Kitchen needs update!

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Hi guys, so since you are all so creative I thought you might have an idea for my kitchen. We have a tiny 800 square foot home and out kitchen is one of the smallest rooms in the house. I need lots of storage so I put an old bookshelf in the kitchen for just a little more space. I also want to do something with the back splash just for now as we dont want to do a full kitchen remodel quite yet. Does anyone have any Ideas? Our kitchen is probably the ugliest room in our house, yet I spend the most time in there, lol.
q kitchen needs update , home improvement, kitchen design, small home improvement projects, My nasty old bookshelf could it be painted Its laminate
My nasty old bookshelf, could it be painted? Its laminate.
q kitchen needs update , home improvement, kitchen design, small home improvement projects, Pure white everything in here with knotty pine walls in every other room
Pure white everything in here, with knotty pine walls in every other room
q kitchen needs update , home improvement, kitchen design, small home improvement projects
  15 answers
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jun 07, 2016
    I feel your pain, my first house was just about 600 sqft and the kitchen was just a pass through to a hall. Short of a complete reno ( have never seen upper cabinets come that far down) A fresh coat of paint on cabinets. Maybe another light color besides white to make white counter top pop and I would also paint the walls, to small for dark wood. Back splash?? I am not sure whats there, but perhaps do a ship-lap designs using laminate flooring...I'm thinking a white wash grey. Also under counter lighting can help open an area up and is easy to install if you have an electrical outlet close by. One other thing...if you do not use it loose it, get rid of anything in there that you do not use. Also you can paint the laminate shelves using the right primer.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 07, 2016
    Agreeing with Lagrees suggestions of painting etc. I would look into some assorted baskets to tidy up your shelf.

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    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 07, 2016
      @Jemma Dee Honestly that is your taste, however I think baskets would look more finished.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 07, 2016
    OMW, We have a really small home at the coast and I completely understand your frustration. Every bit of space in a small room has to serve multiple purposes. @Lagree Wyndham is spot on with all the tips and I agree you can definitely paint the laminate bookshelf. Chalk paint is really easy to apply and you don't have to do a lot of prep work. Perhaps make some small shelves on the side of the bookshelf under the paper towel and use it as extra storage for your spices and bottles. You could add some wheels to the bookshelf. I'm not sure but looking at the foto it looks like some of your valuable storage space is stuck behind the fridge? Have you considered using the space above the kitchen door to store you wine? You could also add a ring to your bread board and hang it on the left hand side knotty pine wall. The kitchen window is so pretty and it might be an idea to put a shelf half way up. Wishing you lots of luck with finding extra space and enjoying the heart of your home.

    • Tawny Lee miller Tawny Lee miller on Jun 07, 2016
      @A Crafty Mix - Michelle Our kitchen has a strange layout and very few outlets, our fridge sticks out in front of our shelf because there is a weird little step thing in the corner. Honestly I'm not sure what the people who built it were doing haha. I really love our home but the kitchen drives me nuts. Here are some pictures of the room right off of the kitchen, I really like this one, just how its decorated and its very functional :)

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 07, 2016
    You definitely have the touch. The room right off the kitchen looks so cozy, It's lovely <3

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    • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 07, 2016
      @Tawny Lee miller I think you may just have started a new trend :-)

  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jun 07, 2016
    I'd definitely make better use of those shelves by getting some baskets to organize the items and make the most of the space. Personally I wouldn't put the time into trying to paint the laminate shelf unit. It already blends in with the wall and painting it may just highlight it instead of hide it. If you want to add color to that area you could invest in some small tension rods and sew or buy valance style curtains to hide your kitchen items, much like people used to use a skirt beneath a kitchen sink or lower cabinet.

  • Jemma Dee Jemma Dee on Jun 07, 2016
    Maybe move the bookcase to the coffee bar area (replace the short cabinet) and style it with baskets or covered boxes. Fill in the area next to the refrigerator with a tall, narrow set of shelves. Possibly use a shutter or bifold door to conceal contents. Think of all the cookware, casseroles, mixing bowls etc. that you can store in that tall, narrow space! It can even serve as a small broom closet.

  • Rebekka Rebekka on Jun 07, 2016
    Instead of painting the cabinets, what about painting/replacing the countertop for some contrast? Ikea sells a black/brown countertop (laminate) that I used in a flip and it looked great (and super cheap)! Then you can add some color and/or sparkle by tiling (even with those peel and stick tiles if you want!) the backsplash. And new (or repainted) hardware. I think painting the bookshelf is a great idea. I also love MN Mom's idea about the tension rods and baskets. That would look super cute!

    • Johnchip Johnchip on Jun 08, 2016
      @Rebekka I loved my cheap black counter top. Showed no dirt, or specks, easy to install and made the old kitchen pop.

  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Jun 07, 2016
    I WOULD paint t he book shelf. Also adding baskets to it would add more storage. Organization. I also "floated" some shelves on one side of my kitchen. Above the pantry door. I have things sitting on it and iut doubled my storage space. It looks nice there also. Also We added a small built in cabinet 12x14x72 in the kitchen right beside the stove. It holds my pyrex etc. I may in the near future float a shelf above the table in the breakfast nook.

    • Johnchip Johnchip on Jun 08, 2016
      @Linda Cabler Totally disagree. The rustic nature of the 'bookcase' selves is great. I would add more of the same everywhere you can in/on/above any space available.

  • Lori Scarafile Lori Scarafile on Jun 07, 2016
    Definitely paint the bookshelf- but how about painting it a color. Pick your favorite and go with it -preferably a bright color. You can add a contact paper to the shelves that has a pattern which could coordinate with your shelf color .This is a possible way to select your accent color depending on the contact paper ( or any other product to line your shelves with) Find one you like and pick a color from there.Then add some large baskets in the same color on top of your fridge for extra storage and more baskets for the shelves.When I have clients with small plain spaces I always give the advice to create some personality in the space. Add a new curtian over the window ( be sure to hang it as close to the ceiling as possible. Your objective is to let in alot of light and add some color. Your existing curtian is too long. Peel & stick tiles on backsplash is a good idea- this area is dark so cheer it up! Is there any possible room for a small stainless steel cart on wheels to use a a portable island? It would give you flexible extra counter space. Hope this helps

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    • Lori Scarafile Lori Scarafile on Jun 09, 2016
      PS don't be afraid to paint your floor red too!

  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Jun 07, 2016
    You can paint that book shelf to match the other color in your kitchen and paint the inside of it an accent color to give it some UMPH!

  • Dawn Gagnon Dawn Gagnon on Jun 08, 2016
    Yes your bookshelf can be painted even though it is laminate, two choices, you can spray paint it, --spray paint sticks well to laminate or use high gloss which also sticks well to laminate. To jazz up the backsplash you may want to try peel and stick wall tiles, that look very close to glass tiles except you can cut these with regular scissors and it will look amazing. :D

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    • Dawn Gagnon Dawn Gagnon on Jun 08, 2016
      @Tawny Lee miller I'd love to see how it ends up. :D

  • Pauliegirl1 Pauliegirl1 on Jun 08, 2016
    It seems as if you like 'red'? Thats great!! I like the idea of a black counter top, then find a paper with black and white..maybe put the paper on the BACK of your shelves, and/or even the flat surface, and you could display your red dishes...maybe some type of peel and stick tile that looks aluminum/silver?? then I would paint the bookshelf red with black or white baskets...maybe both, one set on each shelf..find a pretty black/white fabric for your curtains, add a red trim...then you can have all your red accents!! Would look wonderful!! I would start by bringing in swatches of fabric, paper etc..to make sure that is what you like. Would LOVE to see what you do!!

  • Pauliegirl1 Pauliegirl1 on Jun 08, 2016
    And change your hardware....silver?? black??? You might even be able to find a rug that will tie it all together....

  • Heidi Heidi on Jun 08, 2016
    I like the white cabinets, what about painting the window trim a bright color? Can you or would you think of painting wood wall? Paint hardware same color as window. Would brighten it up. Look for something that fits opening next to fridge a little better, maybe bins?

  • KatAych KatAych on Jun 13, 2016
    Go through all of your cabinets and keep only the essentials. Use organizers to neatly keep your things and free up lots of space. You can also hang things underneath your top cabinets as well to free up even more space. Like the white - I agree maybe just add a pop of color - maybe to the backsplash since you're planning to do that, anyway?