.this is not my kitchen

...but it could come close. A day with a design dilemma. Anyone dare to give two cents worth?
Ok. Good!

We found a home that we are considering renovating. See images three and four. Kitchen has many good points, great light, good space and nice stone countertops and backsplash in neutral colors. But the cabinets are a bit dated. I am an open kitchen gal and have not had upper cabinets for some time BUT, can I do it here? I am concerned as a feature of the kitchen is the backsplash right behind the stove goes about 12 to 15 inches higher than the rest of the backsplash.

Option one- Can I pull these babies off the wall(the cabinets!) and put my brackets for my shelves right where the lower backsplash stops and thus, with the shelves on the brackets, there is a consistent, straight line, sort of like in image one up top. Would this line end up making it look as if it all matches up to the highest point of the backsplash? Make sense?


Option two- Keep the cabinets and take the doors off. I am painting the entire set a light shade, sort of like in image two, so the brown is out, but just not sure if they should stay at all. I am keeping the pantry, but if I keep any others, I would probably take the doors off and mirror the inside.

Ick. Trying to describe this gave me a headache. Ok, so the question is not do I leave the cabinets brown. It is can I rid of this entire section? This is a good problem to have, but one that I would love some input from all you artsy/interior designer/architecture/tasteful/sane types.

Ok. Got my coffee. Thoughts, please. I so appreciate it.


  1. I'm not really artsy, but I say, "bye bye brown." Either rip those doors off and paint as you said, or leave them paint them white. White is my absolute favorite for a kitchen!

  2. Start by taking off the doors and painting.

    If you don't like that after living with it a while then remove the cabs and install shelving.

    Regarding the actual cabinets. I would try to save them and donate them to Habitat for Humanity or some other Free-sharing site or list them on Craigslist so someone could get use out of them. They are dated and not quite MY thing but they're better than most so I'm sure someone will scoop them up.

  3. G.-First off, I am not a fan of open shelves-I am compulsive and keep thinking of dust on my dishes and glasses. I would paint the cabinets a beautiful cream or ivory to blend with the countertops and backsplash with some great hardware from Restoration Hardware. Or if you must, leave the cabinets and take the doors off, painting them as I described. The problem with running shelves across is the area above the stove. Even if you lowered the line, you still end up with that square thing cut in half which would bother me.

  4. White white white.. my kithen is doorless...I have only white dishes and clear glasses on open shelves, very european.. Love it! The doors are only where the food is.

  5. I'm with Townhouse lady. Start small. Although you're ambitious, patching and painting probably wouldn't be a problem.

  6. i love the shelves but i also love light colors cabinets, so if you decide to keep the cabinets, i think you should let them light!!
    let us know when you decide, i'm a little curious now!!
    have a nice day!!



  8. Jacqueline-I am not sure what you are trying to say. Hahahahahaha!

  9. The white may be a bit jarring against the natural stone. If the kitchen has good light, I would suggest painting the cabinets the deepest shade of green (or purple) just before it turns black.

    Having worked in a tile showroom for two years, I know that you risk cracking the stone taking the cabinets out.

    P.S. Tumbled stone really screams late 90s/early Aughts. So maybe you should rip the whole thing out and do your dream kitchen.

  10. Ermmm. I think maybe White !!!!

  11. i'm thinking get rid of the tile, but don't shoot me for that!

    p.s. i have ZERO experience in renovating and am better at finding things i like than in MAKING things i like. ;)

  12. I say take off the doors and paint them white... the issue then is whether or not the neutral backsplash will be what you want for the white cabinets. maybe the white cabinets will brighten the backsplash. good luck!

  13. White is the vote for this one. I say either with the shelves or the cabinet doors removed and painted white. As for the tile above the stove I think either put a vent/stove cover above the stove to help take notice away from the raised tile or a tall white simple cabinet with fronsted door panels could look neat. I'm not a designer just a gal with 2 cents worth of ideas. I look forward to seeing the steps to a new kitchen. xoxo

  14. I have no personal experience with this kind of thing but I've watched a lot of HGTV and they seem to rip out cabinets all the time. That first kitchen is stunning, gorgeous, perfection. I also agree with some of the others that the tile could go too. (Sorry!)

  15. New Rule- nobody is allowed to feel badly for hating anything in this kitchen. I do not even own it! I appreciate the candor. That is why I asked. So no "sorry's needed"....although it is sweet!!!
    xoxoxox g.

  16. option 1 -
    as long as we're dreaming about what you really want it to be...rip it all out (and donate as someone suggested so wisely)...get your open shelves and do a plain backsplash that would work better with the white.

    option 2 -
    take out the cabinets and put shelves in except where the backsplash is higher. leave that one in, but remove the doors and paint white. would that let the shelves wrap around it? hard to tell from the image. i also liked the suggestion of putting a hood there.

  17. oh my, such decisions. If you keep the tile then the cabinets need to stay and paint, paint, paint. Loose the tile then bye, bye cabinets and open shelving galore. of course the first would be much easier:)

  18. white on stone?? may not look so good. personally i would get rid of the kitchen entirely and turn it into a walk in closet. thats my opioion.

  19. Step 1: Keep the cabinets and paint them. You may just decide they're fine. Step 2: If you decide they're not fine, remove the doors. They will already be painted shelves. Step 3: If you can't live with it, take the cabinets down completely and go with shelves/brackets. Throughout - take your time and try to live with new circumstances.

  20. Ha, it may not be your kitchen...but it could virtually be mine! I have a solid surface counter top, slate backsplash, and dark cherry cabinets that are very similar to those. Nine years into living in this house and I'd love to redo mine as well, but it's in good condition and a reno is sadly not in the cards now! But I've been considering the same options you've brought up. Obviously, painting would be the simplest way to go. I've been thinking shades of driftwood and gray. Lighter tone for uppers and darker on the bottom cabinets. And then throw in some fun, bright and bold Marimekko type textiles for a modern flare. Sorry, I digress. :0)

    If you are set on ripping out the upper bank of cabinets, take a look at this for some inspiration. I think they did an amazing job in a short time on a tight budget.


    The differnece here is that they didn't have the uneven backsplash to contend with, but nonetheless, I think you could make it work.

    Here are another couple of inspiring shots, scroll down for kitchen.


    Good luck, can't wait to see the transformation! How's the couch of my dreams coming along, BTW?

  21. By the way, just curious, are you planning on buying to own or to renovate and flip? I think that would make a huge impact on your decision-making. If it's a home you plan to live in, then you should go with your gut and make it a kitchen you'll love, you don't want to feel the itch to redo it again in say, 5-10 years. But, if you want to fix up the home and flip, I would say only do the minimum, i.e. paint. The cabinets look like they are in good condition and that way you'll get the most bang for your buck- timewise and money-wise.

    That's my 2, or more like 10 cents worth! :0)

  22. I agree with many of the others... try painting them white. If it's terrible you can always remove them all together...

    Can't wait to see what you decide!

  23. You guys are the BEST!!!!! This is so helpful!!!!!


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