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How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Posted by sandz22 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 24, 12 at 11:51

We recently moved into our house and I am looking for a way to update our kitchen. We don't want to completely remodel it because that isn't necessary - just freshen things up a little. Any suggestions?

Some of my concerns: lots of oak going on making it look dark in the room, light fixtures need updating, small breakfast area and hard to access sliding door to deck because table is in the way. Any advice on how to update this room is appreciated - thanks!!!!!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

change the light fixtures, change the wall color, consider changing the backsplash, update the window treatments. See if that does the trick for you...if not you could paint the cabs--but I wouldn't go there unless the other stuff doesn't work for you! good luck!!


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Are your cabs oak? They look like cherry on my screen. I would paint them only as a last resort.

Agree with Christine40. You could consider eliminating the window treatments. Also, I would change out the appliances to either black or SS. I don't believe all appliances must be SS, but the white doesn't do justice to the richness of your wood cabs. Either black or SS would be more elegant. You also might consider changing the OTR MW for a hood and separate MW. Maybe you could put the MW in the island.

Can you rotate the table 90 degrees to make more room to reach the door?

All in all, your current kitchen looks more like an after than a before. It's a great kitchen!


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Add some brightly coloured area rugs on either side of the island, change the window treatments, new lights.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I agree about the lighting and the appliances. The white appliances stand out against the wood. If you get new appliances, and can find one you like, how about a counter-depth fridge. It would eliminate the "monolith" appearance of the one you have. Of course only do this if you find one with the capacity and features you want.

The window treatments are not doing much for the space. Unless you want a valance over the door to hide blinds or something, I would loose that one altogether. Maybe you could get something different for the window over the sink with coordinating cushions for your chairs. You might also think about painting the table and chairs a different color.

Overall, you're kitchen's very nice.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Ditto on the advice to swap out appliances for SS. I think they will stand out less from the cabs, and offer a "cleaner" look. I would lose the valances as well. If you need something on the window, I would go with a Roman shade, or sheer solar type shade of some sort. Something to finish off the space, but allow light in. Again, cleaner, sleeker, lines.

Another suggestion might be to lose the table entirely, since, as you said, it blocks access to the sliding door. You might look into adding a tabletop to the end of your island. It could be round (semi-round) , and it could sit slightly higher or lower than the island countertop. Attach it to a SS or other solid leg/base underneath for support, and consider laminating the top to the island countertop. It could be made from a contrasting or complementary stone, or even wood. This would free-up the space in front of the sliding door, and might also open up the kitchen more in general, making it appear even larger.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Light fixtures and window treatments would be the first things I would change. Then, wall color. I like the idea of changing out the appliances, but that may be more of a change than you had in mind, and a big expense. I also think a new backsplash could dramatically change the feel of your kitchen, depending what you pick.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Can you share more pictures, specifically on the refrigerator side (and what is to either side of the refrigerator) and of the breakfast nook area?

From the picture, your cabinets and floor are lovely. The door shape is nice, the rich stain is very pretty, and the cabinets run all the way to the ceiling (a bonus).

Visually I agree with the statements above. Your cabinets are lovely and I would not paint them. Stainless or black appliances would be really nice. A counter depth refrigerator would help make that side of the kitchen a little more sleek. Personally, I would paint a brighter wall color (maybe pale green or blue?) than beige since you have a lot of brown going on (stained wood, stained floors, beige granite). I would remove the window treatments, but that might just be a personal preference.

For lighting, I think replacing the decorative pendant and chandelier would be nice. In terms of adding brightness, I think you could consider relocating and/or adding more recessed light fixtures. There are none between the island and the refrigerator and few above the range. You might even consider adding under cabinet lighting.

Looks like you aren't using the overhang for stools. Is it too tight with the refrigerator? Would it be possible to move the refrigerator to the right, closer to the range? This might give you a little more space for stools.

Do you actually use the breakfast nook? Would you use it if you had stools at the island? With the storage under the table, perhaps it is larger than necessary for the space. Maybe a smaller table or no table at all would be better.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Here is a picture of the breakfast nook. I was thinking of eliminating the table entirely or trying to find a smaller one. This one I believe is 54" around. There is not much room between the fridge and the island overhang which is why I haven't put stools there - plus my kids are little and would probably fall off of them and get hurt.

Someone asked about the fridge - it is flanked by floor to ceiling cabinets on both sides which take up the whole wall so I really can't move it. The dishwasher and stove are new so I hate to get rid of them, but I could cover them up somehow. The walls were dark forest green so this is better, but it still feels very brown in the kitchen with the walls, counters and cabinets.

You guys have made some wonderful suggestions for me to consider!!!


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

What about changing out the round table for a skinnier rectangle or oval shaped one? I think you can get one significantly narrower than the current one and not loose, or even maybe add, seating capacity.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I'd consider getting a table with a bench so it can get pushed up all the way against the wall.

Are the valances a left-over from the previous green walls? I'd definitely consider a different color and pattern. That may provide the inspiration for a new wall color.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Relocate the lighting fixture above the table to be away from the door so you can pull the whole table back into the center of the room, not shoved to one side. Paint either the table, or the chairs, or both. They are too white and it's an opportunity to introduce some badly needed color into the room.

Put in under cabinet lighting. The room as a whole has a deficit in the amount of artificial light. I'd also suggest additional recessed lighting to shine down that wall of tall to keep it from feeling so dark and looming.

Some rugs to break up the wood on wood vibe would be helpful and would bring in additional color. I would sell the appliances on Craigslist and move to stainless ones to lessen the contrast. The harshness of the white against the wood is one of the prime offenders in the kitchen looking "outdated".

Also think about redoing the backsplash, again incorporating some color. To really update things, you might get rid of the island in favor of something a bit smaller and more mobile so you could have better clearances. Or, just paint the existing one a nice barn red, navy blue, olive green, or slate gray. A COLOR would be my first choice as there isn't enough color in this kitchen.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I think lighting and color are your main issues. Does the light over the island give you enough light on the fridge wall? You might want to consider adding some can lights over there.

I think part of why you might feel overwhelmed with brown is the wall color and maybe the backsplash. I wouldn't go with white/beige/brown walls - find a rich color you like and paint a few test swatches and them live with them a while. I am partial to blue but I think a red might be really nice too.

A banquette for the breakfast area, pushed up against the wall, might be a nice "eventual" change.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

No one has mentioned this.... But, I think you need a set of lights (recessed or whatever) along your fridge/pantry wall... I think you kitchen feels dark because the light from the windows can't get that far, and there is no source of light in that area. The 2 pendants just aren't sufficient for that whole wall of space. And, you have to be able to see into those pantry cabinets. With dim lighting, I would be frustrated too!


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I'd also either paint or replace the island with painted cabinets to break up all the wood. Rethink the seating there, kids get bigger and mine (now 6) absolutely love to sit at the "bar" to eat and do art projects. Maybe a rounded end instead of clogging up the aisle in front of the fridge. Definitely new light fixtures and window valances.

Any way to recess the fridge? It's not a huge deal if not but it will look overall sleeker if it can be more of the counter depth look.

Do you love the faucet? You have a lot of stainless looking things on the counters, if you are going with stainless appliances down the road you might consider tying that in with new cabinets pulls and knobs, lights and faucet finishes.

You have a really nice space to work with! I love your floors and the cabinets are lovely!


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I'm not sure I'd paint the cabs until I've tried other things. You might add some trim to the back and sides of your island (that's what we did), and paint it a color. We also found a set of stainless steel appliances on craigslist, and turned around and sold our white ones on CL. I'd change out the curtains, not a fan of valances (even though it does clear the doorway). Sometimes no curtains at all is best. Look for inspiration pics that have some things in common with your kitchen on Houzz.com You've got a nice kitchen already :)


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I think it is hilarious that everyone keeps mentioning the valances. Those I am responsible for :) I had them up, took them down and then put them back up. I just felt the room was lacking and they added some pattern to the sea of brown. Perhaps they made it worse. I want to add color somewhere, but I am afraid with the santa cecelia countertops and the oak that it will clash. I also thought about moving the island against the half wall although it might stick out too far in front of the slider. Then I could get an island in an accent color for the middle with more barstool space. So many things to think about here. At least I have some great ideas to work with.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Regarding the refrigerator, perhaps it would be possible to actually move the full height cabinetry on the right of the refrigerator to change places. I know some here have moved cabinetry before to change layout without buying new cabinets. And since it's full height, you would not need to make any counter changes.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Here is my fridge and cabinet wall and you can see my desk area too (one of my favorite parts of the kitchen)


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

1. Swap out your table for a table with a bench against the wall(perhaps even build in a bench), move the lighting above to center it in the new location.

2. While everyone else suggests not painting the cabinets until you've tried everything else, I'm not as certain. It is a lot of oak. Do you like your floor color as is? Have you considered refinishing your floors to a different color? I think either the floors or the cabinets need a change.

3. If you don't want to change the floor or cabinet color, then I would paint the island, or get a new island altogether. If you do move the table over towards the wall it would give you room to put in a bigger island.

4. Also, new stainless steel appliances would really brighten it up. You mentiont he ones you have being new, what if you sold what you have on Craigslist and bought new/used stainless ones instead?

5. Sorry that the valances are yours, but they aren't helping. Once you are certain with your colors I would put the valences closer to the ceiling so that they compliment the height of the cabinents. Below are some examples:


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

laura-you posted both of my inspiration pics for my valances! I made them myself-designed off of the first picture you posted!


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Too funny! I just think they need to start closer to the ceiling, as it will make the space look taller and blend in more with the cabinets. In the photos the valences start just below the trim on the cabinets.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Check out this link where another poster transformed a very similar kitchen. Many people were suggesting that she not paint her cabinets as well, but just look at the stunning results!

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar kitchen transformation


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

If 4 as shown is your seating need, I'd use a rectagular table. Butt the short end up to the half wall and seat 2 facing 2. Or longways up against the half wall with a seat at either end and 2 facing the half wall. Dining footprint ends roughly the same place either way: about 5 ft from the wall with a good sized 60 x 42 in table That change clears the traffic AND anchors the table. Move the light to fit.

(I had a round then an oval table floating in a smaller space with traffic like that and it never worked right or felt right. Ever. And I tried moving it every which way.)

Those cabinets sure don't look like oak in the pix. I'd leave them alone and see what changing the window treatments and adding carpet runners does. If there is still too much wood, I'd paint just the island. And I'd be tempted to cut down the overhang or top it with narrower butcher block.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Here are some low budget ideas to try first.

could you spray paint your existing light fixtures a flat black to look like wrought iron? Or may in an oil rubbed bronze finish?

Then try a rug in the table area, and a spot rug at the sink and cooktop area to break up the flooring color.

Consider painting you table chairs black. I like how the black desk chair looks in the space. And maybe repaint the table in a distressed colored finish over the white, to add some color. Maybe in a red or blue or green. Or add a fabric tablecloth to the floor, with a pice of glass on the tabletop. That could give a whole new look to things.

I like the size of the table.

I agree that the widow treatments aren't working. I think it is the fabric choice. I think something with more fluidity to the pattern, and more than 2 colors would be better. And agree to hang higher if possible.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Any suggestions on what color light fixture: bronze? Black?
Paint color for walls?

I love black in the kitchen but was afraid it would make it more dark (black island, black chairs/table. I do need some color to break things up though. I have no idea what type of wood the cabinets are made of - but I think my husband would freak if I suggested painting them. He might be more willing to consider appliances :)


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

i am a fan of black---Here is my newly remodeled kitchen---

we did black lights, and black hardware. My "pop" color is purple--these pics are not updated to reflect new table and bar stools and window treatments--will try and find some and upload them for you.

P1010627
P1010618


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

So, your kitchen has a bit of a country look going. Is that the look you want or are you looking for something different?

If you don't want a country look, I think that changing the valances is your first step. Sorry. I agree that raising the valance up a bit is a good idea. The inspiration pictures show the valance going almost to the top. However, you can also see that the windows are higher (where the sunlight is coming through), so I don't know if I would raise them fully, but if you raised them just a few inches, that would allow more light to come in through the window.

Your floor is lovely. And the cabinets are nice. No need to change those as far as I can see unless you hate the style of the door fronts. The fronts aren't my favorite style, but they certainly aren't bad at all.

I don't think that the wood is necessarily the problem - it's that you don't have anything that grabs your attention - virtually everything is neutral.

I think that adding some additional recessed lighting would be of benefit - it looks like your kitchen may be underlit. And changing out the existing light fixtures will do a bunch. Do you have UC lighting? If you don't have that, I'd suggest trying to add that.

What about changing out the door knobs and pulls...they are dark and going with something lighter might help in brightening things.

If you don't plan on using the island for seating because it's tight, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to get another piece of granite sized to fit the island - that would help to open things up a bit both physically and visually.

Painting the walls a color other than a neutral might be beneficial.

And I think that for table/seating, a bench by the 1/2 wall would work very well and go with a rectangular, narrower table...we currently have a wide oval and I've found that rectangular tables have more usable space, so they can actually be a little smaller yet give the feel of more room.

You gave no idea of your overall budget, but I think you could do most of these a little bit at a time if you needed to.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

It doesn't look like oak to me, which is why you're getting so few suggestions to paint.

What stands out to me is the plain end panel on the island that becomes the focal point from the entry. I would build it out with 12 inch deep custom bookshelves and fill with cookbooks and colorful pottery and put cabinetry on the side facing the refrigerator. Then you can replace the granite and get rid of that awkward overhang. Maybe black granite could give you the black pop you like. I'd like black better with stainless appliances though.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Change the lights and get custom panels for the ends of the island. Nice kitchen! I like the curtains but not the wall color with them.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

It looks like there's a half wall next to the table with another room partially open to the kitchen. Are you happy with the way that room is? If so, maybe you can post a picture so we can see what your style is there and can suggest ways your kitchen can compliment it.

Or, if you're not happy with it, post a couple of pictures of the style of decor you'd like to have. That might help us narrow down the choices.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Sandz, instead of updating, a forever-elusive goal that starts slipping away as soon as achieved, how about instead starting to work toward a goal of ageless good looks? Make it all look its very best--what that means to you--while over time blurring or peeling off the label stating when it was specifically constructed? Upgrade rather than update.

After all, when houses and furnishings have been around enough, they finally get to pass out of that decades-long awkward, OMG sooo tacky! stage all teenage houses go through and come to be seen as wonderful for their ages and looks--no longer in danger of being considered no-longer-current every couple years. Plus, some houses are built and decorated to look as if they've achieved that stage already. Maybe just head that direction to begin with? And keep those attractive valances. :)


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Funny someone should mention the room on the other side of the half wall in the breakfast area. That room is horrific and we have plans to update it. The kitchen is one area that I am in all the time and I want it to function well and look nice. We have pantry storage issues - those big cabinets flanking the fridge house our dry goods and you have to climb in them or lay on the floor to find things in them because of the depth. Most everything else is ok as far as function goes. Part of me just wants to sell the cabinets, appliances and counters on C-list and start fresh :) The other part of me has to answer to my husband who would not be happy with that. My style is probably more like a french country or a traditional - even though it doesn't appear that way right now.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Sandz22,
Don't feel locked in because of those cabs!
I'm here to tell you that all that holds them in are a few screws. Really.

I have moved things like you wouldn't believe. When you start to actually look for the screws, ha! There they are.

A nice pantry is great to have. Lying down or climbing just sucks. That's why God made Rev-a-shelf and other insert companies!

Please don't rule out painting and new doors the traditional/French country style you like. These things can be had with very little investment. Comparatively speaking!

Take all the ideas here and put them in one document. Look at the ones that speak to you, and the pictures you MUST be saving or cutting out. Then start with the basic that would create the most change.

But keep in mind that all your cabinets can be moved. If they're in good shape, why pay for new ones?


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

There is an art to doing a refresh, especially when you really want to gut and start anew.

Regarding your style preferences, everyone has her own idea of what French Country is.

It might not be right for your space, and it might not match the architecture of your home. Traditional kitchens are also so detailed they look best when there's sufficient room for the busier elements to shine. Although you have a large enough space, your kitchen seems to be concentrated in one corner of it. That might make both of those looks hard to achieve beautifully in your home. How would you feel about a contemporary kitchen like Christine40's above, perhaps with a few Traditional or French Country elements added in?

Here's what I'd do - others have recommended some of these options already:

1.) Paint the cabinets. Right now your kitchen is the wood equivalent of a jeans suit, and that won't change even if you do buy stainless appliances. If you paint the cabs a white (like Picket Fence White below, Ralph Lauren paint) or grey the granite will look fantastic, and the white appliances won't stick out quite so much. That'll give you the option to change them out when budget and time allows (and your Dear Husband is on board).

Picket Fence White

2.) Remove the micro hood, and replace with a more modern under-cabinet range hood.

3.) Replace the table and chairs with a narrower rectangular table and bench seat and place chairs on the other sides (per cheify76). This is the Boulangerie table from Restoration Hardware.

4.) Paint your walls a pale green, blue, or grey - based on the colors I see in your granite, that admittedly, I can't see very well. These are Ralph Lauren paints.

Montauk Driftwood

Whisper

River Rapids

5.) You already have can lights (maybe re-take some pics of the granite when these are on?). The other fixtures are easily changed. Over the island, you might like the industrial pulley, or clemson double pendants from Restoration Hardware:

And over the table, perhaps RH Foucault's Orb chandelier

6.) Backsplash. Change it. Maybe glass subway tile all one color? Maybe a mosaic? It all depends on your other choices...

Good luck! More info from you, and better lit images of the granite will help GWers be more creative when it comes time to choose colors.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Here is a close up shot of the granite in our kitchen. I believe the color is Santa Cecelia gold. You can see it up against the white range. It doesn't really have white in it - more of a creamy, golden, tan and black combination. I like white cabinets but I think they would clash with the countertop colors, as my appliances seem to do already. Any other color ideas with this?


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

One thing that I haven't seen suggested is to do some kind of paint or stain treatment to the floors.

Or you could paint just your island for a little bit of contrast. If you're bound and determined to paint all your cabinets, though, I'd try a pale yellow or cream or yellowy gray color. A stark or cool white will not work with your granite.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Oh my gosh, that's really beautiful granite. Here are some color combinations that might work together.

County Cork

Petticoat White

Muslin

Burlap

The point of showing you the swatches is to find harmonious colors for your permanent element (the granite), and then try to assign them to the right surfaces. I'd love to tell you the Petticoat White would be fine for the cabinets, but when you use an "almost white" paint next to an actually white object (like your appliances), it no longer looks white. You could possibly use it on the walls, OR on the upper cabinets, if you like the light upper, dark lower look.

I think Burlap is the right color for the cabinets (at least the lower ones). It looks good next to white, and if you do get SS down the line, it'll still look great.

I'd paint the walls Muslin, at least in part because it looks like they are already that color, or one very close. No painting walls. Yay!

I'd look for a backsplash tile that incorporates a white like petticoat white, and nothing warmer than County Cork.


http://www.glasstileoasis.com/item.asp?item=13510


http://www.glasstileoasis.com/item.asp?item=18249

What do you think? Are the neutrals pretty to you, or where you hoping for more color than that?


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Hey - it's the OP back with some more questions. I listened to some of your recommendations to try new window treatments in the kitchen or omit them completely. Here is the window above my kitchen sink sans treatment. Would you put a valance up here? Cafe curtains? Just a sign or decoration above the window? Roman shade? Leave it be? The window is about 55" wide so it is a little tricky to find a standard treatment for it. We are north facing and have a lot of shade from the trees so it is rather dark in here. I was hoping to add some ever needed color.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Since I couldn't figure out how to put two pictures in my last posting, here is the other challenge. I listened to some of your advice and changed out the table for something else and I love it. I do need a runner or something on it for color and I still need to replace the light fixture. I also removed the plaid valance from the sliding door. Should I leave it like this or put up a new valance or a full panel sliding curtain thing? The table is very near the doors so I don't want anything that will get dirty easily with my kids sitting next to it and touching it. I also want to make sure it is easy to get in and out of the door without getting tangled in curtains. Creative suggestions welcome! Color ideas welcome. The walls are beige. We are north facing so it is dark in here.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

Do you have a dish collection, or some other decorative items that are your favorites? I'm wondering if they could go on display over the sliding glass door? If so, you could install a display shelf over the door and put the goodies on it. Something like these from Google images:

PhotobucketPhotobucket

With that side of the house facing North, and with what I can see thru the windows, it looks like maybe you don't need curtains for privacy or light control.

Here is a link that might be useful: This Old House Doorway Display DIY #17 of 102


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

I like it much better with nothing. I had valences over my kitchen window and sliders a few years back, took them down and love the clean, bare look.


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RE: How can I update my 1999 kitchen?

For the window, what about a simply bamboo roman shade mounted on the the wall right up next to the ceiling - it would not block any view but would give some texture and finish off the window.

I also think putting away the pantry items on those open shelves would go a really long way. Maybe some fresh herbs in small pots or one cohesive collection (like white pottery or something that you love) would freshen up the sink area.


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