Asked on Aug 11, 2014

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

by Heather
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. :)
  60 answers
  • Michelle Thompson Michelle Thompson 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 Heather 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 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 Heather 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 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!
    • Heather Heather on Aug 11, 2014
      @Katie Pepin You are so sweet! That just made my day. :)
  • Dorth Dorth 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.
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    • Heather Heather on Aug 18, 2014
      @Barbara I like to paint hubby...not so much. :)
  • 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 Heather 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.
  • Lori T Lori T 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 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 Heather 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 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.
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    • Heather Heather 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 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!
    • See 2 previous
    • Heather Heather 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 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 Heather 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 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.
    • Heather Heather on Aug 12, 2014
      @Brenda Wood I agree! Now lets see if I can make that happen! :)
  • Karin From B'ham Karin From B'ham 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 Heather 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 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.
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    • Heather Heather on Aug 13, 2014
      @Marly Ha ha, Thank you! That is a precious website. Very cute ideas.
  • 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 Heather 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 on Aug 12, 2014
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    • Heather Heather 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 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 Heather 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 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 on Aug 12, 2014
    Replace exterior door with single French door (15 panes), in either white or black!
    • Heather Heather 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 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 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.
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    • Heather Heather 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 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 Heather 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 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 on Aug 12, 2014
    Good luck. Think the trick is to open up your space.
  • Wendy Bass Wendy Bass 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.
    • See 2 previous
    • Heather Heather on Sep 02, 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 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.
    • Heather Heather 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 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 on Aug 12, 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!
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    • MaryJean14127 MaryJean14127 on Aug 13, 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.
  • Diane Arnold Diane Arnold 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 Heather 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 on Aug 13, 2014
    I'd get rid of the table and put in an island! Love mine, lots of storage and convenience.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 13, 2014
    Would it be feasible to replace the cook top with a conventional stove and add maybe 18" of counterspace to the left of it? Think the oven takes up valuable counter space and closes in. Would there still be room for your dining set?
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    • Heather Heather on Sep 02, 2014
      @Marion Nesbitt No, it's electric. It pulls the fan under the house instead of going out the side/roof (or microwave). :)
  • Beth Boyer Beth Boyer on Aug 13, 2014
    its fun reading all the advice... i would love a breakfast nook, i have 2 doors in the kitchen so these tips give me ideas too...
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 13, 2014
    Frankly, I would live with this until time to redo the kitchen. Your kitchen area is small so you definitely need to put in a drop in stove in an island where the table is now sitting. I would take down the bar completely and the cabinets above it. If you have a dining room, make the island as long as you possibly can, take out the table and put an eating area on the island. If not, make a long narrow table to sit where the bar is now located...get chairs that have straight down legs so they will fit under the table. Get a bi-fold door for the laundry room (they take up less space). Remove the valance over the window. Add can lighting and drop lights over the bar. Build in floor to ceiling storage pantries where you have the 2 pieces of furniture....use every inch available! You can store small appliances, large pots, extra dishes, good glasses, etc. in one of them and foodstuffs in the other (put in pull out shelves in that one). In a small kitchen, you cannot afford to waste a single inch! Be can survive this a little longer until the major redo is done! Just freshen up with some paint. We want to see photos!
    • Heather Heather on Aug 13, 2014
      @Jeanette S Wonderful ideas! Thank you, it's so frustrating to wait. Everyday I cook in an oven that is 47 years old! Drives me bonkers! I want to do everything you said above but that is probably out of the budget for now. So little changes will have to do for now. :) Thank you for your ideas!!!
  • Linda Stroud Huggins Linda Stroud Huggins on Aug 13, 2014
    The island is your problem, open the space up.
  • Debra Debra on Aug 13, 2014
    These all are great ideas. If down the road you can afford it, can the wall where the sink is, be bumped out a couple of feet or longer????
    • Heather Heather on Aug 14, 2014
      @Debra I'm not sure how that would look from the outside, that is the front of my home? I think that is a bigger project right now than I'm wanting.
  • Jan352761 Jan352761 on Aug 13, 2014
    I'd spruce it up with paint.I hv a lot of kitchen cabinets,on one side of the room I shabbied them a light green,the cabinets across the room I stained them a dark brown right on top of the light brown paint the walls and a fun color for kitchen table.accent with color has potential without expense,just needs cosmetic touch
  • Jan352761 Jan352761 on Aug 13, 2014
    Forgot to say I'd either restain or paint the doors.find a theme u like and go for it.i was inspired seeing some doors from Italy and I came home and painted mine inside and out . Have fun
  • Cori Warner Cori Warner on Aug 13, 2014
    You say you have an outside door, and a door to the laundry, and a hubby who can remodel stuff. Could you put the door to outside in the laundry room, and close off the door to outside? then you would have more room for maybe a pantry or longer countertops or a desk. What about moving the stovetop to the other counter, and doing soemthing like the pic here for a table where the bar is, and get rid of the dinette so you have a better work flow in your kitchen? You can use Bondo to fill in the cabinet doors routed borders (i did this, works great) before you paitn them and go more contemporary with hardware, ie hidden hinges and sleeker handles, and you're kitchen will look 20 years younger. Then an updated laminate countertop.
    • Heather Heather on Aug 14, 2014
      @Cori Warner I would love to do that but the laundry isnt big enough to have an entrance in it. It already holds washer/dryer/water softener/water heater/freezer/microwave/toaster oven/sink. These are all things we need storage for and would lose some with putting a door in to outside.
  • Gale Solt Gale Solt on Aug 13, 2014
    • Heather Heather on Aug 14, 2014
      @Gale Solt Great ideas! I'm itching to do something. Maybe if nothing else start painting doors and such over the weekend.
  • Colimbia1 Colimbia1 on Aug 14, 2014
    I live in a 1964 rancher and understand having a small kitchen. You could start by taking the dry sink and the cabinet out of the kitchen. It may not give you more space but it would open up the room and paint the table a light and cheery color and add some pretty seat covers. Like the idea of painting the doors. Maybe the same color you paint the walls and believe that would make it look bigger and up to date. An island I am not sure of? Even if you took the table out, would you really have room for an island. Maybe a small kitchen island type cabinet on wheels and put it in place of one of the pieces of furniture. But that might defeat the purpose of taking those pieces out for opening up the room. And would it really be of much use for food prep if you have to push it across the room. Don't get discouraged. We have lived in our house for 10 years and we are still updating as we can afford it. Your kitchen isn't anything compared the two bathrooms when we moved in: one was all blue and I mean all. Sink, tub, toilet, floor tile and wall tile and the other one had a colored sink and toilet and floor.
    • Heather Heather on Aug 14, 2014
      @Colimbia1 Thank you! It can be so discouraging because we are working with a limited budget. Even though my hubby can do all of the construction stuff the materials are still $$$.
  • Sandra Sandra on Aug 14, 2014
    When money is in short supply (as it is with most of us) paint is your friend. In smallish rooms light colours opens the room right up. Paint all the cupboards, dresser etc white or antique white, maybe even the walls as well or a soft pale blue always gives a nice fresh look. Could you remove the table and chairs and extend the island bench into an 'L' shape extending into some of the area where the table and chairs were, a timber bench top would be lovely and add some timber chairs ............. this then becomes your table and chairs ???
    • Heather Heather on Aug 14, 2014
      @Sandra I have thought about that but do you think that is sufficient for the only dining seating? I'm a little iffy on that. I do not have a dining room so that would be the only seating I would have?
  • Sandra Sandra on Aug 14, 2014
    Hi Heather, I totally understand your hesitation re. Island bench and it's nothing I would consider either, however, I have actually seen this transformation and if done correctly it looks fantastic and works extremely well. Why don't you just go with some light paint on cupboards etc as a starter. Good luck and I'm sure whatever you end up selecting will look beautiful :)
  • Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson on Aug 14, 2014
    I think the table vs extended island question depends on how well it is done and how often you sit at your table as a family. And then it has to save space. I agree with the others that some paint will probably help to make you happier. btw-your kitchen is huge compared to mine although I do have a small diningroom
    • Heather Heather on Aug 15, 2014
      @Wendy Johnson I do love having a good meal at the table!!! I think I would rather have a smaller kitchen and a dining room!!!
  • Susan Viers Susan Viers on Aug 14, 2014
    I would paint all the doors (to outside etc at least the laundry room door)the same color as the walls to make it disappear and make the room feel bigger. I would remove the island to open up the space which would allow you to move the table to that spot. Then have a free standing island that sits where the table was. Put the oven in the island and move the fridge to the corner.
  • Susan Viers Susan Viers on Aug 14, 2014
    another option would be to make a galley kitchen. Put a wall along where the fridge is, take out the current island, move the table there. New floor to ceiling cabinetry, What door is to the left of the fridge?
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    • Susan Viers Susan Viers on Aug 15, 2014
      @Heather (The Wilson Farm) Is there anyway to steal a little room from the laundry to tuck your fridge (just the fridge) into so it doesn't stick out and remove the upper small cabinet. Then paint the top cupboards a light color, back wall and doors white (to hide the fridge) and both doors white as well. Paint the bottom cabinets a dark color to make the dishwasher blend in. With the multiple colors of appliances (which many of us get stuck with), making them blend in helps. This will take the eye from the doors. appliances and make it seem like a wall. You can get that stick on frosting for your carport door window - or just have your hubby fill it in before painting. Then you might be able to get some used cabinets that you could make an island of. If there is anyway to move the stove to the island and remove the current island, and upper cabinets, you'd have a nice flow and place for your table. good luck - and have fun
  • Janinne P Janinne P on Aug 15, 2014
    One more comment from me and then maybe I will shut up. :-) When you do your "what we can afford to do now" improvements, I'd fill in the routed out groove in the cabinet doors and drawers with wood filler, bondo, spackle or what-have-you, so the fronts are completely flat. Those grooves are dated and just gunk collectors. I bet you already thought of this.
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    • Heather Heather on Aug 18, 2014
      @Janinne P Who knows when the motivation will strike me, it's a lot of work!
  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Aug 15, 2014
    You are pretty much stuck with the doors....but maybe you can also trim them up a bit to make them fit your shaker look. I am sharing a photo of a couple of large cupboard doors I did from scratch, but since I also started with a flat surface it might give you some inspiration. We closed off an odd little sloping alcove to create more storage space.
    • See 3 previous
    • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on Aug 19, 2014
      @Heather (The Wilson Farm) Now to get rid of that UGLY blue countertop...not going to happen for a while.
  • Bonnie Jackson Bonnie Jackson on Aug 27, 2014
    I like the idea of painting the doors the same color as the room. They will blend in nicely. Also a pop of color for the table and chairs will brighten the space! Good luck!
  • Cara Shelton Cara Shelton on Sep 18, 2014
    Heather, I may be too late...but I am going to propose something drastic: Get rid of the island. I mean it. Get it out of there. If it was not there, you could place a rectangular table lengthwise across where it used to be, not lose much of the den space, and free up the middle of your kitchen. With a small kitchen, if you really must have an island, try a rolling one that you buy separately. A lot of times you can find great deals on them online - but if your handy hubby is anything like my handy hubby, he can cheat on for you with the top from the island and some leftover wood (for now) and you paint it with the same lovely color you have brightened up the kitchen with. Just a thought, I know how much we value our islands! I found that having a little portable one on wheels was perfect - I could roll it into the laundry room out of sight if I needed to...but it also could park against a wall and be a serving table. We really like that option. :D
    • Heather Heather on Sep 18, 2014
      @Cara Shelton Thank you for your advice! We have actually had to put off the kitchen mini remodel for a little while because we decided to put up a fence around our 5 acres so we can bring our horse home! But these are great ideas! Thank you!
  • Amybice Amybice on Sep 18, 2014
    could you close off the back door and put an exit out of the laundry room? this way you could have more kitchen space for cabinets or appliances.
  • Amybice Amybice on Sep 18, 2014
    This way you lose a door and have more space. you could take out the extended counter and over hang and place an island in the middle.
    • Heather Heather on Sep 19, 2014
      @Amybice I wish I could but our laundry room isnt large enough for another door.
  • Heather Heather on Dec 03, 2014
    The kitchen remodel has begun! I will update with pictures along the way!
  • Sandra Sandra on Dec 04, 2014
    Good luck Heather hope it all goes to plan, looking forward to seeing the end result. Cheers from Australia
  • Wglindner Wglindner on Dec 09, 2014
    They have doors with glass that say pantry and laundry on them but are not cheap I would get a stencil after painting and stencil laundry room. You can see the door on Lowe' I thing it wold make look nice when stencil.
  • Heather Heather on Jul 27, 2015
    Well I have an update. Our kitchen is not finished by a long shot but we have ripped out floors and cabinets and added new wood floors, new cabinets and an island! We still need paint, backsplash, countertops, new appliance, lights and trim but we are making progress a day at a time!
    • Janinne P Janinne P on Jul 28, 2015
      @Heather (The Wilson Farm) WOW WOW WOW!! Nice work!!! Congratulations!
  • Laura Bolin Nickell Laura Bolin Nickell on Sep 27, 2015
    To change the look of the doors, you could add some French wallpaper to them. It would be nice with a farmhouse kitchen.
  • Susan Susan on Nov 17, 2015
    Wow this is a stunning transfomation. I wonder if you'll reverse the directional swing of the refrigerator doors. Good luck!
  • Pat60026371 Pat60026371 on Mar 29, 2022

    Can you move the outside door so it will go out thru your laundry room or bedroom. That would get rid of 1 of the doors and you could add more cabinets. Good luck.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Apr 30, 2022

    paint the bottoms a dark or bright color if you are that bold. Change out all the pulls. Hobby Lobby has hundreds. Take off the trim over the sink and if you need light, hang an exciting looking one.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 02, 2023

    Embrace what you have until you are able to make a real differance!