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stephaniewallis

I really REALLY need help with my kitchen

Stephanie Wallis
8 years ago

I have a very very large kitchen with Cherry cabinets and Uba Tuba granite counter-tops. The outcome is that it is dark, really really dark. It's also a pretty traditional look which I'm not a fan of. I really like light airy rooms with a more modern look. Think Pottery Barn-ish.

I looked into having my cabinets painted and glazed but it is going to cost over $5,000 and from everything I've been told it could decrease the value of my home (currently in 450-500k range). If it didn't decrease the value it would at least decrease the buyer pool. I know this is not my forever home but I do think I'll be here around 10 years so I really want to love the kitchen.

I am thinking now about changing to granite to quartz as at least spending money on that could increase the value of the home. But that's where I need help. I found some pictures on pinterest of cherry cabinets with carrera looking countertops and grey paint/window coverings. However I had my sister in law do a rendering and I think it looks TERRIBLE with my kitchen.

Take a look at the picture and give me some suggestions on how to change the overall look of my kitchen, please!!

Comments (54)

  • Stephanie Wallis
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Do any of you have suggestions on what exact countertops I should get? I had picked out 3cm Venato Extra Quartz. I will attach the rendering I did with it. No making fun of me! I don't think it looks good. It gives me a pit in the bottom of my stomach to think about spending the money to replace granite and then not loving it.

    I had under cabinet lighting priced and it was around 2k b/c of how much there would need to be. I do plan on removing the backsplash and tiling however my current plan is to change out the granite first then decide if I think I need the under cabinet lighting. I was going to give myself a few months of adjusting and then decide on the lighting and tile color.

    Also, I am planning to put 2 pendants over the island AND changing the wall color as suggested!

  • blubird
    8 years ago

    Now do the same mockup with the backsplash and your current granite. Unless you absolutely hate your current granite, it would extraordinarily wasteful to replace your granite. Take smaller steps first. Repaint walls, install your pendants, then reassess. Under cab lighting doesn't need to be 2k. There are quite a few people here who have installed, and have had installed, led lighting strips for way less. I had led undercab lighting from Lowes installed by my electrician when my cabs were installed...way, way less than $500, granted a smaller space than yours, but there are several ways to go.

    P.s. I like your choice of backsplash ...just the bling I was thinking of.

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  • annkh_nd
    8 years ago

    I like your kitchen. I think new lighting would make a world of difference, as would taking off the 4" backsplash and putting up a pretty backsplash.

    I'm too frugal to tear out perfectly good granite - especially when you have so much of it! I see more in the next room through the door.

    How about just changing the island top? Or replace the whole island with a light color?

  • practigal
    8 years ago

    I would try white paint on the walls and under-cabinet lighting before changing the cabinets or the granite. I think the cabinets and granite look fine together and it's the green walls that are making the rest of the room looks dark. The other thing you may want to consider is adding some bright colored or contrasting points of interest in the room as nothing is really standing out in this sea of neutral.

  • sheloveslayouts
    8 years ago

    The discussion about ripping out the countertop makes me a little queasy. As others have suggested, lighting could make a huge improvement, especially undercab. I would just start there and see what you think once the lighting is improved.

  • lavender_lass
    8 years ago

    Add some glass uppers! That would make a huge difference :)

  • Stephanie Wallis
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    My concern with painting the walls white was that it would make the red stand out more. The room next to the kitchen has tall white wainscoting with an aqua paint above it. My living room is connected and I really wanted grey/blue colors in there. I fear that pulling more red out of the cabinets will force me to use yellows and greens in the surrounding spaces. However I will try to do a mock up with those changes and see how that goes.

    I did find a really reasonable retailer for the granite and a buyer for what I currently have. I was willing to do it b/c the cost came in at less than painting/glazing would.

    The under cab lighting quote we got was all of the lights on the same switch so multiple places where it would have to go through our basement and because of the amount of lights we would have to have 2 transformers. He did offer to shave off some of the lights to bring the cost down, but it was only a couple of hundred dollars less. I don't think we can DIY the lights. My husband is incidentally an Electrical Engineer but he works waay too much to be willing to take this on. This same electrician quoted $185 to install the 2 pendants and patch the current recessed light that is in the middle which I thought was very reasonable.

    I do like the description of acres of cabinets - very accurate. I think my granite measured out to be 107 square feet. Because of the amount of large pieces, I have 3 buyers lined up for it which is nice!

    I do agree with the first steps you guys have mentioned in changing the kitchen, but at the same time I really do dislike the granite. I absolutely despise the wall color. The granite has a lot of green undertones in it with only hints of blue and grey so I just can't see how it can possibly tie in with my taste in decor. We are not the original owners of our home. We got an amazing deal and figured we were better off making changes than building a new house in the same neighborhood. Still trying to figure out what is worth it though.

  • kudzu9
    8 years ago

    I don't think what you are considering will hurt resale value, but I doubt it will increase it, and you will never get back anywhere near 100% of whatever you spend. A future buyer might think you have a dream kitchen now and be less thrilled with painted cabinets. I prefer a stained finish because kitchen cabinets get heavy use, and painted cabinets can get chipped over time. I also cringe at the thought of your ripping out the existing counters for a change that is in the noise level.

    It's a very nice kitchen and I suggest you declare a truce, add a little more lighting, and use all the money you would have spent for something like a world cruise!

  • brightm
    8 years ago

    I am a HUGE fan of UCL. I'd absolutely start there. I had outlets installed inside my upper cabinets that worked on a switch that's where my other light switches are. I don't know how much that part cost, since it was in with a bunch of other electrical work. From there, I DIY'd. I didn't go with the least expensive choice, I went with something I felt comfortable DIY'ing because: a) I 'got' the system and b) I had heard they had excellent support. I got my lighting through Environmental Lights. The parts were about $320, IIRC. I got two non-dimmable transformers.

    As others have said, I'd take off the 4" backsplash, do the lighting, do the backsplash add a couple glass inserts to a couple cabinets and go from there.

    I'm not often a fan of two color cabinets or mixes of counter types, but in your situation, I might then go to switching out the island top.

    Of course if you like painted cabinets and you want painted cabinets, and if you have them done well, I don't think it would harm your value. If you have them done poorly, that's another story.

    Here is a link that might be useful: my lights

  • sjhockeyfan325
    8 years ago

    Even if you take a world cruise, you have to come home to a kitchen you don't like!

  • bbtrix
    8 years ago

    I think your UCL quote is high. Like cal_qual, I had the electrician install the dimmable outlets and I did the rest. They are not expensive nor difficult to DIY, just takes a little bit of reading to understand and this forum can help with that. My electrician was not even aware of all of the UCL options out there right now.

  • coll_123
    8 years ago

    What a strange world we live in! I think your kitchen would be a dream kitchen for most of the folks on House Hunters, and lot of people here too. Five years ago, you would have been at the top of the trend. But, like death and taxes, some things are inevitable, and that is that trends change.

    I think the 5k to paint and glaze , and presumably apply a protective sealer is fair...that is quite a bit of surface there. However, since you don't want traditional anyway, you could likely save some money and just paint them, skippi the glaze and sealer. And you will be good to go with the current trend for the next five years or so., at which time the fashionable thing will be something ese entirely. You can drive yourself crazy with this stuff. I am, however, a proponent of making your house the way you want it for YOU,, and not worrying about what future buyers may want. That will also drive you crazy, and unless you are planning on putting it on the market in the foreseeable future, I wounldn't stress about that.

  • scrappy25
    8 years ago

    I second glass uppers. Start with small changes first- backsplash, wall, lighting. The cabinets and counter are beautiful. 107 SF granite? Yowza! I would do that only if the other changes are not sufficient.

  • ellendi
    8 years ago

    Start doing some research. Go on Houz and Pinterest and put in cherry cabinet kitchens. You will get lots of inspiration.

    Uba tuba was extremely popular as was the short backsplash. But, they are not trendy now.

    I would not paint them, but use the money to redo the counters and add a backsplash.

    Ideally, just my opinion, I would love to see them professionally painted white, change out the granite and add a backsplash. You quoted 5k to paint, let's add another 5k for granite and backsplash. You could not get a kitchen this size and quality for $10,000.

    I would not even think about resale, if you are talking ten years. Interestingly enough, when I put in my white kitchen with cream subway tiles, in 2009, I expected to see other trends emerging. But, in high end homes, white and subway tiles are still happening today. But, who know what will happen in another five years?

    I agree with Coll 123. We have had many threads about putting in a classic kitchen and really, in ten years, all our kitchen will be dated in some way.

  • coll_123
    8 years ago

    Someone needs to invent a time machine, stat. It will save us lots of angst and money.

    I don't even know that there is such thing as "classic" anymore. One person's classic is another's dated, or "needs some updating"

    I painted my 90's honey pickeled oak cabinets white in top and gray on the bottom...looks nice, but is also super trendy, as I've come to find out. But i'm stuck with mauve speckled laminate counters because I can't afford anything else at this point. Hey, maybe if the OP rips those granite counters out I can buy them off her??

  • coll_123
    8 years ago

    just re read the OP's first post- gosh, if you plan on being there 10 years, do whatever makes you love your home, if you can afford to do it. Life is too short. Remember the days when people covered their furniture with plastic slipcovers so that the upholstery stayed pristine, never mind that they would actually ever experience such pristine goodness? I mean, how can a person live like that?

  • nadinealready
    8 years ago

    I think you're lying to yourself if you think switching to quartz countertops is going to increase the value of your home. And you're going to be there 10 years?!? If you want to spend the money, fine, but it's not going to gain you anything back money-wise.

    I can see why you don't like your kitchen. It's totally not my taste at all, but I think the cabinets are not the big problem (and I don't even like wood stained cabs). The problem is like others have said - blandness in a sea of cabinets.
    My first reaction to your kitchen is the lack of backsplash. That just makes the blandness so much worse. I would get some texture or sparkle or pattern in there STAT.

    You're not going to get "modern" in this kitchen without starting from scratch. (Although you said Pottery Barn, which isn't modern so I'm not sure what look you're really after)

    I think it's a big mistake to skimp on UCL but waste money on quartz which isn't going to help the overall feel much, if any. The countertops are fine. Black granite is still being used and if there was a backsplash with style, UCL, island lighting, new wall color and some glass uppers, this place would start to have some pep!

  • Jillius
    8 years ago

    Well, I think your main problem is that you have too much of two things -- too much of the cabinets, too much of the same counter.

    It's not at all layered and thoughtful and interesting. The cabinets are even basically the same color as the floor, so you don't even get variety there.

    I think it very very very very unlikely that you will spend less than $5,000 to get all new counters since you have so much square footage. You'd spend more than that just on slabs, let alone fabrication.

    I'm sure painting the cabinets would be cheaper than that. And personally, I could easily work a simple black counter like yours into a color scheme I did like, whereas the cabinets make such a loud statement that they are harder to subdue.

    So it seems cheaper and more effective to change the cabinets rather than the counters.

    Here is the kitchen of someone who painted her cherry cabinets and had her uba tuba honed, and I think that is very Pottery Barn.

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg061231191389.html

    I would:

    1) paint the cabinets
    2) remove the 4 inch backsplash and install a new tile backsplash
    3) hone the counters
    4) remove the entire wall of counters and cabinetry where the sunflowers are in the picture and replace it with freestanding hutch or china cabinet. Something charming/interesting to break up the monotony of the same built-in cabinets and counter tops everywhere.
    5) remove the cabinet and microwave above the stove and install a hood of a different shape and material (again, to break up the monotony)
    6) have a new above fridge/around fridge cabinet made -- one that fits better and that does not bump up above the line of the rest of the cabinets
    7) paint the walls

  • deegw
    8 years ago

    I don't think you need to paint the cabinets or mess with the granite. I am a fan of white kitchens but I don't think the cabinet color is the main problem with your kitchen.

    The configuration of the uppers makes your kitchen look like a cabinet showroom. The over the range microwave, the fridge cabinets and the long straight run on the sunflower wall are dating your kitchen as much and if not more than the uba tuba and cherry.

    Where is your working sink? In the island or the left wall? If it is in the island, and your alley way is wide enough, I might consider getting a fancy counter depth fridge and moving it to the sunflower wall.

    Love Jillius' idea of replacing the microwave with a nice hood.

    Be very careful about choosing your back splash because what looks nice on a sample board could be very overwhelming when you install it over all that wall space.

    Can you take a picture of the left wall? We have many great floor plan gurus on this site and they might be able to help you tweak a few things to make a more modern looking cabinet configuration.

  • aktillery9
    8 years ago

    Here is a possibility. This was a recently finished kitchen post. I hope the poster does not mind me linking it here. I think it could be an option for you.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Link to two toned kitchen

  • aktillery9
    8 years ago

    WIth the attached kitchen you would only need to change your backsplash and paint your uppers cream. I would then add some nice runners to break up the wood floors and wood bases. Just an idea.

  • dovetonsils
    8 years ago

    +1 on the glass uppers. On a budget, maybe just the highest cabinets. We had a same-footprint kitchen last year and the glass uppers make the kitchen so much brighter. People say that the kitchen looks bigger even though there was no change.

  • lam702
    8 years ago

    I like your cabinets a lot, but I am a fan of stained wood. Painting them is a huge job to DIY, as there are so many of them. I'd take the 4" backsplash out, add a lighter backsplash, with under cabinet lighting. Maybe cream subways, with a small pop of color, such as a pencil liner or narrow band of mosaics. (Yes, I know there are those that say this is a dated look, but so what? It will add a touch of color and interest) Add some glass uppers, (with lighting) paint the walls a neutral color. Maybe a cream, or light beige, something light and neutral. Oh, and new knobs, looks like you have those white ceramic knobs, replace them with a brushed nickel and add knobs or pulls to the uppers too. A couple of pendants over the island, done! If you still aren't happy with them, you can always paint them.

  • live_wire_oak
    8 years ago

    Step back from making change just for change's sake. And reassess your goals for making any changes at all. in 10 years time, the kitchen that is there, or altered, will be another 10 years older. At that point, you will be lucky if anything you do is considered "current", and you'll take the price hit at resale no matter what you do.

    Figure out if the kitchen "works" for you as laid out first. Before putting a single nickel into it. If you are going to change things to make it better to use for the 10 years that you occupy your home, that's one thing. I'd put under cabinet lighting in that category, as it's a functional change that would greatly benefit anyone working in the kitchen. Most of the rest of the changes on your radar are cosmetic. I didn't say "merely" cosmetic, because aesthetic changes can make a difference in how we experience our surroundings.

    Develop a mission statement for your changes, and a budget. 10K spent on this kitchen could make quite a difference in how you feel about working in this kitchen, even though the layout isn't ideal. 10K over 10 years is only 1K a year for your enjoyment and better working conditions.

  • Liz
    8 years ago

    I agree with changing lighting first - adding UCL, and maybe a feature light over the island.

    As for counters- How about replacing just the island's top? That could bring in a nice, light feature.

    I'd also consider removing the upper cabinets on either the range wall or the wall next to the island. Replace with open shelving and/or tile to the ceiling.

  • practigal
    8 years ago

    Now that I know you have a buyer for the granite and can possibly cost-effectively swap the countertops, I would do that. I would look into getting more quotes and look at other types of undercabinet lighting because it just does not have to be that expensive. You might want to create a glass cabinet front or two. I would still get rid of the green paint (I don't understand how if the adjacent rooms are gray and blue, green is supposed to work in the kitchen and I don't think it makes the cabinets any less cherry.... I don't think the cabinet color is the problem with the cabinets, it's the acres of cabinet sameness that is causing them to look to drab). Jillius is really onto something with her recommendation to remove some of the cabinets, but I would not have the nerve to do it. I would not match the new granite to the green paint.

  • nosoccermom
    8 years ago

    I'd tread lightly, so here goes:

    BM Hazy Skies, striped ceiling, different hardware and light fixture, remove stuff from top of cabinets and ad different art

    Paint island

    Streamline/glass front doors/hardware/bolder fabric

    Or maybe remove some uppers and add open shelves. To see what it may look like, remove some doors.

    Also, a while ago. someone had a large, relatively dark kitchen (kind of Tuscany look). She did an amazing job with changing the paint color, adding lighting, etc.

    Link below

    Here is a link that might be useful: Brightening kitchen

    This post was edited by nosoccermom on Wed, Oct 29, 14 at 10:59

  • aktillery9
    8 years ago

    nosoccermom, love the photo with the blue painted island! That really lightens up that kitchen! I also love the glad doors. Great ideas!

    I could not tell form the op photo that they walls are green. Maybe a neutral like accessible beige from SW would tone down the all wood look. Wish I could photoshop for you!

  • lenzai
    8 years ago

    I didn't read all the responses so forgive me if i'm repeating other's ideas. At first glance, I would change the uppers on the right side to glass doors, remove the microwave and replace with a hood and get rid of the 4" back splash. Also get rid of all the stuff on top of the cabinets (but that's a purely personal issue I have with stuff up there). After all that, probably paint the wall a different color - from a cooler family.
    I would think all that would be cheaper than replacing the granite and way easier than refinishing the cabinets.
    Also: your kitchen is a lovely size so you can do a lot with it and I'm jealous of all the space and cabinets!

  • bbtrix
    8 years ago

    You have been given many great suggestions but live_wire_oak hits the nail on the head. Please slow down and create your mission statement, priority list and budget. You have the potential to create a wonderful space that can achieve your vision, but you don't want to throw band aids on it. As lwo states, function of the current space should come first, as well as how it works with the surrounding rooms.

    Can you share more pictures with us of the adjoining rooms and the left side of the kitchen? Visualizing your space as a whole is important. If you would like help with this project, I'm sure you can come up with a great plan with the help of many talented GWers.

  • isabel98
    8 years ago

    I would take down and sell those upper cabinets on the right and put in open shelving. PUt some glass in the uppers near the range. Put in a hood and put microwave on the counter to the right or where ever might the best place.
    change the counters if that works out for you and also get some really beautiful stools and rugs. paint the walls a more neutral gray as suggested above.
    Love your idea of the backsplash too.
    don't change the cabinetsâ¦.you will just have a sea of white with no variation and then you will still have to do all these other things anyways.

  • Stephanie Wallis
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    I appreciate all of the advice, keep it coming! I'm overwhelmed at the decision making part, however happy to consider all my options.

    Here are some pictures requested in various posts:

    My entire kitchen. These are listing pics, trust me I have NOTHING on top of the cabinets right now

    Someone asked for the surrounding rooms, this is straight through the butlers pantry (I completely re did this room and it is exactly "my style"):

    Following are my "inspiration photos" and the reason I came up with the notion that I needed to replace my counter tops. They very much reflect what I am drawn to.

    I think someone mentioned stools or whatnot, these are what I have already purchased in anticipation of the style change:

  • bbtrix
    8 years ago

    You did a fabulous job in your music room and your inspiration pics show how the neutrals will work with your cabs.

    Have you lived in the house long enough to know what you dislike about the kitchen besides the aesthetics? Does the layout work for you? What do you wish were different. Do you want to keep the MW as your ventilation? Is the fridge placement ok? Do you feel you have too much storage?

    To create a sleeker look, I would find it a priority to box in the fridge, add an extractor fan, remove/replace uppers in combination with glass doors and open shelving so uppers are one level, and increase seating at the island if you replace countertops. How wide are your aisle?

    Can you take a pic of what you see when standing at the stove/fridge wall? Is the living room on the other side where these pictures were taken?

  • Stephanie Wallis
    Original Author
    8 years ago

    Here are some more of the listing photos. The only change I've made so far, is taking out the living room carpet and extending the hardwood into that room. I have left the green paint in the living room and the beige in the eat in area until I can figure out what to do with the kitchen. I would like all of the beige to be a light grey as it extends into my staircase and upstairs into our bonus room and the living room to be either a darker grey or a bold color.

    I've lived here exactly a year and a half. My preference would be to not have the microwave above the stove and to have a beautiful hood above it. The aisle is 3.5 feet and the layout does work for me. I'd prefer a built in double oven and for the fridge to fit a little better (we have switched that out for a larger french door model). Ideally I'd like more counter seating however I don't think I can lose the cabinetry on the right side (when facing the kitchen) as we have a computer there and it is where we keep our phones and important things (no mudroom in this house). I do love the counter space, I'm a messy cook that likes to spread out. However I could live without all those things if it just matched my style. The aesthetics are the biggest downfall in my opinion. It's also hard to make multiple changes as each change is super pricey b/c of the size. I guess I felt I needed to change the countertops b/c when I look up Uba Tuba and cherry cabinets there are 0 kitchens that I like. Yes they look good with white, but I'm unsure about having them all painted white...

    Thank you for the music room compliment - that was months of agonizing as well :) However I am in love with the results! Now to transform the kitchen!

  • emmarene9
    8 years ago

    If you do not currently have rugs go get some. That area in front of the cook top will be heavily traveled. Same goes for in front of the sink. If they are a light color they will brighten the room.

    I like your kitchen a lot. You just need to tweak it a bit to your tastes.

    I like your blue room. If you still have some paint it would be good to just paint a board or piece of cardboard for blending all the colors. You could take it in the kitchen for comparisons.

  • LE
    8 years ago

    To get back to color. You seemed to think that the green paint should help "tone down" the red in the cherry that bothers you. I think the opposite is true. Because they are complements (red and green are opposites on the color wheel) the contrast between the two emphasizes both to my eye. A creamier neutral might fight less with the red and actually help it look less red. I hope that makes at least a little sense! The right creamy color could work with the blue and the white and the grays as well.

    I also think a light backsplash and UCL would help tremendously. So would light counters, but that's a lot more $$ and I wonder if you can get the granite removed without breaking it?

    Also, what others have said about the "cabinet showroom" look-- that's a lot of identical doors staring you in the face! A little variety on the upper level with some glass, a hood, maybe even a few open shelves (if you can tolerate those)-- any or all of those would help a lot. Also love the music room!

  • isabel98
    8 years ago

    window treatments in a pretty fabric would also help coordinate and soften the space.

    It's really fine with the granite and cabinets. you can make this your own without changing those elements.

  • nosoccermom
    8 years ago

    vs

    Looking at your inspiration pictures, I'm not 100% sure it's really the counter tops. Or rather, it's not only the counter tops but a more streamlined look, no uppers but shelves, glass cabs, updated cabinet hardware, different faucet, that 4-inch backsplash, different backsplash, hood instead of MW, more updated accessories, and a different paint color.

    Seriously, I'd take off some doors and take pictures.

  • oldbat2be
    8 years ago

    I haven't read everything so please forgive any liberties I am taking. This kitchen has wonderful bones, with the wooden cabinets and floors. I personally, really like your rendering.

    Another option is to replace the island countertop with your desired lighter surface, keeping the perimeter.

    What to do with the space above the cabinets, if you tile the lower backsplash?

  • oldbat2be
    8 years ago

    This feels too light to me:

  • oldbat2be
    8 years ago

    Same, dark upper.

  • bbtrix
    8 years ago

    Sweetstephanie, could you post a few pics of your current kitchen from different angles to show what it looks like now with the LR floor, removed clutter, and new stools? Your photos will bring in the current reality. I also wonder if the realtor used a wide angle lens because your aisles appear greater than 42" in the listing photos. Are all of the aisles only 42"? How do you use your butlers pantry? Could be a great place to charge stuff out of site.

    Did you install the wainscoting in the music room? Do you have a carpenter to call on for some fixes? It sounds like you'd really like to do a hood, ovens, MW move, and some fridge refinement. If this is essential in your 10 year plan can you draw up a floor plan with accurate measurements? I emphasize this because I think (and understand) that you really want the new counters, but other essentials should happen first. With a carpenter's help you may be able to move some of your cabinetry around to streamline the look and make the appliance changes. Do you want to level out the cab tops? An additional thought is to change out the cabinet crown once cabinet work is done for a more contemporary look and to use some of the above cab space. We've seen some great examples here. Cove lighting would also be nice along with UCL.

    While you are working on the big decisions, I'd start getting paint decks, paint samples and poster boards to pick your colors. Grays are fun to work with. I chose SW Agreeable Grey as my transitional color that joined my spaces and goes up and down stairways. I have a slightly darker gray and a plum as an accent color. You can have some interesting transitions between your spaces and certainly an accent color. Any plan for repeating the wainscoting in the living room?

    We don't know what part of the country you live in, but from what you've shown us it looks like your house has good bones and will only benefit from the wise improvements you make. Ten years is a long time as others have pointed out to not be happy in the most important room in the house.

  • aktillery9
    8 years ago

    After seeing the room you decorated with the piano (which is absolutely fabulous), I can see how the kitchen might not be to your taste. They are so different. I think my first step would be to paint the walls. See how it feels and go from there.

    I see you like open shelves. Where could you lose your storage space and place them? Maybe take down the two shorter cabs to the right of the window (leave the taller cab next to the windows as is). I think one thing that is bothering me is all of the varying heights of the cabs. Maybe you can reduce that a bit, still having varying heights but not as many? Also, adding some glass doors where you can and changing the counters and backsplash, new hardware and rugs and I think you will have your dream kitchen!

  • Liz
    8 years ago

    If you take out the cabinet bank on the right of the kitchen - the part you are using as a desk/mudroom, I think - and replace that with either narrower cabs or a different sort of hutch/furniture. Then you could have seating on the long side of the island.

    From your inspiration pics, I think you could get a lot of mileage from
    - installing a chimney vent
    - removing the 4" backsplash and putting in a nice, lighter neutral (check out allen & roth's pearl subway tile, there are pics on here and it looks like your inspiration pics' gray tiles)
    - making the island a lighter/more colorful piece
    - putting glass doors or open shelving on the sink wall

  • nosoccermom
    8 years ago

    How about (1) moving (some of) the cabinets ceiling high and installing shelves underneath, and (2) removing some others to install just shelves?

    {{!gwi}}

  • gr8daygw
    8 years ago

    Maybe you could just remove some of the uppers and replace with open shelves or modern artwork. Put those cabinets in the laundry room or garage so they don't go to waste.

    You could also replace those cabinets you relocated with new cabinets in white. I would not redo your granite or paint until you make some cosmetic changes first and see how that feels. A backsplash would make a world of difference too and a lighter paint. I love some of the ideas presented such as the modern barstool and painting the island, changing out to modern sleek hardware and lighting fixtures, accessories and window treatments and possible faucet. Good luck! I think this project would be fun and a challenge and be fabulous and unique in the end. If you must change some of the granite just change out the island. Carrera is not especially "modern" but I have seen it used in the Pottery Barn look that you spoke of. I can't wait to see what you decide : )

  • lazy_gardens
    8 years ago

    Good cabinets, good granite, just unimaginatively done.

    My suggestions, off the top of my head, after you add the pendants.

    1 - Paint walls a creamy light beige. Warmer paint will decrease the perceived warmth of the cabinets (which are LOVELY).

    2 - Glass doors and bright painted interiors on selected cabinets to break up the "wall o' wood" effect. To try this out, remove the doors and tape colored fabric or paper in them.

    Especially the ones on the wall to the right. (suggestion to remove them and uses open shelves was brilliant)

    3 - Remove skinny backsplash and install a tile backsplash. A mostly light color, with gloss and maybe iridescence, would make the kitchen feel lighter. Subway, but installed vertically or extra-long and skinny, would push it in the direction of "rustic modern".

    You have calm cabinets and a calm countertop. You can have a DRAMA-LLAMA for a backsplash.

    4 - Undercabinet lighting. Probably your biggest change maker.

    5 - Have the island painted something that links to the rest of the house.

  • graphics_gal
    8 years ago

    Quartz??? Seriously??
    Put in a glass back splash first. Then step back and consider the next step. Your granite is fine. How about some glass front uppers for your second step. Then go from there. I think you'll be happy with just these 2 changes.

  • sjhockeyfan325
    8 years ago

    Quartz??? Seriously??

    Why not quartz?

  • muskokascp
    8 years ago

    I haven't read all of the responses in detail but in general I agree with nosoccermom. There are too many boring upper cabinets which makes for a bland and unimaginative kitchen space. I would remove some of the uppers, esp the ones on the right that are over the long run of counter, install shelves (maybe with undermount lights in them) and paint the island. With a few changes it could be a lovely lovely kitchen.

    If you love light counters, then do them.