{ slowing down } sit and enjoy
{ party } like you're miss america

{ dreaming } of a new kitchen

Ever since we moved into this place almost 6 years ago, I have had my eye on our kitchen for a face lift. For one thing, the existing cabinets are very short.  Too short for our 10 foot ceilings.  We have almost  2' of clearance above them.

Also, the finish is All. Wrong.  They are run-of-the-mill oak something or other and were stained a dark cherry.  And then given a super high gloss -- which is reflective and silly.  And, just in case they weren't already shiny enough, they added chrome bathroom handle pulls.

I know they are bathroom handle pulls because we also have them in our bathrooms.  Sweet.

These were previous owner choices.  Obviously.

However,I don't have the budget to go ripping them all out.  And, really?  They are good cabinets.  What they need is a little updating.

So this is what we currently have going on over the stove (minus the shine -- believe me, I'm doing your eyes a favor):

existing cabinets over stove

I like the trend of uneven uppers that I have seen in home tours and in magazines.  We certainly have the room to do it.  I also wanted to add a bit more storage -- who doesn't?  So I am proposing some 12 inch upper cabinets with glass door fronts and a vertical faux chimney with 'mantle' to replace the range hood (which is now a delightful white aluminum.)

proposed changes

Then paint the whole thing and glaze it.  (not me. I'm researching this bit right now.)

In my mind, it looks like this:

what it might look like in my head with very few structural changes.

But I am probably terribly off course.   There are other small changes around the kitchen I'd like to make before we have it painted, too...

I know it's not for everyone, and I certainly appreciate more modern choices, but they just won't work here.  I have to be realistic and work with what we've got.  It's a traditional home and we won't be here forever.  But if we ever want to sell, she'll need an update.  Why not now? 

Thoughts?  Any of you done this before?  I'm terrified and thrilled at the same time.  


ps: In case you haven't already heard, Joanne, from The Simple Wife, suffered a stroke yesterday morning and is fighting for her life.  If you know her, you might want to send up some light and love and prayers.  I know her husband and two daughters would appreciate it.  You can also follow her status on Twitter, thanks to her husband: @tobenheim  xo



We've done something similar lately, although we did no actual reconstruction of the cabs. Ours are all the way up to the soffit though, so that changes things. I too felt that it would be wasteful to get completely new cabs when the current ones were serviceable. They were just 1985 golden oak. The walls were a horrid sponging job. We just had someone come in and paint all the cabs white. Then we did the walls in gray. Honestly the difference is so profound. I am glad that I didn't go with the first plan of completely gutting the cabs, or even the second plan of getting new cab doors that were shaker instead of cathedral arch. My own personal style runs more towards postmodern, but this house is too traditional for that. Let me see if I can dig up some photos. Also I have a good referral for a local painter. :)

chris carleton

Bernadette, that would be fantastic!! Thank you. (see you tomorrow)

Sarah :: greenclogs

I love the idea of the 12" cabinets, but I would also price out just replacing those cabinets with taller ones - you may be surprised at how small the cost differential is. Unless it then means replacing all of your cabinetry, of course. Which it could. Also, the chimney sounds really cool.

I put staggered cabinets in my kitchen in Seattle due to a pesky support beam and I ended up really loving the look - I had no idea that I was so trend-setting! I can send you a photo if you'd like. If you remember, I also have staggering in my current kitchen with that antique-y china hutch between the cabinets. My cabinets have crown molding that goes all the way to the ceiling which I love (no dust collection!!). You could do that above yours for some extra height and drama (and no dusting!!). We did a full kitchen rip-out and rebuild so feel free to ping me with questions.


I was thinking about your kitchen just this morning, wondering what the status was. Did you get my email yesterday?


i love your drawing - looks like it'd be a great solution to your issues. i've painted cherry cabinets to white myself...it took the better part of four weeks but i saved over $5000.


As a professional kitchen and bath designer. It is going to be much less expensive to keep your existing cabinetry and paint vs. tearing out and starting new. A few tips would be paint and glaze existing cabinetry, add crown molding to top of cabinets if you do no already have, if so go to a large built up crown molding to add more detail. Change cabinet knob/pulls out and update. It looks best to use knobs on doors and either handles or bin pulls on drawers. It adds visual intrest to mix it up. Change out your backsplash, may use some nice tile set it at an angle or accent with glass tiles, there is alot of choices out there. If you have an island change the color to an accent color from the rest of the cabinets. If your perimeter cabinets are painted and glazed, maybe use and expresso color on island, again adds intrest and this is done on alot of new homes and kitchens. Good luck on your remodel. P.S. there are a lot of good contractors out there, you just need to get referrals.

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