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kentucky7_gw

Trying to update 90s kitchen and SO overwhelmed! PICs and layout

kentucky7
10 years ago

Finally it's time to update my very dated kitchen! I'm excited but overwhelmed at the same time. These pictures are from 1996 when we built new. This was okay at that time, but the look now is, well, so 90's!

Hubby gave me a budget under $10,000 so it's not going to be a total over-haul, so I'm hoping I can make some 'simple' changes that will bring it a little more up to date. I've poured over the kitchen forum for hours to try to gain some insight and ideas.

SOME OF MY WISHES:

First and most important are the countertops. Granite isn't in my budget and concrete has been tossed around as an idea because my BIL just did a reno with concrete and it somewhat mimics the granite look. Honestly I know very little about concrete countertops so I'm a little scared of it. I'm not opposed to laminate, since my current laminate has held up very well for 16 years. I would like to take this opportunity to possibly change some minor things about my layout during the countertop process. For one, I'm rethinking the raised bar. Another is the corner sink. It was set too far back which is very hard on my back, and figure a new sink/faucet is in my future also. My brother-in-law is a very talented craftsman and will be doing the improvements. He is finishing up his own kitchen update and has done a wonderful job, so I totally trust him to do quality work. He can make some minor changes to the cabinets if necessary. I just have to get a plan in place because he is scheduled to begin by April.

New flooring. I'm not pulling for hardwood, but not sure what other choices to consider. It now has a light colored linoleum. Not that crazy about linoleum, but I do like the light color because it seems to make the room larger and I like being able to see dirty spots...much easier to spot clean. My previous house had dark brown and I didn't know if someone spilled something until my foot stuck to the floor.

The oak cabinets are staying. New cabinets are not in our budget and ours are still in beautiful shape since they were custom made and not builders grade. I'm sure there are other ways to update the look without replacing or repainting (I've heard all the problems with the grain) I definitely see new drawer pulls in my future! And I was wondering about the possibility of taking out the narrow 'black-hole' cabinet area on both sides of the oven with maybe pull outs.

The box florescent light has to go. The small fixture in the breakfast nook has been replaced with a ceiling fan. But we need to look at new lighting also.

All appliances are white and they are staying.

It doesn't show up very well in the picture, but there is a 'closet' pantry that we would like to do something new with. My aunt had a hinged pull out pantry that I loved and I've wondered how to maybe incorporate that type. Right now it just has wire shelving on top and a free standing wire unit on the bottom with pull out drawers. Hubby thinks we have room to expand it more. And I'm wondering if a frosted glass door would look better than the painted white 'closet door'. There is another cabinet pantry with pull out drawers on the left side with a microwave in the open space above it.

I've seen some nice storage areas built in the area under the raised bar that I would love. Especially since the large

corner sink has a huge area that's hard to organize, so maybe I can utilize some of that area on the opposite side.

My painter says he can paint over the wallpaper. I don't look forward to stripping this whole room since it comes off in 2 layers and will take forever! I originally thought of a burnt orange color, but it clashes with the oak cabinets. The adjoining rooms (living room and dining room) are brown tones from Porter Paints, but I don't have the exact color handy at the moment. I love green, but not sure about the flow to the adjoining 'brown' rooms.

One more thing I've thought needs to be part of the update is the breakfast nook area. I love the window seat look but don't know if it would work well for that area.

I hope all my rambling isn't all over the place and I've provided enough info for a start. I'm so lost I can't really get a 'vision' on the possibilities. I haven't been able to wrap my mind around all the details some of you have put into your beautiful kitchen designs. I've read some of your have put months and years into your planning process, but I don't have that much time.

Our children are teenagers now and the oldest will be starting college this fall so within the next couple years, we will be empty nesters. I do the majority of the cooking and nothing fancy so I don't need a whole lot of bells and whistles! ha!

These pictures don't show much of the one side of the kitchen where the large pantry is. Next to the pantry door is one small cabinet and the refrigerator. I hope the room layout sketch gives a better idea of that space. If not, I can take some updated digital pics for better detail. I'm sorry the pictures look so blurry. They were old pictures I had to scan in and then reduced the size and they were too small, so when I resized them in Photobucket, they became blurry. Please enjoy the tacky Halloween decor! ha!





Comments (38)

  • caryscott
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Stripping the wallpaper is about time not skill or money so I would suggest you give taking it down more serious consideration.

  • mrshanson1
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi:

    You could do a lot with 10G with your kitchen. Here are my ideas:

    1. Definitely, get rid of wallpaper.
    2. Get rid of island
    3. Countertops- with your cabinet color, maybe soapstone would be beautiful? It's an idea
    4. For flooring, what about cork? It's light, so easy on the feet, and still looks up to date, trendy, and green to beat.
    4. Lighting...spend money there...that box in the ceiling has to go.
    5. New sink...maybe farmhouse kind?

    Those are my ideas...what do you think?

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  • ellendi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I agree with MrsHanson. Take the time to strip the wall paper. You will not regret it. Get rid of the island.
    Don't rule out granite. Yes, some are expensive but not all. Uba Tuba would look great with your cabinets. Shop around.
    I don't think I would like the look of cork with your oak cabinets. Wood would be tricky to. I would check out Armstrong vinyls. Some look like stone. Ceramic is nice but cold and hard on the feet.
    If 10,000 is not going to stretch far, then do this reno in two stages. The breakfast nook can wait.
    When choosing your counter, think ahead to your backsplash.
    Have you checked out the Finished Kitchen Blog? Try to get a few visons in place so you will have a direction to go in.
    Post here often!

  • boxerpups
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    How exciting. You have decided to change your kitchen.
    10,000! You can update for sure!
    If you are not changing appliances you can do this easy.
    But it involves lots of DIY.

    Get rid of the wallpaper (DO NOT PAINT OVER IT)
    Sorry to yell, but a good painter would never do that.
    Even if the painter has to prep the wall by sanding
    rarely would they paint over wallpaper. That just begs
    for issues later.

    Below is a GW link, I just removed wallpaper. I did it,
    and so can you.

    Soapstone can be expensive unless you are able to DIY.
    Unless you have experience with Stone you might want to
    look into this. Have you done a search on Concrete?
    There are pros and cons to this too. The biggest issue is
    staining.

    Gardenweb concrete countertop questions
    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg081731074951.html

    I agree with Mrs.Hansen, get rid of the light fixture.

    Lower the raised bar to one level countertop.

    Do you like the island or does it block traffic?

    As for pantry storage can you photograph that side too?

    What about Gel staining that oak?
    Here are some pictures of updated oak? Check out my link
    below too. I gel stained my bathroom cabinets.
    If you do this yourself, you only pay for the sandpaper,
    the brushes, gel stain, and your time.


    Notice they saved money by updating in gel stain
    and saving their money for granite counters.
    Granite at $50.00 per sq foot might money well spent
    than hiring someone to remove your wall paper, paint your
    cabs and put in a concrete counter.

    Concrete counters....
    Yes even the sink is concrete

    Virginia DECO concrete counter co.

    Concrete Craftsman


    A link on changing light fixtures
    http://www.construction-resource.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8869

    corkoleaum (an inexpensive floor solutions and soft on the feet)

    Laminates cheaper than wood and pretty too

    Armstrong Laminate floor

    Lots of ideas to think about. I would get a good notebook
    or set up a idea list on your pc/laptop. Start to figure
    out your budget. List what are you going to spend on
    each thing that needs to be changed.

    Start to develop WANT Vs NEED
    and then list priorities and from there you can figure
    out what you are willing to live with and what you find
    must be changed.

    Enjoy the process.
    ~boxerpups

    Here is a link that might be useful: I took my wall paper down last week. You can do it yourself!

  • herbflavor
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Keep the basic U shape kitchen/eliminate high counter and microwave/pantry obstruction. Do a one level U shape counter all the way around-one height- and the nice angled dinette at the opposite end will actually show better-it's a strong/lovely feature.New appliances and a lighting redo
    are needed. I'd look for a "softer"counter-corian/silestone/LG HiMacs,etc with a good looking edge...and shop for hardwood or the engineered stuff for the floor. Wouldn't even strip/stain /paint the cabs-they look good-change the hardware. At the mwave end of cabs get a mwave placed in base cab and on the wall perhaps open shelves.You have a closet pantry, so this mwave cab with pantry could likely be used as storage in your basement or laundry room/etc.

  • CEFreeman
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Boxerpups!

    Got any links on that Virginia Deco concrete?
    I LOVE that!
    I'm going to search, but in the meanwhile, I thought I'd ask.
    Christine

  • Bunny
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have the same era kitchen with builder's grade finishes. My budget was $20K so I had a little more to work with, but definitely no DIY skills.

    Since you want to keep your cabs and not paint them, I agree with others to maybe gel stain them darker to cut the orange. A change of hardware is a low-cost way to really update the look.

    I had an even worse looking fluorescent box on my ceiling. Getting rid of it was like getting rid of a really unfortunate wart on the end of one's nose. Overall it made such a difference. Looks like you have an 8-ft. ceiling so add some cans to keep it clean.

    I got a quartz counter for under $4K and I know that there are many nice granites for less. I don't know what it would cost to move your sink. Getting rid of the upper level on your peninsula would look better.

    I agree with the others that the island has to go and the wallpaper should be stripped.

    My neighbor's high end cork floor has warped and faded over time. It was lovely for the first year. I have hardwood and love it. It brings life to my kitchen. There are many colors to choose from. Tile is cold and hard. The right vinyl might be okay.

  • itsallaboutthefood
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    We painted the wallpaper in our kitchen when we first moved in, 11 years ago. It looked great and lasted for 10 years (and probably would have lasted longer). We did take it down when we remodeled the kitchen last year, but it did require the room to be retextured before painting. So, I think you can go either way...but it might be less expensive and troublesome to just paint it for now. You can always tackle the removal of the paper and texturing etc later if you want to.

  • boxerpups
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I made a typo it is DECOR
    Virginia Decor here is the link that I found the image
    from but this was more than a year ago.

    I do not know of any concrete installer. I can not
    recommend anyone. However I do have more images.
    I love the idea but I have heard a few negatives in
    staining, cracking, and general issues of care.
    ~boxerpups
    http://www.concretedecor.net/decorativeconcretearticles/vol-12-no-2-febmar-2012/project-profile-e2809chidden-oasise2809d-stafford-va/


    GW The truth about concrete countertops
    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg022051331658.html



    Here is a link that might be useful: concrete counters

  • hottois
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm currently stripping wallpaper in my kitchen in preparation for my kitchen reno. Is it a nasty job? Yes. Have I stripped wallpaper before? Many, many times. Do I hate the job? More than I can convey.

    Would I ever paint over wallpaper? NEVER! You'll regret it. The paint job will never really look right and eventually you will want to strip the paper except that then it will be painted over - much harder job.

    As carryscott said, it's not about skill or money. It's about patience, time and determination to do the job right so that you love the outcome.

  • _sophiewheeler
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oooh! You have teenagers that can strip the wallpaper! Conscriped labor with younger arms and backs. Go for it!

    NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER PAINT wallpaper! NEVER!

    You have two choices with the cabinets and counters. You can leave them their current color and pick something dark like Uba Tuba granite (I'd bet you can do the whole kitchen for around 3K in Uba Tuba) or you can darken the cabinets with gels stain and go lighter on the granite. (Again, St. Cecillia or New Venetian Gold would probably be around 3-4K)

    The thing is, gel staining is DIY technique. You won't find any reputable woodworking guy that will do it. And that's because gel stain is basically paint, not a real stain. Real stain is thin and penetrates the wood fibers. Gel stain is a thick stain full of pigments that sit on the surface----a thin paint in other words, which is why it takes a few coats to build up. The oak has such a prominent grain that it appears to be "stained" when it's really just being covered by an opaque color. It's less work to just scuff sand, prime and paint with a darker color than it is to gel stain oak.

    Replacing the fluorescent with a nice semi-flush fixture and adding under cabinet lighting will be the biggest change to the functionality of the room.

    The other issue is that to get a corner sink pulled closer to the front of a cabinet, it will need to be a smaller sink than you are currently using. Your pics don't show what size sink is there, but if it's a 33" sink, downsizing to a 25" sink will actually give you a ton more room in the sink, plus it can be closer to the front of the cabinet.

    For flooring, there's nothing wrong with a nice vinyl floor. It's soft underfoot and budget friendly. Plus, choosing any flooring at this point after the cabinets are already in is tricky. If you choose a wood or a tile, it will minimize the height available for your DW if installed in the DW cavity, or trap it in it's current location if you don't install it in the DW cavity. Flooring with any amount of height really and truly needs the lower cabinets pulled and to be installed under the cabinets so that everything is maintained at the correct clearances.

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    boxerpups
    Here is the pantry side. The fridge we bought new when we built 16 yrs ago. Off topic a little, but the handles finally began to look really grungy and fall apart about a year ago, so I ordered 2 new handles for it and it looks brand new again! (: I found magic erasers the very best thing to clean textured surface with. I'll admit tho my fridge always seems to be covered with 'important' papers. ha!

    You can see the back door and all the white trim, so maybe the white appliances don't look terribly out of place?

    I thought I should include some more pictures from different angles so it shows how the main rooms flow.


    That black looking hole is the doorway to the kitchen. It is early morning where all the light streams in, so the lighting is a little wonky.


    View from the dining room:

    We repainted LR, DR and hallway a couple years ago... brown, browner and brownest, and the poor neglected kitchen still has the stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb blue wallpaper.

    Everyone has confirmed what I already knew in my heart - I've got to strip the wallpaper! YUK! Just pulling off the few borders a couple years ago was a PITA, but I have a couple of able bodied teenage girls and I see stripping in their future. We'll call it mother/daughter bonding time. ha!

    MrsHanson - ellendi. I'm curious why removing the island is on the list. Is it the weird shape? It was the brainchild of the original cabinet maker. He was trying to follow the angles of the cabinets. It doesn't block traffic or feel as if it's in the way. It's actually very functional. It holds all my cookware (tho the organization inside needs help), gives me a bridge when pulling things from the fridge when I'm cooking and also getting a meal from the kitchen to the dining table, and has been used as seating when people are gathered in the kitchen. You know kids! (: I figure the countertops are going to be the biggest expense of the whole project and that's what scares me about making the right choice, because there are soooo many choices, each with their own pros and cons. Ellendi- thanks for reminding me about the backsplash, and I agree that tile flooring is cold. I know hubby is not going to want to spend the $ on a warming system.

    boxerpups
    I will definitely look into the gel staining more. I really wanted to paint a burnt orange color in there, but the color will not play well with those orangy cabinets. I've already started a notebook for all the ideas I've gathered (mostly from this forum) I made a notebook from the original build with copies of each room's floor plan and dimensions, color samples, window sizes, etc. etc. It has proved very helpful over the years when I have to refer to it. It also includes pictures of each room when the construction was complete attached to the room info so I can get a better visual. Yep, I'm a definite notebook gal!

    herbflavor - I've tried to visualize the one height counter in place of the raised bar, but couldn't figure out how that equates to sitting height. Too low for bar stools and too high for chairs? I'm trying to plan for the least amount of changes to the actual cabinets because I know how it would cut into the total budget. Right now, that cabinet pantry holds mostly snack food and my long casserole dishes. I've always had one dedicated drawer for the girls' snacks, tho they won't live at home forever. This old kitchen has held up well with kids growing up in it, but maybe it is time to rethink the redo in terms of a 'grown-up' kitchen?

    I live in Kentucky and with the scare of all the tornadoes that struck the mid south yesterday, I was afraid the kitchen was going to be gone anyway...along with the rest of the house! Our local weatherman had everyone scared pretty bad and with good reason. Schools were closing early and my girls were more scared than I've ever seen them. KY was hit hard, but miraculously our town was spared. Some neighbors without a basement came over and hunkered down with us in our storm shelter where we stayed for what seemed like forever. It was almost 80 degrees here yesterday before the storms hit, but tomorrow night we have snow flurries in the forecast. Crazy!

    Thank you everyone for your ideas!! I plan to spend time this weekend looking up more info on those ideas and will check back in.

  • debrak_2008
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Bar stools come in different sizes. There are several stools at counterheight shown in the photos above.

  • Delilah66
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    kentucky7 - Glad you made it through yesterday's freaky weather! About lowering your raised counter, it looks like there's no - or not enough- overhang for anyone to sit at comfortably. If you lower it, the overhang can be increased to create usable seating. I know there are counter height chairs that will work. Hope you continue to post your progress - April! Wow! That's soon!

  • boxerpups
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Kentucly7,

    Glad to hear you are safe.

    That wall paper does not look so terrible. Of course you
    have pizza friendly labor that could help you rip that
    down and make this kitchen reno a family affair.

    Glad to hear you have a notebook. Another feature is on
    GW. Do you see the green leaves and scissors in the upper
    right corner? Clip this post, email this post, what is this?...

    That is this cool feature where you can save your favorites.
    And have an online notebook per say.

    If Gel staining is not your thing, there is also the idea
    of painting. But painting oak can be tricky as oak has
    grain and grain can peek through. That was I suggested
    stain. Because with stain any grain will look like a beautiful
    additon to the wood.

    I agree about granite. Granite in that kitchen might be
    doable with your budget. Save money on the cabs and spend
    it on the granite.

    Why are you changing the floors? Are they damaged?
    They look fine to me.

    As for the island. If you like it, keep it. Notice the
    below picture kept the island in their renovation.

    A few more ideas hope they help.
    ~boxer


    This is not a change in the cabinets but more a change
    in counters but notice they kept the island.

    Painted the oak into this....


    \

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Boxerpups you are a wealth of information and inspiration! I am such a visual person, the pictures help SO MUCH! When we were in the planning stage of this house, I couldn't figure out anything just looking at some lines on a piece of paper. Another BIL was a home contractor and he helped us figure out a few things. We changed the original plans so much, it's way different than the plans. There was sposed to be a walk in pantry between the drm and kitchen, but we took it out. Believe it or not, I've been in "our" house several times - there are at least 3 in our town alone. One of them also made a lot of changes to the plan that were beautiful. They made a 2nd story living room above the first floor one rather than have the 2 story ceiling.

    I read up on the concrete countertop link you posted, and now I want to cross that option off my list. Even tho my BIL is very talented, he did not pour his own. I didn't take any pics, but it has a very glossy, rich look. He did his own tile backsplash and made some modifications to his cabinets (cherry) and tiled floors. He's done some beautiful upgrades to his home, tho not my particular taste. His kitchen is just TOO brown for me...I couldn't live with it everyday.

    No the floor isn't damaged. It has tiny blue/pink speckles in it when we built and coordinated the wp in the kitchen with pinkish color in the dining room so it all looked cohesive. I really don't mind a vinyl floor but I just figured it should be updated along with the mess we will be creating.

    I've just started using the clip post feature. I just haven't figured out how to save the whole thread. I clipped one today with a picture of a kitchen layout very similar to mine with a one level counter where my raised bar is. Right now I am trying to gather inspiration pics for my notebook, making notes on each about features I like. I thought I would lose my mind during the building process with all the decisions and I was nursing a newborn at the time. So I keep telling myself I can do a piddly little kitchen and not go crazy. hahaha! Though realistically I am now 16 yrs older and tireder. Hmmm that must be a real word - spellcheck didn't flag it.

    Did any of the pics of the rooms connected to the kitchen give you any better idea of my kitchen flow?

    I really do appreciate the comments/ideas/inspiration offered. I have lurked on GW for years, but don't really post comments because I feel like a student among teachers. When reading a lot of the threads it almost feels like being in a foreign country where you don't speak the language and you only catch a few words here and there. I've read enough to know there are some very talented people here even if there is differences of opinions.

  • deegw
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It was suggested that you get rid of the island because the shape and size says "90's kitchen". There's nothing wrong with that but if you want to do an update, your island, the wallpaper, the overhead box light, the cabinet hardware, the cabinet color and probably the faucet are all pretty 90's specific.

    As you are doing your updating and kitchen decluttering you may find that you don't really need the island after all. Or, you could paint it a different color than the cabinet to give it a more modern look.

    Have fun. Be sure to post pics of the finished product.

  • Yvonne B
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Kentucky, you have some great ideas. Boxerpups, heartfelt thanks for your pictures. I have a similar kitchen to the one with saltillo tiles, and I love what they did with the peninsula countertop. Kentucky, I have a single level peninsula, with the corner sink - I like it, since all of it is usable. I really like the angled countertop in Boxerpups picture - that way everyone's not sitting in a straight line.

  • allie814
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The eat in area is wonderful. I would not touch it.
    Updating-definitely remove paper. Would you consider painting your cabinets? I would remove island and get rid of raised bar. I love having a large flat area. I would consider replacing appliances when possible. The stained glass panel dates the kitchen. I would think a glass company could make an insert. If you paint the cabinets, a refinished wood floor would look great. Finally, get rid of all the clutter. Knickknacks are very dating. Good luck

  • desertsteph
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    first things first. get stuff cleared out and get the wallpaper down. The orangey oak cabs i've seen that look best (toned down) usually have a medium/sage green family wall color. It should look fine w/ brown in other rooms.

    look for counter top material - not everyone likes granite (and I don't remember if that's what you wanted) but get an idea of what you want, go looking and get an estimate so you have an idea of what part of your budget that will eat up.

    pick out a new light fixture. You need to know about how much that will cost plus installation.

    getting the wp down and that light box down will make a world of difference!

    decide on flooring - there are some really nice vinyls out there. flooring will take a good chunk of your budget - that's a large area to cover.

    island - keeping or removing it is up to you, if you like it keep it. I think it will look very different with a new counter top on it (see bp's pics).

    or you could look for an inexpensive (2nd hand store/restore) work table with a shelf running under it. You will need to be careful with aisle space around it tho.

    peninsula - again, 2 level or 1 is up to you. Many are changing to the 1 level now but not everyone is. If you decide to go to 1 level you'll need an estimate on the cost to cut that back.

    sink - while redoing the counter top decide if you want a new sink/faucet to update the look also. another expense there but better to do it now than decide you need to do that after the new counter top is in.

    if you have any money left go for new pulls/handles. You can find some nice ones at a good price at HD or the L store. Make sure they are big enough and have enough projection for the hands of all family members (probably not the cat or dog tho). do you know what color direction you want to go with those? nickel? ORB?

    down the road I think changing the skinny cabs on either side of stove to pullouts would be a good idea - should be fairly easy to do too. Do you have slotted storage elsewhere? one of those would be good as a pullout. maybe a double one?

    the other side of your peninsula just opens to the other part of the room so you should be able to open it up (in corner area) there for storage. you could put glass doors on it for storage of serving pieces or just shelves for cookbooks.

    pantry - post a pic of it open? I've never liked wire shelves in a pantry. how about putting in wood shelves there? It'd be good usable storage. 24" shelves are usually too deep. Mine are 18" and I wouldn't want them any deeper. you could put some very shallow shelves along the front on one side for things like canned soups, olives, salad dressings, ketchup, tomato paste cans, other small / skinny jar/bottle/canned items. Maybe use the bottom shelf along the back (deeper shelves) for your crock pot (if you have one) or other large soup pot/roaster. Put case items on the floor (soda/juice/water bottles) or slide a step stool under the bottom shelf.
    Have you looked at the pantry threads? lots of wonderful ideas on those!

    get the main things done before you run out of 'budget' - some of the smaller things could then be done later after you save up some more money.

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    allie, I know the corner stain glass panel has to go along with the other 90's stuff still in there. Do you suggest putting anything above the cabinets?

    desertsteph, your one by one list was very helpful. I've got a general list of specific things I'd like to start with tho I haven't priced anything out yet since I haven't pinned down the specifics yet.

    1. New countertops. I just don't know which type yet. Since this will be the biggest expense, I hope I make the right choice! I have been happy with the laminate I've had all these years. It still looks as good as the day it was installed... no stains, scratches, or gouges. Hubby has suggested concrete because his brother just had that installed, but I'm not hearing good things about the longevity so I am still unsure. I don't use my countertops as a cutting board or set things from the stove directly on them, so I guess that's one reason mine are still in good shape. But I'm not really sold on granite. And I'm thinking the process of going from a matte finish to a glossy finish may be a super shock to me. I just don't know yet.

    2. Lighting. The fluorescent box has to go. Still not sure what type of lighting. I would love to replace my under cabinet fluorescent with some LED lighting, but that's all I know for sure on the lighting so far.

    3. New pulls. I know the brass has to go! Even if I don't do a thing to the oak cabinets, I know new pulls would help update them. As of now, I have no idea which color direction to go. I'm thinking the countertop is going to help me with once I nail it down.

    4. Backsplash. Another thing to decide. I'm assuming some type of tile, but that's as far as I've gotten.

    5. Flooring. The vinyl is original to the house also and is still in great shape. But the color/pattern also dates the kitchen. I really like the feel of it in the kitchen and don't especially have any desire to look for hardwood or laminate. There is hardwood in the dining and hall and as much as I know everyone loves hardwood floors, they just don't have the 'warm' feeling I want for my kitchen. And I don't want ceramic tile for the same reason. I guess that is my problem... I know what I don't want, just now what I DO want! Crazy, huh? haha.

    6. Dishwasher. Mine is barely hanging on for dear life and must be replaced.

    7. Glass panel in upper corner door. I know the stained glass now is very dated and I'm not married to it. It can go.

    8. Paint. I've been convinced by everyone on this thread to strip the wallpaper, so as much as I dread it, I'm going to tackle the job. The next choice is the paint color. My other adjoining rooms are brown tones, and so far for the kitchen I am maybe thinking a soothing green. I originally wanted orange, but unless I end up gellin' the cabinets, it's going to clash terribly with the orange in that oak. We recently painted our office green and I absolutely love the way it feels in there now. I'm a true purple girl at heart, but I have to contain my love for purple in my heart and not on my walls (per hubby). Well, at least I did get one purple room in the house...my craft room. And I'm happy with that. hahaha

    9. Pantry. Hubby has suggested we enlarge it. I suggested we install a unit like my aunt had in her previous house. I don't know how to insert the picture, but this is the link to it.
    http://www.kitchensource.com/pantry/na-p0251dnl1.htm
    I've seen an etched glass pantry door on this forum that I liked, but I haven't figured out the whole pantry thing yet either.

    Yes, I have a feeling a new sink/faucet is in my future with these other changes, but I haven't even begun to look at those yet.

    Some days it's hard to believe I managed to make all those itty-bitty detailed decisions to build this house and I am so stumped on this one room. I think it's hard to look at it with 'new' eyes after seeing the same thing every day for so many years. When we finished the house originally, the kitchen was my favorite room of the house. Maybe that's partly what I'm stressing over. Change. And maybe I'm stressing over the fact my oldest daughter will be turning 18, going to her last prom, and graduating from high school all within a month this spring. And I'm going to have the kitchen torn apart in the midst of all that?? And to add to it all...spring is a crazy busy season for our business. She will be starting college in the fall and I'm sure that will be a crazy time too. Ahhh, changes are all around me!

    So it's confirmed. I have no idea what to do and hubby wants to start next month. I truly think I will lose my mind!

  • debrak_2008
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think the biggest mistake you could make is rushing this and making decisions you will later regret. Why do you have to start in April? You are in charge of this. You should take as much time as you need.

    Sounds like you really don't have a vision for your kitchen. Take time to look at this site, houzz.com, visit kitchen showrooms, magazine, model home open houses, etc. Start a folder of ideas you like. Once you develop the concept of how you want your kitchen to function and feel, you can then start choosing specifics.

    Again you are in control don't be rushed. If your BIL doesn't start in April does that mean he can NEVER help you in the future?

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    debrak, you are absolutely right. I don't have a vision yet. April was set cos we are selling an investment house and will have available funds around that time. And my BIL should be finished with his own makeover. Hubby and I had a discussion one day about the screened in porch I've been wanting for years which led to the fact that I thought the kitchen needed some love first, so it got moved to the top of the list.

    I'm predicting hubby will not understand my indecision because he has been renovating houses in his spare time for the past few years and I can't recall one time he's even asked my opinion on a wall or appliance color, etc. He just does it. And does it quickly. Maybe his vision is better than mine. Maybe he doesn't agonize over his decisions because he's not gonna live there. Regardless of how I analyze it, we just process things differently.

    I am spending today going over all the info and pics I gathered yesterday. We are having a Home Show this weekend and planned on going Friday nite till the storms blew through and ripped some shingles off our roof. So instead he was on the roof repairing that till it was too late to go. If he gets back in town early enough today, we might try again.

    Maybe I'm stressing over the timing more than anything. Realistically April is a bad time because of everything I know coming up...not a good time to have the kitchen turned upside down.

  • joaniepoanie
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Removing wallpaper....here is what I have found works great.....if you can, peel off at least the top "vinyl" layer. Lift off a corner if you can and start tugging. You will then have the layer of thin paper. Dilute cheap store brand fabric softener with water, sponge on walls and then scrape off with a putty knife or similar tool. If top layer won't peel off, use a scorer to put little holes in top layer and use the fabric softener mix.

    Yes, loose the island...it' s too small to really do much of anything.

    Can your talented BIL reconfigure the cabinets to center your sink under the window? I think this would make a big difference and be easier for you to work at the sink.

    The rest of your changes sound great...do visit some stone yards and price out granite...

    There are some nice looking vinyl tiles that look like ceramic....good luck!

  • springroz
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Where do you live? We are in the process of moving to Kentucky!! We just got home, so we were there for the tornadoes. Oir hoise seemed to survive it all, and we were hunkered down in the hotel. I took a lot of pictures that morning, just in case I needed insurance verification, and I would also have Bfore/after/ after pics!!

    Namcy

  • joaniepoanie
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Removing wallpaper....here is what I have found works great.....if you can, peel off at least the top "vinyl" layer. Lift off a corner if you can and start tugging. You will then have the layer of thin paper. Dilute cheap store brand fabric softener with water, sponge on walls and then scrape off with a putty knife or similar tool. If top layer won't peel off, use a scorer to put little holes in top layer and use the fabric softener mix.

    Yes, loose the island...it' s too small to really do much of anything.

    Can your talented BIL reconfigure the cabinets to center your sink under the window? I think this would make a big difference and be easier for you to work at the sink.

    The rest of your changes sound great...do visit some stone yards and price out granite...

    There are some nice looking vinyl tiles that look like ceramic....good luck!

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    joanie, I can't remember the method we used last time we stripped paper. I think maybe Dawn dw liquid and water in a spray bottle. I seem to remember the vinegar/water didn't help much. I will definitely try fabric softner/water! The sink is already centered, it just sets back a few inches too far to be comfortable working at the sink for very long. Luckily I don't have to wash dishes, but giving the dog a bath, putting up garden corn, etc. aggravates my back pretty quick. We are going to try to set it (or a new one) closer to the edge.

    springroz, we live south of ETown. My girls came home from school and told me storm chasers, TWC, and Red Cross were already in town. I guess news travel like a grapevine when you have FB, twitter, etc. What brings you to Ky? Get ready for some craaaazzy weather!! It'll be 75 one day and 40 the next...sometimes in the same day. haha

  • live_wire_oak
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If you haven't investigated it yet, checkout the Design Around This threads that have been going on this board. The takeaway tool from them is how to create a Design Board that incorporates all of the elements in one single spot so you can see what works and what doesn't work with all the elements together. It's very easy to pick out a single this or that, but a lot more difficult to pick out 10 things that all work together. Creating a Design Board will help you with that process.

  • khinmn92
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've stripped lots of wallpaper in the past few years and the best method I've found for vinyl paper is to pull off the top vinyl layer. This usually comes off pretty easily. You'll be left with the glued paper layer. Scoring lightly helps. Use a steamer to moisten and loosen the glue, then scrape with a putty knife (with a light hand so as not to mar the drywall) and remove the remaining paper layer. It's messy, but works wonders and comes off pretty easily and quickly!

  • springroz
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Kentucky7, we are moving to Bowling Green, so not TOO far from you!! I will come help you remove that wallpaper!! Our move is kind of financial, kind of "follow that dream"...our neighbor wanted to buy our farm here in Texas, and we have friends in BG! And land is cheap right now, so we bought a farm in KY. We love it! I don't love the moving part, though.....but it will be over....eventually.

    Really, I will help you with that wallpaper, i need to update my email on GW so we can keep in touch!

    Nancy

  • allie814
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think the older we get, the more we are afraid of making mistakes. As far as what to out above the cabinets, you can just put nothing. The wall will be painted. I am replacing 20 year old Formica and having the same issues. The Formica has held up extremely well. I think granite is hard and cold. We have it in a vacation home and I am not crazy about it. Looks beautiful but I find myself spreading out towels and putting items on top when working. It is so noisy. I am contemplating quartz. You can take the island out now and see how you like the open space. If you remove the raised bar and replace with an overhanging top, I think the kitchen will feel much larger.

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    springroz, be careful, I might take that offer once I get started. You are gonna love Ky! It's really beautiful here and if y'all bought a farm here, I'm sure you've already fallen in love with the area. Your email doesn't show up in the email response I got from you. It must be set to private.

    Good luck on your move. Are your children excited about the move?

    allie, I know looking at beautiful pictures is not the same as living with your choices every day and that's the hardest part of making too drastic of changes. I'm afraid I'll hate the "feel" of new textures.

    Seems everyone's hating on my island. ha! But honestly, take a good look at my kitchen... it's tiny! That island holds all my pots, pans, cookie/pizza sheets, skillets, pitchers, bundt pan, and a crock pot. Basically every thing I cook with. I have no where else to store all those items. We are NOT adding new cabinets or enlarging the kitchen. It's not in my way. I don't hate it. It just maybe needs some love. ha! This is the smallest kitchen I've ever had (storage wise). The house I moved from had a large eat-in kitchen and acres of space and storage. And the one before that, was smaller but had tons of cabinet space plus a broom closet. I really appreciate everyone's insight, but that island has to stay.

    I think I've accomplished at least one thing this weekend. I want to gel stain the cabinets. Yes, boxerpups, you convinced me. Looks easy enough and I think it will go a long way in giving me a total new look without the pain (and expense) of painting.

  • desertsteph
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    start by looking at things online and in the stores. Go to the local HD and L stores and go thru their kitchen displays. look at the finished kitchen site on here. See what type of things are catching your eye the most.

    you can re stain/paint the cabs at another time if you decide to do that.

    going w/laminate counters again isn't a bad thing. I had them for many yrs with no problems. i don't like granite (I do really like the 'look' of a good number of them tho) - I don't want anything that hard for 1 thing. Things clank - and break on them. I also don't want shiny - guess that's because I'm also used to laminate. I don't like shiny floors either tho.

    on the floor - vinyl isn't half bad either - which you know since you've had it. Gotta think of your feet/back - your comfort first. Go to a flooring store and look at some of the new vinyls. Also check the Armstrong site - and the Congoleum one. A good number of them come in low gloss too.

    i do think if you haven't made some of these decisions yet that April will be too soon to start.

    Also, when you go to the stores, check out sinks and faucets. look online too - even on amazon.

    Again, look at magazines, online and in stores to see what's out there.

    so make a list and go 'shopping' - online and in stores -

    counter top
    flooring
    sinks
    faucets

    Formica and Wilsonart will send you larger samples of their laminate counter top material. you can go to their website to order - some are only 1.00. It only take a few days to get them. They are much better to look at than the 2 x 2 inch ones at the stores.

    i'm a purple person also. I am putting some of it in my bdrm and mstr bath - but i don't have a dh to put in his 2 cents either - lol! or to do any of the work. that would a good trade off tho.

  • lanval
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I like the island. :) As the owner of a tiny kitchen (8'x10') I understand about needing storage space.

    It will be much improved with a new countertop. You could also, instead of the angled cut, have them do a softer curve. Or, since you don't want to paint all the cabs, paint only the island and install a butcherblock top.

  • jimandanne_mi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Since your DH mentioned possibly changing the pantry, and it sounds like he can do a lot of DIY, I would suggest the following, but I'd ABSOLUTELY NOT do it this spring! It seems like the better choice would be to enjoy the last months your daughter will be home, and not have her memories be of a mom who was preoccupied and stressed with a torn up kitchen remodel. Once kids have gone off to college, it's not the same when they come home for vacations.

    First, some clarification would help! Is the total width of the kitchen (window wall to LR wall) 13'5"? Is the length from the DR wall to the bar stool edge of the peninsula 13'2"? Where is the garage/drive where you would be entering the house? The rest of the floor plan would be helpful.

    Does the opening to the DR need to be 5'10"? It doesn't look like the MW cabinet is drawn to scale. Where do you access the fridge the most often--from the eating nook/patio side, or the LR/DR side, or ??? What is the total depth of your fridge including the door? The widths of the existing cabinets would be helpful in attempting a redesign. Are they individually made, or do some of them share a face frame?

    The following suggestions may be more work than your DH wants to do, but it's what I'd have my handy DH do with this kitchen if it were mine, FWIW. To get the kitchen to have more cabinet space with a somewhat larger island and to open up the room, I'd want to narrow the depth of the cabinets on the fridge/pantry wall. That would mean new painted cabinets here, so I don't know if that's in the budget. But those fancy pantries that you linked to are not inexpensive.

    So, I'd narrow the doorway to the DR, and put the fridge on that wall. Then I'd replace the fridge/pantry wall with 9' to 10' of upper cabinets that are 12" deep and 24" above base cabinets that are 15" deep, with the MW in the middle of the upper cabs. All of that could become your dish, pantry, and pan storage.

    That would give you room to have a lazy susan where the sink is, with the sink moved to the right in a one level peninsula with the DW to its right. Then you could square off the island--which I'd definitely want to keep in some form--and add a 12" deep cabinet to the right side of it facing the new pantry/storage cabinets.

    Hope this helps, or that you can come up with some other ideas from it.

    Anne

  • Happyladi
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If you like the island and it works for you, keep it. I think a lot of people thought it was just in the way and not functional but that doesn't sound like the case.

    I had wallpaper in both my kitchen and bathrooms. I stripped the kitchen. It was a lot of work but doable.

    I tried stripping the bathrooms. I worked for hours on one small wall. That stuff was on tight! I hired someone to mudd the seams and spray a light texture over it. Walls are always textured here.

    Anyway, this was in 2005 and you can't tell there is wallpaper under there. The place where I did strip the wallpaper and the parts not stripped look exactly the same.

    So I do think it is possible to paint over wallpaper if the wallpaper is on very tight. But you need to be careful that the seams don't show.

  • kentucky7
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    desert, I plan to get out to some showrooms this week to see what's there and I'm really hoping that will help move me forward a lot more. When we built this house, we hooked up a trailer and drove to Dalton GA and came back with all the flooring needed to do the entire house. It was easier to make choices when we were looking at the entire roll and not just small samples. We got terrific deals and then just paid the labor to have everything installed by a friend of DH. For the majority of other items we spent hours at Lowes.

    lanval, I plan to give the island a new top along with whatever we choose for the countertops and I know that will help spruce it up more. Originally we were told there was no room for an island at all, but our cabinet guy designed the funky shape to fit one in. I wish we had space to redesign it to allow more of a rectangle shape with an overhang to fit a couple of stools, but there is just not enough space around the u-design of my current layout.

    Anne, DH is assigned the reno to his brother. He doesn't have time to get involved in the work itself. That's probably a good thing since we end up disagreeing on details most of the time. I've learned we just see things from different perspectives because I'm considering details he thinks are not important. And since the kitchen is not really his domain, I don't want to get into a power struggle over the choices I make. I tried to discuss the timing with him yesterday and he sees no problem moving ahead with the April schedule. I pointed out the events coming up that will coincide with the time the kitchen is torn apart, and his basic outlook/comment is "it's no big deal"...he's just a 'get'r done' kinda guy. I tried to remind him this is not one of his empty houses that is unoccupied and the fact there is more involved than just slapping on a countertop and being done. Maybe I'm just thinking too hard, but I can see the entire kitchen torn apart and me being stressed enough over that while trying to juggle our spring busy season and my DD's precious time left living at home knowing the activities associated with that. Plus the responsibilities of finishing up our eoy business details is difficult enough alone, and now I'm sposed to be doing research/legwork to plan a kitchen reno. I'm sorry if I'm rambling, but when I say 'overwhelmed' I'm not exaggerating. If I could just put everything else in my life on hold right now, it might be no problem, but everything else is not going to just stop. I'm glad you see what I'm feeling about the timing of my DD last days at home. Just last year when she wanted to have her after-prom party here, I had some mini meltdowns feeling overwhelmed with my regular daily workload and then adding more to it. This year isn't looking much better...

    Anyway, to clarify some of the questions you asked:
    I broke the measurements into 2 sections since the bar seems to separate it into 2 areas. The nook area is 13'x9'8". The kitchen area is 9'5"x13'2" but that is only the actual floor space. The cabinets are 25" deep so you could add that to the width of 9.5 for a size of the actual room. The garage is on the other end of the house. There is door to the backyard patio in the nook area. The original plan called for columns and a more open floorplan. DH chose to change it to large c.o. I posted pics from different angles to try to show this. I measured everything you asked to help clarify; fridge is 35"Dx35"W - cab depth is 25" - MW cab is 29"D - raised bar is 12"D. I checked the face frame of cabs and it appears the only ones sharing is the section to the right of the sink where the raised bar is. The rest are chopped up due to the DW, stove, and corner that leads to the MW cab. I'm trying to visualize the changes you suggested...I guess I need to sketch it out to understand it completely. Since his brother is doing the reno, it actually gives me more comfort b/c I know is fully capable of any little details I bring up. At this point...right now...I'm in panic mode after talking with DH last night and he totally doesn't get my lack of enthusiasm about the schedule. He makes it sound so easy. The ct can be done in one day, the floor can be done in one day... what's the problem??? Arrggh!!

    happy, Glad to hear of your wp sucess, painted and stripped. I hung every bit of the paper in this house and have 3 baths of wp also facing stripping.

  • eleena
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I had to HIPPO b/c I did not have time to read all posts, but I'd like to caution you about concrete countertops.

    I have considered them on more than one occassion and decided against them EVERY single time. No matter how easy it sounds, it is NOT, unless one is very handy and very experienced.

    I even talked to a local company that specializes in (mostyl, high-end) kitchens. They provide the design and order materials as well as act as a general contractor; so they have sub-cntractors to do the work. They said they had given up on concrete countertops b/c they couldn't find a single sub-contractor in the area who could do it right. And that was professionals they were talking about!

    Sorry, if redundant.