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Water front condo kitchen remodel

We have a vacation rental condo in FL on the Gulf of Mexico with an original kitchen. We are in the "thinking" stage of what we want to do to it. Most remodels I've seen in the building remove the pass thru to the dining area and put in all white cabinets from Lowes (they all use the same contractor and he is a one trick pony).

I'd love to hear any suggestions from anyone on this kitchen. Our thoughts so far have been a tray ceiling to replace the fluorescent lighting and, instead of completely removing the pass thru and opening it up --- making the pass thru much bigger and taller and trimming it out with some beautiful molding (less uppers I know, but that's ok). This would mainly be to save money.

I'd also like to incorporate a pantry in here somehow. (maybe one of those tall pull outs).

How much longer will the white cabinets be in? We have natural maple in the bathrooms (about 10 years ago). All I ever see is white now....

Some people ditch the "eat-in kitchen" and put cabinets along with wall where the small table is. For some reason, my DH thinks the "eat in kitchen" is so great, although no one seats in there to eat (I usually pile groceries on the table).

Love to hear some ideas especially about cabinetry..

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