How to Fix Multi Level Bay Window Area & Countertop?

I have attached pics of our bay window area and our countertop. The whole area needs to be redesigned. The tile was put in so terribly with grout and even the countertop has floor tile with grout in it! With the tile, so many levels, the countertop edging, and the big wood slab in the bay window area, it is hard to keep it all clean! I am short and actually have to climb up into the bay window area to clean which is a pain literally, so doesn't get cleaned often ;) I got so upset with it a while back, I painted the bay window area, the log area and the 2 x4 with brown chalk paint to help it look semi clean all the time. I would like some ideas how to fix this mess; DIY and affordable! I was thinking of boxing the multi level ledge, log area and 2 x 4 so I can put a backsplash up but don't know how that would work. Also, really have no idea how to make bay window more accessible/better looking, etc. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! I have so many projects for this Ol' House, and one income, I have to find ways to fix it up on a very tight budget. Thanks for any advice and assistance you can provide! :)
I hope to try to DIY cement countertop with drop in sick. Again, so many levels in this area, even the area around the sick causes water to build up, staining, etc. Yuck!
So many levels, can it somehow be boxed in? I'm not necessarily needing to keep the logs above visible, I could cover all with a back splash if it helps the situation and makes it all look clean and neat.
Problem is several outlets in area, but if boxed in, could still have the outlets? As it is now, the outlets weren't installed correctly, don't fit the area, so sit just above the countertop, and again, like the sink area, collect dirt, water, etc. underneath and don't stay clean!
  6 answers
  • Carol Mensch McAlpine Carol Mensch McAlpine on Jul 05, 2018

    I would box it in with a thin copper over the top. It could be molded around the edges, etc... I think that would look great with the log look.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 05, 2018

    Hi! They liked to use many materials, didn't they? I would start with removing the "logs". If you remove things a layer at a time, it will help. Chalk paint can be stripped off, just like any other paint, or painted over. I've never done a concrete countertop, but, like the look. Pick a color scheme and simplify the look and I bet you'll love it!

    I can feel your pain about reaching a window like this. Maybe a long handled squeegee with the sponge on one side will help. I'm tall, and I can't reach the sunroof on my car without one. I keep a stool in the kitchen, too, to reach things since I don't like climbing up on the counters as I get older. Dismantling/demoing your busy area will give you a clean slate to stamp it with your style. Another thought - I love your window. Had you thought about replacing it with something flatter and simpler?

  • Julie  McCuiston Julie McCuiston on Jul 05, 2018

    It looks like you would only need a small scrap of granite to do the backsplash and window sill. It would then look seemless with no grout lines. Sometimes, a fix like that can be pretty cheap.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Jul 05, 2018

    I love bay windows, but I think I would take that one out and all of the extra 2x4s and put in a standard window. There is no way to make the window more accessible or easier to clean and keep clean. Then you can open it too. You should still have a nice size window sill because of the logs. You will probably need a building contractor to do that for you, to ensure you don't have any problems in the future, log homes have some challenges. After the window is taken care of, I would remove the 2x4 under the wood colored logs and get rid of the backsplash and counter. Frame over the logs to cover them and allow enough room for the electric to be moved higher up on the wall. While the wall is open, install undercabinet lighting. The electric sockets don't look like GFIs, maybe the breaker is, you should make sure. Electric that close to water isn't good. Then you can start to rebuild. Counter before backsplash. Get a new sink and faucet. Keep in mind that when buying from a big box store you don't get the same quality as from a plumbing supply store. I get all of my faucets online. Even though the same brand and style name are on the box, they aren't the same on the inside, which is where it counts. Make sure to read what's in them (plastic vs ceramic and brass). You can also get good deals on backsplash tile online if you shop around. The options are endless. Also getting knobs and maybe changing the hinges on your cabinets would dress them up. I think I thought of everything, but if I missed something, reply to my answer and I'll try to help you. Good luck with you reno.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 06, 2018

    Hello there, Ooh! When I read you were unable to reach the front of the Bay window, my thoughts were - Maybe have sliding glass screens and use for growing plants? Or change the window for a flat one. Or maybe alter the position of the sink in the kitchen design, so the window becomes open. Maybe a rethink about the kitchen at a later date when funds allow might be the beat solution in the end. Sorry, if I have not been of much help, but I feel with limited funds, you must use them for the priority things first, and live with the rest until you can really do something about them.

    Best wishes.

  • Linda Linda on Jul 06, 2018

    From your description I can sense your frustration, however, I think the solution is easier than you think. You need to take off the back splash tile. Once that's done I'll be you can turn the outlets sideways making cleaning around them easier. If the wood on the bottom of the window area is integral to the window structure removing it will be costly. You can cover it with a thin tile or metal sheeting. Be careful to cut sheeting exactly to the space shape using a paper template to get an exact measurement. The sheeting could be extended to wrap it over the log molding it to the shape of the log. It will take time but done well it could come out nice. Find a back splash tile that's not too large to cover that area. If you go with the metal sheeting you could get a tile mosaic with a corresponding metallic tile in it to tie it with the window metal. The counter top really needs to be your first priority. Changing that in itself will give your whole kitchen a new look/feel. Check into getting scrap granite installed. It's much cheaper and depending on how much counter you need you may get it installed on the cheap. Shop around to smaller granite shops, etc. Once the counter top and back splash are finished you may feel better about the window. I myself am height challenged but I have found if I use some of the inexpensive cleaning wands for cleaning my garden window it has made my job much easier and less frustrating. Get a good extending handle wand cleaner for scrubbing and even using it with a cloth wrapped around it to wipe down the windows for cleaning. Another option for the bottom of the window is to sand it and put a good bar finish on it. Much easier to clean.