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[icon] Help me design my kitchen - Patti
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Subject:Help me design my kitchen
Time:11:35 pm
One of the things that I've been planning to do with the cash I pulled out with my mortgage refinance is remodel the kitchen. The appliances are all OK, but it has cabinets that were ugly and crappy when they were installed 15 years ago, and time has not improved that situation any. The layout itself isn't too bad, though I think I want to add an island in the process.

This is the kitchen as it looked when I bought the place. Since then, the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher have all been replaced with mid-grade stainless appliances. The microwave lives in the left corner where the cookbook is sitting, and there's a magnetic knife bar over the sink.

The problem I'm running into is that I have no idea what color cabinets to put in there. The floor is polished concrete, and it has all sorts of interesting colors in it. Here's a close-up though the kitchen area seems to have a little bit more in the red and gold tones. My first thought is a white or light-colored wood with countertops that match the floor. Another thought is lighter-colored wood with matching countertops. Since it's a loft, and therefore a funky space, I could probably also get away with something like dark red.

There's a reasonable chance that I'll do this on the cheap and go with Ikea cabinets, but maybe not. I'm definitely not in the mode of paying a lot of money to a custom kitchen designer or anything of the sort.

If you were me, what would you do?
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sabyl
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:34 am (UTC)
I kinda like the idea of doing something funky and modern like the red with white on the idea site.
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wordweaverlynn
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:38 am (UTC)
Are you planning to live there for the next 20 years? If so, I'd do whatever made me happy. IMO, something formal and fussy is not likely to work in your loft, but that's my taste.

If not, I'd choose neutral cabinets and counters and add color with smaller accessories -- candy-apple red knobs on plain white cabinets, for example. The knobs can be easily and cheaply replaced when you sell.

I think stainless steel countertops would work really well in there. They're durable, easy to clean, heat-resistant, and delightfully industrial looking. You could soften the look a bit with butcherblock counters and matching cupboards.

I would also talk to wild_irises about it.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 01:10 pm (UTC)
Get a microwave that goes over the stove (that's why those two cabinets don't come down as far). If you go with granite countertops pay the extra for granite slab. I did granite tile and wish I had done slab. You can actually get concrete countertops, a builder friend did that for his bar in his basement and it's kind of cool.

For the cabinets, I'm a big fan of natural wood like maple. But, they aren't cheap. Can you just get cabinet doors?
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rahaeli
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 02:58 pm (UTC)
Oooh, yay, kitchen design! (I love doing this. Seriously. Also, my dad was a general contractor for years and years; next time I talk to them I'll ask him where he would go for cheap that isn't Ikea and won't push you into using the most expensive alternatives.) A good kitchen supply house will also have designers that can help you out without pushing you into things you don't want just to increase their commission.

In that space, with the floor and the fact that you've replaced the appliances with stainless-steel, I'd definitely go with natural wood (probably unstained-but-clear-finished cherry), because white would leave the space feeling institutional -- if you get a good kitchen supply house they should be able to find you cabinets that have the same colors as the floors have. Use the funky red for fixtures; with walls that color I think the red would overwhelm the space.

I would also -- if you're installing an island -- actually make it not a free-floating island, but one that attaches flush to the wall. The size of the space would mean that if you wanted to have clearance on either side, you'd have to make the island itself be tiny. I'd attach it over to the right, up against the blank wall, and install cabinet/counter space up to meet it. (I'd probably also move the refrigerator so that it was against that wall, move the stove to where the refrigerator is now, and move the sink to where the stove is, to improve the workflow. That would require some re-engineering, though.) Adding more cabinet/counter space is a really easy way to fix up a kitchen.

My fingers are itching to get my graph paper, you know. *g*
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 06:52 pm (UTC)
Sadly, the sink is completely unmovable and the stove is moderately so.
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rahaeli
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 06:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I figured that might be the case. (In that case, I might anchor the island up next to the sink, instead of on the other side of the kitchen.)
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:35 pm (UTC)
It's a good point. I'm planning to mock it up with cardboard boxes and leave it for a few days before I make any final decisions.
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rahaeli
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:37 pm (UTC)
Cardboard boxes + duct tape = love, when it comes to designing kitchens. :)
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allknight
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 03:19 pm (UTC)
Patti,

I love the idea of adding an island to your kitchen. Debbie and I have had one now at our last two houses and we use it all the time. As for the wood I am partial to oak cabinents and we had granite at our Sacramento house that we miss now (we have cheap white tile counter tops).
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pdx_girl
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 03:23 pm (UTC)
IKEA has some killer colored cabinets, if color is where you're going. In general, they have some great cabinet details that make life so much easier - pull out spice racks, etc. They also offer free design service.


Concrete counter tops would be pretty cool, so would granite slab. Or even something like soapstone.
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scottro
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 05:16 pm (UTC)
Move to Youngstown and buy every house on my street.

77
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:36 pm (UTC)
Not gonna happen.
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scottro
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:58 pm (UTC)
I know. I was just sayin.

77
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chellewoods
Subject:Cool!
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 05:18 pm (UTC)
Your loft looks awesome. As far as the kitchen, I think maple cabinets with a black countertop (granite) would look pretty awesome with your ss appliances. I'd do a microwave over the stove to save on the counter space. I think an island would be pretty cool too - extra work and storage space.

JMO :)

We just redid our kitchen and I'm pleased with the results. We did ours through Lowes. If you'd like to see before and after pics, let me know!

Michelle
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mrtaki
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-21 07:09 pm (UTC)
Just put the phone there and order takeout.. :)
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ruth_lawrence
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-22 10:44 am (UTC)
Me, I'd go for a nice timber that blended with the floor -beech?-, and go for funky with the the paint and accessories: they are cheaper to fix if they get really old on you.
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soakland
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-22 10:10 pm (UTC)
Dumbbell-shaped island at my house was commissioned from a starving artist and uses scrap granite in concrete as a top surface, with layers of lazy susans underneath.
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bldrnrpdx
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-04-23 12:24 am (UTC)
I don't have any useful suggestions beyond what's already been said, but I'm looking forward to pictures.
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[icon] Help me design my kitchen - Patti
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