Need help with our kitchen and family room
champ221
November 20, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Just bought a new house and we don't know what to do with this granite. We don't have the money in our budget right now to replace it and are trying to find the best colors to go with it. We are putting all new stainless steel appliances. I would also be open to painting the island a different color. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. In the family room we will be taking down the granite wall so if you have any entertainment center suggestions please let me know. We are looking for a good color for the running walls that will be used in our family room, dining room and living room. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
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rosemarie105
Interesting granite. I love the house, very open, lovely. I would probably start with changing the cabinet handles, I think that will add some accent. I would paint the island a different color, just not sure what. Are you keeping the ktichen wall color? I think bringing in some natural wood tones would look nice for the island.
I think a backsplash would add some life to the kitchen as well.
3 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 12:37PM
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houssaon
Is this your furniture? If not what colors do you have?

Why not go with a grey for the walls? I think that will change the dynamics of the space. I think the granite on the fireplace is very interesting.

I like the way that they painted the ceiling and darker color for the island, although I don't see blue for your walls. See: Kitchen.

This is a good grey to go with the granite: Himalayan Trek 1542 Paint. This darker grey, Benjamin Moore recommends to go with it: Sparrow AF-720 by Benjamin Moore I would put Himalayan Trek on all the the walls, sparrow on the ceiling and the island. Here is Sparrow in a bedroom: Oakland Master Bedroom

I would also take down the soffit and put in large pendant lighting: Deborah Leamann #54 - Millennium Enterprises - Menlo Park Traditional Beach House

Another thing. I would hang the drappery at the hightest part of the arch. For the short window, I would do shutters or a blind, if you don't want floor length drapery there.
6 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Dar Eckert
Nice house. I like the granite on the fireplace. I think I would paint the rest of the wall above the fireplace medium gray, the walls light gray and leave the bookcases and trim white. Use red ocher (the color in your granite) for accent. Paint the lower island area gray.
6 Likes   November 20, 2012 at 3:26PM
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steena
I would paint out the brass in the fireplace
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 12:42AM
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John
Paint the walls in the kitchen yellow. That will work with the granite and the cabinets.
0 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 4:05AM
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michigammemom
I rather like the stone fireplace surround as it ties your open concept space together. I also notice that you do not have a backsplash. A green/gray glass subway tile would accentuate the base color of your stone as opposed to the strong red veining. Although your wallpaper looks like a simple stripe from a distance, closer inspection reveals a very busy geometric pattern that fights the movement in your granite.
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 5:10AM
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maryhyde
I would mount the flat screen onto the granite, repaint the gold on the glass front of the fireplace and lose the built in's on either side and of course paint would go a long way. The curtains on the left are too short. I would put up shutters. Maybe a new throw, pillows, an area rug and a new ceiling fan. Shopping time!!!
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 5:20AM
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feeny
The granite is beautiful and striking, especially on the fireplace. I wouldn't remove it, just do a better job than the previous owners of enhancing it with your color choices for the walls (houssaon has made some good suggestions, such as the Himalayan Trek shade). The wallpaper needs to go, of course, and I'm not crazy about the combination of ivory cabinets and white accent shelves, doors, island, and trim in the kitchen. I'd like to see it either all white or all ivory or, if you prefer, a different color all together.
4 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 5:26AM
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movethisnotthat
the granite is beautiful, please don't take it down from the fireplace it adds interest to your room, in your kitchen you might consider a different warm gray in the granite for the walls as suggested and paint the lower cabinets black or a very dark grey, dark knobs and pulls, there are some great runners (fun ones) to warm up your floor too. love the open spaces, don't forget to post the after pictures for us all !
3 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 6:34AM
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jirvine
Your granite is beautiful! If you are trying to spend less, keep it and work with paint color as suggested. I love the granite fireplace, the natural elements of fire and stone are perfect, add a water feature?
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 7:19AM
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007rocky1
Love the granite I would not change it. I would remove all the wallpaper, then paint the walls in kitchen a warm brown colour, paint the pantry door and shelves to match cupboards and also the lighting frame works(bulk header). Paint the back of island a darker brown than the walls. The brown will also go with the red tones I see in the other walls. If this is your sectional the brown tones will look nice with the blue colour. Good luck with your decision . Nice place
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 7:25AM
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dawnbc1
Paint paint paint. I had this issue with the huge amount of granite in the kitchen and fireplace of the otherwise lovely house we purchased in Oregon last year. Just not what I would have chosen for myself but too expensive to rip out and replace. The granite had the same tones but also some black and cream. The walls were painted the brick red and I hated them because they looked pinkish in the light from the big windows. I repainted them the warm, elephant gray that looks a lot like the benjamin moore sparrow. It really made a big difference! Looks modern and warm. It's important to get the grey correct so that it goes. I lightened up the look with wide, white matting on my art. Your sofa, which is lovely, is a blue grey versus a khaki grey and so doesn't compliment the tone...I had the same problem and eventually just went and got a new sofa (still cheaper than replacing 15k worth of granite). I agree with the others who said the cabinets need repainting as the cream doesn't go with the white and the island base needs to be darker grey to ground it, new pulls are a must, use the red as an accent color, the curtains should be longer and fuller to make them look richer, lose the fan, and don't listen to John :)
4 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 7:41AM
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charleee
Your fireplace very much reminds me of this backlit onyx. Maybe before you remove it, you could do something similar: [houzz=
]
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 8:06AM
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PRO
Decor Innovation Designs
I think if you remove the granite from the fireplace your going to get your self in a larger expense then you are aware of, do to the fact that you don't know the condition of the wall behind it. I feel you should work with the granite on the fireplace by painting the wall above in a deep grey and painting out the rest of the room a couple shades lighter. Use the red/orange tones in the fireplace as your accent color. Oh and paint out the gold on the fireplace to black for a more up to date look.

As for the Island I would paint it out in a deep rich grey "Chelsea Benjamin Moore" to balance out the fireplace and add new silver hardware. I would also consider adding some pendant lighting to the island as well..
3 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 8:43AM
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lauriedaily
Wow i wouldnt remove that granite! It's the best part of your room! The right paint color will do wonders. Like the grey ideas. Different window coverings as well. I agree about removing the soffit over the island and paint paint paint.
3 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 9:30AM
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laraunatin74
I think once you put in your stainless steel appliances the granite will pop out and give the kitchen a whole new look. Also changing the knobs on the cabinets to a dark wrought iron will enhance the whole look of your kitchen as well. I would advise painting the center island a medium to dark cherry wood, which would also bring the kitchen together with the granite. Hope this helps!
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Project Guru
Your space is so open and airy that it could easily take a dramatic accent wall to anchor it: the granite should be your starting point and I would use a deep charcoal on the back wall and cabinets, using one of the tones in the granite. Spray the brass on the fireplace black, and consider a rustic texture hardwood flooring in the family room. I also find the dropped soffit distracting in the kitchen and would replace it with pendants. I would tie in the kitchen and family room by refacing the island in a deep wood tone, removing the wallpaper and small granite backsplash with a full stainless tike backsplash.
3 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 10:41AM
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PRO
Main Line Kitchen Design
I wouldn't spend the money to replace the appliances yet, it looks like your cabinetry is thermofoil. Thermofoil usually only last 15 years before it begins to peel off the front of all the doors. If you are close to the 15 year mark, you may want to redo the entire kitchen sooner than you think and locking yourself in to new appliances especially an island cooktop possibly a downdraft is costly and a poor design idea. When you redo your kitchen you will have many great, far better design options, all getting the cooktop or range against a wall for better functionality and better venting. I would hold off doing anythnig other than painting until you determine how much longer the cabinetry is likely to last. Hold off investing on your kitchen appliances, countertop, and even backsplash, until you know the kitchen that is in your future, and how far away it is likely to be.
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Nancy Van Natta Associates
I agree with the many comments that specify gray for your walls. It's an "in": color direction right now - but it's one that is classic and will last. It leaves you with many options for your furniture including white, cream, certain greens and certain blues. Keep the gray updated and interesting and avoid the battleship-blue-gray direction that is heavy and hard to live with. Benjamin Moore has a new color deck called Color Stories that is just wonderful. The colors are all full spectrum and there are many gorgeous environmental grays that would look wonderful with your stone. Color around the stone would make it less prominent and I think that would be a good thing. Good luck!
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 11:27AM
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tomwinb
as for the wall behind the fireplace and granite... I agree with projectguru. doing that will make your granite "glow"
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 11:38AM
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PRO
Main Line Kitchen Design
I do also agree that your house is lovely and Grey Grey Grey
4 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
I concur with Decor-Innovations and Lauriedaily designs.
Do not remove the stone
Remove wall paper and mauve (appears that color on my monitor)
Select all gray colors you use to be lighter, exact, or darker versions of that which is in the stone.
Use the reddish-mauve color in limited amounts as artists accent to the stone of fireplace
Use White or lighter gray for walls.
Use darker to dark gray for island
Do not use wood finish on cabinets - see item 1) above
Try to stay with very dark gray instead of black for items such as frames etc.
A collection of white to medium to dark gray items with one item with the reddish-mauve mixed in would look stunning. ie. a collection of wooden (painted candlesticks)
You can weave in the blue in the same way. A little spot of it here or there. The more judicious you are with it the better. It is a surprise that catches your eye and brings the room together.

Just as above Grey Grey Grey
3 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 12:30PM
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lizmaguire
Not a big fan of grey even though it's popular right now and deep reds are passe, but until you can replace that granite, minimizing the contrast by using similar colors like grey and deep red in the surroundings will help. More support for my philosophy that elements like granite should always be neutral; get your "wow" from art and accessories because what wows you today, will bore you in five to ten years.
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 12:45PM
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kroze
I have just gone through what you are contemplating. Bought a house with granite I disliked.... too dark for my taste. Consider the fact that IF you do decide to replace the granite, your current granite can be resold to offset some of the expense of the new granite. Granite is something that is very specific to our unique personal tastes and the rest of the room is strongly influenced by the granite choice.

I agree that removing the soffit would be a big help in opening the room to a more impressive size than it already is. It obstructs the view.

I would also opt for the wood tones mentioned by others. There again, this is very specific to your own personal tastes. If you can at least refinish the current cabinet facade it would add a lot to color continuity..... maybe a light birch color. I tend to prefer warmer colors, so that makes my suggestions biased.

Determine your basic preferences first. What colors appeal to your personal tastes? From there work backwards through your room, addressing the biggest items first. Consider your budget and put a lot of emphasis on your cabinetry. That is the first thing that catches my eye when I enter a room.

Good luck and have a lot of fun with this project.
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 12:46PM
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PRO
studio | FORMA
Its always interesting to decide on what to keep and what to discard when buying a new home. Of course as with everything it all depends on your budget. If you have not purchased the appliances as of yet, I would hold off until you have entirely allocated your budget. Streamlining this very interactive space would really be the key to help connect these two rooms.

Granite is not my favorite material. However in this space it seems to work and I actually like what it does to the fireplace. It is the one element that is tying your space together so I would consider working with it and spending your money elsewhere. You could always come back to this and change it at a later date.

I rather like the fact that your sofa mimics the shape of the island and would explore incorporating the an octagonal motif in the space by way of wallcoverings, fabrics, or tile work (backsplash), etc.....

The open space above the island soffit is very distracting and has an unfinished look to it, extending the drywall to the ceiling and using the space for storage would help in visually cleaning up this space, storage openings facing the interior of the kitchen not the outside. The soffit above the cabinets along the walls is also extremely distracting and it cover the window above minimizing a lot of the natural light could flow in to this space and not to mention a huge dust collector. These changes are basically drywall and paint and a bit or carpentry so it should not be that expensive, however it would really change the feel of this space and change the spec house look into a more custom home.

When the budget allows I would get rid of the white furniture at either side of the fire place and opt to install built in WOOD floor to ceiling book shelves to the right of the fireplace with storage below and NO furniture to the left of the fireplace where the doorway is.

I agree on painting the brass/gold tone out of the fireplace mesh covering. It at all possible get rid of the mesh and explore having a stainless steel insert similar to the one on the picture that "olldbob" provided. There is a lot on this photo you may want to study, especially the use of black (think island color) and the wood choice on doorway (think new cabinets and custom built in shelves).

Black, Umber(wood), Powder Blue(sofa), octagonal shapes................I can see something developing here!!!..................good luck............A.
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 2:16PM
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PRO
studio | FORMA
...................Sorry for the misspell.
0 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 2:24PM
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studio | FORMA
...................Sorry for the misspell.
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 2:24PM
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mugsy1703
I'm in agreement with many of the comments above. I would't remove the granite on the fireplace but I would incorporate it by painting the walls in a grey color. The current cream color doesn't go at all. I would paint the island in a charcoal grey. The feature above the island should also be painted to match the walls, not the ceiling. In my opinion, the biggest design problem in your space is your baby blue couch. It doesn't fit with anything though I do like the shape of it. Bring in ochre accents to bring out that color in the granite. I love the red color that you see down the hallway. It is really a very lovely place that just needs a bit of tweeking.
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 4:24PM
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kroze
Agreed. But that may be the owner's taste. Either the rooms must complement the sofa, or reupholstery is in order. I should have noted that in my original post.

Good observation mugsy.
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 4:28PM
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nhmorris43
I love the granite fireplace.......don't remove it.
3 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 4:40PM
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lefty47
HI -- I would keep the granite in the kitchen and on the fireplace , it is what makes the room . I would paint that whole fireplace wall a grey that is the same as the granite, bookcases and all ,and then paint that rusty red that showes in the granite in on the back of the bookcase . Also heat paint the brass on the fire screen black or get a new modern screen. What bothers me the most about the kitchen is the large ceiling " what's you call it", hanging down . It would look so much better to have that removed , it serves no purpose. The kitchen would open right up , then it will look less cluttered visualy. Then maybe have that red into the kitchen or work with the grey for the walls and have the island base in the red . Or you could just keep the red as an accent color in the room. The pantry door needs to be painted to match the cabinets or better to be the same color as the wall or change it to a frosted glass style door. Concider putting a backsplash in , but the little backsplash should be removed so the new backsplash can be full height. A lot neater looking.
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Paint Creek
Beautiful kitchen and fireplace to work with. I would go one shade deeper orange in satin from the granite color for the island. Bold, larger scale cabinet pulls in stainless, IKEA has great ones. For the fireplace, I suggest painting the wall just above the fireplace that same deep orange, flat, or one shade deeper of the gray, flat, in the granite. That will finish and balance the fireplace. Some art work repeating the color of the sofa, and the colors of the fireplace will bring balance to the room.
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Paint Creek
Sorry, forgot the other walls. I suggest gray for all the walls, Behr, Wheat Bread in a flat finish and drapery panels as shown.
1 Like   November 25, 2012 at 5:45PM
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my5light
I love the gray walls in the kitchen. Either continue the grey in the family room or go a notch darker/lighter. Definitely grey all over the fireplace wall including the book cases. The gray will connect the granite to the room. Take that basket above the island down!

If you want to go a bit fancy, there is a company that makes reclaimed wood sticker veneer. You can stick that on the granite and paint the whole wall with an earthy red similar to the one in your entrance. In that case I would do the walls with a lighter red. I would reupholster the blue couch ASAP! Gray
2 Likes   November 25, 2012 at 6:47PM
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Dar Eckert
Yes, remove the kitchen hanging soffit over the island. Add some pendants over the island instead.
2 Likes   November 26, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Dar Eckert
Yes, remove the kitchen hanging soffit over the island. Add some pendants over the island instead.
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Decor Innovation Designs
I should have mentioned in my earlier post... I agree with re-upholstering the sofa, but I have a more inexpensive solution.. Look in your area for a company that dyes furniture, it is cheaper then re-upholstering or buying new.. I know the company I use here uses the same dyes as the manufactures.
2 Likes   November 26, 2012 at 6:48AM
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nomadkath
taupe walls in living area, warm wood tones to built ins, and an area rug that pulls together the blues, greys, browns..........I think the granite fireplace is striking
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 7:03AM
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greenthumb2
wow, lots of ideas to consider. I think you have the makings of a wonderful home here. The granite, although dark could be more of a star enhancement if played right.

You don't even have to like it for it to be more beautiful, and less of something that is bugging you. :=) Warm colors will really make this granite sing. If you love your couch and the color, you may want to think about bringing that color into the walls or in the form of accessories on the shelves somehow (above the granite) or to the sides...

If you can afford better lighting, this room will be lovely. ambient somewhere....

I always preach about doing a mock up of your ideas to make sure you think they will fly before spending any money at all. If you cannot do this yourself, someone you know may have an interior design program , or photoshop program. Have a great time with this project. It can be an enjoyable experience.

I'll post some pics between now and wed.


some people will be asking; what is she doing. :+) thinking outside the norm. If for some reason you cannot take down the granite, it can work for you.
2 Likes   November 26, 2012 at 7:22AM
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girlwhorocksutah.com
I think that granite on the countertop would look great with a few changes. First, get rid of that, what is that wallpaper?then, take off the 6 inch piece that goes up the wall ( the splash pieces), and do a complimentary backsplash p to the cabinets (I was thinking a mosaic tile with dark stone and natural patina copper, just take one of those pieces of granite with you to the tile store and make it easy). First step is pretty cheap and easy. Once this is done, then choose your paint color scheme for the kitchen....The granite around the fireplace, on the other hand is a bit much.... a mantle surround would tone it down quite a bit, like the first picture i downloaded (but made of wood instead, it doesn't have to be a 20k carved marble piece of art). The second picture i downloaded would be a really cool thing to do also to cover up some of that slab. If it were me, though, I would take that slab off the wall, and put in a beautiful massive chunky stone fireplace up to the ceiling, and sell or repurpose that granite slab, (but Im a stone mason). Oh yeah, and definitely spray paint those ugly gold/brass stripes on the fireplace box. I would also put the same tile as backsplash, or the same stone as fireplace on the front of the island
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 11:09AM
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champ221
Wow!! I am overwhelmed by all of your wonderful suggestions!! Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to give me your input :) You have no idea how much we appreciate all your advice. I think the main consensus here is to go with grey for the walls and a darker grey for the accent color over the fire place and the island so that will be the direction we go in. I have always loved Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. In some houses it is more grey and in others it is more tan so I think I will have to test it out here to see how it works along with the other colors suggestions that were listed above. I also feel horrible for not mentioning that none of this furniture is ours so at least the blue couch is one thing we won't have to worry about ;) We have 2 dark brown leather sofas with nail accents in the arm rests as well as a dark wood coffee and side table. The stools we have are rod iron with a cream seat and slate stone accents on the back. We will be buying a black breakfast table and chairs to tie in the blacks from the granite. I have always loved grey walls but the only thing i have always been concerned about is with how it would go with wood tones (like with the coffee table and couches) but after seeing all these pictures, I think we can make it work. Another thing we will definitely do, other then taking down the wallpaper, is removing the sofit. We didn't even consider that until I read some of your suggestions and it definitely makes sense. We move into this house in about 2 weeks and should have all the painting and drywall work completed within a month and as soon as we do, I will upload some "after" pictures :) Thank you all again so much!!
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 11:29AM
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lizmaguire
Check out EcoDomo's recycled leather tiles (http://www.ecodomo.com/products/milano.shtml). They could be an option for refacing the fireplace granite, either entirely or partially, and could be a temporary solution until your budget allows otherwise or you come to a firm conclusion about what change you want for the long term. You could even adhere them to a backer that you hang if you are concerned about the effect of adhesive on the granite if you might eventually re-sell it.

In the kitchen, the suggestions to removed the dropped soffit, add pendants and paint the island are spot-on, whether you end up replacing that granite or not. It's a reasonable first phase that may help your vision for the entire space gel and it's not an impossible project for a competent DIYer.
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 11:54AM
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zsuzsikam
The open space between kitchen and living area is very nice. I think that the granite is interesting and creates a focal point. I think that the "blah factor" lies in the "matchy" color scheme and that there is way too much of that sort of gray color that's in the granite. Sometimes the best compliments are opposite colors on the color wheel, like turquoise paired with an orange of the same intensity. The white of the cabinets next to the darkness of that gray does nothing to compliment either elements of the kitchen. They look like basic stock cabinets and new drawer pulls of a different color like pewter pulls would make a big difference and define each cabinet and separate all that "whiteness." If the lighting soffit must stay above the island, then I think that I would paint it an earthy color so as not to bring attention to it. The living room walls could stand to have some depth with a different color. Maybe something in a gray tone. There are many out there and one that comes to mind is BM's gray cashmere that actually has greenish undertones. This would pick up some of the tonal qualities of the granite without matching the tone exactly. Walls of different colors would also make the space more interesting and more defined. A kitchen backsplash of white marble running board would bring a modern element. Calacatta gold has specks of gold and gray in its creamy white color that would nicely complement your granite. A new backsplash and new paint colors and drawer pulls would transform the space miraculously without costing a fortune like changing out the granite.
I included a picture of our calacatta gold backsplash so that you can see the many colors in the marble.
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 5:38PM
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anitajoyce
I ,too love the granite on the fireplace. It's like a piece of Artwork! It's a statement piece. I hope you keep it. I think the wall could use a warmer coat of paint. As mentioned earlier, a nice tan , grey or a blue grey color would be nice on the wall. even as an accent wall color. These colors will work well with your nice sofa also. You could also use any of the colors that's in the granite. The granite is very, very unique in a very good way!
1 Like   November 26, 2012 at 5:45PM
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Elizabeth Dobbs
Glad this inspired so many comments, and that you agree to go gray. That was my first thought. My second thought is that there are too many colors on the walls and cabinets now, and all of them are slightly "off." You will be much happier with your space when you get the base color right, something that goes with the granite. Good luck. By the way, gray goes well with wood tones - yellow brown warm vs grey cool. White always works well for trim. Black makes things pop and would set off your stone.
2 Likes   November 26, 2012 at 5:59PM
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guycaron
Remove soffit over island, paint island darker, and remove door in corner (pantry?).
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 4:08AM
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kroze
Is it preferable to have the pantry contents exposed?
I don't think so.
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 5:02AM
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PRO
Seal Tex Metals
We could do a stainless back splash or island top with stainless toe kicks to brighten it up a bit..
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 7:21AM
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anitajoyce
Rosemarie 105 hit the nail on the head! I would change the kitchen color to tan , grey or blue grey. I think the color should flow into the family room also. . Would you consider changing the island with wood that is stained or paint what you have a dark color? The contrast in the kitchen is throwing the two rooms off. Adding a backsplash in tile will help add contrast also. The spaces seems very cold. The appliances, cabinets and floor in the kitchen seem to become one with each other. Hard to tell where one element starts and stops. The stainless steele appliances will be a great contrast! Will you replace the floors to a much darker tile or wood. This will greatly soften the look and feel of the space. Remove the thing above the island also. It adds nothing to the space. You could use another ceiling fan with nice brown or dark wood blades also to add interest to the family room. The fireplace granite isn't the problem.
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 5:05PM
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dawnbc1
blue grey won't go with the granite. Been there, done that.
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 5:35PM
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