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shelley_lanier

How to update this tiny kitchen on tiny budget

Shell
5 years ago

I'm in the process of purchasing this home and would appreciate ideas on how to make this tiny kitchen brighter and more appealing without spending very much money. I'd like to paint the cabinets a light green (more on the yellow side than grey, ie Misted Fern, Grasslands, Baby Turtle, etc). Is that a horrible idea?

As I can afford it, I'll be replacing the floor with wood-like tile in a very neutral color. Not a bright or orangey brown, but not grey either.

All the walls will need to be painted as well, something neutral, but I haven't decided what color.

I like rustic and farmhouse type styles. Which may be a little difficult in this little 80's house, but hopefully I can get there eventually! :)


Thank you!




Comments (48)

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago

    Countertop depth refrigerator, pot lights in the ceiling, white cabinets, green walls, and undercounted lighting, will make this kitchen look bigger and brighter.

    I can't tell what is at the widow in the photo - a blind or bars on the outside of the window. It's a great window and will be a major asset in this small kitchen.

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  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you!

    The floor is actually really cheap laminate and has bubbles and spaces between some of the "boards," so it is going to have to be replaced eventually. I do like the white but long term I think I want to get a white quartz countertop, which I think would be pretty with green, and then maybe white subway tiles?

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    The window is made up of 4 horizontal panes, then has the hanging vertical blinds in front of it.

  • beachem
    5 years ago

    I would remove the valance to bring the eye up and open up the window. I agree with everyone on white cabinet and green walls.

    Change out the window covering to Roman shade if you need shade from the sun.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago

    Yes, no vertical blinds at window. Trust us on those white cabinets!

  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago

    If OP wants a green kitchen, she should get one :)

    Counter depth fridge is great but not cheap. I'd paint the current one or wrap it in pretty contact paper.

    New light fixture and new runner on the floor.

    Remove that valance and the vertical blinds. And maybe some of the cabinet doors.

    And not really practical but might open up the kitchen, some cheap mirrors as backsplash (the ones you hang on doors)




  • tanowicki
    5 years ago

    Why is that little kitchen walled off like that? It would be odd to walk into someone's house right into their kitchen but I think if you can put some doors and get rid of the header into the kitchen, it would seem more open.

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Good question! No clue why they made the kitchen in a little box. A lot of the houses in the neighborhood are exactly the same. You can't see the right side in the picture, but it is just like the left, so the kitchen feels like a cardboard box with a door cut into the side. lol

  • Lavender Lass
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Green kitchens are very pretty. It's just that white cabinets and white appliances will make the space look larger.

    If you don't mind a bit of contrast...paint the cabinets green. Or maybe green on the bottom...white on top : )

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks, everyone! I love some of these kitchens. Unfortunately, replacing the fridge and removing the wall around the kitchen entrance isn't going to happen right now, but the stove isn't working properly so that will need replacing - either to match the stainless dishwasher next to the fridge or white.

    If I remove the wood valence thing, would a pendant light be too much for the space? Maybe a glass ball or school-house type etc?

    Would putting a microwave over the stove also overwhelm the room?

    Thanks!


  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Some of the pictures above were in my inspiration file for my green cabinets. I have both Dried Hydrangea (a goldish green), and Adobe White cabinets, with Adobe White walls, and inexpensive beadboard sheet backsplash. Your lovely window is a definite plus if you're considering a darker color on cabinets.

    I wouldn't put a MW above a stove--I would put it beside the fridge, on a shelf if possible, but if not, then on the counter. Mine sits beside the fridge in a cabinet box, to disguise it. (Sometimes too well, because infrequent visitors can't find it without help. ;)

  • kudzu9
    5 years ago

    Several observations about replacing the floor with wood-look tiles:

    1. You need to be sure that the floor is rigid enough to prevent deflection, which can cause cracking.

    2. Tiling (and floor reinforcement, if necessary) will raise the floor height above the adjacent flooring, although this can be handled with a transition strip).

    3. Wood-like tiles are very trendy right now, which makes me think that they will look dated in 5-10 years.

    If it were me, I'd go with a seamless flooring material, like sheet linoleum, which is very durable in this application. Or, if I went with porcelain tiles, I would choose something simple and classic in a large format to minimize grout line maintenance.

  • Lavender Lass
    5 years ago

    If budget is a consideration (it sure is for me!) then maybe even a temporary upgrade would be nice. Vinyl floor tiles (peel and stick) take a little work, but they're inexpensive and look very nice.


    We've used them in most of our home. Eventually, we hope to replace the subfloor, but for now....they look much better than the old carpet! : )






    If you like them....they're 44 cents each at HD.


    http://www.homedepot.com/b/Flooring-Vinyl-Flooring-Resilient-Flooring-Vinyl-Tile/N-5yc1vZaq27?Ns=P_REP_PRC_MODE|0

  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago

    It looks like it's the same flooring throughout, so if it's not a tripping hazard, just get some inexpensive rug.

    IKEA has rag rugs that you can sew together. Or one of their other rugs.

    Or go to Homegoods for inexpensive rugs.


    You could also go with a sconce over the sink area.

    how to paint a fridge

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you. A rug might do the trick for now. I like the idea of a box for the microwave - I'll have to see if my dad is able to build me something. My only concern is losing the counter space. There really isn't a lot to begin with.

    The floor should be flat enough for wood-like tile since it's a slab, but we'll check first. Since we're in FL and have dogs and kid, tile seems to be the best choice long term. We'd be putting it in across the whole house when we do it. 18" squares are a possibility, but I really like the look of wood.

  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I would not go to the expense of replacing or the painting of the stainless steel refrigerator - it will work just fine as it is. Recommend painting the cabinets white, as others have recommended, and paint the walls a green that you like. Please share update photos with us.

    Just found out I was mistaken about the refrigerator. It is not stainless, as I thought. It is black. That being said, I do recommend painting it white.

  • weezel
    5 years ago

    I'm pretty much asking the same questions as you on my post...under "I'm at a loss what to do" if I was tech savvy I could connect a link but I don't know how. :) :)

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    What is the area in front of the kitchen opening? And there is a hallway with door on both sides? I suspect you will have runners in the two halls, and perhaps in the space in front of the kitchen, so a rug in the kitchen I wouldn't do.

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the link!

    Right in front of the kitchen opening is the spot for a dining table, which is really just part of the living room.


  • kudzu9
    5 years ago

    Shell-

    When I cautioned you about making sure the floor was rigid enough for tiles, I was making the assumption that your floor was plywood sheathing over joists, like the majority of folks have. Since you are on a slab, there are two other issues:

    1) Make sure the slab is truly flat, as large format tiles are pretty unforgiving if the floor is not totally flat; a good tile installer will check for flatness, and pour a thin, self-leveling compound on top of the slab if there is any issue.

    2. Make sure that there is no cracking or movement in the slab. If there is, then a separation membrane is laid down to isolate the tile from the slab.

    By the way, what is the flooring that you now have?



  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago

    I thought the fridge was black. It's stainless?

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    Instead of tile floors, I would consider luxury vinyl tile instead.

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    The floors are currently laminate in the entry/dining/kitchen/bedrooms with tile in the living room. The fridge is definitely black! Capartist, I really don't want vinyl. When the floors are redone it will be tile - just not 100% sure what type yet.

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the info, Kudzu9.

  • Lily Spider
    5 years ago

    I LOVE those green kitchens nosoccermom & lavender lass posted! Especially the color green in the first two LL posted. I would remove the valance over the window and install a Roman shade, add some fun hardware and a pretty rug. I have never seen anyone cover a fridge in contact paper but that's a pretty nifty idea.

  • scrappy25
    5 years ago

    My main focus on that kitchen would be adding a dishwasher if you don't already have one. If that is a recirculating hood, not vented to the outside, you won't lose venting with a microwave over the stove that has more cfm. In that tiny kitchen an OTR mw may work best for you if you are not short, because it needs to be high enough to not obstruct working at the cooktop. You will have to raise the cabinet above the stove to fit it in. You don't have much countertop space to spare for a mw.

  • just_janni
    5 years ago

    Do that green kitchen! Properly executed - it CAN brighten that space and make it unique - which is exactly what it NEEDS. Use those inspiration photos and then use luxury vinyl tile - there's a decent "cushion" with them and less "clunky" when walking in heels, etc.

    I think that when you have a cookie cutter subdivision, and a rather awkward placement - you should go for the unique factor. Especially with paint. it's a BOLD choice, but it's necessary (and if someone TRULY hates it - they can paint it again, and whatever likely works for green will work with whites cabs.)

  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    OK, so you have a SS dishwasher, a white range and exhaust hood, and a black fridge? If you have to replace the range, I'd get SS to match the DW and then either paint or "wrap" the fridge.

    With an OTR microwave, would you have enough clearance from the range, or will it be to close to the cooking surface? How often do you use a MW, how big do you need? Could you hang it under a cabinet or put it on a shelf under the cabinet?

    Another option might be to hang the uppers higher and add some shelves underneath. It would add height for the OTR microwave.


    Also, I'd remove some upper cabinet doors to see what glass inserts might look like or even leave them off for some open shelves.





  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I really like that idea. I'll have to find out if they can come off the wall easily in order to move them up. I'd love to get a little more storage space as the cabinets are pretty shallow and there is no pantry.

    the fridge has that bumpy texture - does the wrap stuff stick well to that? I can see how it would work nicely on the old fashioned flat surface ones.

  • loonlakelaborcamp
    5 years ago

    Green could be great for a farmhouse look. The scallops over the sink would compliment that look. Yes, remove the blinds. As far as the fridge, a fridge wrap or a SS magnetic panel cover would make it tie in well with a SS range if you add that. Just look up magnetic refrigerator wraps. (they make a shrink wrap vinyl too.

    I may do white cabinetry with green walls, but green cabinets with white wall would work well too. What are you planning to do with the counter? What color is it?

    You may even painting the outer wall of the dining room that surrounds the kitchen opening the same color as the walls or cabinets in the kitchen to visually draw the kitchen into the dining area (maybe even use the same green from the cabinets). That paint trick would help conceal the "box" separating the kitchen from the rest of the room.

    A rug in the middle of the kitchen and a large coordinating rug under the table in the dining area can cover a world of sin on the floor until you have funds to do your planned flooring replacement.

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thank you. I do like the scallop so maybe if I am able to move up the cabinets I can keep it. :) The counter will have to stay as is right now. It's wood-grain laminate. Eventually I'd like to replace it with white or cream colored quartz.

    On the paint on the outside of the "box", do you mean just the wall surrounding the kitchen entrance?

  • Buehl
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    CAUTION about replacing the floor with tile, (Sorry for the "shouting", but this is very important!)

    Tile will be a thicker/higher flooring than the current vinyl. If you replace the vinyl with tile, you will need to remove the DW and refrigerator, install the flooring under both, and then reinstall the appliances. If you replace the flooring without removing the DW and refrigerator first, you will trap the DW and, possibly, the refrigerator (I can't see what's above the refrigerator - cabinet, wall, or empty space). These appliances need to be installed at the same height as the finished floors b/c if you don't, when you need to remove them after the tile is installed, you will have to lift the appliances up to get them on top of the tile floor. If the refrigerator has empty space above it or at least a few inches of empty space, you will probably be OK as long as the vent is not blocked by the floor. The DW, however, is another matter.

    When the counter is installed over the DW, it's installed tightly to the cabinets & DW. If you now have a lower floor under the cabinets and in the DW alcove, you have now trapped the DW without any space above to remove it (b/c there's no empty space b/w the DW and counters). This will most likely cause you issues down the road when (not if, when) you have to replace the DW.

    If you install the tile under the DW, however this will most likely mean that the DW will now no longer fit under the existing counters b/c it will be 2 or 3 inches taller than the cabinets. So, you may need to jury rig the cabinets and counter so they fit over the DW.

    Really, if you're going for an inexpensive update - I strongly recommend you either replace the flooring with a high quality vinyl - or anything of similar thickness (but remove the old flooring first so you don't cause the same issue) or keep what you have, put down rugs, and save up until you can afford to do it right.

    I know this isn't what you want to hear, but please, don't get caught in the trap that others have (usually caused by previous owners) and then frantically posted here asking for help to fix the issue!


  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago

    No idea about the contact paper, but I don't see why it wouldn't stick. It'll still be bumpy, though. Alternatively, chalkboard paint.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    5 years ago

    Did you know that they make stainless steel contact paper? I didn't, before. I just now googled it!

  • loonlakelaborcamp
    5 years ago

    Shell, regarding your question, "On the paint on the outside of the "box", do you mean just the wall surrounding the kitchen entrance?" -- I mean the entire dining area wall that is on the side of the kitchen. I wish I could wonders with paint or photoshop, but imagine that you painted the cabinets green, leaving the laminate tops in woodgrain (butcherblock?), and painted the interior walls of the kitchen white. That would really brighten up the kitchen. I would then paint the wall against the kitchen which is in the dining area the same green as the kitchen cabinets as an accent wall. Then I'd paint all the other walls in the living/dining room another color (or shade of white).

    A light toned rug with the greens and white in both the kitchen and under the dining table would tie the two area together nicely. If you like the country look, you could put some simple white wainscot on the shared kitchen/dining area wall. I don't know what your dining set is like, but a white painted or natural pine set could look good. It can bring in the farm/country style.

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense. :)

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    Two things: first, I had pretty much that home, similar main floor layout and kitchen layout and dimensions. It was build in the 80s, and I really liked it and the kitchen. It had an OTR microwave. What is across from the refrigerator? If countertop, it might be a good spot for a small microwave. Or, is it a pantry cabinet? You might be able to put one in there, too, if you can run the cord to an outlet.

    second, you might have a problem simply raising the cabinets because of the soffit over the sink end. Would you remove those cabinets or leave them? Remove the soffit? And do the side cabinets extend under the soffit edge a skosh?

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Across from the fridge is a counterspace. That's probably where the microwave would have to go if it's on the counter.

    There is no soffit over the sink. I think the combo of the fluorescent light and the orange wall that makes it appear like one.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Have you looked at LUXURY Vinyl tile? I'm not talking the $.99 crap in HD, but the quality stuff that looks like real wood flooring. In fact I have a friend building a very expensive house (high 6, low 7 figures) on the water, who's using it throughout his house. At first it even fooled me, and I have eagle eyes.

    Take a look on the flooring forum at Coretec Luxury Vinyl tile.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago


    Coretec thread

    Of course there are other quality brands too.

  • annac54
    5 years ago

    I know you said you didn't want to replace the refrigerator, but you might find a good white one on Craigslist that would work that wouldn't cost too much. I second what others have said about installing tile. Make sure it's truly flat, and be careful about trapping the dishwasher. Dishwashers vary in height, so if you replace one, be careful about how tall it is.

    Green is my favorite color, so I say go for it on the cabinets. There have been some lovely examples posted. Good luck with your project.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    DO NOT mess with that refrig! It is not counter depth and making it white or some sort of faux stainless will make it appear larger than it already is. When you replace it, go counter depth in stainless. As to painting it or using contact paper...well I would not do that.

    Forty seven years ago, I bought a special kit to epoxy spray paint a refrig. It even had a 2nd can to give shadows. It was avacado green which went well in my kitchen. What refrig did I paint! A 1943 GE, rather small with a tiny freezer compartment inside that held two ice trays and two packages and of frozen veggies - it didn't stay cold enough for ice cream. My parents had bought it the summer before I was born and over the years, the enamel had worn off in places and it had a bit of rust in places. We had just bought our first hous in St Louis - $23,500 - and were broke.

    It turned out pretty well and I had nothing to lose as it was unsightly. It was a conversation piece as all would say "I didn't know they made colored refrigerators in those days!" My husband took it with him when he left me in 1975 - don't know what ever happened to that old thing but it did not go into the lovely home he and Wife#2 bought 3 months later! But I would never do this to your black refrig...leave it alone.

  • Lily Spider
    5 years ago

    If you don't want to put the microwave over the stove and don't want it to take up valuable cabinet or counter space could you put it on a small table in the eating area? There is a small wall space to the right of the kitchen entrance. If you don't microwave often could you put a small microwave there?

  • loonlakelaborcamp
    5 years ago

    Wow, didn't realize the walls were orange! I thought it was my monitor and the lighting!

    As far as counter depth fridge -- you may not be able to put one there since it appears to be right against the wall in a corner. You may not be able to open the door fully. If you can, it would be great.

    If you are replacing the stove with a white one -- perhaps you could sell the black fridge and get a no-frills white fridge. A new white fridge and a white smooth top stove could cost less than just a SS range. Only if you have the coins.

    As far as a microwave goes, OTR is OK, but I do prefer mine next to the fridge. I have mine mounted on top of tall computer monitor stand. It is tall enough to put my coffee mugs and a stack of paper plates underneath and still open/close the microwave over waiting food plates.

    Green cabinets, white walls and appliances, and white counters and backsplash could make that cozy kitchen very sunny!

  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    5 years ago

    As far as counter depth fridge -- you may not be able to put one there since it appears to be right against the wall in a corner. You may not be able to open the door fully. If you can, it would be great.

    If you don't require a side-by-side you can and still have the clearance to open the doors. IMHO a smaller fridge in another style will probably seem as large as a slightly larger side by side because the space is used more efficiently (although I know there are a few SXS lovers who will vehemently disagree).

  • Shell
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I don't really have a preference on types of fridge, so I will keep an eye out on craigslist for a counter-depth fridge.

    I was planning to have a stand for my water filter right outside the kitchen entrance, but maybe I can find a stand with multiple levels and stick the microwave there without looking too bad.