My future kitchen

So, much of the time these days I have kitchen cabinetry, flooring, layouts, and the like on the mind.  It’s necessitated because the seeming reality is that in a matter of weeks, my old kitchen will be yanked from it’s resting place and a new one will go up!!!

Some of you may have already been through the process of updating your kitchen.  Some of you may be considering it.  Please, please, please share your experiences, thoughts, and preferences with me!!!

We are having all-hardwood cabinets installed–not a speck of MDF/particle board, whatever.  🙂  I chose ash wood and we’re going to clear coat it.  I requested boards with little grain showing but lots of streaks of the contrasting light/dark wood.  I am nervous solely because it’s just so different from the golden yellow currently adorned all over my kitchen cabinet/walls.  But, I think I’m going to love it.  What matters is that the layout should make so much more sense for my family than the current huge peninsula-jutting-out-in-the-middle-of-the-room layout.

I can’t make up my mind about flooring.  I still have little kids and they’re constantly crawling around on their knees driving cars, or whatever, so the thought of a hard tile beneath just doesn’t sound comfy.  Even so, I’m kind of leaning toward some kind of a grayish big square porcelain tile.  Anybody have a favorite flooring?  I’m not opposed to vinyl tiles, either, but wouldn’t go the self-adhesive route.  A vinyl sheet would be ok, too–but it is NOT going to be white (like my existing one).

My little one is telling me that we are all going to work together to paint the kitchen red.  That is definitely not in my plans!  I was planning to extend the blueish gray in our adjacent dining room into the kitchen, giving the dining room a fresh coat (much needed), but maybe tone down the blue and up the gray tones allowing me to accent with the brighter blue tones in the backsplash (I’m thinking of some kind of tile, maybe).

We don’t have plans for recessed lighting (under the cabinets).  I have two big windows in my 10 x 10 kitchen, so it’s naturally well-lit.  There probably will be a light over the sink, plus one in the hood over the stove, and then of course the fixture in the center of the room.

We had always figured that we’d switch to a microwave hood, but I think we’re not going to do that anymore.  We haven’t heard good reviews about their venting ability, so we’ll probably just stick with the microwave that we have since it still works.  It sits on a pantry shelf which is kind of a bummer, but…we’re going to have more shelves soon, and will probably miss the space less then.  It’s better than sitting on a counter top, for me.

I’m very linear.  I like things cut and dry and organized, so I was surprised to discover while studying kitchen designs that having the cabinet panels have all rectangular recessions just looked too harsh to me.  I’m thinking of doing the rectangular recessed panels on the lower cabinets and a soft curve on the top part of the wall cabinets.  I’m nervous that I won’t like it once it’s in, but…who can know for sure?  It’s all a big guess.

I’m way too practical and frugal to be getting rid of the appliances that I have (which work) just because I’m redoing the kitchen.  They’re mostly all white (with the exception of a black door on the stove), and I just really could care less.  I love the look of stainless steel, but not enough to put down that money.  I have other dream projects around the house–like creating more space and storage upstairs and putting an egress window in the basement and replacing the carpet and repainting in general…!

Anyway, to keep my double basin sink, my dishwasher has to be pushed back against the next wall, making it a bit of a reach from the sink.  This is not ideal at all.  Currently it’s off that same wall (tucked at the end of that peninsula), so it’s within an easy reach of the sink, but I really wanted to run upper cabinets along that wall and turn the lowers into an L-shape, which we couldn’t do if we put the dishwasher next to the sink.  Well, I could if the sink wasn’t centered on the window and it was only one basin.  Clearly I didn’t go for that.

We weren’t going to replace our cabinets on our refrigerator side of the room.  The other cabinets are going because the lowers are a few inches under standard height (so we had to take the flooring underlayment out to get the new dishwasher under the counter a couple years ago) and the uppers are spaced only a foot above (standard spacing is 18″, but we will probably go with 15″ in our new kitchen).  Anyway, I was fine with just painting the refrigerator-wall cabinets to match the wall and put the same hardware on them as the new cabinets, but my husband (who has so graciously chosen to let me make most of the decisions) thought that we should reface the cabinets.  That was the plan, but now it sounds like he’s thinking that we should replace the refrigerator cabinets to give them more features.  That idea needs more time to marinate–at least for me.  I’m all about saving money where we can.

So, what would you do with these matters if it were you?  What are your must-haves or experiences or dreams when it comes to updating kitchens?

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