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Old 07-24-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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My new kitchen needs a facelift (oak cabinets have to stay)


Hi everyone! I am brand spankin' new to the boards after some perusing around. Everyone seems so helpful, with such wonderful ideas so I decided to join! I've decided to turn to you for a little help. Let me preface this post with a brief introduction before delving into our kitchen challenge.

My husband and I will be taking over my mother-in-law's house within the next few months and we're in the process of giving it a little facelift. The house is in great condition given its age, but it's definitely in need of some updating. We are currently working on several small projects (re-tiling the common areas excluding the kitchen, new paint on the walls, new ceiling fans, etc.) in order to achieve a fresh look in the common areas. We will move to the bedrooms and guest bathrooms one at a time over the next year.

We have decided on a warm, neutral palette of browns and creams with pops of color here and there (my style is more eclectic but I'm toning it down for the sake of my dear husband's relaxed taste). Ideally, I'd like to choose one wall color that will work for the kitchen as well as the other common areas. However, I *am* open to different colors so long as they melt into each other nicely.

As far as our kitchen challenge goes, I'm attaching some photos for you to see. My mother-in-law put a lot of hard work into upgrading the entire kitchen less than ten years ago and she chose oak cabinets with Mexican style terra cotta tile. I think the kitchen is lovely but I'm having a hard time making it work with the warmth we're trying to achieve throughout the house. My dining and living rooms have dark wood furniture so I'm a bit worried about everything working together. As much as the internet suggests oak cabinets are dated, I simply cannot paint or replace them at this time.

So, here is where I need some help...

What color would you paint the walls?

What would you do for the window treatment? I was thinking of going with a Roman shade rather than curtains.

Should we replace the ceiling fan with a more modern fan or should we skip the fan and go with decorative lighting? (TBH, the fan is not a "must have" for me).

The island is not secured to the floor. It can be moved or removed. What would you do? Initially, I wanted to remove it to open the kitchen up but some of my friends are begging me to keep it in place because they insist I'll want the counter space.

Adding hardware to the cabinets is something I wanted to do but some have suggested it might draw more attention to the oak. Would it be a bad idea afterall?

Eventually, we will upgrade all of the appliances but cannot do so at this time. When we do upgrade them, would you suggest stainless steel? I also like black appliances but worry it might date the cabinets even more. Suggestions welcome...

Below are some photos of the kitchen at present time, with all of my mother-in-law's belongings still in place. She will be packing everything up before we move in so try to envision a clean slate.

View of the kitchen from the dining room






Close up of the backsplash


Thank you SO MUCH in advance! I know this might be a lot...can you tell I've never done this before?
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
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My new kitchen needs a facelift (oak cabinets have to stay)


Just found this site myself, hope I can be of some help to you. Yes, I would change the curtain to a Roman shade - it'll let more light into the kitchen and update the style. First choose a really nice fabric that goes with your cabinetry, then bring it to the paint store. They can find a paint colour that will highlight your curtains and not the cabinets.

Remove the ceiling fan. It's hard to tell from the photo, but if the light is above the island, you could install pendant lighting over the island. If it's not, consider a light on a wire and drape it to reach over the island.

Keep the island. If you can afford it (probably $100 for laminate), change the countertop to a slightly smaller (maybe 2-3" beyond the base), rectangle (no cutoff corners which dates it). Pick a countertop colour that is similar to the tile countertop.

If they all still work, I wouldn't change the appliances until you change the cabinets - keep putting your pennies in a savings account until you can modernize everything all at once.

Have fun!
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:05 PM   #3
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My new kitchen needs a facelift (oak cabinets have to stay)


ack - typed a response and clicked the wrong button - so now the short version.

Hardware will not draw attention to your cabinets - there is nothing wrong with oak either (I had it in my last house).
Please feel free to find a roman shade you like and replace the curtains. If you get a shade with a pattern in it, you could pick a color out of it to go on your walls.
If you don't need/like the fan in the kitchen - find a light that you like and when it's in your budget, change it.
If the island is removable and you have a place to store it, you could temporarily remove it and see how you like the kitchen without it. If you keep it, a pendant lights would look good over it.
I personally have black appliances in my home. I will change them to stainless only when I sell as the other homes in my "hood" have it.
Lastly, quite a few of the paint manufacturers have free visual paint programs online and you can kind of Paint your picture to see how some paints would look.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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My new kitchen needs a facelift (oak cabinets have to stay)


How did this face lift turn out?? Did you get started? Did you just say the heck with it? Etc.

Just curious as I've got an oak kitchen as well.
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