Dining room and kitchen help!!

cmartinez1584June 28, 2013
Okay everyone.
I'm in a design quandary. I really am out of ideas for designing, painting, and furnishing my dining room and kitchen. We are on a budget so it makes it that much harder. We just bought this house and it was so dark because most of the walls had ugly dark brown wood paneling on them. We painted all the paneling and the ceiling white just to make it fresh and clean before we choose accent colors. The kitchen is eventually going to be redone but for now we painted the brown cabinets a two tone scheme of light blue/green and pale grey/cream white. I chose these colors in an effort to clean out the brown but I really didn't factor into account my dining room. I feel that these rooms need to mesh and flow in decor and color, and thus I have an issue. My style is not contemporary or modern at all. If you look at the pictures you'll see the large dining table that I just bought. I LOVE the tuscan/ Spanish style decor since we're Hispanic and live in New Mexico, but I'm not too keen on heavy draperies and ornate/ heavy furniture. I'd describe my style as Spanish, cozy, family oriented, warm, soft, traditional, and neutral. Now, I mentioned we are on a budget and I'd like to try and stick to a limit of 500 (including paint, supplies, accessories) so it's going to be a challenge!

Also, if anyone has any ideas about how to make my fireplace more attractive , I'm all ears. I've considered painting it, but I'm scared it would look too... Modern. Help. Thanks!

I have more pictures too, I just can't post them all at once.
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cmartinez1584
More pictures
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:37PM
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cmartinez1584
More pictures
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:38PM
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Darzy
You've done a great job lightening up the paneling and cabinets! I'd start with chandeliers for the table(s). This one is a gray, traditional which would dress up the dining table you love (and only $149). For your colors and accessories, I would take cues from the vases you have on the kitchen counter. Blues and what other color is on those pieces?
Grey Vintage Chandelier by World Market · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:46PM
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Darzy
Is your dining room your living space? Is there another space with a television? I think you also need to remove the blinds (and the rug in front of the slider - it's not the Tuscan/Spanish you are going for) and install curtain panels.
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:49PM
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groveraxle
It's a great house and if it was dark before, it's not anymore. I like the way you've lightened it up. I'm not sure exactly what your quandary is, but two things jump out at me. One is that built-in to the right of the fireplace. Are there doors for the bottom? And what goes in the top part? Shelves? The asymmetry bothers me. I would probably remove the whole thing because it seems to tall and too deep for the fireplace. That alone would improve the fireplace, I think. If you really want to do Spanish style, stucco over the brick.

The other is your light. I think you need a pendant over the dining table. That flush mount does nothing for the ambiance of the room.
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:52PM
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Darzy
The Tuscan/Spanish style makes me think of beautiful colorful pottery or countryside. These curtain panels remind me of that (and the blue medallion one looks like your pottery) and they are the right price at Target or World Market. What color(s) were you leaning toward? These are under $60
IKEA Stockholm Blad Pair of Curtains · More Info

Mudhut Medallion Window Panel, Blue/ Brown · More Info

Suzani Print Curtain Panel · More Info
5 Likes    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 5:57PM
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groveraxle
Now that I've seen the rest of the pictures, I'd say carry the cream from the top cabinets through the breakfast nook and dining room to tone down the stark white. Add splashes of color in a runner on the dining table and in art on the walls (which isn't in your budget right now, I know). I think I'd go neutral on the drapes, but those vertical blinds have got to go.

I just checked and there is no Ikea in New Mexico. Bummer. If you're taking a driving vacation anytime soon, see if there's one along your route.
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:12PM
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groveraxle
If you sew (or if you iron and can use Stitch Witchery), you could make your own drapes with this Sultana burlap at $6.48/yd. It comes in a bunch of colors. Cut panels to length, hem both ends, hang 'em up with rings and clips.
http://www.fabric.com/home-decor-fabric-burlap-fabric-60-39-39-sultana-burlap-fabric.aspx
1 Like    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Darzy
Since your budget is limited for now, I'd leave the FP alone and just accessorize it. Since the mantel is high, how about leaning a framed art on the mantel with three organic candlesticks on one side? Craigslists and consignment shops is great for reasonably priced vintage art.
Reclaimed Candlesticks · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Darzy
Groveraxle...love that fabric! Perfect for cmartinez's desire for cozy and neutral. Great texture and works beautifully with the wood and kitchen cabinets. Yummy!
1 Like    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:26PM
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cmartinez1584
Hi everyone and thank you for the help so far! Darzy, the pots in the kitchen have beautiful bright colors in them like green, blue, red, and yellow. I do have a living room and I will attach a picture below so you can kinda see what I have to work with. I agree about the lighting; again I was trying to clean the place of the dark, old accents and the light fixture before looked like it belonged in a dungeon. I have hear about "whitewashing" brick to give an updated yet softer look than fully painted. What do you think?
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:52PM
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cmartinez1584
Hi groveraxle!
I like creams and neutral, warm earth tones with splashes of red and rubbed bronze. At least that's what I have been picturing in my mind. Darzy, I like the last curtain option that you sent, those were pretty! That fabric that you linked groveraxle was really pretty, do you think that would go well with the color schemes I'm suggesting for the dining room?

How about placement of the table, is it okay to put it diagonally in the center of the room?

I would LOVE a nice rubbed bronze chandelier over the table. I think that'd look great.
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:58PM
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cmartinez1584
The bookshelf does have shelves and doors that go with it, but they're in the garage waiting to be painted. I agree, that whole fireplace, bookshelf thing is asymmetrical in a weird way. I eventually want to do something with that built in. I just don't know why yet :)
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Madeline
You have been given wonderful choices for new chandeliers from Darzy and groveraxle, two of the very best when it comes to styling absolutely anything on this forum. You couldn't have done better if you bought the winning tickets for tonight's lottery. Well, sure, maybe just a bit, okay, but you do get my feeling of respect for them don't you?
3 Likes    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:14PM
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cmartinez1584
Sure do Madeline! They've been very helpful :)
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:19PM
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cmartinez1584
How about this for a wall color in nook and dining room? Too yellow for the kitchen?

Gary + Gayle: Cincinnati, Ohio · More Info
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Madeline
I'm not getting a Tuscan/Spanish vibe (at least not on my monitor) although it does seem like it would be a fine backdrop for your new table. The longer I look at it, the deeper it looks and the more I like it. Whether or not it works with the table is of course really key though; and I can't get them together so I'd be able to say, hey that's great, it works. But I wish you good luck on that.
    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:29PM
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lkg1984
Beautiful job with the cabinets! Great colors. You're working wonders so far!
I like your dining room table, too. How about a more substantial mantel (deeper, thicker) with wood that matches your table? That also would allow you to add some height with accessesories that play up your style.
Listen to your instincts and don't be afraid to paint the brick fireplace - perhaps a few shades darker than your upper cabinets.
Are your cabinet handles and pulls brushed nickel? They read contemporary to me. Flat black (to mimic wrought iron) would have the feel you're going for. Removing them and spray painting them would do the trick for now.
Looks like you have quite a green thumb! Look for pots that really fit your theme -- maybe just a couple of big ones instead of multiple smaller ones would streamline the space.
Cheers!
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:59PM
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groveraxle
cmartinez, colors are really hard to do on a monitor. In some of your photos, those white walls look sage green and butter yellow on my screen. So I hesitate to give color advice here.

I actually love your dining table on the diagonal. It's unexpected and it works.

I will return later and work a bit more on your room. The budget is a challenge, but the house has great bones, so let's try to get you started on a plan that you can implement as finances allow. There's nothing urgent (well, maybe those vertical blinds), so take your time and make this place really YOU!
1 Like    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:13AM
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cmartinez1584
Thanks Ikg1984!
Yeah I really wasn't thinking about how well everything would go together in the end. Hence the contemporary hardware and lighting. Unlike the idea of spray painting the hardware though!
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:14AM
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cmartinez1584
Haha yes I agree. Vertical blinds must go!
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:29AM
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groveraxle
OK, let's see what we've got here. I painted the walls to match your upper cabinets, replaced the vertical blinds with a single roll up shade ($14), made drapes from natural burlap ($20/panel plus rods and clips), replaced the ceiling mount with a pendant ($32 at Home Depot), and tried four different (brighter) rugs (each around $17). Oh, I removed the trash can, too. That part was free.
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:05PM
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groveraxle
Ooh, even cheaper: bamboo blinds.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:12PM
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cmartinez1584
Groveraxle I am so impressed!!! I LOVE the first option with neutral rug!
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:28PM
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cmartinez1584
That pendent light is perfect I want to go look at it today :)
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:31PM
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groveraxle
This one was a little harder. And more expensive. I cut down the cabinet on the right to the same height as the fireplace, built a matching one on the left, then connected the whole shebang with a single mantel. I would have looked for a big old rustic timber, but I figured that could wait till later. Then I hung the $97 chandelier over the dining table. I'm afraid I busted the budget on accessories with the framed Picasso and the ceramic bowl on the mantel, but I'll bet you've got some lovely accessories buried somewhere that will do just fine.

I didn't stucco the fireplace yet. Might try that after I rest up a bit.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:24PM
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groveraxle
cmartinez, that pendant light MIGHT be perfect. Be advised that I had to guess on the size, so it could be too large or too small. But Home Depot had a bunch of similar ones in the same price range, so I know there are inexpensive pendants to be had and you will find one.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:26PM
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groveraxle
Your fourth picture in your original post: this will be your most expensive undertaking (over the long run). You might could use a sideboard, but those two big walls...in my estimation, they require art. Much art.

Let me see what I can do for inexpensive decoration in a style you might like. This could take awhile...
1 Like    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:30PM
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motownmom
Not sure how long you've lived there, but you have done an amazing job. My home had very dark paneling in the kitchen and family room (which is below ground level, and dark already), my ex wouldn't let me paint it white. Which may be why he's an ex, LOL. (just kidding)

I personally love the colors you've selected for your kitchen cabinets, but then they are some of my favorites. I agree with one of the above suggestions, if you got black wrought iron hardware (or painted those black), it would pick up a bit of the influence you want. They would also match the hardware on your tv unit, which I love by the way. Very different and evocative of Spanish styling.

If I had a limited budget, I'd probably bring some of the blue/green into the dining and living area. Even though it doesn't reflect the style you want, it's as though the kitchen is separated from the rest of the open concept, and "blue/green" all by itself. I'd try to find some fabrics (if you can sew or know someone who can), or ready made cushions with those colors in them, plus brown, for dining room seat cushions and maybe a table runner. The table, chairs, and dining nook are all dark. Nothing wrong with that, but bringing some of that kitchen color out to the other rooms will create more "flow". Same with pillows on the sofa.

I like these cushions from World Market, sort of a Spanish feel (and only $14.99 each): http://www.worldmarket.com/product/mosaic-tile-chair-cushion.do?&from=fn

I love groveraxle's idea about cutting the side unit down to match the height of the fireplace area. But, with your budget, that may have to wait.

I'd probably get a rug large enough to fit under the large dining table that picks up as many colors in the coordinated rooms as possible. Sometimes indoor/outdoor rugs have a better price (and are good options under a dining area). Check after the summer when they go on sale.

Enjoy your new home!
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 2:19PM
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wallysgirll
Rug #3 is great!! Some color tied in from cabinets, but subtle. Groveraxle, you're impressive--wish I could do that electronically! An inexpensive way to try things out and help make decisions before spending $$
    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 2:30PM
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groveraxle
A couple more things, cmartinez. The wall with the mirrors: the mirrors are hung too high. Lower them till their centers are at eye level. I suspect you're looking for a piece of furniture to put on that wall eventually.

The chair imprisoned in the corner by the sectional. Please move it out. It doesn't care where you put it, but it wants to be free.

I like the chair cushions motownmom linked to, but you could reupholster those kitchen chairs yourself if you find the right fabric. It would bring some needed color into that space and help to tie it to the blue kitchen cabinets. A couple yards of fabric and a staple gun will make those chairs like new for the cost of a single cushion.
2 Likes    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 3:38PM
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cmartinez1584
I want to thank you guys so much for helping me out with design ideas! I'm taking them all into account and I will post an update as soon as I find all the materials and paint colors :)
1 Like    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 1:12PM
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groveraxle
I hope you will consider the built-ins idea. I think that is going to be your biggest challenge, but it will make a world of difference if you go symmetrical on that wall. That may be something to wait for later, but keep it in mind.

Eager to see your updates. You've done a great job so far, so I have no doubt the space will be lovely when you're done.
1 Like    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 2:31PM
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cmartinez1584
Thanks groveraxle!
Yes, the built ins idea is actually one of our favorites (aside from replacing the vertical blinds) and we are so excited to see what we can do about making them symmetrical. Talk to you soon!
1 Like    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 6:19PM
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