Kitchen and Dining Room DIY suggestions
January 1, 2013
Hi - I would love your feedback on my dining room and kitchen. I have lots of ideas on how to improve it but only want to take on a couple of these. Which of these projects do you think will get me the biggest bang for my buck? My husband and I don't have any experience with home improvement so we are trying to keep it simple as well. Finally our budget is around $1000.

I would like to change the paint color and was thinking about changing to a neutral beige or gray. What paint colors do you suggest?

Do I need a backsplash or can I do without since my granite counters go four inches up the wall?

My dining room wall above the buffet is all mirror. I was thinking about removing the mirror and doing an accent wallpaper or adding shelving over the mirrors.

Thoughts on all my wood?? Too much??? Would it help to paint my cabinets white. I love white kitchens....

I was also thinking about adding built in benches with pillows on two sides of the table in my breakfast room.

Thanks in advance!
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Nancy Hehmann
You definitely could do a backsplash and I would take a sample of the granite with you to a tile store or Lowes. I am not going to suggest painting cabinets b/c sometimes they take more upkeep when they are white. I would add some visual contrast by getting an area rug for the kitchen and I dont look in the kitchen section b/c there are too many roosters and grapes. I have a brown zebra rug in my kitchen. It is not washable but I use a Hoover steam cleaner on it so I can clean it whenver I want. Hoover also makes cleaners for tile and wood floors ( they suck up the dirty water and I fell are well worth the money) I am sure you will get a lot of ideas on HOUZZ

By the way, sometimes Lowes has classes on how to do tile for a backsplash which could save you money and there are books. My husband just happens to like to do projects like that.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:18AM
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
If the mirror is glued to the wall, which I am guessing it is, you may ave a hard time removing the mirror without damaging the wall (taking the paper off the sheet rock), so the shelf idea has merit, however ask yourself if you have the tools and expertise to hang shelves on the mirror? If you answer no, consider buying a shelf unit that can be added on top of the buffet.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:48AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
With a budget of $1000, I would paint the walls in the kitchen a blue-green color such as you see below. Living Room On the kitchen floor, I would place a 4 x 6' striped Dash & Albert rug for $104. I would use some orange accents in accessories for the kitchen. A blue-green backsplash would be lovely in the kitchen, but certainly not a priority. I would leave the cabinets stained. They're very pretty the way they are. Wait another 5 or 10 years until you're ready for another change. Then you could paint them white.

The mirrored wall certainly brings a lot of nice light into the dining room, so I'd be tempted to leave it for now. If there is electrical behind the buffet, then I'd acquire a turquoise colored lamp to put on the buffet. But it you're really sick and tired of the mirror, then you could consider papering that wall with a large scale turquoise wallpaper, and no turquoise lamp. The room needs a larger rug when funds become available for one.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASIDTangerine Dream Woven Cotton Rug
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
It is to bad that 1000 dollars doesn't buy as much as it once did. I like your cabinets so I would leave those alone. The mirrors you described I do not see in the pics. If they are mirror square tiles glued to the wall that would be my starting place. Get rid of those you most likely it will damage the drywall. A easy fix though if you have ever done a DIY project. If not that will eat your budget when hiring a pro. If you do it yourself you have enough money to paint and do a nice back splash.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:27PM
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I would suggest a lighter version of the rich, toast paint color in the foyer for your dining room walls. I would also recommend a larger area rug to fit under your dining chairs when they are pulled away from the table. The earth tones of this rug from Home Decorators would blend with the foyer and kitchen colors. Also consider drapery panels for the dining room. I agree with several of the other posters to leave your kitchen cabinets as they are and consider the addition of a backsplash.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:30PM
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I think you'll get the quickest payback in enjoyment from the kitchen bench idea, but I'd do a corner banquette with storage inside - very simple and convenient.
Amoroso Design
The Impatient Gardener
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Stanton Designs-online design services
I agree with you about moving those mirrors, it is very dated. Wallpaper with a nice piece of art would turn that wall in to a great focal point. Once you figure out where to spend the budget....
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Another project that I would suggest is a track lighting system to replace your existing ceiling light in the kitchen. That would make a huge difference in the room.

Cynthia Taylor-Luce made an excellent suggestion regarding someone else's question about kitchen lighting this morning, with mention of the light manufacturer she used on a recent job, along with a photo. Here's the link to that discussion.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Thanks for all the great feedback!

I'd love to hear some other suggestions on paint colors and backsplash styles that you think would work in this space. Thoughts?

It's good to hear that my cabinets are ok as is. I agree that I need a larger rug in the dining room, and new light fixture in the breakfast nook. Those will be easy fixes.

I'm worried about the drywall behind the mirrors too, and think that might be a bigger project than I'm ready to take on right now.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You could inquire of a local glass and mirror company what they would charge to come to remove the mirrors. Then you'll know what kind of $$ is involved. Then you could query someone who does drywall as to what it would cost to patch a wall of that size. It's hard to decide to do or not do something when you don't know what it might cost.

If you determine a paint color, then it would be easier for us to recommend a splash to you. Otherwise we're throwing darts in the dark.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 7:42PM
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