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Yikes! Help me update this home in Southwest Florida

Design2 girl
last year
last modified: last year

After receiving so much amazing help in updating a few homes from this amazing group of people, we have a new project to consider and I need your help elevating this 2006 Florida home to today's standards. It's a beauty, in great shape, and I am beyond excited for this project!

First order of business is going to be the kitchen. Our wish list includes a WHITE kitchen to replace the tuscan cucina. Its a back wall kitchen with an island. The island needs to seat at least 4, so I am thinking it will be extended, and probably a single level island rather than the step up. We are going to price out refacing this kitchen vs replacement. If you have ever refaced a kitchen and made it white, would love to see your results and hear your experience. We may have to consider painting this, but somehow we need to see some elevation changes, as the flat"ness" is my biggest problem with how this looks. The ceilings are 12', and clearly, I would like more storage if possible.


Naples Home · More Info



Naples Home · More Info


Would love to know your best ideas and thoughts on space saving cabinet tricks, your favorite countertop materials, specifically the debate on granite vs quartzite vs quartz, and the most reliable mfg companies of quartz. Interested in any inspiration pics that you have saved for a simple back wall kitchen layout with an island.

Here is one of mine, just dreaming. And I realize this layout is different. Thanks in advance if you made it this far!


Woodinville Retreat · More Info


Comments (593)

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    this house just doesn't need any more angles. There is an angled window at the lanai and where the fridge is located and a small angled wall in the living room. And my mom is not wanting a drop leaf option at the end.

    He has said the plumbing is not an issue and actually moving the island down will be easier/closer for the plumbing.


    I like how the island is lining up even with the end of the back wall where I circled it. If we move the island down to help get the sink more to the center, and still add 6" cabinets on each end, will that work? I think the total can not exceed 118" and we are at 102" now. Do you simply divide the total inches into thirds to get the placement of the lights?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Ok. You place pendants so it makes sense against back wall. In this space, I placed them at center of upper cabinets either side of the hood. Because of the layout having refrigerator on that right end, it makes it more challenging because the island is offset. It’s more of a visual thing than measurements per se in this case. TIP: get 2 helium balloons roughly the size of your pendants. Put weighs in the strings. Balloon places have those weights. You can test locations and height this way and no math involved! Great way to get visual of placement.

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  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Btw, funny thing about “angles”. They drive more angles.

  • cubby14
    7 months ago

    Just a question, is it very important to you to center the sink on the island or with the pendants? My island has the sink off center and I really don't notice it. I think it is important to have the hood and lights centered on each other. Just a thought if you are having trouble doing both.

  • PRO
    COCo
    7 months ago

    Hi can someone help me. This thread has been going for years! Why,?

  • Molly
    7 months ago

    COCo this thread is only a few months old. Things take longer these days.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Thanks Cubby, I am not going to die if the sink is not centered. I really want the lights to be centered on the back wall and the island to be spacious using as much of the slab as possible. But it needs to be balanced

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    I think there must be something I am not understanding. Maybe you could please clarify, Design2girl. It’s ok if you don’t want to because I am sure you are beyond frustrated already (and I feel a little dense about what am I missing ). The way it feels to me, the island cabinets , as seen in this picture, and the run of cabinets on the back wall, two on either side of stove hood, should be centered with each other. My eye does not include the pantry or the refrigerator space or the wall that divides fridge from cabinets. The red circle where you want the end of the island to line up with the fridge wall - I’m thinking that will only look aligned from one angle in the room. —- If he moves the island over 15” , will it be centered on the the length of the stove and the two cabinets on either side of the stove ? To me , that would feel balanced. I’m just not understanding the essence of the problem. So sorry. As I said, it’s ok if you don’t want to re- explain this. I’m just thinking there might be others like me . Is it that that is not the exact measurement of the slab ? Or is the problem that the oven and DW doors are directly across from each other ( don’t see that as a problem since you have such a big amount of space between the two ) ? Or is it that the pendants don’t evenly space out, (no matter how you space them ) without hanging at an awkward sight line with the back cabinets ? Again, so sorry but what is the main problem you are wanting to overcome ?

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    As Cubby said, maybe the sink placement in relation to the pendants doesn’t really matter/ isn’t seen that much . You could just put each pendant equally closer to the ends of the island instead of exact thirds and see where that puts them in line with things on the back wall.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Ohh I think you have the problem identified, lol. To me, the problem is that the pendants are not going to be centered on those back wall cabinets. One of them is going to hit smack dab in the hood and that is unacceptable. He is going to move it tomorrow and we will re evaluate. He was trying to avoid any floor tile issues.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Ultimately do you think if he moves it to the left and adds small 6” cabinets on either end, it will line up with the back wall and we can hang the lights in the center of the back wall cabinets leaving a full view of the hood in the center?

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    Here is an example of placing the lighting ( TWO LIGHTS, like your situation ) where the measurements are not in equal thirds. The space in between the lights is larger than the spaces on the ends. So maybe using Flo’s balloon method will allow you to play around with moving them until you land on spacing that looks good with the back wall.

  • marylut
    7 months ago

    Why do you have to use the entire slab and make island so long, which seems to be the cause of this dilemma?

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    Theoretically, no matter what size cabinets you have to have him build so they are equal/ symmetrical - one on each end ( however that works out with your slab incl. overhang ) - AS LONG AS THE CENTER ISLAND CABINET IS CENTERED ON THE HOOD/STOVE, you should then be able to place your two lighting fixtures symmetrically where they are in a pleasing position in relationship to the back wall cabinetry.

    Design2 girl thanked niccidhg
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Thus my mock up.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    That would move island to left probably about 15”.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Yep, that will be the first action and will create some floor work but that’s easy peasy. I still want it a bit longer than 102”.

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    So that is what my question pertained to - what is the problem with moving everything over 15” , or whatever it needs to be, to center the center island cabinet with the stove. Why that was originally problematic (way back up thread ) is what I’m trying to ascertain.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    because to my eye, moving it all 15' to the left destroys the line up with the corner back wall and the end of the island. Does that make any sense? It makes the island start about halfway into the cabinet on the back wall. I am feeling very stupid about all this about right now, lol.

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    You should not feel that way, that’s for sure ! This is complicated for the most adept people. That’s why there are kitchen designers and architects. You will figure things out just fine. —- I think the important part is that you are questioning things and fine tuning things through a fine tuned lense NOW,at this stage. It WILL all gel and you will be able to know you were proactive and left no stone unturned.

    Design2 girl thanked niccidhg
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    The focus of the “focal point” is your hood. The sides are secondary. Everything spreads out from hood. So, therefore, the island has to be centered to hood. The sides are almost like peripheral sides. They are secondary. When your focal point is the hood, it makes lining up pendants easy. Equal distance from each side of hood. If you wish to add length, do overhangs on each end if clearances permit. It will work. I think you will “see it” tomorrow. Relax! It’s ok.

    Design2 girl thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    In this photo, notice each end side has other large elements but the island is centered to the hood and pendants over island equal distance from hood visually. Does that help?

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Yes Flo, I agree that the hood is the center focal point, and the lighting needs to be centered on the back wall. I like those little cabinet pieces on each end because it mimics the smaller cabinets on the sides of our range. We see what he comes up with tomorrow. I appreciate all your brain time and creative responses and especially the visual mock ups, that is really helpful to me. Tomorrow in addition to this kitchen, we are having the sliding doors refurbished and getting ready for our outside lighting install later this week. Whew. I’m whipped!

  • marylut
    7 months ago

    Will there be a stool facing the side wall at end of left side of island? A stool there that will visually extend the length of the island? I hope this all works out, but still wonder if using the entire slab is the problem.

    Design2 girl thanked marylut
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Keep an rounded end of countertop on mind. A rounded end, allows better walk around space but extends island surface. If you want a Bistro table on slider end you need as much space there as possible. Keep that in mind.

    Design2 girl thanked Flo Mangan
  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    ohh, I think a rounded end would be nice! Can the fridge end be straight and let the left side be rounded?


    Yes, Marylut, we had planned 2 counter stools at the left end, but if we extend the island, we will move those stools to a bistro table.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    That’s what I did here. It was round on refrigerator end and squared off at other end. Had simplyhuman auto trash can at that end. Breakfast area off to left of kitchen. 2 houses ago! Lol

    Design2 girl thanked Flo Mangan
  • homechef59
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Have him rebuild the center cabinet adding 15". 33" + 15" = 48". Keep the 33" cabinet by the refrigerator side in place. This will move everything down towards the pantry side. The eye won't notice that the center cabinet isn't larger, it will only see the three sets of doors with the wider center doors slightly off center and covered by chairs.

    On the other side of the island, add a 15" pullout out cabinet for trays or condiments. There are a zillion uses for 15" pullouts.

    By changing the center cabinet size, you solve the issue of symmetry.

    Design2 girl thanked homechef59
  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    We had a long conversation today, and it really helped reading all these comments before I talked to him! He is moving the island 15" and getting the sink on center with the hood. He is adding 7.5" cabinets with false fronts on the living room side and they will open on the 36" end side to make them useable. We are going with this inspiration and the total length of the countertops will be 120" and he is making the total island cabinets 117" so I am going to be happy with that solution and we are moving forward. He is building those baby cabinets today, hopefully as I type. I sent him this picture, and ours will have plenty of space to open wide on the ends. Tomorrow they will template the countertops, but how the hell can they do it if the sink is not where it will be ? Makes me nervous.


    Island Green Ct - Harvey Reno · More Info


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Ask them. Might just do peripherals and then come back for island? Get clarification.

    Design2 girl thanked Flo Mangan
  • homechef59
    7 months ago

    Not a problem with the sink. They will cut the sink opening on site.

    Design2 girl thanked homechef59
  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    He is here measuring and doing the template. What do you think about an eased edge and add a bigger size radius on the outside seating of the island only?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Do you mean add a strip on the outer edge to make stone look thicker on the island. If done well this is great look. Make the “eased” edge top edge only and the slightest amount possible.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    If they cut sink hole offsite, the cut will be much better than on-site cutting. BUT, this slab will be most vulnerable to a break at the front edge of sink hole. So the delivery of the slab must have appropriate crating to ensure the slab doesn’t crack. A wood bracing is what my fabricator does.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Thank you Flo. The fabricator really helped ease my mind and explained things. They will cut the sink at the shop and the faucet, soap dispenser and air switch will be cut here. He knows we want it perfect, and he said 7 days, then after tops are placed, they will come back for the backsplash.
    We are definitely adding the 7 1/2 “ cabinets on the end which made me start thinking about how to manage the electrical box on the ends. I don’t want to ruin the living room side of things with a dang plug.
    And our small cabinets will open fully on each end to make them useable. And now I am thinking this is an idea to make this functional and have purpose. He can make a false drawer front to hinge down and create a perfect electrical staton

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Very happy. This communication is very important. I love the pull down charging/electrical method. You need to coordinate with electrician of course to get proper wires into that location. Might be a challenge for island. But great concept.

  • PRO
    COCo
    7 months ago

    The electrician will set a box, designer marks on floor, flat plate. This plugs in for 110 volt. I would suggest 2 1 on each side of island, never know when you might want a new toy. The wifi can be anywhere nowadays. Life is getting so much simpler with all the new toys Enjoy.

    Design2 girl thanked COCo
  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Coming back with another thought here ladies. Flo, specifically, what do you think of this idea. My mom and I went to the stone fabricator and he suggested doing a radius on the island on the living room side. And she is going with a dang ogee cove edge, yep, she wants it, and she doesn't care that everybody is doing square, its gonna be ogee cove edge like his counter was in the showroom. And, now, I am thinking it is going to be like this. Any thoughts on how this would impact the center point? He is telling her the 120" stone will be perfectly centered on the radius and the sink will be more to the center but still not dead on. Would this deter you?



    Premier · More Info


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    My main concern is the cutting of the Taj for the ogee edge. Discuss with fabricator the potential for getting stone cracking while trying to get this edge. I like the radius idea since she won’t have a dining room. It will be cozier. I am not sure about the “line up” but I would do what you can to make her happy. So, everything ok except the ogee edge. Of course, that edge is very dated and tough to fabricate well. Good luck!

    Design2 girl thanked Flo Mangan
  • happyleg
    7 months ago

    That looks beautiful!

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    After a full day, ,this is our current situation and I am now happy as a clam. This is going to be easy to place the large pendant lights and we are going to do a little tile floorwork and move on with final templating. He is not worried about doing the ogee cove edging on the Taj, he says he can do it no problem, and while its not the "trend" right now, she wants it and loves it. Our cabinet guy said the doors are beautiful and yep, they are raised panel and she loves it. So, this will be a traditional kitchen and I think the radius on the living room side in ogee cove edge will be beautiful. The side cabinets are going to be great for the drop down electrical boxes and they are excited to be doing them for the first time. Great way to hide the electrical boxes and create function. I love the size, its huge. Template tomorrow and then, it will be time for me to go north and be Mimi for a while. My mom can handle the final.




  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Woohoo!! Looks great! Glad he is confident about the edging. Must be using good diamond blades. Ya did a great job worrying thru all these details!! Safe travels. Can’t wait to see final product! Looks great!

  • Seajay Sparkles
    7 months ago

    Yep, persistence is a virtue D2G. Looks great and it’s obvious you are working with some great cabinet folks. Have a great trip back up north, Mimi 😉.

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Here is a mock up of the radius we are thinking, 15” in the center overhang and tapering to 10” on the ends, and yes, I realize that limits the seating ability.But she doesn’t care, she wants it.

  • RedRyder
    7 months ago

    I'd do whatever your mother wants. If you push too hard for a different idea (even if you think it'll look better) she'll blame you forever if she isn't happy. Your mom sounds like a person with a strong design sense and wants to make this house what SHE wants. Luckily, she has an opinion and can direct everyone. Some moms don't seem to care, until the end --and then they don't like what you did!

    I think it's going to be great with the radius countertop. I totally disagree with the ogee edge (I had one and it chipped in a lot of places) but I'd let her make that decision and let it go. The whole kitchen looks great already.

  • niccidhg
    7 months ago

    Personally, I love an ogee edge . I think they are beautiful. I guess we have been fortunate in that neither our granite or quartzite stone ogee edges have chipped ( 😬 knock on wood, haha ) .

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    It will be fine. Your Mom has great taste which you have too. (😉) so she gets to have whatever the he$$ she wants!!!! Enjoy. Going to be beautiful!

  • Design2 girl
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Thank you RedRyser, You don’t know how much I needed that. And same, Flo. I am literally whipped. Headed home tomorrow

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    7 months ago

    Safe journey. Time to give it a rest. You have done all the tough stuff, and it will be just beautiful. When she starts getting all the oohs and ahhhs and compliments it will be awesome! All will be well.

  • homechef59
    7 months ago

    I have the radius edge on my current island. I didn't choose it, but I like the effect. I think she will like it, too.


    Can't wait to see the final pictures.