Kitchen Dreams and Schemes

Yesterday I showed you my new oven and microwave, and it’s got me thinking about what exactly I want to do in the kitchen. Mind if I do some wishin’, hopin’, plannin’ and dreamin’ with you today?

Here’s the kitchen before we moved in:
and here’s what the kitchen looks like today:
Or at least it did look like this until the kids got home from school. Once that hurricane came through, things were not so tidy.It’s already looking much more pleasant, wouldn’t you say?

There’s a whole lotta yellow wood going on in here, so I want to paint the cabinets white or use gel stain and go super dark. It depends on what flooring choice we decide on. We want to install wood in the kitchen, dining and living rooms and down the hall and on the stairs. If we go dark on the floor, I think the white cabinets would look better. My only reason for considering dark cabinets is that gel stain is SOOO much easier than painting. But I don’t know what color of wood we’d do if we had dark cabinets, so it probably won’t happen.
The old blah overhead light needs to go. Currently the dining room has a fan over the table (see the picture below). I’ve been toying with the idea of moving the fan to the kitchen and installing a chandelier over the table. Is it weird to have a ceiling fan in the kitchen? I don’t know… still thinking that one through.
Eventually I’d like a new countertop and definitely a new backsplash. Why did they only install it part of the way up? That drives me bonkers! The countertop is granite tile and it’s so poorly installed. None of the edges line up and lots of the corners are different heights. And the real travesty is that the tile was installed on top of a grey speckled solid surface countertop. Why?!?

We’ll add crown moulding once the pantry is done. Then we can do all three spaces at the same time, since they are all connected. I’d also like to add moulding to the tops of the cabinets when we paint or stain them. 

The hunter green, beat up bar stools definitely need a makeover. I’m thinking either black or white legs and a restained top.

I am also thinking about removing the cabinets that stick out over the bar area. It would help open up the space, plus I think those kind of cabinets are just outdated, right? When we get our pantry done, I’ll decide if I can do without the extra storage. There’s also a corner in the dining room part of the space that we could add a corner hutch to, which might make up for losing cabinet space. See just left of the door?

Perfect space for a corner hutch to hold all my serving dishes. If the bar cabinets go, we’ll add some pretty pendant lights there instead.

The current kitchen floor is a nightmare. It’s actually tongue and groove wall paneling that was never meant to be installed as flooring. The cracks are impossible to clean. If we don’t change the flooring soon, those cracks will just fill in with crumbs and gunk and then the floor will be smooth, but really, I hope it doesn’t come to that.

The last plan I have is to paint the wooden column and the beam a nice, crisp white.

So what do you think? Would you remove those floating cabinets? Paint or stain? A ceiling fan in the kitchen? What color of wood floor? Ack! So many choices!

And just because it’s nice to have the two photos together, here’s a little BEFORE and DURING shot:



  1. I don't know if my comment disappeared when I signed it, so you can delete this if its a duplicate!

    So…my thoughts… Paint the cabinets white!! We just moved and had painted our previous ones white and I miss it most of all! We also had gorgeous dark wood like tile and I loved the contrast….but with white cabinets, I don't think you could go wrong with the floor, light or dark. I would remove the cabinets…it would make a huge difference. And the fan….I think it would be okay…but I live in Texas where we die without ceiling fans. We don't have one in the kitchen, but if we did, we would leave it there!

    • Thanks for the thoughts, Sarah! I have always loved white kitchens with dark floors. I guess thinking about how much work it would be to paint just tempted me to think about staining instead. And that's exactly why I thought the ceiling fan would be nice… keep me cooler when I'm cooking dinner in the summer!

  2. I would remove the cabinets, as you say it would really open up the kitchen area, the fan in the kitchen is actually a pretty good idea to help keep cool as your cooking and I'd probably paint the cabinets rather than stain, again to open up the area 🙂 look forward to seeing your progress 🙂

  3. I would absolutely loose the floating cabinets. It looks like there may be room for some of them near the door. I want to gel stain my cabinets too. If you are going to paint the column white I suggest white cabinets too. Then a dark floor would not clash with the cabinets.

  4. A fan in the kitchen sounds like a great idea for hot days (I have no AC). But then I started thinking about the moving air, lots of dust/dirt/pet and/or human hair blowing around and cooking food….
    No. No fan in the kitchen.
    My parents house/ the house I lived in until I got married had a hunter lodge feel to the kitchen and dining room as well. They painted the cabinets (white… not the greatest idea with children but looked beautiful) and white on top dk blue on bottom on the walls, new counter tops (gotten on SUPER sale), new linoleum sheeting on the floor (which sounds cheap but it looked fantastic. esp. compared to the gross linoleum that was there before). Took down the odd wooden panelling that was buckling all over the walls, then had to remove the wallpaper that was under THAT.
    So worth it. The finished product was beautiful.

  5. Wow your kitchen looks so neat with almost nothing out on the counters! Rock on! So many questions to answer…..
    no it isn't weird to have a fan in the kitchen. Just think of how efficiently you will be able to redistribute heat with it. I would paint the blades white to match the big post you are painting, and to help it not stand out too much. Just be mindful of keeping it clean!
    Because you currently have so much black in your kitchen, I would repaint the green bar stools black. I think the white would stand out in not a good way, plus white shows dirt and little 2 year old messy handprints like no other color! I have white chairs in my kitchen and my 2 year old daughter can dirty them faster and more noticeable than my mom's black chairs. Of course, if you paint the column white, it would tie in with that to paint them white. However if you paint the cabinets white, it would be too much white, but if you stain them dark, black might clash.
    If you can do without the cabinets over the bar, YES take them out! A few pendant lights would be Lovely! Plus if you wanted to add a splash of color, you could do it with some groovy shades on the pendant lights, and if you are replacing the back splash, you could tie the color into that! And again with a picture in the dining room with a splash of the same color! Doing It would really really open up the space, and cut down on cabinets you'll have to paint later. And the hutch would work perfectly in the dining area.
    What colors are the walls going to be painted in the joining rooms that also need flooring? The flooring color sort of decides the cabinet color. But even more importantly, what kind of material will you be replacing the counter tops with? If you are going with Corian or marble or something like that, I would guess you are like my in-laws who went to a place where they could pick out their slab from a discount section and then have it cut to what you need. The colors in your counter top will open the room up to so many color possibilities! If you were to darken the cabinets, but found a beautiful counter top that clashed, you would want to redo the cabinets And so on and so forth.
    I would like to say I LOVE your faucet in the kitchen!
    I was also thinking, if you do dark cabinets, you may find you want to change up your cabinet handles (they aren't really knobs) which is very expensive, so I was wondering if using the stainless steel paint from the fridge on them would be an option?
    Also, what did you decide to do about the dishwasher? Are you going to paint it to match the fridge? Or wait til it dies and get what you want then?

    • Alice, you are amazing. Thanks for so many good ideas! Lately I've been thinking about painting the barstools gray… because I can't decide between black or white, so it's kind of like having both. Ha! Also, I am hoping to keep the existing cabinet handles. I will definitely paint them if they need it. Also, I'm keeping the dishwasher. Just waiting for warm enough weather to take it outside and spray paint the top part black. You've also sold me on removing the cabinets… less to paint sounds awesome! 🙂

  6. I would definitely remove the cabinets over the peninsula and put in pendant lighting. That would really open the space up.

    As far as paint or stain? I am a sucker for the look of natural wood so I would have to say stain. If you go with maybe a cinnamon type stain and then a darker wood for your floor you will have the contrast you want. We did a mini re-do of our kitchen about 5 years ago and now I want a BIG renovation. I just need our budget to catch up because I'm NOT going into debt to do it.

  7. I don't think the ceiling fan in the kitchen is a bad idea! I often want a fan in there with all of the heat from cooking.

    I vote for light, painted cabinets & dark wood floor to brighten the room. I've also seen a lot of people doing two-tone cabinets lately, with one color on the bottom cabinets & another on the top. Maybe you could stain the bottom ones & paint the top ones? I could go either way on the floating set ~ once you have the pantry it looks like you'll have plenty of storage!

    Most of the work in our house seems to be really well done, but we've got giant gaps in the hardwood floors in the kitchen too! There is so much other stuff we want to do, replacing that's not even on the list yet, but it is pretty gross for a kitchen where there are going to be a lot of food spills!

  8. I have enjoyed your blog (I read it fromy sister's blog, janie).
    I just wanted to add that I have both white cabinets and a dark island cabinets.
    My dark island, very dark, is very difficult to keep clean. Kids crumbs and food and milk drops…I am constantly (daily) having to wipe and clean them.
    I love my white cabinets and am surprised at how little I need to wipe them.
    Flooring, I have had both a very dark shiny wood floor, complete stress because it shows everything! Now I have a matte finish natural walnut and it has helped a lot.
    (I would remove the floating cabinets and not put the fan in the kitchen).
    My opinion.
    I love the DIY mentality. Thanks for allowing us to join your journey!

    • Melissa, any sister of Janie's is a friend of mine! Thanks for all the insight. It does help me decide to hear how others feel about cleaning different floors/cabinets. I think I am definitely going to remove the floating cabinets. Still undecided about the fan. Thanks for the great comment!


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