Planning: kitchen updates

Generally, I try to work on one room, one project at a time. However, with the reality of husband moving out of state for work, and the house to go up for sale next summer, there is a lot I need to be juggling. I also want to spend a lot of time planning and replanning the kitchen. For example, from my original plan of a gray, white, chrome kitchen I’ve decided to go with a cream, warm brown kitchen.

Research First and Make a Plan

I did a LOT of kitchen cabinet research before starting. I visited a lot of showrooms and talked to sales people and designers about what was desired in my area, as well as visiting many open houses of homes on the market in my price range.

While national kitchen magazines state that distressed cabinets are out and dark wood cabinets are in, my area of the U.S. is still selling a lot of white or distressed cabinetry. “White Kitchens” are still the no. 1 search in kitchen cabinetry colors on the internet.

The point is that trends can be regional and be determined by the price range your house would sell at also. I can’t stress enough that if you are redoing your home with the thought of re-sale you need to thoroughly do your homework beforehand.

Another thing is that kitchen remodels are generally the most expensive room to remodel (the next is the bathroom) so if you plan on staying a long time in your home, feel free to personalize. However, if you plan on re-selling in the next five years, compromises may need to be made.

This is some of the information I came away with:

For Sale homes in my area, that have not updated their kitchens, stay on the market much longer.

Any sort of wallpaper needs to be removed, especially if it is plaid, floral, “country” etc…

Personally, I see breakfast bars on the way out. Seating at the prep island is in.

Counter surfaces and backsplash tile choices really date a kitchen.  Corian is out, Granite or Quartz  is still very much in. Marble is also making a comeback. Glass, stainless steel or wood countertops are on the edge of acceptable and appeal to less buyers then Granite does.

Pantry storage remains hot.  Open storage is in. Islands large enough for seating with a sink for prepping are hot.

Stainless steel appliances are still hot.

Drop lighting is in, especially over task areas and is generally combined with recessed can lights.

High end kitchens have taller cabinets that go straight to the ceiling with no gap. They have varying profiles of projecting cabinets vs. a flat profile of cabinets with all the same depth. They have crown molding and decorative trim accents. They also have several types of cabinets in one kitchen such as glass front cabinets, open cabinetry, solid wood cabinetry, etc…

Thoughts on the kitchen

changes to the kitchen cabinet doors, counter, backsplash and lighting
areas getting changed

Changes have quickly been made from the first photo to the next with the removal of doors over the fridge, and opening the doors upper left and preparing them for glass inserts. The area above the fridge will become open, a shorter version of this longer display area, with decorative, wood  appliques, curved opening, bead moulding backing and lighting:

display area will be built in over the fridge where closes cabinets are located now

The two series of upper cabinets left of the fridge will become lighted cabinets with glass doors. Here the 4 cabinet doors (left) have been cut to allow glass.

Above the stove, the cabinet will be given additional height and reach the ceiling. This cabinet will become open, something like this, reaching to the ceiling with crown moulding and with a beadboard backing with lighting:

cabinets over stove will be replaced with an open display cabinet

Lower cabinets on either side of the stove will be pull drawers. They are designed behind the cabinet doors this way but we will remove the cabinet doors and have the drawers themselves face out.

Cabinet door paint: with Anni Sloan Chalk Paint Old White (whitest portion of test board) with Sherwin Williams Van Dyke Brown glaze.

Granite Countertop throughout the kitchen with a stone Backsplash, either brick or piano style. Something modern looking that isn’t too busy. 

Door and Cabinet Hardware (oil rubbed bronze): Cup Pulls (15) ; Knobs (9) 5 for top mounted cabinets along stove wall and four for glass doors. I currently have; Door Pulls (4 pantry fridge wall)

The dishwasher (14 years old) and the fridge (18 years old) definitely need replacing (fridge with a side by side) and most likely I’ll be looking on Craigslist – people are remodeling and moving so these items come up for sale more often then you think. I’m not all that keen on

A beautiful faucet with dark brown sink …

The biggest issue is the island. I’ve hated it for years. It is not decorative or even useful. But it is not tiled underneath so I can’t simply remove it. Working with what I have on hand, we’d decided to keep the three drawers (far too useful) and open the two ends, leaving a center cabinet which I’ll turn into a baking tray storage area, retaining the cabinet door.


We’ve already installed four drop pendants (Lowes), two over the island and two over the sink working counter.


The point is to update the kitchen make it more on par with houses $20,000 above our range, and do it without spending a bundle. Kitchens sell homes and this one could really carry the house to a closing.

Want to see more about cabinets? There’s more on the blog right here….

One thought on “Planning: kitchen updates

  1. Pingback: ceiling beams in the kitchen « Simply Rooms (by design)

Comments are closed.