Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Mix And Match Kitchen

We are in the midst of a mini kitchen renovation. Mini because we don't have money to rip out the kitchen and hire someone to put it back together. I have been pulling out the old clipping file for encouragement, and I find that I am drawn to the mix and match kitchen.

I'm sure it's no surprise that I love a mix and match kitchen

I like to think we're being green by not throwing everything into the trash, when it still has good use left in it.

Visual Vamp Kitchen ReVamp stage one HERE

So Alberto has been making new doors for the existing cabinets. The bottom doors of the upper cabinets have a paneled look, and the top doors will have chicken wire insets to still show off the white ironstone.

Idea for wire insets in the cabinets to show off the white ironstone

We are going to replace the bottom cabinets, and do a new counter top and maybe a new sink and faucets.

I am not doing marble or granite counter tops for two reasons: dated and cost. I found a black "soapstone" laminate look-a-like that is great for our non budget. And I really do not want granite.

Sample of the counter top we will install

Don't gag - this is laminate

The trick to make it look good will be how it's installed - no integrated back splash, no seams, and an Ogee edge.

Laminate counters can work - note no built in backsplash, and the Ogee edge

New appliances? We'll see. Again budget is the thing, and if ours look okay with the updates, we can live with the white ones we already have.

I want to retrofit an antique style piece for one of the base cabinets. I love a piece from Wistera, and it just happens to be the perfect size, though it is certainly more pricey than any stock base cabinet. So I am looking around for a used vintage piece that might work.

Wisteria French chest HERE
Let me know if you find something like this on Craigs List!

Of course it's time to paint the kitchen, and the retro French mustard will be going and in its place the greige that I recently painted in the dining room will creep into the kitchen.

Visual Vamp greige dining room HERE

Some of the furniture and maybe some of the cabinets will be painted in a distressed greige.

Distressed greige inspiration

I have my eye on a Louis Phillipe mirror, another one of those beautiful French things I have always loved and not yet had the pleasure of acquiring. I want to put it over the fireplace mantle in the breakfast area of the kitchen.

Louis Phillipe Mirror

Right now I have Majolica plates, and a gilt tole candle sconce above the mantle. It' s just time for a revamp, and even though a mirror over a mantle is classic and predictable, I think it will be a nice change.

Visual Vamp breakfast area in kitchen - see more HERE

Louis Phillipe mirror over mantle from Chic Provence

Love this Louise Phillipe mirror over the mantle

I've been checking out all the kitchen renovation projects by other bloggers, and by and large they are very very nice. The only thing I see happening is that personality is stripped away. In many cases the old kitchen is much more charming than the new ones with all the usual bells and whistles, and blog advice.

One of the many great copy cat kitchens from Cote de Texas

I happen to like my old kitchen, but it is in need of an update after six years of living with the initial cosmetic band aids. But I am trying not to be tempted and seduced into becoming part of the herd making cookie cutter kitchens.

As time goes on taste and style evolve. We grow as decorators and designers. We are influenced and bombarded by all the beautiful things we look and at and study.

So it's exciting to evolve and maintain the fine line that is personality that makes each one of us unique. Some people love to recreate a look; some people love to go their own way. It's the balancing act that is tricky and intriguing.

I have always been attracted to Euro style country kitchens, what we Americans have come to romanticize as French.

Romantic and French from Shawn Stucker

For me, displaying cooking tools and crockery makes a kitchen interesting and homey and useful. And I am a die hard with things I have loved and lived with all my life: white subway tile, pot racks and pot stands, white ironstone, wallpaper, and rustic elements.

I like the top cabinets to be different than the bottom ones. Do you like mixing and matching this way?

Most kitchen design gets daring by just making the island different than the cabinets. I want to take it further than that.

If we have the money, and the energy, I'd love to change the 1990's white tile floor. We inherited laminate (don't gag) in the rest of the house (and it looks great and is so easy to care for), and I would continue using the same color into the kitchen. You can lay laminate on top of tile without having to rip out the tile.

But if we run out of gas (we are in our early hundreds after all, and doing most of the work ourselves), and money, I can live with the white tile floor.

White tile floor can work, and maybe we'll keep ours

So what do you think of the mix and match kitchen? Chaos or personality?


Kathy said...

I love your attitude towards these projects. My favorite word is *unexpected* and I always appreciate anyone who can me gasp..whether it is what I would want in my kitchen or not. Good on you, go for it!

Irene said...

I love it! We recently re did our kitchen, and my husband would not hire anyone. what a lot of work. He's not very good and hammering and measuring, I can't believe we are still together after it. However, I was not brave enough to mix and match. Go for it, I say, I love all your ideas. Will you paint your mantle in your breakfast area? I love the idea of including your vintage piece, that cost more than a base cabinet, again I was not brave enough, but now regret it. I can't bring myself to do it now, just too many arguments, and I have run out of "gas" as you say.

Kris said...

I saw that Wisteria French Chest at Discoveries on Rampart earlier this week... in fact, I believe they had too... and significantly cheaper. I am looking for the same kinda thing but with doors on the sides.

Anonymous said...

Sending Val over to look at it right away! Thanka for the tip Kris.

Design Junkie said...

I always prefer personality over conformity. As pretty as they are, if I see one more all-white kitchen with dark floors, carrera marble, and subway tile, I'm climbing a belltower. Luckily, I only own a caulk gun.

Kris said...

Always glad to help out a fellow new orleanian..

Renae said...

Well you know I LOVE it!
You never could be or would be part of the 'herd'! I am anxious to see what you have up your sleeve.

pve design said...

I love the mix and match and the visual interest. Perhaps you may want to consider a "butcher block" wood for your counters or maybe even a dark wood which you can oil. Over time the wood ages and takes on more of a "country elegance" whereas laminate is practical - wood can be pure chic and simple.
I know the chicken wire will add a special touch - I can see it already and imagine having a glass of wine and some crudite or cornichon there with you....and some nice music playing.

beki said...

I love a mix & match kitchen. There are so many inspiring photos you've got there! We're in the middle of a looooong kitchen & time being the main road blocks, as we're doing it all ourselves. After living with white cabinets for a few years (we painted them over the existing honey stain & green pickling finish - barf), I think we need to paint the bottom cabinets a different color while leaving the top white. I love that look. Best of luck to you - I can't wait to see it finished!

VictoriaArt said...

Dearest Valerie, you speak my language! I am a mix'n match girl, part necessity, part intuition...
I think it's a great way to show personality and an individual style which is hard to find in todays cookie cutter world.
With your strong sense of style you will make any material look great, used in the right way you will enjoy your kitchen soon. Just take it easy, Rome was not build in one day....I love your palette and the idea with the chicken wire in the doors is so Mediterranean!
I wish I had such a handy hubby!
By the way, I love yur old kitchen as is, but I understand your urge to do something different.
Hope the process will be fun too!

vicki archer said...

Most definitely personality....xv

Elizgonz said...

I love the mix-and-match kitchen. I think it's the only way to keep your kitchen from looking dated in a few years. I saw that exact laminate in a friend's house this week. Her architect suggested it. They used honed absolute granite on the large island and the laminate on the countertops. It looked great.

Jan said...

I say personality ... but in my case it would be chaos.

Anonymous said...

Hello there Valerie!

I LOVE a mix and match kitchen because that is what I have! I got cheap pine cabinets that you put together yourself and stained them red, not ugly red, and tossed in some regular cheap white cabinets. Some on top and some on bottom and island with a cool shell and stone countertop!

Still very much a work in progress but for me and my chef hubby, it works! Matches our French faience and copper pots on the wall.


Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Sounds to me like you have a GREAT plan in place. I believe it takes a lot more talent to put together a mix and match kitchen than a cookie cutter kitchen. Please keep us up to date!

paisley penguin said...

Love the mix n match! If I had the money/time and was staying where I am I would jump in to a kitchen redo. We are going to be selling our condo in the next four years and I fear a mix n match kitchen would not go over well for all those cookie cutter people out there as far as resale is concerned. Once we buy our house I am so doing it! Very inspirational - way to go and can't wait for photos of the adventure!

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

Valerie, you have such a creative eye and intuitive sense of style that you'll do great following your instincts. A mix and match kitchen is a great way to express yourself. Love it.

Ms Smart said...

you are bold, creative, and free w/your living space. very cool. i am looking forward to see what you come up with.

*Chic Provence* said...

Hi are so on the right track..personality wins. Do exactly what your heart tells you to do and you cannot go wrong. Use what you find and make it work for you..your design style is spot on. Just be careful, the space is smallish, keep the variety "slightly" down..I simply cannot wait to follow you along on this.

Very inspiring! miss you...big hug to all


Kit PS that mirror cost me $12 at the thrift store plus $9 in gold leaf (really fun to do!!)

Cote de Texas said...

ooh. that last kitchen is adorable. can't wait to see your new gray kitchen! hope Alberto is doing well. sounds like he is a lot better and you already have put him to work. shameless. hehe.

Anonymous said...

Some mix and match kitchens are just eye sores where the decorator just didn't know when to stop. I'm sort of over the granite countertops too, but have a husband who is an engineer and would NEVER go for anything mix and match looking. He likes sleek and smooth. I'm sort of into soapstone after already having granite in two homes. Would love to see how your kitchen turns out.


Gerrie Rousseau said...

I adore mixed material kitchens. i'm with DesignJunkie...I'm just tired of predictability. Of course the latest are those industrial-like pendants above the islands. The lights are interesting, but not when everyone installs these lights.

Anyway, I have been collecting pieces over the last 10 years that can be used in a kitchen. When we sell this house on coastal SC, and move to VA into our final home, a mountain cottage.

I have a file filled with pictures of kitchens like this.

The second kitchen is just cute as a button, and if I had the money, I would love those cabinets in the last picture.

Things That Inspire said...

I love the term - mix and match kitchen - although for me, I am a bit matchy matchy, or at the very least, I like a retreating kitchen where it is subtle and quiet. Mix and match has character and personality and takes a certain confidence to achieve - and I have no doubt that your mix and match will be fabulous.

So - marble and granite - out and expensive - does that mean granite is out, marble is expensive, or both of them are out AND expensive?

my favorite and my best said...

oh boy i cannot wait to see the are so rock solid in this department. (making fabulous on a non budget)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the idea of a mix & match kitchen, and it looks like you've got the space to really have some fun w/ it! I also appreciate (and can relate to) the fact that you're doing it on a limited budget .. my kitchen needs a facelift, but on two part-time jobs and a meager income, what to do? I'm thrilled to hear that there's a laminate alternative to solid countertops but w/ the look. I can't wait to see what other fabulous ideas and finds and fixes you come up with! Such inspiration .. thank you!

Marija said...

I don't love a mix n' match kitchen or a matchy matchy kitchen....I love a kitchen that fits the owners personality. I have no doubt yours will be fantastic. I always say do what you love and it will work. It may not work for someone else, but it will work for you and that's what matters. No to granite, yes to beat up marble and soapstone. Look into quartz - you might luck out bc some are terrific and they hold up really well. Also, I'm with Design Junkie.

enjoy your weekend....