Thursday, February 5, 2009

My kitchen - shield your eyes & would love your advice

(If you're wondering about the strange white gap - the old corian counterop is too narrow for the new cabinets. The Blomberg stainless steel fridge remains wrapped-up - still waiting for the appliance place to deliver a replacement one without a dent.)

Where do I begin? Our 1954 house came with a 1954 kitchen. Upon moving in, I painted the cabinets white and put in a corian countertop. A few years ago I just couldn't stand the crappy cabinets anymore and jumped in my car and drove to Ikea (not an exaggeration) and purchased Liljestad solid oak, dark brown upper cabinets - and then painstakenly sanded them, primed them and painted them white. (here is a picture)

My reasoning at the time: I can have a complete set of upper cabinets for about $1100 and they'll be solid wood. (I developed this response when my husband said, "Why didn't you buy the Lidingo white cabinets? They look just like the Liljestad but they're already white!" But I would reassert, "The Lidingo cabinets are fiberboard and feel like Ikea cabinets."

What happened here? - bad, bad things

This past summer I went to the local kitchen place and got a quote for solid wood white base cabinets - they had a match for the Ikea Liljestad raised panel style. However, the quote was $14,000 and that didn't include any cabinet fittings. So, I decided to stick w/Ikea. For about $2300 I was able to order all the base cabinets along with a complete set of interior dividers. Just before Thanksgiving (yes, lousy timing) the Ikea base cabinets arrived. This was the beginning of the bad, bad things.

I had assured my husband that we wouldn't need to remove the counter tops and could just SLIDE the cabinets in underneath the counter. I said something along the lines of "Honey, just bash-up the old ones and then push the new ones under. Ikea has those legs and we can just screw them down really low." As you may have guessed from the MISSING FLOORBOARDS this is absolutely not possible! Plus, it wasn't just a matter of removing hardwood. Countless hours were spent while my son (age 15) and I tried to lift up the counter top as far as we could, or as far as the limestone subway tiled backsplash would allow, in order for my husband to install the cabinets. (At this point I should say that my husband deserves to be sainted - this project was one of many, the largest being the 18 x 20 family room addition w/13 ft ceilings he built himself in 2003, with only minor help from friends. You can see the oval window of this room reflected in the glass cabinets in the first picture.)
After all of this I decided I LIKE the dark wood and don't want to paint the lower cabinets. So, I am going to have a two - toned kitchen - white uppers and dark oak lower cabinets. Yes, I know that trend is from the 90's and is so over but I have to say in my small, L-shaped kitchen I think dark upper cabinets would be just too overwhelming.

NOW - WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE FLOOR! The floor is not only in need of repair but now the honey,yellow floors look even more ghastly. The floors in the connecting rooms are a light, medium brown and wouldn't do well in the kitchen either. So, after reading Joni's post on her kitchen I am very interested in painting my kitchen floors.
So what do you think in terms of paint color(s) for the floor??? I'm very interested in Farrow & Ball's Skimming Stone. (the color looks a bit different/lighter on the computer) Eventually I plan to replace the Corian (with it's icky mauve undertone) with Ceasarstone in a color as close to the current limestone backsplash as possible

Here are some inspirational pics for the painted floor.

I like the colors of this floor. If I were to do a stripe I would want the 2 colors to be closer so there would be less contrast. (Designer Suzanne Rheinstein, image via Cote de Texas)

This pattern provides interesting inspiration - although I don't like it exactly as is. (Designer Sara Story)
These floors are pretty - although I've never been drawn to diamond shapes. (Designer Suzanne Rheinstein, image via Cote de Texas)
Update - High-Heeled Foor in the Door left an intriquing comment about Windsor Smith's blue green painted kitchen floor...very interesting (pic via Pink Wallpaper)

Eventually I will replace the counter tops - here are some options from Caesarstone. I haven't seen these in person though.
Desert limestone Caesarstone

Buttermilk Caesarstone

Champagne Limestone Caesarstone

Would love to hear your advice!!
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