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More decorating - what should I do with my kitchen?

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basil

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We''re planning to put our condo on the market next year, so I don''t want to do anything drastic or expensive. When I originally bought the place, I thought about redoing the kitchen cabinets, but I''ve been doing some real estate research lately, and considering the economy and the price bracket we''re in, I don''t think it would really increase the value that much. The building was built in 1940, so it has a lot of vintage moldings, high ceilings, big windows, and the exterior walls are mostly either painted or exposed brick. I want to stay true to that era, and I favor warm and rich colors.

We''re planning to replace the hideous yellow countertops with something more neutral. But what color? I''m worried about a beige clashing with the beige floor and beige walls. But black and white seem too stark?

I was also thinking about replacing the cabinet doorknobs... The knobs now are some sort of ugly oak. Should I get black or nickel finish? Or something else?

Other things I was thinking of doing was replacing the hanging light fixture, and the faucet with something prettier.

Any other suggestions, or suggestions of specific items are more than welcome!!

Here are some photos - view from the dining room, towards the pantry, laundry room, and back door.

IMG_1564web.jpg
 

basil

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View from the backdoor/laundry room towards the dining room

IMG_1567web.jpg
 

iheartscience

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Well I'm no decorating expert but I would definitely change the knobs and hinges on the cabinets. I prefer nickel finish, myself As for the countertops, I think a brown or beige would be fine, but again, I am not that great at stuff like that!

ETA hmmm...about the light fixtures. I would maybe just lose the chandelier type thing because it looks like you don't have a table under it? And is the other fixture a fluorescent lighting kind of thing? Maybe you could put in a wider fixture there and make it straight instead of diagonal like it is now.

P.S. Your place looks totally cute, by the way! Very bright and sunny.
 

Octavia

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I would do a countertop that goes with the floors, maybe picking up the colors of the lighter floor tiles, and paint the walls a nice, deep, warm color. Maybe a terra-cotta or a warm green, depending on what the colors look like IRL (it's hard to know from a computer monitor). I think colors like these would also work with the 1940s vibe. And I second thing2's suggestions of brushed nickel cabinet hardware and lighting ideas...getting rid of the fluorescent light will do wonders!
 

Pandora II

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I'd do a solid wood countertop that picked up one of the colours in the floor - get rid of the black hinges and either match the handles to the countertop or use ones the same colour as the units or go for something contemporary in brushed chrome. Definitely change the taps.
 

basil

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Thanks for the ideas!

Thing2 - I hadn''t thought of changing the hinges, but now that you mention it, the black hinges do look really out of place. The cabinets were originally the same yellow color as the countertops, with white doors, but the previous owner painted them white.

The hanging light is difficult...the kitchen needs light on that side, but the entrace of the wires is smack on top of the refrigerator. So whomever decided to run a hanging fixture attached to a hook in the ceiling in order to reposition it. But it''s in an awkward place now. If I got a new fixture I''d probably move the hook and have the fixture oriented over my pot carts/micro/toasteroven so it makes more sense.

I''ll have to brave the ladder and see what is underneath the fluorescent light. I''m a little afraid that the ceiling might not be in good enough shape to replace it without major work. I have to admit I do like the light that it puts out - it''s very bright compared to other kitchens I''ve had. But maybe I could replace it with track lighting or something?

Octavia - I''m kind of trying to stay away from painting. Right now all the walls in my condo are either white, neutral beige, or natural brick. I feel like having it neutral will make it easier to sell, cause you never know who is going to hate green or something. If we were going to be here for a few more years though, I would totally want a terracotta kitchen!

Pandora - I talked to my uncle and he said that while I do the counter, I should definitely do the sink and the faucets as well. So I guess I will have to go price that out too. Thanks for the help!
 

basil

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What would be the best kind of curtain for that room? The adjacent dining/living room have plain long sheer curtains, so should I stick with that? Or something more fun like a valance?
 

crown1

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hi! since you plan to sell this in the not too distant future i would try to keep things pretty neutral as you stated was your desire. i do not think there is a lot you need to do to get where you want to be.

since you have asked here is mho. i think too much is going on. i would find another place for the coat rack. the hanging fixture i would remove. i agree the yellow counters stand out too much. i would go a brown or earth tone like the floor or a black shade of something natural. i would not remove the hinges if they are black. i would replace the oak knobs with a black ceramic or glass. the black/white look that is going on with the cabinets continues with the stove and makes things less busy.

at that point, you have the beige tone wall and similar tones on the floor and the white/black in the cabinets and appliances. the new counter tops would match one of those two colors. i would remove the two oak? open shelves that appear to hold microwave? and toaster?. the only expense thus far would be the knobs and the counter tops. if you can have a built-in microwave over the stove it would remove some clutter and free up space. i fear new tenants might think there is not enough space with the open shelves holding appliances.

i think the large window is nice. i think there are a few choices there. it appears the hardware is in place for a top valance and also panels for privacy on the bottom. i think you could go that way and be fine. here would be your chance for some color or pattern if you are inclined. i also like the idea of removing the hardware and using a roman type shade. i think some white plantation type shades (i think this is the term being used for the nice wooden shutter type treatments) would be great on that window. they offer the best of both worlds: privacy or open to plenty of light.

the only expense would be new knobs, new counter tops, built in microwave and the window treatment of your choice.
you have a nice kitchen as is and i know it will turn out great. i would love to see pictures of what you do.

eta: i went back and checked the pictures again and saw the pots and pans on the open shelving. if you don't have cabinet space for those maybe one of the half round black or copper hanging racks could be mounted on the wall in the same space or in the pantry?
 

Octavia

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If you end up doing the countertops in a brown-based neutral and don't want to paint the walls, I think you should do a fun vintage-print cafe curtain and valance! The room will definitely need a pop of color (IMO). When you put it on the market, you can pick up on the colors in the curtains with your dish towels, and maybe a couple prints to hang on the wall space above the upper cabinets -- that space looks kind of blank right now and would be a great place to put a bit of non-permanent color.

ETA: I agree with crown1 about de-cluttering, too. And when you're ready to put it on the market, can you hide the garbage can inside one of the lower cabinets? Or, at the least, get a really slick and sleek one to replace the white plastic one.

ETAAgain: If you do get rid of the open wooden modular shelves, there may be space for a 2-seater cafe table, as well. I think this would make a huge difference because you could position the hanging lighting fixture over the table to make it look less awkward, and it will give the impression of an eat-in kitchen
 

Tacori E-ring

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I also think a tile back splash would add a lot for little money. I am loving subway tiles these days!
 

basil

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Thanks, guys!

Crown1 - I was wondering how long it would be until I got called out on my clutter!
I''m going to try to put some stuff away when I put it on the market, but in the meantime I need my shelves and my coatrack for function. Plantation shutters are a cool idea, I hadn''t thought of that before.

Octavia - that''s an awesome idea about the cafe table...problem is that I need those shelves right now and I probably wouldn''t want to buy a cafe table just for showing purposes, cause I''m not sure if we''d need it in our new house.

So here''s my tentative plan. Tell me what you think:
First stage: counters, sink, faucet. Neutral brown counter, new stainless steel sink and nice faucet (possible like this: faucet. Budget $500, including new jigsaw to cut counter. My dad is coming to visit in a few weeks so he''ll help me with this.

Second stage: Decorations. New handles and hinges (I think I will do chrome to match the faucet). New rug/runner, wall art, towels, and curtains. I know it''s not going along with my vintage theme, but I''m kind of in love with the idea of terracotta/pumpkin/butternut squash accents, like the color of my Le Creuset pots on my heater in the picture. I found this rug at Crate and Barrel (new rug). If I order it, I''ll try to find something matching at a fabric store and have my mom make up a curtain.

Third stage: This summer when DH moves in. Replace or get rid of hanging light, possibly replace fluorescent light. Tacori - I like the idea of tiling the backsplash. We''ve never tiled before so I think it would be fun. Do you think I should just do white?

Anyway, here is a photo of some samples of countertop I picked up at Lowes and Home Depot today, placed on my floor. Which do you think is best?

IMG_1570web.jpg
 

Skippy123

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I like no. 4 the best. I agree w/Thing on the knobs. Great kitchen!
 

Italiahaircolor

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Have you considered doing a tile countertop?

For not much more money than laminate, you could some pretty tiles....
 

lyra

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How handy are you with a miter box or saw? A really easy way to upgrade the look of the cabinets (not drawers) would be to put in mitered trim to create the look of a panel door. You would have to repaint them, but it would seriously up the look of the kitchen for very little money. Just an idea.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 2/16/2009 10:51:45 AM
Author: lyra
How handy are you with a miter box or saw? A really easy way to upgrade the look of the cabinets (not drawers) would be to put in mitered trim to create the look of a panel door. You would have to repaint them, but it would seriously up the look of the kitchen for very little money. Just an idea.
We did this in our kitchen-see attached, and it looks fantastic. As you can see, we have a also need to replace our countertops and backsplash!

I actually just noticed that we have the original hinges on our cabinets. I''ve never noticed this before (FI did the kitchen before I was in the picture). I think we''ll change these out when we do the countertops and backsplash.

HH Kitchen pics 001.jpg
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Cabinets up close

HH Kitchen pics 002.jpg
 

crown1

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Date: 2/15/2009 6:57:11 PM
Author: basil
Thanks, guys!


Crown1 - I was wondering how long it would be until I got called out on my clutter!
I''m going to try to put some stuff away when I put it on the market, but in the meantime I need my shelves and my coatrack for function. Plantation shutters are a cool idea, I hadn''t thought of that before.


Octavia - that''s an awesome idea about the cafe table...problem is that I need those shelves right now and I probably wouldn''t want to buy a cafe table just for showing purposes, cause I''m not sure if we''d need it in our new house.


So here''s my tentative plan. Tell me what you think:

First stage: counters, sink, faucet. Neutral brown counter, new stainless steel sink and nice faucet (possible like this: faucet. Budget $500, including new jigsaw to cut counter. My dad is coming to visit in a few weeks so he''ll help me with this.


Second stage: Decorations. New handles and hinges (I think I will do chrome to match the faucet). New rug/runner, wall art, towels, and curtains. I know it''s not going along with my vintage theme, but I''m kind of in love with the idea of terracotta/pumpkin/butternut squash accents, like the color of my Le Creuset pots on my heater in the picture. I found this rug at Crate and Barrel (new rug). If I order it, I''ll try to find something matching at a fabric store and have my mom make up a curtain.


Third stage: This summer when DH moves in. Replace or get rid of hanging light, possibly replace fluorescent light. Tacori - I like the idea of tiling the backsplash. We''ve never tiled before so I think it would be fun. Do you think I should just do white?


Anyway, here is a photo of some samples of countertop I picked up at Lowes and Home Depot today, placed on my floor. Which do you think is best?

sounds like you have a plan. i did not realize you would be doing the work yourself. good for you! it is great your dad can help you. i know it will turn out well. can''t wait to see the after pictures.
 

lyra

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Date: 2/16/2009 11:20:59 AM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
Cabinets up close
Yes Hudson, that''s *exactly* what I meant! Your doors look great!


About the hinges, it may be problematic to change them it may be simple. Depends on how they are attached, etc. Looks like they might be in the easy category though. You might end up sanding and filling both the cabinet and where it attaches to put on the new hinges if the measurements are slightly off.
 

Tacori E-ring

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I like #2. I would NEVER chose tile countertops over any sort of solid surface. They are a PITA to clean (I know from experience). When you do the backsplash I would do something cool behind the sink (where you have more room). For inspiration you might want to check out garden web. We did our backsplash in white carrera marble subways and added glass tile above the stove (that was our biggest opening). It adds so much visual interest.
 

basil

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Hudson - what are your doors made out of? How did you attach the trim pieces? I don''t know if I could do it, cause my doors are actually made of formica, not wood. So I think I''d have trouble painting them. Yours look really nice though!
 

Definitely. Maybe

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I like #2 the best. It pulls both the light and dark colors out of the flooring.

Have you considered replacing just the doors? I think that would be cheaper than replacing cabinets and bring them a little more up to date.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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FI says they''re wood. He used finish nails and wood glue. He''s in construction though (builds restaurants), so I asked him what to use on you doors and he said obviously not nails, but you could use an adhesive like Liquid Nails. Just make sure it''s approved for use on formica. If it''s not, it could melt the plastic and make a mess. You can get LN in the adhesive section (near paint) in Home Depot/Lowes and there are many different kinds.
 

pennquaker09

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I like number 2 also. Plus, it''s recommended that the floor and counter top have the same tones. Not all of the time, but I think it would be a good idea in your space.

Also, have you thought about painting the walls?
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 2/16/2009 5:39:53 PM
Author: pennquaker09
These are always classic:
I LOVE these drawer pulls. I want to put them on our drawers (in brushed nickel color)
 
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