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Kitchen Palette?
Old 02-15-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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Kitchen Palette?

Since I got a lot of helpful insights from the refrigerator thread yesterday, what the heck.

Our priorities are (in order):
  1. updating for home resale,
  2. holding costs down,
  3. what we'd like.
Here's what we're looking at (if the picture below is worth less than a thousand words):
  • Solid clear maple floors
  • Shaker style cabinets, maple with the lightest shade above "natural" (I like natural but it's just too close to the floor color)
  • Granite countertops, Uba Tuba
  • All stainless appliances (despite the fingerprint issue)
  • We have a few candidates for tile backsplash (pretty neutral), but I don't have a pic yet. 3"x6" tiles, DW wants "stack bond" (awful IMO) and I think "subway" would look better
  • Haven't figured out wall color yet. We have "celery" but we never liked it. I'm thinking a very neutral off white, DW wants a light taupe (but she'd paint everything taupe if I let her - she's already snuck taupe into 3 rooms)
We meet on Saturday to finalize materials, should have quotes for demo & install on or about next Tuesday.

Thanks again for the refrigerator input, it was helpful.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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Nice vision board.

My impression is stack bond is more modern; subway - classic. either would work, since you will have modern stainless appliances and the cabinet style is also contemporary. (check out ikeas website for inspiration)

I think with the wood cabinets, you might like white grout. (another decision, colour of grout). Right now, I am digging really thin rectangular strips of tiles, maybe 5" x 1"; I see this in newly designed restaurants, kitchen mags. (But for my own kitchen reno, backsplash being the last thing I have to implement and decide on) I'll probably stick subway with light gray grout or 3x3 marble like squares - just to give you some ideas)

White Dove by benj moore is a soothing white.

Personally, I don't like granite, too shiny. I prefer corian or soapstone (thats what I just installed)...But the typical buyer probably wants granite (so they think) And I'm not so sure Corian is less expensive then granite, so I suppose that doesn't matter.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:55 AM   #3
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Looks very nice. Be careful which stainless steel appliances you get. There have been reports of rust issues after a few years.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:26 AM   #4
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This is fun! I vote for the stacked backsplash, because it is more contemporary. Subway, or overlapping bricks, to me, suggests "structural stability", which is redundant in a decorative feature. Also, I do not particularly want to be reminded of urine smelling subway stations in my kitchen. I would also consider a ceramic tile backsplash if not too expensive.

Personally I love granite countertops.

I think, on balance, that off white might be the best wall color choice for resale because lighter schemes appear more spacious. But you and DW have to live there for a year, and taupe is very restful provided it's not too strong.

I am reminded of my own house sale two years ago. I had several tones of a pleasing coffee color on the living area walls and my real estate agent wanted me to repaint it all in a mawkish pale grey, which would have turned me right off as a buyer. We compromised on the palest version of the original color family. It was not an issue for buyers. They were much more interested in developing the basement.

But my kitchen walls were pure white.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:45 AM   #5
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I don't have an opinion on the tiles. I would go with a light color on the walls to maki it bright and open looking. Are you updating the lights or putting in under cabinet lighting? When I sold my house or rented houses we would put in the highest wattage bulb allowable in all fixtures. When there was a showing we turned on every light in the house. Buyers seem to like bright and shinny. We also sprinkled some cinnamon in a cookie sheet and baked for a few minutes to give the kitchen a nice smell.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:02 PM   #6
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Wish I had learned to post photos here. Anyway. We have had Midnight Galaxy granite for 10 years, never did a backsplash until recently. MG is black with copper flecks. Found 4x6 tiles that are basically copper clad. Used that, and over stove used penny round tile which is mix of copper, stainless, and black rounds. After all that, found some really good LED under cabinet lights (InspiredLED on net) that set it all off. You can get those tiles in stainless as well as copper. Might stop by a good tile supplier. Spent about $650 on the tiles and grout, and a cheapo wet saw. 200 for LED's, which I spent too much on by getting a dimmer I don't need. Oh, and then there was the need to buy new copper cookware from France to dress it all up. Don't ask.

One of our house's deficiencies is a ridiculous laundry room under the stairs. I recently retiled and repainted it, and used more of the LED's to make it look bigger. Really did the trick, DW won't even let dirty laundry pile on the floor in there any more!

If you're interested in LED's, I'd pass on the "pucks" they have at Home D and Lowe's; I took those out.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #7
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Midpack

For this type of thing there are a couple of forums I recommend at Gardenweb:

That Home Site! Forums - GardenWeb

The buying and selling forum is very good on what works for resale.

The kitchens forum is incredibly knowledgeable about redoing kitchens.

Anyway - my thoughts:

As always - go look at what is typical in the homes that compare to yours that are being sold.

Tiles - It is my perception that Subway is popular. I don't personally care for it, but lots of people do.

Floor - That is a very light wood choice for the flooring. It is so light that there will be people who may just reject the house out of hand due to flooring color. That may be OK with you since you will be living with it (in our house we went with a fairly dark wood because we like it although some people don't like dark wood). The point is that when you go with the extremes you make it more likely someone will reject the house as a result. A more medium color is less likely to cause someone to reject the house out of hand.

Cabinets - Shaker is good. Go to the Finished Kitchen blog and try to look at some kitchens that have the same color cabinets and flooring and even counters that you are thinking of using.

Finished Kitchens Blog

If you can't find anything there go to the kitchen forum on Gardenweb and ask if someone can post a picture with the colors you are looking for.

Sometimes individual colors work alone, but don't work together. When we were planning to build a house I had chosen a cabinet color that I liked and a floor color that I liked. I then looked at some pictures on Gardenweb with those colors together and I found I didn't like them together.

Granite - I like granite and it is often expected. Soapstone is very nice and can work well in the parts of the country where it is typical. I am not so sure about the Uba Tuba. It is a popular granite, but it is mostly popular because because it is inexpensive. If your house is higher end in price range, I might hesitate to use Uba Tuba. On the other hand if your house is average and most houses you compete with don't have granite or have cheaper granite then it would be OK.

Wall Color - I would go for a taupe before I did off white. While I agree a neutral color is important for resale, I also think that offwhite is generally not that popular now and it is also harder to keep clean.

When we painted our house for resale we used Kilim Beige which is a very popular color, often used in houses for resale purposes.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
This is fun! I vote for the stacked backsplash, because it is more contemporary. Subway, or overlapping bricks, to me, suggests "structural stability", which is redundant in a decorative feature. Also, I do not particularly want to be reminded of urine smelling subway stations in my kitchen. I would also consider a ceramic tile backsplash if not too expensive.
+1

Ceramic backsplash with granite is very nice.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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JMO, but the drawer pulls look a bit too 70's to me. Ikea has some cool stuff that isn't too expensive.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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Looks very similar to the finishes in my current kitchen (rental) except we have black appliances. I like the subway backsplash. Our walls are off-white. Looks clean and neutral (good for resale).
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Katsmeow (in black, me in blue):

I've stumbled into Gardenweb several times via Google, and it has been helpful.

As always - go look at what is typical in the homes that compare to yours that are being sold. There doesn't seem to be a typical as far as I can tell. Homes vary from dumps badly outdated to completely up to date without as much difference in price as I'd expect.

Floor - That is a very light wood choice for the flooring. It is so light that there will be people who may just reject the house out of hand due to flooring color. That may be OK with you since you will be living with it (in our house we went with a fairly dark wood because we like it although some people don't like dark wood). The point is that when you go with the extremes you make it more likely someone will reject the house as a result. A more medium color is less likely to cause someone to reject the house out of hand. Unfortunately we've already done the front several rooms on the first floor in a that exact (very expensive) maple. Now DW wants to continue it into the family room which abuts the kitchen and she wants to do the kitchen with it too. I wish we'd never started with it, but it was much too expensive to rip up. And having different wood flooring from on adjoining room to the next sounds very risky/tacky to me. I wanted to do the family room in the maple and the kitchen in ceramic/porcelain - but DW has been stamping her feet on that her heart set on wood throughout. I agree that some people will not like the light maple floors, so we may have to have lots or rugs when we show the house...

Granite - I like granite and it is often expected. Soapstone is very nice and can work well in the parts of the country where it is typical. I am not so sure about the Uba Tuba. It is a popular granite, but it is mostly popular because because it is inexpensive. If your house is higher end in price range, I might hesitate to use Uba Tuba. On the other hand if your house is average and most houses you compete with don't have granite or have cheaper granite then it would be OK. It's a middle of the road home, I don't expect to be competing with expensive homes - frankly I am trying to satisfy the stainless & granite crowd that seems to still be popular (we'd rather have quartz or soapstone, and I believe stainless will fall out of vogue eventually but it's lasted longer than many "trends").

Wall Color - I would go for a taupe before I did off white. While I agree a neutral color is important for resale, I also think that offwhite is generally not that popular now and it is also harder to keep clean. DW will be happy, if our KD agrees, I can live with it. I did get to choose the paint color in the hall bath (and only that room) after all...

Thanks so much to everyone so far...
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #12
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I think given that you already have the same flooring I would definitely not do a different wood flooring. At our old house we had a number of different floorings (some from prior owner and some from us) and it was one of the biggest criticisms when we were selling.

On the wood in the kitchen - definitely a somewhat controversial choice. That said - we just did our flooring in our current home and we ended up putting wood in the kitchen. It does look great to have everything except secondary bedrooms and the bathroom/utility in the same wood flooring. We are very careful with the wood in the kitchen and bought these mats which we put down around the areas most likely to get something on the floor.

Amazon.com: Sublime Imprint Anti Fatigue Nantucket Series 26-Inch By 72-Inch Comfort Mat, Cinnamon: Kitchen & Dining

With a mid-range house, I think the Uba Tuba will be fine

Edit: One more thing - For some updates, it isn't so much that you get your money back on selling. It is that the updates make the house easier to sell. When we were looking DH didn't really want to have to do a kitchen remodel after moving. I was less negative on the idea, but preferred not to have to. One of the major reasons we bought the house we bought is that the kitchen - while not perfect - was really nice and needed no significant changes. It gave the house a leg up over the many houses that we knew we would be ripping out the whole kitchen....
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow
On the wood in the kitchen - definitely a somewhat controversial choice. That said - we just did our flooring in our current home and we ended up putting wood in the kitchen. It does look great to have everything except secondary bedrooms and the bathroom/utility in the same wood flooring. We are very careful with the wood in the kitchen and bought these mats which we put down around the areas most likely to get something on the floor.
I appreciate your candid comments on the wood, and I am sure the light maple will turn off some buyers, we just outdumbed-trapped ourselves with the initial choice. KDs and contractors have told us more and more people are putting wood in kitchens. Looks nice, but I'm afraid of water damage from the dishwasher or (in our case) the adjoining laundry room with my 20 year old washing machine.
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Edit: One more thing - For some updates, it isn't so much that you get your money back on selling. It is that the updates make the house easier to sell. When we were looking DH didn't really want to have to do a kitchen remodel after moving. I was less negative on the idea, but preferred not to have to. One of the major reasons we bought the house we bought is that the kitchen - while not perfect - was really nice and needed no significant changes. It gave the house a leg up over the many houses that we knew we would be ripping out the whole kitchen....
We're on the same wavelength. I don't want to update as the kitchen is fully functional (and in style circa 1987), I'd rather discount the selling price. But the overwhelming feedback we've gotten from realtors, designers and friends is that the market for fixers is way limited, and that does not surprise me. We expect to get only a fraction of the kitchen costs back, but it should better help sell the house. Especially these days when so often both parents work, they can't deal with major remodeling time (off work), or often fronting the money is an issue I gather.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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I appreciate your candid comments on the wood, and I am sure the light maple will turn off some buyers, we just outdumbed-trapped ourselves with the initial choice. KDs and contractors have told us more and more people are putting wood in kitchens. Looks nice, but I'm afraid of water damage from the dishwasher or (in our case) the adjoining laundry room with my 20 year old washing machine.
.
Oh, yeah. I've seen some really... interesting looking kitchen floors done in laminate or engineered wood a few years earlier. One big spill, dropped pot of hot water, or hidden leak, and... Yuck.

My favorite new product for when DW says she wants wood floors in the kitchen or bath is the wood-look tile. Set with a 1/8" grout line and colored grout, it can look great.

http://www.lowes.com/Wood-Look-Tile/_/N-1z0y8zw/pl
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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From the gazzilions of kitchen photos I have seen, wood flooring looks really nice in a kitchen. Perhaps a wedgewood blue (but several shades lighter) for paint colour. Wood and blue are nice together.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #16
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Maybe walk through a few newly-built model homes in your area and make note of the colors, fixtures, finishes. Typically they are reflective of what current buyers want in general unless you have a highly unusual property.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:00 PM   #17
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Looks nice, but I'm afraid of water damage from the dishwasher or (in our case) the adjoining laundry room with my 20 year old washing machine.
A couple of comments. I would not put wood in the laundry room. In fact, when we redid our flooring a couple of months ago, we put tile in the utility that matches the tile in the bathrooms (we put new tile in all bathrooms).

Also, we made sure that we got several extra boxes of wood just in case there was any damage at any point that had to be repaired.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:10 PM   #18
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I like the Subway tile pattern for the backsplash. As for the wall color, I like either the taupe or the off white, perhaps with the trim being the other color. For example, the molding could be off white, and the walls taupe, or vice versa. Another possibility might be to paint the walls off white, but to have a taupe accent wall. Since both of these colors are pretty neutral, I think you can incorporate both colors into your kitchen without it being too jarring.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:28 PM   #19
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We just put in white subway tile in our kitchen (and I hope no one thinks it smells like a urinal, but oh well, too late) and very light colored cabinets, a touch of beadboard, "cup pull" handles, etc. We used medium brown wood for the floors and a lighter granite. Paint is a light brownish. House is very old small farmhouse. No plans to sell ever and we are doing this only once, for us, so we wanted something we felt would not look dated in ten years and would mesh with old elements in the house itself.

MP I think your choices are lovely! I vote for a little darker paint to anchor all the lightness. Your eventual buyers will love it.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:48 PM   #20
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