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Please help with kitchen-Vision got lost. Pictures-Long

16 years ago

I could be posting this under the title about "Did you love your kitchen at first?" Or, did your vision for your kitchen change?" Mine just plain got removed and lost.

We redid our whole house, and moved out for 9 months. DH had particulars for kitchen which he would not change-1.Natural cherry cabinets. 2.Stainless Steel 3.Preferably black granite. 4. Brazilian cherry floors throughout house.

Working with those elements ruled out my Âvision for a kitchen, which tended to be one of white or creamy cabinets, with browns, golds, ivory and a highlight color. Also, we really had only one wall, and not much else to work with. The designer was of no help and really rushed me with the backsplash, and a lot of other things. End result is that I am not loving it.

I do like how functional it is. And I like it a lot more than the old one. But something major is missing. I will put a before and after in this post,but I haven't figured out how to link to my whole kitchen album on photobucket. I know it is asking an awful lot of you guys to spend time and look at it, but I really need help. I am far out of my element. The kitchen looks very masculine to me, for lack of a better way to describe it. That is exactly why DH likes it, I think.

Four specific things I need help with are 1. Should I change the color and style of the knobs and pulls? (Also, I put 4 knobs and pulls on a couple cabinets in the pictures I posted just to try and get a feel for ORB) Here is a knob I wonder if I should consider, probably because it looks more feminine:

2. They ordered the wrong cabinet glass. This stuff looks like it has wrinkled saran wrap on the back. I found a couple I sort of like, and I will put those in here in here). Another problem about this kitchen is that the glass reflects a lot from the bay windows.

Bronze Etched:

Soft Etched (not blue like this in person-just looks like opaque glass:

3. Wall color-goes with rest of house palate, but not sure of it for kitchen? Granite is Volga Blue. After deciding on VB, I then imagined much more blue in the kitchen, but now, especially with the backsplash, I canÂt even bring the blue out. I am just at a loss for what to do next.

4. I canÂt get rid of the backsplash-DH likes it, and it is put in with epoxy. Would I ever be able to cover it with other material?

I am open to any and all suggestions. I know you guys are all busy planning your own kitchens, and it is a lot to ask for you to look at mine. So I want to just say thank you in advance.

Here is the before and after:

Comments (37)

  • 16 years ago

    I am so sorry to hear that you aren't happy with your kitchen. I think it is absolutely gorgeous!

    I do prefer the ORB hardware, but the other hardware looks really nice too. will be interested to hear what others have to say as I am at a loss to find much to improve here.

  • 16 years ago

    I really like your kitchen! I don't think it looks "masculine"...I know, that's not what you wanted to hear... :-)

    I think the best way to "change" it is to do one or more of...

    • Add accessories on the counter to add color and a more "feminine" feel

    • Get some pretty dishes for inside the glass-door cabinets

    • Change the picture on the wall

    • Window/door dressings?

    Did your DH choose all the elements (it sort of sounds like it)? Did you have any input?

    Have you talked to your DH about how you feel? If he knows how badly you feel about it, he may be willing to change some things so you're both comfortable with the new kitchen.


    Here is a link that might be useful: LisaMarieSS' Album

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    I worry less about matching to the insides of your recessed lights than matching to other hardware around the home. What type of hardware do you have for your door knobs? Wht type of cabinet hardware did you choose? I have learned just because you have recessed lights, it looks nice to also put in a few table lamps for ambient or reading light as well as table decor. If you choose that, what type of finish do you see there? Personally, I mixed nickel and ORB/bronze in my house but was very careful--ORB/bronze was in the formal rooms (entry, living and dining), nickel is everywhere else. Just recently I put up a bronze drapery rod in my bedroom and I have nickel hardware. It goes better with the drapes and that is what it is closest to. Some people are sticklers for having all finishes matchy-matchy and others are OK mixing it up a bit. If your style is transitional, I think it's OK to mix it up a bit.
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    I'm sorry, but I'm really not loving the clean-up sink wall. If you're of typical adult height, it seems very out of proportion. Of course, if you're much shorter than average, practical considerations might outweigh design there, but to me, it looks like the whole bank of uppers should just be raised up to the ceiling (or 8' if your ceiling's sloped), leaving either an open space, a 'window' or a full backsplash wall. Other than that, I think liberal use of an accent color could do wonders for your space. My personal favorite is a rich vibrant red, but for your space, a deep golden yellow might bring out the blue in the granite and the warm tones in your beautiful cherry. I wouldn't bother changing the knobs because I think that will actually work against 'feminizing' the space. You'd be replacing a light brushed nickel tone with a darker ORB -- you wouldn't even see the flower pattern until you get way up close. The materials Hubby chose tend to the 'dramatic' -- hard, shiny, high-contrast. So to feminize, typical things like soft, hazy, lacey or frilly just wouldn't play nicely. Think of a 'masculine-looking actress' -- say, Angie Harmon or Angelica Huston? -- dressed in pastels with lace and ruffles. Yuck! But something bold, clean-lined, flashy even -- Possibly large cut crystal pieces, art glass, brightly-colored ceramics in sleek shapes?
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    @Debbi Washburn thank you so much for answering my question about centering the table. It will have all the same flooring etc, as there will be a coffee station on the wall opposite the exterior door that takes up most of the wall with sink, bar fridge, etc. for poolside convenience as well. We have a huge patio out back and the door is the main entrance to our backyard so we need to keep a nice aisle etc. from back door to rest of house. I think we will change out the table for a round one to lighten up all of the rectangles in the space. I think we have room to get a 52" round. We are a family of 5. We will also likely have a working island 6 x almost 3 feet. I know, I know, we have to wait for the KD's plans..but i have a feeling they might be along the same lines. I mean I HOPE they come up with something we haven't thought of that works, but we don't want to move walls either because we LOVE our formal dining room. So I feel like we are kind of limited. (I watch way too much HGTV with all of these massive transformations..LOL).
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  • 16 years ago

    I love your kitchen! You just need a few personal touches to give it a little more of the feminine feel your looking for. For a big wow factor consider replacing the chandelier over the island with something very ornate and girly, maybe with crystals. I think you can go either way with the hardware. A simple valance over the top of your beautiful windows out of a non-masculine fabric with some color will really finish up your beautiful space, and add the touch of color your looking for. Then go shopping and when you find a beautiful bowl or piece of pottery set it on the counter and the kitchen will feel like home. It's a beautiful kitchen, you just need to tweak it a little to make it your own and not just DH's! Good luck!

  • 16 years ago

    Your cabinets are absolutely beautiful. I was just trying to explain to DH how stained wood (he wants paint) can look great if the wood is right and that figured cherry is beautiful. Is is Pennsylvania?

    But, as to your concerns, I agree with you that the kitchen doesn't have the *warm* feel you want and I think it's all because of the backspash. Why the heck is it epoxied in?! I think that if there is any way for you to switch it out, you will really love this kitchen. I also really like your knob/pull choice and the soft etched glass. I'm sorry I can't offer any opinions about the wall takes me forever and many swatches on the wall to choose paint color. HTH.

    P.S. I LOVE your cabinets!!!!!!!!

  • 16 years ago

    I would suggest the decorating forum. To me, there are some color problems. I think the backsplash clashes with the granite, there might be a way to work around it. I agree with what Buehl said about softening with textiles (I wouldn't know what color but the decorating forum will). It's always hard to tell from photos because the color changes. Be warned that they may not be for the faint of heart.

    I am so sorry it's not the kitchen of your dreams. I have some feeling for that. I am almost ready to forgive dh for the bar height counter, but I might need to redo it first. It's been two years and I still resent it!

    Do you like the way the clean up area turned out? It's pretty unusual.

  • 16 years ago

    It is a very nice kitchen.

    I like both sanded glass samples; however, before you change the glass, remember that the only feminine element in that kitchen is the pretty china. (I really like the idea of frosted glass, and I've suggested to others as a practical point -- so that you can't see my spiderman plates and sippy cups, but here I worry about the unintended side effect.)

    It's not really the kitchen, but could you change the blinds (which are very nice looking, BTW) for a soft fabric shade?

    I'm not fond of the wall color because I don't think it's the best color to accentuate your beautiful cabinets. Being a blue person, I'd normally suggest blue (it would pick up the blue in the granite and your pretty china) but here again I'm afraid it would have the unintended consequence of conforming to gender stereotypes about blue-for-boys. Someone here (abbycat?) has a beautiful kitchen with cab/granite colors/styles similar to yours and beautiful deep red walls.

    And I do think you should change the knobs and pulls, although I'm not sure what makes a particular knob feminine or masculine.


  • 16 years ago

    wow it's just like looking at the kitchen my husband dsigned for himselfin the houston house (I mean almost exactly) so here's one wife's takr to's fine...but thats about all as you know. for dh it was a very down situation when it came to resale because all women hated it!

    i see no "chick factor" in that kitchen. so i have a few ideas to help maybe. i think the backsplash is the biggest mustake in the kitchen. it's very dark and does not compliment the granite well as you know, but (eyes rolling) dh loves it LOL so first he the primary cook? if so, step back and let him have the backsplash :) if not....consider putting your foot down here and rip it out. i too would like to see you play up the blue as you obviously don't like the color. if however you can't do that....let's lern to love green ok?

    take a door with you to a stained glass makers studio. try playing with some pretty green glass...perhaps even with a bit of blue in it to play off the granite if you can manage. buy several different pieces and take them home to try in the kitchen. the pretty waivy multi colored glasses are so decorative and yes...feminine :) changing out the glass will make a huge difference.

    i like the ORB idea and love the flowered knobs. i'd knock the pulls up a step myself to some lovely cup style pulls (men love the way their fingers fit in them) and they'd take the modern edge off the space and make it feel a bit more cottagie.

    i see a huge factor missing in the kitchen....and maybe thats because you don't love it yet? there is no soft decor.

    using your new glass as a color guide, lets get some decor up on the hood...a COUPLE OF PRETTY plates, candle sticks etc.

    the vase on top of the sink run looks like an after about putting up your new collection of blue and green glass??? soft and fluid lines which the sun will shine through and make that kitchen sing :)

    is it possible to do the same thing on top of the white beam over the kitchen? maybe even some soft water colors resting against the wall with your new blue green pottery collection??? no fake plants, just pretty pots and art in soft frames :)

    and those shutters....yup i had those too ( i married into the house). they're very functional and even attractive...but they need to be softened a bit with fabric. panels work very well between the windows, just covering the outside frame on each side. that would do wonders to soften the space!

    lisa i hope i didn't come off as too harsh. its a fine space, but much like my texas kitchen...there's no Lisa factor (ok dawn factor in mine lol). you need soft lines and fluid movement...and maybe with the changes...the backsplash might even work for you.

    tell your DH that the same space in my house kept it from sellingfor years. i came in and did many of the types of things i am sharing withn you....and it sold within a month :)

    worse comes to...

  • 16 years ago

    I'm not going to be much help because I like your kitchen. It's a warm and inviting room. Orb hardware would go nicely with your chandelier. However I think the ss hardware goes well with the shaker cabinets, clean lines, appliances and the sparkle in your granite. I don't think investing in new hardware is going to give you the change you're looking for. The bronzed etched glass looks dark to me, so my pick of the two is the soft etched.

    I agree with buehl. My first thought was a gorgeous bowl on your island, maybe a cool floor runner and some new accessories.

  • 16 years ago

    I think your kitchen is beautiful and doesn't look "masculine". Rather than investing in new knobs I would select one "outstanding" piece of "art".
    Perhaps you can select a "special piece" that reflects your personality and will set your kitchen apart from all others. You can add a splash of color with an unusual ceramic cookie jar or a beautiful piece of pottery, or a very nice decorative tea kettle, or a beautiful light fixture with colorful glass or a light fixture with dainty wrought iron scroll work or a colorful throw rug or a decorative recipe book stand or a decorative tiered stand for fruits and vegetables or a metallic woven basket or a large metal fruit basket, etc.
    I'm not sure where you live however some stores such as Home Goods, or Marshalls, or TJ Max or even Pier One carry some unusual decorative pieces. Even some furniture stores like Ethan Allen will have some nice ceramic pieces on display on the dining room tables which may also look lovely on your kitchen island. You may find something that fits your decor and adds a bit more of your own style.
    I recommend that you don't buy too many different things and that you don't look too hard. While meandering through a store your ONE fantastic kitchen accessory will just jump out at you!
    Enjoy your lovely kitchen, I am actually in the planning stages and find this site very helpful! Please tell us what you choose.
    All the best!

  • 16 years ago

    OMG...Igloo to the rescue as always, with fun ideas and endless comic relief! Girl, you're gonna need rehab when that cast comes off, and I don't mean PT!

    Bmore's suggestion to try the decorating forum is a great one. They really know how to handle problems like this one.

  • 16 years ago

    I like the kitchen but I think a couple of things. First, I personally don't care for that glass in the cabinets, although many have it and like it. But I'm not sure that I'd go frosted -- why not have it clear? It will lighten things up. Second, I agree with boysrus that new hardware probably won't make a big difference of the kind you want and I really like the way it looks now, it coordinates well. I think your biggest problem is the backsplash. It is too dark so rather than making the cherry look warm and inviting, it drags it down. That's the big thing that you could change that would make a difference.

  • 16 years ago

    I think your kitchen is pretty but void of any personality. It doesn't feel alive. I too would go with a beautiful art glass bowl on the counter. I also would go with the softer etched glass. I think some pretty glass tiles would be nice for the backsplash as well. I don't see green for your room however, maybe some warmer, softer silvers. I know Volga Blue granite and it has some silver shimmers in it along with the fire opals. Oceanside glass has some beautiful tile. Check out the geologie collection.

    Although you may not be able to change your backsplash, I still think you have a pretty kitchen. Get something in it that represents you. I think a nice piece of Chihuly glass would be great. I like the Seaforms one Sorry, I am not sure how to do a hyperlink to the site. Truly check out this glass. It is stunning! The cost alone would make up for you not being included in any of the kitchen design!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Oceanside glass

  • 16 years ago

    Yikes I think the backsplash is the best thing in your kitchen, it looks classy and arts&crafts-y to me.

    I heartily agree with fern4 though that you should consider clear glass for the cabinets if you're going to replace the glass you have (and don't like). On top of making those cabinets a little cheerier in general, clear glass would allow the actual contents of the cabinets to be more prominent. Then you could more directly affect the style of the room by populating those shelves with things that are more colorful and express more of your personal style.

  • 16 years ago

    lol took me so long to post that! when i started typing there were no other posts...look how many beat me to hit enter!

    rehab heh heh actually i'm enjoying my first glass of wine since the accident right now (chardonnay...which i don't love, but i couldn't open a pinot gris with one arm). :oP four rehab villages were hoping to take me in when i found pain killers...but it turns out i hate them (not the houses but the pills). i guess lindsey lohen will have to take my spot!

    the bad thing about rehab is a total lack of quality food and wine pairings if you ask me...

    oh wait we're off topic again, i now return you to your regular programing...

    i wonder if a hammer would knock a cork out with a good hit...or maybe a 2 year old with a hammer....

  • 16 years ago

    In my opinion you need plants and more lighting. Do you have undercabinet lighting? I think that would help lighten up the space and also bring out the granite. I love your cabinets and floors, and that window is to die for!

  • 16 years ago

    Oh my gosh, I just spent the last 30 minutes posting to each one of you who responded and I LOST it. Now it is late and I am feeling like igloochic with a broken hand. I am so sorry!!! I am so overwhelmed that you all wrote so many good ideas, I just can't type it over again now. I will try and summerize, all the while cursing how I sent that message into cyberspace.
    Thank each and every one of you for your posts. igloochic, if only I had seen a picture of that Houston kitchen I would have run for my life. But buehl yes, DH had the say (because I got a sunroom and an office) and even though he doesn't cook much, he does supervise. Okay, he helps.
    The cabinets are from:
    Funny you should say PA, I am from Berks county and still have family there. But we live in southeast Missouri, where there is not much at all in the way of design, or access. I like the way the sink areas turned out. Especially considering my old sink was a corner sink with a fridge next to it, whose door was constantly hitting my back. And we/he didn't want the main sink or stove on the center island.
    I know the kitchen is personality-less. I have 'shunned' it, not knowing where to go with it. I love the art idea, and the picture hanging was never intended to stay-just close to my heart as my uncle painted it. But I think I need something with colors and large. igloo, do you have a link to what you mean about fabric between the windows? I can't envision that. And I am intrigued by your idea of the stained glass--do you mean like this:
    or this:
    I will also consider plain clear glass and getting pretty dishes to stand out.
    You all taking the time to respond has warmed my heart so much, and now I don't feel so hopeless about this. I just can't thank you enough.
    igloo, my DH's tip on wine. Go to Trader Joe's and get the Charles Shaw. It is bottled from all the left over. If you get a case, supposedly each bottle is different, from the cheapest to the best qualities, but oh so inexpensive. And get better fast.
    Tomorrow might be brighter....

  • 16 years ago



    i really did feel for you...i'm tellin you that was our kitchen LOL (I never live there full time so i shunned it too until it wouln't sell).

    the glass you picked is sort of the idea. above are a couple i had in mind, but they're on opaque (white base) glass and i'd rather see a clear base for you to show off your glass some as well. this is soooo much cheaper if you get it from a stained glass supplier than a window place and they will have thouands of choices verses one or two. i'm getting my glass this way and they will install.

    thos is a horrible examples of panels in a bay window. i do NOT advse thi fabric and i'd like to see a simple ORB rod used, but if you just look at the shape, and how they hanf between the windows verses over them., thats what i am suggesting. any other style of window treatment will interfear with the ability to open the plantation shutters.

    thank you for dh's tip :) mind you the closest trader joes is a few thousand away....but we'll see if our distributor can get it :)

  • 16 years ago

    Sheesh, Lisamariess. I read the part of your OP about your husband's "particulars for the kitchen which he would not change" to my husband and he wanted to know who got to design your bedroom. And you say your husband doesn't cook, but "supervises"??? I don't want to make you feel worse because you already don't like your kitchen, but I'm not sure getting a nice vase or some curtains is going to fix this problem.

  • 16 years ago

    You've gotten lots of good suggestions. Your kitchen looks good, but you're right, it needs something. I like the idea of pulling off the blinds and adding softer treatments. The light fixture could make a big difference too. If hubby won't go for crystal, maybe you could try something with fabric shades. I wouldn't waste your money on knobs, it's not going to make a big enough impact. A larger print with some blue in it, and three prints stacked vertically on the other side of the door will soften things too.

  • 16 years ago

    Wow, it's like looking into a mirror -- the cherry cabinets, stainless appliances, and volga blue granite are exactly what I am looking at as I type. Another suggestion that worked for me is adding colorful persian rugs and drawing their colors (blue? red? yellows?) into other fabrics and accessories. I don't like overly-decorated accessories in my kitchen (too much stuff taking counter space or needing to be dusted), but you'd be surprised how a couple of rugs instantly warms up the space.

  • 16 years ago

    This morning I reading again all your wonderful suggestions. And want to say thank you again for helping me to refocus. Thanks to each and every one of you.
    sally123, I was being tongue in cheek about the supervison, really. DH is really very patient and helpful. One of the problems was that the kitchen did not get finished until way after due date, and we had to settle instead of choose.
    Igloo, than you for those links. I will see what I can find out about stained glass in this area. I think blue may be better than green (probably that is not the actual green you meant) with the splash, and I am liking the idea of clear. I see from that picture how doing the windows would soften that area. I suspect there may be a problem on the left side, because the angle doesn't seem that it would sustain a curtain without blocking the window or having a place to attach. I wonder if working across the top would be better.
    aussies, I do have undercabinet lighting. It didn't show up in those photos, or I forgot to turn it on. Thanks.
    I will stick in my sunroom, which I absolutely do love.

    The floor is costa esmerelda granite. Putting this in also because some people here have been interested in this stone, which I originally thought I would get to use for my kitchen granite.
    Again, thanks, I love you guys.

  • 16 years ago

    Lisamariess, Hearing so many of us like your kitchen probably doesn't make you feel any better. I'd wonder 'well, what is wrong with my eye for style'. Nothing is wrong! I've had very strong responses to many of the finished kitchens posted by excited, proud, very happy GWs. Not all warm and fuzzy. This is to say, style is very personal and subjective. What does it for one person doesn't always do it for the next. It doesn't matter whether or not I like your kitchen.

    What is your dream for your kitchen? A white creamy kitchen, as you've said. It looks like there is a ledge that could be used for display across from the island. A piece or two of something you love that would be in your line of vision doing prep would be nice. You love brown, golds and ivory. Those colors would look nice in your kitchen. I don't think all the woodwork in the house has to be the same 'white'. Could you bring in those colors in the wainscot and the wall and a rug? I think cabinet hardware in the same finish as the light over the island would be pretty, too. Even if it doesn't make a big impact, it is something you put your hand on constantly an would enjoy seeing the delicate relief on the knobs.

    Those are just my thoughts. I'd also urge you to take some time to make these choices, and don't feel rushed.

  • 16 years ago

    Hi --

    I know you said you can't change the backsplash, but I am thinking that what the room needs is lightness and some pretty pattern. I am picturing a tile backsplash, the tile with white or cream background, maybe Portuguese tiles with a blue and yellow design on a white background. And then all the walls in the room painted white or cream. Maybe a big tree-ish plant to the side of the bay window. I assume you will have a table and chairs in front of the bay window. The chairs could be at least partly upholstered and in a pretty color or print. For practicality the upholstery could be white or leather seats. Or the chairs could be fully upholstered in yellow or blue, maybe washable slipcovers.
    Maybe when your husband realizes you aren't happy with the kitchen he will go along with changing the backsplash to something you would like better. If you plan to live in this house for many years and don't change the room, you and he might both have a daily reminder, over many years, of an unnecessary disappointment.

  • 16 years ago

    i like your kitchen but i agree that it looks masculine. although the knob you suggested is very pretty, the ORB color just brings more dark (and to me masculine) into the kitchen. the biggest change you could make (easily) would be to remove that very heavy manly chandelier, "man-delier??" and replace with something more airy. i also think that frosted glass has a cold modern look that will clash with the current more craft feeling backsplash and the old style paneled walls in the neighboring room, which i actually like also. i would stick with regular glass. i am actually wondering if a different kind of under cabinet lighting would change the color/appearance of the backsplash in a way that would help. also, how about some food on the counter (i'm not kidding, i am thinking a bowl of fruit would warm it up). good luck kren

  • 16 years ago

    It is sad that you do not like your kitchen, but I really do like fact, it was what I "thought" I wanted to do...but agree that, eventhough it matches well, the backsplash is well as the shutters are blocking ut the light. Do like the others have suggested and put in a large picture and add color in accessories. Good luck and post pics when you "soften" it up.

  • 16 years ago

    Thanks again for more responses.
    cotehele, you are right, we all do not respond to the same the in the same way. There are just so many beautiful kitches posted in the FKB, some large, some small. I have never seen one laid out the way ours is-or having such an odd space to work within. I had planned to put a tv on the ledge between the spaces, but maybe I will re-think that. Did you mean cabinet hardware in ORB, or in more of an ivory tone?
    kren, thanks for your input. I don't know about changing the lighting, but I will put that down to check into.
    observer1, thanks also. I like your suggestions a lot, however there is not room at the end of the island for a table and chairs. We gave those up for a bigger island. I definitely agree it needs more pattern and lightness. And color. I am going to have DH read what you wonderful people have suggested and maybe he will take all this into consideration, and not think it is just me being difficult.
    Isy73, do you have pictures of your kitchen up?
    I have been feeling bad about 'shunning' the kitchen, and now I am more certain that I don't want to hurry into something. I want to make wise choices. You are all so helpful.

  • 16 years ago

    i really do like your kitchen and think the wood is very warm. to 'feminize' the look, and get you back somewhat to your vision, i would have the island painted some version of a creamy white. maybe even glazed and antiqued to tie in with the stained cabs. could this be the best of both worlds (yours and your husband's)?

  • 16 years ago

    Hi there. This was a really hard one for me to comment on because I have such an opposite kitchen with light cabinets.

    I think you need to choose your direction. Your kitchen can be a contemporary or traditional kitchen depending on a few choices. What is the dominant style in the rest of your house? Your kitchen should reflect your general style

    If you like contemporary style, then you already have a lot of the elements but need a few focal points. Your kitchen is almost identical to my friends kitchen except that her husband chose smaller metal tiles (And yes-her husband chose everything too. It must be a man gene that likes this particular combination). Their kitchen was really stunning when it all came together. They had several large pieces of art with stark white walls. One of the pieces of art was a huge painting in blue with koi. The other art were 3 pieces of 3 foot long ceramic bars hung vertically on the wall. They did not try to fill the space with lots of little things but instead used very large pieces that were a focal point of the kitchen.

    You could also go a more traditional route but will likely need to change your backsplash to have it really meld. A glass tile backsplash would be really pretty and might still be okay with the husband? How about a lighted pot rack over the island with baskets, pots and herbs hanging? (see below) Fabric around the windows, baskets on the ledge, chandelier shades, cushion fabric, new knobs, rugs etc would add more visual interest.

    I think your kitchen has a lot of potential, you just need to make it yours! I am really glad my husband could care less about decorating.

  • 16 years ago

    Lisamariess, not sure whether this will work, but I'm including a link to recent photos of our version of your kitchen :-)

    Mostly DIY, so the floor is not done yet (pre-finished wood flooring awaiting painting in other rooms) and neither is the backsplash (simply can't decide)... And excuse the mess. Thankfully, the sink is so deep that you can't really tell that it's full of dishes awaiting transfer into the dishwasher.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our version of your kitchen...

  • 16 years ago

    I was thinking of ORB hardware, like the one you showed earlier. I think the hardware on now gives it a more modern feel.

  • 16 years ago

    Just checking back in for replies and found these, thanks.
    madaboutkitchens, you have a really interesting idea about painting the island. I don't think DH would ever let me touch his precious wood, but I am going to keep that idea around.
    I have been walking around my house thinking what is the main problem? I think I know. Our house was so French country, with 1980's wall paper, etc. I wanted all that gone and a more stark, clean look. Our furniture is much more traditional mahogany, which is not the best for the 'new' look--but that is all we have. On top of that, the kitchen is much more of a modern look and really is different from the rest of the house, so like cleo__2007 is saying, I can't seem to get it to go in one direction.
    Does anyone know if you can just cover over a backsplash? (Because of the stairway and petition on the other side of the sink, it really can not come out)
    isy73, I sent you an email- I was unable to view your pictures. Really would love to see them.
    Again, I am going to stop beating myself up for not acting, but yet keep looking and trying to figure out what I really need in there to be happier. You guys ideas are helping me a lot!

  • 16 years ago

    I adore your kitchen, but I'll admit, the creamy white ones do nothing for me. I like clean lines and no frou-frou, and I'm with your husband about painting the cabinents being sacrilegious. I would prefer leaded glass to frosted glass.

  • 16 years ago

    I do like the general features of your kitchen, but understand you would like to bring more of "you" into the kitchen. Not knowing you personally, I'll just offer my suggestions for what I would do if this was my kitchen:

    --I much prefer the hardware you chose. In this case, ORB/Iron/matte black is MUCH more elegant and appropriate than the chrome...and much less distracting too.

    --Change out the light fixture. Avoid country/ French provincial/iron wire/filigree/fussy stuff, though. Instead, something more sculptural or architectural, like Bellora or Truette in the link below, could be a focal point with elegant curves and feminine interest without overstating things. (Not those specifically, just trying to say that what you're looking for is SHAPE and architecture.) The existing fixture is boxy and reinforces the dark, rectilinear vibe of the room.

    --stick with clear glass. Keep things simple.

    You've got great features in your kitchen and you're thinking great thoughts about how to improve it! Don't despair--it will all come together and I definitely don't think you need to rip anything out.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pottery Barn chandeliers--examples

  • 16 years ago

    I've skimmed the responses and I think that nobody has addressed the scale of the sink wall. I'm thinking it feels too short and would be an ideal spot to "merchandise" as Christopher Lowell used to say. Get some plants up there with up lights, some big pottery with shots of blue to pull out your counters, etc. How about a nice blue teakettle on your stove? Mine is LeCrueset and adds a bit of old-fashioned to a slick space. Also, your shutters wouldn't bother me so much if they were painted white to match the beautiful woodwork. Are you going to put furniture over there? How about a plant stand with plants in blue pots to one side and a larger floor plant in a blue pot on the other? I'm assuming the middle section is a door. I agree with many others that you need to get some pretty blue dishes action going on in those glass-front cupboards. Oh, back to your original questions.... I wouldn't swap out the glass unless you spring for the stained glass. I do like the ORB knobs but think, like someone else mentioned, that you can spend that $$ more wisely on other accessories. Good Luck!

  • 16 years ago

    Sorry about the link that did not work. Is this one better?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Our version of your kitchen

  • 16 years ago

    Isy73, thank you so much for the link. It worked! I see what you mean about similiar kitchens. I think you may have more walls than we do. Are your knobs on your stovetop blue, or is the picture deceiving? I do like your kitchen a lot, and you do have more color than I do. And no wood floor-and I think those things make a difference. I was really glad to see your kitchen!
    jaedwards, thank you too, for the words. I like your ideas, and the uplight idea also. One problem I am realizing I have is that what we put up there will be influenced by our living room on the other side, which I also need to get working on-it too, is unfinished. I am looking into the stained glass--hard to find around her, but looking.

  • 16 years ago

    Husbands and wives and designing kitchens are a bit like oil and water, that is unless DH gets busy with the game on TV and says "I'm sure whatever you pick, dear, will be beautiful." So seeing that didn't happen with your kitchen, I'm with Igloo on this one. The backsplash has to go. If you are able to change it, and the pulls and knobs, add those other recommended feminine touches, I think the kitchen will grow on you. It may never be what you envisioned, but I think you can see by all the comments that there are many here on the forum that appreciate it's beauty. It's a challenge when tastes clash. See if DH will make those compromises. And remind DH of the old saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."