Condo Blues: I Dream of New Kitchens

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Dream of New Kitchens

When Husband and I went house shopping his main requirement was a kitchen in which he could take a step because that wasn't happening in our rental's one butt galley kitchen. Not to mention that sad excuse for a kitchen was stuck smack in the middle of 1976. Ew.

The kitchen in our condo is the largest room in the house.

It's your basic boring builder's kitchen but at least it's ours!

Husband really wasn't into the decorating minutia for the rest of the house with the exception of the kitchen. As the Head Cook he said he should have the right to first refusal for any decision that affects His Domain*.

Unfortunately six years after buying the house the kitchen has stayed largely the same since the day we moved in. We are less than thrilled with the cabinets. The placement is fine, we don't like the doors because the insert is thin wood and looks cheap. On days that end with a y I've alternated between replacing the doors, painting the cabinets, adding crown molding, restaining the cabinets, and lighting them on fire.

If I used the fire method, instead of a new beautiful kitchen rising from the ashes like the Phoenix I'm pretty sure I would have a kitchen crawling with fire marshals and arson dogs.

I crossed kitchen by fire off the list.

Whatever I choose must go with these red and white curtains.
I have a second set hanging in front of the sliding glass doors in the kitchen. It's one of the few things Husband and I agree on. They stay.

It's time for an update, a renovation, and a revamp. Most likely it will be done in stages so Husband and I can pay for it with cash in hand. Let's take a look at some of my favorite inspiration kitchen from around the Web.

I love every single thing in this eclectic kitchen design especially the dog! It wouldn't be difficult to paint everything in my kitchen white and add in the open shelves, hardware, backsplash, and cute accessories. You can shop this kitchen look here. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

eclectic kitchen design decor and remodel
Doggo wants you to make him tacos in this cute kitchen.

I'm seriously considering painting my current cabinets red but I'm unsure of a wall color. I like the color combination here but the white walls feel like a cheat to me since I've spent almost all of my rental life in apartments with nothing but white walls. I'm not into the floral curtains. I have a thing for black and white check floors although I'd lay it on an angle for interest. I plan on keeping my current vinyl flooring for now. It came new with the house, is still in good condition, and removing it is going to be a colossal pain when the time comes. Working with my existing flooring is green since I’m keeping what I already own and it allows me to save my pennies for the slate flooring that makes me go all weak in the knees.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

This kitchen is more traditional than I like but I like the red cabinets and refrigerator. It gives me a rough idea what my kitchen would be like with painted cabinets and some crown molding at the top because if I keep my current cabinets I want to dress them up a bit with molding. Not a fan of the glass fronted cabinets because everything has to be tidy since it's on display.

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Or instead of painting my kitchen cabinets red, I could take my cue from this kitchen and paint the walls red! The baker's rack (learn more about it here) isn't a bad idea for extra storage, either.

kitchen remodel and decor with red walls
See something you like? You can shop this kitchen look here

This has got to be one of my favorite Debbie Travis designs ever! The owner was stuck in an all white house (hello!) and wanted a jolt of color. Debbie painted the kitchen orange and did an amazing kitchen cabinet revamp by covering the existing cabinet doors in an orange plastic film and silver metal trim. I love the industrial elements of the flooring, and even though as a rule I don't like two different colors of cabinetry. Here, somehow, it works for me. I could move right in.

mid century modern orange kitchen remodel and decor
Photo courtesy of Debbie Travis

The modern elements in this kitchen reminds me of the Debbie Travis kitchen, especially those to die for mid century kitchen bar stools (learn more about them here!) I could easily add crown molding to the top of my builder cabinets and select doors of chalkboard paint to duplicate this look.

mid century modern farmhouse kitchen decor design and remodel

Another example of paint the walls red and leaving my oak cabinets alone. The ugly cheap door problem is easily solved by removing them or adding glass fronts. It's a cheaper and easier fix but I'm not a fan of open shelving because it requires constant dusting which I dread. Also I like to hang organizers on the inside of my cabinet doors for extra storage which I wouldn't have here.

red kitchen walls and island decor
 Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

I'm considering doing a red accent wall on the wall opposite the cabinets. The tan walls, while still a fairly safe color, works with the red and would coordinate with my current flooring and counter tops. It’s something to seriously consider.

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

Love the red and molding and how the refrigerator blends in with cabinets! This is an idea on how I can revamp my white refrigerator instead of buying a new one. The builder put in a back dishwasher and microwave and then a white refrigerator. It makes me stabby when I think about it because I never thought to ask if the appliances would match in color or not. The industrial lamps over the island make me happy and if that's marble on the island I'm in LOVE. You're never baked or made candy until you've done it on a marble table! The downside of marble is that it stains easily and you can't clean it with vinegar or it will fizz away. Oh yeah, marble’s pricey too.

red and black kitchen decor
Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

Red walls with a pop of wall color! The silver lighting looks like Ikea which is fine as long as the whole kitchen doesn’t look like it's lifted from page 37 of the Ikea catalog. Going with a black wood floor would be a less expensive alternative to a slate floor. However, installing hardwood flooring on my concrete slab is just asking for trouble. I’d have to go with engineered wood instead. Pass.

kitchen decor red cabinets black floor
Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

I love these wine crate cabinet doors! I could easily do something like to this to my current cabinets. However I think this design works best because of the open shelving above the busy wine crate doors. I also like the green and white variation of the checkerboard floor. However if I ever got tired of the green, it would be a more expensive revamp than a black and white checked floor.

recycled wine crate kitchen cabinets
Photo courtesy of Readymade

What do you think? Love 'em? Hate 'm? Want more ideas? Check out the helpful options below!

*I'm perfectly fine with Husband calling the kitchen His Domain. Heck, he can call it Shirley for all I care as long as he cooks dinner!

** Yes I'm using The Bloggess's word stabby although I really don't want to stab people because that would be mean. I'm giving Jenny author credit for the term so I hope that makes it OK because it's describes how I feel about having mismatched appliances and a stove with the same coloring as panda bear. I try to convince myself that the black and white stove ties the white refrigerator to the black dishwasher and microwave, but that is a lie and I know it.

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Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) said...

I have renovated three kitchens. Here's my wisdom related to your ideas:

1) Stone/tile floors suck in the kitchen. They are hard and uncomfortable and dishes that land on the floor are more likely to break. I know they look nice, though.

2) Painted cabinets are time consuming but cheap. It's REALLY time consuming to do well. If you go that route, I recommend buying a very nice paint because the cabinets are used and cleaned often.

3) Painting kitchen walls is more time consuming than any room except maybe a bathroom. There are tons of areas to cut in around. If you want to play around with color, invest in small cans to try swatches.

4) A nice light over your sink will go a long way to adding some personality.

5) I don't know how much your husband cooks but it looks like the stove might not be the most useful in addition to not matching. I think you could upgrade to a stainless model and it would match the black micro and dishwasher better.

I should probably stop at five...I could talk about kitchen renovations all day! Here's my renovation category on my blog if you want to see some of what we've done recently: I seem to have forgotten to post AFTER pictures, probably because it isn't completely done, even a year and a half later!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Thanks Rachel! Husband isn't too keen on the electric stove. We're foodies and cook a lot. He'd prefer a gas stove but we're not entirely sure if can run gas lines with the configuration of our house.

Our house is built on a concrete slab. It's under the vinyl flooring. I've considered taking up the vinyl and leaving the floor as is for an industrial look. I think the floors might be too cold during the winter though. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

How about frosted glass door fronts for your cabinets?
And if you want a bit of color instead of white walls, how about yellow?

Robj98168 said...

I love the wine crate kitchen in Ready made. A lot of work though,Looks to me like all your kitchen needs is some paint on the cabinets and maybe some new hardware- much cheaper than a total remodel. As far as the red kitchen's go -that would sure get tiring easily IMO.
In my own kitchen, I put down the same viynal tile wood floor planks as the rest of the house, for some symmetry (sp). My problem ids the Dining room- It is now too big. So I am going to "divide it in half with a sitting area and a dining area.

Kristin - The Goat said...

My sister gutted her kitchen, hired a guy to make custom cabinets in pine, then she painted them white (but you can still see the wood below). They were able to save a bundle and get the exact configuration they wanted.

I flipped two houses and one kitchen we got from an overstock place - we paid $800 for a whole gourmet kitchen, because whoever bought the original bought too many. We could have spent several grand for a cheaper cabinet.

The other kitchen we found on page 37 of the IKEA catalog. :) I love it. Then again, I love IKEA. But the one IKEA cabinet that I love until my heart can be seen beating outside of my body are the shiny red cabinets! I like them in blue and in gray, but I love love love the red.

Oh, I saw that episode of Debbie Travis (OK, what episode haven't I seen??) and that orangy plastic was totally cool.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Kirby - Don't get me wrong I love me some IKEA! In fact that's where I got the whole red cabinet thing from those fabulous red IKEA cabinets on sale. Apartment Therapy says IKEA can be an excellent source for kitchens but many readers advise against doing all of the kitchen in IKEA because it may not wear well. Besides, if I go into IKEA to buy a kitchen I'm sure I'll come out with a kitchen, and a living room, and a guest room, and a ...??

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Let me throw this out there. I'm drawn more and more to Kitchen #5. Do you think the Dove gray walls would work with my current tan kitchen counter tops and floor? In the photo the white counter looks best but I don't live in a magazine and white counter tops would be stained in no time.

Kristin - The Goat said...

I would make sure that whatever paint color you choose does not bring out a color you don't want to bring out in the countertops.

For example, if you pick a yellow for the walls and leave your woodwork natural, your woodwork may look REALLY yellow or gasp, green. I've seen it happen.

You just don't want your countertops to look dingy next to those brand new cabinets.

and why would your white counters become stained? You can seal them. My mom has white countertops and she is having no trouble keeping them lovely.

IKEA cabinets have different grades and finishes. So it's just a funny statement that you read not to have all your cabinets come from them. Our flip is two years old and their kitchen looks fab and they have three small kids. There is general wear, but my non-IKEA cabinets in my condo have more wear than theirs do and I'm not hard on them. There are a thousand stories for a thousand kitchens :) This is just mine lol

Ahh, I'm a passionate kitchen renovator! It's my favorite room in the house. :)

ronda said...

Check out the episode online of Sarah Richardson's country house. One of the colors she considers is red. She did Ikea cabinets and painted them. Spraying cabinets works better than brushing on paint.
Sarah has a lot of great ideas in this episode. I've done several kitchens. Personally, I prefer wood cabinets and use walls, accents, back spashes, fabric to infuse color. Much easier to change than cabinets and counters.Just my two cents

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Kirby - Apartment Therapy suggested not to do the whole kitchen cabinets, appliances, sink, curtains, table & chairs, lights, floor in Ikea. If I choose Ikea for new cabinets - There's several that I like - I'd do all of the cabinets from Ikea but I maybe not every single thing that goes in the kitchen in Ikea. I cook with a lot of turmeric and spices that stain. I spill coffee and tea. If I had white counters they'd be splotchy in no time.

mudnessa said...

I like the idea of black cabinets with red walls. Perhaps just the wall behind the sink red and the others left white. I am not a fan of wood cabinets, mostly because I live in an apartment and have no choice, and it's fake wood, you know particle board with wood looking sheet thing "stuck" on them.

Frosted glass upper cabinets might look good with that too. Perhaps the doors frame lined with the red from the walls. If you wanna get into real detail and paint more. ;)

Recently went to a friends house and she had taken out her flooring and splatter painted and sealed her slab. Looked pretty cool but they quickly got over the cold hard surface and put in cork floor. It was wonderful to walk on and I REALLY liked the way it looked. I think something like this would be great in the kitchen especially for someone who uses it a lot, nice and comfy surface to stand on. Not sure how it does with spills though but they have kids, dogs, and a cat and is holding up nicely.

As for counters I have no experience or real opinion on them. I grew up with tile and grout counters and they weren't my favorite. Look wise I like concrete counters with recycled glass in them but that wouldn't really go with previous thoughts on your kitchen.

I'd say, especially since you plan on slow going it, decide on one aspect, whether it be cabinets and wall, or flooring or whatnot, do that and then from there you can make further choices based on how that came out and looks and you can always come back to us for advice.

shouldhavezagged said...

How about painting the lower cabinets black, putting in white (marble?) counters, and installing stainless steel-toned hardware + pendant light + goose-neck faucet? The black cabinets would help the black appliances blend more, the white counters would tie in the top of the range and fridge (plus look great with black cabinets), and the metal touches would add the sleekness you like.

This plan gives you some flexibility for the future: You could paint the upper cabinets black, white, red, or not at all. You could replace the flooring now or later. You could go bold with the wall color, window treatment, or other accessories. You could install a backsplash that's bright or stainless steel or something else that's funky/unexpected.

I have the same boring builder cabinets and neutral counter. I have big plans in my head for a some-day-we'll-get-around-to-it kitchen improvement project. Good luck with yours!

Reidland Family said...

We painted one wall red in one of our bathrooms, added white cabinets, and a bright shower curtin and we have loved it!

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