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Please help me update this kitchen on a budget!

Karo A
14 days ago
last modified: 14 days ago

This furniture is not staying, we just bought the house. We cant afford a full remodel. we will be installing luxury vinyl flooring in a very light white oak , and we will be painting walls a warm white, removing the light box and installing recessed lights, remove hanging cabinet and installing pendant lights. but what do i do abt this old school granite (santa cecilia granite) and cabinets?







Comments (65)

  • herbflavor
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    I agree with Patricia..with the huge space you have endless options. working with the rather mediocre everything is a waste. when you start individual "things" ..the things left back just look less desirable..more worn and outdated... I would cover the areas of floor that have degraded with mats and start a full remodel plan. You are blinded by the flaw in the floor which is disturbing you and the color of walls being rather unusual......but think over rushing in......... as on the other hand , the kitchen itself is completely useable....nothing is imminently critical to start the path which then makes a much BETTER kitchen more of a problem , with undoing and going back over what you might be spending a LOT on for short time fixes ....which arent even going to reward you that much.

  • Kay P
    13 days ago

    I agree with Jan Moyer . Wait until you can afford to do what you want.

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    If it's considered an entry level condo - that is a starter home - I wouldn't change anything major. Just paint the walls a neutral color, clean and edit the items on the counter. Remove the multiple towels and dated canisters. If you have a Home Goods or Crate and Barrel nearby check out new stylish towels. Keep the counters totally clutter free. Clean out the cabs and de-clutter. Allow the next buyer to do the upgrades and updates to their taste. The previous posters are right that some upgrades will actually turn buyers off. In my area of middle suburbia, it is granite on old cabinets that have seen better days, especially if the layout isn't great. If your cooktop is older, around 8 - 10 years or going out - this may be an item to consider updating along with matching hood since you already have the SS oven. The newer appliances are a great selling point on an older home. I've bought a couple of houses where the old 1980's stoves were downright scary. Check out clearance, closeouts, craigslist or sears outlet for a good deals. As the others posted, new lighting can help brighten up the space. You don't have a picture of the sink, but if the faucet is old and dated, that could also be a great upgrade for not a lot of money. My personal favorite, the one I currently own is this Moen Brantford: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1v/R-202998687/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=moen+kitchen+faucet&storeId=10051#.UJvZF6UTBvc I don't know what your lighting and flooring is like, but a neutral color I love is called Autumn Haze. The color is by Glidden. I've staged and sold 3 houses since 2003. The following pictures are the kitchens from the two most recent. Both of these have oak cabinets. The most recent (1st) had 20 year old laminate counters. The wall paint was Behr Sand Pearl. The 2nd one actually had tile counters. It was newer with the original builder paint, except for the blue/green color. I had 2 toddlers and a baby and didn't have time to repaint and neutralize.
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  • mcarroll16
    13 days ago

    As others said, new paint and wait. Maybe new carpet for the living room. Serious suggestion for the bedrooms: plywood. We've been working on a raw plywood kitchen floor for months now (DW flood) and it's amazingly great. In a bedroom, you could put down fresh plywood panels, apply floor paint or poly, and they would probably last for years while you figure out your long-term remodel. Add some cheap area rugs from Ikea or Lowe's and you have a terrific floor.

  • Emily
    13 days ago

    Just a thought here, but removing the upper cabinets and adding some lighting over the peninsula would really open up the kitchen.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    13 days ago

    Slow down. Before removing cabinets you have to know where your stuff will be stored.


    You will have 3 upper cabinets if you remove the row over the peninsula and one is hard to access (over the corner of the countertop. I am not saying it can't be done, but you need to move in, put your stuff away and figure out how the space works before jumping in with 2 feet.


    How much you want to spend on a new kitchen is going to depend on how long you are going to stay in this house, your income and your other financial priorities. Kitchen renos are expensive, but I have seen people do some creative things to really improve a space without doing a full gut. I have also seen people not plan well and spend a lot of money with little improvement.


    If you are planning on putting in LVP you can do it now, but you have to plan on buying enough to redo the kitchen area when you renovate down the line. You will not be able to buy more later. Colors and styles change every couple of years.


    You can also paint now. The countertop and cabinets can wait until you have a better idea of what you want and what will work, how much you will be able to spend and how long you will live in the house.


    Once your moved in post a to scale floorplan of the entire space with measurements and accurately placed doorways, windows and appliance placement.






    Karo A thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Karo A
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    There are cabinets along the other wall for storage and a pull out pantry cabinet.

    how do I know how much extra tile? If i rip out cabinetry in the future will the surrounding tile be affected or do I just need to have extra to fill in the gaps?




  • shirlpp
    13 days ago

    the flooring is actually laminate and has some water damage near the fridge. any color suggestions for cabinet?

    What's wrong with the color that they are? Everyone(except me(hate it)), seem to have a white kitchen.

  • Karo A
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Im not opposed to keeping it white, i think it will be easier

  • shirlpp
    13 days ago

    Good! You have one decision made.

    Karo A thanked shirlpp
  • Karo A
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    So all of this feedback has been immensely helpful. i have decided i will do the flooring because it will make me happy and just buy extra planks for the future. we will likely move in 5 years so kitchen renovation we can just not go there unless for some reason we decide to stay.

  • mcarroll16
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    That's a very good plan! I hope you really enjoy your new house.

    Karo A thanked mcarroll16
  • Maria M.
    13 days ago

    What is the current flooring? Is it hardwood? If so, you could just have it refinished. I would change the cabinet hardware and, like you said, paint. If you're only going to be there a few years and don't want to do a full remodel, then stick to smaller changes.

    Karo A thanked Maria M.
  • Karo A
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    It is actually laminate

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Skip the LVP ....... do a quality engineered floor that can be sanded/refinished/added to with future changes. Buy ENOUGH. Or sand on site white oak if climate allows....and add at will later

    And you are rushing....: )

  • vjs12
    12 days ago

    I think your Santa Cecilia Granite is beautiful! I’d spend money on the floor, adding a backsplash and painting the walls a warm white. You might find that you like the granite countertops better once you make these few changes.

    Karo A thanked vjs12
  • Maria M.
    12 days ago

    The cabinets are too starkly white for the countertops. Painting both the cabinets and walls can make it work if you choose the right colors. If the floors are laminate then maybe replace it, but be wary of installing flooring around existing cabinets. If you need to remove the dishwasher for any reason, you will have to lift the counters off to get it out.

  • Karo A
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Why wary of installing flooring around cabinets? i dont anticipate replacing dish washer.

  • vjs12
    12 days ago

    I had my floor replaced around my cabinets and they take off the
    Quarter round and put the tile or whatever you choose right up to the cabinets and put the quarter round back on. It’s not an issue.

    Karo A thanked vjs12
  • w93639
    12 days ago

    Check out https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/ she helps update your home by choosing paint ( less expensive ) to make your granite ( expensive ) look great…

    Karo A thanked w93639
  • shirlpp
    12 days ago

    If you need to remove the dishwasher for any reason, you will have to lift the counters off to get it out.


    Your dishwasher probably has adjustable feet that can go up a bit to get the dishwasher out - when and if ever needed.

    Karo A thanked shirlpp
  • mcarroll16
    12 days ago

    The main thing is to remove the old flooring first, so that the new flooring is more or less level with the floor under the dishwasher. The big problems start when people layer one flooring over another, so that the dishwasher is sitting below the level of the main floor, and can't be lifted out without removing the countertop.

    Karo A thanked mcarroll16
  • Maria M.
    11 days ago

    No one anticipates their dishwasher breaking down.

  • Karo A
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Ok, if that happens we will have to figure it out.

  • dmac1108
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    @Karo A - first off, CONGRATULATIONS on your new home!

    I have an important question for you:

    Are you actually planning to fully renovate your kitchen at some point? Your initial post only asked for help re: updating your kitchen on a budget. You never actually said that you’re planning a full kitchen renovation at some point in the future - some people assumed that you’d be doing one - and started providing advice/suggestions based with that assumption in mind.

    Based upon what I read in your posts, I don’t think that you’re actually planning for a future full renovation of this kitchen. I think many times people see a ”dated” kitchen, and just assume that the person posting will eventually be doing a full renovation, so they want to stop you from wasting money now on things you will be changing later. Also, sometimes people are so used to providing renovation advice, that they forget that some people just want to ”pretty up” their existing space - and don’t need/want a ”Houzz Kitchen” (FYI - my SO wishes that I didn’t want my dream kitchen - and honestly, after experiencing ”renovation hell” related to two bathrooms, I‘m starting to “rethink” the scope of my upcoming kitchen renovation - I’m not sure that I/we will be able to handle the stress of a full kitchen reno!)

    You’ve received some good advice related to just updating your kitchen from several people.

    I have a few questions/thoughts:

    1. Have you peeked up into your flourescent lighting to see if you can tell if it can be removed fairly easily? Luckily (LOL!), I just have one of those drop down oak boxes over my island - my ceiling is completely finished - I just have to take down the oak box + remove the flourescent bulbs (plus, a little patching) in order to add different light fixtures over my island. I’ve seen quite a few recessed ones similar to yours that have been removed - some were pretty easy - and some were difficult.

    2. If it was my kitchen, I would also make a few small holes in order to see what’s hiding (if anything) in your soffits. Amazon has flexible camera snakes that connect to your phone that will allow you to see what’s hiding in your soffits without having to cause a bunch of drywall damage. It would really make a huge difference if you could remove (i) the upper cabinets over your peninsula + (ii) the floursecent lighting.

    3. How does the current finish on your cabinets look? Do they look like the prior owners just quickly painted their oak cabinets white = brush marks/chipped paint OR do they look professionally finished? If they look professionally finished, I would leave them white - however - if they look like DIY painted cabinets, I would paint them. FYI - not all DIY painted cabinets look like ”DIY painted cabinets” - it all depends on the prep work + quality of finishing products used (a friend of mine spent quite a bit of time painting his cabinets when he bought his house several years ago, amd they still look amazing - he did a ton of prep work + sprayed them with some professional type of finish - not paint you can just walk into any Sherwin Williams and purchase).

    4. If you aren’t planning on fully renovating your kitchen, I would go ahead and run new flooring throughout the house. You will be SO MUCH HAPPIER once the bad carpet + damaged laminate is removed. If you think you might do some type of future renovations in your kitchen, then you need to think about whether changing lower cabinets will be part of your plans in order to calculate extra flooring to use in the future. If you could find a decent deal on wood floors (even engineered wood as long as it can be refinished at least one time), you wouldn’t have to try to calculate how much extra to purchase now (for example, if you purchased red oak flooring, it could be woven in later and finished to match). I would hate for you to spend $$$ on extra flooring, and then not need it later.


    If you used an inexpensive tile for the kitchen, that might be more cost friendly if you want to purchase extra now for possible use later. You also could use it in one of your bathrooms later in the event you wound up not needing it for your kitchen.


    5. Hopefully @Beth H. : will see this. She always has incredible advice on how to update kitchens on a budget!


    You have a very spacious kitchen - if you make some of the suggested updates, I’m sure it will look great!

    Karo A thanked dmac1108
  • vjs12
    11 days ago

    Mccarrol, The top of the dishwasher is usually screwed into the underside of the counter top so removal of the countertop isn’t needed. (This was my experience and other people I know).

    Karo A thanked vjs12
  • Karo A
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Very helpful feedback , im learning so much! thank you all

  • mcarroll16
    11 days ago

    @vjs12 it's not about how the dishwasher is attached. It's about whether there is enough clearance, floor to countertop, to pull it out. If the floor height increases too much after the dishwasher goes in, there's not enough clearance between floor and counter to pull the appliance out. The best way to future-proof is to make sure any new flooring sits at basically the same height as whatever subfloor the DW is sitting on.

  • vjs12
    11 days ago

    Mccarrol, thank you for explaining I misunderstood. That totally makes sense.

  • vjs12
    11 days ago

    When I got my new floor, I also got a new dishwasher. So the new floor was installed where the dishwasher would be and then the new dishwasher went right in and was attached to the underside of the counter.

  • Kady Q
    5 days ago

    What color cabinets to you like? I know you talked about painting them and I don't agree with those that said it's too expensive - it costs no where near as much as new quality cabinets. That said, are your cabinets worth painting? If they're not I wouldn't bother.

    The combination of warm flooring, warm furniture and white cabinets and peach walls is bringing out the orange tones in everything. Take a look at the the pic I attached. You can see how dark grey cabinets change the tone of the counters. Can you imagine grey cabinets with some nice bronze or black hardware? You will need to be careful in your space. You have lots of different light sources so you'll want to find colors that look good at different times of the day in different locations. Get some paint samples and paint some big posterboards. Move them around and see how they look. You can do this for walls and cabinets. If you decide to paint your cabinets, do that first then decide on a wall color. Note about color, if you have 'yellow' warm light bulbs - get rid of them. You want to get light bulbs that will bring out cool tones. I would also massively de clutter. Keep only the decorations you love. Look at photos of your dream kitchen and ask yourself if you would keep those items if you had that space. If you have a friend that's good with photoshop or some other program enlist their aid. I did my office, kitchen and bathroom in a combination of free planners and photoshop. There are also places on the internet that will provide those services. I hope this helps


  • RedRyder
    5 days ago

    You have stated that your time in this house may be limited so GO SLOW. Paint the walls and do the flooring. Get enough of the flooring to fill in gaps if you either remodel or sell. Your new owners will appreciate,that.

    If selling is a possibility, go for engineered wood flooring. It’s a better choice and will increase the value of your house.

    If you end up staying, you gave yourself a good foundation for a future kitchen remodel. Changing hardware can be expensive unless you find a style that is sold in bulk. Stop after these three ideas. The countertop is fine.

    Congratulations on your new home.

  • Karo A
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    Hi everyone, turns out the floor is engineered hardwood, what can i do with this? i hate the color


  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    4 days ago

    That can be refinished - find a flooring refinisher with experience refinished engineered hardwood. The "beauty" layer of engineered is not that thick, so they need to know what they are doing. They might possibly be able to repair the water damage too.

    Actually, the current stain is pretty classic - Close to what I have (natural finish red oak), and that works very well with many colors in decor - olive & sage greens, blues, blue-greens, reds (of course), mushroom-- but not orange-y yellows, pinks, or reds. I would encourage you to change the wall color first, finding one that works with both the counter and floor (and also pleases you!) then see if you still hate it.

  • Karo A
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    I spoke to a company that said it cannot be refinished because it is too thin (the actual wood part) so i think we might cover it up. any ideas on this? i def dont want the orange tone.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    4 days ago

    My mom always said "You can't put an old head on young shoulders". I so wish I could make you understand that the next 5 years are going to fly by and if your plan is to move up to a bigger, nicer home in 5 years you don't want to waste a lot of money doing things that aren't going to change the value of your current home. The flooring is a beautiful, mid tone wood. The white cabinets are classic. The combination is perfectly good. The countertops may be a little dated, but there is nothing wrong with them. I know this is your first home and you want to make it your own, but you will be so much better off in the long run if you take that money and invest it in a couple of nice pieces of furniture that will last you 50 years, vs spending it on something that is going to be a memory in 5 years.


    Get the area with the water damage fixed. Get an area carpet for under your table. Be happy that you're investing in your future. Enjoy living in your home. The memories of the time you spend together in your home, the meals you share with friends and family, the conversations, the laughter - that is what you will remember 20 years from now about your first home. Not the color of the floor.


  • Karo A
    Original Author
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    Im not investing in furniture with toddlers or getting a area carpet under the table with toddlers. if anyone has other ideas on flooring let me know thanks

  • lisedv
    4 days ago

    Here are my ideas:

    - Keep it simple, paint the walls white

    - Change all the pulls on the kichen cabinets for black ones (look on Amazon for good pricing)

    - Don't know if you have dining furniture or not, here I show a pale blue scheme (Ikea) but it can be almost any colour

    - I show bamboo shades with the pale blue curtains

    - I placed 2 black sconces on the wall above the kitchen sink

    - A black chandelier above the dining table

    - Black counter stools

    - I also show an area rug (inexpensive from Ruggable) that would hide the wood floor you don't like in case you wait to replace it with LVP. You can also get a matching runner for the kitchen area, the rugs are machine washable and dryable.



    Karo A thanked lisedv
  • Karo A
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    Thanks for the effort. i like the black idea. and will be doing floors, my kid is so messy with food i dont want another thing to wash like a rug

  • chinacatpeekin
    4 days ago

    If you want a wipeable rug, look at the vinyl rugs by Spicher and Company. They come in many sizes, patterns and colors, are very well priced, and cleanup is so easy. Protect your floors from your “messy kid”.

  • herbflavor
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    get the walls painted. you may find the floor tone is less a problem for you. I dont think its that bad. the indestructable fibers in runners/area rugs now might surprise you in terms of spills. wine and coffee usually the most difficult are not issues w a toddler...[as far as I know] the use of strategic runners/small rugs is actually to protect the floor which can suffer the risk more with a spill

  • felizlady
    3 days ago

    If your floor is real wood, is it in good condition? I would never remove a wood floor unless I had to. Different wall paint and a few area rugs will make the floor look better and not so vast.

  • ci_lantro
    3 days ago

    The flooring is laminate.

    All the discussion about trapping the dishwasher is not a factor in this situation. Or should not be. The laminate floor should be removed before installing LVP. It is a bad idea to install a floating floor on top of a floating floor. The base needs to be stable not floating.

  • RedRyder
    3 days ago

    If your flooring is actually wood, you can try to find some matching pieces for the ruined areas.

    PLEASE paint the peach to a neutral color before making any decisions. Your eyes are affected by that wall color. You may not hate this floor once you get rid of that orangey peachy color.

    One thing at a time. Always do one thing and then reassess.

  • tracie_erin
    3 days ago

    Just spitballing here... if you are already replacing the floor and have enough space, I would see about making that peninsula into an island. It might be possible to simply take the peninsula cabinetry/counter and move it a few feet to make an island. You would need a counter guy to cut the granite and refinish the edges, someone to move the island and paint the unfinished side (this part could be DIY depending on your skill level), plus an electrician to put the outlets in the island. This could be a good return on investment since you plan on moving because many buyers would prefer an island.

  • K Laurence
    3 days ago

    IF it were mine I would just paint, install recessed lighting in the kitchen, perhaps remove cabinet over the penninsula, recarpet living & bedrooms & call it a day. Save the $ for your next home or your children’s college fund. But I tend to be practical.

  • rtpaige03
    3 days ago

    I agree with EVERYONE who said paint the walls first. That is your cheapest fix. The peach color is dominating everything else and making them look orange and the white cabinets look blue. Once you have done that, think about changes to cabinet color etc. I think the cabinet color will look better when the wall color isn’t fighting it. if your floors are damaged and cannot be refinished, then I understand replacing with LVP. However, it is a MUST that the old floor be removed first. Your warranty from the manufacturer will be voided if you put it on top of a wood floor. LVP may be “waterproof”, that just means it won’t be damaged, but if water gets under your lvp floating floor it can rot that wood floor. It is too much money to spend to half-ass the installation of the floor. A good flooring company would never put LVP over an engineered floor. What brand is your dishwasher? Unless it is a brand spanking new Bosch, you can plan on it breaking down. It kinda looks like a whirlpool from the pic, and they are well known for leaks. Anticipate the unexpected in homeownership. This is why your floor has water damage near the fridge…the unexpected happened.

  • amateurdeziner
    3 days ago

    In regards to your messy toddler…when my boys were little I placed a sheet under their high chair. When they were finished eating I shook out the sheet over the garbage can and then put it in the wash.

  • Margie Kieper
    3 days ago

    You don’t say if there is a particular style you are interested in. First, all of the improvements you mention, especially getting rid of the apricot paint job and the flourescent overheads, sound good. If you leave the countertops I am thinking get the cabinets painted in a light neutral color that complements the countertop. The harsh white color of the cabinets certainly doesn’t work. I am thinking a light sand or cool beige color. Also updating the cabinet pulls to a warm color, not a silver, might work.

  • RTHawk
    3 days ago

    As others have mentioned, get rid of the wall color first as that is making everything look orange. Prime the walls and kitchen ceiling white and then reassess. Your floor will probably look much nicer after the peach walls are gone. Then choose a paint color that will work well with all the other finishes plus your furniture/decor. As it happens, Maria Killam has a post today about how to deal with orange floors https://mariakillam.com/what-colour-works-with-orange-wood/. I would not replace engineered hardwood with LVP (that would be a downgrade for me) and if staying there for only 5 years, would definitely live with existing floors.


    Besides paint, only thing I would spend on is the ceiling lighting -- I would get rid of those fluorescent lights. Would probably also pick warmer hardware for the cabinets.


    As for furniture with toddlers, there are 2 schools of thought: 1) Buy inexpensive furniture so it would not hurt so much if they get destroyed, or 2) buy sturdy, well-made furniture (often more money upfront but may be more cost-effective in the long run) that will withstand kids/pets/careless adults/etc.