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What would you do with these kitchen cabinets?

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
Okay pretend you are me. Your kitchen is driving you crazy but you have a very small budget to do anything. You can't move like your dreaming of. Your stuck with this kitchen. It is the size of a postage stamp. You cannot have two people in there at once.

We have been saving and I think this month or next we will be able to say good-bye to our harvest gold stove and hello to a stainless steel stove and matching overhead microwave. After that we will begin saving for a dishwasher and then fridge.

But what about the rest of it?

I was thinking that, since our cabinets are already falling apart but are made of good quality wood, maybe doing the distressed look in white? Thoughts? Opions? Other ideas?

I would love soap stone or something else as luxurious but I'm pretty sure it's not happing. So what about the countertops? The only idea I have is a mosaic of tiles. Anyone else?

I really want my one person kitchen to at least be comfortable!
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6...s/HPIM3289.jpg

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6...s/HPIM3290.jpg

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6...s/HPIM3294.jpg

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6...s/HPIM3296.jpg

Thank for any ideas!
post #2 of 76
You're so lucky! They are so beautiful, but they are a bit dark for a small kitchen. Unless you could totally cheer and lighten up everything around them, I'd go with your idea to paint them white. Tile counters are really nice to match - either the whole thing could be country or white/brights or white/ shabby chic looking. If you could also paint and seal your floor a lighter color, that would help too. Then colorful accent rugs and coordinating curtains/ linens will tie it together.

When you make the kitchen all "big" this way - appearing more airy and larger- you just want to make sure you keep very little on counters so it doesn't get cluttered. No matter how pretty it is, if you still can't use the kitchen well, it will feel confining no matter how you decorate.
post #3 of 76
Thread Starter 
Looking at the pictures does make them seem not so bad. I think I will see if DH can shine them up a bit. I've lived with these cabinets for over five years so I think they've lost some of there charm. They do crowd the kitchen as it is only about 36 square feet.

The floor is the old wide plank wooden floor, I don't think we'll be touching that unless it is to refinish is.

Humm, perhaps white distressed cabinets and a light blue mosaiced tile countertops.

The walls are currently a bright yellow but maybe we could paint those to the lightest of blues.

Hmmmmm, still thinking.
post #4 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming View Post

Humm, perhaps white distressed cabinets and a light blue mosaiced tile countertops.

The walls are currently a bright yellow but maybe we could paint those to the lightest of blues.

Hmmmmm, still thinking.
I think that sounds great! I think painting them white would make a huge difference!
post #5 of 76
Personally, I'm a big fan of darker colors, even in small areas, and I think the finish on those cabinets are gorgeous. The ones that are falling apart, are they repairable? Because if so, I'd fix them and stick with what you have.

I would put a new coat of paint on the walls and maybe do something with the backsplash, like tiling.

How do you use your counters? I know I couldn't have a tiled counter because I bake a lot of bread and thus need a smooth surface.

What exactly is your problem with the kitchen? That it feels cramped, or that it is cramped? Do you want more decorating help, or organization?
post #6 of 76
Also, if you want to go white spend some time in a room that's mostly white. When house hunting I found that the white houses/rooms would make me feel very very uncomfortable, whereas the ones with more color would feel cozy and comforting. But I'm weird, so who knows. I just wouldn't commit to white unless you KNOW you like it.
post #7 of 76
Wow, my first thought was cabin in the woods feel. I would personally love that, but DH would never go for it. My second thought was paint. A nice creamy color versus a stark white. You could even paint the uppers and lowers different colors. Maybe a darker color below. New hinges and knobs might not be too much money - stainless to match your new appliances. If you paint, hinge holes could be patched/sanded if you want to use european hidden hinges. All of my neighbors with tile counters have since replaced them as the grout was a horror to keep clean. Would you be able to spring for new laminate countertops? I'm with sunflwrmoonbeam, a tiled backsplash would be my choice. Good luck with your remodeling and post pics as you go. I'd love to see what you do.
post #8 of 76
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the info on the tile. We have a small line of backsplash that looks like this:

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j6...wings/tile.jpg

I kind-of like these, but as you can see it doesn't go more then one tile length.

I like the idea of cream.
post #9 of 76
I think a creamy white paint would look great and would complement (rather than compete with....) your floors. I'd start there and then decide on a backspash, wall color, etc.

Sagey green would be nice on the walls
post #10 of 76
I would leave the wood as wood and clean them up. I really like wood. Change the hinges and the pulls on the cabinets to match, something that is not black, expecially if you are going to go with the stainless appliances. I saw some neat looking lizard shaped pulls at one of the box stores the other day, I think they would be fun. I wonder if white porcalin would look nice, maybe something with a flowery design to it? Maybe just keeping the pulls you have and changing the hinges. Maybe a can of silver spay paint to the hinges you have now would change things and cost a ton less money. (you could go any color with the spay paint) I would get rid of the pineapple motifs.

The yellow walls... My favorite color is yellow and I used a bright yellow like you have in my old kitchen, I really liked it at first but over time it really became too much. I think it is too dramatic, and the walls started to close in around me. I don't know what color would work for you and your family, but choose a paler color than a bright. Like with the blue backsplash, pick a light blue that looks nice with it, not the same bright one. maybe it's because I'm getting older but the brights that I used to really like are almost headachey now.

I have no idea on countertops, other than something that is not wood look to it.
post #11 of 76
I would paint them white/off white and put new hinges and some decorative handles on them.
post #12 of 76
i SOOO feel your pain! right now i'm in the middle of a mini kitchen remodel myself and all the things you just described i can relate to!

what we are doing is painting our cabinets a creamy white color and replacing all the hardware. i WISH i could afford to replace appliances right now....but atleast ours are white and not that old.

we are then painting our walls a beautiful grey/tan color (valspar "frappe").

my husband is building some counter height work tables that are the exact color/style as this buffet that he built in our dining room.....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vmdesig...7601062319791/

and then we're going to paint our countertops in the same dark espresso wood color.....ours are currently BRIGHT RED! and yes, they are safe for food, cutting, etc. if you do it right. we are only doing this as a "quick fix" until we can replace them.

as for your kitchen what i would do.....
- paint those cabinets if you hate them.....no matter what anyone else thinks, you have to live with them. and i would definitely change out the hardware to something less overwhelming.

- paint the walls to whatever color you'd like! it's only paint, if you hate it you can repaint it.

- as for your countertops, you can cover them in tiles or mosaics, or paint them, or replace them. there's TONS of info out there on how to deal with bad counter tops.

if you need any help or have any questions, feel free to pm me as i'm an interior designer and would be happy to help!
post #13 of 76
OK, I once had a kitchen like this. I still have the kitchen, but it looks quite a bit different. Here are some of the things i did:

First, I reorganized. Take a good look at what you have and decide whether or not you really need it. For instance, some gadgets can serve 2 purposes, and some are just unecessary gimmicks.
If you dont have them already, a canister set can make open food packages look good.

Second, take off the small doors at the very top. I know this sounds crazy, but these spaces can function as open shelves for your cookbook collection, or some beautiful (and functional) kitchen items such as a wooden salad bowl, a nice pottery pitcher, or a set of canisters. I use little baskets to store things like napkins or misc. things that I dont use often. The baskets look way better than the ugly doors. This seemed to open things up a bit for me.

Third, spray paint those hinges if you cant afford to change them out. The best way to do this is to screw them all into a piece or scrap wood/plywood whatever, and spray them all at once. This way you will get the screw heads to. You can spray them stainless to match your appliances, or get crazy and go with copper or whatever - use your imagination.

Fourth, give everything a light sanding and a fresh coat of paint. Hey, I'm a fan of wood too, but your wood is definetly looking tired. I would not paint them white - you will be cleaning them till the cows come home. I painted mine an earthy green, and the walls are terra cotta. Don't forget to fill the holes.

New knobs would help alot, or maybe switch out the knobs for pulls. You can get some fairly cheaply, and they make a bolder statement.

Another note I would say just my: Stainless steel appliances look great, but theres nothing wrong with going with the white to save money. They still work, and are alot cheaper. We live with a very strict budget, and although everyone seems to get the SS, we had to go with the white. And guess what? No fingerprints!

Oh, also a note about tile countertops, the grout is not a problem if you go with a somewhat darker shade and use EPOXY grout. It has a finish like glass, and it doesn't stain. Tile is definetly a bit more effoert to clean because of the grooves, but you can use a larger size tile so you have less grout lines, and I think that would look great. I would not do mosaic, even though it would look awesome. Save it for the backsplash.

Whatever you do, have fun and don't be afraid of color.

(and sorry if I sound bossy)
post #14 of 76
Thread Starter 
oh, I really like the idea of taking the doors off the top shelves (and no you don't sound bossy). Honestly there isn't really anything (of great importance) in them. I can't reach them.

The knobs are actually new, they were my first attempt at helping the cabinets out.

I think I might forget the countertops for now and just start with painting the hinges and cabinets. Oh and replacing the stove and microwave.

vm9799- I love that room, I wish you were here. I'd hire you to just sort this all out for me. Some people have an eye for these things, I'm not sure I'm one of them.
post #15 of 76
If you must paint what about a type of white wash or color wash? Some color over the wood but allows the wood to show? I say that because painting over the knots and wood can be a real challenge. Often the wood can bleed through unless you totally seal the wood perfectly. Personally I would sand down (only a little since distressed is "in") and refinish clear and keep the wood. Then I would put on new hardware. (you want the knobs & hinges to match in color)

I agree with another poster that if it saves money buy white or black appliances. The money is much better used elsewhere.

Then I would paint the walls a warmer color. Not something so bright it jumps out at you. Something more calming.

Countertops are one of those things that can be horribly expensive. I personally like basic tile. Mine are a horrid green that clashes with the green wall paper and green stove. Thankfully you never see our countertops

Don't forget to add some little christmas lights around the window
(on sale everywhere right now)
post #16 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by vm9799 View Post
i SOOO feel your pain! right now i'm in the middle of a mini kitchen remodel myself and all the things you just described i can relate to!

what we are doing is painting our cabinets a creamy white color and replacing all the hardware. i WISH i could afford to replace appliances right now....but atleast ours are white and not that old.

we are then painting our walls a beautiful grey/tan color (valspar "frappe").

my husband is building some counter height work tables that are the exact color/style as this buffet that he built in our dining room.....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vmdesig...7601062319791/

and then we're going to paint our countertops in the same dark espresso wood color.....ours are currently BRIGHT RED! and yes, they are safe for food, cutting, etc. if you do it right. we are only doing this as a "quick fix" until we can replace them.

as for your kitchen what i would do.....
- paint those cabinets if you hate them.....no matter what anyone else thinks, you have to live with them. and i would definitely change out the hardware to something less overwhelming.

- paint the walls to whatever color you'd like! it's only paint, if you hate it you can repaint it.

- as for your countertops, you can cover them in tiles or mosaics, or paint them, or replace them. there's TONS of info out there on how to deal with bad counter tops.

if you need any help or have any questions, feel free to pm me as i'm an interior designer and would be happy to help!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99lauren View Post
OK, I once had a kitchen like this. I still have the kitchen, but it looks quite a bit different. Here are some of the things i did:

First, I reorganized. Take a good look at what you have and decide whether or not you really need it. For instance, some gadgets can serve 2 purposes, and some are just unecessary gimmicks.
If you dont have them already, a canister set can make open food packages look good.

Second, take off the small doors at the very top. I know this sounds crazy, but these spaces can function as open shelves for your cookbook collection, or some beautiful (and functional) kitchen items such as a wooden salad bowl, a nice pottery pitcher, or a set of canisters. I use little baskets to store things like napkins or misc. things that I dont use often. The baskets look way better than the ugly doors. This seemed to open things up a bit for me.

Third, spray paint those hinges if you cant afford to change them out. The best way to do this is to screw them all into a piece or scrap wood/plywood whatever, and spray them all at once. This way you will get the screw heads to. You can spray them stainless to match your appliances, or get crazy and go with copper or whatever - use your imagination.

Fourth, give everything a light sanding and a fresh coat of paint. Hey, I'm a fan of wood too, but your wood is definetly looking tired. I would not paint them white - you will be cleaning them till the cows come home. I painted mine an earthy green, and the walls are terra cotta. Don't forget to fill the holes.

New knobs would help alot, or maybe switch out the knobs for pulls. You can get some fairly cheaply, and they make a bolder statement.

Another note I would say just my: Stainless steel appliances look great, but theres nothing wrong with going with the white to save money. They still work, and are alot cheaper. We live with a very strict budget, and although everyone seems to get the SS, we had to go with the white. And guess what? No fingerprints!

Oh, also a note about tile countertops, the grout is not a problem if you go with a somewhat darker shade and use EPOXY grout. It has a finish like glass, and it doesn't stain. Tile is definetly a bit more effoert to clean because of the grooves, but you can use a larger size tile so you have less grout lines, and I think that would look great. I would not do mosaic, even though it would look awesome. Save it for the backsplash.

Whatever you do, have fun and don't be afraid of color.

(and sorry if I sound bossy)
Lots of great advice here.

I painted some dark cabinets in my old apartment. What I learned from the experience is: #1 painting cabinets is a complete PAIN IN THE, ehm...You will need to remove all the hardware and remove the doors from the cabinets. Use a good quality primer first, so that your expensive paint will bond properly and not flake off later. You'll probably need to apply 3 coats of colored paint. I would use a heavy duty paint, like a floor paint...Be sure it is glossy or semi-gloss so that it is easier to wash. Color is your choice. I used a pale spring green for the doors and pale robin-egg blue for the cabinets. The two-tone look was great! I think a creamy yellow or off white would look good in your kitchen area.

Now that I own a home, I am now faced with a similar situation to you. I hate my dark cabinets and bright YELLOW counters (http://www.flickr.com/photos/archymo...7608688239541/), but I have a small budget. We've already covered up some horrible wallpaper and even more disgusting orange linoleum in the kitchen. Our plan for the cabinets is to leave them alone for now...I just can't face the work of painting them right now . I hope to brighten up the kitchen by tiling the counters and making a backsplash. Here is what I have in mind: http://www.flickr.com/photos/archymo...7608688239541/. White 4by4 tiles are *cheap*, so those will cover the counters and most of the wall area. I bought some green glass mosaics and a decorative floral 3 by 6 tile to add some color and interest on the backsplash.

I grew up in a house with a tile counter, so I will warn you that it's no fun to keep clean. But nowadays epoxy grout can make your life a lit easier. I also second the idea of white appliances....whenever I get the funds together to purchase appliances, I'm sticking with plain old white. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
post #17 of 76
I would not paint or white wash those. They are great, they just might need to be cleaned up and oiled or a fresh coat of varnish ( hard to tell what they are finished with from the pics)
post #18 of 76
I wouldn't remove any upper doors. Kitchen "dust" is greasy and gross. We don't actually fry much, but the upper reaches of our cabinets need regular cleaning. And the stuff we store up top is coated in that grime and must be washed before it can be used.

It's possible that you could strip the old varnish and reseal the pine. Varnish darkens with age, so doing that would retain the quality of the wood without covering it up. Then again, painted pine looks nice, too.
post #19 of 76
Thread Starter 
I am taking lots of notes, about the cabinets. I do feel a little bad painting over the wood. But they make my kitchen feel tiny. I will be changing the hinges.



I have gone back and forth on the stove. I can't go white if I do an off white for the cabinets. That is too much white for me. I would have to paint the cabinets a diffrent color. I don't want any black appliances (again the space is just too small). That's how I landed on stainless steel, or maybe even the steel look alike. DH and I are going to the store to look at stoves this week. This event has been five years in the making, so I'm very excited!

I went to the hardware store today and picked up some nice blue chips to help me think about the wall color.
post #20 of 76
We had a tiny (8 x 8 with two doors and a window), ugly kitchen long ago and a small budget to fix it up. Here's what we did:

1. painted cabinets white (I like white kitchens)--it was a pain, but I was really happy with the end result. (The nice thing about white is that it is super easy to find appliances, etc to go with it--creams are lovely but I think it can be harder to coordinate with them.) I took all the doors off and drawers out. I cleaned them with a degreaser, sanded them, primed them and did two coats of paint. It lasted for the three more years we were in the house. I think it took me an entire weekend to do this--and this was pre-children.

2. replaced the old white vinyl flooring with glueless, click cork--sounds like you don't need to do anything with your floors.

3. replaced the countertops with blue pearl granite tile--dh really, really wanted granite. I would not do this again. Even with the dark grout and big tiles (minimizing the grout lines) I found it a hassle to keep clean and it isn't functional for rolling out dough, etc. The one advantage was the heat resistance. We used Ikea butcher block for our second kitchen remodel (different house) and I loved it. It is quite cheap and can be diy install depending on woodworking skills.

4. took down one of the upper cabinets and replaced it with open shelves--I loved this. The shelves actually held more than the cabinet had and it really opened up the kitchen.

5. took down the cabinet over the refrigerator and replaced it with a pot rack. I also loved this. It held waaaay more than the cabinet had. (I'm 5ft 7inches tall so ymmv depending on your reach.)

6. replaced the brown oven, black dishwasher and white refrigerator with new white appliances. This was a serious improvement in function and looks. We went with a special, tiny LG refrigerator that we had to drive forever (I think 4 or 5 hours) to get even though we lived in the DC metro area. It was totally worth it as it actually fit in the small space available while still allowing our backdoor to open completely.

7. replaced old, yucky ceiling fan with neat blue glass track lights. This allowed us to get lighting directly over the sink which was a big improvement.

8. painted walls a very pale yellow.

9. used white subway tiles for a backsplash--since we used 12 inch square granite tiles for the counter top, we built the backsplash out an inch with backerboard (?) and used a piece of painted wood trim at the top. This made a little ledge for spices and solved the 12 + 12 equals 24 not 25 inches problem.

Our second kitchen remodel had more space and a slightly bigger budget. We did use Ikea cabinets there and looooovvvveeed them. So if your budget could handle a couple thousand you could do diy install of Ikea cabiets.

(The Ikea website has a kitchen design program you can download and if you design your kitchen the program will price it for you. Also, there is a website of helpful people at www.ikeafan.com or maybe www.ikeafans.com ? who will help with design and install--just a forum not ikea sponsored or anything).

The kitchen and decorating forums at www.gardenweb.com have lots of ideas and links to pictures, etc.

Good luck!

Catherine
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