Outdated Kitchen HELP!!!!

My husband and I moved into a beautiful craftsman style house that has not been taken care of in a long time. The house was built in the 1900's. I am good with the rest of the house EXECPT the kitchen. I have no clue what to do. I painted the cabinets as they were spray painted black and not very well i might add. The former residents painted one wall a dark burgandy with a faux finish (it has black in it). The floors are hideous and has mulipul layers of flooring. The counters are a white laminate with peachish colored pattern in it. The windowsill along with the rest of the trim for doors are a dark maple and beautiful. I am so lost as to what to do with this kitchen. I love the "texture" that was created on the burgandy wall but I am starting to feel as if it's too dark especially since my furniture is dark. What would you do with this kitchen? I have attaced photos to better assist you. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.
q outdated kitchen help, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, kitchen design, painted furniture
q outdated kitchen help, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, kitchen design, painted furniture
q outdated kitchen help, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, kitchen design, painted furniture
q outdated kitchen help, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, kitchen design, painted furniture
  160 answers
  • Love Digging in the Dirt Love Digging in the Dirt on Jan 06, 2014
    Depending on the budget, I would take the doors off the cabinets and paint the inside and then leave the doors off. I like the look of open cabinets. And you can get flooring relatively cheap at Lowes or Home Depot. They are pretty easy to install. And then pick some pops of color in there. I think it needs to be brightened up a bit. Good luck. Craftsman homes are amazing!
  • Burgundy dates the wall and also makes your cabinet look so dark and lost. Your cabinets need some pizzazz and this might happen with adding a backsplash that will add some color and texture. Since the trim is a beautiful maple you need to tie that in with the floors. Is your family tough on floors? Messy? Pets? For flooring you need to ask yourself these questions before you pick something that you will live with "forever". Also what flooring is off the kitchen? Depending upon budget too which can also determine what you do and your handy skills will determine how long. Are you keeping the countertops? I see you doing the room in a gray, sage, or brown to compliment the peach on the countertops and using color to guide the eye around the room. Your cabinets are blending in the room and that is part of the fizzle in the room. I also want to ask what is the lace "curtain" hiding? that is something that draws your eye and you may want rethink the fabric? Is there an island? If you had a place to put some of the things you are not using, this would make it look like you have more space too. Here I know Home Depot has a sale on glass tiles for 1/2 off and Lowe's had some markdowns here too which I know a lot of them come from corporate so you may have good clearance sales there too. Do not pick wild colors or something that will not go with any future changes in your taste. First take a section of the kitchen and start there so you are not overwhelmed with the whole project. I would start on a backsplash idea and do that. Then paint the walls. Flooring will take a weekend and with the new click in place and floating floors it is so easy to DIY. check out my kitchen and others who have posted on here. Take pics and get lots of paint samples to put on all walls because light changes color in paint. If you have more pics that would be great too. A craftsman house is about wood and not painting the trim and having hardwood floors throughout. You are lucky to have a house with such charm.
  • Therese C Therese C on Jan 06, 2014
    I think one of the first things I would consider doing, would be to put down self stick artificial wood floor in light Maple. Then, because you have a very large open ceiling, is to buy 'copper colored' aluminum foil, crumble it up and hand smooth it out. Glue these strips onto the ceiling and build black painted, cheap 1x1 framing across the foil from wall to wall to create a faux pressed copper tin ceiling. The copper will wake up and warm the kitchen away from the dark colder look. The copper will work well with the burgundy wall if you decide to keep it. Finally, I would paint the upper cupboards a French Vanilla white, and the lowers a rustic grey-ish green, or coffee tan. For your counters the answer came very easy to be....apply a coat of Kilz primer to them and hand paint them into faux marble in cream, tan, and coffee brown with a copper threading through them.. I noticed your baker's rack in the last photo and you could also spray paint that copper to tie the kitchen all together. Well, there is my idea. Wished I lived closer, I would love to come over and do it for you! This is one of my passions.
  • Jane Seaver Jane Seaver on Jan 06, 2014
    Debra Todd has the right idea for flooring. We have used Lowes faux wood and faux slate flooring and they look tremendous. They were the cheapest thing they had and you lay them like linoleum tiles.
  • Vinyl flooring is a very inexpensive option and it is so easy to install. PLUS, it looks like you spent a fortune on it and is very durable. The previously made comments are right on target!
  • Jo P Jo P on Jan 06, 2014
    paint all walls a very light color. and cabinets just a shade darker... but floors..omg gotta rip all that off and either slate or travertine . or wood or wood look laminate on them... would complement your furniture , beadboard is cheap and looks great on backsplash too
    • Cor32419347 Cor32419347 on Aug 04, 2020

      I love your idea. I agree the floor must be cohesive and if replaced it must be the same throughout.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 07, 2014
    You do need to take up all these layers of flooring. Then you can float out the base floor with a think plyboard if it is so scarred! Look at that "paper bag" floors I keep seeing here on HT. I love it! And keep in mind that if walls are damaged, texture paint is wonderful!
    • Beth Beth on Jan 08, 2014
      @Jeanette S My friend did the paper bag floor, and it looks marvelous, was easy enough, and looks quite durable.
  • The Rozy Home The Rozy Home on Jan 08, 2014
    hi there! I think there are a few things you need to ask yourself. First, is this your forever house or home for now. With that in mind, set your budget. Vinyl flooring is fine in the short term, but a hard substance would be better long term. Also, are you wanting to keep In the tradition of the home or make it more modern. Next, what is your color palette in the rest of the house? I'm happy to give advice, but without knowing these things it's just a shot in the dark :-)
  • Diana Diana on Jan 08, 2014
    Before you buy flooring solve the wall issue first.Totally paint that burgandy wall, depending on what was used to create the texture it will remain. I would paint the door too (the side that opens in the kitchen) that will give you a blended look. Too many colors chop a room up and you won't have a flow going. Any of the suggestions on the flooring will work. I'd also paint the counters using Therese's idea. You did say you painted the cabinets but didn't say what color they are (pic's are dark).
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Jan 08, 2014
    I would start with picking out your favorite wall color. My choice would be a light to medium apple green. Then pick a color for the cabinets. I did a white top with chocolate brown for the bottom with brushed nickel nobs. If you like your hardware but don't like the color you can always spray paint them (after cleaning). Then I would pick out a floating wood laminate flooring to match the wood trim. You could also buy small molding to put a design on the doors, such as a "picture frame" look. We also put a small molding around the bottom, nailed to the front, of our cabinets to dress them up a bit. The flooring should not set you back a bunch because you can get some nice wood laminate flooring for less than a dollar a square foot. Tile is another option, which might be a little tedious but has good results.
  • Carol Stewart Carol Stewart on Jan 08, 2014
    Call the man.
  • Sandie S Sandie S on Jan 08, 2014
    I would paint the walls a fav color/ and then add trim pieces to the cabinets and new knobs..... then paint them again white with good paint.....maybe a couple with window doors or remove a few doors.....then I would choose some laminate flooring either wood plank or ceramic look tiles ............
  • Michele L Michele L on Jan 08, 2014
    under all the lino is there possibly original hardwoods. try an out of the way place and peel it back. original hardwood is awesome in an old craftsman.
  • Tile or use real hardwood. The cabinets should be painted and replace the top cabinet doors for ones with glass. Replace all hardware. Go with a lighter color on walls, will make the room appear larger also add an island to give you more workspace.
  • Susan H Susan H on Jan 08, 2014
    Because of the age of the home, I would not remove the flooring as it will most likely have some layers that contain asbestos. Just add a thin subflooring before you add your new floor.
  • Marry Gebhardt Butler Marry Gebhardt Butler on Jan 08, 2014
    I would start with a brighter paint on all walls and a contrasting color on the cabinets. If you are keeping cabinet doors, new hardware! Then I would put a low maintenance type of wood flooring in, there are many colors and you can now find the type that is easy to install and not too expensive. One idea for the cupboard doors is to cut a square out of them and affix some kind of metal like chicken wire or other style of open mesh metal to the inside of doors. I have seen this in pictures and it looks really sharp!
  • Tina Tina on Jan 08, 2014
    The cabinets can be re-finished or painted over.And they're probably solid wood! And the flooring- did you check to see if you have hardwoods under all the other flooring?
  • Sharon H Sharon H on Jan 08, 2014
    Is there some reason the ceiling is so low? If at all possible, thats where I would start because that room need some more height
    • Linda Linda on Jan 08, 2014
      @Sharon H if the ceiling is 8 ft. above the floor, it is within code within most counties. In an older home this is good heat wise.
  • Lisa B Lisa B on Jan 08, 2014
    If you are staying in the house for a long time, you will never regret hardwood floors. New vinyl for a short term stay. New cabinet doors and hardware for the long term. New paint and cabinet hardware for the short term. Quartz or Granite countertops, a cabinet over the refrigerator would also be a big help. It all depends on your budget and how long you plan to stay.
  • Max Cady Max Cady on Jan 08, 2014
    Tear out first. Prime whatever needs primed. Paint that dining area a tan, shade lighter than your kitchen. Like Bead board also, paint color of kitchen. Take off cabinet doors and hardware, there is a product in hardware stores that you can put on cabinets so you don't have to sand.Do bottom cabinets a chocolate brown. After applying and dry, paint! I think the vinyl stick down look like hard wood is great flooring. Looks great.
  • Smi249845 Smi249845 on Jan 08, 2014
    I would paint the cabinets, the walls, get new handles, maybe a new faucet and maybe concrete floors. I saw someone paint them and they were beautiful. Good luck I love craftman style homes.
    • Nora C Nora C on Jan 08, 2014
      @Smia How can you say that about concrete floors when you have no idea whether the floor joists could support that?
  • Linda B Linda B on Jan 08, 2014
    Other than the colors I like the kitchen. The first thing I would do is put down some wood lamenant flooring. And paint over that dark wall. I myself love green so I would put light green in there. Also, repaint the cupboards. Maybe put glass in the ones where dishes will go.
  • Diy Design Fanatic Diy Design Fanatic on Jan 08, 2014
    I would start by painting the whole kitchen a nice light neutral color in an eggshell finish. What you do with the rest of the kitchen depends on how big of a budget you have.
  • Cyndi Cyndi on Jan 08, 2014
    I would reface yr cabinet doors with wainscoting and frame the wainscoting and refresh your white paint replace floors and I would paint that wall a light color--castlepath from home depot is a very nice color
  • Bernice P Bernice P on Jan 08, 2014
    We also bought an old house like that and the kitchen was a mess, it took us along time to get to it but we put in pergo style flooring and tore out the cabnets and put in ones we ordered from Lowes and new counter tops, we used wall over paper on the walls, (they were lath and plaster) and painted, put in everything in stainless, even the light fictures and its beautiful, we get compliments all the time on it, it did not cost us more than $8000.
  • Kathy Henke Kathy Henke on Jan 08, 2014
    My husband would say pull that floor up and look underneath to make sure there are no surprises in there - like plumbing and electric lines that may need to be repaired BEFORE laying new underlayment and then new flooring. We found this out the hard way when we restored my daughter's old kitchen. What a mess that turned out to be.
  • Cyndi Cyndi on Jan 08, 2014
    I would reface yr cabinet doors with wainscoting and frame the wainscoting and refresh your white paint replace floors and I would paint that wall a light color--castlepath from home depot is a very nice color
  • Cyndi Cyndi on Jan 08, 2014
    I would reface yr cabinet doors with wainscoting and frame the wainscoting and refresh your white paint replace floors and I would paint that wall a light color--castlepath from home depot is a very nice color
  • Cyndi Cyndi on Jan 08, 2014
    I would reface yr cabinet doors with wainscoting and frame the wainscoting and refresh your white paint replace floors and I would paint that wall a light color--castlepath from home depot is a very nice color
  • Cyndi Cyndi on Jan 08, 2014
    I would reface yr cabinet doors with wainscoting and frame the wainscoting and refresh your white paint replace floors and I would paint that wall a light color--castlepath from home depot is a very nice color
  • Brenda De Lair Brenda De Lair on Jan 08, 2014
    Paint the walls and cupboards in historic colours. New hardware on the cupboards that reflect craftsman style (if you can't afford new knobs, spray paint what you have black). You definitely need a new floor. I don't know what your budget is, but please stay away from peel and stick tiles. You won't be happy. There are good affordable options in laminates and vinyl flooring that are attractive, easy to install and easily maintained. Subway tiles are a good affordable option for back splash too. It will be hard work, but it will be so worth it. Show us a picture when you are done. We would love to see how you made out.
    • Brenda De Lair Brenda De Lair on Jan 08, 2014
      @Brenda De Lair I just noticed that you already painted the cupboards. Sorry about that. I do feel that you need to alter the hardware some how. I also wonder what that little curtain under the counter is hiding. I would consider a fabric with more substance and colour. You could then carry that onto your window coverings and even place mats or table cloth. I couldn't afford a counter in our house for a long time so I painted mine to look like marble. You can buy kits to do that now and it honestly does make a huge difference and is quite durable. Good luck.
  • Starr Starr on Jan 08, 2014
    Lots of good help here. Please post pictures when finished.
  • Brenda Cantrell Brenda Cantrell on Jan 08, 2014
    tear up the flooring ......there are stick on tiles that look like oak flooring. whatever you decide on flooring will change the appearance of room. think of your kitchen as a new slate..........do a theme ....mine is roosters and hen, there a lots of theme,
  • Brenda Cantrell Brenda Cantrell on Jan 08, 2014
    don't paint the big cabinet love the green
  • Patty W Patty W on Jan 08, 2014
    Depends on budget and if you have a formal dining area. THinking a nice distressed taupe paint job on the cabinets maybe adding an island. Can't tell if there is room. Also wood floors. Saw on rehab show where she took old lumber and nailed it down and stained it and it looked fabulous in the older home. Good if you can't spring for expensive wood floors. Personally if you can I would go bamboo since it is more eco friendly. A stand alone old dresser could be topped with matching granite if you are going to redo counter tops
  • Karen Rossman Clark Karen Rossman Clark on Jan 08, 2014
    Your kitchen reminds me of mine! I have better cupboards but I urgently need to update space to work better for me. Here is my dining space that looks JUST like yours. I recently painted out the sideboard and shelves and now to expand those colors to the rest of the kitchen. I would love a window seat with bay window surrounded with cookbook shelves. I am going to follow this post so I can glean more ideas for myself. Thxs.
  • Michelle Nevers-Grow Michelle Nevers-Grow on Jan 08, 2014
    Gutting it comes to mind, LOL - but, if the cupboards are solid, repaint, add some trim and new hardware. Replace the flooring - if there is cement underneath and you need and inexpensive fix you could paint it; with or without a pattern - lots of ideas for that on line. Good luck!
  • Kimberly Snead-Rose Kimberly Snead-Rose on Jan 08, 2014
    really depends on the look you're going for. A suggestion for the cabinets, if you want to make it feel open, might I suggest looking around for small windows that are the same size as your cabinet doors...of course you would have to paint the trim but it would work for an old house that you may want to keep to it tradition. Butcher block counter tops are cheaper, you do have to properly maintain, as with any real wood; it needs to be sealed. I do not suggest wood on kitchen floors as water and wood are not compatible. I would go with a vinyl or ceramic tile flooring.
  • Judy Hooker Judy Hooker on Jan 08, 2014
    Paint the china cabinet with some white chalk paint
  • Jerry M Jerry M on Jan 08, 2014
    needs a lot more light
  • Sam Sam on Jan 08, 2014
    Take out the flooring, mud defects in walls, sand and kiltz white for now, later can decide on color. Leave cabinets until can afford to replace. Kiltz everything white, it's clean and calming. Chalk paint your dining table and hutch white or light beige. Declutter as much as possible, leaving large items or small appliances on counters. Decide on a theme and a few colors and try to stay with it. Black and white or beige are always a clean safe bet to mix with a few colors. You can go online to learn how to do most anything. The more you do the more you save. Just remember to do a professional job and take your time or you will not be pleased with your work. Good luck!
    • Karen Rossman Clark Karen Rossman Clark on Jan 10, 2014
      @Sam3 Kiltz works wonders making it less necessary to sand anything! I vote for Kiltz every time. I used it on furniture I recently painted and always use it on cupboards that have lots of use and easy to ding up.