Help with outdated built-in cabinets!
August 27, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We need design ideas about what to do with these cabinets. The house was built in the 70's and the cabinets/buffet are right in the middle of the living space. It separates are formal dinning room and den/family room. We don't know whether to replace, revamp, or remove completely. Any ideas would help!
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But then comes the question.....if you remove them, then what goes there? Just a doorway? IF they stay like this, maybe set it up like a bar? Would that work in your home? And accessorize the top part instead of the way it is now. I know....that takes the china away from the china you have another place for it or could it go behind the doors? Then put other fun pieces above? Some pics.......some books......some colored pieces.....layered together.
August 27, 2013 at 2:08pm   
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Or make it a memo center? Do you need one of those? Still change out the top design, but use that sort on the open below part.
August 27, 2013 at 2:10pm   
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It looks like you use the cabinets for storage. Assuming you want to keep them, I would dry wall the back of the cabinets so you aren't looking at the back of the cabinets. I can't tell by the picture, but you may be able to use to that new space as a small closet (you could also build out that wall if you want a closet with depth). I don't know if that works with your floor plan or not. Just an idea :) You could also tear down the top and add a bar and stools, but that would be in your family room and looking in on the dining room so I'm not sure that makes sense.
August 27, 2013 at 2:13pm     
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Granite Transformations Of Seattle
Good Afternoon Amandam25...from the picture I see this being a useful space and it could be easily updated with cabinet refacing and possibly a divider in the center so that dishes could be stored on the dining side and family friendly items on the other...with doors put on the otherside of course. Storage space is hard to come by and if the cabinets are already built in you could definitely utilize them instead of changing the structure of the home :) Feel free to reference our website for ideas and examples of cabintery refacing:
Best Wishes, Brandy
August 27, 2013 at 2:16pm   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Remove the top part to open room more. Then paint, white oak is dated.paint all oak in house. If you are updating. For bottom part use as a bar. Place a mirrored tray on top fill with wine glasses and put a small wine rack on end. Don't forget the cock screw.
August 27, 2013 at 2:23pm   
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It partly depends on why you don't like the cabinets there and what space problem you think it's presence creates. If you don't like the open area under the glass front, put up a full height backing like dry wall or a closet door to use as (mount a picture or bulletin board, etc) shallow storage (games. puzzles, etc) in the den family room. Can you rearrange the items in the glass doors so that your special pieces are attractively displayed? The counter space should be cleaned off and one of your good pieces put there - or a wine rack.

I think having things neatened up and one room not visible from the other will go a good ways to redeeming this area.
August 27, 2013 at 2:37pm   
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Amy Stanley
What about enclosing the backside in with custom book shelves- so the rooms would be divided yet the space would provide usefulness on both sides. What about putting wallpaper in the back of those glass doors or painting the back side so the contents pop a bit more- I would de-clutter the counter and arrange the inside decoratively.
August 27, 2013 at 3:19pm   
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We would need a rough floor plan to advise taking this and some walls out - typically if people want a larger open concept, they retain the formal dining and move to one great room. Here, you may or may not be able to switch formal dining to the formal living and then open this all up to make a larger more functional space connected to an open kitchen - this wouldn't be the only area you would be asking about if that were the case.

If you use the rooms as devised, and are not looking to reorganize /redo flooring, walls, ceiling finishes, then the above suggestions are good ones. Another idea is to paint the back of the unit in the family room with chalkboard paint and use it as a place for lists and signs and holiday art.

The style of these cabinets are classic, neither too traditional, ornate, dated, or contemporary - they could work with almost any decor. Casework / built in storage is very expensive to install, and generally is desired by buyers if you have an eye to resale.
August 27, 2013 at 3:35pm   
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Dar Eckert
It could be a good location for an island or peninsula with seating on one side.
August 27, 2013 at 4:08pm   
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I would drywall the living room side and frost the glass since you need this for storage. Then paint the entire cabinet a nice neutral color...
August 27, 2013 at 8:51pm   
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C Wright Design
Hi there! I think that Keitha's idea is good. You will retain storage, update the look by painting out to match the walls, and have a clean art wall in the Living Room. Good luck!
August 27, 2013 at 8:57pm     
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glass fireplace on the bottom, TV on the top
August 27, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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If you could remove them and the wall to the right, it would open up the spaces.
August 27, 2013 at 9:13pm     
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