brooklyngirl09

Kitchen Remodeling Help!! First time home owner

S G
last month
last modified: 26 days ago

Hello, amazing designers out there. I am looking for input for remodeling this old kitchen. This is my first time trying to do something like this. So I would really appreciate all the good tips. I am planning to change the countertop ( Quartz? ), cabinets, add a backsplash, new sink, and faucet. I have been doing some research, but have been overwhelmed with information. I have always wanted a white kitchen, but there are at least 50 shades of white cabinets, 50 shades of white quartz countertop, so really not sure what would look good for my kitchen which has a brown wood flooring. I am really hoping that this group can help clear some confusion. So going in line with that, I have written down some options. Apologize if my suggestions are an eyesore :P

Counter top ( Quartz) : Calacatta Nuvo/ Calacatta gold/ Venato Carrara /…?

Cabinet color: Creamy white/ pure white/ pearl white/ shaded white…?

Backsplash: Marble mosaic/ subway tiles/ ...?

Faucet: Satin Nickel/ Satin Brass/…?

Sink: Undercount stainless steel/ …?

Change from knobs to handles



I would also like to create a breakfast corner by extending the countertop a few inches to the left and change the french door opening to the other side (right to left). Is this doable? Will this affect the aesthetics since there is a door and the overhang will be visible from outside? The dining table in the pathway, makes the space cramped, so an extension will really help.



There is no microwave provision, so I was thinking of cutting the vertical cabinet and adding a microwave. Like the 3D drawing below. The other option is to place it where the hood is (above the stove)





The cabinets on the right, planning to add a glass front to it.



Some of my inspirations:


Palatine Restored Kitchen · More Info






Layout of the kitchen





Updated layout 1



Updated Layout 2




I appreciate all help! :)

Comments (37)

  • tozmo1
    last month

    In reading through your OP again, your main concern seems to be the the look of the kitchen and you are very fine with the layout. Your real functional need is the microwave. Sure, it would be great to get layout and look addressed or even to have your dream kitchen with the same layout but that won't happen with 25K.


    So here's my advice after reading through all the comments and reflecting on my recent redo of a 1970's kitchen/living room/dining room redo major blow out renovation including my dream kitchen. You should have a short term plan for aesthetics (5 - 7 years) and keep saving up for that longer term plan of a total redo.

    Short term plan:


    Before you begin, do all the research suggested, find out the costs, come back down to earth and then...


    1) redo the countertops in laminate. There are great laminates out there now that IMO, look just like quartz. Don't get too impressed with quartz countertops, they are manmade surfaces of ground up quartz mixed with polymers and pigments to create the design. The designs don't occur in nature, they are created. So why not in the short term, use one of the really nice laminates out there that mimics the marbles you like. Try Wilsonart to get started. I think they are in Home Depot and Lowes. Often with a counter top redo, the sinks are included in the cost.


    2) Reface your cabinets. Google cabinet refacing and find someone in your area who does it and look at before and afters. White cabinets are white cabinets. If your frames are good, you can like new looking white cabinets after resurfacing.


    3) put the microwave over the stove as you suggested.


    4) get a rectangular table or bar counter and put it against the railing.


    5) have a generous budget to get excellent faucets and cabinet hardware, fabulous back splash, etc. because you saved so much on the other stuff.


    6) Enjoy your new kitchen for the next 5 years as your tastes evolve (as it does with first time homeowners) and trends change. Do your blow out in year 7 or you may love it so much it's year 15.


    Good luck!

    Top Answer
  • Silverlined
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Do you have any extra of that flooring in case you wanted to change the layout? I think some contributors here might encourage you to consider re-arranging a few things. We will see who comments, as there are a few layout gurus who hang out in these forums.

    Actually I think there are hundreds of whites, and many of them clash with each other. The key is going to be getting samples of your favorites and then comparing them in the lighting in your actual home during different times of the day. If you like white, I don't think you'll be happy with an off white or cream. I would stick with white if that is what you want. Many people get done with an all-white kitchen and feel that they are craving more color, though, even if the floor is dark. So, I might consider taking time to look at some art tile with pattern or color for your backsplash that would add some personalization to your space. Quartz is good if you wanted a light countertop. If you have a ProSource in your area, they are a major dealer for Cambria which is a good quality of quartz, and you'll probably get the best prices working through them and a fabricator who buys from them.

    S G thanked Silverlined
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  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    last month
    last modified: last month

    You need a pro KD on your site. You need a budget. The cabinetry is not worth cuts and adjustments. A moderate kitchen today, with no exterior changes? 75 k. Or Ikea, perhaps. You consider all the appliances, the layout, your storage needs, all of it.

    Or you slap new counter tops on what you have, and leave all else alone, ,,,,,,,pop a microwave over the range.

    And you already HAVE a breakfast area.................: )

    S G thanked JAN MOYER
  • decoenthusiaste
    last month

    Keep this in mind as you plan. Drawers vs. Shelves


    S G thanked decoenthusiaste
  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    What is your budget? What is your style? What is the architecture of the home?

  • eld6161
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Read this first!

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5500754/new-to-kitchens-read-me-first#n=1056

    Since you are keeping the floors, yes you need to go creamy. Unless you are going with a custom painted cabinet, each cabinet line will have their own selection of whites.

    You can bring home a sample door to see how it looks in your space. So, yes although their are hundreds of whites, you will be limited by the choices offered by each company.

    Your first step is to visit as many kitchen and bath showrooms that you can. You can check out big box for inspiration, but I would not use them for the job.

    The owners will help you design a kitchen. I’ve never hired a separate KD.

    If they want money down for a presentation, we move on. You should be able to get your space measured, choose cabinetry from what line or lines they represent, then go back for a virtual presentation with budget itemized. If you like what you see, you can try to bargain. There is always some wiggle room.

    This is a really nice space. Best wishes in your new home.

    Be sure to come back and check in. The many eyes here have help many avoid disasters.

    S G thanked eld6161
  • live_wire_oak
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Slow down. You’re about to drop a ton of money on this, and you just don’t know what you don’t know here. Do more research. And hire a KD immediately to keep you from making all of these expensive cart before the horse mistakes. No one good works for free. You’ll end up with a halfass result and spending more that you need to. With a terrible return for that money. if you’re going to tackle this, do it right. And leave it be until that better plan comes together.

  • Silverlined
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I would like to offer an alternate perspective on white vs. cream with wood-tone flooring. Yes, the typical advice would be to go with a cream to match the warm tone in the wood. However, some renovators who originally gravitated toward white with their likes but selected cream to try to stick with some sort of color rules really end up not liking the look. With my own renovation, I collected photos of warm wood tones combined with pure whites in kitchens, and it can actually work if you do it right. Gathering a collection of such photos from Houzz, Pinterest, and other posts around the web might be helpful. A cream kitchen is a different look from a white one. Just be sure you're totally on board with whatever direction you head, because mixing cream with white can make for some sad post-renovation regret posts here at Houzz. Although, a white/cream scheme can work, but you must blend, repeat, and balance the colors throughout the entire space, which most renovators don't think ahead to do if they are randomly choosing large expanses of solid surfaces of warmer whites and cooler whites and then and hoping for the best.

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @Silverlined I do not have extra flooring. For now planning to keep the layout as it is. I will be changing only the countertop and cabinets. Thank you for the ProSource advice, I will look to see if I have one around.

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @JAN MOYER, I am trying to keep my budget within 25K. If the cabinets end up being too pricey, I may end up doing only the countertop. Since its a small kitchen, hoping this doesn't cost a lot <fingers crossed>. That table in the hallway makes the space crammed, so I want to remove it and extend the countertop. Structurally I know its possible to extend. Do you think if it will be aesthetically pleasing?

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @HALLETT & Co. contemporary is the style I am looking for.

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @eld6161 thank you for the article and the suggestions. I am planning to visit a lot of kitchen cabinet and countertop stores. Hope to find what I like. Is home depot or lowes a good place to get the initial design?

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    last month

    Start by getting graph paper and making a measured drawing of the kitchen showing all the walls, openings, and obstructions. You will need this for getting preliminary cabinet pricing and it gives you a better feel for your existing kitchen. It sounds silly but measuring and drawing the existing space will teach you things about it. Next i suggest plugging your kitchen into the IKEA kitchen planner. It will calculate a kitchen cost for you including most materials except labor.

    S G thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    The kitchen you have is IMO not the type to handle any fixes to the cabinets. I have done MANY kitchens for less than 75K but I do use Ikea many times for both budget and the fabulous storage ideas. Your layout is not a good one so IMO a gut to the studs will give you a kitchen that not only looks good but functions well. You start with a good design and then worry about all the other things on your list. I do agree it would be great to know if you have more flooring to match. What we need if we are to help is a to scale floor plan showing all measurements windows, doorways and plumbing and gas lines . That is where a design begins not worrying about colors or backsplash at this stage. So post a plan and please give us some idea of your budget. IMO right now that kitchen is not worth putting any money into since the cabinets are not top of the line and the layout needs improvement.

  • athomeeileen
    last month

    I think your kitchen is nice! That said, I understand the desire to upgrade. I wouldn’t put any money into your cabinets. It won’t look cohesive. Since you already have a nice kitchen, stick with what you have until you can afford the full gut job.
    A narrow rectangle shaped table would fit better than the round.

  • Silverlined
    last month

    For a budget of $25K and a kitchen that may not seem huge to you but still would not technically be considered "small," for pricing calculations, you will need to select as close to the lowest price materials as you can to hit that number. I know that seems like a lot of money, but it will go fast. Labor fees may surprise you for cabinet installation and countertop work. You can do it, though. You will need to disregard the cabinetry advice I posted in your other thread as those brands will take all your budget just for cabinetry. Shiloh might be an exception. IKEA is probably your best option for quality on the dollar to stay on budget. I've had a layout done at Lowe's myself, but I can honestly say your best option for layout help is Houzz. Post the details and measurements as the other contrives have requested, and you will get the best advice!

    S G thanked Silverlined
  • eld6161
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Yes, go to Home Depot and Lowe’s. Collect as much information as you can. They are just not consistent with doing the work, handling issues etc. Too many problems.

    I agree with Silverlined. Keep coming back here to share your progress.


    I have done a few kitchens. I cut corners on the extras that are great if you can afford them, but can certainly live without.

  • tozmo1
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I agree with whomever said do countertops and wait until you can afford a gut job.

    Once you start ripping things out, you will have to bring plumbing and electrical to current code and that alone will be a lot (electrical for a dedicated circuit for the microwave can be a little or a lot depending on current electrical box). And that goes for things that aren't even related to the redo but that the inspector picks up on when they come to look at the new work ( I speak from experience here).

    Judging from your current cabinet style, I'm guessing your house was built in the early 70's. A lot has happened since then e.g. are you sure you don't have aluminum wiring? Big hot button in my neighborhood when renovations happen. (luckily I didn't have that issue).

    Do the countertops. Change the knobs to handles (likely your cabinets have been painted so a little putty and touch up paint will do it), spray paint the hinges white with Rustoluem, and enjoy while you ponder a comprehensive plan and save money. My neighbor did only a cabinet face change that turned out well, maybe that is a possibility for you.

    You mentioned a French door, I don't see it. Maybe you mean the slider. If so, i doubt you can change which door opens unless it was a unique design many years ago that allowed for that. You'll have to replace it. $$

    Patience and lots of planning and research will pay off in the end.

    S G thanked tozmo1
  • Rebekah Gibbs
    last month

    Are you saying you want to put in a new slider that slides from left to right to open and then install a countertop in front of it? In my opinion (if that is even possible to do) that would look horrible. Are you thinking that the slider would slide behind the counter to still open and function properly? If you are wanting to extend the counter you would need to install a single exterior door not a slider. Why not leave it alone and place a pub style table against the railing to serve as a breakfast bar. As has been said by multiple people above, it is probably best to save your money until you can afford to do a full gut to get your inspiration kitchen. $25k is not going to take you very far if you want all new cabinets and more and you may not be happy with the end result - $25k is a very expensive bandaid.


    S G thanked Rebekah Gibbs
  • PRO
    ProSource Memphis
    last month

    Do not put expensive new counters on those 50 year old cabinets! Don’t make changes in the completely wrong order. It costs you a lot more in the long run when you have to backtrack and be wasteful because you went for pretty immediately rather than waiting and doing it in the right order.

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @HALLETT & Co. and @Patricia Colwell Consulting, I have added the dimensions to my original post as you both suggested. Thank you for suggesting the IKEA kitchen planning tool, I did not know about that.

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @Silverlined I hope to get some good advice from this forum. I am new to Houzz and my friend told me how well this forum worked for her when she had to get her living room updated:)

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    @tozmo1, yes you are right. This house was built in the 70's.

    Yes, I was talking about the sliding door. The door has a problem, so I need to replace it with a new one, which is why I was thinking I can change the opening to the other side. Thank you for the tips.

  • S G
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks @Rebekah Gibbs, A pub style table may also be a good idea.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    last month

    First - please do not put new counters onto the old cabinets. You will pay a pretty penny to lift them and reinstall them when the time comes to change the cabinets - wasted money. And you are now locking yourself into this one layout only. I am not a fan of where the ref is being placed. As a cook you need it handy but it also gets used by everyone else and they are crossing through your work zone. I would get it into that pocket where the pantry is and then have the microwave over where the ref was. You can either do it in a pantry format or have uppers and lowers there for even more counter space.

    Your plan does not show the overall across the room, so the only problem could be the walkway between it and the peninsula.

    You don't really need a 20" overhang on your top. If you do go that direction, you will need some legs or some kind of support - not cost effective legs $$ plus added top sq ft $$.

    What are the dimensions of the whole space?? Maybe you could do something like this??


    Instead of the peninsula put in an island sort of where your table is. You could possibly pull up the flooring where the island will be and use it to fill in what gets exposed - MAYBE - your contractor will need to determine if that is a possibility. I'm also suspicious of the wall to the left of the pantry - can it be removed?? It is wasted inches...

    Never do a kitchen halfway - all in or save until you can go all in... it will be better in the end.

    Best of luck!

    S G thanked Debbi Washburn
  • einportlandor
    last month

    Personally, I would not want to lose the eating area to a countertop and stools. IMO it will devalue your space. And I definitely wouldn't jut the countertop out past the glass door. It will look like a mistake. Instead, consider a narrow rectangular table with chairs that tuck under the table. Or, as others have suggested, hire a KD and go for a total redesign.


    You're going to be shocked when you start getting bids to build the kitchen you envision. My kitchen is half your size and it cost nearly $40k six years ago -- probably $50k today. I used mid-quality finishes, pinched pennies every which way, worked with a value-conscious contractor, and live in a mid-priced city. The cost to remodel is crazy high -- brace yourself.

  • houssaon
    last month

    You can get a counter height table for the breakfast area. Much more flexible. If you do replace the cabinets, go for drawers in the lower part wherever possible. I put my microwave in an upper cabinet with an electrical outlet, that was extended out to accommodate it.

  • live_wire_oak
    last month

    Refacing is 75-160% of the cost of new cabinets. New cabinets average 1/3 of the average 65K mid grade remodeling project. If you want to waste 10K really quickly, you put quartz on those cabinets and get nothing else on your wish list. https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2020/

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    28 days ago

    Please, Please Please.... go and get estimates and work with a kd. We can all sit here and tell you what to do but you need to get someone in your home to give you the price on refacing and then get a price on new cabinets, etc etc. It is the only way to do this.

    I have had a lot of customers go and do refacing and spent $10,000 easily for a kitchen your size. You could get brand new cabinets for that. Don't try to figure out what the best way is - get the facts together and then decide what the best way is for you!!

    We are right in the middle of putting in new cabinets for a client of ours who did not want to change her cabinets. She did a beautiful granite top and marble mosaic backsplash. We have to lift those tops. It did break a bit of the backsplash ( which is discontinued ) so now we need to figure out how to deal with that and she paid more money. She also would have changed a few things in her layout but now can't because of the tops.

    Don't rush - get a full education on all the options available to you as well as financing options.

    We will all help you as much as we can - keep in mind that pricing differs greatly all over this country so certain things may be less in your area than others.


    Best of luck and keep us posted

    S G thanked Debbi Washburn
  • naela gilany
    27 days ago

    Some suggestions on your new plans:
    1- Replace the fridge with the stove so you can build in full height cabinetry for storage and build in refrigerator for a cleaner ,more custom look.You can also put microwave or oven in this cabinet.
    2- Open shelves above the space b/w sink and stove ?
    3- cut off peninsula and open up the kitchen more to the breakfast area?

  • arcy_gw
    27 days ago

    Perhaps here isn't the best place for ideas when on a budget. In my world 25k is a HUGE amount for a kitchen update. But DH would do/did all our labor so I am bias. Leaving the lay out as is, I would look into replacing the door/drawer fronts. Chances are pretty good the cabinet bases you have are much sturdier and better built than anything new one would purchase. Materials have gotten much thinner, old growth wood is stronger etc. OLD IS BETTER from a construction point of view in most cases!! I love the windows in your kitchen. What does it look like from the outside? Yes the slider can be replaced by a french door combo where only the left side opens I DID IT I KNOW!. We did ours for energy efficiency and ease of opening. Remember the swing of the door is a space eater. Counter eating is all the rage but not great for little kids...where are you at with children and a dining room? We extended our counter top, it's easy to do. I agree you probably don't want to extend it in front of the glass but I bet the entire door can be made smaller but this will run into outside siding/painting costs...a french door and free standing counter top table may be least expensive easiest to do. It will be cheapest to find a french door the size of your present opening. A custom cabinet maker- could retro yours to accommodate a microwave but for the money putting one over the stove would be easiest, cheapest. They come with exhaust fans built in. Your lay out now looks very open, modern, new counter tops alone would change the look a lot!! Stand firm on your budget and resolve to freshen your space. Not everyone gets around to a full gutting of a kitchen!! Don't let what you hope to do be side tracked by things you can't/don't want to afford. In the end you don't get your money out of a full gut anyway!!!

    S G thanked arcy_gw
  • S G
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    Thankyou @Debbi Washburn for the suggestion. I have been thinking the same and I spoke to a designer about it. Looks like I can move the refrigerator to where the pantry was. The other item I would like to move is the dishwasher. Ideally, I would like it near the sink, but not sure if it's going to look awkward with the sink, not being in the center of the window. Any thoughts? I have posted an updated layout 1 and 2. 1 has the dishwasher at the end of the countertop and 2 has it near the sink.

  • S G
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    @arcy_gw @tozmo1, thankyou. I have decided to place the microwave above the stove. This way I would get more cabin space.

  • S G
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    Also, my existing sliding door is not a standard size so I am thinking of extending the wall 2 ft, to fit a standard size sliding door( Doing the math, a custom door is pricier in comparison with adding drywall) This will help me push the kitchen further with no awkward-looking overhang near the sliding door.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    25 days ago

    You could put the sink ( a 30" base ) under the one window pane and have the dishwasher along side of it if you modify the depth of the cabinets on the right so it looks purposeful. I threw together a quick picture so you could see what could be possible .



    or you could do a corner sink ( you will get a lot of pushback about it ) . That would only be a standard single bowl. With the offset sink you could get a larger bowl.


    Good luck!

    S G thanked Debbi Washburn
  • S G
    Original Author
    25 days ago

    Thank you, Debbi @Debbi Washburn, really appreciate the feedback and the effort you took to draw this. Looking at your picture it is more clear to me that option 1 (my layout 2) should work the best. My right side cabinet will be 24".

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn
    25 days ago

    Your plan 2 has the sink crossing the center line of the window... that may be ok.. your designer should be able to do an image for you just like I did. I really helps.

    Best of luck!!