Kitchen changes...what do you think?

Thursday, March 17, 2011
In general, I really like our kitchen a lot but there are a few minor changes I would like to make. 
Dave is not completely on board with all of these changes though.  First, I would like to paint the island a pretty soft gray color.  I loathe this dark stained wood.  We had it in our family room and we had it painted white.



It is a large island and it is definitely not in the budget to pay someone to paint this for us.  So, my question hard would this be?  It has 8 drawers and 8 cabinet doors.  I would have to do it myself and I have never painted cabinets before.  So if anyone out there has done this yourself, please chime in. I would likely paint the red stools another color too or replace them with something like this....


or this...

drum country living
via Country Living

The next thing I'd like to do (and Dave has given me the green light on this) is remove these cabinet doors below our sink...


and replace them with fabric like this....

{from for the love of a house.  LOVE her kitchen. One of my all time faves.  You can see it here}

Water drips down the front of our sink and the paint has chipped like crazy. We have already had them repainted once.  Wish I could sew because I think this would be super easy to make.

And finally, I am dying to take the doors off two of my upper cabinets...


to have more of that open shelving look.  It is a big trend in kitchens right now and I love the cozy look.  I also know that some people prefer cabinets so to me it is a great compromise.  If we ever sell (which I am sure we will because we move a lot), we can just put the glass doors right back on.  I would remove these and the ones of the other side of the sink in the photo at the top of this post.  What do you think?


  1. I think the island is absolutely beautiful but I understand wanting to make the other changes. Good luck.

  2. It is easy to paint yourself , I have painted every cabinet in our home , lightly sand then prime with high adhession primer , let sure for a few days then paint with a good quality paint , use a nice new sash brush and foam roller , take your time , trust me its not hard at all , if you like you can rent or buy a sprayer to do the doors in the garage ...I always use latex FYI , you can easily paint the stools as well same process , I would prime them by hand and spray , I know Martha Stewart had stools powder coated at a auto body shop ...?

  3. I have the exact same problem with water dripping on mine- I may have to steal your idea.

    As far as painting the island- I think the best way is to use a sprayer. We have a wagnor one that we have used for things like that. If the island is stationary you will have to cover up everything in the kitchen obvii but I think the look of spraying it vs. a brush is huge.

  4. I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I think you are absolutely crazy to make any changes to your kitchen. It's absolutely gorgeous.

    Your island is the perfect colour to offset your white cabinets, I wouldn't take the doors off because your stuff will just get dusty! And the only thing I can see you changing are the breakfast bar stools.

    Honestly, your kitchen is gorgeous. :) I love your style.


  5. I would NOT paint that island gray. You have such a beautiful, classic and traditional kitchen. If you truly hate the wood, I think you should paint it white to match the rest of the kitchen. I think that gray is super trendy right now, and not in a good way. In a few years, it will go out of style, leaving you with a dated kitchen. Open shelving is trendy too, but you can always reattach the door, so that is an excellent addition. I love your kitchen, I wish mine was that nice.

  6. I remember when you did the Family Room....and I love it! I think your island would look FABULOUS painted gray! I painted my kitchen cabinets white. (They were also previously stained.) The key to success is the prep work...not the actual painting. I took the cabinet doors off and layed them on saw horses. I sanded each door, and the cabinets themselves, lightly (by hand) with some sand paper. Then I primed them two times letting the primer dry completely between each coat. Then I sanded very lightly again. Brushing the paint on was a breeze after all that...but so so worth it! LOVE the idea of gray bar stools too. If you want to add some color you could do a small cushion on the tops of each stool. Oh, and the curtain under the love!

    For the record, *For The Love Of A House*....IS my favorite kitchen!!!!!!!!

  7. Well first I had to take a few moments just to sit and wish I had a kitchen like you do!! :) LOVE the idea of the curtain and LOVE the idea of the open cabinets, but I'm sorry, I just love the dark wood on the island, so can't help you out with that one. But you must show us "after" pictures, okay?

  8. i think your kitchen is beautiful. do your read "the nester" blog- she has great tips for painting yourself. your kitchen as it is right now is my dream kitchen...we live in a teeny tiny beach house in los angeles- but someday i'd love a kitchen like yours. i might actually cook! gasp!

  9. I must say, I am with Elizabeth. Gray is gorgeous but very trendy. While the dark wood is not your fave, is it something you can live with since you move often?

    If you must paint it :), I, personally would hire a painter. Cabinets are easy to mess up and it is such a focal point of our home. We hired out and it was only $1200 to do our whole kitchen and they did a fabulous job. Can't imagine it would be too much for just the island. Do you ever look at the blog She had her island painted and it looks gorgeous.

    Your home is beautiful no matter what you decide to do. Oh, and I made your shrimp dish from last week and it was scrumptious. Definitely a keeper in our home.

  10. Your kitchen is amazing! I love it the way it is, but I understand wanting a change. We have a small kitchen and I painted the cabinets myself. It's not hard. Little sanding, primer, then two coats of paint. Light coats with each one, and good quality brush. You can do it!

    I love skirt idea for your kitchen sink!

  11. Personally Kim, I love it the way it is...and why make more work for yourself if it is already a gorgeous space?

  12. I must say I love your house and always envy how neat you keep it! Yes, I would paint the island. Not sure of the gray color, but yes some light color would be nice. I think I like the country living stools better than the first ones you chose. I would like the curtain under the sink. And, my concern with taking the doors off the cabinet would be trying to keep that space clean. I would think the glass doors allow the space to look open, without dust (and cats! ha ha) getting into that space. That is just me though. I am sure whatever you do will be wonderful though, as your homes always seem just that- more than a house, but a warm, welcoming, easy to live in home! Good luck!

  13. I think you're fortunate that your kitchen is so amazing right now. You have incredible space and gorgeous everything! I don't think you need to change a thing. However, if you really want to paint the island, go for it!

  14. I would love the island painted gray (and I also voted for you to paint in the family room and love the results). I think it would be lovely!

    I have been seeing so many designers leave the cupboard doors open, but I think that would drive me crazy with all the dust. Your cabinet doors are unique and beautiful, btw.

    I think that the sink skirt is a toss-up. If you love the linen skirt look, then by all means change it. I happen to love your cabinet doors, too, so I'd be tempted to leave them because I'd be washing that skirt all the time and wiping the wood would be lower maintenance for me...except you said you have to repaint the door from the dripping. So, that one is hard to say.

    Whatever you do, it will be beautiful.

    BTW, what type of cabinets (and sink)are those? I'm about to re-do our kitchen our kitchen and wondered if they were a pre-made or designed on-the-spot. Also, is the marble on the island hard to deal with and maintain? Thanks!


  15. LOVE your ideas for the kitchen! If you end up painting the island please post how you do it. I REAllY want to paint our cabinets either a white or a light gray but my husband is freaking out. He says we paid good money for custom cabinets and he wants to keep them. I am slowly pulling him over to he dark side :)

  16. Your island is beautiful the way it is! Painting cabinets DIY sometimes turns out looking really bad - risky for your beautiful gorgeous high-end kitchen! The other changes are great because they can be easily changed back and are easy to do!

  17. If you paint your island, make sure it's not very humid - that ruins the finish. Is there an interior shelf you can practice on first?

  18. Gosh, so many different opinions! Well, here are mine.
    (1) I love the skirt idea. It is easily reversed or changed.
    (2) I think removing the glass doors would be too informal.
    (3) I would paint the island either a soft grayish blue or green.
    Good luck! Your home is beautiful.

  19. Gorgeous space, with or without the changes. But I understand the itch to change -- it's fun! And you can totally make an easy curtain for below your sink, with no sewing required. Just go to your local Joann's, find the fabric, and use some velcro or sticky fabric tape, wrap it around a tension rod at the top, fold for a hem on the sides and the bottom, and it's done. It would take you a half hour, tops.


  20. Hi I'm just hopping over after visiting from Football and Fried Rice--LOVE your kitchen! I am always looking for new ideas too just to spice things up. I like your ideas with the island--I'm not a fan of dark wood either--although yours is very nice! I especially like your bar stools. Ours have a back on them and they bug me so much as they are always in the way. Yours so neatly tuck under the apron of the counter. Oh and the curtain at the base of your sink would be WAY easy to make!! (I made little girly girl skirts and all kinds of things at Ruffled Feathers Company, see the linking button on my blog if you're curious.) The curtain above your sink is beautiful too. Would you try to match that? Or change them both?
    Good Luck!

  21. I'm renovating an old house right now, and have been studying kitchens A LOT. I too like the curtained under sink. It's good to know about the water and chippy paint under the sink. My sink is very similar to that. I also would like my island counter top similar to what you have!
    We just had the cabinets painted. I was going to do it myself, but my father is a contractor and he sent some guys over. Such a special treat!!!
    They used an oil based kilz for primer (smells terrible) and then hand painted the rest. I think you can do it!
    I like the doors off the upper cabinets. Actually I like them on too, but it's so fun and energizing to make little changes like that and so easy!
    Looking forward to seeing your island finished!

  22. Painting them is not hard! Just be sure to sand and prmie them or, sand and paint with oil (or alkyd) paint. Alkyd paint has a longer drying time, so it won't show brush strokes either which is a benefit.

    If you want a curtain for underneath your cabinet, no need to sew often times you will find that a pillowcase (vintage??) or a remnant at a fabric store will be enough and you can use seam tape to hem and create the pocket. All that is required is an iron.

    (on a peronal...self promotion side, I would be glad to make it for you if you would like, I have a little side business sewing to help pay for all the cute girl clothes for my 2 year old. Email me for details)

  23. I'm curious, what shade of grey do you have in mind? Grey is one of my favourite colours, but I really want to know the shade so I can see if it matches your kitchen. And I think you'll be fine painting the cabinets on your own. Just be sure to sand and prime it well. Get a good brush too. Oh, and remember to take off the little handles and knobs.

    As for the open-cabinet style, again, I think you can pull it off; only because you seem to keep your caibnets neat and tidy. I, for one, cannot even have glass cabinet doors.

    So, I say, go for the changes! Everything is reversible (except for the painted island--so think about that a little longer).

    Keep us updated!

  24. I would not try to paint the cabinets myself! It always looks easier than it is for sure. I actually like the island the way it is but I don't live there! I love the idea of the fabric under the sink and the open cabinets are great and a easy fix when you sell if the next person doesn't like. The metal bar stools you want to me do not look like they go with the rest of your house, a little modern.
    You are brave to ask our opinions for sure! Hope you decide and love what you end up doing! On another note Matthew and Brady are playing Lacrosse together this year and are having a blast!

  25. Can I just come and live with you?????? xxxooo

  26. Hi Kim! I love your taste, so I know whatever you choose it will look wonderful. Your house is beautiful. I think you read August Fields and her kitchen has a similar feel that you are describing. There are so many great blogs out their with wonderful kitchens and painting tips. You will be fine to do it yourself. Just study up before hand!! Good luck!!

  27. If you are going to paint the island, it will need to be sprayed so that you do not have brush strokes. I have painted cabinets, but it was before installation, so I did not have to paint a fixed island area. You will have to cover so many surfaces to protect them. I think it would look spectacular with a splash of color like red or a turquoise-y gray. You have so many neutral tones that you could get away with a pop of color. Of course, I also like the way it is now.

    As for the curtain, get some hemming tape and us it to hem the bottom edge of the fabric you want to use. You should cut it to the length you want it to be, plus allowances for the bottom and top hems. Hem the sides too. If you want it to split in the middle, cut in half and hem those sides as well. For the top piece, leave an opening to slide a curtain rod through (the thin adjustable kind). The length of the fabric should be 2 1/2 -3 times the length of the opening so that you will have fullness. 3x would probably be best to allow for hemming the sides as well. Hemming tape is attached to fabric using an iron. Just make sure that you leave an allowance at the top for the curtain rod.

  28. My parents are doing their kitchen this Spring...they having a contractor do the big stuff but they are refacing their cabinets.
    Apparenty at Home Depot, they were VERY helpful when my dad had gone and spoken to them and it is totally feasible.
    I would check out the Home Depot and see what they say.
    Put it this way, if my parents can do it, ANYONE can do it. (My dad is an accountant and that's what he is good at...not artistic or creative at ALL...)
    It's encouraging for sure!
    Good luck!

  29. Your kitchen is beautiful now, but it would be so lovely with these changes as well. A great blog to check out for painting furniture is
    Please show us your results if when you make the changes!!
    Have fun!

  30. Check this out looks like the paint to use in order to avoid the time consuming prep work.

  31. I think the island will be great in grey. I would go with Farrow and Ball paint; they do grey very well.

  32. I think your kitchen is stunning! Seriously a dream kitchen of mine!

    1. I say keep the island dark. It pulls the whole room, beams and wood all together. Plus painting cabinets that are stained is a lot of work. And I have a feeling that you are not going to like how it looks unless it is perfect.

    2. Love the idea of putting a simple linen curtain under the sink. Check out the seamstress Holly Mathis uses -- she is in Brenham and reasonably priced.

    3. Stools -- what if you paint your current stools grey? That would bring in the grey you want and help pull the grey out of your counter tops. I love the look of industrial but I always wonder if it would be cold.

    4. Open shelving ... I think this is a total preference. I adore your glass front doors but see why you'd want to change them. I like the uniformity that the glass front brings with the huge kitchen window and i also like that you do get a peak into your dishes.

  33. Put the photo in photoshop and fill the wood areas with grey to see how it looks!

  34. Kim,

    I love the dark wood because it offsets the beams in the ceiling and really makes the cabinets pop. If you are going to paint it, DON'T DO IT YOURSELF. There is no way you'll get a smooth, professional-looking finish and I know you'll be disappointed if it doesn't look perfect. It's not a very big area to paint so I'm guessing you could have it done for a reasonable price.

  35. Oh Kim ~ You sound like me... I have so many big plans for our kitchen... and they DO include paint!

    However, in your case, you already know how much I love your home and your style of decor. It's right up my alley and the look I desire. But I would have to say I pretty much just 'ditto' what your last commenter 'Carrie' had to say...

    I love your island as it is. I think the dark wood ties everything together and gives it the perfect balance that it needs. It brings out the dark beams in your ceiling (which I ADORE!) and the darker hues in your wood floors. It's the perfect contrast to the crisp white tones everywhere else in the room.

    I think painting the barstools would be great though...and a much simpler task to tackle. I also love the idea of removing the cabinet doors beneath your sink and putting in the curtain. You can change the look of the fabric as often as you like!!

    As for the cabinet doors... I agree that it's personal preference. I like the 'look' of the open shelves, but everyone who I personally know who has them, has talked about the downfall of dusting. And I really like your glass doors. They still have the nice cottage appeal that compliments your gorgeous kitchen!

    In anycase, I can't WAIT to see what you come up with! I love it when you post photos of your home. It inspires me to do more to my own!! ;)

    Blessings and Hugs,

  36. Oh my -- you have THE most beautiful kitchen ever! I love it just the way it is, but also can see your changes would be gorgeous! Good luck!


  37. I LOVE your kitchen as is! Looks like it came straight from an interior design magazine!

  38. I just have one thing to say....No fair that your countertops are that clean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm working on clearing mine so I can see the granite again! (guess I'd better get off these blogs...might help a little!)

  39. I paint cabinets and furniture all the time. The key is a good primer, and lightly sanding between coats of primer and paint.

    Good luck, I know it will look fabulous.

  40. hi kim,

    i think all the changes sound great EXCEPT the island. I LOVE that wood, it totally contrasts in the right way. just my opinion:) btw..we just found out we are being moved back to Atlanta this summer with Jeff's job. Love NJ but am happy to get back to the south. Keep us posted on kitchen.


  41. I have been dying to paint my cabinents as well but with you cost and experiance is holding me back. I follow this blog and she just shared a new paint that I would really like to try.

  42. Hmmm. A lot to consider! I agree with you about painting the island cabinet. I love the photo of your "inspiration" kitchen with the fabric under the sink . . . her island is white, which is my vote. As others have said, grey is trendy and I don't know if I see it with your warm wood floors.

    I've painted a lot . . . my favorite paint is Benjamin Moore's Satin Impervo - - oil based. Easy to hide the brush strokes. That said, in a high-end kitchen like yours, I'd use a pro for a perfect finish.

    Will email you with few more thoughts.

    Such a beautiful kitchen! With your great taste I'm sure the end result will be wonderful.


  43. hope you get some good advice on painting; I'm afraid I won't be any help there. BUT, you know me; I say a big fat YES to the gray idea. I see you are a big 'joan' fan, too. I adore that gal and her blog. I think you would be happy with any of the soft gray colors she uses. She has a page on her blog detailing all her colors, bless her heart. Isn't she the best!

    good luck!

    love, donna

  44. What a timely post, I am doing a kitchen remodel too and have been looking at many kitchens on various blogs. I love the look of open shelving too, so want to do that in my home but concerned about resale.

    I think the glass fronts on your cabinets are so very beautiful and I would not change them. I also love the length of your cabinets. You seem to have a good deal of space on that wall, open shelves but disrupt the flow??

    I agree with most of your readers that the island is really beautiful and the wood warms the rooms so nicely. I am also looking for fun island ideas as I want that to be the focal point in my kitchen. You seem to have achieved that with your beautiful island.

    Thanks so very much about the tip with the farm sing dripping. I love the look of a farm sink and this is timely information as I debate which type of sink to get in my home. Would you purchase a farm sink again given what you have experienced with drips?

    Whatever you choose with your ideas, I am sure it will look wonderful. You have fantastic taste and your home is just beautiful.

    Good Luck :)

  45. I agree with some of the others on the gray; it's beautiful but very trendy. Your kitchen is classic and will never go out of vote on the stools would be the second of the new choices. As for painting the existing ones, simply remove the seats and spray or brush paint the base. That curtain will be super easy to make and can be attached with a tension rod. You should be able to find someone to do it for almost nothing, even a friend with minimal sewing skills.

  46. Take a look at this blog:

  47. Wow, so many varying ideas...your mind must be boggled about now. Mine would be. I've painted kitchen cabinets several times and wouldn't be afraid, at all. Just lightly sand, or use some TSP to 'scuff' up the finish. Then, use a good quality primer and paint. I usually paint mine with a nice brush or a small roller and a brush for the trim. I'm thinking pale grey would be a very nice touch in your kitchen. It would lighten things up and change the 'feel' of the room to a calmer, more inviting place to be. (This is especially true if you loathe the dark wood.) I like the curtain below the sink. It is very easy sewing, if you have a machine and can make a straight line of stitching, go for it! You could make sweet covers for your barstools to match, or just cushions for the tops of each stool. Anyway, you'll come to a proper conclusion for you, I'm sure. :)

  48. I LOVE your kitchen like it is BUT... I LOVE the ideas you have! I will say that I actually like the stain on the island a lot. Maybe if you do the other things, the island won't bother you as much. Whatever you decide, I know it will be beautiful!!!

  49. I thought I LOVED the dark wood in your living room - until it was finished and painted - the white is amazing!! I cant see you being wrong about changing the color to a gray. I think you'd be surprised at what you could do yourself!

    I wish I could sew too? But then, I'd just start projects and probably never finish them...that's just me!

    LOVE the first stools!

  50. I say go for it on all issues! You know me! Your kitchen is gorgeous just how it is but you didn't get the chance to make it like you wanted to. I know the look you are going for and I think it will look fabulous like that! Paint away it is just paint as I always say! You can do it! Hoping Will is on his way home and ready to share some amazing stories with you!

  51. Okay, wow! How did I ever miss this post! Your kitchen is stunning! I am drooling. I love all of the changes you are considering! And I adore for the love of a house too! Joan is actually guest posting for me later this week.


Thank you for your kindness.