Kitchen needs lots of help
May 12, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I would like to update this kitchen and would love your advice!
The main problem right now (beside aesthetics) is I need a lot more counter space and drawers as I do a ton of cooking. I also need this to be an EIK that is a a comfy "center place" for our young family.
Let's address the layout and then go into aesthetics =)
I had two ideas and I'm open to more...
A. Add an island in the center of the room that drops down with a lower level for eating and stools around the back. The island will have drawers. Either an L island or square/ rectangle.
B. Add a peninsula and then turn the current seating area into a L bench with a rectangular table.
We really like the B. idea, but this one calls for replacing the granite and is probably more expensive. With either plan we want to get rid of the dish washer and put in drawers.... (i wont use it anyways...)

Now aesthetics!
(We are looking for the most affordable way to do this and we want to do as much of it as possible so if you have any insights or can estimate any of these expenses for us, we would appreciate that too! whats the most affordable route, etc.)

We are going to get rid of these appliances and replace everything with stainless steel ones or black, also the sink...
Have you seen kitchens with cabinets and counters this color that are pretty? I have seen a few with honey cabinets that all have black granite, which I don't love... any other combos?
Should we replace the floors, granite, or paint the cabinets?I know I need to change the backsplash and the walls, just not sure what to do with everything else... What do we do with the wood panels above the cabinets?!

We would also get rid of the whole thing and buy a showroom kitchen- does anyone have experience with that? how much would a kitchen like this cost, can we sell this one?
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One more angle...
0 Likes   May 12, 2013 at 10:40AM
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I would consider taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, adding an island and stainless steel appliances, new cabinets to the ceiling.....good luck
0 Likes   May 12, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Thanks, do you think there is a way to fit an eating area in the kitchen without combining the two rooms as we like the idea of a formal dining room..
0 Likes   May 12, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Just a couple of suggestions. We used Kraftmaid Kitchen Cabinets from Lowes. Love them! I also insisted on Quartz counter tops. Absolutely LOVE Them too! In my opinion Quartz is so much better than granite. Less maintenance and so beautiful! I did a lot of research and saved us a minimum of $5000 by getting sales and buying some things online. Bought a Vigo Stainless Steel Sink online. It is a commercial grade and deeper sink than most. Great for pots and pans. Paid around $400 for it. For just a regular grade and regular size sink from a local plumbing supply place here they wanted $800. Good luck to you!
0 Likes   May 12, 2013 at 11:03AM
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so helpful, thank you! I will def. look into the sink...
1 Like   May 12, 2013 at 11:09AM
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LB Interiors
Since you asked for my opinions .... My questions are ...
1 How long do you plan on staying in this house? That will guide me to the types of suggestions that I would make.
2. What is your budget? I can suggest very inexpensive approaches and ideas or suggestions for larger budgets.
3. Are you a kitchen gadget person? that requires lots of space for cooking? and or storing bowls, dishes etc?
4. How many people do you serve meals to on a regular basis?
5. How many times a month do you do a lot of cooking?
6. How many seating spaces do you need for your meals that are only in this kitchen space?
7. What is EIK? unfamiliar with this.

Note: your most affordable route may not give you all your needs and usually does not, so then it all becomes about compromising and dealing with your most important desires.
1 Like   May 12, 2013 at 3:22PM
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LB Interiors
Questions ....
8. Are you handy or crafty?
9 Will you be hiring others to do the work?
0 Likes   May 12, 2013 at 3:33PM
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You may want to check out your local reclaimation warehouses. These are usually non-profit org that reclaim everything from dismantled homes. You may be able to find decent cabinets or counter etch. Just a thought.
0 Likes   May 12, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Sketch out the floor plan and post that too ESP with dimensions. Do you want a one cook kitchen or enough room for group cooking. Is that a soffit? Remember if you ditch the dishwasher that you should plan for how you will put it back in if you have to sell.
1 Like   May 12, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Okay lot's to think about. Here are my answers to LB Interiors ?'s
1. 5-8 years
2. don't have an exact budget, but we are very tight and would like to go the most affordable route.
3. I cook a ton, but like the feeling of being hugged (One person kitchen is fine) Outside of this room there is a linen closet that I plan on converting to a pantry so I do not need that much more space just some big drawers that will hopefully be in my island/ peninsula
4. During the week it is just me, my husband, and 2 babies (a two year old and an infant)
5. Every weekend we host lots of friends and family so I do "big cooking" often...
6. 4 seats is enough in the kitchen
7. EIK = eat in kitchen (sorry)
8. We are both handy and crafty and would like to do as much of this ourselves as possible...
9. We will hire others if need be

0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 12:59AM
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Great answers! When you weekend cook think about whether people are typically helping whether it is prepping, making the salad or setting the table. Plan for that when you place the island so that they aren't tripping over you or getting in the way. A long straight island gives you work areas for others that are out of your way. A wider aisle lets people pass behind you without a bunch of shuffling when they need to get the silver wear or the kids a drink or whatever.
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 6:08AM
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Here's a kitchen with oak cabinets black hardware and a lighter granite. If you are looking to save money salvaging your cabinets and counter will be key - not to state the obvious. New hardware would add a little more personality. Stainless appliances are going to make a big difference. Please do not get rid of your dishwasher!!! I respect you very much for handling 2 kids and no dishwasher but you say you are thinking resale and that would be a problem.
Since you need storage and counter space I like the idea of adding the island. Search houzz kitchens - it's ok for the island to be a different color with a different counter top so option B doesn't mean you need to replace all counters. I like the mix of black in the attached photo.

2 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 6:32AM
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Try Craigslist for an island. My mom found one in the garage in the house she just bought, painted it black and it made her feel like she could put a massive kitchen gut on the back burner.
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 6:39AM
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Granite Transformations
I honestly think you can save a lot on remodeling your kitchen. My recommendations are as follows-

1. Install a kitchen island (5x5 ft possibly, trying to measure the kitchen by the pic is tough) with seating for four and remove the table and seating you currently have. I'd go with a different color than the honey cabinetry you currently have for more contrast. Black or dark gray could work.

2. Go with stainless steel appliances all around. They'll be helpful for resale, and they'll brighten the kitchen a bit.

3. Leave the flooring.

4. Install a new subway tile backsplash. I'd recommend our bronzite subway, which you can see here-

5. Replace the hardware on the cabinetry to a brushed nickel, it will compliment the new appliances better.

Hope this is helpful. You should probably be able to complete this entire remodel for $5,000-7,500. Good luck!
1 Like   May 13, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Taking down one of the walls would be ideal. Opening the kitchen to the living room is the open plan that most families seem to prefer. There is a great deal to consider with this. The most important question to consider, is the wall (whichever wall you decide) load bearing? Consult a professional for this. If it is, there are different approaches to dealing with this, but be warned, none of them are 'inexpensive' per se. While that sounds exciting and can make an incredible difference in the feel of a living room/dining room/kitchen, its important to realize that the materials, finishes, colors, overall style, should be cohesive. A kitchen w/ contemporary finishes opened up to a living room w/ traditional decor will not be visually appealing. You mentioned you like to cook. Opening up a kitchen can also 'open up the dirty dishes' to anyone that's in your living room/dining room. Consider a difference in heights @ the island that can help conceal some of the mess if this is important to you. You should be able to find examples of this prettty easily as its a common design dilemma that is addressed w/ open floor plans. Your style is your style. Contemporary, traditional, transitional,...its your home. If your cabinets are solid wood cabinets consider painting. This could make a considerable savings in your budget. A kitchen island does not have to be custom to look custom either. Base cabinets placed on a base to.provide the correct height for you w/ some clever 'finishing' can look fabulous. Interview the contractors and don't hire until you feel comfortable. Best of luck, buy some tylenol and prepare for a journey....its never easy, renovation. I hope the and result is fabulous and worth the challenge.
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 7:08AM
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LB Interiors
I like 'sams' photo re: cabinet color - because I feel the kitchen will look great with black or white appliances.
-. I will suggest keeping the cabinets as is.

*** 1. Think RESALE - do not get rid of dishwasher or at the very least, keep the plumbing in tact.
Most buyers will want a dishwasher - if you decide to replace with a new dishwasher, here's what I do .....
......I don't use my dishwasher often, however, I wash dishes and 'drip dry' them in the dishwasher - leave the door ajar. While doing dishes without a person to dry with large gatherings, the counter space will be used for placing them on to hand dry by someone. Takes up counter space.

*** 2. LOW budget will determine my suggestions for you.
Don't re-do or replace anything that will be high dollar, especially at this point. You can always change out the kitchen cabinets later, if length of stay changes.
Only change what you ... can't live without....
I don't see a need for a change in the kitchen layout. Expensive at this time.
Prioritize - your absolutes (things desired and financial capabilities)

*** 3. Kitchen island is a great idea to add more drawers. They may not be able to be as deep as you'd like. The space seems limited somewhat.
Suggestions - for the 'less used' and 'bulky items' that you use once a week - place up high in the kitchen cabinets .... or the pantry space. Use kitchen cabinets for the items you need every day.
Suggestion - get as large an island with an outside lower counter to place 2-4 bar stools (EIK) that will fit. You can probably get your deeper drawers if this is your choice. Great for breakfast and lunch for children or guests.
If a large island (see idea *** 5. below)

*** 4. Please don't remodel around large gatherings that are there only once a week. Do what is necessary for the four of you.

*** 5. Because this may not be your final home ... For your large gatherings - I might suggest ....
Remove the wall to the dining room. Traffic flow and bodies will have more space. Conversations and visual togetherness will be improved and not separate your guests. Both areas will be open to each other ... which is great for RESALE and YOU. Buyers love open floorplans. Great investment. If the flooring is an issue when wall is removed, I have solutions for that also.

(looks like the kitchen is on another level in the home) so ....
- Remove most of the dining wall and ...Another option is to .. do a half wall - no doorway - on the railing side of the entrance to the kitchen. On the kitchen side of this wall, you can add lower floating cabinets only and no seating. It will provide not only more cabinets but also more counter space and a work space. If decide *** 5. for bar stools also is considered an (EIK). And still remove the dining wall.

Add two columns for support and visual architecture for this half wall. this will also create more of an open floorplan that buyers love. The kitchen will not feel so small.

SORRY PRESSED SUBMIT BY MISTAKE. I will be adding to this ....

Continued ...
*** 6. *** 7. If a combo island (see *** 3.) You will get more counter, more drawers and more seating and better resale. Your island does not have to be the same cabinet material or color.

*** 8. Handy and crafty is great. Remove the wave shape cornice above the sink.
If there is usable soffit above the cabinets, remove the panels and create doors for storing large bowls, pots and pans that are bulky (less used items).
If you have special water glasses or decorative bowls for large dinners, you can store these in those cabinets.
Suggest using some glass front panels inserted into the old doors or panels. If you wish not to use this space. Remove the soffit panels and leave a shelf for a few decorative collectibles or special vases etc.
Hopefully, in this case there will not be any electrical or wiring housed in this area. Carefully remove a couple of panels, using a flashlight and check behind them or find out from the builder or neighbors with a similar kitchen.

Change the hardware on the cabinets.
Remove the curtain and replace with a simple roman shade.

Budget your priorities, choose what is most important.
The backsplash and counters may be the next priorities.
I feel if you decide on the above changes, the cabinets will hold their own, and can be changed out by the next buyer.
The floor is fine also unless you can fit that in your budget, but I would do it at a later date, if you're still in the home and it becomes financially and wise to do so.
You can always paint the cabinets at a later date when conditions are easier.
1 Like   May 13, 2013 at 12:32PM
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LB Interiors
Idea *** 5. Half wall and remove most of dining wall. Add columns. Add floating cabinets. Add crown moulding. Cabinets and island can be the same color but different from the existing cabinets.
Not to scale. Drawing.
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Hummingbird Designs
How about some bench seating ( in corner) Please remove the boarder ;)
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 3:07PM
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LB Interiors
Kitchen island turned for seating facing the doorway to hall. Maybe something longer can work You may be able to add other slightly lower shelves on each end for additional chairs on a rectangle top island other than this one.
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 3:10PM
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LB Interiors
Just a thought ... Can you reposition your heating if you add the columns and put a vent in the soffit of the wall opening to living room?. I don't know how those units are equipped or configured. Maybe that can be changed if you're remodeling the walls. Then, you can install new cabinets to the floor.
0 Likes   May 13, 2013 at 8:53PM
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LB Interiors
Here's a drawing with a possible island and barstools. Floor is not your color.
Not to scale.
0 Likes   May 14, 2013 at 12:13AM
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LB Interiors and everyone else, I love your input and suggestions. I think you are def. right about prioritizing and right now going with an island seems like the best solution although I really like the mock up with the half bwall. I want to see if we can do an island and the bench seating, it may be too smushed and we may need to have the seating at a bigger island like you are saying... I appreciate everyones suggestions!
1 Like   May 14, 2013 at 12:27AM
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very nice!! I think thats what we will go with- maybe a little wider though to have more counter space...
0 Likes   May 14, 2013 at 12:28AM
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