Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kitchen Advice Needed

This is our kitchen at the present time.  

This summer I will be painting the cupboards white.    I have always loved a white kitchen and can't wait to see the change.  We also need to replace the stove and fridge with stainless, although that may have to wait for another year, as we have a leaking sliding door that needs tending too.  

I took some photos of the kitchen so you can see the 'before', and you can help me make a few decisions.

Last summer we had the bookcase added at the end of the counter, a new deeper countertop put on, and bought a dishwasher - that's right folks, we washed all our dishes by hand for the past 8 years.  I can tell you we loooove having a dishwasher now.  

So now on to my questions.

1.  What colour should the hardware be?  The metal finishes already in the kitchen include: the sink and faucet which are stainless, the dining room light (in the picture below on the left) is black, and the kitchen light (in the picture below on the right) is stainless.

I have seen a lot of kitchens with black or oil rubbed bronze.  I doubt oil rubbed bronze would be a good idea, much as I like it, as it would introduce yet another finish.  I was leaning toward stainless, but I was wondering if the more recent trend is toward the darker finishes.  We also have a dark counter so the dark might look better.  What do you think?

2.  Should we do knobs or handles on the upper cupboards.  I'm assuming handles would be fine on the lower cabinets, but I was considering knobs for the upper cupboards.  The only considerations, would be that the knobs mean filling one of the holes in the door, which means the whole process takes longer.  Is it worth it?

3.  Should these two cupboard doors be removed to have open shelving or should they have glass-front doors?  I love the look of both.  Making it into open shelves would be much easier as we would just need to add some trim.  I don't think we could do the glass-front doors ourselves because of the curved part of the door.  Not sure about that, though.  I would put beadboard on the backwall of the cupboard and paint it - what colour?  the green of the backsplash?  the white of the cupboards?  another accent colour?

4.  What should we do about the stove vent hood?  It could be replaced with a microwave/vent hood unit.  We could build a traditional wooden structure that encloses the vent.  We could get a sleek stainless vent.  Not sure what to do.  If we don't put the microwave over the stove, then where should we put it?

I'm counting on you to help me out.  Toss me some advice - I may or may not take it but I would love to hear lots of ideas to mull over.  Is there anything else I haven't thought of yet? 


  1. I think you should consider painting the base cabinets dark it would look great with the dark counters , the hardware would look great in stainless pulls maybe nice glass knobs for the upper cabinets, the beadboard would look great in some open cabinets too , I use planks , I think you should try to find some nice chunky simple brackets to install under the cabinets and you should add crown to the inside and outside of the bulkhead above and paint it the same as the uppers in a creamy white. I think you could easily add beadboard to the ceiling in this area too . I think in this case a micro vent combo would work well here but you would have to lose the cabinet above the stove and maybe do a nice open shelf because right now you don't have enough space for the micro above stove .there's my 2cents

  2. 1. Hardware could be either rubbed black or stainless steel, IMHO.
    2. Knobs are nice but not worth the effort.
    3. If you like glass, I would go with glass. No worry about the curved top. Assuming that centre piece can be removed, just mount a square piece of glass behind the curved moulding. That is what the professionals will do anyway. They won't be cutting a curve on glass.

    And if you did shelves, I would paint the same colour as the cabinets.

    4. I would definitely use a microwave/hood fan unit.

    5. (There is no #5?) I would consider a distressed white with those nice curved lines. Rubbed and antiqued. Rather than pure white cabinets.

    Have fun!

  3. We gutted our kitchen not too long ago. I love white cabinets and went for pewter hardware, it looks great! But stainless may look better in yours??? And white beadboard looks great also, makes for a light bright kitchen. I would definitely go with knobs! Open shelves, more daily upkeep to me! They look great though!

  4. I forgot to mention, check my blog for a gift!

  5. First impression here, get the micro/vent unit to free up counter space and update the look above the stove. We love ours. If stainless is for sure your goal, get it stainless. It is harder to replace AGAIN when the stove/fridge get replaced. Oh yeah, especially now that I checked and your dishwasher is stainless.

  6. Hi Grace, this is what I would do:
    - Not too many different colours for the kitchen (keep the back of the cabinets white and stick with your gorgeous green above the counters or paint them white.
    - You could try open shelving all the way around for the upper cabinets (saving painting and hardware), or, as you suggested, just one or two would look great in that spot. I like glass front doors but only when the cupboards are quite tall and narrow. I had glass with shorter, wider ones and ended up taking them off.
    - We have brushed chrome knobs everywhere in our white kitchen and they look great, however we have mostly drawers. I think the handles look great in your kitchen. Chrome would be my choice.
    - A stainless steel rangehood or cabinetry to cover one is really a matter of taste.
    Can't wait to see how it all turns out..Rachaelxx

  7. First of all, I love that glass pendant in your kitchen! Here's my 2 cents on your questions:
    I agree, no knobs, not worth the effort. Hardware could be either or glass, it would all work. While I love the look of open shelving, the practical side of me says put glass fronts on the cabinets so you don't have to dust those shelves. I can't imagine dust settling on my dishes. Beadboard in the back of the cabinets would look great but a lot of trouble. You could just paint the backs of the cabinets and get the same effect. Definitely do the microwave/vent combo over the stove. I have it and it's great. No microwave on the counter. Can't wait to see it because I'm thinking of painting my kitchen cabinets as well!

  8. Hi Grace
    I really like what just beachy advises I would agree. I also like big plain silver handles for being able to grab hold of the door .
    The one thing I want to add is suggesting changing your faucet? I think hardware and the faucet are like the jewellery. Also since your faucet is in full view of the dining area why not choose something really fabulous?
    Hope this helps!

  9. Hi Grace ... here are my thoughts.

    1) We have oil rubbed bronze and love it. It also seems to hide smudges better than stainless (we have brushed nickel in the bathroom. That said - when I think of white cabinets, I tend to think of stainless hardware.
    2) I say just stick with handles, unless you have found knobs that you like WAY better than any handles you've seen.
    3) I like both ideas and can't really decide on one. With the shelf idea, the outside of the cabinet (facing the table) could potentially be removed so that the shelves are open to both rooms.
    4) I would definitely get an OTR microwave. They are not difficult to install, especially when retrofitting an existing fan. I think you should be able to find a microwave that can fit into that space without adjusting any cabinets ... I know both my parents and Meredith's parents have done this same thing in the last couple of years. You'll be very happy to get that counter space back!

    My only other thought is to make sure you do your research and get the right primer and paint for the job, as the right paint can make a job like this go much smoother and make the finish last much longer.

  10. Grace, your kitchen is beautiful!!!! :) I love it!

    I didn't read everyone else's thoughts, so forgive em if I'm repeating, but I think sometimes it's best to not make too many decisions up front. For instance, it might be best to actually see the cabinets painted before you decide on your hardware - visualizing many changes at once can get difficult, but picturing hardware on cabinets that are already their final color is easier. Also, things like the color of the beadboard in the back of the "open" cabinets can wait until you actually have those cabinets open and you can better "see" what different options would look like. So, I'd paint the cabinets and open the two you mentioned (my vote is for glass doors - they're more timeless than the open-shelving craze) and then take some time to assess and go from there.

    It's already lovely :) Your changes are going to be fantastic!!!


  11. Grace - check out Layla's kitchen redo. The first redo was to black cabinets, which were great - and more recently to black. She added height to the cabinets, corbels, bead board... I am planning similar changes to my kitchen and found it very "inspirational"!!

  12. I would think hard about the combo vent/microwave before installing. I put one in a few years ago and found it difficult and dangerous to remove plates or bowls of hot food from a microwave that was about my eye level. The risk of spilling on yourself when you can't see the contents of the container is not worth the extra counter space IMO. I returned mine to the store and bought a conventional countertop model instead. If you lack counterspace, maybe you can install it inside a cabinet or on a specially built ledge or shelf somewhere?

  13. Hello Grace,
    I just completed a kitchen restyle. I wanted to achieve a farmhouse look with a modern twist. I did remove some of my shelves and do not regret it.

    Come take a look!

    janet xox