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Help me with my kitchen - strange layout with 3 doors in it!

I am looking for BUDGET options for my kitchen. It is very strangely laid out. I have 3 doors (laundry, bedroom and outside) that do not help the layout. I am planing on painting my cabinets at some point but do not want to until I have decided that this is how I'm leaving the layout. I cant purchase new cabinets but am open to changing/moving them around (my hubby works in construction). On the other side of the island is my den/family room. So there is no where else to put a kitchen table other than in my kitchen. I just cant come up with a good plan for this room. Help please! Once we decide on a layout i will be painting cabinets and putting down hardwood floors. I have been SLOWLY doing mini makeovers to the house for about a year but have not touched the kitchen. To see some of the other things I've done you can check out my blog. :) www.blissfullychicdiy.com

  • Michelle Thompson
    Michelle Thompson Louisiana, MO
    on Aug 11, 2014

    Is it possible to relocate one of the doors? (Such as the bedroom) this is a common issue in an older house.

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 11, 2014

      @Michelle Thompson No I wish we could! The laundry door has absolutely nowhere to go unless we closed it off and only accessed it through the carport - which def doesn't work because I use it as a pantry as well. The outside door doesn't have any other place it can go unless I have people enter through the pantry/laundry. And the bedroom door cant move anywhere either. It's the craziest layout ever!

  • Katie Pepin
    Katie Pepin Jacksonville, NC
    on Aug 11, 2014

    My thoughts on first glance, were that the island or breakfast bar, as it is, is a space eater. It looks as if there are no cabinets below them. With out the island jutting into and cutting off the space, maybe you could move the table you have. The doors are where they are, period. sorry about that. I encountered something similar. I have seen where people have gotten rid of their table, and embraced the counter/ bar/ as a table, by adding to it. They made it bigger, The last one I saw, went out into the dining area at an angle. It looked pretty good. There is a great tutorial about redoing your counter tops, if you couldn't get the same counter material. I feel for you sweetie.... hope you find something you are satisfied with, because that's all that counts.... goodluck

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 11, 2014

      @Katie Pepin Thank you so much for your thoughts! I have considered having no table and taking out the island and making a large eat in island with a stove in it. I'm just unsure of that as well because of the vent issue...ahem. So many options and they can get pretty $$$. :)

  • Katie Pepin
    Katie Pepin Jacksonville, NC
    on Aug 11, 2014

    P.s..... I LOVE the basket to light project! Great blog! I have no doubt you will come up with something spectacular. Can't wait to see what you decide! Talented!

  • Dorth
    Dorth Pittsburgh, PA
    on Aug 11, 2014

    Paint all doors white. Put cafe doors on laundry room. Consider painting a piece or two of your wood furniture. Take down wooden valance over kitchen and replace with colorful cotton valance. Put more color in the room and the doors won't be so noticeable. When you're ready to really remodel consider getting rid of peninsula and putting in a small island. Also. Dress up the table.

  • FrugElegance
    FrugElegance
    on Aug 11, 2014

    Wondering how large the laundry room/pantry is. Would you consider knocking out that wall area to push back the refrigerator? Then putting a more decorative small pantry door to hide the laundry (or no door). Since your husband is in construction, I bet a custom built shelf unit one the wall with the 2 pieces of furniture & doors are could look fabulous -holding jars & such. Maybe even some doors on them for pantry storage items if needed. Looks to me like those walls can be used more. If shelves, wall, doors & cabinets are white, it takes the eye off the doors. The great part is, the kitchen is a nice size.

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 11, 2014

      @FrugElegance I would love to push back the frig but the laundry isnt big enough, we would have to bust out 1/2 laundry and 1/2 carport to push back. Great ideas for the large wall with the shelves...i was unsure about making a custom piece because that is the walk way as well. I'll put more thought into that! Thank you for the great ideas!

  • FrugElegance
    FrugElegance
    on Aug 11, 2014

    Just saw this and thought of you- for next to the refrigerator. it is by classy clutter & I love the idea. When I was young my father created one & it held sooo much. http://www.hometalk.com/181570/diy-hidden-storage-canned-food-storage-cabinet

  • Lori T
    Lori T Davenport, IA
    on Aug 12, 2014

    As for the wash stand you could drape a piece of material over it to add color

  • Lori T
    Lori T Davenport, IA
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I have to tell you I'm waiting to see what you do because I have the same issue with my kitchen .. 3 doors and nothing can be changed.

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Lori T It's so frustrating right?! For mine, no doors can be moved either...even with a husband in construction it just wont work without changing the entire layout of our house.

  • Wanda.ll
    Wanda.ll Conroe, TX
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Swap the places where stove and ref are. Then have the outside door come through the pantry/ laundry room loads of house have that.I would get rid of bar completely myself unless you make it big enough for more than 2 people.Take down the cabinets about stove because now it is gone.Open up area.Matter of fact take out that whole area and open directly into den could put table there..Now without table in center you could add island now in there for more work space. Maybe get one on wheels so you can move it around. Get some graft paper and work it out on there. Without the size of area and floor plan we really can't tell what things really look like.

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Janinne P This is my 3rd home and the 1st kitchen that ive had issues with! My 2 other kitchens were so user friendly and well laid-out. It's a challenge for sure!

  • Ashley
    Ashley Ricetown, KY
    on Aug 12, 2014

    @Heather (The Wilson Farm) I just hopped over to your blog you have a wonderful talent for decorating! About your kitchen I think your idea for a large island is a wonderful idea! Also with the island being one height (not two levels) it would look very nice, so you could keep your kitchen table also! I think without the table, your kitchen may seem empty! Hope that helps! Looking forward to seeing your changes!

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 14, 2014

      @Beac Thank you for all of your ideas! I think my first thing should be to raise that bar up. Maybe once its all level I'll like it more! :)

  • Janinne P
    Janinne P Stanley, ND
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I've seen some great suggestions, especially taking down the wood trim over the window, cafe doors on laundry, and painting the other doors. Consider wrapping the fridge and its upper cabinet in a structure to make it look more built in and bring the cupboard over the fridge out to match the depth of the fridge. You might even extend the "fridge-wrapping" structure to surround the exterior door, too, to make that wall look less cut up. Alternately, you say the laundry room is too small to steal space from and inset the fridge, but would that be possible somewhere else in the room? I, too, recommend painting the little china cupboard to match whatever you paint the cabinets and so glad you are not planning to paint the antique washstand. A prettier window treatment on the exterior door would do a lot to improve the looks of the room. I think having both the breakfast bar and table is redundant and the bar looks very poorly designed. The upper counter area is too small to be of much use and who wants to sit at that narrow little dining counter. Do you feel the same way? In our current home where we have been fortunate to live for 24 years now, I had a similar issue with a crappy laid out kitchen with too many doors and windows and we lived with that for almost 20 years. The 70s cupboards were shot and I could not see spending money on new cabinets that replicated a bad lay out. What we eventually did was swap the kitchen and adjoining breakfast room/dining area which are separated only by a large archway. The former dining/breakfast area (now the kitchen) was a "dead-end" room with only one entrance, so there were more uninterrupted walls for an efficient cabinet lay out. Putting the eating area in the former kitchen with all its doors and windows did not bother me because it's not such a problem to center a table in the room and have the traffic areas surrounding it. And I always hated that whatever came in the back door usually landed on what little counter space I had. Now the back door comes into the breakfast room instead of my food prep area. I don't know what's on the other side of your peninsula, but you might consider this idea. I know you are not ready for a major remodeling yet, but maybe when you are?

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Janinne P These are all great ideas! I've been so hesitant to change anything because I cant decide on the final product yet but I sure can go ahead and redo window treatments and the door treatment. I love your frig idea. Thank you so much!!! My brain is spinning with possibilities!

  • Brenda Wood
    Brenda Wood Mechanicsville, MD
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Yes, I too think peninsula has to go. It would open up space so much.A nice island in the middle would look great.

  • Karin From B'ham
    Karin From B'ham Birmingham, AL
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I think you have a lot of opportunity in this kitchen, especially with your creativity and your husband's skills. I would paint the 3 unfortunate doors white (like the trim) or even gray like the walls for sure. Consider using black chalk paint for the hutch. Find a couple of coordinating fabrics that you love for seat cushions for the chairs, window treatments over the sink (remove wooden valence, if possible) and for the outside door, and do something on the back (inside) the hutch that pops and goes with your fabrics. When you do paint the cabinets, if you are keeping the gray walls then use white, glazed white, or a gray just slightly darker than the walls and pump up the hardware with something black and substantial. Don't touch that antique wash stand, other than to accessorize it and put a decorative pair of kitchen or tea towels over the rod. There are some great vintage DIY graphics available.....start with Graphics Fairy. Removing the peninsula, putting table in its place and making a fabulous island out of a thrifted dresser +legs+casters+a polyurethaned or solid surface top would be great (but I'm afraid there would be flooring issues in removing the peninsula, right?) I think you'll do great, and hope you post your big reveal. Good luck!!!

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Karin From B'ham Thank you for your ideas! I'm sure there will be flooring issues but that is one thing i'm actually not worried about...I work at a flooring store. :) So once we have a plan I'll take care of the floors, just didnt want to lay anything and then have to go back and redo when we changed the kitchen up. :)

  • Jjaycee
    Jjaycee Ashburn, VA
    on Aug 12, 2014

    We refinished cabinets with a product by Minwax. It just put some life back into them and took away the yellow tones.. All that wash stand needs is some colourful hand towels. Lovely florals out there. Maybe for the pitcher, a few flower sprays too. Definitely remove that wood valance over the sink. If it is hiding and ugly florescent then get a nicer fixture and hang a colourful fabric valance over the window. Your light fixture in the center of the room looks like an explosion of some sorts. Does it really have that much glare? If you need that much light in there what are the possibilities of project lighting-under the cabinets and feature lighting over the wash stand and inside the hutch? Definitely paint those doors and maybe even add some molding. Have even seen landscape scenes added-seasonal flora and fauna or kids art.

  • Heather have you considered removing the bar to the left of your stove and pushing the table there? That would allow you to add a nice sized island in the kitchen. I'm also wondering how the laundry room and the carport fit together? Could you remove the door from the carport and use the laundry room door as the entry into your house? Not ideal but it would remove a door and give you room to have a much larger kitchen. :-) That would allow you to move the cooktop onto the wall between the bedroom and kitchen. You could then remove the whole cabinet area that separates the the living from the kitchen... giving you a larger area. If you give me some dimensions, I'll sketch up what I'm talking about for you. :-)

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Debra Taylor Purvis -DesignHouse Inc - House Plans The laundry room wouldn't have enough room for the frig without knocking out the carport wall which is just to much time/money. I had thought about taking out the entire current island and making a larger island in the middle of the kitchen with an eat-in island but it would be off center because of the frig which I'm not crazy about (plus then I would need to put the stove in the center island which brings about more cost with moving lights/putting a hood in). I'm just not sure we have room for an entrance in the laundry room. It isn't that big and it holds washer/dryer, water heater, water softener, and a sink with cabinets up top for food storage. It's so frustrating because every time I think I've come up with a solution I find a reason why it wont work. Thank you so much for your ideas! Keep them coming...PLEASE! :)

  • Donna
    Donna Richmond, MI
    on Aug 12, 2014

    THE ROOM NEEDS SOME DECORATION ..ON THE WASH STAND HANG A NICE PRINTED KITCHEN TOWEL THEN PUT THE BOWL ON THE LEFT SIDE OF WASH STAND TURN THE BOWL SO THE HANDLE IS FACEING THE OTHER CABINET PUT A TOWEL UNDER THE BOWL WITH SOME HANGING OFF THE WASH STAND THEN ADD A FEW CANDLES ON THE OTHER SIDE THREE DIFFERENT SIZES.... HANG TWO PICTURES ABOVE IT ..... ADD A BRIGHT COLRED BOWL OR A DISH ON YOUR COUNTER ...BY THE DOOR AND OVEN ADD TWO OR THREE PICTURES ON THAT WALL ..ALL THIS WILL BRING COLOR IN THE ROOM THAT I WOULD PAINT CREAMY BEIGE ANYTHING BUT WHITE ..PEOPLE WILL NOTICE THE THINGS AND NOT THE THREE DOORS....I LOVE TO DECORAT COUNTRY IN MY HOME...GOD LUCK

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @Donna Thank you, most of the time I do have a center piece on the table and towels hanging on the rack I just dont right now. I'm not hanging any pictures until i decide the layout and structure of the room. :) Thank you for your ideas!

  • Laura
    Laura Canada
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I would paint the cupboards white and add new handles to them like a brushed silver, your table would look so much brighter and cheerful if you could paint it white and add some colourful cushions on the chairs, I am planning to work on my kitchen and I am in the same boat. Dark table and chairs which I am planning to paint white. Add some pop of colours, bowls, steel containers something fun. Good luck can't wait to see the finished kitchen

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @Laura Thanks Laura! Would you believe that 10 years ago when i purchased this table from Craigslist it was white?!?! Back then the "in" thing was black furniture and I painted it black. I was thinking about painting the cabinets white and then giving a pop of color with the table, maybe robins egg blue?

  • Janinne P
    Janinne P Stanley, ND
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Oh, and you could use one of those counter-top paint/refinishing kits to update the laminate counters until a full scale remodeling happens.

  • JuJu
    JuJu Indianapolis, IN
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Replace exterior door with single French door (15 panes), in either white or black!

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @JuJu Good idea, you think I should do that even if the view out of the door is just brick walls? It's a carport on the other side.

  • Marly
    Marly Elkins, WV
    on Aug 12, 2014

    If you don't like having so many doors, you could remove the door to the laundry room. To cover the clutter in there, you could hang a pretty curtain and curtain rod.

  • Marly
    Marly Elkins, WV
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I think that the black table and chairs sticks out visually. They look so different from the other furniture in there that it makes it seem like they take up more room than they do. If you're planning on painting the walls (green?), you could paint the table in a similar color or use a tablecloth so that the table and chairs tie in better with the rest of the room. I think this would help with the flow.

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @Marly Yes, def need to paint the table. I was waiting on that to see if i ended up with a eat in island. Didnt want to waste time or money if I wasnt keeping the table. Great ideas, thank you!

  • Johnson Hardwood
    Johnson Hardwood Rowland Heights, CA
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Replace the doors for sure. You might want to consider making the door to the garage and outdoors different from the door to your bedroom. A split door could be a cute idea for the door to the laundry room. You may want to consider just replacing the doors to the cabinets instead of painting them, and match the door fronts to the hardwood floor you're planning on putting in. I'd remove the cabinet above your refrigerator. Maybe replace it with a shelf and display some of your collectibles. Definitely remove the peninsula, or at least replace the surface. Maybe with a surface that you could use as a prep area while your cooking. A heat resistant stone or tile might be functional. It's a really cute space!

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @Johnson Hardwood These are great ideas, thank you so much! That cabinet above the frig drives me crazy, it looks so crazy up there! It's not even centered!!!

  • Marion Nesbitt
    Marion Nesbitt Canada
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I'd remove the wood valence - closes in. Next replace peninsula with an island and put stove in it. This means you can extend your counterspace to the right of the sink. I'd replace the laundryroom and bedroom doors with French doors (wouldn't do this on exterior door for security reasons). You can spray frost the panes for privacy. If you paint these doors the same colour as the walls they won't be so noticeable. I'd switch the wash stand and the china cabinet positions. I'd get glass cut for the washstand top and put a bowl for keys, etc. as it would be close to back door. That way it serves a useful function besides a decorative one. Could hang something colourful on the rung. I'd paint the black table and chairs.

  • Marion Nesbitt
    Marion Nesbitt Canada
    on Aug 12, 2014

    Good luck. Think the trick is to open up your space.

  • Wendy Bass
    Wendy Bass Richmond Hill, GA
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I would take the island out and open up the kitchen. You could put a smaller island back but in the kitchen long ways in front of the sink. The open area from the kitchen to the living room would look nice with a small rectangle table and chairs (where the old island was). What's behind the door by the fridge and oven? I would get rid of the oven and stove top and get a complete stove/oven unit and put where your oven is now. I could really help but need to sit down and sketch out the kitchen and play with ideas. Hope this helps.

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Sep 2, 2014

      @Wendy Bass I know! I havnt been able to do anything! Our stinkin AC went out and it has been FAR to hot to do anything in my house. But we should be up and running again by this weekend and then the projects will begin. :)

  • Barbara Turner
    Barbara Turner Chesterfield, VA
    on Aug 12, 2014

    I haven't read any other posts but First thing is get rid of that divider! YUK. take the cab. doors and drawer fronts off, sand 'em down, prime 'em and paint 'em a different color with a semi gloss and get that gel clear sealer that they spray on cabinets in spray booths and apply that on them and the rest of the cabinets that you paint the same color for protection against spills and stains. I have it on mine and love it. Another thing is I would NOT put those over-under cup handles on the drawers because if you have any kind of nails and you go to put your fingers in those, you end up breaking nails bad! Also I wouldn't put any kind of pointy edge handles on them because they'll catch on sweaters when you're standing at the counter and move around. Had that happen a lot with our old handles. The walls would be pretty in a pale yellow or sage green but that's just my preference. Here's my kitchen before and after - maybe you can pull some ideas.

    The builder grade before cabinets!   YUK!

    The builder grade before cabinets! YUK!

    My daughter and her husband sanded and primed and painted the soft buff cream yellow on the cabinets

    My daughter and her husband sanded and primed and painted the soft buff cream yellow on the cabinets

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @Barbara Turner Thank you for your ideas and pictures! And your what not to dos! Those are often more important and can make or break a kitchen!

  • Susan
    Susan Welch, MN
    on Aug 12, 2014

    First thing I'd do is change the lighting to recessed lights or track lighting. Changing out the doors is a good idea, and changing hardware is an easy fix. I'd take off the trim above the window and think about painting the cabinets or refinishing them and adding new doors or go with no doors and just shelves on top cabinets. Check out the Houzz website for kitchen ideas. You can sort by kitchen and by style and this will give you a good idea of what you'll like.

  • MaryJean14127
    MaryJean14127 Orchard Park, NY
    on Aug 13, 2014

    The best arrangement for a kitchen is the L shape with the sink, fridge and range in a L shape. You can have sink and range on one wall and fridge on the opposite wall to form the L or range and fridge on one wall and the sink on the opposite wall. Would it be possible to move some of cabinets out on the sink wall closer to the stovetop and move the fridge in there? This way you would have your fridge and sink on the same wall and your stovetop opposite. Can you see the L forming? Just make sure you have counter space on each side of the fridge, especially the side that the fridge door opens. I see you have a built-in oven which isn't always easy to move around so I think this is the best arrangement in this situation. The other suggestion would be to paint the doors the same or a close color to the wall color. This will help make the doors blend in and not be so obvious in the room. I think these changes, hopefully, will not be costly and make the kitchen more pleasing to the eye. There are other things that can be done, like what was suggested, paint the cabinets, change out your table, even spray paint your appliances so they are all the same color. After you get your layout the way you want it you can start with a decorating theme. The blog, A Stroll Through Life, has some great decorating ideas. Check it out to see what you might like to incorporate in your kitchen. Best of luck and can't wait to see the results!

    • MaryJean14127
      MaryJean14127 Orchard Park, NY
      on Aug 14, 2014

      @Heather (The Wilson Farm) I know the L shape is a hard one to use especially when the kitchen layout is already done. I have a galley kitchen that we bumped out a wall to put in a bay window area. This gave us more room to put our kitchen table, but I don't have the L shape I'd like. My fridge had to put in a place I don't really want it, but you can't have everything. What I would like to do is put an island where my table, remove the wall from the kitchen to the dining room and and use that as our eating area. See photo below.

      Halloween party last year for my grandkids, but you get the idea for the bump-out to house the table.

      Halloween party last year for my grandkids, but you get the idea for the bump-out to house the table.

  • Diane Arnold
    Diane Arnold Klamath Falls, OR
    on Aug 13, 2014

    Wendy has some good ideas, but some are not budget minded. Which do you use most, the island or table? Personally, I would cut that island off and have your husband redesign it into a smaller one and put casters on it. Move it where you need it for working. Paint the table a lighter color and move it closer to where the the island is now. It would open up your kitchen without alot of money spent. Store the island in front of the sink. You should add a bit of color though. Have fun!

    • Heather (The Wilson Farm)
      Heather (The Wilson Farm) Monroe, NC
      on Aug 13, 2014

      @Diane Arnold Thank you! I think that if it was all 1 level I would use it more often, its just such a pain being 2 levels. Its not really good for anything the way it is. Unless I have kids over who sit at it while we are eating. I would love a eat in island in the middle of the kitchen but i'm not sure we can make that work with what we have.

  • Adrianne C
    Adrianne C Defuniak Springs, FL
    on Aug 13, 2014

    I'd get rid of the table and put in an island! Love mine, lots of storage and convenience.

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