Need ideas for OCD friend

Laurie KarnatzAugust 20, 2013
Friend hates this kitchen in new house. Doesn't like floor cause it doesn't match cabinets. doesn't like cabinets because new and old don't match -- and old look "worn". To make this more complicated, he doesn't like painted cabinets. Kitchen is light and bright with ocean view. I will be going to visit/help in the next three weeks as he picks flooring, carpet, paint, etc. Desperate for ideas! Thanks so much, all!
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Hi there, the design team here at would love to help! We understand your friend's fear of painting these laminate cabinets, but maybe with this post, you can get some ideas:

Pittsburgh Contemporary · More Info

Kitchen · More Info

Two-toned cabinetry is extremely popular right now- with the upper and lowers two different finishes. See pic 3.

Also, check out these images that should help to inspire you. If he is so against painting the cabinets, he can always reface them with just new doors and some paint. This can make a world of difference! Good luck in your endeavor!
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Laurie Karnatz    August 20, 2013 at 2:25PM
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Laurie Karnatz
Thanks. New doors is a good idea!
    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:28PM
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R H Kitchen and Bath Ltd
Since these doors are mainly slab doors they are easier to sand down to the bare wood. Just sand them, sand the face frame of the cabinets and restain and re-varnish. It takes a professional two days to sand them with an electric sander, it will take you four or five days to do it. But you will love the end results. What would bother me personally is the peninsula/breakfast bar it looks like they used wall cabinets on the floor and this would drive me crazy. Now I am assuming that these cabinets are solid wood. If they are not solid wood and there is a layer of veneer on them you can still sand them but you need to tint the varnish with the new stain color and apply it on the ends only.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Laurie Karnatz
Thanks, RH Kitchen and Bath. Yes, the originals are wood. I suspect the new ones are laminate or veneer at best. And you are right, he doesn't like the peninsula, either. No bar there. Just the granite top, but no room to sit or eat, perhaps your back would be to sunroom and the fabulous view. I know you can't see it well, but he is considering opening up the sunroom to the kitchen/dining area. The following photos will help visualize.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Laurie Karnatz
That peninsula is on the left of this first photo just out of view.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Laurie Karnatz
My guess is that when the kitchen was "remodeled" several years ago, they removed a wall and used the wall cabinets to create the peninsula.
    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:07PM
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As others have commented on the cabinetry and proposed solutions, let me comment on your friend's dislike of the floor not matching the cabinets. Please assure him that wood floors are NOT supposed to match the wood on the cabinets; rather, they are supposed to complement them. Have him ask any designer, or look at just about any professionally-designed kitchen photo on Houzz and he'll see that when both the floors and the cabinets are wood they don't match. This is because it is overkill to have the floors and cabinets a continuous expanse of the same wood tone. So it is one of the virtues, rather than faults, of this kitchen that the floors don't match.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Laurie Karnatz    August 20, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Sustainable Dwellings
Wow. I think he needs to wrap his head around some paint for those cabinets, and then some good looking hardware.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:50PM
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How about for uppers metal framed glass doors? New door fronts for the bottoms if the base itself is good?
You can find many options online --The floor looks fine! Sorry I couldn't link it (Mac)
New appliances rather than new floor would be better money spent.,
1 Like    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Laurie Karnatz
Thank you, Feeny. I know there should be a contrast. I will have him read this later! Thank you all!!!
    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:15PM
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I agree with the OP's friend - the wood in the cabinets and the wood on the floor is too close in tone/color, that and the fact that some of the cabinets are obviously a later addition would drive me bonkers. The peninsula looks typical of older homes and depending on the age of the house may be original. Many of the houses built in the 50-60's had peninsulas just like that - no room to cozy up with a stool, just storage and work surface. I don't know the cheap solution because there's no way to get cabinets that match the original and ripping out all the cabinets will get expensive fast - but that's what I'd be tempted to do.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Good Luck to ya!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 5:06PM
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-This is an interesting challenge. It appears that the layout was predicated on low cost cabinets, rather than a design that was married to the existing features and limitations of the space. First, I would consult a designer. The reason is simply due to the fact that for the size of this kitchen, it is not very functional. Corrections need to start off with addressing a sink that faces a wall, a dead inside corner cabinet, the breakfast bar, as mentioned, has no toe kick and no counter overhang and where is the frig going, exactly? I would add an island/bar that is 42- 48 away from the wall mounted cabinetry, which could be an alternate location for the sink/dw, and remove the existing breakfast bar. Depending on how the cabinets/counters were installed, there may be the possibility to measure them, uninstall them and rework them based upon a scheme that puts the sink/dw by the window, the range/hood where the sink is and the refrig to the left of the sink/wdw. If these items can't be reused, if they are removed carefully, they can be donated. Modular cabinetry, laid out to this space, would not be terribly expensive, and if designed correctly, would address all the deficiencies mentioned. I feel it is most important to correct the functionality before putting a lot of effort into paints, stains etc. Happy Houzzing.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Laurie Karnatz    August 20, 2013 at 5:10PM
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