushed nickel. Perhaps in a pretty bird cage style.
3. Paint over the blue and white border so that the buyer can immediately notice your nice crown molding, I didn't notice it the first or second time I looked at your photos.
4. Make, purchase, or have custom made (like by Calico Corners, if one is near you) a roman shade for your kitchen window with a French toile print. I think you can find one with a golden yellow background and a blue print. Pull that same fabric into the sliders in your eat in area.
5. Put away all the blue accents on your counter tops, because that just makes the area look even colder. Blue and white is a pretty look, but there's just too much white going on so I think the blue accessories actually make the kitchen look colder. Ground the expanse of white counters and white cabints with some black wrought iron accessories on the counter tops. Like a fruit basket. Think about putting out a couple of topiaris. Real rosemary, would be nice, and not terribly expensive.
6. Replace your chandelier with a wrought iron one. There are some nice looking inexpensive ones out there.
7. Put away the lamp that's on the wooden chest across from your island. Replace the framed piece with a collection of pretty plates that relate in some way to the space. Yes, for some inspiration see Ballard Designs. A lot of the accessories are fairly reasonably priced. If there is a Marshall's near you, look for some accesories there. Marshall's Home Store, is a great source.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that it's the market to an extent...

However, NCAmy, I think you said you're in Charlotte? Well, I saw about 50 houses looking in Charlotte, and from what you describe, you're in a fairly new development....typical in Charlotte, and the houses are all going to look pretty much the same....

In order to get a bid in this market in a community in Charlotte, it's going to have to stand out and be special bc there is so much inventory and I can pretty much get your house down the road maybe for the same price.

I wouldn't do A LOT, but paint, hardware, appliances are a sure fire way to get people to remember your house...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree it certainly isn't the white cabinets that are doing it, I like the yellow even if not everyone would. What color does EVERYONE like? Younger people are going with brighter colors right now anyway. I can see people being afraid of the white countertops. They may be easy care but many people would be concerned about keeping them looking nice and crisp and afraid they would constantly have to be wiping them down. You can't change their minds. If counter tops are out, and I can understand why, knobs in one of the silver finishes, new pulldown faucets (get one at a bargain price from Ebay or Overstock or something like that, it doesn't need to be a name brand, even), new lights maybe and just that would make a difference. Less than 1000.00 dollars. I do think you could do some appliances for very little money if you wanted to try. I know you can rent furniture and appliances, and I would consider a very inexpensive ss dw, mw and even rent a refrig. in ss, just make it clear that doesn't go with the house. I personally like white appliances in a white kitchen so they blend in and other things can get the attention. The problem is is is not a lot else to draw your attention to because of so much more white. I am not sure every appliance needs to be replaced. I would leave the ovens and cooktop. The sinks blend in to the countertop and could stay, also. A ss DW is avaible on sale from sears right now for 429.00 plus a additional 10% off, which would make it less than 400.00. A MW is pretty inexpensive. They don't need to be high end, or be up to your standards/expectations, just look up to date. The canisters don't add anything because they are also white. I agree with IG about removing the piece next to the door and the clock, putting an updated piece of art on the wall and changing or removing the topper over the doors. I would also consider painting over the blue border. It doesn't have to mean repainting the entire kitchen. If you have any sample of the paint like a chip, it could be computer matched. I don't know if you could leave the narrow blue stripe, it might hide a tiny change in shade in the yellow, but you could try it and see. I think it would look much more updated. I think a stager could do wonders for a little money, like 1000.00-3000.00

If you really aren't open to doing anything, then dropping your price until it sells seems like the only other option.

It depends on how much you need to move it, and how fast. As long as there are others that look more up to date than yours for the same price, or less, it likely won't sell. Even if they offer fewer bells an whistles. But there are no guarantees in this market either way.

It is clear from what you have said that nothing is happening the way it is and at the current price. I would target the faucets and the free or almost free changes people have mentioned here first.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok I'm just going to make a quick comment and hope not to offend. (I bet your agent would agree with me by the way). Paint over the border paint (prime and paint...easy fix). Your trim WILL Not look washed out. If that was the case, it would already appear washed out in regards to cabinets and walls. Instead it will look clean and updated. Keep it, and really, it's going to cost you thousands. If you've got the thousands to toss in the trash...that's fine, but if you read the opinions here, it's a problem, a big problem.

And on the florescent. It's NOT your problem that your world is changing to florescents. It is your problem to dump this house. Your decision to go florescent may make sense for you, but look in a few kitchen WILL NOT see them. Again it's a huge money killer...but it's your money.

I think you're looking at this as most home owners do. For instance, in my first condo I hand painted a gorgeous accent wall (marble style) and everyone loved it. It worked well with my antiques. In addition, on the other wall I had painted a few little leaves from a falling vine type thing. Softly painted, and it completely complimented my room.

When I sold, I painted the marble wall a solid accent color, and I painted over my beloved leaves. The house wasn't for me anymore. I needed men, women, country lovers, city lovers, eveyone, to want my condo. It sold for 10,000 more than any other unit that year...and I had not updated the cabinets...but I had gotten rid of the florescent in the kitchen! It's not personal anymore. You want to sell this, it's got to appeal to EVERYONE and those things don't.

By the way, I wouldn't even consider replacing all appliances (it sounds like you don't want to do any, but just in case) I'd just do the fridge. I like the way the white blends into the cabinets, but the fridge in stainless would "modern" the joint quite a bit.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The knobs look dated and cheap and can be changed to brushed nickel very inexpensively. Changing the knobs in the kitchen does not require you to change the doorknobs, the faucet, the bathroom cabinet knobs, or anything else. I'm not sure I'd put the energy into changing the faucet, and in this market I certainly wouldn't touch the sink, backsplash, counters, or fridge. I like the yellow/blue/white combination in general, and if anything I'd suggest a few more blue/white/yellow accents on the counter so long as they don't look cluttered. Mostly, though, it's the market. Good luck.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm a realtor in CA. Here's what I think, FWIW. You want to sell, so expensive ideas like changing all appliances, countertops, etc. would not be cost effective. Even in an up market, you would be hard pressed to make up the money you put into such things. Igloochic had great ideas, very little cost. Probably the most expensive would be the chandy. Well, maybe a ss fridge, but it's debatable whether that would be needed once the other cosmetic changes were made. The comment regarding other rooms in the house is worth looking at with a fresh, objective eye, also. I've been showing my son houses (buyer from he** lol) and we've seen a lot. We'd jump on a house with your kitchen in a hot second! Any realtor worth their salt should be assessing potential buyers, and explaining how "easy & inexpensive" it would be to make changes to make the space more appealing to THEIR tastes. The market in general is probably your worst problem.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 2:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is nothing in your kitchen that would keep me from buying the house. I love the layout and the white would not bother me. Incentives would not help me make up my mind. If I thought something needed changed and thought the price was too high, I would just bid lower.
We have moved 14 times in 28 years of marriage and a good layout always closed the deal for me. If I were to change a few things to sell the house, however, I would change out the old flourescent light fixture first. That is the very first thing that caught my eve and is the most dated thing I noticed. I would then change the border and knobs as well as the faucet. The appliances look like good quality and do not bother me. Remove the dresser and the clock and add some colorful, clean accesssories. It would probably cost much less that 1000.00. to do..

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 6:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The first thing I saw was the cabinet lamp and artwork and thought it was very much out of place. I agree with Igloochic and the other staging ideas. I definitely would replace the knobs and the white faucet and I would like brushed nickel. That would be it for me. If I were in the market, I would buy it then! It's a great kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just curious, are the cabinets thermofoil?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What does your realtor say about your kitchen? What does she/he say about it compared to the kitchens of other houses on the market in the Charlotte area, not just in your sub?

We sold our 30 year old place as the market was tanking when there was tons of inventory and few buyers in our very depressed area (SE Michigan). You have the advantage of a place where lots of people want to live, so it's a matter of getting the few who can get a mortgage to choose your house.

We had updated (how I hate that word!) and super cleaned everything--kitchen, baths, floor tile, carpet, windows, etc. beyond what we knew we'd ever get back, because we had to sell it to build our new house. Our realtor spent 2 hours on 2 different days going through our place and telling me what furniture to get rid of, how to arrange things, where to put plants, etc. I was somewhat resistant on some points, but after thinking about it realized that she really knew what she was talking about. I've occasionally talked to decorators when I've bought furniture who I haven't agreed with, but everything this gal said made sense--she was really good! We got 2 offers in 3 weeks out of 3 showings. We also had looked at the inventory in our area on, as well as her printouts on actual sales in our area, and listed our place just under what things were selling for.

My point is that many people on both threads here have repeated many of the same things that are a problem to most people. People in your area who are looking at 10 year old homes have probably also looked at new construction and are aware of some of the latest things in the latest kitchens. Your kitchen, while beautiful in many ways, is BLAND. Most posters have indicated that you need some contrast and color changes in some way. The cheapest and easiest ways are to change the cabinet knobs, the faucets, and the paint color. To give the room some pizazz, I'd look for a granite remnant for the island that looks stunning with your beautiful cabinets, and then choose a paint color that enhances the granite and works with the blue tile. The remnant and installation would cost a few hundred, but would add immensely to the look of the place. The lighting fixture and window treatments would be next on my list. I wouldn't think you'd have to go to the extent of changing the sink and appliances at this point.

I'd post your pictures and info on both the Buying and Selling a Home forum (where several realtors also post, and where I think you'll get confirmation of much of what's been said on your 2 threads) and the Home Decorating forum where you can get good suggestions on color, accents, etc.

Good luck! I know the market is even more difficult now than it was when we sold. We were up against lots of inventory, few buyers, and a depressed area. You have the first 2 problems, but at least are not in a depressed area. However, you have the added problem of the depressed economy, where most people cannot even qualify for a mortgage under the stringent conditions. Unfortunately, things can still get a lot worse. How long can you afford to carry this house? Spend some money to get rid of it!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

Personally, I like the white kitchen. I think it is warm and inviting. I would eventually change out the white faucets if I were to buy the house. Not having a hood over the cooktop would make me think three times about buying your house.

For me, it is not the cabs, white appliances (which are my favorite btw--I was sad to change to ss in my kitchen), tile or anything else. I love the paint color and the painted border. I would move the clock or change the clock. I am not a big fan of flor. fixtures, even if they are energy efficient.

The main concern for me would be your layout. For me it wouldn't work--but that is me. I wouldn't spend the $ to change the appliances or paint a different color. I would change the clock and the faucets. I might change the knobs, but that would be it for changes that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to do. I love the choices you made for the kitchen but for me, the layout would be the biggest downside for me to purchase your home. Again, that is me. Others seem to really like it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For the most part, I like the kitchen. There are a few things I'd change though and I think they have all been mentioned. Many buyers have no vision. they see the kitchen as it is, and it does not grab their attention. It is just too monochromatic and bland. They cannot see the beauty that this kitchen can become with less than $500 in some simple changes.

First of all, incandescent light fixture will NEVER be unavailable. You can get a perfectly lovely incandescent up-light fixtures and put compact fluorescents in it and be just a "green" as you are now, with a lot more style and class. Home depot has loads of beautiful ones for less than $150.

Change out the knobs and faucets to stainless steel.

And sorry...but get rid of the hand painted border. It immediately draws the eye up to it and the beautiful trim is not even noticed. The focus needs to be on the understated kitchen, not the overstated border.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would start with the simplest and least expensive changes. Get rid of anything white on the counters and replace with stainless or blue. Replace the white cannisters with stainless. Find a paper towel holder with stainless. The clock should be stainless or blue. I would lean toward stainless on most items, with just enough blue to show how easy it is blend with the decor. The knobs sound like a really simple idea. The faucets would make a big difference in appearance, but you're definitely moving up into another price range.

Regarding changing the backsplash or painting the border: the comment about the realtor pointing out how easily someone could personalize the space is very pertinent here. Maybe your blue stuff is my style; maybe not. But if I like your house I can easily put in a backsplash and border that _I_ like. I always feel sick when looking for a house and I see one that has something brand new that I don't like. They fixed it up just to sell it, and I hate it. It would seem like a waste to replace it because it's new. But if something is a little dated and not my style, I feel more like I'm 'allowed' to make the change (as long as I can afford it). In your case, those are _small_ changes especially in relation to that nice kitchen.

There used to be this really great kitchen in the gallery where this guy had used lots of stainless small appliances and accessories to make a white kitchen have a much more stainless look. To me, it was the ultimate in practical (white is never really _out_ of style) and trendy (stainless is definitely _in_).

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh Amy,

I think the net can be a verrrrrry small world. I used to be active at a certain RT website and have lurked for many years through many changes. You wouldn't happen to know what I'm talking about, would you?


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dee, I still frequent Random Thoughts, though I've never been a big poster.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would totally buy your kitchen. However, after moving in I would:

a) paint over the border
b) pop out the blue tiles in the backsplash and replace with glass tiles or stainless tiles or soapstone tiles
c) put in a chrome faucet
d) change knobs to polished nickel

Since I would do these things I would probably lower my bid by $4-5,000. If you did these things it would cost you a lot less.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think blue in a kitchen is very very taste specific. I don't like blue in kitchens and I know there are a couple of posters here (nomorebluekit and bluekitobsessed) that lead me to believe you either like or hate blue in a kitchen. The yellow is okay and the white appliances look fine, just ditch all the blue.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm pretty sure those are 'thermofoil' cabinets. I remember when TF cabinets made their debut. Early on MANY of the manufacturers had problems with the TF yellowing over time. It wouldn't have been so bad if they yellowing happened across the board (this is normal)....but it had no rhyme or reason. One door would still be white and the one next to it would be yellow. I believe this is what happened in your kitchen. The finish does not look consistent at all. Since then, manufacturers have corrected that problem. But I remember a time when we had several warranty issues on TF kitchens. If you did this kitchen originally, you still might be able to make a claim on it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not really sure what thermofoil cabiinets are. I tried to look it up and it appears that thermofoil is some sort of laminating process. I am the original owner and the cabinets were made of wood by a local cabinet maker. We did not pay to upgrade to an expensive wood because we knew we were going to have them painted in the high gloss. I guess the color looks inconsistent in the pictures due to the angles and shadows. In real life they are just high gloss ivory white. They are not as creamy or yellow as they look in the pictures.

Again thanks everyone for the advice. I'm still conflicted on what I should do if anything. I think you've given me some wonderful suggestions and definitely if I wanted to stay there and update it I would act on many of those suggestions. I'll certainly start with some of the free ideas like taking away one of the bar stools and removing the clock. I'll also be on the look out for some really cheap knobs to update the look.

I don't want to tackle painting over the border because I know how horrendous it looked without it. (Trust me this is not an attachment issue either...because I don't even live there anymore!) The painting will be easy enough for someone else to fix and mess with when they want to personalize the kitchen for themselves. I can try to put out some more accessories like placemats on the bar. Originally I did have some nice linen mats up there to match the ones on the table, but my realtor suggested that I "clean up' the bar and counters and leave it more bare for the new owners to imagine their own things there.

In my opinion there are really only two things in the room that are truly dated and one of them not one person has even mentioned. The first is the island light fixture which I might change if I can find the right thing. And the one that no one has mentioned and that to me screams so "ten years ago" is the built in TV area. Anyone building a kitchen today would be using a flat screen. I think that there are plenty of all white kitchens being built today (I even typed in "kitchens" on and the first thing that popped up was a white on white kitchen!)

Many of you hit it right on the nail. It's not the kitchen, it's other factors that are affecting the ability to sell. Number one being that it is a custom house in a neighborhood where 80% of the houses were high end tract homes which meant we originally paid nearly $100,000 more for it compared to similar sized builder homes. Although the area has consistently shown a slow appreciation over the last ten years we'll be lucky if we break even on this one after paying realtor fees.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, change the island light fixture and change the knobs. You could do both of these for under $200.00 if you shop carefully. A new faucet and you could do it for $300.00.

So many people have mentioned the border. You say it would horrible without it. Maybe you could paint over it in a deeper solid color that would go with the yellow walls.

You mentioned that you paid 100K more for this house then the other houses in the neighborhood. That is probably part of the problem. If you have it priced well above what the other houses are selling for in the neighborhood it will be hard to sell it. It's never good to be the best house in the neighborhood.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's not priced more than others. Our profit will just be significantly less.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You've got a tough market, but I agree with others that a few simple changes would help create a better "first impression" of your kitchen.

Also, you don't have a "blue" or even a "blue and white" kitchen IMO -- you have a white kitchen with small blue accent tiles that are barely noticeable, so ixnay the blue accessories that call out the blue so blue haters aren't triggered as much.

I did a quick and dirty Photoshop for you:

Best bang-for-buck changes to me would be:
* going chrome on the knobs ($1/each at Home Depot, so $85 plus whatever labor you may need) + ideally swapping faucets to chrome too

* painting over the border, ideally with a coffee-with-cream/mid-tan color

* removing eating area's valance + chest + lamp

* removing anything in glass-fronted cabinets that's *not* clear glass (and just leaving end display shelves by TV empty)

* getting rid of all blue accessories -- try a green if you must have anything

Then after that replacing the center light.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 4:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like your kitchen. I see it as a very accomodating space to make my own. I don't mind the cabinet pulls. As someone in the market to buy, the first things I'd do to your kitchen once the house became mine are:
1) Paint over the border.
2) Replace kitchen faucet
3) Get rid of the microwave. I think microwaves are the ugliest appliance by far yet so many kitchens have them prominently displayed, many times as the focal, eye level point above a range. I think your microwave makes an otherwise interesting cabinet run look awful.

Everything here being said, your kitchen would not stop me from buying. I like the bones and space of it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sorry, but I don't understand how it could look horrible without the border. It seems to me like it would look just like every other house, which is more what a buyer would expect to see. It is way too personalized with the border there and it really draws a lot of attention away from other things in the kitchen that are positive. To paint over use Kilz or Binz primer and then just use the yellow paint. I can't imagine it looking horrible since it would have a look most people expect. It might not be the look you care about, but the majority of the people is what you need to appeal to.

As others already have mentioned remove the flourecent light over the island and replace with something more pendant like or a chandelier.

You need to keep counters fairly free of clutter, but you need to do something to remove the sterile feeling of the kitchen itself with all the white on white. I have no issue with any of the counters, sinks, appliances (I hate SS), backsplash (I even love the blue inserts), or white painted cabinets. However what I do see looks sterile ie there is no warmth or nothing to break up the mass of white except for the little blue tiles.

I think some new knobs would go a long way to break things up. Along with using the accessories you have placed in groupings and not placed randomly on the counters.

Faucets - would be next. I'd consider replacing those with some not so costly ones, just to allow a little more contrast as well.

All I can see is you need something to break up all the white on white and make the kitchen seem more inviting and homey than sterile.

I'd also do the free suggestions such as moving out the dresser piece.

As somebody mentioned some fake greenery might be just enough to warm up the kitchen and fairly inexpensive. Maybe use some woven pots for them to provide a different texture.

I've seen the very same suggestions in here over and over so you can kind of see what appeal to the masses here and use that to de-personalize your space.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You know, since reading your message and seeing your photos yesterday, I've been thinking a lot about you and your kitchen. Since I responded you've had heaps more replies, and I confess I barely skimmed them, so I apologize if this is redundant ... but your kitchen / painted border / window treatments, etc. wouldn't keep me from purchasing your house. When I think of the kitchen in the past four houses we've purchased yours is like the Taj Mahal!

I think in general the market STINKS so houses sit longer. I confess to being a little nonplussed by your realtor's feedback that prospective buyers are saying your kitchen is keeping them from purchasing the house. That just sounds odd, and as if they have poor representation. (Have you seen that HGTV show Property Virgins? I love the way that realtor explains to her clients who get hung up on wall / carpet color or whatever that those are minor, inexpensive cosmetic fixes, and to not sweat it.)

What has your realtor recommended you do?

I still think your kitchen shows well, but I do wonder what kind of hoops we have to jump through in this market ....

I wish you the best of luck!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with many of the more modest suggestions, namely remove border, replace knobs, and replace the fluorescent light. Next, in priority would be to swap out the sink fixtures to chrome. Since your home is already at the high end for the neighborhood, spending much more may not yield a higher sales price, but it may well mean the difference between selling and not selling your house. Each extra day the house is on the market really is costing you money--so doing nothing is still costing something. As for your TV being dated, I did notice it. An inexpensive fix for that is to remove it as well and put a large wicket basket in it's place. It'll give it a nice organic feel to the space. As for color, put out a bowl of fresh lemons or oranges.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think a large part of the problem is as someone else mentioned, with a house only 10 yrs old the same buyers are undoubtedly comparing yours to new construction with lots of financing deals and extras thrown in to try to move them. The difference in price is probably not enough, and they look significantly more current in finishes. I like white appliances in a white kitchen, but I bet you won't find a new house being sold in 100 miles with white faucets. I noticed the TV but figure a small flat screen will fit in there just as well and its not a "built-in" appliance so unlikely to deter anyone.

The thing is, if you are already convinced you want to do little or nothing, even paint, and the problem isn't really the kitchen, what are we trying to do here? There are 70 posts, most mentioning the same items and you aren't convinced. Sorry if you have been inundated with critisms you didn't want, if you wanted commiseration for the misfortune of trying to sell a house in this market rather than critisms or suggestions. :)


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nearly every poster here is put off by that border, & it would be such a quick & easy fix.

I'm just sayin'...........

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm beginning to think this is the "white kitchen that won't go away!" LOL

I haven't said I'm not going to do anything. I have said I can't afford to do much. There is a lot of conflicting advice here. On the surface it seems that most don't like the painted border. Then the next poster (or sometimes within the same post) it will be pointed out that the kitchen is too bland, too stark, etc. So why get rid of the color then? I'll admit I'm confused.

From the beginning I have thought that we should get rid of the painted accents because it matches a piece of MY pottery which won't be sold with the house. The problem is the room looks awful without the contrast around the room. The photoshopped pictures proved that. Talk about stark and bare! But maybe that's what I should be going for...a blank canvas for a new buyer.

It just seems a little conflicting to say switch the knobs to create contrast but remove the paint because it is too contrasting. And even though I desperately want the little dresser with me where I'm currently living, I think it has to have the wood and lamp to warm it up at least until I can find something to hang over the island. By the way there's almost 4 feet of clearance in front of the dresser and the island so removing it isn't necessary to clear the aisle.

Although I didn't post for sympathy, it has been appreciated. I do consider myself lucky to have had the foresight to not put brass fixtures in my bathrooms and brass frames around my master shower the way nearly all of the other homes in my neighborhood have. That was the one thing I insisted on 10 years polished brass! I have chrome, brushed nickel and painted metals in all of my fixtures throughout the house (even the door hinges.)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What do you think of this light fixture? I'm not saying it's beautiful, but it certainly is cheap, so would it do?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I do not like most borders and feel the border takes away from the pretty crown molding that I did not even know you had until someone mentioned it since the border was all I could see. I just think painting over the border and adding wooden or glass colored fruit to the blue bowl would do wonders to the kitchen that I find very pretty but I can't enjoy with the border that takes away from the beautiful crown molding. I do not mind the matching knobs and feel that you should at least try this and if you do not want to, then that is your option but like they say on HGTV, once you put the house on the market, you have to appeal to the general public and realize that this is not going to be your kitchen much longer. If I walked into your kitchen without the border, I would be admiring your crown molding and how peaceful the kitchen feels. If I walk into it right now, I would miss out on a lot that the border to me distracts me from seeing and I would not feel the peaceful feeling since it puts me on edge that it just does not belong there IMHO.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

P.S. I like that the chairs match that little table with the lamp on it and I do not feel it should be moved IMHO.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

House vixen- is it possible to show us the kitchen with the same yellow wall minus the border?

Art work on the blank walls would help. And for sure warmer accessories.

I can decide to like the border, but the problem is its not going to be liked by the majority of potential buyers. I don' think the photo shopped picture proves that the border is necessary. It still needs accessories and art, and not necessarily that beige color, which is doing nothing for the kitchen.

Bring color in with accessories, but not all glass, as thats too cold. Use some wicker or wood or pottery. Maybe even a cookie jar.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You do have a white kitchen. The sleek white kitchen is a always 'au courant' so go with it. Go all the way with it!

My suggestions:

Take everything off the counters when you are showing the house. Move everything coloured out of the glass front cabinets and the open shelves. Replace those things with clear glass or stainless steel items. Just a few - arranged for show - not for use.

Don't worry about whether or not it looks like you use the kichen daily. You are selling a lifestyle not a reality.

The two kinds of rooms that sell a house - the kitchens and the bathrooms - are also the rooms that people really don't want to think about the previous owners having used. So make sure they ae ABSOLUTELY spotless and smell slightly fresh. White will work in your favour.

Paint the border white. Paint the little diamonds in the backsplash white. Get rid of the brown furniture. Paint the walls the same colour as, but a half shade darker than, the cabinets. Paint the trim and the ceiling a half-shade lighter than the cabinets.

Replace the handles and knobs with stainless. Leave the appliances and the faucets. Hang some sepia prints framed in stainless frames. They should be the only thing that approaches colour in the reoom.

The house will sell. Keep smiling ! :)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just didn't want you to take offense to all this if you weren't really asking for suggestions. I remember the day my reno finally made me cry, and believe me, I was looking for sympathy not suggestions on what I could have done differently! :) So I was hoping we hadn't misread your intent in posting.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi ncamy,

You asked for advice and boy have you gotten it! I live in central Raleigh so here's my take as a fellow North Carolinian. We like traditional decor in NC so I think the yellow wall color is fine. Most people can see past wall color anyway and the painted border looks well-done so I wouldn't mess with changing that. I'd definitely change the knobs to a simple metal knob in some sort of silver finish (chrome, stainless, etc). You have nice quality painted cabs but they all seem to run together and the knobs would provide contrast. I'd change out the white faucets as well - find something by Delta or Moen on closeout in chrome or stainless. Change out your white accessories for some color ones and put some colorful fruit or something in the blue bowl on the island. Change out the light fixture - find something clearance-priced online. I'd really consider changing out the fridge for an inexpensive stainless one - check Lowe's, HD, Sam's, Costco, Sears, etc. for cheap floor models/closeouts. I really think the stainless fridge would cut up all of the white and provide some contrast. Take the white fridge and use it in the garage at your new home for sodas, beer, cold drinks, kitchen overflow, etc. You'll love it!

It's a tough market out there right now. I know we aresick that we built our new home at the very peak of the real estate boom and are very glad we don't have to sell anytime soon. I certainly sympathize with your situation. I think you can make the above changes for $2500 or less and your kitchen will be much more attractive to buyers. You may have no choice but to spend a little money to sell the house and maximize your sales price. Not too much, just some. It does look clean and well taken care which is more than you can say for most of the existing homes' kitchens on the market! The dresser looks fine to me.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lots of good advise above. My choices in order would be...

1. Remove the lamp and print. I understand why you feel the wood cabinet helps to break up the white, but the print and lamp look way too formal. (Especially with the border which does not come across as formal.) Instead try a more informal, colorful print. You could even use a print with some blue and red in it to help unify the color in the backsplash as well as your valance in the eating area. If you do keep the wood cabinet, try to introduce other wood of similar color in accessories, maybe dark wicker baskets? As it is now it just stands out too much because it is the "only" wood in the kitchen.

2. Replace faucets. They look plastic and cheapen the overall look.

3. Replace the center ceiling light with a pendant/hanging light over the island.

4. I think I have to agree with most that removing the border would be a great help. It makes the kitchen feel like it is trying to be country when when the rest of the room does not have that feel. I also did not even notice the crown molding until someone mentioned it and I went back to look at the pictures again.

There are other more $$$ things as mentioned above by others, but if it were me, I would try these first as they would be the least expensive and easiest to do.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

House_Vixen, I just noticed your photoshopped pics! I love the way the kitchen's ceilings look taller and show off the beautiful crown molding without the border that I found too personalized and not too my taste and very distracting taking away from the positive aspects of the kitchen. I find the kitchen beautiful now and not boring at all but peaceful without that distraction that put me on edge and make me not like the kitchen so much. As a first time home buyer over 11 years ago, I would have not been able to see past the border and passed on the home. But now with watching HGTV and owning my own home, I could see past the border and would just paint it but the feel I would get from your home would not be so memorable with the border versus having it off, I would remember kitchen that I loved. Your taste is your own and not the majority in the market that you must appeal to since you want to sell your home. I really feel just making that one change would help so much and the other changes just icing on the cake in helping a little more. The change in knobs did look nice but I just found the border gone to be a wonderful change and would help others that dislike borders or love taller ceilings and crown moldings fall in love with your kitchen or see great potential at least like I am doing.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm afraid I have to agree strongly with the majority - the kitchen would look better without the dated looking painted border, IMO. Yes, the space in general needs more contrast, but I think that where you need it is closer to the areas that DO need interrupting - ie that bright white expanse of cabinetry and appliances, rather than up at the ceiling. Does that make any sense?

I agree on nearly all the other staging suggestions, especially knobs and faucets. I'd also change the paint color from yellow to taupe. I do like yellow, but generally not in combination with bright white. In this case, even though you say it's a warm yellow, I think taupe or khaki would warm up the space more and would pick up on the (very pretty) floors to provide more of that tone on tone feeling that's popular now.

I also tend to think the use of the blue (that border, accessories etc.) makes the space feel colder - would go better if you had a warm wood color that you wanted to cool down some.

Lighting would make a BIG difference - pendants, a fixture over the island etc.

I don't necessarily agree that because the market is bad it's not worth doing too much because it won't make a difference, though who knows in this economy - the rules seem to be changing every day! However, if you are serious about selling in a bad market, the common wisdom suggests you have to appeal to those shortsighted masses!

It's really a lovely space - seems like a good floorplan work triangles, etc. I think with just a few, small changes you'll sense a big difference in the reaction to the space.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just a little info...DH sat on his house (on the market) in a tough market...where his custom home was nicer than all of the neighbors, but not selling...FOR SIX YEARS!!! At one point five homes were for sale on his block...they all sold except his.

What was wrong with it? No chick factor (my defination) and far too personalized. He lived there alone, and while he has fabulous taste (which gets annoying since we argue about decore a lot!) he never took it to the finished level since he wasn't really living in the house. He figured that his nicer cabinets and upgraded floors would sell the joint so he just sat on it..doing nothing...for six years.

I see your house sitting for six years. You don't want to make changes and yet you ask for help. Someone in another forum asked the same question and I didn't even bother answering because I figured it was going to be just the same as this thread...commiseration is what you want...and I do understand and do offer it, but a pity party won't sell your home. If you want to get it off of your hands, you have to listen to people. The bue border is one of a few things killing the room...but you don't want to hear that.

I spent two thousand dollars on DH's house to spruce the whole thing up (chick'a'fi it). When finished, it was a modern, but gender neutral and somewhat style neutral place. I painted the kitchen yellow (see it can work) and removed his masculine shutters. I painted accent walls in every room. Hung mirrors, hung lots of drapes, removed the flannel and changed it out to silky fabrics to make the rooms more luxurious and spent some good money on the dining room which was the first room you saw when entering.

In general I made it everyone's style, verses his or mine. It sold in two weeks with three couples bidding against each other.

You're throwing thousands of dollars away when you don't take this free advice (and not mine...but the majority of advice here is pretty much in agreement). You don't seem to understand that this space is not yours anymore. It needs to be pretty, but pretty for everyone, not just for you. My guess is that the rest of the house might have this problem as well...and while you might not think things like drapes and bedspreads're terribly wrong. People have NO imagination. We sold DH's house lock stock and barrell...the people who bought it wanted it all. It really wasn't all that special, but they apparently had no idea how to personalize a space, and bought it because nothing had to be done.

In a down market, like what DH went through (crazy expansion all over around him so his not so new, but really nice home wasn't in demand) you have to make more effort to stand out, verses less. You can cry in your soup about the market, or you can gussie the place up and take less of a loss than you will if you're carrying two morgages for six years....your choice...

This is why I don't answer threads like "What goes with white". The person asking probably already purchased the pink and purple cabinets anyhoo and just wants to hear it will makes me grumpy (and I"m not normally such a grump). Honestly...I just want to see you sell :o)

Stagers often have to be mean to get their point across since people take this so personally...just consider me a stager :oP With a heart of gold (not blue!)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Listen to Igloochic, she is telling it like it is. Some people can see what they can do with a space in their mind's eye but most people have zero design imagination (that's why they higher stagers and interior decorator's). In this thread, you have the masses telling you what would appeal to them, make the changes most suggested. It won't cost you that much and in the end will save you thousands. In order to sell a house, you have to let go of it emotionally and realize that what you have loved and enjoyed might not appeal to everyone.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a white kitchen.

Here is what I would do if I bought your house:

Change the knobs (maybe change the faucets depending on how they stand out once the knobs are changed).
Change the appliances to stainless. I love the white with stainless look.

Those would be must do's for me if I bought your house. I highly recommend changing out the knobs. They just look cheap with all the white in there.

Get rid of the border for sure.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

igloo's right.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ncamy, if the dimensions on that light fixture are good for your space, I would jump all over that! Wow - $28.00 plus free shipping! Deal!

I don't want to pile on regarding your kitchen (in case you were feeling a bit piled upon) but the quick/easy/cheap changes of painting over the border, adding knobs and faucets in a silver finish and switching out the flourescent light will go a long way.

I like your kitchen, but it seems 'undressed'...those silver items would be like jewelry and would add a little bling.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the photoshop picture looks better. No painted border, knob & faucet change. Yes I think if you change the knobs to a matching metal finish the chandy would look better.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chiming in late here, and I'm sure you don't want to do much to your kitchen, but I agree with most everyone else here and I'd just want to add that if I were looking to buy a fairly upscale home like yours is, I'd want the kitchen to look like something I'd want to cook and eat in, and relatively current to the times, and yours looks a bit unsophisticated (sorry) I think a small investment in some closeout SS appliances, a few pennies on quarter round trim to enhance the crowns, a couple gallons of "stereotypical" popular paint colors, some knobs, etc. would recoup your investment tenfold.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bingo, nalcar! Tremendous difference. That's a kitchen you could move into.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

nice work Nalcar!!! The looks just right and other than the fridge probably wouldn't cost much. maybe look on Craigslist for a used stainless fridge. that's where mine went and the person who got it got a very good deal. people won't pay much for used fridges.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Other good sources for stainless fridges are ApplianceSmart and the Home Depot Clearance Center. There were tons of them available that were marked down a bunch. Unfortunately, we were looking for gloss black...

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like that Nalcar. Interesting idea of the quarter round.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nalcar, what a difference! The after looks great. That wall color looks wonderful. I notice she painted the island. That alone makes a huge difference.

Ncamy, please listen to the people on this thread. I really like that wall color Nalcar picked, but at least paint over your border with the yellow wall color. Change the knobs, faucet, and light. Consider painting the island a darker color, too. You can do all of these for $300.00. Get some warmer

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too, like the quarteround idea. That was part of the problem. I always thought the crown molding looked a little dinky (especially compared to the gigantic moldings in the other rooms.) They always needed something to weight it. But sorry it will definitely be a no go on the appliances. We maxed our home equity loan in order to pay the rent in the town where our jobs are. Even if I could find all seven appliances for $500, I couldn't do it. I don't have $500. The Bosch dishwasher is brand new and the double ovens were just replaced less than six months ago.

Any other comments on the light fixture I posted earlier?

Now can we talk paint colors? The adjoining rooms are taupe, with the dining room a darker shade than the living room. They are Porter paints called Walnut Wash and Staghorn. The gold that's in the kitchen has a lot of the same brown tones, but I still believe that if there isn't a border then the color needs to go darker. It absolutely must blend with the taupes in the adjoining rooms because that's one of the best features of the house...the paint colors flow so flawlessly just slightly changing shades from one area to the next. If you have recommendations it would be really helpful to me if you can relate them to Sherwinn Williams' paint colors because that's the only "fan" I have to look at and the computer monitor never truly picks up on the exact color. Also how far should I go with the paint? The laundry room and office are also gold.

The custom window treatments will have to stay. The same fabric is used in the office off of the kitchen. Unfortunately the paint and light fixture will be all I get this year for Christmas and I'm pretty sure my teenage daughter is not going to be too thrilled with the cabinet knobs she gets in her stocking! (Boohoo...I am whining now!)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG...I love the photoshopped wine bottles LOL...

I totally understand about not having $500....this economy sucks...

LOL at knobs in her stocking....You can get them at Home Depot...get the cheapest ones they have....

I think knobs, light fixture, and paint...will do the trick...but I REALLY think you should include painting the makes a HUGE difference....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ncamy, just to let you know, you are not alone. Its easy for us to all spend your money as you have a very interesting space that we all like to play with. But I totally understand the need to conserve the funds.

I think Nalcar gave you the best advice there is- the moldings were too dinky. With that and paint and some inexpensive hardware it just might do it. I don't see anything wrong with your window treatment- but its hard for me to see the actual colors in it well enough to know what would go.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the added molding, but wouldn't it be half round verses quarter? Just curious. :o)

I would not paint the other rooms. Just pick a tan that fits (from the same page on your paint deck) and go for it. Actually going tan will fix the problem with the window treatment, so that's a good thing as well.

I know you don't want to hear it, but the one other thing is that little dresser. I do know what I'm saying here from much experience. YOu don't add unfitting furniture to a kitchen. It makes it very clear in a buyers mind that you must have needed storage. It no longer is decorative, it's considered an eye opener to look for other problems. It is also much prettier than your cabinets...and that makes them look bad (and they are pretty, but the rich dresser piece is much warmer).

A can of primer and the gray paint on that island if you can do it would be amazing. That pic is fabulous above!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been following this very interesting thread. Nalcar has the right idea!
Ncamy: I wish you much luck in selling your house. If you don't have the $500 to make some changes because you are so maxed out, I feel for you. These are very difficult times. I can't imagine what the economic future holds.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also just found brushed nickel knobs on Ebay for $0.85 each. Don't have the link, but I'm thinking they might do.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Shelayne. Changing the hardware and faucets, removing the border. I happen to like yellow and think it is a nice contrast.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the idea of using the additional molding to extend the crown molding down the wall. I'd do that in a flash and cover up that border. It's too personal is the problem. Yes, it lends color to the room, but it's a personal color rather than a neutral color. There is a BIG difference. One is a minus and the other is a plus. Your border is a minus. You might be talking $20 worth of materials to do that---as long as you still have the touchup leftovers in a closet somewhere.

A gallon of satin paint in a chocolate brown black color for the island would run you maybe $25 in Behr (which I like better than Valspar because of it's better coverability). New knobs in a value pack might be less than $1 apiece. A marked down simple faucet in chrome might be $80. A new light fixture, $50.

Every one of those changes would make a HUGE impact on that space. They would warm it up without making it too personal, which is the right idea.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can get a 100 knobs for $30.00 with free shipping on Ebay. That's a good start.

Here is a link that might be useful: Satin nickel knobs.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very nice Nalcar! It looks like a kitchen in a magazine, don't you think, ncamy? I think that's generally what others are telling you--blend with the masses.

I think if you look at Nalcar's picture and start with the items that give you the most "bang for the buck" (paint, knobs, light fixture if it's the $28 one) you can make a huge difference on a low budget. I personally think the appliances could go either way, but I may tend too far from trendy. Keep in mind though if you look for something to replace the appliances, you mainly want them to _look_ good, not be your favorite.

Do the cheaper stuff first while keeping an eye out on Craig's list for bargains on stainless appliances. I would say make the fridge a higher priority since that's visually more stainless and the oven blends in with the white cabinets anyway.

Good luck! I'd kill for that kitchen (the blue and yellow or the trendy colors), but you couldn't pay me to live in Charlotte:-)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

oops, sorry, didn't reload and see the NO $$$ for appliances post...
I think that other (much cheaper) stuff would make a huge difference!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the chandelier and with the what Nalcar did, I think it would fit right in. The only thing is to make sure it will be in the proportions to the island. How big is the island? And with the island being kind of square maybe a three arm fixture would look better?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a popular post! Nice job Nalcar.
I am dreading my post coming down the pike next spring which will be very similar: "The modest grey n blue 80s kitchen with formica that won't sell". And add in the DH who doesn't get the whole idea of staging, spending money to sell the house... Till then, I will follow this saga to see how it plays out... Good luck and I hope you take some of the low cost suggestions.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

stephanie lynn,

GREAT FIND on 100 knobs for $30 (maybe less with the make an offer option). and I think they would look great in ncamy's kitchen. The 99 cent ones at home depot appeared to be made of plastic. these ones for much less look like much better quality.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've not posted on this thread because the opinions of the white kitchen were so optimistic. I didn't want to my harsh perception to discourage the OP. I understand the comments from potential buyers. To me the kitchen looks like a kitchen to run from. I hope what I say will be encouraging; it is not meant to be mean at all. I finally decided to post because the photoshopped kitchen using the great suggestions from everyone has changed my opinion completely. It looks wonderful, homey, useful, and spacious. So take this for what its worth to you.

The white island looks like inadequate landscaping in a traffic circle, very light weight and undersized. While the little chest against the wall is lovely, it contributes to the freeway look of the path around the island and emphasizes the bland whiteness of the kitchen because of the stark contrast. Igloo is right, get rid of it. Since you love it, is there a place in the breakfast room?

While not black and white, the checkered border reinforces the race track feel as well as intensifying the unbalanced feel. Paint and molding are much warmer and reduce the unbalanced feel a lot to me.

The appliances seem out of style. I am the last person to care about trends or the latest style. I think classic is more elegant. So, it's not the style that put me off. But the door handles on the refrigerator makes me think it has been around for a while and may need to be replaced soon. Ditto with the gas cook top. The gray grates jump right out and make the cooktop look small.. Changing the island to a darker color blends with the gray grates. It looks like it was intended to coordinate and makes the size of the cooktop less of the focal point. Changing out appliances also break up the expanse of white. I know you can't change appliances. I wonder if you could rent a SS fridge and apply a SS panel to the DW.

Is there enough light? I'd think maybe not because of the lamp on the chest. The chandelier rather than the florescent above the island is a much warmer look. The 3-4 lights has more weight and mass; it distracts my notice of no vent above the cooktop.

All of the wall cabinetry concentrated on one end looks unbalanced. I think working in there would feel claustrophobic. It needs some way to draw attention to the counter level. I don't see any cooks tools, i.e. mixer, pots & pans, coffee maker, towels, etc . Makes me wonder if it is a kitchen that would be good to cook in-is it ever used? I also think some flowers would go a long way to looking homey.

Sorry to be so harsh; I know you love your kitchen. It should be exactly what you love when you are the cook. However, you want someone else to cook in this kitchen and love it. Let them see the potential because there is a lot of potential. I just couldn't see it without the changes.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's been my experience that most e-bay sellers that have the "make an offer" option will usually accept 15% less than the buy it now price. You can click on their history and see if they have sold similar items, and what price they accepted. Maybe then DD will have something in addition to cabinet hardware in her stocking!

Good luck, ncamy. I would have been over-whelmed with the avalanche of suggestions/advice/demands you have gotten since you posted. You are a good sport.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The painted boarder distracts from the custom idems in the kitchen that you want to be the focus. Personally I would paint over the painted boarder and change out the nobs and faucets and call it good. The idea is you want it to be a clean slate for someone else to invision their taste applied to it. Personally I like the little blue tiles and don,t think they distract at all. Everyone is going to be so sick of earth tones in a few years, But they are the now thing so sellers have to at least consider going that way when updating for resale. Have you considered painting the walls a darker color and the island a really dark color to make the cabinets pop?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just want to comment on the incredible generosity of the posters here on garden web. You have offered the op GREAT suggestions that are completely affordable and, if taken, will appeal to a majority of buyers. Two cans of flat paint from HD will cost 50 bucks--and knobs that cost $30? Amazing! And moving a piece of furniture to another location? FREE. Fabulous advice! The OP is clearly thankful for your suggestions, and hopefully she will move on the advice and sell soon.

My mom will be selling her home of over 40 years soon, and convincing her to depersonalize her home will be a challenge. Unfortunately, she isn't asking for my (or anyone else's) help! But this would be the place to come :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Changing, painting over, or covering the molding underneath the wall cabinets with a dark color, along with matching replacement cabinet handles, would take the edge off the white cabinets without being too expensive or difficult. I'd probably go wood or dark bronze rather than stainless steel. Change the outlet and switch bezels and maybe the switches and outlets themselves to a darker color, maybe dark bronze.

Then change the fluorescent light bulbs to warm-colored versions (2700 to 3500K, with CRI of 85 or higher in lighting parlance) which will give off light similar to the incandescent lamps across the room. This small, often overlooked change can quickly and easily take the starkness out of all-white rooms.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my gosh lee, I had to laugh when I read about the specific color of the fluorescent bulbs! Though I am 98% sure I'll change it to something cheap like what I posted earlier, I actually have no fewer than 14 tubes of different fluorescent bulbs in the garage right now because I kept experimenting to find just the right color the last time it had to be replaced. Too pink, too can't imagine how difficult it was to find the right one. Good news is if I take that fixture down, I will install it in my new build's master closet and I'll have light bulbs for life.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love Nalcar's Photo-Shopping and House_Vixen's Photo-Shopping pictures without the border and letting the pretty crown molding come to life. If I was selling this kitchen, I would change out the knobs if they are only $30 and I would paint over the border at a minimum. If the budget allowed, I would get rid of the fluorescent light in the kitchen. I also have a similar fluorescent light in my kitchen that is not as nice as yours and almost everyone in my complex has replaced theirs with lighting more modern so I know when I sell, I will have to do the same. I know once you make the inexpensive changes, your kitchen will be memorable and those visiting will be commenting on how nice your kitchen was. The members of this site are wonderful, caring and really helpful. We are all blessed to be members of this forum.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Normally this is not my kind of kitchen but I had to comment on the after picture that nalcar did, OMG!!!. I am always amazed at her photoshop and design sense, and this is the best yet. Truly the Candace Olsen of Gardenweb. We are indeed lucky in this forum.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

modesignfan, Yes we are so blessed to have so many talented members on this forum and members that all care about one another also. I feel very lucky to have found this site on the Internet. Thank you everyone.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 1:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So, have you made any decisions about what you are going to do to your kitchen?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would love an update when the poster has time on what changes were made and if the house sold.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nalcar's nailed it. I'd even like to see the repaint in the BM Bittersweet Chocolate or similar dark brown on the walls -- to pick up the color of the furniture and give it an economical and dramatic update.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

they are really saying: won't buy because of kitchen? what does the selling agent say?
What about : allowance to buyer for kitchen remodel of their choice???? what if you change and still no one likes?
I think the place looks clean! Maybe they are scared of the white? A super clean person would like. Also a person who doesn't cook much maybe. It's rooming looking.

What is your budget: can you do like the no payments, no interest 12 mnths: no money down loan //then pay off when you sell house?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have already begun the improvements. Y'all will just have to wait for the pictures after we have finished stage 2! The cabinet hardware and faucets didn't get here in time for us to install them when we went down last weekend. So far we have painted, removed one of the bar stools and replaced the fluorescent light fixture. We ran into one glitch. We just found out the light fixture we ordered for over the breakfast area is no longer available so the company has refunded my money. They had another style in the same color, which I have since ordered. Hopefully they won't sell out of it before they can ship me one. I guess this is what you run into when you are shopping closeouts and trying to buy light fixtures for $29.00!!!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's great! I am glad you didn't just go away and forget about us. I hate an unfinished story! I always like to know the ending and always root for a happy ending! Make sure you show us the pictures when you have them.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ncamy, I am so happy you are taking some of the talented members' suggestions. I can't wait to see updated pics! Also I can't wait to see your new fixture in the kitchen since my ugly fluorescent light that is always filled with bugs is next to go and I am not sure what to put in the place. I also have the problem of popcorn ceilings...

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I loved your kitchen, except for the bowl and the overhead light. A porcelain clay bowl with food in it would be fine!

If I were to move in, I'd leave the big sink and DW white but put in a stainless fridge and stainless prep sink/faucet. Maybe paint the wall-- terra cotta? and throw away the t.v. - I might throw away the t.v. even to sell it. Put something beautiful there.

I like the painted border enough that it might inspire me to try some tile up there instead. Anyhow, good luck and don't let anything get you down. Oh and I love the bird clock! Someone's going to love your kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the fact that you got so many responses on modest and (relatively) cheap fixes including doing nothing but wait. Also great advice to look at the whole house again with an eye to, not so much how much you could spend on it, but just noting any little details now that you are more "detached" as an owner and trying to see it as a buyer. I would be attracted to darker neutral paint EVEN though I would likely re-paint all over again), and the new knobs. But, no buyer is likely to keep everything as-is so it would be a crapshoot to replace counter, appliances. Anyone who has any sort of interest in the house will know that they can change counters, paint and so forth themselvs.

Some of the real issues are not whether you will get your $$ back in price, but more whether you are in a real bind to sell quick, or can wait a few months. For some people, $$ is leaking out fast each month and therefore a quicker sale is most important.

I had hired an agent to sell my dad's house after he died. I lived in another city and had no interest in trying to do updates, even though it needed a lot of them--we were definitely into right-pricing, because once we would have started on one update, everything would follow, and we still could not justify an increase in price. So we tried to concentrate on necessary improvements like roof, etc. The agent kept telling us things like, how about new siding? great ceramic tile in the kitchen? etc etc. When we knew we were looking for a buyer who was okay with making his own updates. After more than several months of this, we fired her and hired someone else with a different attitude. The house sold in less than a month.

Okay, that might not be relevant to your situation, because certainly your home is way more up to date than that and there's also no comparison with the housing markets. The point is just, I now pay a lot more attention to what I hear an agent saying, to see if we are on the same wavelength and that they are truly working for my benefit. So I am more alert to whether the agent is sending poor-mouth signals to buyers or not. Also as many said, sometimes folks are "pressed" for a reason and so you can't always rely on what reasons they give, nor can you blow with the wind on the latest comments from lookers.

When you read the real estate sections now, it's all about how we the homeowners ought to invest a brazillian dollars prior to selling. Because remember the agents don't really care so much about the actual sale prices--they are into volume, and want to move stuff quickly.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hopefully you have sold your house by now, but just in case, I ran across this kitchen on apartment therapy's site and thought of yours. Maybe you can try to make it a more modern white kitchen. Is it possible to retile? I would buy this kitchen in a minute. White can be modern, yours just looks a little bit dated with the yellow and blue.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
School me on galley kitchen layout!
So I've tried to start learning from the experts here...
Viatera Minuet
Hello! I am about to start a kitchen remodel and I'm...
Crack in Quartz countertop
I purchased my Quartz countertop 7 months ago and I...
Faucet Choice: Blanco, Hansgrohe or KWC
Hi, We are remodeling our kitchen and will be putting...
Help with kitchen mat-awkward area. Custom?
What we would ideally like is a mat with a 45 degree...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™