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How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Posted by Sharimac (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 27, 13 at 18:51

I am getting really gloomy being in my kitchen. As much as I would love to paint the cabinets, it is not an option. They are all custom cherry installed in 1998 by previous home owner and cost over 15K, plus the kitchen opens up onto the living room, which has the same dark cherry cabinets throughout. My home was built in 1885 and has the original layout and wood trims (all painted white, as was original). I really don't even know where to start since I feel like nothing will match these cabinets.

From House

This post was edited by Sharimac on Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 12:32


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Are you open to painting? The walls I mean. Different fabric on the chair cushions, bright colored rug, tube sky light if possible. Some lively accessories, some predominately white glassware in the glass cabinets. Paint the ceiling white. Are any of these doable? Interested to hear what others think. Pretty kitchen!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Love your ceiling, chandelier, and also the cabinets. I would go with a light blue for the ceiling and a lighter color for the walls, maybe Wythe Blue or Healing Aloe, or one of the lighter colors from your counter top.
Also, more colorful seat cushions and maybe rug.
Are the backsplash and floor ceramic tiles?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Your cabinets are really nice, so I can understand why you don't want to paint them. I second the suggestion to paint your walls and ceiling a lighter color. I like a soft, vanilla white myself, and I think it would brighten things up quite a bit. Maybe a plain subway backsplash in a light neutral? At least painting the walls/ceiling is relatively budget-friendly. Good luck and be sure to post more photos.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

The floor is ceramic tile, the back splash is that vinyl type squares that mimic the old tin ceilings. I would love to paint the walls and ceilings, but wasn't sure if just a nice soft white or cream would be too bland. I love the idea of a light colored subway tile back splash as that would actually fit in well with the time era of the house. I also read that painting just the center island can make a big difference. Would you go so far?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

To get more light, you need extra lighting. Under cabinet lighting, and I'd do some lighting behind some molding in the recess in the ceiling. Add in some additional recessed lighting as well.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Below are images of cherry cabinets with subway tile backsplash. It shouldn't be too expensive to add these. Also, if you paint the walls cream, you could introduce colors with new accessories. I really like how the blue of the dishes, or use whatever is your favorite color.
Also, perhaps remove that wood 'bridge' over the window and get a colorful valance or Roman blind?

What material (and color) are your countertops?

Here is a link that might be useful: cherry cabs and subway tile


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I'd start by painting the walls and ceiling.

Next I'd do some light colored tile for backsplash.

Then I would reassess whether anything more is needed.

It is a pretty kitchen and the cabinets look to to be quite nice so painting them, even just the island, wouldn't be high on my list of things to try.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I LOVE the idea of removing the "bridge" over the window. It is a completely useless cabinet anyway, plus let in a little extra light. Here is a pic of the living room (added on to the house later) and the dining room.

In the long run, I would like the three rooms to tie into one another since they all three open up to the other room. So, I either need to paint in colors that match that bold wallpaper in the dining room in both kithen and LR, which might look awful with the current countertops, or remove wallpaper in DR.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I wouldn't want to paint the cabinets either. They look very nice. Lightening the walls and ceiling is a good idea. What about the floors? I think a pretty slate would look gorgeous in your kitchen.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I would never paint those cabinets. As already said, paint the walls and ceiling a little color. Add UC lighting anyway you can. Change the backsplash to something lighter.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Agree with all of the above replies. Your cabinets are beautiful. I love the warmth. I would change the floor if possible. Also, replace your counter stools with a different material to cut down on the wood.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I forgot to mention that the countertops are corian solid surface and the color is a very subtle plum color with black and white specks. The sink is also solid and has a crack in it which I discovered is leaking when I started to wash my dishes a week or so after moving in. We either have to cut out the sink and replace or just get new countertops. I am begging DH for stainless appliances, so countertops will probably have to stay for awhile for cost purposes unless we go laminate.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

The cabinets are beautiful! Paint the ceiling for sure, possibly the walls, and add a little lighting as others have suggested and I think it will feel like an entirely new space.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Your cabinets are beautiful. I would not paint them.

Before you make any changes, here is something that might help:
This is your photo converted to black and white. Notice how dark the ceiling is, even darker than the floor in the photo.
 photo Kitchen3-1_zpsaf65c2ab.jpg

Now evaluate this image with the ceiling a warmish white:
 photo Kitchen3_zps75b81815.jpg

I did lighten the ceiling as well as replacing the color. More light IS needed. Someone suggested additional indirect lighting in the recessed ceiling and, of course, under cabinet lighting. That would help a lot.

FWIW I agree with several previous suggestions: a print or pattern of some kind with WHITE or another light color in it for the chair seats, and remove the bridging cabs over the window to allow the light to flood up and out across the ceiling. Painting the walls a light color.

As SaraKat and others suggested, I would also introduce white behind the glass doors on the countertop with accessories: a couple bowls or canisters, something like that.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 12:15


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I can understand that you find everything a bit too dark in your house. It looks like your ceiling in the adjoining living room is darker than the walls.I'd repaint that with the same lighter color as the kitchen, too. Is the wall color a light yellow? If yes, you could even leave that for now. Also, do you need to keep the blinds closed?

For the kitchen I'd paint with a warm creamy white, maybe BM Linen White. I'd hold off on the appliances for now and just replace the sink. If you can paint yourself, it's pretty inexpensive and just a few hours of your time, and it will make a huge difference.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Bellsmom, what a difference your photo touch up makes, plus it makes the room look much larger. The ceiling and walls in the LR are the same color, a light taupe. The above photo was before we moved in, so I have since removed the blinds and curtains from the LR, but the rope lighting above the cabinets in the LR puts off such a yellowish tint, it actually makes the shadows more pronounced. Plus, this area of the house is on the north side, so very little daylight enters. Any ideas on the DR? Should I remove the wallpaper and paint it the same color as kitchen or or maybe paint LR and DR one color and kitchen a lighter coordinating color? The woodwork in the DR was stripped by previous owner, it is pine and was originally meant to be painted, so that is first thing I am doing in the DR is to paint trim and doors white to match the rest of the house. It should be simple enough to put in under cabinet lighting, I am not sure where I could put additional recessed lighting, but changing out the chandelier would be easy, but with what? As large as the chandelier is, it puts off such a tiny amount of light because of the bulbs. I will post some updated pics of what everything looks like since we have moved in, but house is messy.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Personally Iike your black appliances and would replace the counters before the appliances if the appliances are in good shape. The counter will constrain your color choices with paint and backsplash. Your cabinets are beautiful, and I wouldn't paint any of them. However, you could paint the counter stools cream or white, paint the walls pale blue or sage to coordinate with the adjoining rooms and add a cream or white subway backsplash.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

What kind of light bulbs do you have in the chandelier? Maybe you can replace with brighter ones. I have to say that I like the chandelier, but you could replace it with two pendant lights. I think once you repaint the ceiling and walls in the kitchen, everything will look a lot brighter, and you can decide how to proceed with the living and dining room.
My northfacing family room/kitchen is Wyndham Cream, which is warm but definitely yellow.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Newer photos:


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

We cross posted. I am editing this to say I just looked at your new photos. Big improvements!! All of the below was written before I saw the new pics.

I'd love to see the way the home looks with your furniture in place. Of course it is ''messy'' since you are still moving in, settling down, organizing and reorganizing.

Good for you for getting rid of the blinds and drapes.

Here are some ideas, just tossed out in no particular order.

Personally, I would immediately get rid of the DR wallpaper, but that is a matter of taste. Paint is cheap, but stripping wallpaper is a pain. I think I would paint the ceilings the same creamy white everywhere, the walls in the LR the same color as the ceiling, the walls in the DR and maybe the kitchen a soft pale color that goes well with your color preferences. For me, that would probably be a soft light mossy green. Would it work to use the same color in the DR and the kitchen walls? Hmmm. Then pick up the color in fabric or paint, as someone suggested, on the stools in the kitchen?

I don't really like white ceilings, but in your home, I think that is where I would start.

Question: do you want to paint the DR woodwork so that it is very different from the kitchen and LR? Or do you want to consider something like a gel stain to make it resemble the darker trim?

(Again, I haven't looked at your new pics yet.)

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 14:03


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I think I have my weekend project. I am going to start off by painting ceiling and walls. Do you think a very light sage similar to the ceiling in the dining room? The bulbs in the chandelier in the kitchen are the little decorative bulbs with the tiny screw in part and are max. 40 watts each. I replaced all the recessed bulbs with florescent daylight in the 100watt. Not sure I like it since it kinda seems industrial. Our black furniture doesn't help matters, but DH agreed we will paint a distressed white or cream keeping the natural tops this spring.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

What sheen in your paint that is currently on the walls? I ask because I find a big difference between flat paint and a satin. Rooms I have flat in appear darker even if the paint is white. Where I have used satin it bounces the light just a little to appear brighter.

I love your dining room and the wallpaper.

oh and your house "messy" is my "pristine", lol.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

My ideas mostly echo those that have already been provided, here is what I would do, in the order that I would tackle it as well.

- Remove the arch over the window, consider doing the same in the ajoining rooms
- Paint the ceiling a white/offwhite color
- Update the wall color
- I would also remove the wallpaper in the ajoining room and paint it either the same color, or a complimentary color to whatever you pain in the kitchen.
- Add undercounter lighting
- Update the backspash and flooring

Some inspiration






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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

The trim in the DR has to be painted. In old homes when pine was used for the trim, it was because it was usually to be painted. It is very cheap and doesn't look very nice stripped down. The only room that doesn't have the trim painted besides the DR is the LR. The kitchen has all the original door trim, doors and baseboards still painted white with the exception of the trim around the entryway into the LR since that part of the house was added on in 1998. The wallpaper getting removed would not bother me since it is the only remaining room that hasn't had it stripped off. It has 3 layers of wallpaper though, ugh. It is always hard to determine what condition the plaster will be in once it is removed though. Actually we moved in last July, so my house is just messy but I will blame it on my teenager and pets :)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Another country heard from:

OMG get rid of that wall paper.
Or, could I suggest you consider removing that very dated pattern? You could pull some colors out of your rug (which should be a little larger, I think.)

Your cabs really are gorgeous, aren't they?

You also might consider not 100 watt bulbs. The glare is enough to make shoulders tense up. Something softer. They also have CFLs that are tinted to a softer, more eye-friendly shade these days. I know, I have the original ones and pretty much hate 'em. Huh. So I never turn those lights on. So THAT is how I save money!?!...

I digress.
Your furniture is a non-issue to my eye. The room is big enough it can carry it off, but then, I do love an antiqued (not distressed like a leopard) finish. Perhaps you could make the back of the island match that, too?
The natural sideboard in the DR is also gorgeous.

You have a really beautiful home.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I like the black furniture. It may be fine when you finish lighting and painting. And I love the basset!
And I see why you are considering white woodwork in the DR. I didn't realize the kitchen woodwork was white.

Why don't you get small samples of paint in different whites and sample them them on the walls and/or ceilings before actually starting to paint? People here can offer some good suggestions for off-white paint colors, also.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Love the inspiration photos, it kinda makes me realize I should like my cabinets dark finish and play on that, but whenever I see white cabinets I just get kitchen envy. Also, my second photo was blurry, so hope this is better. Using my phone camera so it is getting a glare from windows and lights.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Yes, when we were negotiating the house, we asked for both area rugs, the two from the original photos I posted because they were both large and I know those are expensive. We didn't get to keep the original rug from the LR, but we got the one from the DR, so we moved it into the LR and am using what I have for in the DR, it does look a little tiny. Flash is the basset and he is very lazy and in his favorite spot.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

The wallpaper in the dining room has to go. :)

While I do love sage walls and have them in my bedroom, it is a room blessed with abundant natural light. It's a color that plays well with most wood tones. That being said, I think the walls and ceiling in your kitchen would benefit from some shade of off-white.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Maybe this photo can provide some additional inspiration:

Elements I see in it that could benefit your space are:

*Lighter ceiling
*Lighter walls
*Lighter backsplash
*Light stained hardwoods
*Lighter, more neutral counters
*Painted island

I know you mentioned not wanting to paint the cabinets, but maybe painting the island only would provide some more interest to the space.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Your kitchen is beautiful! Can I have your dog? He is sooo cute!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Can't wait to see what the white/cream paint will do to the kitchen!
How big a deal would it be to remove the bridges over the windows in the LR?
And if you put a mirror over the fireplace, what would it reflect?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Hmm, removing the bridges in the LR would be rather tricky since they have built in recessed lighting in each one, so that may prove difficult for electrical since I have lighting in each of the display cabinets. I could probably remove just the arched woodwoord piece on each window, but there is still going to be a bridge that connects all the cabinets together with the electrical wiring. But, assuming that removing just the arched pieces doesn't leave an unfinished mark on the cabinets it is attached to, the recessed lighting might flood out more into the LR. I like the idea of a mirror, it would reflect the kitchen since that would be adjacent from the fireplace, but that may be something down the road unless I can find a cheap gigantic mirror somewhere. How mad do you think hubby would be if I told him we are painting this weekend? Superbowl is on Sunday ;-)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

One element that helps pull everything together in the inspiration pictures is the floor. In your kitchen I really think updating the floors to something with a softer grout line would work wonders. The last image I posted would be perfect, that backsplash would work as well!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

If you can find a gigantic frame that would work you can get a piece of mirror from most autoglass places. I recently put a large 6'x4' mirror for $110 and I was thinking about how easily I could put something like that in a frame for a space outside the bathroom.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wow, that is cheap for such a large mirror. I drag hubby antiquing all the time so will keep my eye out for large frames. Thanks for that idea, I love it!

It actually occurred to me yesterday that the grout in the tile floor was dark. The entire floor needs replaced in the future as well since it has lots of chips and cracks.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I think your cabinets are lovely. I know it seems like almost everyone wants stainless steel appliances, but I think the black looks fine with cherry. If the appliances still work well, I would put the money toward new counters instead, and wait to replace the appliances when they start to fail.

A lighter wall color and backsplash will make a big difference. The kitchen in our last house had cherry cabinets, black appliances, soft white/ivory walls, and a green granite (verde ander) that had flecks and veins in a few shades of green, plus black and ivory to tie all the elements together.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Your husband most likely won't notice that you're painting as long as you don't stand in front of the TV :)
If you have a Homegoods nearby, you could check them out for large mirrors.

I wonder how the grout colorants work? I found this link but nothing more recent.

Oh, and I would also post in the home decorating forum. Lots of great advice, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: grout colorant


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I like the inspiration photos you posted as it shows how the dark and light elements can work together and complement each other. All the appliances were included with the house when we purchased it and they were new in 2011 except the dishwasher, which we replaced a few months ago, so yes, the appliances will have to stay for awhile. I didn't realize that the built in ovens were so expensive, more than a free standing range so that threw me for a loop. I also really like the flooring in the above photo. DH has agreed as well that we need new backslash, and we would probably remove the small piece of countertop that is against the backsplash area now since it is not attached to the countertop and have the new backsplash come down flush to the countertop. I think what we have on the one wall (the tin ceiling vinyl tiles) is a neat idea, but too dark. The wall behind my stove top is cherry wood and it doesn't clean well at all. It has so much grease build up on it and any type of cleaner (even just vinegar) takes the sheen off the wood so it is very noticeable where I have tried to wipe it down. I think painting and backsplash is the least expensive way to update for the time being as we really need to put a lot of money aside to have the foundation redone and remove all the old original windows on the second floor and replace. Buying a historic home is a dream come true and thankfully a lot of restoration has already been done, but still a lot left to do.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Like most everyone else, I think your cabinets are lovely and wouldn't paint them. Painting your ceiling and walls will help. I agree with others that your black appliances are fine, but I would seriously consider replacing the countertops if you can before you put in the backsplash. The color is not helping make your kitchen brighter, and since you have to replace the sink anyway, you may not be able to keep the piece of countertop with the sink when you get it replaced. I think maybe some other lighter color other than plum would work better with your cabinets. Love your wonderful home, and of course, Flash too :)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Any thoughts on spray painting my cabinet hardware as well? They are bright brass and feel so dated, would a brushed nickel or aged bronze or something be a better choice?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I would just buy new hardware, there are lots of places you can get affordable options.

I bought mine at Ikea, but they may not be the sam spacing as they are in metric.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I agree with Laura about the hardware. It's a great way to get an updated look and is one of the more affordable elements of the kitchen (there are some excellent, budget-friendly options).


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I think you are on the right track, given your other priories (I hear you -- I had foundation work and the windows replaced in my older home). Paint those rooms and the trim first, and work to unblock the windows as much as possible. The backsplash is clearly next.

As others suggested, if you are going to stretch for one thing, consider the counters. Because although the strip of 4" counter can be easily removed, the same can't be necessarily said to be true when it comes to replacing the countertop (without damaging the backsplash).

I think you need more reflective surfaces to maximize the available natural and artificial light. Everything you have is absorbing the light. I have a similar problem I am trying to tackle in the family room.

A well placed long horizontal mirror in that hallway down to what appears to be a door can serve to bounce light back into the kitchen. An example is linked.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirror for Side Entrances


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

So what are everyone's thoughts on laminate countertops? We could actually get them at a huge discount since a family member owns a countertop manufacturing business. I would go with a European cut so as to not have the little backsplash and the solid edge to look like a full "slab" of whatever. I agree, it would be a shame for us to go to all the work of putting in tile backsplash just to mar it in removing the countertops down the road. I am making notes of everyone's suggestions and searching for colors I would like to use throughout the three spaces. I HATE painting since it seems like we paint every house we have ever lived in, but it is a very inexpensive way to make a big change.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I have to say that the counter tops don't look that bad on your last picture. They may look at a lot better with a light wall paint. You could also replace the backsplash temporarily with lighter metal tiles.

Here is a link that might be useful: tin backsplash


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

A few weeks ago I would have said to steer clear of laminate, but recently I've seen a few fairly nice ones on here, so maybe it would be okay, I just haven't seen any nice ones in person yet!

I know you don't want to do it all at once, but it is hard to pick a paint color without first picking the counters.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I think laminate gets a bum rap. They hold up really well if you take care of them (no hot pans, don't cut on it). My mom's are 50 years old (granted, they are showing some wear in her favorite prep location, but look great elsewhere). Some of the new patterns are really nice. Will they fool someone into thinking they are stone? Probably not (although I've been fooled by photos on occasion). But you can also get designs and colors that you can't find in a natural material, if that's what you want.

On the downside, you generally can't do an undermount sink with laminate (I think I've heard it can be done, but don't know the details).

But I think the existing counter looks fine in the pics (not sure I'm seeing the color right--I don't see plum). But lightening up the color would help your main problem, and you might find another color easier to coordinate colors with.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

If your sink is leaking, I would replace just that and skip the appliances for now. Is the sink Corian as well? I'f so, the old sink can be cut out and a new sink dropped in or undermounted.

Have you owned stainless before? Asking because I had wanted stainless for years, and now that I have it I'm sorry. It's impossible to keep them shiny, so they always look like crap. Just my opinion. I cook a lot and it all gets heavy use. I'd keep the black.

Laughing out loud that in the other forum I told you to put the living room rug into the dining room, and now I read that that's where it originated. Put it back! LOL!

I have painted grout before. Not pretty. But re-grouting is easy-peasy. Get a grout removing tool, scrape out as much as you can (especially the edges of your tiles, and put new grout in. I would match the tile as closely as possible, then seal the ever-lovin' out of it.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I also would not touch the cabinets. I think they look really nice. I might redo the island though just for some contrast. Something lighter.
I'd change out the cabinet hardware. I found mine on ebay for a steal.
I'd leave the countertop as well. Add a new backsplash if you can.
My number one priority would be the floor. There are some beautiful porcelain planks out there that would look great.
Keep us posted :)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

To me, the paint would be the first thing to change. It's moody and too much for a cheerful kitchen. Please don't use a shiny paint. That is just depressing. At most an eggshell but nothing higher in sheen than that. I prefer flat for ceilings and I would do them white. They will look a little off white in time. You could possibly do something in the tray using two colors such as do the very top a pale blue but the sides white. You could entertain adding moulding to the tray in white if you do paint it a color. Put a large decorative medallion at the top of the chandelier, they sell them at lighting stores and HD. Would go well with your decor. If the ceiling is a color paint the medallion white, if it's white then paint it to match the chandelier. Next I would work on taking down the wallpaper and painting that room a nice complimentary shade to go with the kitchen. Your home is gorgeous and I love your sweet doggie. He seems to like the new digs.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I wouldn't do laminate on expensive cherry cabinets. I do think the current counter color is depressing. It looks too cool against the floor in some of the photos. Have you investigated the cost of granite countertops? You don't have acres of counter. Perhaps you could change just the island for now and do the perimeters at a later date. Of course you'd want to have a long-term plan so that you could coordinate the perimeter with the island.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

First, my DH is against stainless appliances as well since he says they are going to show every fingerprint. We have a teenage son, but I have two sweet little nieces who visit all the time and are in and out of the fridge. Anyway, the black has to stay until it dies, it does show Flash drool though, yuck.

For paint, I agree that I won't use a gloss finish since three of the walls are still the original plaster and gloss will show every flaw. I don't much like flat for walls because it seems harder to wipe down, though I am sure it has improved over the years.

I am so torn on the countertops. I just don't think I want to put the money into laminate when 5 or 6 years down the road we decide to do something more high end. The countertops are in great condition, I love the solid surface, the sink is totally fixable, it is just the color is so weird. The brand is the LG solid surface and the color is Rose Quartz, so it does at times have that purple/pink tint to it in certain light. It has a good combo of ivory and black specks though, which can tie everything together in the long run.

I went out to the garage and stole my DH under cabinet lights just to see how that would look in the kitchen before I get something, and I really love the difference that one thing makes.

I have ripped some of the wallpaper off in the DR and it is just peeling off in sheets, so I think I will finish that up today. Even if it looks like crap for a few days, at least I won't have that distraction influencing my color choices.

I am posting pic of my MB as it has the ceiling medallions and a pretty ceiling to see if this is something I can carry over into the kitchen, DR and LR. The area rug may look familiar as it is now in the DR. I have moved rugs around so many times!

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I love the ceiling medallion idea.
I don't get why people keep saying to paint blue in your house. I don't see blue anywhere in the pictures after you've moved in? (except the DR wallpaper that is coming down)
I've already weighed in on rugs. ;)

I just posted my house pics on this forum. "Playing the Hand You're Dealt." Nothing is done, and budget is a HUGE factor. If you go look, notice that the "before" pictures have white walls, and yet the rooms seem darker and gloomier! Warm, soft whites for the ceilings is my vote.

Ok, saying it one more time... put the rug back. Pleeeease???


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

One more quick PS job. This time I wanted to visualize the effect of a light backsplash, under cabinet lights, and light grout lines in the floor.

My thought was that regrouting the floor would be a PIA and probably not worth the work. But after looking at this and then back at the original, I think it would be worth it. Really nice to eliminate that pronounced pattern of squares. And I am certain that replacing the backsplash with an off white something--just simple subway tiles, as several have suggested--would be worth doing.
So, the ceiling, the backsplash, under cabinet lighting, the grout, IMO are projects I would seriously consider.
Then I would think about the countertop.
 photo Kitchen4_zpsdcdc3858.jpg

I did also slightly lighten the cabinets--hopefully reflecting the effect of better overall lighting.

Edited to clarify CEF's question: I meant the floor tile grout color to blend in, not be white. I know it looks white back in the darker areas. I was sloppy and just drew in creamy lines. Evaluate the effect in the front right corner, which is what I was after.

Hope this is useful.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sun, Feb 3, 13 at 10:15


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Sharimac, I think counters really play a big part of how one feels in their kitchen. At a distance, not so much. But when you're in there working, you're standing over them, cutting over them, and they have a much greater influence.

I don't know exact $$$ amounts, but it seems people are able to get really nice looking laminate counters at budget-friendly prices. If I were going to replace them in a year or less, I could live with just about anything. But 5-6 years is a long time to be stuck with gloomy counters you really don't like. A lot can happen in that time over which we have no control. If I had a choice to spend, say, $1000 on nice looking counters that I might only keep for 5-6 years, or save the money and hate my counters for that period of time, I'd say the change would be money well spent.

Full disclosure: I dislike pinky plums anywhere, but most of all in the kitchen.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Bellsmom, awesome! It makes the countertops have a more warm tone.

Yes, I will move rug back, when I am done with this...

From House

I will have to get the ladder out to reach those top areas and the white remaining is the original wallpaper that isn't coming off so great. Plaster is fairly decent except a few spots. DH will have to look at it when he gets home from work. He is going to be surprised! He he.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

One more thing...I think this might be a huge NO NO. Wiring through the ductwork.

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wow, you sure accomplished a lot already!

I'm sure you already know this, but paint all that trim before you wallpaper and you won't have to be so precise cutting in! :)

I can't believe you have wiring going through your duct. Easy fix, but still.

Keep posting progress pics!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wallpaper is gone. DH and I have been going back and forth for two days deciding whether we want to remove plaster and put up drywall, but we have decided to keep plaster and repair it properly. There are just a few small holes, no cracks, but several "squishy" spots, so we will just inject with plaster adhesive to reattach the plaster to the lath. We removed a small section of baseboard that was bulging very bad and had been repaired with putty who knows how many years ago and found a large amount of plaster had broke loose and settled right behind the baseboard, but we found the brick chimney. At some point, somebody did put up sheetrock above the two doors. Since I have never seen photos of the inside of the house as it was origianlly, I would be sad if there had been windows there that were removed. All the rooms on the second floor have windows above the doors. This house never did have fireplaces or heating of any kind since it was built in 1886 as a summer home by a couple who's main residence was in Kansas City.

So next steps will be repair, paint trim and doors, them paint walls.

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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wow, you guys are really doing it! Shop vacs rock!!!

More pictures of your cats please.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I don't know if it just the time of day or the camera used, but there is quite a difference already, even with the bare walls! The lighter walls are allowing the light from those lovely windows to bounce around more. The floors and baseboards look great, as well.

(I'm still patching, repairing and painting from some foundation work, so I feel your pain)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

You are doing great!!! Amazing windows and ceiling. It will look stunning!
Why is there a chimney if there was never any heating?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

It is about 10 times brighter in there now, even though the walls look awful, and that is a north window!

I know that the chimney goes down to the basement where it is still exposed and there is a stove pipe hole in it (now used to vent the water heater). I have to assume that at some point there was a stove down there, plus, I bet that there was a cooking stove in the kitchen that would have also had the stove pipe using the chimney, but other than that, no hint whatsoever of ever being fireplaces or even radiators.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Love your house, it's beautiful! And I love following this thread. You definitely aren't afraid to dive right in! Can't wait to see the next update!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Sharimac--
You go, girl! Have at it. (Though you don't need me to say that!)
You are going to make such a huge difference here.
I think I speak for us all when I say how eager we are to see each step of this adventure.
Sandra


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Isn't it funny, of all the things you wanted to do this was not it. Yet, tackling this extremely awful dated wall paper has changed SOOOOOo much! Even your lovely black furniture won't be such an element.

Is there any chance of opening the fireplace? Would it be worth looking into?

How fun.
Bellsmom, do you really suggest white grout for a kitchen floor? I, myself, try to avoid things I have to scrub with a toothbrush. Except my teeth. Yes, I'm good with that one.


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Kitchen floor grout

CEFreeman,

Absolutely NOT white grout to replace the dark. White would be terrible.

Never occurred to me that white might be inferred from my image. A color that is close to the dominate color of the tile. A neutral. Something that will unify the floor and make it a single plain instead of a distracting and ugly pattern of squares. Something carefully sealed that will NOT require much cleaning.

Thanks, Christine, for clarifying this.
Sandra


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Yes, I strayed a bit from my original purpose, but that wall paper was sub-consciously influencing my ideas on color choices. I kept thinking I would have to pull in that dark green and burgundy to the other two rooms somewhere, and I didn't want to go that route. It had to be done sooner or later anyway.

My dad was a carpenter and I grew up in a 1902 house, and had my first experience with renovation when I was 10 and our plaster ceiling began falling down in chunks, and loved every second of watching and helping my dad turn that house back into the treasure it was. I am not afraid to just do it but I am afraid of all that dust I know I am going to have to clean up later, yikes.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Very exciting to follow your process!
Yeah, I was thinking about exposing the brick chimney, but then we don't want you to rip out the wall, too. (And while you're at it, wouldn't it be nice to know whether there are windows above all the doors :)

What color are you planning for the dining room?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

We would love to expose the brick, but not sure how to. It has about 2 inches of plaster on it, so of course flooring doesn't go far enough. Plus, have no clue how that would affect our ceiling. If the brick were closer to the existing walls and didn't sit back so far, there would be no question that we would expose it. But, it isn't sealed brick and since it is being used to vent our hot water heater, I am not sure if fumes or anything might escape.

I just have this idea in my head that my 3 main colors to work around are going to be white, cream and black. White for all trim and doors, walls cream, and then my black furniture and appliances. I think I will do living room walls lighter than cream, but not ultra white. I want very neutral and bright to cheer up everything.

My poor DH, he is such a good sport. Thank goodness he knows me well enough to know I have a knack of opening cans of worms.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Get rid of two things to make things instantly bright.
- Wall paper
- Faux painting in the kitchen

Just plain white will make everything bright, crisp and modern.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

So we got this one really bad wall that was "spongy" fixed. The plaster had seperated from the lath, so the gist of it is DH drilled a bunch of holes, injected them with adhesive, then screwed in drywall screws with washers to clamp it down while adhesive dries. We'll unscrew them tomorrow and pop off the washers, then apply the plaster patch to the holes and cracks.

I have been sanding all the areas that don't need repaired.

No window glass behind drywall sections above the doors that we can tell with the flashlight. I wonder why that was done?

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Plan B

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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

WOW!!
It's so great that this really doesn't intimidate you. I guess that probably factored into your purchase, didn't it?

I'm certain your brick would need to be repointed, but in the scope of all that's going on, eh! No biggie, I'd think.

I must admit I didn't really understand what you meant about it being too far back?

Bellsmom, glad to hear it. Didn't sound like something you'd recommend. Arrrrghhh!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

With all the work you're doing (awesome!), this may seem a little trivial. Don't get stainless appliances, they're a pain to keep clean with dogs and cats. My refrigerator and dishwasher always have his nose prints and dribbles from his water drinking- and this is a dog without much slobber... I can't imagine what it would be like with a Basset Hound.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I think stainless appliances are now off the table. Anyway, most of the appliances in the kitchen now are 2 years old, except dishwasher, which is a couple months.

I may end up starting a new thread just for the brick in the DR. Yesterday we finished up with the last of the plaster removal and uncovered the entire chimney. It does have a smoke stack hole in it that was filled in, then that entire area of the chimney was patched with plaster of paris. I think there was a free standing stove in here, but the brick was never exposed.

In this photo, you can see where the wood floor is and the large gap in between it and the brick. We are racking our brains trying to figure out how we would get drywall to make a nice transition to the brick, and then what to do about the floor in front.

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The whole chimney is really a narrow area.

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Where the cat, Fred, is peeking in is the area under the staircase, which is on the other side of the wall. It makes me sad that got closed in because there is a lot of space under there.

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And there was not any windows above the doors, just unusual drywall patches.

From House

How long does it take to get the taste of plaster dust out of your mouth? This task was quick, but what a mess!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wow, that's so interesting! You may want to move that last part to the Renovation forum and/or the Decorating forum to get answers to the drywall/floor question and the decorating of the DR.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

On a side note, DH is picking up drywall this afternoon, so I will have a couple days to start on painting in kitchen while he is hanging it. I have 106 cabinet handles, so replacing them is just going to be too expensive. Has anyone used a brand of spray paint that has a nice brushed nickel or stainless finish that they like or had any luck with? Also, would you paint this trim on the left side of photo white to match the rest or leave it? Sorry the picts are so bad, my phone camera doesn't like the light from windows.

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Amazing progress - it is great watching it come together!

No matter what you do, spray painting the handles won't really get the look you are hoping for. I think you should replace them, you can get some great options for $2/handle (or less!).


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I laughed aloud at the photo simply captioned ''Plan B''. Oh, how often simple plan A turned into OOOPS, Plan B for me!

And, as I said before, You go, Girl. Great progress and great attitude. I love projects, and I think you must also.

And this one will pay off beautifully.

Regarding the pulls. I have a couple suggestions. Buy a couple cheap ones, one nickle or whatever and one oil rubbed bronze. Put them on and think about them.
I think you might be able to get a pretty good painted finish that would emulate ORB. Not so sure if a metallic finish is a possible.

OH! I thought of something. Are yours solid brass? Or if you steel wooled them, would the brass plating come off and leave you with ''nickle'' finish?

And what would happen if you steel wooled the brass to kill the shine, then rubbed it with blackish paint, then rubbed off part of the black?

Hmmm.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Bellsmom, I am going to pull one off right now and try that since they are brass. They are about 10 years old though, so I guess I will find out.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

That was a great idea, but no dice. Those babies are solid brass, which actually surpised me since they look so cheap. How about this idea...I still have all the original door hardware and hinges in my house, which are brass, but obviously almost 130 years of aging, what if I could age them? And how?

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Gorgeous

OOOH, I would love to have that door hardware in my home. Beautiful. Personally, the MOST I would do to the door hardware would be a light polishing with 000 or 0000 (very fine) steel wool to bring up the highlights.
They BELONG on the doors they are on.

Back to cabinet hardware. Since you played with one of the brass pulls or knobs from the cabs already, do you think, after you steel wooled it, it might hold paint? The paint WILL wear off, of course, but that is what antiquing is about.
What if you painted one flat black and then, after it was dry, rubbed off some of the highlights?

Also, what about checking with an auto body shop? I wonder what they could do with triple digits worth of cabinet pulls? I bet it would cost less than nice new ones. I can just see them all painted Corvette yellow--NOT!

But do NOT do any such thing to those beautiful door knobs and plates. Don't you DARE ;-) That patina is lovely.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

LOL about the corvette yellow! No, I had no plans whatsoever to touch the doors hardware. Believe it or not, that was one of the top things that sold me on this house. A lot of houses over the years have the hardware removed to "update" things, so to me it was a treasure that every single door in this house has it's original hardware.

And back to cabinet hardware, after I steel wooled the one pull, I dipped it into vinegar, then salt water and nothing, so maybe they aren't solid brass, though scratching the back, it seems like it is, and they are awfully heavy. I did think of black as an option since that is a color that will have a prominence in these rooms. I am killing time today until DH gets here with drywall, and in no mood yet to clean up all that dust, so I am going to experiment a bit.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

With so many pulls, it might be worth it to try and find a plating company that could satin nickel plate your pulls. It might be too pricey, but wouldn't hurt to check it out.

Here's a link to a list of "some" vendors who do this process. I'm not sure what area you are in.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nickel plating vendors


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

My kinda of game. It's called a displacement activity. What one does when one cannot or doesn't want to do what one should.
Have at it.
Some of my best ideas come during displacement activities. Like right now, I really, really SHOULD be. . . . .
But this is more fun.
And so is playing with cabinet hardware more fun than vacuuming dust. Any day, any time.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Here's a link to "How to age brass."

Here is a link that might be useful: How to age brass


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Please, is that a bloodhound? He/she is the cutest!!!

Fabulous bones in this home, the cherry cabinets are GORGEOUS. I'll be following your progress with interest. Best, oldbat2be


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I don't think the hardware is brass. It doesn't react to the typical things that brass should, but the weight of them is throwing me off. DH said possibly they are some sort of alloy material to make them look like brass, but not tarnish over the years as brass would. All handles are still shiny and bright, but all hinges are showing that brown patina.

So just a note on the pets, Flash is our Basset Hound, Dallas is our Yorkie (we got him in Texas), Julius and Fred our two kitties. I think it is funny that everyone loves Flash the most and thinks he is cuter than the Yorkie, but its the eyes!

Masking the crown molding along the cabinets today to start painting the ceiling in kitchen! DH is going to replace electrical outlet boxes in DR so they can attach to the studs and try and get the one outlet's wiring out of the air vent.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Are you sure that you don't have a coating on that brass, which could be removed?
Also, see below.

Here is a link that might be useful: aging brass


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Such a cat person, I did not even see the dogs in the pictures. But when I got to the ones with the kitties, they were the first things I saw. : )

I think your top 4 priorities should be remove the bridge, paint the ceiling (leave the walls for now), floor grout, more lighting. Several people had good suggestions on how to increase your lighting. Once it is brighter in there, then you can decide what direction to go for walls, counter, backsplash.

Painting the cabinet hardware is a good idea. Even if it doesn't last forever, it will hold you over until you can replace them all.

I am the queen of "displacement activity". Like what I am doing right now on Gardenweb instead of my to do list. Reading your post gave me a guilty little jump, Bellsmom. Shutting down the computer now . . . .


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Yes, they do have a coat of lacquer on them. Some of them have areas were it has chipped off a bit. On the one I removed, I used steel wool to rub off the finish, then even used acetone to make sure I got all of it off. It still didn't react, although I didn't use the ammonia technique.


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Area under the stairs

Yep, that original door hardware would have been a huge plus to me if I were house shopping.

Astonishing how much lighter the DR looks already with that patterned paper gone.

Can you now, with the plaster all off, or maybe sometime in the future access that area under the stairs? Beautifully panelled doors ( maybe drawers?) there would be appropriate to the house and SUCH great storage in the DR or whatever room is on the other side--or both?.
And not a huge structural change.
And otherwise wasted space, an anathema to me.

Something maybe to think about in the future. I would certainly consider putting it on my list.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Yeah, my thoughts exactly on the wasted space! If we do decide to open it up, we will probably do it from the foyer side, which would give the switchback stairs the appearance of being more freestanding, plus make a neat little nook.

Of course my DH is telling the neighbors that "she just HAD to brighten up the dining room" while he rolls his eyes, so I am not sure how far I can push the envelope...for now anyways! If I didn't give him projects to do, he would be bored right?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

If you can take the lacquer off, they will start aging by themselves, or you can speed it up.
I tried taking off the lacquer by boiling in salt water, but honestly, the only way it worked was to use elbow grease and steel wool. You could also try soaking it in lacquer thinner overnight.

I wouldn't use ammonia. That stuff is nasty. But you could try vinegar or holding it over a flame (gas flame). Or check out the commercial product below.

Here is a link that might be useful: brass darkening solution


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Hooray, drywall is finally up and first coat of mud is on! We updated all the electrical outlets and light switches. I will paint that green ceiling and I have some of the house's original gilded crown molding up in the attic that I am going to try and put up as well. I have the ceiling 85% done in the kitchen, but since I have to share the ladder with DH, that middle section is still needing done.

From House

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wow you are some incredibly fast DIYers! Cant believe what you have accomplshed in 2 weeks time. Most would still be trying to decide what to do and where to start.
Looking great so far. Can't wait to see the end result


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

OOOH, you make me smile.
I do hope the hard work is a pleasure to you, and I hope the results will be a reward.
Do share.
Sometimes, I live vicariously. This is one of those times.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

WOW!

You didn't drywall that stair space, did you? This is the perfect opportunity to plan a closet, or an under-stair little office!

There's so much hidden in your house. Gold crown molding OMG!

Pics. Keep 'em coming.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Watching with bated breath.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

following the progress!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Well, I don't feel like I am going very fast. Living vicariously would eliminate all the body aches! I am excited for the end result though and don't mind the work involved. We did cover up the staircase empty space, but that is because we would open it up from the other side which is in the foyer. It would open that space up quite a bit and make a cute little nook area. I have the ladder all to myself today, so I am back to working on that tiered ceiling in the kitchen. I will post as soon as I get it finished. Thanks for all the encouragement!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Oh I just couldn't wait, so I am posting kitchen ceiling. Just the tray areas needs the second coat. It feels bigger and taller.

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Great! You're on a roll. Are you using the same color for the walls? can't wait to see it.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Walls are going to be hard to decide on. These are a few of the samples I picked up, but DH and I can't narrow it down just yet.

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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

A sample of some of the original trim I found in my attic.

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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Re: paint: I like the two on the left of your photo, the one second from the left best.

Maybe it's just me, but I really dislike pinkish-beige colors. And I think looking at your countertop that you already have some of that, I'd be reluctant to add more.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Julie, I am glad you could see the pinkinsh/peachy tint in the photo. They really show the pinky tint against white. Just picking them up in the store they didn't seem so pink. Because I hate painting and don't want to do it again and I don't want to waist money on gallons of paint, I am going to buy a few samples to actually paint on the wall and then check it out at different times of the day. I found a Benjamin Moore color I like online, but will have to get a sample since I am sure it will look different in person.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Also check out BM Linen White.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I was looking at BM Natural Cream but I like your suggestion of Linen white better!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Sharimac
Thank you for sharing the 15:47 ceiling image.
I am not a professional. You have no idea how concerned I am when I share a PhotoShopped image that I might lead someone astray. That I might show it wrong.

This image made me go--OK, that one was pretty much RIGHT!.

And, FWIW, I utterly love the old trims you found in your attic.

Knowing your response to the wonderful old door hardware, I know you will treasure this and use it wisely.
Thank you for sharing!

Sandra


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Sandra, your Photoshop image made me know in my gut I wanted bright white for my ceiling. I absolutely love how it turned out because it makes the kitchen just "feel" bigger and taller, even out of peripheral vision.

I bought a gallon of wall color paint that DH and I agreed on and thought it was the one, but now that I painted a small section, I am second guessing since it seems too light, but will give it a chance to dry completely and look at it in daylight (it is dark out now).

DH just finished up sanding drywall in DR, so the big test will be paint.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

The ceiling looks amazing!!

I'm worried if you get going with a yellowish wall color that the contrast will REALLY bring out the plum in your countertop.

Would you consider a cooler grey-toned wall color or even a grey with violet undertones like BM Silver Fox? Not that I want you to end up with a wall color you hate!

Personally I'm a green-grey lady at heart, but I did just paint a room Edgecomb grey and in my light it is a beautiful taupey grey with just the slightest lavender undertone (in no way reads purple on the wall). Looks great with dark woods too!

This post was edited by robotropolis on Tue, Feb 12, 13 at 19:42


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Those gilded trim moldings are exquisite.

Your kitchen already looks brighter and prettier!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Robo, grey tones are actually the direction we are going. I bought a gallon of Pratt and Lambert Zephyr Hills (actually cheaper quantity wise to buy gallon than quart). It is just not quite enough contrast with the white trim, so we are going a few shades darker with Phantom which has a slight green undertone. I will just use that gallon I purchased as first coat on the virgin drywall that way it isn't wasted. I am waiting to see what the Phantom sample will look like at different times today, but it does look nice against countertops and the cherry cabinets, we just thought it would be too dark, but after going "safe" with the lighter shade, we realize that a darker shade will be better.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I got the bridge cabinet removed in the kitchen this morning. I really made a mess of it, so I can't change my mind now!

From House

The finalists for my wall color. They are a bit more gray than they appear in the photos. Both photos are the same samples, they just look different in different light.

From House

From House

This post was edited by Sharimac on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 16:02


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

New here. Wonderful work. Have you done anything about the hardware? If not and still thinking about it, I would like to recommend trying Rust-Oleum (spray). My husband and I have used it to cover metal boat parts; airplane parts; and our home doors and windows hardware. He even used it to paint the hood of his '90 CRX - don't ask. It is our go to product when it comes to covering/painting metal parts in a budget. Part preparation, paint cure time and temperature are important to longevity.

Something you can try is buying a can of Rust-Oleum and spray one part. Let it cure and do the scratch test.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

The ceiling helps so much !! Before you paint the walls, I really think you should do your lighting and the floor grout first. Both things are going to affect how the walls look, the brightness of the room, and the paint color. Especially the lighting will make a huge difference in your choice of paint color. Who knows, you may even decide to keep the wall color once you have more lighting in there. In the pictures, the wall color does not look like that bad. And also, from the pictures, it doesn't look like there is very much wall to even paint ?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

It's been so great to follow along. You've made amazing progress in such a short period of time.

I'm glad you removed the bridge cabinet. I hope the surfaces/stain underneath look OK! Not blocking the light makes another huge improvement in the room.

I do think you need to proceed with painting the walls, once you paint the dining room. Getting a more reflective color on that wall next to the door/windows on that one wall will help bounce even more light into the room. (Or get something else that will do the same effect).


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Dutchmom, I actually played around with some Rust-oleum paint in a metallic finish called aluminum. Surprisingly I love how they turned out. The finish looks like dull nickel, or even a pewter. The paint is very durable too. I was actually really amazed.

Angela, I am going to have to paint the walls now since I used them to clean my roller after doing the ceilings, but I had planned to paint them from the beginning. You are right, it isn't a bad looking faux finish on them, it just kinda stuck out like a sore thumb. I really am trying to get the three rooms to flow into one another, so I always suspected changing the walls in DR, LR and kitchen would be necessary. I am looking online at under cabinet lighting. What we have now in the ceiling pretty much has to stay. The recessed lighting can't be changed out with anything that has a profile because I wouldn't be able to open my cabinets. I now have an open space above my sink and DH wired in a place for a light there, so I will need to think about that.

Gooster, where I have been cleaning my roller is right next to the sink area and the window, and just that makes all the difference in the world. I am so excited to get it all finished.

Dining Room has first coat of primer. The difference is unbelievable. The picture is a little darker than it really is, and, no light on. We still have a lot of work to get everything finished up, but seeing how big a difference just painting has made, I am excited and that is keeping me motivated, and all you of course!

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

LOL @ using the walls to clean your roller !! Love it. Too funny. Yep, no turning back now. You guys make me feel very lazy. House was finished 20 months ago and we haven't even ordered the backsplash. And it's not like we haven't known exactly what we were going to use since a couple years before construction even started. Good job ! It's looking so great.

If you want a very inexpensive way to do undercabinet lighting, you can look at the ultra slim fluorescent lights at Home Depot. They come in different lengths and are linkable. Nice warm light, not like normal fluorescents ...
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/Search?keyword=GE+super slim fluorescent&selectedCatgry=Search+All


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

It's fun watching your progress and hard work. At first glance, the thing that stands out most to me is the grout in the tile, and the grid look. So I'd try to tone that down if possible. Also, I love the vintage look of your door knobs. If the picture is accurate, I'm not sure I'd want to change those. You are rockin and rollin, and I can't wait to see the end results!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Suggest you make much larger paint samples before you decide (2-3 feet wide by similar tall) so you get a better idea of the color. Try to get near edges too so you can see how the color works with the cabinetry.

It's such fun to watch your progress!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Girl you're a doer! I love that! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will have exactly what you want. Love that you took down the cabinet and it is all looking so great now. It will reflect "you" in no time. You will feel comfortable and happy in your space when it's to your level of taste. It's a beautiful home and you have lots to work with. Thankfully it's just the cosmetics that need a little tweaking and can be done without too much reliance on contractors!!! I'm impressed and can't wait to see it when you get it all done, in the meantime, fun to watch your progress.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I second oldbat2be. I test my color choices by priming and painting a piece of leftover drywall. I place it next to furniture, curtains or just stand next to the wall to see how the sunlight/lamp reflects the color in different areas of the room.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Update photos

Dining Room walls and ceiling are painted. I ended up going one shade darker than what I wanted thanks to DH's input. When we first started rolling it on I was freaking out thinking it was way too dark, but DH said to wait until it was daylight out and I LOVE it. It's called Gray Moire by Pratt and Lambert. We are working on painting the trim now and crown molding and ceiling medallions are supposed to be delivered tomorrow. Sadly I did not have anywhere close to enough original crown molding to put up, so I will save it for another room. I picked out a simple egg and dart molding with a similar egg and dart pattern for the ceiling medallions.

From House

Kitchen walls are the same as the DR, kitchen sink is fixed and light installed over the sink. That crown molding going across above the sink is an issue for me, DH likes it, but the ceiling drywall was installed after the cabinets were hung (back in 1995 I am guessing), so the crown molding is hiding a 1" height difference between ceiling and the ceiling above the sink, so not sure what to do.

From House

From House

Will update again when next stages are done.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

WOW!
I went back and compared your ''new'' kitchen to the old one. So much better.
I like a pendant light over the sink.

A suggestion regarding the trim over the sink:
Can you tape white paper over the trim so you can evaluate the difference visually?

If it looks better, then maybe
1. paint that section or more probably
2. remove it and replace it with a plain, simple molding painted ceiling white. Preferably something significantly different from the cabinet molding.

Just a consideration. I'd have to mock it up and think about it if it were mine.

I love the way the DR looks. Beautiful colors.

Thank you so much for keeping us posted.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 16:02


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Everything is looking great! You two are speedy remodelers!

Regarding the sink, you could use the crown to finish off the trim on either side of the newly exposed cabinets. If there is only a 1 inch difference in ceiling heights, I can't imagine it is anything more than drywall. Since you hung the light, what type of material did you find up there?

For some strange reason, the recessed cans next to the sink and by the back wall seem to be much dimmer. It could be just the angle, but I was wondering if there was a gimbal trim in use there. Although it is a bit expensive, have you experimented with a high lumen (800) wide flood LED light in the cans? Because they are highly directional, they tend to have less loss in the housings than incandescents or CFLs.

This post was edited by gooster on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 16:09


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Gooster, I have a wide variety of bulbs up in the recessed lighting at the moment, so I have a crazy light scheme going on. I will replace everything with a wide flood bulb since that is really is what is supposed to be in there. The regular bulbs and the CFL bulbs do not drop down far enough for the design of the can. We found ceiling tile above the sink. I am NOT saying this, but I could kill DH for putting up the small section of drywall without lining it up with the rest of the ceiling.

Bellsmom, you got a good idea going with the white trim piece above the sink.


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Extenders in can lights

Shari
We installed extenders in our can lights that screw into the base and bring the bulbs down a couple inches so that they are even with the ceiling. They made a huge difference in the angle of illumination and over all lighting. Not sure what they are called, but any good light store will know.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Sharimac: Force that laborer to redo the work and do it right this time ;)

Per what Bellsmom said, there are LED retrofits that have an Edison base and a long wire connector that can adapt to just about any can depth. There are even some that simply sit on the old hole.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

This is just an amazing transformation! You must be thrilled.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

WOW, I'm impressed! BTDT, so I know how much work it is. Good luck with the rest!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I am very excited, but in an impatient sort of way. Everything left to do is small tedious time consuming things. I just purchased my new faucet and that is supposed to be here on Friday. DH says I get to change it out, LOL.

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

"remove it and replace it with a plain, simple molding painted ceiling white. Preferably something significantly different from the cabinet molding"
"use the (removed) crown to finish off the trim on either side of the newly exposed cabinets"
/\
Agree

And on another note ... THANK YOU for coming back to this thread to update us on your progress 1. So we can all continue to follow along, especially those who have subscribed to your thread 2. Instead of starting a new thread for every little step and question along the way. Good forum etiquette. : )

The way I figure, this one thread could have been many many many threads without proper thread management...
How should I brighten up my kitchen ?
Show me your painted center islands
Lighting help !! Chandelier and under cabinet lights
Would you remove or keep this wallpaper
Is brass hardware dated ?
Laminate counters
Look what I did while hubby was gone !! (dining paper removal reveal)
Can this plaster be repaired
I found a chimney ! Any ideas on how to keep brick exposed ?
How to paint or refinish cabinet hardware ?
Help me pick my paint color
Removed the bridge over my sink - what to do with trim ?
Dining room is done !!


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Angela, wow, I really did have alot of "side" thoughts on how to brighten up my kitchen. I guess I just thought since everything revolved around the kitchen, it was best kept here. Honestly, it really snowballed and I figured I may as well do it big. I did ask about what to do with the chimney in the remodeling forum in case someone had run across something similar.
DH told our teenager son that if I ask for help demolishing anything he is supposed to call him immediately-LOL. DH works out in the oilfield all day, so I know he is tired and ready to be done.
Doing this project has made me start thinking about upstairs bathroom overhaul!

This post was edited by Sharimac on Wed, Feb 20, 13 at 14:16


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Any updates? It's been almost three days :)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

LOL, well we had a huge snow storm on Thursday, so we have spent a lot of time shoveling out. My faucet is delayed for shipment due to the weather, so hopefully Monday.

We did get crown molding and ceiling medallion up in DR, plus most of the trim. It all needs touch up paint. We also got the leaded glass window put back in place. Today we are finishing up the baseboard trim, and hopefully touching up the paint on everything. I will have to clean up the floor really well before I put furniture back in. I know that the ceiling is white on white on white, but I actually really love how it looks. This room looks so much more elegant and pretty.

I am keeping fingers crossed that we can finish DR this weekend, then the finishing touches in the kitchen (trim above window, faucet, etc). Right now countertops stay, so that will probably put off backsplash as I wouldn't want to destroy it later. We will take down the current backsplash and paint it at the very least for now. Then on to the LR, which should just be painting and accessorizing to coordinate with the other two rooms.

From House

From House


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Wow! It looks amazing! :) Promise that as you do more down the road (the floor and backsplash) that you will update this thread so we can all follow along! :)


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Gorgeous. Woodwork, moldings, wall color. Everything.
I had to look back at earlier pics because even the light fixture looks humongously better!

I hope you are pleased. You should be! Sorry the weather got in your way. I'd rather carpenter and paint than shovel snow any day.

By the way, keep in mind that when this post reaches 150 replies, GW will close it so no more replies can be added. Not a problem, just start "How Should I Brighten My Kitchen" part 2"--or some such.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sat, Feb 23, 13 at 13:32


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Absolutely gorgeous! An amazing transformation!
Did you add the moulding, medaillon, details? Or did they just get lost in the wild wallpaper previously? What's the paint color?


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

I promise I will continue to update.

Bellsmom, thanks for the heads up, I will keep an eye on the responses and start part 2 with a link back to part 1.

All the trim around windows and doors and the baseboard is original, it just got a new coat of white paint. The crown molding and ceiling medallion I purchased since my original idea of re-using original crown molding from the attic did not work out.

I just finished last coat on baseboards, so tomorrow I should be able to start moving furniture back in.

Also, above my sink, we just completely started over and put in a new piece of drywall, taped and mud. Maybe Monday it will be ready to paint AGAIN, then put the light back up. I think we will be happier in the long run that we tore it out and started over.

KU is playing so DH is taking a break while I work on cleaning the floor in DR.


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Posted this to your thread on the Home Decorating forum to give you some ideas with respect to pattern/color.
However, I don't like the dining room, especially the green wallpaper, at all. Yours is so much prettier! Still, you may get some ideas for the LR.

Here is a link that might be useful: flirting with wood


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RE: How should I brighten up my kitchen?

Continue to Part 2

Here is a link that might be useful: How should I brighten up my kitchen? Part 2


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