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How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Posted by sas95 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 10:23

My sister just bought a row house. The house was built in 1880, and it seems as if the previous owners put in a new floor and a couple of new appliances before selling.

My sister wants to make the kitchen look prettier, but she is on a strict budget and won't be replacing the cabinets or floor (even though she's not crazy about the floor choice). She will be getting a new range in black to match the other appliances, and wants to refinish the cabinets and replace the countertop, which is damaged in a few places.

She has asked for my help in making decisions. If I were in her shoes, I would probably be saving my pennies for a more complete redo, but with two kids in college she has different priorities. I don't think a reno is anything that she will ever want to do. What would you suggest to help her pretty up her kitchen? Paint or stain the cabinets? Countertops? They are proficient DIYers. I am sort of hung up on what would go best with the existing floor.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I think changing the color of the kitchen walls will go a long way in minimizing the orange tone in the cabinets so I would start there. A paint with a cooler tone would work nicely. I would also paint the ceiling white, and add new hardware on the cabinets or remove the knobs totally.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I would brighten up the color scheme that has been started, paint the ceiling white and the walls white or grey and then add some black and white decorative tile to the backsplash........and maybe change out the knobs. The finish of the cabinets seems to coordinate with the house trim, so I'd leave that and just concentrate on adding more texture and charm.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I love the cabinets. I would paint for sure and add a backsplash. I think some basic decorating will go a long way here.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Impeccably clean kitchens, no matter what decor, are always the best. Not saying hers is not, as I cannot see....but.. Then change the stove out, paint the walls, throw some rugs on the floor of a jute or sisal, a great canister set on the countertop and pretty flowers on the table.

This post was edited by patricia43 on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 11:57


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I love the cabinets, too, and would never paint them, but think the black was an unfortunate choice for appliances. Not sure I'd get a black stove but buy something that will look less stark and cover the dishwasher door with wood and wait for that refer to die. I love Beverly's backsplash idea - if your sis loves the black appliances it really adds a great touch with them. If not loving the black appliances, maybe a more colorful or neutral backsplash until the black goes away. I, too, would paint the walls and get some large rugs to cover part of the floor.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

You are kind of locked into gray with the flooring and black with the appliances. I like the cabinets and would leave them. What is the budget for the counter....are you looking at Formica or granite? Again, something in the gray family will go best and a backsplash with gray in it. Light gray walls. This is actually a neutral pallette...then she can add pops of color in the accessories--dish towels, canisters, etc...red or yellow would go. If she's really set on painting the cabs I would do white.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I just don't think gray works with this kitchen. Go black, not gray. Throw some rugs on that floor and pretend then pretend the gray is not there.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

That side of the kitchen looks pretty good. And you have gotten some good ideas - I think the backsplash idea would make a big difference.

The other side, with the radiator, garbage can, etc. - maybe that side that could be made more attractive. Is there a window to put some attractive curtains on?


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

You said they are really handy so I suggest they tear out the soffit and add crown molding to the top of the cabs. I have done it twice now and I am always really pleasantly suprised out it opens up the room. If she really enjoys cooking big meals then a small island on wheels with drawers would help the layout. I only see two drawers currently.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Is that floor gray or beige? Kind of hard to tell from the photos. There are many people on this site much better at coordinating colors and such, but....I have to agree with patricia43, I don't really like the gray with those cabinets. If they are replacing the counters, I would not choose gray. That gray appears to make the cabinets look quite orange. I do love gray in a kitchen, but with white cabinets. For a tight budget I would keep the black appliances for now (I think they look better than the white), choose a laminate counter in a darker shade, either mostly black or with strong black accents and a backsplash that picks up some of the color in the counters. That black and white backsplash would look lovely with a black countertop to me, although those tiles look like they might be pricey and the post said it has to be budget friendly. Are the cabinets cherry? If she really wanted to do the work, they could be stripped and restained in a nice cherry shade, the kitchen looks like it gets a lot of light from the skylight so she could go darker on the cabinet color. The tonal variations of the wood are beautiful, its the orange color that makes it difficult. Stripping and refinishing is a ton of work though (we did it to our first kitchen, lots of work but turned out really nice)


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I really like the cabinets. They look unique and the wood looks beautiful (at least in the pictures). It looks like they coordinate well with the lovely wood trim in the house. While I'm not in love with the tile, I think it looks pretty nice. The countertops also coordinate nicely with the tile and look good with the cabinets. I think all black appliances will look nice, or maybe stainless if they all need replacing. I agree that the primary issue seems to be the paint. I think a cooler color (white or pale blue maybe) or a bold color (red, dark blue even?) would be nice. An added backsplash might also give a more finished look. Honestly I think it's quite a pretty kitchen.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

a)Try to replace the white stove with a black stove -- and a black microhood.

b)Paint everything -- ceiling, soffit and cabinets in white. Don't worry about a backsplash. Or look for a simple fresh white subway tile .... keep things every fresh and simple.

c)Add updated silver hardware on the cabinets.

d)Build a radiator cover with a white tile top.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Once upon a time I did not have a "real" backsplash, just sheetrock and wallpaper. I wanted something besides chicken and rooster paper. I wanted a "clean" kitchen. I painted over all the wallpaper and yes, it can be done and can look as though there is no wallpaper there. That is beside the point. I found an anaglypta wallpaper and placed it just as I would have a backsplash. I painted it the color nearest what I wanted. I put a glaze in an oak stain color over the green paint on the anaglypta. I dry brushed it with copper and then antique-glazed it once more and when it dried, I burnished it with a fine grade steel wool. I had that for years and anyone who did not know better thought it was tiles.

This is how it looked. See the last one with the green look.

https://www.google.com/search?q=anaglypta+wallpaper&tbm=isch&imgil=hI6JFAcrPBg3qM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcR


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Oh, well, it did not end up on the end...

but it is the dark coppery green one. This could be done instead of using tile if you are financially strapped.

Try this one. It's in here.
http://www.pinterest.com/betsywastaken/house-anaglypta-lincrusta/

This post was edited by patricia43 on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 19:09


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Must be quite a pleasant space to work in with that skylight! What stands out most to me as something I'd want to change is the floor. I have seen successful vinyl floor DIY paint jobs - it is possible if you use the right products. Then on top I would put one of those indoor/outdoor rugs that you can just hose off - a sisal or persian-type one, depending on the look desired. Looks like new cabinet knobs might help. Not sure I'd push forward with buying more black appliances - the black fridge feels overwhelming and if I was making the decision, I'd probably paint that too.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

New counter tops in a lighter color would really brighten the kitchen up. There are some really nice laminate or solid surface options for folks on a budget and the color choices are amazing today.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I like the cabinets. The counters are okay, but I like gray with wood that color. I'm not loving black appliances at all, and think a stainless (maybe with black trim) stove would look much better than another chunk of black.

The floor. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't have a huge bulls-eye right in the middle. It forces you to notice it. I would seriously consider doing something with the floor.

I think there's too much yellow in the wall color for those cabinets. Maybe something with a touch of sage?

Getting rid of the soffits would be awesome, but the electrical/lighting would need to be addressed.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I like the cabinets and love the black appliances. Black appliances are either love or hate'm thing.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I think you can benefit from a design seed. Go with the grayish taupe for the walls, then find art that pulls the colors together. You've got the golden tones in the cabinets and the black in the appliance already.

Go more neutral...

Or better yet, add interesting colors to the palette.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Thanks so much for all the input. Such good suggestions. I have not seen the place yet-- she is several hours away-- and the pictures are from the listing so it is hard to tell what really is. I'm going down in a few weeks and so I'm already thinking about what to suggest. I'm going to send her the link to this thread, as I know she will appreciate the advice.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Black appliances show every fingerprint and bit of dirt so I'd go with a stainless range. Pick a new paint color, add a backsplash. The backsplash wouldn't have to be black/white. For example, if the walls were a watery green/blue you could use a similarly colored glass or ceramic tile. Colors like Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage and other greyed blue/greens are lovely with wood tones.

Beautiful cupboards! The skylight is very nice, too. Switch the knobs, see if four more pieces of the plain flooring are available to replace the medallion.

When replacing the countertops I'd move away from grey.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Lazydaisynot said exactly what I was thinking. Personally I'd replace the black appliances- black shows every little smudge and fingerprint and makes the room seem smaller.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I think the color below would work very well or one like that, this is just a visual of what it would look like.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I have had every color appliance almost you could think of from white to stainless, and in between, almond, black, red. harvest gold, avocado green, coppertone and stainless steel shows the finger prints and everything imaginable. None of the others does. That black or white shows more fingerprints or wipes than anything has not been the case for me.. Stainless steel is the worst offender.

I like the color yayagal has shown with this kitchen. It's fresh, it's color without being too bold and it brightens up the kitchen with natural vegetarian color..The white backsplash is a great, fresh idea.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

The kitchen space is nice but right now it is a mishmash - transitional floor, cottage cabinets, different color appliances, clashing undertones everywhere.

Which decorating style does your sister like? What does the rest of the house look like? Does she like the cabinet grain?

Since the floor is a given, I would use that as a base for my changes. On my monitor the floor and the cabinets clash. If your sister really likes the cabinet grain, new wall color or lighting may help things look more cohesive. Personally, I think painting the cabinets would make a huge difference but I know some people really like wood grain.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

The black is very heavy. They do show everything in my experience. Since she wants to paint the cabinets, I would start there to figure the rest out.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I have black ovens right now and have not had trouble with fingerprints....I have heard a lot of people complain about stainless though.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

The black refrigerator and dishwasher are new so she would not be looking to replace them. I think a stainless/black range would be an interesting idea rather than going all black. I am interested in getting down there to see what the cabinets look like in person. I do agree that a new, fresh wall color will make a big impact right away.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

I love beverly27's tile suggestion, but it look's very expensive. I might try finding vinyl wallpaper in a similar pattern for the backsplash and change the countertops to Formica Basalt Matte laminate. Paint the walls and ceiling white and add a small butcher block island with black or white legs, change the stove out to a black and stainless model, stainless exhaust fan and add stainless cabinet hardware and a few other stainless décor items.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

If it were me, I would just start by painting the walls a color such as SW accessable beige. Its a great greige warm color. I personally like the white range. I guess that is just my preference, white appliances over black.

I would then add a nice, fun rug. Then, I would stand back and see what, if anything else might need or not need to be done. Its a nice space and the cabs look in wonderful condition.

Keep us posted!


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

New wall paint, rug on the floor, new accessories. And maybe look into backpainted glass for backsplash. If you google it, you'll see that it can be done DIY relatiely inexpensively.
Love the cabinets!


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Palest green paint, light countertops, black stove . I've got a black oven and dishwasher, and they don't show fingerprints.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Think white on the ceiling above the soffet.
That skylight is wonderful!
The cabinets are beautiful! They don't make them like they used to, Mabey update the hardware, but nice hardware is pricey.
I would change out the counters for a nice light blue counter top. She is on a strick budget, but they have nice laminates now that appear like stone and marble. They are amazing.
That alone will brighten the kitchen so much.
Won't cost arm and a leg either.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

If a tight budget is the reality, probably best to leave the black appliances. I like them better with those cabinets than the bright white. Yes to new laminate counters, but I wouldn't do blue counters, I'd stick with something neutral, like black, something dark that will allow the black appliances to blend in. Paint the walls, perhaps a light beige or pearl gray. New knobs or pulls, yes, these can be pricey if you go high end, but you can find decent looking ones at HD and Lowes that won't break the bank. Add some accessories with pops of color such as Anniedeighnaugh's color palettes. (such great colors!) Wait on the backsplash until everything else is done, post photos and let the GW experts help with the backsplash too.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

We had great luck with the rustoleum counter top product. It was cheap, easy and we had no issues with it during the 3+years we had it in our kitchen.

As for knobs, again some of the rustoleum paint is really amazing. I have used it for knobs and for some brass ceiling fans and lots of light fixtures.


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RE: How would you "pretty up" this kitchen?

Biggest issue currently, to me, is the wall/ceiling color clashes with BOTH the floor and the cabinet color, and badly.

Assuming that the wall and ceiling paint will be done anyway, I would recommend first determining if they want to change the cabinet color or not. If they paint the cabinets, then there are a wide range of wall colors that will work. If they prefer to keep the cabinets, then a tighter range of wall colors will do the best to work with floor color, counter color, and cabinet color.

Suggest trying to get actual paint swatches that match up to the flooring color, counter top color, wood of the cabinets, and then the black of the appliances. Use these to see the undertones and get that fixed.

And what a great layout!


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